Catalunya is synonymous with many amazing things, some of which being its rich culture, word renowned food and patriotic people. However, what some might not know is that Catalunya is also home to some of Spain’s most beautiful castles which offer endless days of discovery. These castles are all located in scenic towns and villages, scattered through the province, meaning you also get the chance to soak up some rural, small town Spanish lifestyle also. We have compiled a list of our top 10 castles of Catalunya for you to explore.
1. Santa Pau
Santa Pau is located in Girona within the Garrotxa Nature Reserve which is a region made up of dormant volcanoes and woodlands. The town of Santa Pau is centred around the medieval castle which dates back to the 13th century. For those who like castles, this one will be of great architectural interest as it has charming narrow alleyways which run off the main square.
Cadaqués is a small coastal town located on the Costa Brava. It was a simple fishing village until its popularity among tourists boomed in the 20th century. It is comprised of sloping streets of medieval origin, whitewashed facades of beautiful buildings, a picturesque bay and a landscape of olive trees. The highlight of the town is the remaining evidence of the 11th century fortified town and castle which was damaged during a pirate evasion in 1444.
Siurana is a village located in the lower part of the Sierra de la Gritella province of Tarragona. It is home to the Moorish castle which was a military establishment built in the 9th century as a control center. It stands tall on a rock mass and is surrounded by a torrent. It presents magnificent views of the river Ciurana and it’s reservoirs.
Besalú is is a magnificant example of a medieval town and is located in the comarca of Garrotxa in Girona. This town is a truly historic gem which is full of character. It is known for its cobbled streets, unique facades and a wonderful bridge which is the trademark of Besalu. It was declared a National Historic-Artistic Ensemble because of its high architectural value and is one of Catalonia’s best preserved medieval towns. It is home to an ancient castle which is believed to have stood in the site in the 10th century.
5. Tossa de Mar
Tossa de Mar is located between the city of Barcelona and the French border. The walled town offers stunning views of the surrounding Mediterranean coast and countless hours of wondering its quaint side streets. The enchanting castle which towers over the town is a great place to go to get a real feel for the history of Tossa de Mar.
This is a quiet and picturesque village located in Collsacabra, Catalonia. In the heart of Collsacabra stands Rupit, a medieval-origin village which has been kept intact by its residents, making a trip here feel like traveling back in time. From the peaks of the mountains, one can see the remains of castles and watchtowers built in the 10th century such as Castle Rupit.
Artíes is a small, high-mountain village located in the county of Val d’Aran. It has magnificent views and is surrounded by two flowing rivers. It is home to the tower of the castle of Arties (or castle of Entransaigues) built between the 12th and 13th century.
Maru is a medieval town located in the Natural Park if Sant Llorenc de Munt il ‘Obac. It has everything a medieval town enthusiasts could imagine; narrow cobbled streets, steep stairs leading to remarkable views, squares surrounded by ancient churches and and stone palaces.
Pals is a medieval town located on top of Puig Aspre near the Costa Brava. Situated on top of a hill, overlooking Platja de Pals, this charming town with its cobbled streets, craft shops, traditional restaurants and bars is a great place to visit in Catalonia. Declared a site of historical interest in 1973, Pals is so beautifully preserved that the circular Romanesque tower Torre de la Horas still holds its original structure and is a highlight of any visit to Pals.
Miravet is a municipality located in the region of Ribera de Ebro, province of Tarragona. It is a village full of history on the Ebro river and has a beautiful castle, high on the hills, which offers breath taking views. It is impossible to miss the striking castle of Miravet when visiting the town. The castle was converted into a castle convent by the Temple Kings around the middle of the 12th century.
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