Route of the castles of Alicante
One of the things that will most impact you when you visit the province of Alicante is the number of castles, very well preserved, that stand throughout its orography. There are 230 fortresses, including the Castle of Santa Bárbara in the capital, imposing on Mount Benacantil, a beautiful window to the Mediterranean Sea. This route of the castles of Alicante summarizes more than 1,500 years of history, culture and epic battles.
Santa Barbara Castle in Alicante
When you arrive to the capital of the Costa Blanca, you can not take your eyes off the fortress that dominates the entire city. The Santa Bárbara Castle is located next to the Postiguet Beach, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Its origin dates back to the Muslim era, in the ninth century, and from its vantage point you can see the whole city. In the thirteenth century it passed into Christian hands after its conquest by Alfonso de Castilla, on December 4, 1248, the day of Santa Bárbara. This date gave it the name that it still has today. It is a must if you come to Alicante. Admission is free, and you can get there by car (free parking free), by walk or taking the elevator on Jovellanos Avenue (the ticket costs about 2 euros). The views from the main tower will leave you speechless.
Fortress Castle of Santa Pola
From the capital, we move to the south to visit this castle built in 1553. It is a clear example of the Renaissance military architecture of the sixteenth century, and served to defend the population from the pirate attacks of the Berbers. It currently houses the Museum of the Sea, an exhibition hall and a beautiful chapel.
Towards the interior of the province we find another of the best preserved castles of Alicante: Castalla Castle. It has also a Muslim origin, specifically from the eleventh century, and its structures from the late Middle Ages and early modern times are very well preserved. You can visit it from Friday to Sunday, and we recommend you to enjoy some famous ‘gazpachos’, the tipycal dish from this little town. Culture and gastronomy together! This town is also ideal for hiking trails, as it is surrounded by nature.
Atalaya Castle in Villena
This castle of Alicante has special importance because it is right on the dividing line that separated the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon. The port of Biar was declared, in the year 119, as border between both reigns, being Biar as part of the crown of Aragon, while Villena happened to belong to Castile. Like all the fortresses in the area, the Castle of Biar has a Muslim origin, in the 12th century, and is located on a rocky hill right in the center of the town. It is impressive to see it from outside, and much more from within. It can be visited from Wednesday to Sunday. Check here the schedules.
At the top of a very sharp rocky cliff, you will find the Sax Castle, of Muslim origin and dating from the twelfth century. Located next to the fortresses of Villena and Biar, it was part of the defensive line of fortifications in this area, the Vinalopó. You can visit it every day, with guided tours on Sundays. In Sax we recommend you visit also the historic center, which is of Muslim origin as the castle, and the hermitage of San Blas.
Castle of Petrer and cave-houses of the wall
In another small town of the area, Petrer, we can find another important castle of Alicante of the Muslim period. It was declared a Historic-Artistic Site of National Interest in 1983. The peculiarity of this castle is that you can also visit the houses that the inhabitants of the town excavated in the wall of the fortress, like caves. Take the opportunity also to see the Roman oven of Villa Petralia. Petrer retains a great historical heritage that you can not miss. The castle can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday.
Fortified Castle-Palace of Marqués de dos Aguas
This palace, located in Onil, is one of the most modern in the area. It began to be built in the 15th century and is Gothic-Renaissance style. We recommend you to see, above all, the inner cloister, which is very beautiful and really well preserved. You can visit it from Tuesday to Sunday, with free guided tours.
Do you fancy traveling through this route of the castles of Alicante? Book your accommodation in Be Alicante and discover the incredible strengths that History has left us as a gift.