If you are up for visiting a castle, Malaga has quite a few interesting hilltop castles worth visiting. First of all, the city boasts two impressive castles and by heading to some of the nearby villages and towns in the province there are a whole lot of dazzling castles near Malaga that you will find wonderful to visit.
Most of the castles in Malaga date back to the Moorish times, but some of them have a history even further back in time. And one of my favorites was actually built as a monument and has never been used as a castle!
Read on to discover Malaga’s castles so that you can start planning your Andalucia itinerary.
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Castles in Malaga
Alcazaba of Málaga
The Alcazaba of Malaga is one of the best preserved in the country and is a spectacular example of the Hammudid dynasty in the early 11th century.
The castle has stood the test of time and has protected the city over centuries. A visit to the Alcazaba is one of the best things to do in Malaga boasting splendid gardens and courtyards, fountains, and arches.
The views from the Alcazaba are undeniably beautiful over the Muelle Uno port. There is no doubt this Malaga Spain castle is worth the hype.
You can buy tickets at the entrance (I recommend buying a joint ticket for the Alcazaba and the Gibralfaro) or online before you go to save time. Check for skip-the-line tickets here.
You can check updated opening times on the official website.
Built to protect the Alcazaba, the 14th-century Gibralfaro Castle looms above it. You can easily see both of these castles even with one day in Malaga as they are situated so close.
There is proof that there has been a defensive structure in its place already in 2500 BC when the Phoenicians were there.
Now, it’s one of the biggest tourist attractions in Malaga, and in my opinion, it could be the most epic Malaga castle. Walk around the fortified walls, marvel at the staggering views, and relax in its majestic courtyard.
What I like the most about Gibralfaro is that it’s wrapped in vegetation and even the walk up there is mesmerizing with stupifying views.
Buy tickets at the entrance or buy the entry together with your Alcazaba ticket. You can check opening hours here.
Colomares Castle (Benalmádena)
One of the most unique castles in Malaga is the Colomares Castle, built as a monument to commemorate Christopher Columbus and the discovery of “The New World”.
Even though it’s not the typical castle with a turbulent history, it’s still one of the most beautiful castles in Andalucia with all the intriguing details.
You can easily see the castle in 15 minutes, climbing the balconies and snapping a few pictures. However, you most likely will spend a lot longer. There are stupifying details and the views of Benalmadena’s coastline are epic!
Castillo Sohail (Fuengirola)
Castillo Sohail, also known as Fuengirola Castle sits elegantly on a hilltop on the southern beach of one of the most popular expat towns in Costa del Sol, Fuengirola.
Since the first citadel was built on the hill in the mid-900s, it has been reinforced by the Moors, torn down during the reconquest, and later rebuilt.
As a central place for events like a Medieval Festival and summer concerts, visiting the castle is one of the best things to do in Fuengirola, which is the last train stop westwards from Malaga.
Visit the castle for spectacular coastal views of Fuengirola and Mijas as well as dramatic mountain views inland.
Sohail Castle is open Monday-Saturday 10:00-14:00 and entry is free.
Castillo del Águila (Gaucín)
A lesser-known castle in Malaga is the Castillo del Águila in Gaucín, which also happens to be one of the most beautiful white villages near Malaga. The remains of the hilltop castle are not as complete as most castles on this list of Malaga castles, but I promise, the views make up for it in a heartbeat!
The 10th-century Moorish castle ruins overlook the entire countryside as well as the coast and you can see all the way to Africa on a clear day.
It’s debated whether the name (the Eagle Castle) origins in the views from the castle, considering you can’t miss anything of what is going on around for miles, or the huge number of eagles circling the area.
Castillo del Águila is open Wednesday-Sunday 10:30-13:30 and 16:00-18:00. Mondays and Tuesdays are closed. Entry to the castle ruins is free.
The 13th Century Moorish Castle of Casares sits elegantly perched on the top of a cliff overlooking one of the most enchanting white villages in Andalucia, Casares.
The earliest written evidence of the Casares Castle sets it in the times of the Nasrid Kingdom and it was a purely defensive castle.
Visiting the castle is one of many things to do in Casares, so I highly recommend spending a couple of days in the village to explore the surroundings.
Casares castle ruins are open to the public at all times and free to access.
Alcazaba of Antequera
The 14th-century Moorish Alcazaba of Antequera was built on top of Roman ruins and purely served for defensive purposes against the Christians.
It played an important role in the Moorish defense of Granada as Antequera was the last city to fall before the Christians conquered Granada.
Today, Antequera is one of the most beautiful cities in Andalucia and the castle offers incredible views of the Lover’s Rock, which resembles the face of an Indian looking at the sky.
Visiting the Alcazaba is one of the absolute best things to do in Antequera but it’s worth spending a couple of days, one to see the city and one to explore the Dolmens and the Torcal de Antequera nature reserve.
Tickets to the Alcazaba in Antequera can be bought at the entrance. Opening hours are 10:00-18:00 Monday-Sunday.
Reflections on Malaga castles
As you can see, there is no shortage of spectacular castles in Malaga Spain. I dare say that a few of these are among the most beautiful castles in Andalucia and history lovers will love to go. Visiting them is also some of the best things to do in Andalucia, especially for families.
Now that you know about the best Malaga castles, you can start planning your Andalucia itinerary – or even better – a southern Spain road trip!