Visiting the castles near Madrid is an awesome idea for a day trip, especially if you are traveling to Spain with kids. My daughter adores castles!
Madrid is surrounded by enchanting castles that have stood the test of time. These magnificent fortresses are not just historical wonders, they are like something out of a fairy tale. The following castles near Madrid will take you on a captivating journey back in time.
The 15 Best Castles Near Madrid
Are you ready for an amazing adventure visiting the top 15 castles near Madrid? These magnificent castles are not only steeped in history but also exceptionally well preserved.
And here’s the cherry on top: all of them are conveniently located within a maximum driving distance of just one and a half hours from Madrid, perfect for a day trip.
1. Castle of Manzanares el Real
Location: 40.7274, -3.8618
Distance from Madrid: 30 miles (50 km)
This stunning castle, dating back to the 15th century, stands proudly against the picturesque backdrop of the Guadarrama mountain range. Its sturdy stone walls, imposing towers, and intricate architectural details make it a true gem of medieval Spanish architecture.
Also called Mendoza Castle because it was the residence of one of the families with more lineage of Castile, the Mendoza, this military building of Castilian style is one of the most emblematic and best-preserved castles near Madrid. It began its history as a fortress and later became the palace of the family.
The visit to the castle is very interesting, and they also offer recreational visits and special workshops ideal for the whole family.
2. Castle of Coca
Location: 41.2154, -4.5255
Distance from Madrid: 80 miles (130 km)
Venturing northwest of Madrid, we encounter the Castle of Coca, a remarkable Mudéjar masterpiece. This imposing fortress, constructed with a fusion of Islamic and Gothic architectural elements, is renowned for its intricate brickwork and stunning tower.
The structure of the castle is formed by two large enclosures. The outer enclosure had the function of defense, with its towers and walls, and the inner enclosure, which housed the rooms and dependencies with a large courtyard. Next to these rooms is the main tower, which was used as a prison.
The rooms stand out for their great beauty with beautiful Mudejar motifs in painting and stucco, providing us with a unique and unrepeatable legacy. Another peculiarity lies in not having been built on a hill, its defensive system takes advantage of the escarpments of the land and a wide and deep moat.
3. Coracera Castle
Location: 40.36317, -4.4013
Distance from Madrid: 43 miles (70 km)
Located in the municipality of San Martin de Valdeiglesias, the Coracera Castle is a captivating castle that leaves visitors in awe. Dating back to medieval times, this well-preserved fortress stands as a testament to the region’s rich history.
This castle reproduces the basic model of fortified stately residence most widespread in the first half of the 15th century, which consisted of two defensive belts around the main tower.
Its robust stone walls, imposing tower, and central courtyard evoke a sense of grandeur and strength. The scenic surroundings and panoramic views further enhance the experience, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and castle lovers alike.
The Coracera Castle is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular castles near Madrid. You will find the Tourist Office of San Martin de Valdeiglesias integrated into the castle, where you can purchase the tickets for the visit.
4. Alcázar of Segovia
Location: 40.9527, -4.13258
Distance from Madrid: 57 miles (93 km)
The Alcázar of Segovia is a castle that seems straight out of a fairytale. In fact, the design of this prototypical fairy-tale castle inspired Walt Disney’s vision of the famous Snow White Castle.
This iconic landmark in Segovia, perched atop a rocky crag, offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. With its soaring towers, elegant turrets, and a captivating blend of Romanesque and Gothic styles, the Alcázar enchants visitors with its timeless allure.
The first documented record of the fortress dates back to the year 1120. The Alcazar was originally built as a fortress but has also served as a Royal Palace, a prison, a Royal Artillery College, and a military academy. I strongly recommend you climb to the top of the tower due to the magnificent views.
The Alcázar is one of my favorite castles near Madrid, it is a unique attraction worldwide.
5. Belmonte Castle
Location: 39.5580, -2.6966
Distance from Madrid: 96 miles (155 km)
Located in the province of Cuenca, Belmonte Castle stands as a testament to the noble legacy of the region. This imposing fortress, with its massive walls, sturdy towers, and strategic hilltop position, offers a fascinating glimpse into medieval military architecture.
Built in the second half of the fifteenth century, the Belmonte Castle shows a Mudejar Gothic style and has a star-shaped plant. Due to its good state of preservation, its special structure, and its exterior appearance, practically the same as when it was built, it is a valuable heritage treasure and one of the best castles near Madrid. You will also discover a palatial interior decorated with luxurious Mudejar ceilings in its halls and galleries.
The Historical Recreation Days are held in the Castle, which allows visitors to see the life of warriors, artisans, doctors, monks, lords, and peasants. Moreover, national and international medieval combat tournaments are also held in the castle.
6. Castle of Guadamur
Location: 39.81037, -4.14618
Distance from Madrid: 56 miles (91 km)
This is one of the most magnificent fortresses in Toledo. Perched atop a hill in the charming village of Guadamur, showcases a harmonious blend of medieval and Renaissance influences. Its sturdy stone walls, majestic towers, and elegant battlements exude an aura of strength and grace.
Built in 1468, it is considered one of the most beautiful castles near Madrid. It consists of the castle, main tower, barrier, and moat. Both the castle and the wall are flanked by circular watchtowers. A wide dry moat opens at its feet. Inside, for the moment only the first floor can be visited.
The Guadamur Castle in Toledo hosted illustrious characters of the time as Juana la Loca and Felipe el Hermoso, the emperor Carlos V or Cardinal Cisneros.
7. Buitrago del Lozoya
Location: 40.9948, -3.63405
Distance from Madrid: 52 miles (85 km)
Buitrago del Lozoya is the best example of a castle and medieval fortified town in the Community of Madrid. The castle and walls are a mesmerizing testament to centuries of history.
The castle is a square-plan fortification that is attached to the southeast corner of the fortified enclosure, controlling the bridge and the passage through the cattle route. The Barbican was built in the 4th century crossing from east to west, although today only its western section remains. For its defense, the castle had six rectangular towers, a pentagonal tower in its northwestern corner, and a moat.
As you walk along the ancient walls, you will enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes and the winding Lozoya River. A visit to this captivating site promises an unforgettable journey through time.
8. Consuegra Castle
Location: 39.4531, -3.6079
Distance from Madrid: 80 miles (130 km)
With more than eight hundred years old, the castle of La Muela in Consuegra is a fortress of great singularity and attractiveness. It is one of my favorite castles near Madrid as it is also very close to the famous windmills.
Although the origins of the Consuegra Castle date back to a Muslim fortress, the current appearance is due to the impressive work of military architecture by knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
The castle consists of a square central body with a large cylindrical tower on each of its sides. The enclosure is surrounded by a barrier, and it was necessary to break 7 doors to access the central part of the fortress. If you add its strategic position, the castle had an impregnable appearance. In its interior, you will find the priory prison, the chapel, the archives room, and the chapter house.
9. Sigüenza Castle
Location: 41.0641, -2.64109
Distance from Madrid: 85 miles (137 km)
The castle of Sigüenza was built in the 12th century to serve as a palace-fortress of the bishops who were lords of the city for seven centuries.
The castle is located on a small mound near Sigüenza, dominating the surrounding territory. It is bordered on its eastern side by a river, which served as a natural defense. It was also surrounded by a wall with a drawbridge.
Its structure shows its Arab origins and in the center remains the well that supplied water to the fortress. In case of invasion, this space was able to accommodate the entire population of Sigüenza for protection.
It has undergone an excellent restoration process and has come to house an impressive inn “Parador Nacional de Turismo”.
10. Orgaz Castle
Location: 39.64786, -3.8779
Distance from Madrid: 62 miles (100 km)
The Orgaz Castle is a fortified enclosure erected during the Middle Ages next to the western access gate of the town of Orgaz. It was a key element in the defensive and surveillance functions of the settlement.
The building has a rectangular floor plan, articulated around a central courtyard, with masonry walls and ashlars in the corners. The main tower, in the south, and a semicircular watchtower, in the east, break the regular structure of the plan. Next to the tower, you will find the door of access to the interior, paved with a semicircular arch.
When talking about castles near Madrid, the Orgaz Castle should be a must on your list.
11. Castle of Cuéllar
Location: 41.40118, -4.31932
Distance from Madrid: 98 miles (158 km)
Also known as the Castle of the Dukes of Alburquerque, this is one of the best-preserved fortresses near Madrid. It is estimated that it was built between the 13th and 14th centuries.
The castle of Cuéllar is located on the top of a hill, at the highest point of the town, above the so-called citadel, and closing the walled enclosure. A moat was dug around the building, preceding the barbican, which was the first defensive obstacle that the enemy encountered in front of the castle. It has a rectangular floor plan with four towers at the corners, three of them circular.
In its construction, you will find a mixture of architectural styles, predominantly Gothic and Renaissance. From the 16th century onwards, the military fortress was enlarged and modified, becoming a sumptuous palace. The building is kept in a good state of preservation.
12. Turégano Castle
Location: 41.15823, -4.0053
Distance from Madrid: 77 miles (124 km)
The building is considered one of the most original Spanish castles for being defensive-religious at the same time. In fact, the castle-church complex was declared a Historic Artistic Monument in 1931. This is one of the most iconic castles near Madrid.
The Castle of Turégano is located on a hill that dominates the village. The promontory on which it is located stands out for its defensive importance. Although the exact date of creation is not known, the first remains preserved date from the 12th century.
There are two walls around the castle, both rectangular in shape. The first was surrounded by a large moat to prevent attacks and had four large circular towers at the corners, and the second was an imposing tower. In the center, you will find the aforementioned church of San Miguel.
13. La Mota Castle
Location: 41.3091, -4.90855
Distance from Madrid: 97 miles (157 km)
Valladolid is home to the ancient fortress known as the Castle of La Mota. Its location atop an elevated hill from which it dominates the town and the surroundings gave rise to its name.
The main function of the castle from its creation was defensive, but in addition to being a militarily strategic place, it also served as an archive for the crown’s documents and a prison.
The inside of the castle is trapezoidal shaped, with a square yard and four towers. The main access is through a drawbridge and a large arch crowned with the coat of arms of the Catholic Monarchs. Around the barrier, there is a deep moat and the keep tower is 40 meters high.
14. Castle of Pedraza
Location: 41.1327, -3.8143
Distance from Madrid: 80 miles (129 km)
It is considered one of the oldest castles in Europe, as it was a fortification of military use for the Romans. Located in a key defensive area, on the edge of the hill on which the town sits, the building is surrounded by a precipice and a moat. The construction has an imposing tower, a large defensive wall attached to it, and an outer wall with cannons.
The main gate is accessed by a small fixed bridge, which centuries ago, was a drawbridge. The door is made of black poplar wood and is full of “spikes” that protrude and occupy its entire surface, to oppose an attack with a battering ram.
The Castle of Pedraza is one of the most historic castles near Madrid and has witnessed events such as the captivity of the sons of Francis I of France, taken hostage in the battle of Pavia.
15. Castle of Chinchón
Location: 40.1363, -3.42403
Distance from Madrid: 30 miles (50 km)
The town of Chinchón is one of the most picturesque in the entire Community of Madrid. Thousands of locals and tourists visit Chinchón every year to admire its impressive square and enjoy the spectacular views from its viewpoint.
The castle of Chinchón is the last on my list of 15 castles near Madrid as it is not possible to visit inside. The castle is now privately owned and is closed to the public because it does not meet the security conditions necessary for its visit.
However, you can contemplate its exterior and enjoy the fantastic views that can be seen from the hill over the town of Chinchón.
The castles near Madrid offer a captivating journey into the region’s rich history and architectural splendor. From medieval fortresses to royal palaces, each castle tells a unique story and leaves visitors awe-inspired by its grandeur. Besides, it is a fun activity for a day trip from Madrid, especially when traveling with kids.