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18 Best Castles In Portugal

Portugal is a country full of beautiful palaces and castles, some dating back to the 12th century. From the Manueline style of the world-renowned Pena National Palace in Sintra to the defensive walls of Almourol Castle built during the Reconquista period, Portugal has many stunningly preserved castles scattered throughout its landscape. Tourists come from around the world to explore these historic fortresses and learn about their fascinating histories. So here is a guide to the best castles in Portugal.

1. National Palace of Pena

National Palace of Pena

The National Palace of Pena is a fairy tale-like castle located in Sintra, Portugal. The Pena palace was built during the 19th century and is considered to be one of Europe’s most impressive Romantic architectural structures. It stands atop one of the highest hills in Sintra, which provides visitors with breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

The unique exterior design features characteristic red, yellow and blue colors that are often associated with Portuguese culture. Inside the walls lies an array of historic treasures such as royal armory, fine furniture, intricate paintings and sculptures from around the world.

The fortress also houses several gardens that feature a wide variety of flowers, plants and trees - a perfect place to enjoy a stroll on sunny days. Tourist can also explore hidden underground tunnels or ascend up to one of its many towers for even more stunning views.


Address: Estrada da Pena, 2710-609 Sintra, Portugal

Phone: +351 21 923 7300

2. Castelo de Almourol

Castelo de Almourol in Portugal

Castelo de Almourol is a castle situated on an island in the middle of the Tagus River in Portugal. It was built during the 12th century by the Knights Templar, and is one of the most well-preserved medieval fortresses in the country. The castle of Almourol has endured countless civil wars and battles over its long history, yet it still stands strong to this day.

Visiting the Almourol castle provides a surreal experience for all who come here. Its old walls covered with vines and moss make you feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale. You can take a boat ride across the Tagus River to get there, which adds to its charm even more. Once on the island, you’ll find yourself surrounded by breathtaking views of tall trees and green fields that stretch out before your eyes as far as the eye can see.


Address: Praia do Ribatejo, Portugal

Phone: +351 927 228 354

3. Castelo de Marvão

Castelo de Marvão

Castelo de Marvão is a beautiful medieval castle which was built in the 13th century, during the reign of King Sancho II, to protect northern Portugal from Moorish invasions. It was constructed on top of an ancient hill fort known as Citânia de Marvão. Today it stands as a reminder of Portugal’s turbulent past and remains an iconic landmark in the country.

The Castelo de Marvão has been well-preserved over the centuries, despite numerous wars it has endured throughout history. One can still explore its inner chambers, walk along its fortified walls and admire its diverse architectural styles ranging from Romanesque to Gothic styles. Moreover, there are various historical artifacts that have been preserved here such as several cannons and a 16th-century clock tower.


Address: R. do Castelo 7330, Marvão, Portugal

Phone: +351 245 909 138

4. Castelo de Guimarães

Castelo de Guimarães

Castelo de Guimarães is a beautiful castle located on the banks of the Tejo River. This ancient castle dates back to 1245 and has been renovated multiple times throughout the years, making it an interesting historical landmark. The symmetrical design of this magnificent castle makes it stand out as one of the most remarkable structures in Portugal. It features a single central tower with two side towers connected by walls and a gate. While the front porch is adorned with two shields, representing the powerful families who resided there for centuries.

Visitors can explore various parts of the Guimarães castle, such as its gates and battlements, which offer breathtaking views over Lisbon’s skyline. Inside, guests will find several rooms including chapels and dungeons that provide insight into life during medieval times. There are also many artifacts from that era that have been preserved within these walls for centuries.


Address: R. Conde Dom Henrique, 4800-412 Guimarães, Portugal

Phone: +351 253 412 273

5. Castelo de São Jorge

Castelo de São Jorge

The Castelo de São Jorge is a breathtaking example of Medieval architecture in the capital city of Lisbon, Portugal. Built on top of one of the highest hills in the city, this majestic structure can be seen from miles away. Dating back all the way to the 11th century, the São Jorge castle was a strategic military site used to protect Lisbon from invaders. It has had many additions and renovations over time, but still stands proudly as one of Lisbon's most famous landmarks.

Visitors are able to explore every nook and cranny of this magical place; take in spectacular views from the tower windows; learn about its rich history through interactive displays and audio guides; and observe wild peacocks roaming freely around its grounds. Aside from sightseeing, there are plenty of opportunities for entertainment near the Sao Jorge castle such as live concerts throughout the summer or movie nights under starry skies during autumn evenings.


Address: R. de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 1100-129 Lisboa, Portugal

Phone: +351 21 880 0620

6. Castelo dos Mouros

Castelo dos Mouros in Sintra

Castelo dos Mouros is a breathtaking castle located in the town of Sintra. It was constructed by the Moors during their occupation of the Iberian Peninsula in the 8th century. The castle of the Moors stands tall atop one of the highest points of Sintra and provides visitors with magnificent views of Sintra its forest-covered hills.

The structure is composed of two walled enclosures linked together by a stairway cut into the rock and surrounded by walls with several towers dotting them at different intervals. Inside these walls, there are numerous ruins that can be explored – including those from a royal palace and cisterns for storing water. In addition, the Moorish castle features small vaulted chambers cut into its walls where visitors can admire some stunning panoramas of both sea and countryside.


Address: 2710-405 Sintra, Portugal

Phone: +351 21 923 7300

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7. Castelo de Silves

Castelo de Silves

The Castle of Silves is one of the most emblematic monuments in all of Portugal. Situated in the Algarve region, this fortress was built during the Moorish occupation and served as an important military stronghold. It stands out among other fortresses due to its formidable size and structure, including a single-gated entrance, towers, battlements and embrasures.

The Castelo de Silves has undergone a series of restorations over the centuries including within its walls two churches dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul. Its sixteenth century chapel also merits attention as it houses some beautiful frescoes and paintings that date back even further, to Roman times. Tourists will be able to climb up onto the highest tower for fantastic views of the city below and out towards nearby mountains.


Address: R. do Castelo, 8300-135 Silves, Portugal

Phone: +351 282 440 837

8. Castelo de Alcoutim

Castelo de Alcoutim

The Castelo de Alcoutim is a remarkable sight to behold, situated in the south of Portugal on the banks of the Guadiana River. This breathtaking castle was built in 1283 by King Dinis I of Portugal and is said to have been strategically placed for its impressive views across both Spain and Portugal. With its three large towers rising from the high walls below, it’s no wonder this monumental building has been so well preserved over time.

Vacationers can explore all areas of this majestic monument from within, with guided tours available throughout the year. Visitors are treated to a full tour which includes historical anecdotes about battles that took place within castle walls centuries ago as well as an exploration into daily life during medieval times.

The dungeons evoke feelings of foreboding while guests learn about punishment techniques used by kings and queens alike to keep their subjects in line during that period.


Address: Largo do Castelo 4, 8970-055 Alcoutim, Portugal

9. Castelo de Bragança

Castelo de Bragança

Castelo de Bragança is a castle located in the town of Bragança, and is widely known for its rich cultural history. This 12th century castle, originally built by King Afonso I, was meant to protect the Portuguese city from outside invaders and has been strategically placed on seven hills. Over time, it has become an important symbol of Portuguese identity and pride.

The castle itself consists of multiple towers connected by walls that are made of granite stone. Inside the walls you can find beautiful courtyards filled with lush gardens and sculptures, as well as several chapels dedicated to various saints.

One notable feature is that some parts of the castle have a distinct Moorish design which highlights its Islamic influence during medieval times. There are also many artifacts inside such as weapons dating back centuries ago and other items that show how life was during those days.


Address: R. Dom João V 62, 5300-025 Bragança, Portugal

Phone: +351 273 322 378

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10.Castelo de Tomar

Castelo de Tomar

Castelo de Tomar is a Portuguese castle located in the municipality of Tomar. Built in 1160 by the Knights Templar, it is one of the most famous castles in Portugal and a major tourist attraction. Its architecture is incredible, composed of Renaissance and Manueline-style elements that make it a unique historical gem.

This amazing fortress has fourteen towers and eight gates, including five barbicans with drawbridges that provide visitors with an incredible view.

The Tomar Castle also contains two chapels: the Chapel of St John the Baptist and Chapel of Our Lady of Fortitude. Inside these chapels are beautiful works of art such as sculptures, carvings, paintings and frescoes which depict religious scenes from medieval times.


Address: JH3J+99 Igreja do Castelo Templário, Estr. do Convento 8, 2300-000 Tomar, Portugal

Phone: +351 249 315 089

11. Castelo de Monsaraz

Castelo de Monsaraz

Castelo de Monsaraz is a castle located in the Alentejo region, southern Portugal. It was built on an 8th-century hilltop near Monsaraz Lake. The castle's construction is thought to have been completed around 1251, by King Sancho II of Portugal.

It has served as a strategic defensive position and lookout point throughout its history. With its white walls and red clay roof tiles, the castle stands out spectacularly against the surrounding landscape, which includes olive groves and rolling hills that provide stunning views of the lake below.

Inside the castle walls lies a picturesque village filled with typical Alentejan houses and cobbled streets lined with buildings featuring red-tiled roofs and ornamental stonework.


Address: Largo do Castelo 1, 7200-175 Évora, Portugal

12. Castelo de Mértola

Castelo de Mértola

Castelo de Mértola is an impressive medieval castle that can be found in the Alentejo region of Portugal. It was first built during the Islamic period, before eventually passing through various hands throughout Portuguese history. Its towering walls and majestic keep are a sight to behold and its defensive capabilities have been tested on numerous occasions over the centuries.

The castle is best known for its strategic location at the mouth of the Guadiana river which made it an ideal spot for defending against attacks from both land and sea. Today, it serves as a reminder of Portugal’s rich cultural heritage, as visitors can explore all of its secret passageways and hidden chambers that tell tales of old battles fought within its walls.

Furthermore, the Mértola castle also offers breathtaking views over nearby vineyards – perfect for some tranquil relaxation while appreciating this remarkable historical monument.


Address: Castelo de, 7750-338 Mértola, Portugal

Phone: +351 286 610 109

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13. Castelo de Leiria

Castelo de Leiria

The Castle of Leiria is a grand fortress which was built in the 12th century by Dom Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal. This Leiria castle has been a witness to many crucial events in Portuguese history over the centuries and has become an important symbol of national identity and pride.

This amazing structure stands proudly atop a rocky hill overlooking downtown Leiria and is surrounded by gardens, parks and other features including an old chapel. The Leiria castle offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside which can be appreciated on one of its guided tours offered throughout the year.

Inside, visitors can explore its towers, battlements, ramparts and moats as well as admire its unique architectural style that combines elements from Romanesque to Gothic styles.


Address: Largo de São Pedro, 2400-235 Leiria, Portugal

Phone: +351 244 839 670

14. Castelo de Santa Maria da Feira

Castelo de Santa Maria da Feira

Castelo de Santa Maria da Feira is a castle-palace housed in the municipality of Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal. It was constructed in the 12th Century and served as a defensive structure to protect the region from potential attacks.

The Castle has had many renovations over the centureis, but it still retains its original character and charm. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area and is also designated as a National Monument.

The exterior facade of Castelo de Santa Maria da Feira is made up of stone walls which are up to five meters thick and were built with defense in mind. These walls have been restored several times since it's construction, most recently during the 19th century when an observation tower was added to enhance visibility for those within its walls.


Address: Alameda Roberto Vaz de Oliveira 4520, 4520-141 Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal

Phone: +351 256 372 248

15. Castelo de Penedono

Castelo de Penedono

Castelo de Penedono is a magnificent castle located in northeast Portugal. Constructed in the 13th century, it towers above its surrounding landscape and provides an impressive view of the nearby towns and forests.

Boasting turrets, grand halls, and winding staircases within its thick stone walls, Castelo de Penedono was once used as a defensive stronghold for local inhabitants. It also served as a royal residence for some time during the Middle Ages.

Today, the Penedono castle is a preserved medieval castle open to visitors who come from far and wide to explore its ancient hallways and visit its beautiful chapel. Those curious to learn more can find an array of artifacts on display throughout the castle’s public areas - including armor pieces, weapons, furniture, items of clothing and artwork depicting life at court ages ago.

16. Castelo de Montemor-o-Velho

Castelo de Montemor-o-Velho

The castle of Montemor-o-Velho is a historical fortress placed on the banks of the Mondego River and dates back to the 12th century, making it one of the oldest castles in Portugal. The castle's primary purpose was to guard against foreign invaders and protect its territory from attack.

Its walls are made up of white limestone blocks, giving it a majestic and medieval appearance. It has been expanded throughout history, with many different buildings added over time such as watch towers, dungeons and chapels.

The Castelo de Montemor-o-Velho offers visitors an opportunity to explore its long history through guided tours which reveal fascinating details about its past occupants and battles that have occurred there over the centuries. The grounds include a museum which showcases artifacts from all eras associated with this ancient fortress.


Address: R. Infante Dom Pedro, 3140-262 Montemor-o-Velho, Portugal

Phone: +351 239 680 380

17. Óbidos Castle

Óbidos Castle

Visiting Bido's Castle in Portugal is a must for any traveler looking to explore this beautiful region. Situated in the heart of Lisbon, it is one of the most famous and well-preserved medieval castles in Europe. Built by the Knights Templar in the early 12th century, Óbido's Castle has been a symbol of strength and resilience throughout its history. Today, visitors can explore its grounds and take part in guided tours to learn more about its rich past.

The castle itself is an architectural masterpiece with walls reaching up to 25 meters high and extending over one kilometer long. Within these walls lies a picturesque inner courtyard full of gardens, towers, courtyards, fountains and arches. City trippers can also tour the grand banqueting hall that was once used for entertaining guests from all over Europe during the Middle Ages.


Address: R. Josefa de Óbidos, 2510-001 Óbidos, Portugal

Phone: +351 960 009 055

18. Castle of Belver

Castle of Belver

The Castle of Belver is a remarkable testimony of Portuguese history and architecture near the village of Aldeia de Velhal, this stunning castle was built during the medieval era in 1238 by Dom Afonso III as part of a defense system against foreign invasions. The castle is surrounded by an imposing stone wall which dominates its surrounding landscape, and inside the walls lays a beautiful structure consisting of four towers, two palaces, an old cistern and two chapels.

This majestic fortress offers beautiful views over the countryside and it’s easy to understand why Dom Afonso III chose this location to build his castle. Not only does it offer excellent visibility but also remoteness from nearby villages that could be potential targets for enemy forces.

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Q: What is the most colorful castle in Portugal?

A: Among the many magnificent castles in Portugal, one that stands out for its vibrant colors is the Pena Palace. Located in Sintra, just a short distance from Lisbon, this castle is known for its strikingly bold and vivid hues. Built in the 19th century on the ruins of an old monastery, the Pena Palace boasts a unique blend of architectural styles including Gothic, Renaissance, and Moorish influences. The exterior walls are painted in an array of bright yellows, pinks, and blues that create a whimsical and fairytale-like atmosphere.

Q: What is the best-preserved castle in Portugal?

A: One of the best-preserved castles in Portugal is the Castle of Guimarães. This historical monument dates back to the 10th century and is considered one of the most important landmarks in Portuguese history. The castle was originally built to defend against Moorish invasions and played a crucial role in the formation of Portugal as a nation.

The Castle of Guimarães boasts an impressive architectural structure that exemplifies medieval military fortification techniques. Its imposing stone walls, towers, and battlements have stood resilient throughout centuries, making it a remarkable sight for visitors today.

In addition to its stunning preservation, what sets this castle apart is its connection to Portuguese identity. It was within these fortified walls that Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, was born in 1110. His birthplace has been transformed into a museum dedicated to his life and achievements, attracting tourists from all over who are interested in learning about this influential figure.

Q: What is the largest castle in Portugal?

A: The largest castle in Portugal is the Castle of Guimarães. Covering an area of over 16,000 square meters, the Castle of Guimarães consists of several towers and walls that were constructed over different periods. The most prominent feature is its imposing keep, which dates back to the 14th century. It served as both a defensive structure and a residence for nobles throughout its history.

Q: What town in Portugal has lots of castles?

A: One such town that stands out for its abundance of castles is Sintra. Sintra's prominence as a haven for castles can be traced back to its strategic location during the Moorish occupation. The Moors recognized the town's natural defenses provided by its hilly terrain and established several fortified structures here. Over time, these original fortresses were expanded upon by subsequent rulers, resulting in an extraordinary collection of castles and palaces that showcase different architectural styles ranging from Gothic to Renaissance.

Q: What is the oldest castle in Portugal?

A: The oldest castle in Portugal is the Castle of Guimarães which was built in the 10th century.  Stepping inside the castle transports visitors back in time, with its narrow passages and hidden chambers offering glimpses into medieval life. As you explore this ancient structure, you can almost feel the presence of those who lived within its walls centuries ago. From knights to nobles, countless historical figures have made their mark on this castle throughout its long history.

Q: How many castles are there in Portugal?

A: It is estimated that there are around 150 to 200 castles and fortresses in Portugal. Some of the most notable castles include the Castle of São Jorge in Lisbon, the Castle of Pena in Sintra, the Castle of Óbidos, and the Castle of Almourol, among many others.


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