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Castle of Santa Bárbara

Looming over the city center, this hilltop castle is the main attraction in Alicante and one of the largest castles in Europe.

Perched 545 feet (166 meters) above sea level, upon the top of Mount Benacantil, this monumental fortification overlooks the city of Alicante and is one of the city’s major attractions. The Castle of Santa Bárbara is one of the largest castles from the medieval period remaining in Europe. It covers the entire summit of the mountain. Despite dating back more than a millennium to a period of Muslim rule in the ninth century, the castle has been expertly cared for and is almost entirely intact. Whether you have a passion for history or just make the trip for the panoramic views, no visitor to Alicante should miss the Castle of Santa Bárbara.

The journey to the top of Mount Benacantil can be half the fun. Simply drive to the top or, if you’re feeling adventurous, make the trek on foot. Follow the walking trail through pine woods and vast parks on your way to the summit. Here you’ll be rewarded with some of the most spectacular views in the region. Look across the rooftops of the historic city in one direction and out across the Mediterranean Sea in the other. 

Explore the castle grounds to find the ruins of the original church, a great moat and a series of cannons that once protected the city. Inside the huge castle you’ll see a lookout tower, dungeons and a lavish palace. The tower hangs over a cliff and, while not for the faint of heart, provides a breathtaking experience. Visit the Museum of the City of Alicante, housed within the castle walls, to learn about the history of the castle, the city it protected and the various rulers who called it home.

The drive to the Castle of Santa Bárbara takes approximately five minutes from the city center, while walking may take an hour. An elevator, free of charge for the elderly and disabled, also operates from the base of the mountain to the top; there is a small fee for everybody else. Castle entrance is free. The castle is open daily, but it may close at midday.


Guide to Exploring Castle of Santa Barbara


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                La Milagrosa Bed & Breakfast £39
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