If you're looking for suggestions for castles to include in your next trip itinerary in Portugal, then know that we've gathered a set of seven magnificent examples of Portuguese architecture.

In fact, in this list, which by no means aims to be exhaustive, you'll find medieval constructions with unique characteristics.

We wanted to distance ourselves from the more obvious castles, which, although interesting from a cultural and architectural point of view, are already well-known by visitors.

Therefore, we'll tell you about the famous ones near Lisbon, such as the Castle of Óbidos, but also lesser-known castles in Portugal, located in the interior of the country, such as the Castle of Sabugal.

Now that you know the criteria for choosing these seven castles of Portugal, we want to add that we'll tell you about some decisive moments that happened in each castle, construction dates, and practical information for visiting them, including location and distance from Lisbon and Porto.

Happy journey through the castles of Portugal!

Castle of Almourol

Photography: Luis Valverde

The Castle of Almourol is an incredible historical landmark located on a small island in the Tagus River. Its construction dates back to a period prior to 1129 when Christians arrived in the region, already finding a castle built on the site.

This castle played a key role during the Christian Reconquest as it formed part of a defensive line along the Tagus River, alongside the castles of Tomar, Zêzere, and Cardiga.

In addition to its historical significance, which we have already demonstrated, the Castle of Almourol provides a unique experience for visitors.

Exploring its walls and towers transports visitors to a time of knights and medieval battles while enjoying stunning views of the Tagus River.

In terms of location, access is relatively easy for those near the country's capital. Located on the small island of the Tagus River near Praia do Ribatejo in Vila Nova da Barquinha, the castle is 134 km from Lisbon and 225 km from Porto.

Castle of Bragança

Photography: Alves Mateus

The Castle of Bragança is another imposing Portuguese fortress steeped in history. It stands majestically in the city of Bragança, in northeastern Portugal, and was built in the 12th century, during the Middle Ages.

Due to its strategic hilltop location, the Castle of Bragança offers excellent panoramic views of the city, as well as the surrounding mountains and hills.

Undoubtedly, it is one of the city's most iconic landmarks, with its imposing walls and towers leaving visitors in awe.

Within the castle walls, tourists can explore various spaces, including the Keep Tower and the Military Museum, which houses an impressive collection of historical artifacts and weapons.

Additionally, the castle hosts cultural events and exhibitions throughout the year, making it a worthwhile destination at any time.

The Castle of Bragança is located 211 km from Porto and 488 km from Lisbon.


Castle of Guimarães

Photography: Jose Costa

The Castle of Guimarães is a medieval fortress located in the heart of the city of Guimarães, in northern Portugal.

Built in the 10th century, this castle played a fundamental role in the country's history and is considered one of the symbols of Portuguese national identity.

Like other castles in Portugal, the Castle of Guimarães is situated atop a hill. While walking along the castle walls is an incredible experience, don't forget that the castle's interior is equally fascinating.

Take your time to explore every corner that the Castle of Guimarães offers, and when you're done, head to the Palace of the Dukes of Bragança for a complete journey through time.

After all, the Palace of the Dukes of Bragança is a reconstructed palace that now houses a museum dedicated to the history and culture of Portugal.

The Castle of Guimarães is only 57 km from Porto and 367 km from Lisbon.


Castle of Monsaraz

Photography: João Fructuosa

Continuing our journey through the Castles of Portugal, this time exploring the magnificent region of Alentejo, also known as the breadbasket of Portugal.

And in the landscape of Alentejo stands out the Castle of Monsaraz, an imposing fortress located in the medieval village of Monsaraz.

This castle, as well as the village of Monsaraz, was built during the Middle Ages, so it has a long history of defense and influence in the region.

And what we particularly like about the Castle of Monsaraz?

Inside the walls, it is possible to explore the narrow streets of the medieval village, with its traditional stone houses and cobbled streets. Within the walls, you can also visit the churches, cisterns, and museums that tell the history and culture of the region.

The Castle of Monsaraz is located 180 km from Lisbon and 460 km from Porto.


Castle of Óbidos

Photography: Joaquin por Pixabay

You probably already know the Castle of Óbidos, but we believe this article would lose much if we didn't include it.

So, this majestic medieval fortification is located in the village of Óbidos, in the West region of Portugal.

The Castle of Óbidos dates back to the 12th century, standing out as one of the best-preserved in the country. It has imposing walls and defensive towers, preserved impeccably.

But we must mention that part of the charm of this castle is linked to the village of Óbidos.

This is because the streets form an authentic labyrinth, surrounded by craft shops, souvenir shops, cafes, and very pleasant restaurants.

Additionally, the whitewashed walls of the houses, with colorful pots in the windows, create the ideal scenery that leads the visitor to the magnificent castle.

Several cultural events take place in the village and Castle of Óbidos, among which we highlight Óbidos Literary Village and the International Chocolate Festival of Óbidos.

The Castle of Óbidos is located 84 km from Lisbon and 240 km from Porto.


Castle of Sabugal

Photography: Jorge Marcelino

I believe that of all the Portuguese castles we have mentioned, the Sabugal Castle must be the least known.

And it's a shame because this construction is magnificent!

So, the Sabugal Castle is a fortress located in the city of Sabugal, in the Beira Interior region, Portugal. It dates back to the 13th century, and even today, it is possible to admire the stone walls and watchtowers.

Indeed, the Sabugal Castle is an excellent viewpoint for the Côa River snaking below and the mountains of the Serra da Malcata in the distance.

Believe me, it is the ideal place to take panoramic photographs and appreciate the natural beauty of the region.

The Sabugal Castle is located 229 km from Porto and 317 km from Lisbon.


Santa Maria da Feira Castle

Photography: Jose Ribeiro

The Santa Maria da Feira Castle, as the name suggests, is located in the city of Santa Maria da Feira, in northern Portugal.

It was built in the 11th century and is one of the best-preserved examples of military architecture in Portugal.

So, when visiting the Santa Maria da Feira Castle, you can expect to admire massive walls and imposing towers.

With such an ancient existence, the Santa Maria da Feira Castle witnessed important historical events and played a crucial role in defending the region against enemy invasions over the centuries.

Currently, the Santa Maria da Feira Castle is one of the main tourist attractions in the region and is known for hosting the Medieval Journey in the Land of Santa Maria, an annual event that recreates the atmosphere of the Middle Ages.

The Santa Maria da Feira Castle is located 35 km from Porto and 288 km from Lisbon.

Learn more about Portuguese culture

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