Wander the double-walled concentric castle to see its many phases built over the centuries, from the lowest 12th-century section made of rammed earth to the upper part made of masonry and turrets Highlights include the vast interior courtyard framed by the enormously tall and imposing walls and a reproduction of a khamsa—a well-known Muslim and North African image of an open hand—on display on the second floor.
Travelers may enjoy Atalaya Castle during a half-day, full-day, private or group walking tour of Villena and Alicante, making visits to historic landmarks such as the mountaintop Santa Bárbara Castle and architectural gems like Casa Carbonell and the St. Nicholas of Bari Cathedral, finishing the day with a stroll along the palm-lined Explanada de España with a glass of enjoying glass of traditional Sangria. Some tours include visits to a local winery and olive grove.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Suitable for solo travelers, couples, families; especially history buffs.
- Remember to wear comfortable walking shoes, and sun protection.xa0
- Admission is about US$4.
- During storms with lightning and/or strong winds, the castle may be closed.
- Tours may include roundtrip hotel transfers and admission fee.
- Check specific tours for details.
How to Get There
Atalaya Castle is located atop the hill of San Cristóbal in Villena, a town about 37 miles (60 kilometers) northwest from Alicante.xa0Take the Villena Sur exit off the A31 motorway and follow signs to Castillo de la Atalaya. Expect about a 40-minute drive. Trains run frequently between Alicante and Villena, and the trip takes just under one hour. From the train station in Villena the walk to the castle is about ten minutes.
When to Get There
Atalaya Castle is open Tuesday to Sunday, and free guided tours happen several times a day. With a mild climate and colorful festivals, Alicante is lovely to visit year-round. Spring and fall offer warm weather and fewer crowds. In April, Villena comes alive during the Moros y Cristianos festival that commemorates the battles between religion groups. In August, Vellena hosts one of the biggest rock festivals in Spain, Leyendas del Rock.
More Villena Attractions In Villena, visit Cabezo Redondo, an archaeological site from the Bronze Age, which contains the spectacular Treasure of Villena. The 3,500-year-old cache contains 59 items made of precious metals like gold, silver, iron, and amber. The gold objects are made of 23.5 carat gold and include 11 bowls, 3 bottles, and 28 bracelets—one of the two most important discoveries of prehistoric gold objects in Europe.
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