Girona and the Costa Brava is an area rich in historical heritage due to its strategic position, between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea, and as a natural border between France and the rest of the Iberian Peninsula. Therefore, you will find a large number of castles and fortresses built on top of the hills, many of them dating back to medieval times, to facilitate control and surveillance of the territory.

In this post we propose some of the most emblematic castles and fortresses of Girona and the Costa Brava, most of them can currently be visited and guided tours are organized to spend a day with the family during your stay in our houses.

1. Montsoriu's Castle - Arbúcies (La Selva)

10 most representative castles and fortresses of Girona and the Costa Brava

The first written reference to the castle dates back to the year 1002 and it was the main residence of the Viscounts of Cabrera for almost 400 years. From this castle located on the top of a hill 632 meters high between the municipalities of Arbúcies, Sant Feliu de Buixalleu and Breda within the Montseny Natural Park, you can enjoy spectacular views, which during the medieval period allowed this castle to become an impregnable fortress. We recommend booking a guided tour.

2. Castle of Sant Esteve de Mar - Palamós (Baix Empordà)

10 most representative castles and fortresses of Girona and the Costa BravaPhoto: Castell de Sant Esteve de Mar. Palamós. Museu de la Pesca - Jordi Geli

You can take the opportunity to contemplate the remains of this castle located on top of a cliff during a walk along the coastal path between Palamós and Calella de Palafrugell. The castle was first mentioned in writing in 1063 and is located on the same path between the beaches of La Fosca and Cala S'Alguer, some of the best beaches and coves in Palamós. Free guided tours are organized from the Palamós Fishing Museum, you only need to book in advance.

3. Castle of Sant Ferran - Figueres (Alt Empordà)

10 most representative castles and fortresses of Girona and the Costa Brava

Sant Ferran de Figueres Castle was built in the 18th century and is considered to be the largest bastioned fortress in Europe. It offers panoramic views of the Albera, the border area between France and the Bay of Roses, which is why it was built in this site free of visual obstacles, as a fortress to be able to fulfill the function of guarding the border between France and Spain. If you want to know more, don’t miss our post in which we explain more details about the Castle of Sant Ferran de Figueres.

4. Montgrí's Castle - Torroella de Montgrí (Baix Empordà)

10 most representative castles and fortresses of Girona and the Costa Brava

A castle located on the highest peak of the Montgrí Massif, natural border between the Alt and Baix Empordà and, at its feet, the Medes Islands. The construction of this castle began in 1294 by order of King Jaume II as a control point due to the existing rivalry between King Jaume II and the Count of Empúries. The construction of the castle was never finished.

5. Citadel of Roses - Roses (Alt Empordà)

10 most representative castles and fortresses of Girona and the Costa Brava

The Citadel of Roses is a Renaissance fortification built in the 16th century. The oldest remains date from the 4th century BC, when the Greek colony of Rhode was founded, but you will also find the remains of a Roman villa, of a medieval monastery and military buildings constructed during the 19th and 20th centuries. You can ask the tourist office for more information about the possibility of guided tours.

6. Peralada's Castle - Peralada (Alt Empordà)

10 most representative castles and fortresses of Girona and the Costa BravaPhoto: Castell de Peralada. Grup Peralada. Arxiu PTCBG

This castle was the center of the county of Peralada, the building has undergone several alterations and reconstructions after suffering several attacks from the French. Currently, part of the castle houses the Peralada Casino and during the summer its gardens are open and can be visited during the Peralada International Music Festival, one of the best summer festivals on the Costa Brava.

7. Vila Vella in Tossa de Mar - Tossa de Mar (Baix Empordà)

10 most representative castles and fortresses of Girona and the Costa BravaPhoto: Vila Vella de Tossa de Mar. Turisme Tossa de Mar. Arxiu PTCBG

The construction of the castle and the walls of Tossa de Mar by order of the abbot of the monastery of Ripoll, to whom the lands belonged, dates back to the 12th century with the aim of defending the town from pirate attacks. Today it is the only example of a fortified medieval town that still exists on the Costa Brava.

8. Hostalric's Castle - Hostalric (La Selva)

10 most representative castles and fortresses of Girona and the Costa BravaPhoto: Castell d'Hostalric. Turisme Hostalric.

Nowadays, nothing remains of the medieval castle, which was the residence of the Viscounts of Cabrera after leaving Montsoriu Castle, since it was demolished in 1695 for renovation. The current fortress was built in 1716. Ask for information at the Hostalric tourist office for visiting hours. You cannot miss the medieval fair of Hostalric.

9. Requesens Castle - La Jonquera (Alt Empordà)

10 most representative castles and fortresses of Girona and the Costa Brava

The first written mention of this castle dates back to 859. Requesens Castle was part of the county of Empúries and its location, on top of a 512-meter hill, allowed it to control the border crossing between France and Catalonia. Salvador Dalí tried to buy the castle as a gift to his wife and muse Gala, but when the owners refused he ended up buying the Púbol castle. It can now be visited and guided tours can be booked.

10. Gala-Dalí's Castle - Púbol (Baix Empordà)

10 most representative castles and fortresses of Girona and the Costa BravaPhoto: Castell Gala-Dalí (Púbol). Josep Algans. Arxiu PTCBG

Púbol is a small village in the municipality of La Pera, in Baix Empordà where the surrealist painter Salvador Dalí bought this XIV century castle as a gift to his wife and muse Gala. It was Dalí himself who was in charge of decorating its interior with antiques, romantic and baroque symbolism, creating a sober atmosphere for his beloved. The Gala-Dalí Castle is part of the so-called Dalinian Triangle together with the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres and the Salvador Dalí House-Museum in Portlligat (Cadaqués). We recommend buying tickets in advance.

If you like to surround yourself with history, we recommend visiting some of the best medieval villages of the Costa Brava.
 

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