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Castles in Portugal

Exploring Castles in Portugal

Castles in Portugal

Wow!  Of all the castles in the world the castles in Portugal have to be among the most architecturally diverse. The Portuguese became experts in building high-walled forts, fortified gates, and impregnable towers that allowed them to keep invaders at bay.  These master builders and stonemasons learned from the best -- from the Moors and the Romans and took what they learned about castle building to new levels with the addition of cisterns and water reservoirs.  When the Knights Templar later added to the Portuguese expertise by introducing the “keep” -- a fortified large tower residence of last resort -- a safe room ancestor of today for the wealthy and noble residents to escape to should the rest of the castle/fortification fall prey to invaders or would-be conquerors. 


Here are Dream Travel Today's top picks for castles in Portugal to explore:

What Every Castle Explorer Needs in Portugal


Castles in Portugal

Castle of Almourol, Praia do Ribatejo, Portugal

Castle of Almourol, Praia Do Ribatejo, Portugal

Castle of Almourol,  Praia do Ribatejo, Portugal - beautiful is one word to describe this little castle in a little island on shallow Tagus River that you can only get access to by hiring the town tour boat.  Built on the site of many previous Roman fortifications since 1 BC — but taken over by the Knights of Templar in 1171. 

Castelo de Guimarães, Guimarães, Portugal

Castlo De Guimaraes, Guimaraes, Portugal

Castelo de Guimarães, Guimarães, Portugal — said to be where it all began when it comes to the history and legends and romance of all that is Portugal this castle was the site of many heroic battles that led to Portugal being the country it is today. Once in ruins now restored a treasured castle to see.

CASTELO DE SÃO JORGE, Lisbon, Portugal

Castelo De Sao Jorge, Lisbon, Portugal

CASTELO DE SÃO JORGE, Lisbon, Portugal - you’ll want to bring your binoculars on your visit to this castle as it’s also the perfect place to see all of the city of Lisbon. A lot of stairs, wine to sip while enjoying the castle and its resident peacocks on its grounds. 

Castelo dos Mouros, Sintra, Portugal

Castelo Dos Mouros, SIntra, Portugal

Castelo dos Mouros, Sintra, Portugal — one of Portugal’s military castles built to defend around the 8th century. It stands witness to the Islamic comportment and sentry watchtower to the town of Sintra.  It’s a bit of a steep trail to hike but well worth the effort to see the ruins up close and personal. 

CASTELO DE ALCOUTIM, Alcoutim, Portugal

Castelo de Alcoutim, Alcoutim, Portugal

CASTELO DE ALCOUTIM, Alcoutim, Portugal - like many castles high on a hill it’s all about the view of Alcoutim and the river below that makes you appreciate this delightful Moorish by design castle, its history and its excellent museum.

THE NATIONAL PALACE OF PENA, Sinatra, Portugal

The National Palace of Pena, SInatra, Portugal

THE NATIONAL PALACE OF PENA, Sinatra, Portugal — surrounded by forests, swimming in Romanticism design this Portuguese treasure of a palace castle with fascinating and elaborately detailed stone sculptures and carvings just about everywhere you look. It sits high above Sintra and best reached by tour bus.