Route of the castles and battles of Jaén

  • Partial view of the castle walls in Baños de la Encina

A route to discover fortresses that witnessed important military events in history, such as the war between Carthaginians and Romans, Moors and Christians during the Reconquest, or between the French and Spanish troops during the Spanish War of Independence.

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Route of the castles and battles of Jaén


  • Despeñaperros: The Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa took place in the Sierra Morena Mountains (1212). The ruins of the castles of Castro Ferral (Santa Elena), Navas de Tolosa (La Carolina) and Vilches can still be seen. In the latter you can also find the ruins of Giribaile Castle.
  • Linares: You can visit the ruins of the Castle of Santa Eufemia, located beside the site of ancient Cástulo, one of the most prosperous Andalusian cities of antiquity. The area of La Tobaruela is the site of a castle-palace dating from the 15th century.
  • Baños de la Encina: About 20 kilometres from Linares, its 10th century castle still has 14 crenellated towers and a large keep.
  • Bailén: About 10 kilometres away, the plains surrounding it were the site of Napoleon Bonaparte's first major defeat in Europe. From here you enter the rural area around Jaén, which is covered in vast olive groves.
  • Andújar: On the banks of the Guadalquivir River, it preserves part of its mediaeval walls.
  • Arjonilla and Arjona: Just 20 kilometres away. In Arjonilla you can see the Castle of El Trovador Macías. Arjona, with the surviving remains of its Arab walls, is the birthplace of the first Nasrid king of Granada.
  • Lopera: There is a 13th century castle here. In the nearby town of Porcuna you'll find the impressive Boabdil Tower.
  • Jaén: On the way to Jaén, about 45 kilometres away, you can stop and visit the remains of El Berrueco Castle. Jaén is presided by the Castle of Santa Catalina, an ancient Moorish citadel.
  • Torredonjimeno and Martos: In the former you'll find a Muslim castle. In the latter, known as the olive tree capital, there are remains of the castles of La Peña and La Villa.
  • Alcaudete: It is famous for its "mantecados" and "polvorones" (typical sweets of Moorish origin). It has one of the best conserved castles in Andalusia.
  • Alcalá la Real: You can visit the impressive Fortress of La Mota, which housed a genuine Muslim city, with a fortress and great mosque, residential zone and commercial area.

pintando vars:

Route of the castles and battles of Jaén

Practical information

How to complete the route:
By car

Approximate time:
We recommend at least a couple of days as some of the castles are on remote hilltops.

Best time of year:
All year round

Tips and interesting facts:
The route of the castles and battles continues through the provinces of Ciudad Real and Granada.