Photo of Xativa Castle

Visit Xativa Castle

Xativa castle in Xativa in the Valencia and Murcia province of Spain is a beautiful hilltop castle with splendid views over the surrounding countryside. The castle is located on top of Mount Vernissa and consists of an Upper and Lower Castle linked by fortifications.

Explore Xativa Castle

To get to Xativa Castle head to the tourist office on Avenida De Selgas in Xativa and there you can get on the minibus which heads for the castle every hour and only costs 2 euros. You can walk if you are feeling energetic but it is a fair hike!

The road to the castle winds upwards past a couple of churches and towers and leads to the main gate of the castle. Through the main gate is the main square where you will find the ticket entrance, toilets, a cafe and a vending machine selling drinks.

Xativa Castle

From here the castle spreads out to the east in the direction of the Upper Castle, the main castle, and to the west towards the Lower Castle.

The Major Castle, or Upper Castle is the most intact as it was built later, in Medieval times. Leading up to the castle is an impressive stone staircase at the bottom of which is the Sant Jordi Chapel.

The steps are edged with various shrubs and also the dramatic, crenellated walls of the fortifications. At the top is an area of ponds and canons and tremendous views across to the Lower Castle on the other end of the hilltop.

The second upper gate leads to the Cistern and in this higher part of the castle are various points of interest. There is the Santa Maria Chapel, Govenor and Guards rooms, the Sant Jordi Tower and the Faith Tower.

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The castle was used as a prison at one point and you can see one of the prison cells. This is called the Cell of Earl Urgell after one of its more famous occupants, Jaume d'Urgell.

A favourite part of the Major Castle is the beautiful 'Gardens of Ibn Hazm', a beautiful paradise-style garden with a long water rill with a star shaped pond at each end and edged with lots of palm trees. The garden overlooks superb views towards the Minor Castle.

Ibn Hazm was an Andalusian poet who wrote 'the Necklace of the Dove' about his love for the Al-Andalus period, whilst living in Xativa.

In the other direction the Lower Castle is the oldest part of the castle. Himilce, daughter of King Mucro and wife of Carthaginian general Hannibal is said to have given birth to Hannibal's son here in this castle in 218 BC.

The main areas of interest in the Lower Castle are the fortified walls and Square Tower, and also the balcony known as Himilce's balcony with excellent views over the Upper Castle.

Xativa Castle

Attractions nearby

Xativa itself has a lot of buildings of interest and is worth exploring whilst you are here.

Nearby Valencia is a fabulous city and its City of Arts and Sciences is well worth a visit too to see some excellent contemporary architecture and perhaps visit the aquarium also.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Valencia guide and the Valencia and Murcia guide.

See also: 

Photos of Xativa Castle

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Map of Xativa Castle and places to visit

 
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Xativa Castle places to visit

Xativa

Xativa

Xativa is a charming town and home to the splendid Xativa castle. It is an easy day trip from Valencia.

Xativa guide
Cullera

Cullera

Cullera is a popular resort town with eleven beaches. It is about 40 kilometers south of Valencia.

Cullera guide
Albufera Nature Reserve

Albufera Nature Reserve

A beautiful wetland site to the south of Valencia. It is home to a large bird population.

Albufera Nature Reserve guide
Guadalest

Guadalest

Guadaleste is a very pretty mountain village with a belfry perched on top of a rocky outcrop. It also has a moorish castle.

Guadalest guide
Valencia Aquarium

Valencia Aquarium

The Oceanografic Aquarium of Valencia is the largest in Europe. It is located in the wonderfully modern City of Arts and Science on the edge of the city of Valencia.

Valencia Aquarium guide
City of Arts and Sciences

City of Arts and Sciences

Valencia's City of Arts and Sciences is a spectacular collection of modern buildings housing arts and science exhibitions.

City of Arts and Sciences guide

...or see all our recommended places to visit in Valencia and Murcia

 
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