|Castillo de Santa Catalina, Jaén|
When I lived in Úbeda, I only had the chance to visit half a dozen of the myriad of castles this province holds. Most are within walking distance of major city or village centers, but a few are in isolated mountain towns that are difficult to get to without cars. Still, public buses can take you from major hubs like Jaén, Úbeda, or Linares to most of the pueblos that are proud of their castles to this day.
Here are ten of Jaén’s most interesting castles…some of which I had the chance to visit, and others I’m kicking myself for never getting out of my apartment to see when I had the chance!
|(Source: Juan Almagro)|
How to get there: As the provincial capital, Jaén is well-connected to the region and the country via trains and buses. To get to the castle, drive up in a car, take a taxi, or follow the signs and hike up on foot.
|Castillo de Sabiote|
How to get there: From Úbeda, take the Navarrete bus. The castle is on the northeastern edge of town.
|Castillo de la Yedra|
How to get there: From Úbeda, take the Alsa bus. The castle is due south of the bus station, across from the Plaza Santa María, but to actually get up there, continue south of the city until you reach a switchback that turns north uphill.
Segura de la Sierra
|Castillo de Segura de la Sierra|
How to get there: Segura isn’t served by public transportation, although Alsa runs buses between next-door Orcera and Úbeda. You could take a 4km hike from Orcera, through the mountains and olive groves, to Segura (one hour), but perhaps catching a taxi would be a better option. The castle’s at the top of the hill.
Alcalá la Real
How to get there: From Jaén (or Granada even!), take the Contreras bus. The castle is on a hill on the west side of town.
Baños de la Encina
|(Source: Ismael Alonso)|
How to get there: From Jaén or Linares, take the Samar bus. The fortress sits at the southern tip of Baños.
From: Several Alsa-run buses link Úbeda with Canena, the train station, and Linares.
How to get there: From Jaén, take the Ureña bus. Alcaudete’s castle is on a hill on the western edge of the city.
|(Source: Luis Daniel Carbia Cabeza)|
How to get there: From Cazorla, it’s a short 2km walk (30 minutes) around the foothills of the mountains to the northeast.
Do you enjoy exploring castles when traveling? Have you ever been to the province of Jaén before? Which castle sounds the most interesting to you? Tell me about it in the discussion below!