Best Castles in Turkey
Some castles are home to exceptionally well-preserved Byzantine churches or incredible shipwrecks. Some of Turkey's most beautiful castles, such as Cildir's Devil’s Castle are inhabited by evil spirits, others are the subject of terrifying legends such as Kizkalesi Castle.
1. Pigeon Island Castle
Located just 30 km as the ‘pigeon’ flies from Samos, one of the most beautiful Greek islands, Kusadasi Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Turkey. Built on Pigeon Island, this fortress surrounded by emerald blue and turquoise waters welcomes visitors with open arms since entry is free.
Inside this fortress, also known as "the pirate fortress" you can learn a little more about the history of this incredible place and discover a whale skeleton as well as magnificent views of the city of Kusadasi.
Opening hours: Open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
How to get there: Book your flights to Izmir (1 hour 30 minutes by car).
Where to stay: “Ilayda Avantgarde Hotel” only 50 m from the beach it is one of our top picks in Kusadasi.
2. Maiden Castle
This castle was built on an island once populated by pirates. Over the centuries it has undergone many extensions to become an imposing castle which occupies almost the whole of Kizkalesi Island. Kizkalesi Castle shares the same Turkish legend as the Maiden Tower located in Istanbul.
Legend has it that a fortune teller warned the king that his daughter would die, poisoned by a snake before she turned 18. To avoid this, the king had a castle built on an island where there were no snakes and his daughter would live there alone, secluded from danger until she was 18 years old. On her 18th birthday, as a gift, the king sent her a basket of fruit. Sadly, a snake had slipped into the basket and the unfortunate girl perished as predicted.
Opening hours: The castle is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
How to get there: Book your flights to Adana (2 hours by car).
Where to stay: "Rain Hotel" just 70 m from Kizkalesi's "floating castle"
3. Uchisar Castle
Uchisar - Cappadocia
At the top of this incredible citadel installed on a rocky outcrop, you will have a magnificent view of Cappadocia. Uçhisar Castle is the highest point in Cappadocia and offers breath-taking panoramas.
The best time to go? Probably from June to the end of September. Climb to the top to admire the sunset. The castle is located high up and accessible via many steps which can be tiring but doable for families with children as well as for people with slight mobility difficulties.
Do not miss this castle for it is one of the most incredible sites of the Göreme National Park.
Opening hours: Open daily from 7:30 am to 8 pm.
How to get there: Book your flights to Ankara (Esenboga Airport) and reach Uçhisar by car (3h30) or take a domestic flight to Nevşehir-Cappadocia Airport located 30 minutes from the castle.
Where to stay: “Hermes Cave Hotel” located 50 m from Uçhisar Castle. The views are sublime.
4. The Black Castle
This magnificent 14th century BC castle overlooks the town of Afyonkarahisar. Nicknamed the “Black Castle”, it has long been a place of power, an impenetrable fortress. Although the castle is now empty, the views it offers over the entire region are worth seeing. They will make you soar above the landscapes, just as the opium cultivated before in the region made the locals soar (Afyon means "Opium" in Turkish).
Book your flights as well as your accommodation at the best price and your tours and activities in Turkey and conquer the most beautiful castles in Turkey. Afyon is a spa destination, so, indulge in a relaxing day at the spa or a massage.
Opening hours: The castle is open every day, 24 hours a day.
How to get there: Book your flights Süleyman Demirel International Airport (1h30 by car) or Antalya Airport (2h).
Where to stay: “Ikbal Thermal Hotel & Spa” includes an outdoor pool, Turkish bath and spa centre.
5. Kyrenia Castle
Kyrenia - North Cyprus
This magnificent castle is located in the north of the island of Cyprus just a 50-minute drive from Nicosia-Ercan Airport. Much more recent than the other castles in this ranking, Kyrenia Castle was built in the 16th century by the Venitians.
Do not fail to visit the Byzantine church located inside the castle as well as the shipwreck museum.
Opening hours: The castle is open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
How to get there: Book your flights to Nicosia-Ercan Airport (50 min by car).
Where to stay: "Lords Palace Hotel Spa Casino" features a fitness centre, a bar an dgarden in Kyrenia.
6. Boyabat Castle
Boyabat - Sinop
Overlooking the town of Boyabat, Boyabat Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Turkey; unoccupied for almost a millennium, it is said to be one of the oldest castles in Europe.
If you want to discover the city of Boyabat and its inhabitants, we advise you to come on a Monday, the day of the Bazaar which brings together farmers and all kinds of sellers.
Discover this exceptional castle by booking your flights to Ankara as well as your accommodation, tours and activities in Turkey. If you have time, book your accommodation in Sinop and bathe your feet in the Black Sea at the end of the day.
Opening hours: Open daily from 9 am to 6 pm.
How to get there: Book your flights to Ankara (3h30 by car).
Where to stay: “Sinop Antik Hotel” overlooking the Black Sea.
7. Ankara Castle
Overlooking Ankara, this castle is a must-see during your stay in the Turkish capital. An unmissable place for history buffs, Ankara Castle is also a must for photography enthusiasts since it offers an exceptional view of the entire city.
You have to be brave and in good physical condition to climb the many stairs that lead to one of the most beautiful castles in Turkey.
After your visit to the castle, do not hesitate to stroll in the alleys which surround it. Traditional cafes, restaurants with local dishes, souvenir shops,... the entrance to the castle is free, so you will have some money left to treat yourself to extras among Turkish culinary specialties such as mastic ice cream, which is incredibly elastic.
Opening hours: Open daily from 10 AM - 7:30 PM.
Where to stay: “Hotel Cinnah” located in the heart of Ankara.
8. Mamure Castle
While some Turkish castles were built on pirate sites, Mamure Castle was built to protect against pirates. Several times transformed over the centuries, it is recognizable by its 40 towers and its ramparts. Come in May to admire the blooming sublime roses cultivated with love by the castle’s gardener.
Book your flights to Antalya as well as your accommodation at the best price in Alanya (located 2 hours from the castle) and your tours and activities in Turkey, such as a “full-day Pamukkale tour from Antalya”.
Opening hours: The castle is open every day of the week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
How to get there: Book your flights to Antalya (4 hours by car).
Where to stay: Stay at one of Antalya's best hotels by reserving your room at "Akra Hotel" located on the seafront.
9. Devil's Castle - Seytan Kalesi
This castle, built several millennia ago, is one of the oldest castles in Europe. "Seytan" means "Devil" in Turkish; according to the legend, an evil spirit took possession of those who wanted to enter this castle. This castle is one of the most beautiful in Turkey and perhaps one of the least visited and less well known.
Entrance to the castle is free and access is more or less easy by car or taxi from the town of Çıldır (10 min by car). You just have to climb a few metres to discover this magnificent castle.
Opening hours: The castle is open every day, 24 hours a day.
How to get there: Book your flights to Erzurum Airport (direct flights or through Ankara) and reach Çıldır by car (3h30).
Where to stay: "Cheltikov Hotel". The hotel serves open buffet breakfast each morning.
10. Bodrum Castle
This magnificent medieval castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The history of this incredible castle is fascinating and provides a better understanding of conquests, turf wars and the power of lords and religion in the Middle Ages. A German architect oversaw the construction of this castle in the early 15th century. Close to the Pope, the Knights of Rhodes who owned the place, obtained from him hundreds of ordinances issued to the workers who were working on the site.
The deal was very simple: you work on the construction of the castle and in return we will issue you documents guaranteeing your access to paradise.
Over the centuries the castle was fortified before returning to the hands of the Ottomans and being transformed into a prison. Come and discover the English, French and German towers of this castle which over time has become an incredible fortress.
Opening hours: Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
How to get there: Book your flights to Bodrum-Milas Airport (30 min drive from the city centre).
Where to stay: "The Elysium Miramar Bodrum" situated 2 km from the beach.
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