Gibralfaro Castle, Málaga

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  • Fort walls with crenulated parapets
    Fort walls with crenulated parapets
    by BruceDunning
  • Decling fort walls
    Decling fort walls
    by BruceDunning
  • Varied levels of defense walls
    Varied levels of defense walls
    by BruceDunning
  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Gibralfaro is Commanding the Area

    by BruceDunning Updated Nov 30, 2011

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    The name has a meaning of "rock of light" that signified a previous lighthouse built by Phoenicians of this spot. The fortress that was built in 1300's to further protect the gentry of the Granada kingdom, who could get up higher from the Alcazaba castle in case of attack. It is almost 400 feet to the fort and the highest point in the city. The fortress is very large, and has a number of defense positions on different levels and vantage points to protect itself from attackers coming from all angles. The crenulated walls are as thick as 3-5 feet. Inside there are courtyards and open areas for living quarters. There is a small museum that features soldier uniforms and weapons used during the era. Even though there are not a lot of things to see along the wall, simply walking the length gives you the feel for how impressive the fort really is.
    Views from the fort are magnificent, and the panorama of the city below delineates the wonderful city sites. Entry fee is 2 Euro, but a combined ticket with Alcazaba is 3,50 Euro, or on Sundays entry is free. It is open 9:30-6PM in winter and 8PM in summer months Tues-Sunday. You can either take local bus 35 to the fort, or a red guided tour bus that will drop you off, or walk the LONG 3/4 miles up the 400 feet at a 60o grade; not for the out of shape.

    Fortress on top of hill Fort walls with crenulated parapets Decling fort walls Varied levels of defense walls
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  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    Castillo de Gibralfaro.

    by Regina1965 Updated Oct 23, 2009

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    Castillo de Gibralfaro is connected to Alcazaba fortress but there is no walking from the inside between the two so you have to walk or take The Tourist bus. You can buy a ticket for the both or seperate tickets. I bought seperate tickets and paid ca 2 euros for each castle. Now, Castillo de Gibralfaro was built later than Alcazaba fortress and palaces as around 1300 with the introduction of the cannons it was easier to attack the fortress. So the Castillo de Gibralfaro was built and connected to Alcazaba by ducts so that the royalty could flee from the luxus to the security of the castle way up on the hill. The castle was built on a light-house built by the Phoenicians.

    Note that there is a lot of walking up and down big steps when walking around the castle. I thought Castillo de Gibralfaro were to be more interesting than Alcazaba due to the name "Castle", but the opposite turned out to be true. But you have an absolutely breathtaking view from the castle, which is unmatched by any other place in Malaga.

    Castillo de Gibralfaro is one of the "must see" in Malaga. It is on the stop of The Tourist bus, but I first walked to the top on a July day and it was so hot and I must say, difficult to get to the top. But there is a viewpoint just before you get to the top and from there you have a breathtaking view of Malaga. The path from the viewpoint and up to the castle is slippery and parts of it dangerous to walk as you just slide so if you are planning on walking up to the hill don´t wear slippery shoes. On the day I Took the Tourist bus a sudden fog came and there was no use getting off the bus as there was no view of the city so I made another round with the bus and got off later on when the fog had lifted. But the people walking up the hill to the castle got caught in the fog (I added photos in a travelogue here).

    There is an Interpretation center at the castle, showing soldiers and historical objects from different times in the history of the castle.

    The castle is open from 9:30-20:00 in the summer time and 9:30-18:00 in the winter time.

    Overlooking Malaga and Alcazaba fortress. Castillo Gibralfaro. Inside the museum at Gibralfaro. The garden inside Gibralfaro castle. Various flags at the top of Gibralfaro.

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  • barryg23's Profile Photo

    Castillo Gibralfaro

    by barryg23 Updated Oct 21, 2009

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    Castillo Gibralfaro (Lighthouse Castle) was built in the 14th century by the Moorish leader Yusuf 1, making it one of the oldest surviving buildings in the city. Clearly the site was chosen for strategic and defensive reasons as it stands on top of a hill overlooking the city and the sea.

    The ruined castle s linked to another prominent Malaga building - the Alcazaba - by a long wall which runs up the side of the hill. It takes about 10-15 minutes to hike up to the castle from outside the Alcazaba. The views along the way are excellent, while there is a useful stopping point at a mirador located about halfway along the walk.

    It costs a couple of Euros to enter the castle (you can buy a combined entry with the Alcazaba and save money), which contains a small museum and a walkway along the walls. It's worth walking the entire way around the walls as the views open up in all directions.

    Castillo Gibralfaro Malaga from Castillo Gibralfaro Plaza de Toros from Castillo Gibralfaro Ruth at Castillo Gibralfaro Malaga from Castillo Gibralfaro

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  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    Castillo de Gibralfaro

    by call_me_rhia Updated Mar 12, 2008

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    The Castillo de Gibralfaro is the second Moorish castle of Malaga. Although it is perched on top of the hill and offers magnificent views on a clear day, it is less interesting to visit than the Castillo de Alcazaba further down the hill.

    This castle/fortress was built in the early 14th century by Yusef I of Granada where a Phoenician site and lighthouse once stood. The name Gibralfaro, in fact, comes from the contraction of two words: gebal (mountain) and faro (lighthouse). Inside, unfortunately, there is very little to see, except some interesting and solid ramparts, and large wooden gardens.

    As Gibralfaro is quite a hike up, out of town - if you don't want to walk you can take bus 35 which will drop you right off the entrance.

    Castillo de Gibralfaro

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  • Alless's Profile Photo

    Castillo de Gibralfaro

    by Alless Written Sep 21, 2007

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    This magnificent building dates back to the beginning of the 14th century when it was built by Yusef 1 of Granada on a former Phoenician site and lighthouse from which the castle's name was derived - gebel-faro (rock of the lighthouse).

    The castle is famous for being the site of a three month siege by the citizens of Malaga against the Catholic monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella. This came to an end only when hunger led to capitulation, after which Ferdinand occupied the site while his queen took up residence in the town. All that remains of this historic monument today is the series of solid ramparts which rise majestically among dense woods of pines and eucalyptus.

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  • lina112's Profile Photo

    Castillo Gibralfaro

    by lina112 Updated Aug 27, 2007

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    The name comes from the Moorish Jebel meaning hill and Faro meaning lighthouse. Gibralfaro crowns the top of hill that overlooks the city. The road that leads to the top is long and winding, if you feel like walking it will certainly help keep you fit, otherwise there are buses that run from the town centre or you can take one of Malaga's abundance of taxis. Once at the summit you will have a superb vista of the City including the bullring (Malagueta), the Port and the beaches surrounding the city. The Moorish castle at the summit is more impressive than the rambling Alcazaba and in better condition. The gardens at the top are a perfect place to sit and take in the fantastic panoramic views.

    Castillo del siglo XIV, construido por Yusuf I de Granada en la ciudad de Málaga, sobre un antiguo recinto fenicio que también contenía un faro que da nombre al cerro Gibralfaro (Jbel-Faro, o monte del faro). El castillo fue objeto de un fuerte asedio por parte de los Reyes Católicos durante todo el verano de 1487. Tras el asedio, Fernando el Católico lo tomó como residencia, mientras que Isabel de Castilla optó por vivir en la ciudad. Lo mejor de todo son las fantásticas vistas que ofrece de la ciudad de Málaga.

    me on gibralfaro castle
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  • Helga67's Profile Photo

    Magnificent views

    by Helga67 Updated Jun 1, 2007

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    Gibralfaro is located high on a hilltop and was built to defend the Alcazaba. It has high ramparts, lookout turrets and a lengthy walled-in pathway from where you will have wonderful views of the city, harbour and bullring. Inside there is a military museum.

    You can reach the castle by climbing the mountain for about 20 min. The path starts at the right hand side of the entrance of the Alcazaba. Be aware, though, that the climb is severe. There are also busses going up the hill. Ask for more info at the tourist office located at the entrance of the Alcazaba. Going by car, you need to follow the signs around the bullring "Plaza de Toros".

    On the 3rd Sunday of the month entrance is free.

    Gibralfaro
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  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    A NICE LITTLE MUSEUM IN THE GIBRALFARO

    by LoriPori Written Feb 21, 2006

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    Housed within the Castillo, is A NICE LITTLE MUSEUM. It has displays showing how Spain's Maritime history has evolved throughout the centuries. There are displays of soldiers and how their uniforms changed over the years. The one pictured here is the earliest version. You can also see different weapons used. I found it all very interesting.

    Spanish Soldier Hans & Cannon - in front of Museum
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    CASTILLO DE GIBRALFARO

    by LoriPori Updated Feb 21, 2006

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    There are different theories as to the origins of CASTILLO DE GIBRALFARO and it could date back to the Phoenician - Carthaginian period, but the 'coracha' ( a walled passage which links the castle with the Alcazaba as a form of protection ) was built during the reign of Yusef I in the 14th century. The castle used to contain a mosque, but visitors today can still see several wells, bread ovens and the old powder factory, which is now an information centre.
    Gebel - Faro means 'Rock of the Lighthouse'
    From the Parador de Gibralfaro, you will have beautiful views over the ruins, the city and the sea.
    Admittance is 1,90 Euro
    Combined price for Gibralfaro and Alcazaba 3,15 Euro
    Free entry on Sundays ( that's when we went )

    Castillo de Gibralfaro
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  • iNorv9's Profile Photo

    Great panoramic views of the Costa del Sol

    by iNorv9 Updated Feb 15, 2006

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    At the peak of the Gibralfaro hill stands the Castillo de Gibralfaro, a large castle dating back to the 8th century. There isn’t much in terms of ornate decoration within the interior, yet the ramparts yields a nice view of the city below, and there’s a small museum with a display of how Malaga’s maritime history has evolved throughout the centuries.

    Cost: 1.80, 60cents for students

    Bottom-line: Not all that impressive architecturally, but provides a good uphill hike and some nice views.

    Flags atop the Castillo View from the top
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  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    Gibralfaro:See the View of Malaga and more

    by hquittner Written Dec 25, 2005

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    After a short stop at the Paseo de la Farola for an orienting view, our bus took us up the hill (100+ meters) to the Gibralfaro. It was built and expanded up to the 14C to serve as a lookout and defensive anchor for the double Eastern city walls. We looked out over the parapet and saw the impressive city view and the wall construction with its pyramidal merlons, the walls plunging down to the Alcazar below. We were surprised at the crude construction of the fortress walls. It is more amazing that they have survived (or been restored?) in such good shape. We also visited the meager little museum which contained little of merit.

    The parapet and city wall extending down Rubble wall construction Whole fortress wall The Gibalfaro from below 15 C Soldier in Museum
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  • hartti's Profile Photo

    On the Roof of Malaga

    by hartti Updated Dec 19, 2005

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    La Alcazaba is the castle, which seems to be always closed. Gibralfaro is a fortress on the high hill close to the center. In fact, there are 2 castles on the hill. Gibralfaro is the higher place where you may climb by stairs from Alcazaba. (Back is better to go by bus!) On the hill you have wonderful views over Malaga town.

    Climbing on the Hill View to Bull Fighting Place View to Harbour View to Main Streets Inside the Castle
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  • aaaarrgh's Profile Photo

    High above the city ~ Castillo de Gibralfaro

    by aaaarrgh Written Dec 4, 2005

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    For around 3 euros you can buy a cheap combined ticket for the Alcazaba Palace and Gibralfaro Castle. But the two are separated by a long steep walk. Or a bus ride. However, if you choose to walk you get stunning views onto Malaga's Bullring, docks and surrounding landscape.

    Once inside, you can walk along the top of the entire walls in a circle. The castle was self sufficient with its own bakery and deep well. Today there is a pleasant, cheap open-air restaurant which serves excellent tapas, raciones and drinks. I would recommend the chicken dish.

    There is a museum in the middle of the grounds. It has a audio visual presentation every half hour, which is basically a tourist promotion for Malaga. Outside and below the museum are a long series of display boards about the Castle's plants and fruits.

    You get an excellent colour pamphlet with your ticket admission, in various languages.

    good grub for centuries
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  • Gibralfaro

    by klubkidd80 Written May 9, 2005

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    Take the double decker bus tour around the city and you will get a free trip up to Gibralfaro, the Arab castle. The views from the top are breathtaking. You can see the whole of Malaga. There isn't much else to do up there but look at the view so if sightseeing is not your thing, don't bother!

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  • Carmela71's Profile Photo

    Gibralfaro Castle

    by Carmela71 Updated Sep 2, 2004

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    Great views of the city!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So thats why I suggest to go first so you get a first impression of the city.

    I did not know until I read on the guide that the mount received the name of " Jabal-Faruk " (lighthouse mountain), so here it comes the actual name

    Timetable:
    9.30 - 20.00 h. (summer)
    9.30 - 18.00 h. (winter)
    Open everyday.

    Price 1,80 € (3 € for alcazaba and gibralfaro tickets) Be careful with the new ticket machines can confuse .... (jejeje own experience lol)

    By the way free entrance on Sundays afternoons!

    Views from the top

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