In a stunningly picturesque and panoramic perch on a rocky pinnacle towering over pretty La Iruela village, this ancient fortification is well worth the 3km drive or 1.5km uphill walk from central Cazorla. It was founded in early Islamic times though the keep and much of the walls date from after the castle's conquest by the Archbishop of Toledo in 1231. Brooding below is the shell of the 16th-century Iglesia de Santo Domingo, torched by Napoleonic troops two centuries ago.
Nocturnal castle visits (10pm to midnight) were trialled in summer 2017: the floodlighting makes the castle even more picturesque than it is by day. The Centro de Interpretación del Castillo de La Iruela, 150m further up the street, gives background on the castle.