Olite Castle.

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Palacio Real

Top choice in Navarra

Carlos III is to thank for the exceptional Palacio Real, which towers over the village. Back in Carlos’ day (early 15th century), the castle's inhabitants included not just royalty but lions and other exotic pets, as well as Babylon-inspired hanging gardens. Today, the restored castle makes a wonderfully atmospheric place to wander. To help bring the past to life, take a guided tour (in Spanish), or explore with a multilingual audio guide (€2). Prebook tickets at peak times to guarantee access.

You can clamber up scenic watchtowers, wander through once richly gilded halls, and stroll the ramparts, all while imagining the jousts, bullfights and even pelota games held back in medieval times. Integrated into the castle is the Iglesia de Santa María la Real, which has a superbly detailed Gothic portal.

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