CKIII: Top 5 Best Duchies in Iberia

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With the Fate of Iberia flavor pack, the peninsula has received a lot of new flavor. This includes an overhaul of the map details, significantly shaking up the duchy setup in CK3.

Sporting more unique special buildings than any other region of the game (at the time of writing), Iberia has an interesting array of strong duchies to choose from.

While the highlight of the flavor pack is of course the new struggle mechanic, evaluating which duchies are worth holding yourself is always important. This list will help you choose where to focus building up on your next campaign in the peninsula.

So let’s see what your best options for a personal domain are when ruling in Iberia.

Note: quick reminder that in almost all cases, the ideal scenario is fully controlling two mid-sized duchies yourself!


5. Aragon

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The duchy of Aragon is one of the largest in the game; comprised by 8 counties with 22 holdings split amongst them, it has a below average amount of holdings per county.

Most of the duchy’s terrain is hills and mountains, with the notable exception of the capital Zaragoza which is entirely covered by forests. On top of that, Zaragoza has a unique special building, the Aljafería, which will make it a nightmare for your enemies to siege!

This rugged terrain is suited for a different kind of playstyle.

The duchy would be a perfect choice for someone who wants to play as a marcher lord at a kingdom’s borderlands. Secure the “march” and “fortification rights” contract with your liege and you can roleplay as the guardian of the Pyrenees.

For a similar vassal campaign, the duchy of Barcelona can also work with more emphasis on money-making than the military.

Certainly not recommend holding the duchy yourself if you are a king or emperor. There are far more powerful choices with less of a burden to your domain limit!


4. Castille

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Castille, the land of castles gets the fourth place on the list – and rightfully so.

With 16 holdings split among 5 counties, Castille is barely above the average in terms of holdings per county. The Iberian Peninsula is depicted in detail, so there are few counties that have more than the average amount of holdings anyway.

The county of Cuellar has access to a special building, the Alcázar of Segovia, providing some rather unique bonuses.

The duchy’s terrain is a mix of plains, hills, and mountains. This allows for a healthy mix of military, tax buildings, and fortifications. Perfect for a balanced approach until you know what you want to specialize in.

All in all, protected on the south by the Sierra de Guadarrama (the impassable terrain) Castille is the obvious choice if you want to bide your time in the north and slowly build up to expand southwards!

Do as the Kings of Iberia did and strike into the heart of Andalucía when opportunity arises.


3. Cordoba

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Cordoba, the capital of Andalucía, deserves to make this list. The city of Cordoba at the time was the largest population center in the west along with Constantinople.

The in-game duchy has only 4 counties, with 12 holdings split among them. Exactly average in that regard, it also has the unique Great Mosque of Cordoba which despite its name provides bonuses to both Muslims and Christians.

The terrain is plains and hills, with two farmland holdings in the capital county.

The peninsula doesn’t have a lot of farmlands, so it is a nice bonus. Making full use of the special building’s buffs, Cordoba can quickly become a money printer!

Having only 4 counties and a special building that provides strong bonuses to your character on top of the county bonuses, Cordoba is always a consideration for your domain.

I personally recommend keeping it as your second duchy for most of the game, as it’s light on your domain limit (only 4 counties). Building it up with tax buildings pays off very fast.


2. Toledo

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The duchy of Toledo contains the de jure capital of Hispania, Toledo itself. Situated in the very center of the peninsula, the later capital of the kingdom of Castille couldn’t be missing from the list.

The duchy of Toledo has 6 counties, with 23 holdings among them. This is quite above average, especially for the Iberian Peninsula where there aren’t any counties with more than 5 holdings in them.

The terrain is mostly hills and plains, while the duchy is almost completely protected in the north by impassable terrain.

The city of Toledo itself is on farmlands, allowing for some good money-making potential. It also has a unique building, the Walls of Toledo, which while not so impressive, provide slight bonuses to the county’s defenses and income.

Later, it’s also possible to create a university in the county of Madrid by decision, adding a little bit more value to the area.

Toledo, with its central location is a very good fit for a monarch with ambitions to rule all of Iberia. Your domain will seldom see foreign armies, while any realm-wide rebellions will be in arm’s reach.


1. Galicia

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Galicia is unquestionably the single strongest duchy in the peninsula.

First of all, it has three unique special buildings. Yes you read that right, three.

Let’s see what they do:

First: The Farum Brigantum (today known as the Tower of Hercules) in the capital offers a small tax boost and naval speed. While not much, it’s free and quite a unique bonus. That way you can go crusading faster! Deus Vult!

Second: The Roman Walls of Lugo also offer a measly tax bonus and a slight bonus to learning and monthly renown. Again, not much, but it’s free and something that is inaccessible in other areas.

Third: Last but not least, there’s the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Its bonuses are like the ones offered by the Great Mosque of Cordoba. Like Cordoba, Santiago, despite its name, offers the bonuses to both Christians and Muslims.

With a mixed terrain and 3 coastal counties, Galicia’s geography allows you to make it into a fortress.

The surrounding hills and mountains allow you to erect unconquerable fortresses with ease.

With 18 holdings among 5 counties, Galicia is above average in terms of value per county. With the unique buildings already built up, your income can be far higher in the early game than what you’re used to.

Take advantage of that and make Galicia an unconquerable money-making fortress!

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G. Tsechilidis

Born and raised Greek citizen. His love of history, geography, and all things map-related, are certainly a contrast to his pursuit of a master in civil engineering. An avid gamer from a very young age, he found the perfect match in Grand Strategy Games. If not for a good chess match or a round of carambole billiards, you'll certainly catch him firing up EU4 or a Total War game to spend the evening.