Spain Paradores…No matter the nature of your trip whether it be to sulk in the culture, have an adventure, explore the wondrous National Parks Spain has to offer, its gastronomy or best of all relaxation you will be able to discover Spain through its Paradores hotels.
Paradores are a series of unique accommodations, 93 to be exact, sprinkled throughout Spain operated by the government. For the most part Spain Paradores are castles, monasteries, palaces, convents and other interesting buildings that have been converted into hotels. These are genuine monuments equipped will all of the present day comforts but yet manage to keep their traditional flare. When at all possible I strongly suggest that you find a way to stay a in couple of them as you are sure to have an experience you will never forget…
While traveling through Spain I have stayed in various Paradores one of the ones I remember more fondly is El Parador de Los Reyes Catolicos in Santiago de Compostela, a 15th century royal hospital. I was lucky enough to stay in a suite overlooking the Plaza del Obradorio and the breathtaking Cathedral situated a stone through away from el Parador. The location of this Parador has a special meaning for many as it is the last stop in the pilgrimage of El Camino de Santiago or known in English as the Way of St. James, one of the most important Christian pilgrimages since medieval times and in existence for over 1000 years.
If you are looking for culture and history you could start your journey by making your way to Segovia to visit it’s amazing Roman aqueduct and stay at el Parador de Segovia where the rooms are spacious and the views magnificent. Continue on to Avila and stay at the Parador de Avila, a 16th century palace where you will feel like royalty in this city surrounded by an impressive defensive wall. Move on to Salamanca, visit its spectacular Cathedral and stay at the Parador de Salamanca or go to Cuenca another magical city where you can explore the Hanging Houses and stay in the Parador of Cuenca, a 16th century convent. You should also consider the Parador of Caceres where you will stay in one of the more than ten slender towers that preside over the town or travel back to the splendor of ancient Rome by visiting the city of Mrida and stay in the Parador of Merida, an 18th century convent with an old chapel and beautiful gardens. These are just some of my suggestions remember the possibilities are endless and I guarantee the experience will be unforgettable.
If you are looking for an adrenaline rush the Paradores can be a perfect home base for any of your thrilling adventures. El Parador de Cazorla is close to the Cazorla National Park and its active tourism programs. If you want to kayak or do some whitewater rafting you should consider the Paradores de Cangas de Onis, Tui or Ronda. If you are into bird watching el Parque Nacional de Monfrage is for you and you can stay at the nearby Parador de Trujillo. Let your imagination run wild, why not take a hot air balloon at the Parador of Vic-Sau, or go scuba diving in El Hierro. Looking for even more adventure why not go caving alongside the Fuente De Parador in the Heart of the Picos de Europa Mountains. Let your imagination be your guide.
When you book a night in Spain Paradores your breakfast will typically be included usually a buffet with all sorts of dairy products, cereals, seasonal fruits and pastries. Paradores have extraordinary restaurants where you can sample the delicacies of the area you are visiting. On one of my last trips to Spain while traveling through Extremadura we stopped to have Migas Manchegas, a delicious traditional Spanish dish made out of left over bread, at the Parador of Trujillo and they were truly amazing!
Some of the Spain Paradores particularly the more popular ones, such as the Parador de Granada located in the Alhambra in Granada tend to be booked well in advance. If you have your heart set on a specific Parador book it in advance or you might find yourself having to make other arrangements. I cannot stress enough if you have the opportunity and the time that you stay in the Spain Paradores it will be an experience like no other.