The 13th-century Castle of Saint Catherine in Jaen - the perfect place to stay.
Paradors in Andalucia
Imagine spending the night in a Spanish castle, looking down from your perch on a lone hilltop. Or, how would you like to stay in an ancient monastery or a convent? Many such buildings are open to the public in the form of beautifully restored hotel facilities, thanks to a network of state-run Paradores.
You might expect such facilities to only be available to those with maximum spending power – but this is not so. In fact, one of the aims of the Parador hotels is to make these wonderful buildings and amazing destinations accessible to the average person. Therefore, while not exactly cheap, they are within the reach of those who really want to allow for such unique experiences.
Paradores are not always located in historic buildings. Sometimes the purpose of a Parador is to open up a fascinating – but remote – area to tourism. These are cases where private ventures hardly dare to risk setting up shop, so the government has taken the initiative to build quality facilities for those wishing to visit these out of the way places.
Even if you don’t stay in a Parador, you can still enjoy the amazing views, unique settings or just seeing the insides of castles, palaces and other historic buildings by having lunch, dinner or even just afternoon tea or a cup of coffee on the terrace.
One thing is certain: each Parador is a unique gem with a history all its own. However, you choose to get to know the Paradores you come across, be sure to find out the story behind each one – especially when restoration has been a factor. These are the history lessons you will never forget.
The following Paradors (Paradores) are selected from our affiliate partners.
PARADORES IN ANDALUCIA
Parador in Mojácar, on the fabulous, unspoiled Coast of Almeria is right on the beach. Mojácar Parador is a modern facility built in the whitewashed traditions of Andalucia, providing the perfect place for a family vacation.
This facility opens the historic 'Casa del Corregidor' Palace to the public and is located on the banks of the Guadalete River.
This modern complex is in prime location in Cádiz old town and overlooking the sea. The most futuristic of the state-owned Parador chain. Fully rebuilt in 2012. The pool area is one of the most stunning in Andalucia, surrounded by wooden decking and with unimpeded panoramic sea views.
Built on the ruins of Abderramán I, the Moorish Caliph’s summer palace with amazing views of Córdoba city. The Parador in Córdoba is actually on the northern outskirts of the city of Córdoba and provides the perfect starting point for discovering the wonders of Córdoba province.
The Granada Parador, Parador de San Francisco, has an enviable setting: it is located inside the Alhambra. Formerly a monastery, this beautiful, historic building with heavy studded wooden doors, leafy patios and arcaded courtyards is an ideal base for exploring the celebrated fortress, and is the closest hotel to the main attraction of the Alhambra.
The outstanding feature of the Ayamonte Parador in are the views of the wetlands where the Guadiana River meets the Atlantic on the Spain – Portugal border. The architecture and decor are contemporary. It’s also a good base for exploring the villages of the Algarve in Portugal and enjoying the unbeatable beaches of Huelva in Spain.
Parador at Mazagón in Huelva province while perching on the Atlantic cliff-top, there is access to the vast stretches of unspoiled beaches below. This is a comfortable modern base for exploring Doñana National Park or relaxing by the pool or on the beach.
The Parador in Úbeda makes yet another gorgeous historical gem open to the public. This time you can stay in a 17th century renaissance palace right in the heart of the historic monumental city of Úbeda.
This is your dream mountain getaway right in the middle of Spain’s Cazorla Natural Park . The Cazorla Parador is surrounded by untouched nature, pine forests and general wilderness. The absolute calm and quiet are what attract many to this remote refuge.
Jaen Parador has a spectacular setting: it is in the restored Santa Catalina castle high on a hill overlooking the ancient city of Jaen, and the countryside and mountains beyond. A favourite for those travelling north to or from Andalucia.
Antequera Parador is a very comfortable inland getaway. Reopened at the end of 2008 after an extensive refurbishment, enjoy slick minimalist rooms, funky furniture and creative cuisine. Excellent base for exploring El Torcal, the town of Antequera and the ancient dolmens.
The Parador de Nerja is best described as a family beach hotel. This is a modern facility with 98 rooms that are comfortable with ample balconies that look out to the sea. There are also lovely lawns on the seaside with an outdoor swimming pool with direct elevator access to Buriana Beach.
Malaga Golf Parador is the only golf hotel in the chain and it is also a beach hotel and an airport hotel. A comfortable, modern and cosy facility with pool and banquet facilities and a lovely dining room. Officially opened in 1928 it is the oldest golf course and golf complex on the Costa del Sol.
There is no better way to see Málaga than from the Gibralfaro Castle Parador. Built on a hilltop, next to the Gibralfaro fortress and overlooking the city, the port and especially the bullring, this Parador is a lovely place to stay and a very special place to enjoy a meal. Both the dining room and the cafe bar attract locals for family and business meals.
The Ronda Parador is an interesting mix of old and new architecture with views of the busy and picturesque Plaza de España on one side and the breathtaking gorge on the other, as well as the 18th century Puente Nuevo bridge. This is an excellent, convenient base for exploring Ronda.
The Parador in Carmona occupies a 14th century Moorish fortress. Staying here is one of the best ways to get an intimate glimpse of Arab style architecture – the building is beautiful and the views are stunning. It provides a comfortable – if not exotic – base to explore Seville Province with rooms that provide ample space and light.
Each Parador is a unique gem with a history all its own.
Map of Parador hotels