Ranging from marvellous mansions to historical palaces and situated in 16th century plazas, to possessing fabulous sea views or sitting on a hill-top, visit the eight out of the sixteen Paradors in Andalucia which are in gorgeous, ancient buildings.
What better way to tour around five out of the eight provinces in Andalucia than to become royalty for the night in the 14th century Moorish fortess of Carmona. With Mudejar fountain, landscaped gardens and sweeping views over the hot dusty plains, Carmona is a lovely town with plenty to explore so several nights stay here would be ideal. It is also a great base for exploring Cordoba and Sevilla if you don´t want to keep moving from hotel to hotel.
Or what about the 15th century Convent San Francisco with grounds of the incredible Alhambra Palace. It has views of the Generalife Gardens and a magical Christian/Moorish blend of architecture. An ideal place to stay while visiting the UNESCO and must-visit Alhambra and city of Granada.
Next it’s ‘on top of the world’ at the 13th century Parador de Santa Catalina, an Arabic fortress overlooking Jaen city and its sea of surrounding olive groves. Its small pretty flower-filled patios, thick walls, solid wooden doors, topped by a 20 metre high drawing room ceiling make it one of my favourite Paradors.
Arcos de la Frontera Parador
The historical palace of Casa del Corregidor in one of The White Villages of Arcos de la Frontera in Cadiz province sits on an enormous limestone ridge with far-reaching views. The town was declared a national historic-artistic monument in 1962 and is charming, although driving in the town itself and parking isn´t easy. But don’t let that put you off, both the town, the Parador and the views warrant the inconvenience.
Just as Arcos de la Frontera has to be the most spectacularly sited town in Cadiz province so is Ronda Parador in the province of Malaga. The 100m deep Tajo Gorge on which the town sits provides head-spinning views from the balconies along the ridge and from the Parador, a former Town Hall, close to its edge.
Another Parador with a view to die for is Parador de Malaga Gibralfaro. Once a castle, founded by Greek colonists, part of its name ‘faro’ means lighthouse being a beacon on the Gibralfaro hill for ships heading for Malaga’s port. It’s opposite the Alcazaba, a delightful Moorish fortress like a mini Alhambra Palace, with a Roman Amphitheatre at it’s base.
Lastly heading from the Mediterranean Sea to the green sea of olive trees in Jaen province and on the edge of Cazorla, Spain’s largest natural park, is the splendid Ubeda Parador Condestable Davalos a 16th century Renaissance Palace, set in an incredible huge plaza filled with superb sandstone monuments of the same period.
Covering covering centuries of history these paradors are just part of a great Andalusian travel experience waiting for you in Southern Spain.
See the Paradors on Booking dot com, this link is for the Granada Parador.
All photos courtesy of Paradors.es except the Ubeda one which is mine.
See other Parador posts –