Parador Hotel Routes Around Spain

I expect you’ve heard of Parador hotels but did you know they also have suggested routes around Spain? There’s a huge range of itineraries taking in different Paradors throughout Spain mostly of three or seven nights but you can easily add more routes or just extra nights to your route or trip.

Santo Estevo Parador

My nearest one is the Parador de Santa Catalina in Jaen, a fabulous castle on a hill-style building with incredible views. Some Paradors are modern builds, others fabulous historical buildings.

Jaen Parador

Which route would you choose to go on? It’s hard I know and this isn’t all of them, but personally I’d choose the historical castles or monasteries which are not only gorgeous buildings but usually have beautiful far-reaching views too.

Chinchon Parador

Parador Hotel Routes

  • Palencia Mountains and Picos de Europa Route
  • Caceres, Monfragüe National Park and Jarandilla Route
  • Montserrat to the Aran Valley Route
  • Costa Blanca (White Coast) to Costa del Azahar (Blossom Coast) Route
  • Nasrid Route
  • Don Quixote Route
  • Gredos Natural Reserve and Monfragüe National Reserve Route
  • La Mancha wines and National Park of Las Tablas de Daimiel Route
  • St. Teresa Route
  • Almoravid and Almohad Route
  • Andalusi Legacy Route
  • Castle Route
  • Costa de la Luz Route
  • Galician Wine Route
  • Green Spain Route
  • Kingdom of Leon Route
  • Maestrazgo region Route
  • Mediterranean Route
  • Monastery Route
  • Mozarab Route
  • Portuguese St. James Way Route
  • Ribeira Sacra Route
  • Ribeira del Duero Wine Route
  • Pyranees Route
  • Rioja and Navarre Wine Route
  • Rueda and Toro Wine Route
  • Royal Sites Route
  • St. James Way Route
  • Southern Sun Route
  • El Cid Route
  •  Wine and Monastery Route

 

These routes were chosen to offer not only accommodation but activites in the surroundings too. What better way to visit Spain than having freedom to explore but a framework of what you should see in and around each town, city or Parador.

I would do them all if I had time, driving in Spain is easy, the roads, except in cities, quiet and there are always stunning views.

Top Ten Paradors

According to Trip Advisor the Top Ten Paradors in Spain are:

1. Parador de Santo Estevo, Ourense

2. Parador de Alcala de Henares, Madrid

3. Parador Hostal Dos Reis Catolicos, A Coruña

4. Parador de Cangas de Onis, Asturias

5. Parador de Plasencia, Caceres

6. Parador de Carmona, Seville

7. Parador de Oropesa, Toledo

8. Parador de Cadiz

9. Parador de Alcañiz, Teruel

10. Parador de Chinchon, Madrid

All photos are courtesy http://www.parador.es

Two Fabulous, Small, Owner-run, Adult-only, Foodie Hotels

This year I’ve gallivanted around Spain again, covering lots of kilometres, new and interesting places and staying in some really great Boutique Hotels for OnlySpain. Here I’m going to share two  very lovely, small, owner-run hotels that  also cook and serve great food and don’t allow young children.

One at a beach destination but not on the beach and the other a rural mountain village hotel – both are fabulous. Enjoy.

Hotel La Gastrocasa

Gandia is a beach town in the Valencia region on the Spanish Mediterranean coast, not a spot you’d think of for a quiet escape. Hotel La Gastrocasa offers just that, away from the hubble and bubble of the beach but only five minutes or so by free-to-use hotel bike. In a sleepy urbanisation this once family villa is now a gorgeous 5-bedroom adult-only hotel.

Hotel La  Gastrocasa

Hubby and I stayed two nights and couldn’t fault a thing. The service, by the family, the food and presentation, by the family, the individually decorated rooms (yes, I got to see them all) and the fabulous breakfast spread.

Hotel La Gastocasa Breakfast

For a real country-feel escape yet on the coast  with the beach nearby then this charming hotel is for you.

Read more about Hotel La Gastrocasa.

Hotel Los Castaños

Cartijima, a small, white village in the huge mountain range Serrania de Ronda is home to the lovely Hotel Los Castaños. A quiet, sleepy town providing the perfect setting for a step-back in time, relaxing stay.

Hotel Los Castanos

Hotel Los Castaños with only six rooms provides an escape, a base for walking, great hosts and home-cooked food, you’ll feel as if you’re staying with friends, perfectly relaxed and at home-comfortable.

Hotel Los Castanos

Huge rolling mountain views from some rooms and the pretty  roof terrace are to die for, it is impossible to see those views and not take a deep breath of calming satisfaction. Our one-night stay was just spot on, had we stayed longer I, who cannot draw or paint, would have had a go, with the provided artist materials, to capture those enormous views.

Read more about Hotel Los Castaños.

See my post featuring Hotel Los Castaños Hotel Breakfasts are Very Important

 

A Night of Stars -Star Gazing in the Sierra Sur de Jaen Starlight Reserve

A few weeks ago  I had the pleasure of joining together with some of the  Andalucia Travel Bloggers (ATB) in Martos my nearest town in the most northerly province of Andalucia – Jaen.

Atb

Jaen,  you may have heard is Spain’s largest producer of olive oil which means much of its mountainous land is sprinkled with olive groves. There more olive trees than people in Spain, with  large areas of unihabited land giving rise to it being a designated area and given the title – Starlight Reserve.

atb2

Thi cultivation of olives led to a railway being built to transport oil further south and which is now a Via Verde or Greenway for walkers and cyclists but also a great spot for star gazing activities. This is where the local company Astro Andalus choose for our fabulous and informative  session with the night sky.

AstroAndalus is the first online travel agency that specialises in astronomic and scientific tourism and its based in Martos part of the Starlight Reserve Sierra Morena and Sierra Sur de Jaen.

AstroAndalus-825x510

Even though on our visit it was cloudy in patches we looked through the enormous telescope at stars and planets. What to the naked eye looked like a sprinkling of stars became hundreds or thousands through the telescopic lens. An amazing sight, awesome and down-to-earth bumping.

Jose from AstroAndalus is a walking encyclopedia who could pull out incredible facts and put them into simple examples that we could imagine but still mind-blowing. How small and insignificant we are and feel when faced with the beauty of our universe.

We even learnt how to take photos in the dark, a great, fun activity.

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AstroAndalus offer packages for groups and couples – from one night exeriences to longer holidays. See their fabulous choice of trips here on AstroAndalus.

What it a  Starlight Reserve?

A designated Starlight Reserve is one which has the quality of dark skies necessary for the optimum conditions  to practice astrology.

To be a Starlight Reserve means that the towns and villages in the area must take measures to conserve and protect the night sky from light pollution by limiting the street lighting output, using downward facing lights and generally minimising as much as possible the use of public lighting.

All photos except the last one are copyright of AstroAndalus.