Spain – How to sleep like a queen (or king) in Andalusia

When I was organizing our stay in Andalusia I made a great discovery that made our trip really special…the Paradores. The Paradore system of accommodation was created at the beginning of the 20th century to promote tourism in Spain. They are usually very charming hotels in historic buildings such as castles, monasteries, palaces…. as you can imagine we couldn’t wait to sleep in all these unique places, which are tour highlights in themselves.

The paradores are managed by the state and have maintained a strong regional identity, which you can particularly notice in the food they offer. Prices are reasonable and a lot of promotions are available to make the stay really affordable. Those hotels are truly unique …but overall I felt the decoration of the roms could be improved to match the special nature of the buildings.For our first taste of aristocratic living we decided to stay in the Carmona Parador, which is a XIV century palace a short distance from Sevilla. Carmona is a charming little town and the view from the parador is very pretty. It is a relaxing base for a visit to the city of Sevilla.

We then went on to Ubeda’s Parador which is located on the most beautiful square of this world heritage town. The patio is charming here and we do recommend you to stop by the towns of Ubeda and Baeza on your travels.

On the way to Granada we stopped at Jaen’s Parador, which is a 13th century muslim fortress on top of of a hill. The view from the San Catalina castle right by the parador was very memorable for us.

We finished our parador tour of Andalusia in Granada – a 15th century monastery that is situated inside the Alhambra. We just had a drink there – as this parador is quite famous it’s often booked well in advance and relatively expensive.

If you plan to visit Andalusia, please enjoy these treasures… however, note that due to Spain’s economic situation there are privatization rumors and some of the less successful paradores are closing down unfortunately.

Voyagista’s tips

  • We took advantage of a promotion campaign and there are several available (below 35 years old, above 55, 2 nights in a row…)
  • Breakfasts are big.. so no need to plan for a big lunch after that! We found the price tag for dinners a bit too expensive.
  •  In Carmona, go and climb the Alcazar de la Porta de Sevilla where you have a view over Carmona’s roofs.
  • Don’t miss San Catalina’s castle, one minute walk from the Jaen Parador

Have you been to any of them? Which one would you recommend?

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