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Sep, 2008

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The Paradores of Spain have been created, by the Spanish Government, to provide the most beautiful hotel experience. Mostly in ancient former palaces, monasteries, manor houses, with occasional modern built hotels where there was a demand, these buildings usually command the most spectacular vantage point in a given region.

There are more than 80 of the Paradors in Spain. Whilst the building may well be hundreds of years old, the Spanish Government has preserved the best of the old and updated with modern, latest state of the art bathroom facilities, and, even in the more recently built Paradors the environment is conducive to a very elegant, calm and quality relaxing holiday.

The rooms both public and private are mostly of generous proportion with refreshing character and a world away from that of the normal chain hotel and the standard of the service is top notch at every turn. And, if your room is in a corner of the hotel where there are views to be enjoyed from more than one aspect, then that is what you get, yes, a balcony on each side – to take in a panoramic view. The interiors are beautifully decorated and the furniture and furnishings are supreme quality.

Breakfast buffets are designed to suit every appetite and palette, and lunch and dinner reflect the cuisine of Spain and more particularly the area.

There are several ‘packages’ for different age groups and for multiple nights in one Parador, or for stays which are spread over a selection of Paradors.

One trip, beginning near Barcelona – Parador at Cardona, then on to Paradors at Vielha, Santillana Del Mar, Fuente De, Lyon (where it felt as though we were staying in Buckingham Palace), and then finished with a stay in Santiago de Compostela and allowed us to follow the pilgrim route across Northern Spain to Santiago to visit the burial ground of the bones of St. James.

Another trip began at the Parador at Chinchon, just 30 minutes from Madrid, on to Toledo, Ciudad Rodrigo and Aviles, – all spectacular areas in their own right with so much to discover and delight.

A third trip took us from Granada and the Alhambra Palace, through Andalucia on to the Parador on the coast at Cadiz, up the mountain to the Parador perched on the edge of the ravine at Ronda, then on to Seville in the South West.

There are many more Paradors which we plan to visit – especially when we retire, and with the charm and hospitality of the people in interior Spain and the varieties in regional cuisine it is a wonderful world of difference which is so worth exploring away from the more usual coastal, Costas of Spain. Go on, look them up on Google, order the directory and then make the difficult decision of which few of the many that you plan to visit first.

Heartily recommended.


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