Best Paradores in Spain – The Ultimate Guide
An extensive hotel guide of the best Paradores in Spain – A unique concept of luxurious, historic hotels in Spain
There is something very unique about Spain. The incredible landscapes, the beautiful beaches, the world-famous cuisines, and the rich history, how can we forget about all that? There are the striking architecture and the museums to call you back here, again and again. If you want to enjoy this cultural wealth first-hand, I recommend staying at historic hotels in Spain which go under the name of “Paradores”. Today, I share a list of my favorite and best Paradores in Spain.
Now, since I am talking about visiting, it won’t be fair if I don’t share with you the best staying options. You must have stayed in hundreds of hotels everywhere, but have you ever experienced a Parador?
After living in Spain for 5 years and working a long time in the tourism sector, I get a lot of questions about what is a Parador in Spain or what are the best Paradores in Spain.
That’s why I decided to create this list with my favorite Paradores in Spain.
What is a Parador in Spain?
Parador in English is actually a hostel stay. And luckily, there are some of the best Paradors in Spain that you shouldn’t skip.
It all began in 1910 when Spain wanted to run a state-run hotel network, where travelers would have a better image of Spain. And still today, there are over 97 Paradores in Spain.
Most of these Paradors are located in historic buildings, and these include palaces, castles, monasteries, hospitals, and even fortresses.
These amazing places have been converted into Paradors to meet the demanding requirements of travelers. Apart from this, there are Paradors that are in country houses, and some of the contemporary hotels are converted into Paradors as well.
Why you should stay in the Paradores in Spain!
To me, the vast Parador directory all over Spain is one of the best information sites as the locations of these historic hotels in Spain are truly unique. The concept of the Paradores in Spain is all about sharing the local traditions and culture in a very refined, even luxurious setting.
The good thing is that there is a vast network of Paradores in Spain. Thus, you can find them in almost every larger town and in every province of Spain.
No matter what you want to do during your Spain holidays, there is a Parador closeby. The concept of Paradores is unique and it’s one of the things that Spain is famous for.
Let’s check out some of the best paradors in Spain.
Comparison of the best Paradores in Spain
Best Paradores in Spain: Andalucia
1. Parador de Carmona **** | Seville
The Parador de Carmona once was a 14-century Moorish fortress. This Parador offers a spectacular view of the Carbones river and the countryside.
The Parador de Carmona has a lovely design, vaulted ceilings, and the central courtyard is stunning. The terrace is spacious, and the building is made of the original stonework. You can take a stroll in the beautiful gardens. It is a quiet and a lovely gem.
You will get to enjoy all this with a pool and dine in one of the best restaurants. This Parador is the perfect example of Moorish architecture and is also a great day trip from Seville.
The best part about the Parador de Carmona is its dining area. They serve delicious, local and seasonal dishes.
There is antique furniture and the building speaks out loud about its rich history.
2. Parador de Ronda **** | Malaga
The Parador de Ronda offers amazing views on the Puente Nuevo bridge and Ronda’s gorge.
You will get to enjoy free WiFi and a swimming pool as well, which is seasonal. There is even an on-site shop where you can buy gifts for your loved ones.
There is a secure underground parking as well and it will take you hardly 10 minutes to go to Ronda’s old town. Malaga’s airport is 85-minutes away and the Parador can be visited with a day trip from Malaga.
The Parador is simply impressive. There are private balconies in the rooms which offer beautiful views on all the surrounding mountains. Its cuisine includes some local meats and fresh cheeses.
3. Parador de Granada **** | Granada
The Parador de Granada is simply marvelous. It is set within the grounds of the Alhambra Palace.
Each room has a flat-screen, free WiFi, air conditioning, and an attached bathroom. You can try the Andalusian cuisine in their restaurant and if you want to check out the local attraction, then head to Granada’s old town and its famous cathedral which is only 10 minutes away.
The perfect location and the 15th-century convent will take your breath away. This building has beamed ceilings, stone archways, and a contemporary decor.
4. Parador de Cordoba **** | Cordoba
The city of Cordoba is considered one of the most essential things to do in Andalucia.
The Parador de Cordoba is located in Al-Rusafa, Abderraman I’s summer palace. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens and you can enjoy its seasonal pool as well.
There is a spacious lounge and a beautiful terrace where you can relax and chat with your family and friends. The antique furniture is lovely. You can dine in their restaurant and try some delicious dishes.
The restaurant serves amazing Spanish cuisine with an Andalusian touch.
The best part about this Parador is its beautiful view on the sierra surrounding the city. You can also head to the Los Naranjos garden which is filled with palms.
5. Parador de Arcos de la Frontera *** | Seville
The Parador de Arcos de la Frontera will let you enjoy some fertile plains of the amazing Andalusian town and is popular for being the best Paradores in Andalucia. On top, Arcos is considered one of the most beautiful places in Spain.
It has a traditional style of architecture. The interior courtyard is great and is set in the historic center of Arcos. From here, you can absorb the beauty of the surroundings.
There is free WiFi in each room. You have non-smoking rooms as well, a restaurant and a bar.
Its very central location!
If you are looking for a relaxing vacation with a charming view, then the Parador de Arcos de la Frontera is the best place for you.
5. Parador de Malaga Gibralfaro **** | Malaga
The scenic Parador de Malaga Gibralfaro is located next to one of the most important attractions in Malaga: the Gibralfaro fortress.
Towering on top of Mount Gibralfaro, opposite of the Alcazaba, this hotel boasts gorgeous views of the bay and city of Malaga. No wonder that it is considered one of the best hotels in Malaga.
On top, the Parador de Malaga Gibralfaro is one of the best places to enjoy the traditional Andalusian culinary offerings, including the exquisite Malaga-style fried fish.
The rooms are extremely spacious and offer views on the sea or on the surrounding mountains. From here, it is only a stone’s throw to the best beaches in Southern Spain.
I particularly like the Parador de Malaga de Gibralfaro for its gorgeous rooftop pool and its quiet location.
Best Paradores in Spain: Northern Spain
1. Parador de Santiago – Hostal Dos Reis Catolicos ***** | Santiago de Compostela
One look at the Parador de Santiago – Hostal Dos Reis Catolicos will take your breath away. It is set in a 15th-century building which is located right next to Santiago’s famous cathedral.
The property has some of the most amazing rooms and there is free WiFi as well. The Parador de Santiago – Hostal Dos Reis Catolicos was once a lodging for pilgrims.
The restaurant serves traditional Galician dishes and seafood cuisine, and the buffet breakfast is a must-try. The Parador de Santiago – Hostal Dos Reis Catolicos is thus a perfect place to indulge in some luxury.
It has stone archways and tapestries. The rooms are spacious, and most of the walls are made of stone and candelabras.
2. Parador “Hostal San Marcos” de Leon **** | León
The Parador “Hostal San Marcos” de Leon is one of the most popular Paradors in northern Spain. This building was built way back in the 16th century.
You will get to see the Bernesga river which is right on the outskirts of Leon. There are churches and choir stalls all around the Parador de Leon.
Leon is a medium-sized Spanish town that is nowadays considered one of the prettiest off-the-beaten-track Spain attractions.
The interior of the Parador “Hostal San Marcos” de Leon is spectacular. The Convento de San Marcos is one minute away, the Auditorium Ciudad de Leon is 3 minutes away, and the airport is 15 minutes away.
3. Parador de Argomaniz **** | Basque Country
The Parador de Argomaniz is one of the Renaissance palaces from where you can see the Gorbea Mountains.
The property also offers a beautiful restaurant. Its interiors are attractive and you will get free WiFi as well. All the rooms are spacious and have a wooden flooring.
There is free parking and a bar as well. You can visit the Garaco national park which is just 5 km away from the hotel. This is one of the best Paradores in Northern Spain.
This Parador has many lovely gardens and there is a spacious terrace as well. Children will enjoy their time in the playground.
4. Parador de Cangas de Onis **** | Asturias
The Parador de Cangas de Onis is actually a national monument. The building was founded by King Alfonso and it was built during the 8th century.
This hotel hosts archaeological exhibitions as well. There is a restaurant that serves Asturias dishes which are famous for their abundant portions. The property offers WiFi, free parking and a bar.
The building is surrounded by the mesmerizing Pecos de Europa mountains.
5. Parador de Olite **** | Navarra
The Parador de Olite is situated in the Naravarran village. The building is a 15th-century castle. The property has lovely bedrooms and the medieval atmosphere is amazing.
You also have the Olites restaurant, which is a must-try as well. You can sit in the communal lounge, there is a bar, the rooms are spacious and the garden is marvelous.
It’s without a doubt one of the best Paradores in Spain and a great option when looking for castle hotels in Spain.
The robust stone walls look majestic and the stained-glass window makes it all the better. You will get to enjoy a luxurious and majestic feeling.
6. Parador de Santo Domingo de la Calzada **** | La Rioja
The Parador of Santo Domingo de La Calzada is located in one of the smallest provinces of Spain: La Rioja. Known for its excellent wines, most people visit it in order to indulge in local food and learn about the local gastronomy.
One of the most scenic places to stay is the Parador de Santo Domingo de la Calazada, located on the famous pilgrimage route of Santiago.
The hotel is located in the convent of San Francisco, just a few hundred meters away from the historic center of Santo Domingo de la Calzada.
The stunning and medieval design, in combination with the excellent service, make this Parador one of the best Paradores in northern Spain.
Best Paradores in Spain, Madrid
1. Parador de Toledo **** | Madrid
If you want to enjoy a stunning location, then book your stay at Parador de Toledo. The impressive old building, the serene beauty all around and its massive swimming pool make this Parador the best near Madrid.
You get free parking and WiFi, non-smoking rooms, a bar, and facilities for disabled guests as well.
Even though the Parador of Toledo boasts some of the best views of the old town, please note that you need to take a taxi or walk to the city. However, the walk is extremely scenic. Thus, this shouldn’t put you off to stay at the Parador Hotel.
The views! From here, you can visit the famous cathedral and also the historical center of Toledo. The Zocodover square is nearby and the catedral de Toledo is also close by.
2. Parador de Cuenca **** | Cuenca
Cuenca is famous for its casas “colgadas” (“hanging” houses) which are declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Parador de Cuenca will let you enjoy a luxurious stay with some spectacular views all around. And you will get to enjoy the spectacular view right opposite the hotel.
There is a restaurant, a bar, free WiFi, a parking facility, a fitness center, and much more.
The property has kept the essence of its historical architecture. There is also an interior patio area. The hotel is styled amazingly, and you can take a dip into the outdoor swimming pool as well.
3. Parador de Chinchon **** | Madrid
Chinchon is famous for its Plaza Mayor. There is none like it in Spain.
The Parador de Chinchon is an old convent and was built during the 17th century. The original architecture is still intact and the hotel’s setting is stunning.
You will get to enjoy food in its two restaurants, parking, free Wifi, a bar, and much more.
It’s one of the best Paradores near Madrid.
There are beautiful gardens all around the Parador and the seasonal outdoor swimming pool will always keep you cool during the summers.
4. Parador de Alcala de Henares **** | Madrid
The Parador de Alcala de Henares is charming and loaded with modern facilities. Even though, the design is traditional and has a stylish restaurant.
A parking, a spa and a wellness center, free WiFi, a swimming pool, a restaurant, and a bar are available as well.
It’s a 16th-century-old building. You can go to the baroque convent for sightseeing. Madrid is 26 km away.
5. Parador de La Granja **** | Madrid
The surrounding of the marvelous La Granja makes the Parador de Turismo de La Granja a must stay for everyone.
You will love this 18th-century royalty for sure. There is an indoor spa, a pool, an attractive rooftop, and contemporary-styled lounges.
The Baroque-style palace and the La Granja gardens are simply mesmerizing. The Guadarrama mountain chain is 80 km away.
Best Paradores in Spain: Catalunya
Please note that currently, there are no Paradors in Barcelona itself. However, there are several Paradores near Barcelona and its close surroundings.
1. Parador de Cardona **** | Barcelona
The Parador de Cardona is a 9th-century castle. It is set beside the Cardoner river and offers some of the best views.
All the bedrooms are spacious and you will get to sleep in a nice canopy bed. That’s why it is often considered one of the best Paradors near Barcelona.
The interiors are amazing and you will get the vibe of Cardona’s rich history. Visit Cardona’s medieval restaurant to enjoy your meal like a king.
2. Parador de Tortosa **** | Tarragona
The Parador de Tortosa will give you the rich historical experience of a 10-century old castle.
This hotel hosts antique styles of wooden beams and furniture. You will enjoy the sun terrace for sure.
From here, you can easily organize day trips to the prettiest wineries near Barcelona.
The Beceite mountains all around you, the green Ebro Valley and the ancient city view are all amazing. The interiors are Christian inspired.
3. Parador de Vic-Sau **** | Barcelona
Come and stay at the Parador de Vic-Sau, where you will get to enjoy the lovely outdoor swimming pool, and the paranomic view of the Guillerias mountains will take your breath away.
This traditionally styled Catalan country house is everything that you can dream of. The rooms are spacious, each room has a TV, en-suite bathroom, and much more.
You also have a lovely garden and the medieval town of Vic is only 10 km away.
4. Parador de Lleida **** | Lerida
If you want to stay in a convent style home, then book your stay at the Parador de Lleida, which is set in the Roser convent.
This building is set in the 17th century.
There is the restaurant Marmitia, a 24-hours help desk, and the Lleida town hall is only 200 m away. The nearest airport is 68 km away.
5. Parador de La Seu d’Urgell *** | Lleida
The Parador de La Seu d’Urgell is set next to the romanesque cathedral.
The hotel is a 14th-century old church and the interior is extremely magnificent. Enjoy some time in their amazing indoor swimming pool. You can also enjoy their fitness and sauna.
This property also has a restaurant. You will get free WiFi, Catalan cuisine, parking, a bar, and much more.
Best Paradores in Spain: Canary Islands
1. Parador de Cruz de Tejeda **** | Gran Canaria
The Parador de Cruz de Tejeda is located right on the top of Gran Canaria and offers amazing panoramic views.
You will get to enjoy a lovely spa and a private balcony. The property is surrounded by lovely forests and mountains.
The property also offers restaurants, bars, free parking, free WiFi, and much more.
Total disconnection! The city of Las Palmas is only 35 km away. If you want to visit the Playa del Ingles, you will only have to travel for 45 km.
2. Parador de Las Canadas del Teide *** | Tenerife
The Parador de Las Canadas del Teide will let you enjoy the unbeatable surroundings and is considered one of the best places to stay in Tenerife.
It is located next to a volcano and the Mount Teide National Park is close by. The hotel will let you have an amazing experience of lush green forest, and the tropical green landscape is amazing as well.
The restaurant serves delicious meals and you can try some drinks in the on-site bar as well while planning your upcoming Mount Teide excursion.
The location! You’ll be almost all alone in front of the Mount Teide volcano! Especially at sunrise and sunset, this is a magic place to stay!
3. Parador de La Gomera **** | La Gomera
The parador de La Gomera is situated in the stunning Canarian island of La Gomera. They have an outdoor swimming pool from where you get a picturesque view of the Atlantic Ocean.
You can visit their restaurant to try some of the delicious Spanish food. You get free WiFi, free parking, and there are non-smoking rooms available as well.
To experience the best part of the Parador de La Gomera, don’t forget to stroll through the tropical gardens. The best part about this hotel is its interiors.
4. Parador de La Palma **** | La Palma
The Parador de La Palma is blessed to be surrounded by a stunning natural landscape and this property offers the best view of this wonderful island.
Each of the rooms is spacious and will come with a TV, where you can watch all the national and international channels. You can also enjoy some time in their gardens which are surrounded by a lot of fruit trees.
The beach is close by and you’ll enjoy your time there as the temperatures are usually low. It’s thus a perfect destination for a winter getaway in Spain.
The hotel offers amazing sports facilities, a gym, a sauna, a play area for kids, a bar, free parking, and much more.
5. Parador de El Hierro *** | El Hierro
The Parador de El Hierro is the best hotel to enjoy your stay in Spain. This location offers the best view of the Atlantic Ocean.
The property is quite modern and surrounded by a beautiful lush green garden.
The colonial-style interiors, the beautiful open garden, and the relaxing atmosphere are all value for your money and that’s why many consider it one of the best paradors of Spain.
Short FAQ about Paradores in Spain
The Paradores in Spain are located within historic sites and they lay a special emphasis on sharing the local culture and traditions. All this in a very refined, often 5-star setting of a luxury hotel. That’s what makes the Paradores in Spain unique.
Parador in English is actually a hostel stay. Most of these Paradors are located in historic buildings, and these include palaces, castles, monasteries, hospitals, and even fortresses.
Some of the best Paradores in Spain are the Parador de Santiago – Hostal Dos Reis Catolicos , the Parador de la Canadas del Teide, and the Parador de Olite which is considered a top castle hotel in Spain.
If you want to book a room in a Paradores in Spain, I recommend Parador site, Booking and reading about the best Paradores in Spain. Some are very secluded!
Today, there are 97 Paradors in Spain.