Hotel Reviews

Spain Travel Tip: Stay in a Castle or Palace (for Less Than a Hotel)

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On my trip to Spain last fall, one of the highlights was getting to stay in a 10th century castle. Especially when that stay was cheaper than many hotels in the area!

Spain’s Paradores — historic castles, palaces, and monasteries owned by the state and run as hotels — are a fairly unique and little known option to the casual traveler.

View of downtown Tortosa from the Parador battlements

My view of downtown Tortosa from the Parador battlements

Not only do they tend to be affordable, but because of their history they tend to be located in the best parts of town — high on a hill overlooking the city, the best view on the water, etc.

parador de cadiz pool credit

Sit poolside on the coast at the Parador de Cadiz

The on-site restaurants serve fresh local cuisine and is typically located in the original great hall, so you may find yourself at one of a dozen tables under a lofty ceiling.

parador de santiago de compostela dining credit

Dining at the “oldest hotel in the world in Santiago de Compostela”

While I suspect many of the locations are a bit more basic than the 4* luxury stay they promise online, they are perfectly comfortable and a great way to appreciate the history of the building in a more relaxed setting than a tour.  Especially at a place like the Alhambra!

You can stay outside the walls at the plush Alhambra Palace, or you could stay in the Parador de Granada, a 15th century convent on the grounds.

Stay on the Alhambra Grounds at the Granada Parador

Overlooking the courtyard at the Granada Parador

Definitely worth considering when planning your trip to Spain!

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