When people think of romantic places, people usually think of France, but that’s not to say that the other parts of Europe are equally romantic and worth visiting. The entire continent itself, in fact, has a lot going on for it, and there are so many places worth going to – whether for fun, or if you want to go to writing retreats – that it really helps a lot to know where you can stay when you find yourself somewhere.

We’ve looked at French chateaux (castle hotels) before. This time, we’re moving on to another part of Europe – Spain. If France has chateaux, Spain has paradores. Here, we’ll look at some of the most popular and picturesque paradores that the country has to offer.

1. Parador de Alarcon

If history is your thing, Parador de Alarcon is your castle hotel. The 8th century castle is a relic of the medieval ages, and is steeped in history. Having been lived in by Muslims, then by King Alfonso VIII, King of Castile, and then by medieval writer Juan Manuel, Parador de Alarcon isn’t just a castle hotel. It’s an actual castle, having survived centuries of history, sieges and battles. The rooms are lovely, the location is beautiful, and the historical background is rich. Parador de Alarcon is certainly a parador to visit. There’s also a nearby village with a lot of places to visit. People who have gone to Parador de Alarcon call it unforgettable.

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Image credits: Paradores

 

2. Parador de Siguenza

Here’s another medieval parador for you: Parador de Siguenza, located in an Arab fortress built on a Roman settlement. It was originally built in the fifth century, and was taken by Fernando I and El Cid during the year 1123, when it was turned into a bishop’s palace. Here, you can visit the sepulcro del Doncel, as well as the surrounding chapels, cemeteries, and neighborhoods, like San Roque. Immerse yourself in history as you go through the Castilian settlements in the surrounding area.

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Image credits: Paradores

 

3. Parador de Jaen

Parador de Jaen is a little different from the previous paradores we’ve seen. It’s situated atop Santa Catalina Hill, and was also one of fortresses Arabs used centuries ago. The location makes for breathtaking views of the surrounding area, but it also had strategic significance: a castle that high provided good views of the surrounding area, thus letting the people within the fortress know of there are enemies approaching from any side. The castle was able to hold out attacks against Moors in the following centuries.

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Image credits: Paradores

 

4. Parador de Pontevedra

Parador de Pontevedra once served as home to the counts of Maceda. It dates back to the 16th century. It’s a well preserved parador, and the surrounding area provides a lot of places to visit for the traveler. There are museums, palaces. You can visit the beautiful La Virgen Peregrina Church, as well.

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Image credits: Paradores

 

5. Parador de Oropesa

Last on the list – but definitely not the least – is Parador de Oropesa. Continuing the trend we have of historical paradores, Parador de Oropesa was the ancestral home of the counts of Oropesa, the Alvarez de Toledo family. The area itself is a medieval town that transports you back in time, and it’s not just the location that takes you back. Oropesa celebrates an event called Oropesa’s Medieval Days during the month of April, which revives the medieval spirit of the area.

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Image credits: Paradores

 

That’s already a handful of paradores you may consider for your travels, but of course they’re not the only ones. We’ve barely even scratched the surface of the paradores that Spain offers. Certainly, there are more that we can look at.

About the author

A college student and frustrated writer who loves to drink a lot of coffee, play video games, read speculative fiction, and dream about castles.

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