BEAUTIFUL HISTORIC PARADORES CLOSE TO MOTORWAYS ARE PERFECT STOPPING PLACES
(the meaning of the word Parador, as they were originally stopping places for
weary travellers to break their journey)
DRIVING IN SPAIN
is such a pleasure on uncrowded motorways through spectacular
scenery. Many of the finest historic Paradores are very close to the motorways
so if you are planning a fly-drive holiday or taking your own car to Spain here
are a few suggestions of wonderful places to stay en-route, and we can find the
best rates by checking all the offers and promotions.
Three Paradores where I stayed recently
were all very close to Autovias (A roads with no tolls)
The Parador at OROPESA is beside
the Autovia de Extremadura, linking
Madrid to the west. The 14th century
castle-palace is one of the Parador
museums with tasteful decor and
furnished with antiques. The Parador
is at the top of the town with fine
views of the Gredos mountains.
The Parador at LERMA is a magnificent
17th century Ducal Palace, near
the perfect stopping place when
on the Autovia del Norte from Madrid to
the north coast. It has
refurbished with the restaurant
leading off the central cloister,and
bedrooms decorated to suit the palace.
The Parador at LIMPIAS is 4 kms from
the Autovia de Cantabrico, the north
motorway from the French border to
The 20th century Palace de Eguilior is
surrounded by gardens and woodland.
is a village 8 kms from Laredo on the
between Bilbao and Santander airports
ports, so a good base to start or end a
Many other carefully restored castles, palaces, convents and
monasteries are also close to Autovias - or Autopistas (AP roads with
overlooking the Bidasoa estuary which
separates France and Spain,
GRANADA, JAEN & CARMONA
in Andalucia, SIGUENZA
near the motorway between Zaragoza and
SANTILLANA & CANGAS DE ONIS
close to the Autovia del Cantabrico,
on the routes from Madrid to the East
TORTOSA & LORCA on
the east coast route,
a few kilometres west of the Autovia from Madrid to the south,
SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA & PONTEVEDRA in Galicia, and some of the loveliest Paradores in the centres of the monumental
cities of Extremadura -
PLASENCIA, CACERES, TRUJILLO, MERIDA & ZAFRA.
MAP Travel in Dublin
now have their own on-line booking system for Parador
reservations. They give the same rates and discounts, can book
flights and also offer excellent rates for car hire, so they can
organise your whole holiday. They are also specialising in
WEDDINGS IN PARADORES and arranging tours along the CAMINO DE
MAP Travel have worked with Lorna organising her escorted tours
since 2002. Marian and Patricia (hence MAP) have now visited
over 50 Paradores and travelled with Lorna in many areas of
Spain so are now the joint official representatives in Ireland
for the Paradores and can advise you on routes and work out the
best rates for you.
ESCORTED TOURS: For details of this year's
holidays click on Escorted Holidays section. For prices, travel arrangements and
day to day itineraries see
www.maptravel.ie and look at Paradores
and Escorted Tours.
or call Lorna 095 23511 firstname.lastname@example.org
or Patricia 01 8783111
We do not include
flights as many people prefer to fly separately from different airports or on
different dates, but we do advise booking flights as early as possible to avoid
Contact : 01 8783111 or visit their new
WINTER SUN IN PARADORES BESIDE THE
is an hour’s drive from Alicante. A very well run Parador is beside the Arenal beach in a small town nestling between
two headlands in the loveliest part of the Costa Blanca. All rooms have
balconies and sea views, and the well kept gardens lead to the sea. A
perfect base for a short or long winter break.
|EL SALER was recently
rebuilt on its original site between the Albufera Reserve
and a long, sandy beach, just 15 km from the
city of Valencia. It is Photo surrounded by a 27-hole
championship golf course El Saler so an ideal base for golfers
or non golfers. The Parador has a spa and
although an expensive Parador in high season,
the winter rates are much lower. Situated on a cliff above
the Burriana beach it has its own lift from the garden
to the beach. Most rooms have balconies and sea
views. Nerja is 50 Km from Malaga, so could be
combined with a few nights at MALAGA GIBRALFARO beside the castle walls on a hill above the
MALAGA GOLF is only a
5-minute taxi journey from the airport, so very
accessible for a short break, but equally good for
a longer holiday. Surrounded by its 27-hole
golf course, which leads to the beach, it is in
a tranquil corner of the Costa del Sol. All rooms
have balconies or terraces. A local train runs
from the shopping centre nearby to the airport
and city centre.
***31 January – 5 February:
Escorted winter break staying at the Parador at Malaga Golf at a special reduced
AIGUABLAVA, although one of the most expensive Paradores in Summer, it has
exceptionally good rates in low season. Perched on a
headland in the quietest corner of the Costa Brava,
this is a paradise for those who want to get away from it all. A car is necessary as there is no
public transport to the village of Begur, 5 kms
away. All rooms have balconies and sea views.
Why not combine 5 nights at Aiguablava with a
2 night city break in Barcelona?
MOJACAR is beside the beach
in the province of Almeria in the south east
corner of Spain, which claims to have the best
weather. The Parador is at sea level below the “Pueblo
Blanco” (white village) of Mojacar with a regular
bus service to the village. A very relaxing place for a
***Pools in Paradores are
seasonal and not necessarily open between mid-October and mid-June but all these
Paradores are beside the sea which is
usually warmer than the pools***
For more details contact Lorna Tel: 095 23511
New Paradores Recently Opened
Parador and castle at Lorca
Indoor pool at Parador at Lorca
The new Parador at Lorca opened in July 2012. The stunning
modern building has been built within the castle walls on a hill
above the town, which is 30 Km inland from the Murcia coast.
During the excavations the remains of Muslim and Jewish
settllements were discovered, including a 15th century Jewish
synagogue. These have been preserved and showcased around the
Parador. There is also a magnificent spa and indoor pool.
PARADOR IN CADIZ - OPENED ON 1st SEPTEMBER 2012.
I was invited to spend a few days in the new Parador in
Cadiz before it was officially opened on 1st September. The old Parador
closed in October 2009 and although a very different building the new
one is a most impressive construction on the same magnificent site
beside the sea and yet only a short walk from the Cathedral and historic
city centre. All rooms have balconies and sea views, most of the same
staff are working there and many furnishings, paintings etc from the old
Parador are featured keeping a connection with the past. The whole
Parador is spacious and light - this is "La Costa de la Luz". The pool
area and spa are one of the main attractions overlooking the Atlantic
Ocean and sunsets for which this coast is so famous.
Parador at Corias
I visited the new Parador at Corias, a beautifully restored
Monastery in the heart of the mountains of Asturias.
The NEW Parador at CORIAS was opened by Queen
Sofia on the 15th July 2013 in the 11th century Benedictine monastery
in the heart of Asturias in Northern Spain. Check with us for
special rates at Corias. This brings the total number of
Paradores to 94
Regions of Spain
I have written features
on the different regions of Spain, including the
Mediterranean regions of Andalucia, Catalonia and Valenciana &
Murcia, and also on Galicia,
& Cantabria, the Basque country, La Rioja & Navarra,
Castilla, the Canary Islands and the
If you would like to receive any of these please send your email address and I
will send them by return.
PARADOR OF THE MONTH
People often ask me which is my
favourite Parador. As there are 94 and all very different, this
is an impossible question to answer, but I do have a Top 5 and
there are certain ones that I am particularly attached to, so
I featured different Paradores with a page on the
website dedicated to each one.
PAST PARADORS OF THE MONTH
ESCORTED HOLIDAYS IN
SPAIN'S HIDDEN CORNERS
These holidays are designed to include
some of Spain's most beautiful and lesser known landscapes. This
is "Real Spain" at its best. There will be no pressure, no early
morning starts, and no compulsory sightseeing. Most Paradores
are less than one hundred miles apart, but on the occasional day
when a longer journey is necessary we will follow the advice of
the AA which is to have a break every 2 hours or every hundred
miles, so there will be no exhausting long journeys. We aim to
make the travelling a pleasure and organise lunch breaks in
interesting places. The coach will be there to transport you
from Parador to Parador, and will be on hand for optional
excursions to places of interest.
For the energetic there are spectacular
walking routes, for the culturally inclined there will be visits
to archeological sites and museums, and for nature lovers we
include Nature Reserves and National Parks.
These are value-for-money holidays
which include accommodation, breakfast and dinner (most nights)
including wine, coffee etc, in Spain's Parador hotels, or hotels
of similar quality where there is no Parador. By following a
route via Paradores the most remote and scenic regions of Spain
DEPOSIT and INSURANCE
A non refundable deposit of 250.00
Euro per person, together with a completed booking form, should
be sent to MAP Travel. When completing the booking form please
advise if you have your own travel insurance. Otherwise it will
be automatically added to your invoice. Should we have to cancel
a tour the deposit will be refunded.
There are no 'hidden' extras as all
travel in the bus, drinks with dinner, porterage, restaurant
tips and excursions are included. Entrance fees to Museums etc.
visited on optional excursions, bar and personal bills in hotels
and snacks during the day will be charged for at the time. On
occasional nights we have not included dinner, to enable people
to have a choice of restaurant.
Each year we hold a competition and ask
people who have been on our tours to send in their 3 favourite
photographs from the holiday. The winner receives a voucher for
a 2-night break in a Parador, or a discount of 250 Euro on a
future tour, so be sure to bring your camera.
Journeys between hotels have been
planned to see as much as possible en-route. These are dependent
on weather conditions and will be changed if necessary.
These are Parador holidays with golf,
combining the relaxation and interest of our tours with golf
competitions at some of Spain's finest courses. Green fees and
buggies, or trolleys, are included in the price. For non golfers
there are optional excursions every day.
Golf Holiday at Paradores is a whole new experience combining
the unique Parador hotels at Malaga Golf and El Saler with their
own Championship Golf Courses. Step straight from your bedroom
onto the Golf Course.
A group of golfing enthusiasts have returned from
sunny days with temperatures reaching 24 degrees when they
played at the 2 Paradores surrounded by 27-hole courses where
Parador guests are given a 50% discount, reducing green fees at
El Saler ( near Valencia) to 48 Euro, and to only 37 Euro at
Malaga Golf. El Saler hosted the Spanish Open in April 2013 - this wonderful course
looked awesome on television.
For further information, or
to receive a booking form contact:
Lorna Roberts Tel:: 095 23511 Fax:
Click Here to see photographs of some of the 50 tours staying in
Lorna and Patricia Kenny of MAP Travel
visited Paradores in Extremadura in October.
This is the Western area
of Spain alongside the Portuguese border. It is a
combination of historic cities, National Parks and
nature reserves, renowned for its gastronomy producing
excellent wines and cheeses, and most famously the Jamon
Iberico, the best ham in Spain, from the black pigs
which feed on the acorns on the plains of Extremadura.
Some of the Paradores in
Extremadura were included in our escorted holidays in
LORNA'S & PATRICIA'S TRAVELS IN
Parador at Zafra
Parador at Merida
Monastery at Guadalupe seen from
Entrance to Parador at Jarandilla
Parador at Plasencia
Parador at Oropesa
Plaza Mayor at Trujillo
A relaxing lunch with friends in
Madrid after all the travelling
Discover Real Spain and
This is now 60 pages in full colour with new routes
to help you plan your travels in Spain.
€8.50 incl. postage
Lorna Roberts’ other travel
book "A Mother, A Daughter and a lot of Policemen" €7.75 incl. postage
BOTH BOOKS ONLY €15 incl.
Send cheque or
credit card details (Visa or Mastercard, including the 3 security
To: Lorna Roberts,
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For further details
please contact Lorna Roberts direct..
Ms Lorna Roberts,
Barr an Bhaile, Aillebrack, Ballyconneely, Co. Galway, H71 N239
Telephone................+353 (0) 95 23511
Fax...........................+353 (0) 95 23539
On my recent visit to the
CANARY ISLANDS I visited 5 Paradores on 5 islands, including
Cruz de Tejeda, the new one in the centre of Gran Canaria.
This has been beautifully designed
so that bedrooms and public rooms have views across the
mountains. Like most of the recently opened Paradores it has a
spa, gym and heated pool.
View from the Parador
at Cruz de Tejeda
In complete contrast we stayed at a
simple Parador on the smallest and most westerly island of El
Hierro. Almost sitting on a beach of black volcanic sand this is
a hotel for peace and quiet, as the only activities in the
area are trekking and diving, and the closest shops are fifteen
kilometres away in the island's capital Valverde. For anyone
wanting to "get away from it all" this would be paradise, but
not to be recommended to those looking for a lively resort!
Parador on El Hierro
We continued to the island of La
Palma (not to be confused with Las Palmas the capital of Gran
Canaria, and seventh largest Spanish city). The Parador is high
above Santa Cruz, the island's capital, mid-way between the port
and the airport so easy to reach by air or sea. The landscaped
gardens, swimming pool and sea views make this a most relaxing
place to stay and the restaurant is to be highly recommended.
The island is intensely cultivated with every corner being
covered with terraces growing bananas, pineapples, avocados and
tomatoes and the varied scenery offers plenty of scope for those
who like to rent a car and explore, the highlight being the
international observatories surrounded by volcanic rocks at the
Roque de los Muchachos at 2462 metres (over 8000').
Gardens at the
Parador on La Palma
The island of La Gomera is the most
accessible of the lesser known islands as it is only a forty
minute ferry journey from Los Cristianos on Tenerife. The
Parador can be seen standing on a cliff above the port in San
Sebastian, the island's capital. It is, perhaps the one that
would have the most general appeal, as it would be a perfect
base for a relaxing holiday, but for the more active the
spectacular coastal scenery, small fishing villages, lush
vegetation, and the many walking routes in the central National
Park are all within easy reach of San Sebastian. Car hire is
inexpensive and roads are uncrowded, and there is an efficient
local bus service reaching all corners of the island.
Parador on La Gomera
- above the harbour at San Sebastian
Last, but by no means least, on the
island of Tenerife is the unpretentious 2* Parador at Canadas
del Teide, surrounded by volcanic rocks at the foot of Mt
Teide, which at 3713 metres (over 12000') is Spaighest
mountain. The Parador is the only building in the Park so
consequently is unspoilt by pollution and we were fortunate to
be staying there on a Friday night when a local astronomer comes
to explain the wonders of the night sky.
Parador at Canadas
del Teide on Tenerife
We had stayed at five very different
Paradores on five islands. We found that the people were
especially friendly, the food good and accompanied by excellent
local wines, the roads uncrowded and the landscapes amazingly
varied. This was such a different world from the resorts of the
Canaries seen in travel brochures.
On the North Coast of La Gomera Mt Teide, Tenerife
A more detailed version of this
journey through the five islands can be found in the revised
edition of "Discover Real Spain & The Paradores" - a personal
collection of routes in Spain. Details in "Lorna's books"
section on this website.
For further information, or
to receive a booking form contact:
Lorna Roberts Tel:: 095 23511 Fax:
| LORNA ROBERTS:
Barr an Bhaile, Aillebrack, Ballyconneely,
Co Galway, H71 N239
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