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Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

The Paradores of Galicia

Paradores GaliciaFor those who are not already aware, Paradores are luxury Spanish hotels usually located in historic buildings such as monasteries or castles. The organisation governing these high quality hostelries, Paradores de Turismo de España, was founded by Alfonso XIII of Spain in 1928 in order to promote tourism in the country. From then on, the government took over the running of many wonderful, uninhabited buildings to make a contribution towards the upkeep and maintenance of these ancient structures and to assist beautiful regions that at the time had few economic resources.

Many of these fabulous buildings are part of the heritage of Spain and have therefore kept all of their original features, along with the necessary comfort upgrades and are bursting with character and Spanish charm. This wide variety of hotels includes castles, palaces, fortresses, convents, monasteries and other historic buildings, each featuring unique qualities, stunning windows, ageing brickwork, vaulted ceilings, large fireplaces and also original tiles, beams and stonework.

The region of Galicia has an abundance of these exceptional places to stay because of its sheer volume of charming old buildings, full of character and steeped in history. They are usually found in idyllic locations with stunning views and picturesque surrounding landscapes. Decorated, styled and remodelled to the highest standard, and in keeping with the buildings’ architecture and period detailing, the Paradores are elegantly furnished, offering a truly luxurious and stylish stay.

Garden in ParadoresHere are some of our favourites in the region of Galicia:

Parador de Santiago – Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos. Located in Santiago de Compostela, this hotel is set in a beautiful 15th-century building next to the city’s famous cathedral. Once a lodging place for pilgrims, the Parador maintains many of the building’s original features, including vaulted ceilings, stone archways, tapestries and four-poster beds in all of the bedrooms.

Parador de Ferrol is a typical Galician mansion in the centre of this naval and military town by the sea. The hotel has a charming maritime atmosphere with iconic nautical elements, including old ship’s lanterns, maps of the world and navigation instruments. This Parador offers panoramic sea views and many of the executive rooms have exceptional vistas of the pretty, bustling port.

Parador Baiona is a luxury four-star hotel built within the old walled fort of the Port of Baiona. Inside this medieval fortress, the Parador is a typical Galician manor house, with palatial size rooms, grand stone staircases, stately living rooms and magnificent views of the sea and Baiona. This formidable hotel has been exquisitely remodelled to include a seasonal swimming pool, tennis court, garden, gymnasium, Jacuzzi, sauna and children’s playground.

Parador BaionaAn escape to a Parador is a chance to get off the beaten track, away from the run of the mill hotels and step back in time. Each hotel is exclusive, with its own inimitable elements and attributes, providing a pleasant diversion from everyday life and a break away from routine in a stunning setting. Situated in locations of historic interest, there is much to enjoy and inspire close at hand, but the Paradores provide such beauty and luxury, you may not even want to leave your hotel!

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