Parador San Francisco, Granada
Andalucía's most popular parador is located in a 15th-century convent, itself built on the site of a Moorish palace, and contained within Granada's massive Alhambra complex. The tiled courtyard and rounded Moorish arches are reminders of the building's history, and the interior is filled with carved wooden furniture and wall hangings. The rooms, and the excellent restaurant, all have panoramic views of the palaces of the Alhambra, and the terrace bar is ideally located overlooking the Generalife gardens.
Parador de San Francisco, Real de la Alhambra, Granada; 00 34 95 822 1440. Doubles from €330, room only.
Parador Condestable Dávalos, Ubeda
A stay at the Úbeda parador is an opportunity to experience life in the beautiful surroundings of a Renaissance palace. This magnificent building, in the town's most attractive square, once belonged to the Dean of the nearby Chapel of the Saviour. It is built around a charming inner courtyard, with a double gallery reached by going up the very grand staircase. The rooms have retained many of their original palatial features, including high ceilings and wooden flooring.
Parador Condestable Dávalos, Plaza Vazquez Molina, Úbeda; 00 34 953 750 345. Doubles from €173, room only.
Parador El Adelantado, Cazorla
With its remote location high up in the Sierra Cazorla Natural Park, this is an ideal destination for a few days of complete peace and quiet, with plenty of fresh mountain air and outstanding scenery. The building is in the style of a traditional Andalucian country house, and is surrounded by pine forest, home to populations of deer and wild boar. The property is comfortably furnished, with an open fire that is lit on cooler evenings, and a pool outside for use in the summer.
Parador El Adelantado, Sierra Cazorla; 00 34 953 727075. Doubles from €100, room only. The hotel re-opens on 7 February.
Parador Alcázar del Rey Don Pedro, Carmona
This spectacular parador is one of several fortresses built on the hill that dominates the pleasant small town of Carmona. Built in the 14th century, it was the favourite residence of King Pedro, although he may have appreciated its strategic location rather than the extensive views in every direction which are more appealing to modern visitors. Inside, the accommodation is spacious, furnished with antiques and tapestries, and many of the original features, like the Mudéjar-style fountain, have been preserved.
Parador Alcázar del Rey Don Pedro, Carmona; 00 34 954 141 010. Doubles from €173, room only.
Parador Cristóbal Colón, Mazagón
The appeal of this modern parador, named after Christopher Columbus, who set sail for the Americas from just along the coast, is its clifftop location. There are spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and the attractive gardens which surround the property, and from which there is a path down to the unspoilt sandy beach below. Facilities include a large swimming pool, gym and sauna. Mazagó* is on the edge of Spain's largest nature reserve, the Coto de Doñana, a vast wilderness renowned for the variety of its bird life and as the habitat of the Iberian Lynx.
Parador Cristóbal Colón, Playa de Mazagón, Mazagón; 00 34 959 536300. Doubles from €160, room only.
Parador de Ronda, Ronda
This elegant building was once the town hall; inside it has lost all traces of its municipal origins, with an emphasis on colour, comfort and warm hospitality. To one side is a garden with a swimming pool, a welcome attraction in the warm summer months. But location is everything at this parador. Perched above Ronda's dramatic gorge beside the Puente Nuevo, it offers spectacular views of the old walled city on the other side of the Tagus river. In addition to its dramatic location, Ronda is an ideal base for exploring the nearby sierra and Andalucía's white villages.
Parador de Ronda, Plaza de España, Ronda; 00 34 95 287 7500. Doubles from €173, room only.
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