IN ASSOCIATION WITH BRITISH AIRWAYS
Let's Spend The Night Together: Parador De Santa Catalina, Jaen
Saturday 03 September 2005
Andalucia's least known provincial capital boasts one of the finest paradors in Spain, overlooking vast plantations of olive groves from a rocky outcrop more than 2,000 feet above sea level. From a distance, the parador looks as old as the mighty medieval castle next door, reflected in its high-vaulted ceilings and baronial furnishings. In fact, it dates back no further than 1965. One of the parador's most appealing features is its lovely outdoor swimming pool, peaceful and private amid the gardens.
Castillo de Santa Catalina, Jaen, Andalucia (00 34 953 230 000; www.parador.es). Jaen's best address is 4km north-west of the town centre. The fortress itself started life as a Moorish construction in the eighth century, but has been much remodelled.
Time from international airport: Seville is four hours away by bus (€24.26/£17) and just under three hours by train (€14.40/£10), but the latter runs only once a day, whereas there are four daily bus services. A taxi from the town centre costs about €10 (£7).
The parador's 45 rooms each have a minibar, safe and sizeable balcony, with spectacular views of the olive groves and mountains. The tiled floors, rugs and furniture have a strongly Arabic flavour, but - as is common in Andalucia - only six of the rooms have double beds.
Freebies: Bathroom toiletries are standard parador fare, but generally not exotic.
Keeping in touch: All rooms have satellite TV. A single terminal in the lobby provides free broadband access to the internet.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Double rooms start at a very reasonable €125 (£89), rising to €157 (£112) if you want to be properly baronial by spending the night in a four-poster bed. Buffet breakfast is an extra €11 (£7.80) per person.
I'm not paying that: Husa Europa at Plaza de Belen, 1 (00 34 953 222 700; www.husa.es) is both quiet and within walking distance of the city centre. Double rooms start from €55 (£39).
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 SAG Awards: Fake applause track interrupts Reese Witherspoon
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...
Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This airport parking organisation are looking...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you enjoy bus driving and are looking for ...