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The Spanish coastline offers travellers the ideal opportunity to discover Spain’s historical and gastronomic heritage while enjoying magnificent seaside scenery. With the eastern and southern parts of the country being open to the Mediterranean Sea, and its Northern regions facing either the Atlantic Ocean or the Cantabrian Sea, Spain truly is the ideal destination for anyone looking to spend a few days – or even a few weeks – surrounded by beautiful beaches.
The Paradors’ network counts no less than 25 properties located on the Spanish coastlines. There are, therefore, plenty of beachside and coastal Paradors to choose from if you fancy an exceptionally fresh fish dish, a dip into the sea or the ocean, and a well-deserved dose of sunshine at any time of the year.
The Paradors in Málaga serve as a prime example of how successfully they merge with seaside landscapes. Located a mere 5 and 10 kilometres away from this popular airport, they are therefore particularly easy to reach from all international departure points, and can be used as luxurious gateways to inland Spain. The Parador de Málaga Gibralfaro, at the heart of the city, provides guests with fantastic views on to Málaga’s port, which can be enjoyed either from the rooms’ balconies or the restaurant’s terrace. As its name indicates the Parador de Málaga Golf centres on the practice of this enjoyable sport. The 18-hole golf course within the hotel’s luxuriant gardens looks right on to the infinite Mediterranean Sea, thus allowing golfers to relax in a picturesque environment.
Further along the Costa del Sol, east of Málaga, the Parador de Nerja can also be mentioned as the beachside hotel par excellence. The great transport links to Nerja make this very Spanish town a preferred destination for travellers who wish to stay in Spain for a couple of days or longer. The unusual location of the Parador – at the top of a cliff – transforms views from the restaurant and rooms into a stunning panorama of the Mediterranean Sea. If you feel like taking a dip, the Parador’s private lift takes guests from the swimming pool area directly to the golden sands of the beach below.
The Parador de Mojácar, on the Costa de Almeria, shares the same modern features as the Parador de Nerja. Surrounded by palm trees and rich vegetation, the hotel’s promise undoubtedly is one of exoticism and tranquility. Situated on the seafront, there is only a small road separating guests from the beach and the Mediterranean waves. For those who prefer warmer water temperatures, the Parador offers a large outdoor swimming pool in which to dive after, for example, a game of padle tennis played on the hotel’s own private court.
Another beachside Parador in which sport plays an important role is the Parador de El Saler. Often associated with the Parador de Málaga Golf, El Saler’s property is equipped with a prestigious 18-hole golf course set against the stunning seaside scenery. One of the hotel’s most striking attributes, however, remains its modern architecture. The Parador’s ideal location – 25 kilometres away from Valencia Airport – contributes to it being a popular destination; especially for travellers looking for a four-star accommodation by the sea with striking, yet welcoming features.
150 kilometres down from El Saler is the Parador de Jávea, with similarly stunning sea views, and where you can watch or participate in windsurfing, sailing and many more sea-related activities. The Parador has even integrated the Mediterranean Sea into its interior decoration. The rooms’ design is reminiscent of traditional beach huts, while retaining the comfort and modernity which is customary to Paradors. All standard rooms at the Parador de Jávea have sea views, thus guaranteeing guests a complete immersion into Jávea’s exceptional seaside landscape.
Most of the standard rooms in the Parador de Cádiz also offer fantastic sea views, unobstructed by a cleverly-designed glass panel balcony. The Parador’s restaurants also celebrate the city’s seaside culture by offering a wide selection of seafood dishes, modernised to the highest standards of Spanish gastronomy. There could not be a more relaxing experience than popping into the Parador’s lower-ground restaurant to have dinner while facing the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean. With the airports of Jerez and Seville less than 35 and 90 minutes’ drive away, Cádiz undoubtedly is a beachside Parador worth visiting.
The Parador de Benicarló completes our list of eastern and southern Spain’s coastal Paradors. As one of the jewels of the Costa del Azahar, Benicarló is renowned for its beaches of golden sand and its port, hosting a still-active fishing industry. The Parador invites visitors to discover the charm of the city while staying in a sophisticated and elegant accommodation. The hotel is indeed remarkable by its spaciousness, tasteful decoration and multiple facilities, such as: a great outdoor swimming pool stretching out to the seaside, a tennis court and a lovely children’s playground. As such, the Parador de Benicarló is ideal for long and short stays, and provides activities intended to please every traveller.
Situated on the border between Spain and France, the impressive Parador de Hondarribia is notable by its unusual location and the easiness with which it can be reached. San Sebastian airport is less than 5 kilometres away, and a number of French airports can also be used as points of arrival to get to the Parador (Biarritz is 40 minutes away). A 10th century castle transformed into an elegant hotel, the Parador de Hondarribia is steeped in Spanish history and culture. Its proximity to the port, whose rustic charm attracts many visitors every year, makes of the Parador de Hondarribia the perfect spot for travellers in search of stylish accommodation in a tranquil atmosphere. Although this is the only Parador of the network without a restaurant, just outside of its doors are several excellent restaurants to enjoy.
The Paradors de Santillana del Mar and Santillana Gil Blas can be found further along the northern coastline. These Paradors are the closest to Santander, and function as both comfortable stopovers and enjoyable short breaks, with the Altamira Cave Museum nearby. The Parador de Santillana Gil Blas, an ancestral home dating back to the 17th century, has welcomed several prestigious guests such as King Alfonso XIII, and will immerse you into a world of luxury and serenity. Only a few steps through a gorgeous paved square separate the hotel from its twin, the Parador de Santillana del Mar. This Parador retains the lavish style of the Cantabrian manor in which it is housed, while at the same time presenting modern facilities. The restaurant ‘Gil Blas’ serves both Paradors with its terrace surrounded by vegetation in which to enjoy the cooler morning and evening air. Although Santillana is not located directly by the seaside, a short drive can take you to the superb beaches of Comillas, Suances and Cobreces, among others.
The Parador de Gijón stands at the heart of the Costa Verde. This branch of northern Spain’s coastline takes its name, which literally means ‘green coast’, from the abundance of luxuriant vegetation forming its natural landscape. The hotel occupies a beautifully-restored water mill situated within the Isabel la Catolica Park. Long walks through this magnificent natural area are certainly recommended and might lead you to the popular San Lorenzo beach – to take a nap on the sand or a dip in the Cantabrian Sea.
Less than 140 kilometres west of Gijón is the Parador de Ribadeo; a prosperous-looking mansion built in traditional Galician architectural style. The Parador overlooks the city’s estuary, whose visit is undoubtedly a must when travelling to Gijón. Activities available near the Parador include golfing and bird-watching, since the estuary and the River Ero have been classified as a Special Protection Area for Birds and a Wetland of International Importance. The proximity to the Cantabrian Sea entices locals and guests to take part in sea-related sports, such as fishing and sailing, as well as enjoying quiet, spacious beaches – the most famous being ‘Cathedral Beach’ with its prominent rock formation along the sand.
The Parador de Pontevedra occupies a prominent place among the Paradors established in Galicia’s western coastline. The hotel is set within the walls of a Renaissance Palace, and will give your stay an incomparable touch of lavishness and sophistication. Candelabras and antique pieces of furniture make up the interiors of this Parador, which is proud of its history and willing you to take part in it. The Lerez River meets the Atlantic Ocean precisely in Pontevedra, and is only a few metres away from the hotel. The Parador’s great location – at the heart of the city’s old quarters – also enables guests to easily explore Pontevedra’s historic quarters and ports.
Baiona and its stunning Parador, finally (and majestically), close our compilation of some of Spain’s most exceptional beachside and coastal properties. As a Galician fortress facing the mighty Atlantic Ocean, the Parador de Baiona impresses travellers through both its stunning architecture and the fantastic views it offers. We would recommend booking a superior room (with only a small surcharge) in order to make the most of the picturesque seaside landscape surrounding the Parador. The coastal city of Baiona takes pride in its fishing industry, and the beautiful marina is worth strolling through in the late afternoon, before popping in the Parador’s restaurant for a fish dish prepared with the freshest local catch.
The proximity to the sea or the ocean confers on the Paradors an atmosphere of tranquillity and timelessness. The hotels’ impressive architecture, state-of-the-art leisure facilities and respect for Spanish cultural and culinary traditions participate as well in making your beach holiday unique. With 25 coastal and beachside properties to choose from, spending time by the seaside in Spain can be nothing else but simply unforgettable.