Focus your visit to Spain around Madrid and a stay at one of the the Paradores in the Rioja and Navarra Wine Region.
Visit Madrid, Capital of Spain since 1562, Madrid's museums host, among others, Dalís, Mirós and Picasso's Guernica. Madrid is a city of great contrasts: the Old City, the Madrid of the Hapsburgs, the Royal Palace, the Puerta de Alcala, the Retiro Park. At night, the city changes gears with its famous Madrid nightlife. The city's endless energy is hard to resist, and its sociable style invites you to jump right in.
The area around south of Madrid offers a variety of Paradors, each highlighting a very different experience.
ALMAGROCapital of Campo de Calatrava, it was closely linked to the Calatrava religious order which enjoyed great political importance during the Low Middle Ages. As in almost all Castilian towns, its centre is the Plaza Mayor. This is a rectangular building, with stone porches and wooden balconies running round it. Here are the most symbolic buildings, like the Open Air Theatre, the National Theatre Museum and the Town Hall. The Open Air Theatre declared a National Monument, dates from the 16th century and is a classical site where theatrical works were performed during the Spanish Golden Age. Its galleries, stage and dressing rooms can be visited
ALMAGRO - 4 stars
16th Century ranciscan Convent. The Convent of San Fransisco was built by the Dávila de la Cueva in 1596. It is located in an area of outstanding historic and artistic interest just 5 minutes from the main square. Here visitors have the opportunity to discover the prettiest corners of the town, including the ?corral de comedias? (open-air theatre) and the surrounding nature reserves.
138 miles from Madrid
CHINCHONIt is recognizable in the distance by its houses clustered together on hilltops. As well as its characteristic Plaza Mayor, with its wooden balconies and flat galleries, there is also the church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (1534-1626), which was sacked and burned by Napoleonic troops in 1808. The current church was completed in 1828 and is a blend of Gothic, plateresque, Renaissance and baroque styles. Inside is the magnificent painting of La Asunción de la Virgen, painted by Goya. Prominent in the town centre are the nobles' mansions with their coats of arms and ancestral homes with beautiful courtyards and galleries resting on Doric, Ionic and Tuscan columns or with bases of stone.
CHINCHON - 4 stars
17th Century Augustinians Convent. Founded by the Lords of Chinchón in the 17th century, this former Augustinian convent houses monumental character set amongst that of Chinchón old town, with its emblematic Plaza Mayor main square. Cypress trees, roses and wild privets in the garden give a beautiful appearance, finished by the marvellous cloister and softened by the blue water in the pool. ,.
29 miles from Madrid
MANZANARESIs at the entrance to the land of Don Quijote, La Mancha. A small typical Manchegan Town with access to three of the most beautiful natural parks in the country. Originally the Castle of Manzanares, also known as Pilas Bonas was constructed on the site as a defense by the Order of Calatrava. Today the castle is a charming hotel.
MANZANARES - 3 stars
Estate with beautiful gardens of La Mancha character. This hotel is located on a La Mancha-style estate in the town of Manzanares, between three of the most beautiful natural parks in the country: Cabañeros, lñas Lagunas de Ruidera and las Tablas de Daimal Natural Parks. Trees, bushes, gardens, and plants impregnate this place with greenery, and with its swimming pool make for a very appetising setting within the La Mancha countryside.
112 miles from Madrid
OROPESAThe 13th-century Christian fortress is built onto the defensive wall that surrounds the whole historic centre. Besides climbing to the top of the tower, you can also spend the night - it is now a Parador Hotel. Less than 200 kilometers away, Consuegra is another stop not to be missed. From the top of the castle there is a unique view: the fields of La Mancha between the Tagus and Guadiana Rivers. The stars of the view are the seven windmills that became giants in Miguel de Cervantes's novel, Don Quixote.
OROPESA - 4 stars
15th Century Palace and Castle. The stately home of the Álvarez de Toledo, Counts of Oropesa, once the home of soldiers, clergy and noblemen, enjoys exceptional views of the Sierra de Gredos. The historic value of the Torre del Homenaje, a tower attached to the Parador, the columns of the courtyard, and the pool with outstanding views over the plains of Campo Arañuelo, make up a very attractive hotel.
99 miles from Madrid
TOLEDOHas its origins in Toletum, the name the Romans gave to this settlement on the banks of the River Tagus after its conquest in 190 BC. The city maintained its importance for centuries and, in the Visigothic era, became the capital of Hispania (6th C.). The arrival of the Arabs in the 8th century, together with the presence of Christians and Jews, made Toledo the ?city of the three cultures?. This was one of the Toledo's most splendid periods when, among other important events, the Toledo School of Translators was founded. Later, when Carlos V came to the throne in 1519, the city became an imperial capital. The way that Christians, Arabs and Jews lived side by side for centuries have been reflected in the form of a great artistic and cultural legacy.
TOLEDO - 4 stars
Toledo cigarral with views over the city. On the hill called Cerro del Emperador by a meander of the river Tajo, this hotel in Toledo offers an unequalled panorama of the monumental silhouette, with its greatest jewels, the Cathedral, the Alcázar and the synagogues. In the hotel you can also enjoy the refreshing swimming pool and plan outdoor leisure activities. From the bedrooms, lounges, terrace and pool the beautiful views of the Imperial City dominate, while the interior is remarkable for its spaciousness and luxury.
56 miles from Madrid
Madrid and South of Madrid with Paradores
Visit Madrid and then enjoy a delightful stay at one of the Paradores South of Madrid, among them 15th century Palaces and Monasteries.
Price history for this itinerary (past 14 days):
From New York,John F Kennedy, NY for 6 nights
$1,909 * incl.tax
From San Francisco, CA for 6 nights
$2,336 * incl.tax
Madrid (148) Spain (269)
Recomended for 6 to 9+ nights.
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