Boasting lush vegetation, mountain ranges, a temperate climate, rugged cliffs and stretches of sandy beaches, northern Spain is typographically breathtaking. The province of Galicia, especially, with its abundance of inlets along the coast, called rías, is vastly different from what is commonly understood as a typical Spanish landscape. Economically contrasted by populated centers and rural hinterland, paradores are a luxurious yet authentic way to experience this unique region. With its spectacular scenery, it’s no wonder that this beautiful region is otherwise known as Green Spain.
Paradores in northern Spain: Most important regions at a glance
Galicia: Nature & gastronomy
Basque country: Pristine beaches
There’s a whole world of options to choose from in the Basque country, but the main attractions are clearly the stunning coastal destinations like San Sebastian and Santander with pristine beaches. Inland cities provide just as many highlights to please culture and nature lovers alike. Bilbao is a must-see, with its captivating mix of modern architecture and Gothic cathedrals, as well as the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum.
The Asturias: Ancient rock art & national parks
Good to Know
Paradores are stylish hotels in the most beautiful areas of Spain. The luxury hotel chain restores and converts castles, fortresses and charming historic buildings into sophisticated hotels. Paradores are spread throughout Spain – besides for Andalusia and Galicia, Catalonia and Castile Leon are popular destinations to stay.
Paradores are categorized as urban, coastal/natural, and historic. Parador Hostal Dos Reis Catolicos is an urban parador in Santiago de Compostela. Parador de Corias is a quiet hotel located within Northern Spain’s natural, mountain landscapes. Parador de Tortosa is a historic establishment built in a 10th-century castle.
A parador is a historic building, usually a former castle or monastery, that has been repurposed into a luxury hotel.
Some paradores are family friendly and offer hiking and biking tours, swimming pools, and other child-friendly activities, while some are more focused on creating romantic, tranquil environments and may not be the best choice for a holiday with the little ones. Some family friendly paradores are Parador de Cambados in Galicia or Parador de Cervera de Pisuerga in Castile Leon.
Bilbao is home to the world-famous Guggenheim Museum and located within Basque Country, the inland of which is composed of picturesque landscapes and a culture and language unique to the region. Santiago de Compostela is beautiful and the final stop on a famous pilgrimage route. San Sebastián is good for pintxos (Spanish tapas) and beaches. La Rioja is Northern Spain’s wine region.
Parador de Baiona is on the beach.