The Paradors of Spain
Castles (castillos) and fortresses (alcazárs) are still abundant in Spain. Most are crumbling ruins, but if you want to experience the aura, there are still some great opportunities in the form of Spanish castle inns (paradores). Most visitors are other Europeans.
In addition to being enjoyed for themselves, paradores can also be home bases for day trips to surrounding towns and attractions.
Prices range anywhere from $63 to $183; however, most are under $100 all year round. Special promotions make them even more affordable. The Five Night Card, which can be purchased at any parador, prepays five nights at 10,500 pesetas (currently $56) per night. (Some paradors add surcharges and others participate only during certain seasons.)
The Golden Days card, for travelers over 60, provides a 35 percent discount off room and breakfast, with prior reservation. All information on the Internet, www.parador.es/english/index.jsp, is available in several languages. Email inquiries to specific paradors receive prompt responses.