Parador de León
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- Twin rooms (170)
- Double rooms (15)
- Room with living room (15)
- Capacity (400)
- Conference room
- Central heating
- Air conditioning
- Canal plus
- Deposit box
- Gift shop
- Credit cards
- Currency exchange
- Disabled facilities
- Station (1km)
Spain – Castilla y León – León
This magnificent Renaissance structure is just one of many historic buildings in León, an ancient city founded by the Romans and later the capital of the medieval kingdom of León. Visitors can still view the remains of the Roman and medieval walls, and other notable monuments include the Gothic cathedral, the Palacio de los Guzmanos (seat of the provincial parliament), and the Casa de Botines, an early example of the work of the architect Antoni Gaudí. In the centre of the city, the building in which the 5-star Parador de Leon is located dates back to 1515, and was intended to provide accommodation for pilgrims making their way to Santiago. In terms of capacity, with over 200 rooms this is the largest of the network of Paradors and the Hostal San Marcos, as it is known, is notable for its exuberant façade, in the ‘plateresque’ style popular in Spain in the 15th and 16th centuries. Also of note are the spacious cloisters and the formal gardens, while the historic atmosphere of the interior is enhanced by the presence of old paintings, carvings and tapestries. Local dishes available at the Parador's restaurant include Cocido Maragato (stew made with chickpeas, pork, beef and vegetables, accompanied by thin noodles in broth), Ancas de rana (frog’s legs) and Cecina (dry-cured beef from the region).
- B. Ainsley
Magnificent. A museum. They had plain clothes officers sitting on each floor to watch the precious items, we thought at first it was a guest who'd been kicked out of his 'habitacion' by his wife!
I can honestly recommend all that we stayed at and assure you that the room with lounge at Leon, was indeed a separate lounge, and frankly, the room and its' position in the Parador exceeded expectations.
How to get there
The Parador is located in the Plaza de San Marcos, next to the bridge of the same name over the river Bernesga. From Madrid it can be reached along the main N-VI road, after passing Valladolid and Benavente, at 130 and 66 km respectively. From Oviedo (120 km), it is reached by the N-632 or along the A-6 motorway.
Benavente - 70km
Villafranca del Bierzo - 131km
Cervera de Pisuerga - 133km
Zamora - 135km
Madrid/Bilbao Airport - 360km
Region & Cuisine
CASTILLA y LEON
In 1983 the existing regions of Castilla la Vieja (Old Castile) and León were united to form Castilla y León. Occupying one-fifth of the country’s territory, Castilla y León is the largest of Spain’s Autonomous Communities and comprises much of the central and northern areas of the country.
Given its size – over 94,000 square kilometres – there is naturally an enormous variety of landscape within this region with mountains of varying grandeur to the north, west and south, and woodlands and fertile river plains dominating the central area. The river Duero, Spain’s largest river and the country’s principal source of electrical power, more or less bisects the region from east to west before flowing into Portugal – where its name changes to the Douro – and reaching the Atlantic in the city of Porto. The climate of Castilla y León is ‘continental’, typically with long, hard winters contrasting with moderately warm summers.
Along with the variety of terrain, the region also maintains a tremendous variety of plant and animal life. A hardy species of oak, the holm oak which can withstand both heat and cold, is found everywhere throughout this region. Chestnuts abound in the fertile areas of the Duero and its tributaries, while forests of Scots pine predominate in the Sierra de Gredos in the south. The wildest parts of the region are home to protected endangered species like wolf and brown bear; deer and wild boar are found in the mountains in the north, and mountain goat in the Sierra de Gredos, while also to be seen in this region are the imperial eagle, the tawny vulture and the ubiquitous stork.
But if only one word could be used to describe Castilla y León it would have to be ‘monumental’. The region comprises nine provinces and the nine provincial capital cities are collectively a living museum of the history, heritage and culture not only of Castilla y Leon but, to a large extent, of Spain itself.
A brief note on some of these cities:
AVILA A medieval city, encircled by its hugely impressive and wonderfully preserved walls dating from the end of the 11th century, intimately linked to Saint Teresa and with a complex of palaces, churches, convents and monasteries.
BURGOS One of the key links in the cultural chain running the length of the Way of Saint James, Burgos was the capital of Castile during the Middle Ages. Its Gothic cathedral, the third largest in Spain, is the most important of the city’s many monuments.
LEON Another monumental city with two thousand years of history. The cathedral is considered one of the best examples of Spanish Gothic and the Cathedral Museum is one of the most comprehensive of its kind. The Parador here, a restored 16th century monastery, is itself one of the city’s most impressive monuments.
SALAMANCA A venerable city, declared by UNESCO as part of the Heritage of Mankind in recognition of its artistic legacy. Salamanca’s university, founded in 1254, is one of the oldest in the world and is no doubt responsible for Salamanca’s reputation as one of Spain’s liveliest cities. Life here revolves around the magnificent ‘Plaza Mayor’ built between 1729 and 1755 and generally recognised as the finest main square in the country.
SEGOVIA A city symbolic of the old kingdom of Castile, among Segovia’s innumerable treasures is the Castle in Spain ‘par excellence’ – the Alcazar, a medieval fortress reconstructed in 1862 after a devastating fire. The emblematic symbol of Segovia is the fantastic 2,000-year old Roman Aqueduct: 728 metres in length with 163 arches and constructed in granite blocks cut so perfectly that no mortar was needed, this is one of the best preserved monuments of Imperial Rome.
VALLADOLID The capital city of Castilla y León, Valladolid preserves some of the finest examples of Renaissance art in this region – notably the College of Santa Cruz whose library contains around 13,000 volumes printed between the 16th and 19th centuries. A university city, Valladolid enjoys the reputation as the Spanish city where the most correct Castilian (Castellano) is spoken. And for those into castles in Spain, the surrounding countryside is full of them!
The culinary tradition of Castilla y León has something for everyone, with pride of place going to roast meats prepared in traditional wood-fired brick ovens – most famously ‘cochinillo’ (suckling pig) and tender lamb. Also for non-vegetarians, Avila is known for its excellent beef and veal, Burgos for its ‘morcilla’ (blood sausage) and much of the region for its many varieties of chorizo. There is no shortage of game throughout this region either, with some less-obvious examples being quail, partridge and pigeon which provide local speciality dishes in the provinces of Valladolid, Segovia and Zamora respectively.
Pulses also figure prominently in the region’s ‘country’ cuisine in soups and stews, particularly chick-peas in Zamora, lentils in Leon and succulent ‘El Barco’ large broad beans in Avila. A wide range of artisan confectionery is very much a feature of Casytilla y León, including the ‘rosquillas ciegas’ of Palencia, the sugared almonds of Salamanca and the delicious ‘yemas de Santa Teresa’, emblematic of Avila.
To go with all this, there’s no shortage of wine from this region. Rueda, Toro and El Bierzo all produce distinctive wines of high quality, but for the very best (and unfortunately the most expensive) it has the be the ‘denominación de origen’ of Ribera del Duero, some of whose wines are nothing short of superb.
No description of Castilla and León would be complete without a mention of two of the region’s smaller towns, not least because two of Spain’s finest Paradors - in our opinion – are located there. LERMA, some 20 miles south of Burgos, is a town with great artistic heritage and a noble air exemplified by the Ducal Palace, begun in 1605 and now the Parador. And in LA GRANJA DE SAN ILDEFONSO, just 7 miles outside Segovia, is the magnificent Royal Palace of La Granja, built between in 1720 and 1735 in the style of the Palace of Versailles and with delightful French-style gardens complete with statues and fountains – a very popular place to visit for the people of nearby Madrid. The impressive Parador here, opened by King Juan Carlos in June 2007, occupies the restored 18th century royal summer residence.
Please be aware of the following:
- The prices shown are for the total cost of accommodation including IVA (Tax)
- Please note that 'Special Offers' are subject to the availability of a number of rooms per night. Room types are normally shown on Room Only, Bed & Breakfast and Half-Board basis but some dates may be restricted to a certain board basis.
- Availability under the 'Go As You Please' 5-Night Card offer is displayed here but reservations for this 5-night package must be made via our office on Tel: 020 7953 3020. Please note that this offer is generally on Room Only basis and that some supplements apply at specific Paradors - see offer details for information on these supplements.
- Age restrictions apply to the 'Golden Days' Offer (for those aged 55 and over) and the 'Young Persons' Offer (for those aged between 18 and 35). All reservations made using these tariffs are checked upon your arrival at the Parador(s) booked to ensure that at least one person in a room qualifies for the restricted tariff. In the case that you do not qualify for the restricted tariff, the Parador will apply the standard rate without exception and you will be required to pay a supplement locally. However only one person (per room) needs to qualify for either of these two reductions.