Parador de Alarcón
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- Twin rooms (11)
- Double rooms (2)
- Capacity (26)
- Central Heating
- Air conditioning
- Credit cards
- Currency exchange
- Airport (132km)
- Station (86km)
- Port (175km)
Parador de Alarcón - Medieval Arabic Castle (4*)
Situated on the boundary between La Mancha and Levante, some 80 km from Cuenca, this wonderfully preserved 8th-century Moorish fortress houses the Parador de Alarcon with its impressive castellated keep, standing high on a promontory above the River Júcar.
The castle – evocative of the period of the Reconquista – was captured from the Moors by King Alfonso VIII in the 12th century and subsequently became the home of the Marquises de Villena. In the interior of the Parador the medieval feel is enhanced in the public rooms by beautiful bare stone and Castilian wood, softened by a range of classic and modern fabrics, and a fine collection of paintings. Several of the bedrooms have four-poster beds. The local La Mancha cuisine served in the Parador's restaurant includes roast suckling pig, game (in season), and Alajú (nougat made with almonds and honey, wrapped in a thin crêpe).
Just an hour and a half’s drive from Madrid, this attractive and seemingly timeless Medieval village is set among the rocky surroundings of the River Júcar in Cuenca. Alarcón’s famous walls, castle and churches are all characteristic of the Castilla la Mancha area, making it a haven for visitors searching for tranquillity and a taste of rural Spain. The village has been declared a Historic-Artistic Site due to its superb monuments and natural surroundings that have been well preserved over the years.
Click here for Lorna Roberts' expert view on this Parador as she journeys through Madrid & Castilla La Mancha
Parador's 'Gastrobar' concept
Extensive lunch and dinner menus are served in the new 'Gastrobar', which offers a range of meal options from light snacks to 3 course dinners in an informal but well serviced environment. We hope you enjoy this new experience.
Restaurant meal times & typical dishes
Breakfast is served from 8.00 to 11.00 and dinner from 20.30 to 23.00.
It may be possible to arrive up to 22.30 and still enjoy a meal.
The local La Mancha cuisine served in the Parador's restaurant includes roast suckling pig, game (in season), and Alajú (nougat made with almonds and honey, wrapped in a thin crêpe).
- C. Smith
One could say that this is indeed a "Moorish" place because the more you experience this wonderfully romantic Parador, the more you want to return, which is just what we are doing in 2008, a most fitting place to celebrate my wife's birthday!
How to get there
Located at the entrance of the same town, the Parador of Alarcón is 3 km from the N-III Madrid-Valencia, at kilometre marker 187.
Cuenca - 86km
Albacete - 90km
Chinchon - 153km
El Saler - 186km
Valencia Airport - 180km
Region & Cuisine
The third largest in area of Spain’s Autonomous Communities, Castilla-La Mancha is also the least densely populated region on the Iberian Peninsula with just 21 inhabitants per square kilometre. Extending from the province of Guadalajara to the north of Madrid, down through central Spain to its southern borders with Murcia and Andalusia, this is a region of dramatic landscapes and extensive plains immortalized by Miguel de Cervantes in his world-famous work Don Quijote de La Mancha.
With mountains in the north, mountains in the south, high plains in the east and two major rivers, the Guadiana and the Tajo (Tagus), traversing the region from east to west the climate of Castilla-La Mancha is diverse, to say the least. Classified as ‘Continental Mediterranean’, in general winters are cold and summers are hot, with mild temperatures prevailing in autumn and spring.
Besides Guadalajara, the four other provinces which make up this region are Toledo (the city of Toledo is the region’s capital), Albacete, Ciudad Real and Cuenca. These five cities are really the only major conurbations within this whole vast region, the rest of which encompasses hundreds of small, tranquil villages together with three of the most important nature reserves in Spain: Tablas de Daimiel and Cabañeros National Parks, and Ruidera Lagoons Nature Park. Daimiel and Ruidera are wetlands of great ecological value, rich in wildlife, in particular migratory birds. Cabañeros is representative of the authentic Mediterranean Iberian forest.
Certainly one of the region’s cities, Toledo, is an absolute must to visit. One of Spain’s great artistic treasures, Toledo towers on top of a hill protected by a bend in the Tagus river to form a natural fortress complete with moat, as it were. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Toledo’s old quarter encapsulates most of the historic sights in the city which was for many centuries the capital of Spain and known as the ‘city of three cultures’ – Christian, Islamic and Hebrew. Without a doubt the best view of Toledo is to be had from the Parador, located on a hill across the Tagus valley, preferably in early evening when the light is just magical.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site is the city of Cuenca, dramatically set between two steep gorges and famous for its ‘Hanging Houses’, a number of which were originally built as a palace in the 18th century but are now property of the city. Much of the area of La Mancha traversed by Don Quijote and Sancho Panza lies to the south-east of the province of Cuenca and over the border into Toledo province, and a good place to see some of the famous windmills is in the countryside near the village of Campo de Criptana.
The cuisine of the region is varied. Guadalajara provides lamb and kid, and in particular ‘morteruelo serrano’ – a delicious rich paté of blended meats. Cuenca’s dish ‘par excellence’ is its own version of morteruelo, made here with ground pork liver, game, hen, nuts and a variety of spices. Albacete is known for its gazpacho made with a crunchy flatbread, and for mountain rabbit and hare, while in Ciudad Real you will find many game dishes, several versions of ‘pisto’ (similar to ratatouille), ‘asadillo’ (roast skinned peppers and tomatoes with garlic) as well as excellent lamb stews.
Toledo was, according to Alexander Dumas, ‘the Spanish city where he had eaten the best’. The province is rich in game and the best known dishes include Toledo-style partridge, marinated boar and ‘cuchifrito’ - crunchy pieces of suckling pig – together with many kinds of sweet biscuits and cakes.
The most emblematic product from La Mancha is Manchego cheese, made in over 300 towns and villages from the milk of over half a million sheep raised on the plains. Over the last twenty years or so the quality of La Mancha wines, especially red wines, has improved dramatically and excellent wine is now produced in the region, particularly in the area of Valdepeñas.
Please be aware of the following:
- 'Special Offers' are subject to the availability of a number of rooms per night and/or a specific meal basis.
- 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 30). 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.