Parador de Villafranca del Bierzo
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- Twin rooms (26)
- Double rooms (20)
- Room with living room (5)
- Capacity (107)
- Conference room
- Central heating
- Canal plus
- Deposit box
- Credit cards
- Currency exchange
- Station (20km)
Parador de Villafranca del Bierzo - Traditional Galician-style Hotel (4*)
The Parador de Villafranca del Bierzo is built in a traditional Galician style, with a grey slate roof and walls combining stonework and whitewashed plaster. The hotel is located at the entrance to the city of Villalfranca in a beautiful setting, with the Sierra Ancares mountains rising beyond the gardens.
The ambience is enhanced by the use of traditional Castilian wooden furniture, wooden flooring and wrought-iron lamps throughout the Parador and an attractive garden adorns the entrance to the Parador. The 51 guestrooms offer the best views of the north-eastern El Bierzo region, Piedrahita del Cebreiro Pass and southern Ancares mountains.
Villafranca’s Parador features multi-function rooms (which open on to the patio), a sauna, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, as well as a larger car park, which can accommodate around 40 vehicles. The Parador serves as an example of a sustainable facility, designed using advanced concepts in energy consumption and has set a new standard for tourism and gastronomy in the El Bierzo region.
Walking, mountain biking, paragliding, fishing, swimming and canoeing are all possible locally, and back at the hotel you can relax in an elegant yet comfortable and informal atmosphere. There is garage parking at this Parador.
The small town of Villafranca del Bierzo, lies between León and La Coruña, it was originally a traditional staging post for pilgrims heading for Santiago de Compostela and is easily accessible from major road networks.
At one stage hundreds of thousands of pilgrims were passing through each year, as a result the town has a number of interesting places to visit with numerous churches and former pilgrim’s hospitals. Make sure to stroll along ‘Calle del Agua’ and the main square where you can appreciate the palaces and charming buildings. The 12th century Church of St James recognisable by its semi-circular apse and its Romanesque style meant that it was once among the most important churches along the pilgrimage route. One of the entrances to the church, known as the ‘Puerta del Pardon’, is a fascinating display of craftsmanship and welcomed pilgrims who, due to illness, could not continue on the route to reach the tomb of St. James.
While visiting the area it is worth the 30 minute drive south of Villafranca del Bierzo to reach Las Medulas. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Las Medulas was once the most important goldmine in the Roman Empire and the fascinating landscape which has resulted from their intervention demonstrates the innovation of Roman Civilisation.
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Restaurant meal times & typical dishes
Breakfast is served from 8.00 to 10.30 and dinner from 20.15 to 22.30.
It may be possible to arrive up to 22.00 and still enjoy a meal.
Specialities of the restaurant include Botillo (regional sausages), Alubias de la Bañeza (bean stew with seasoned pork sausage) and Bierzo veal stew.
The Parador’s outdoor swimming pool is due to open from 25 June 2016 until 18 September 2016.
The indoor pool is due to be open from 02 February until 18 December 2016.
Please note the opening and closing dates will depend on the weather and availability of lifeguards.
How to get there
The Parador is located at the entrance to the town (in the upper part) some 350 metres from the main N-VI road. Villafranca is at km 406 of the N-VI (Madrid-A Coruña), with a large entrance from the main road which passes the Parador and continues to the Plaza Mayor.
Monforte - 99km
Leon - 133km
Vilalba - 135km
Verin - 148km
Santiago Airport - 200km
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:
- '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.