Parador de Calahorra information

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Parador de Calahorra

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  • Single rooms (5)
  • Twin rooms (57)
  • Capacity (119)
  • Conference room
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Telephone
  • Central heating
  • Air conditioning
  • TV
  • Canal plus
  • Satellite
  • Deposit box
  • Minibar
  • Lift
  • Credit cards
  • Currency exchange
  • Garden
  • Playground
  • Disabled facilities
  • Airport (105km)
  • Station (500m)
  • Port (174km)

Parador de Calahorra - Modern palatial-style hotel (4*)

Marco Fabio Quintiliano

The Parador

The Parador de Calahorra overlooks what was once the site of a Roman Circus thought to have been as large as those found in Rome. The area has further ties with Rome, as the Parador itself is built on the birthplace of Orator Quintilian, the Parador’s namesake. Quintilian was a well-known Hispanic orator who served under several Roman emperors, including Nero, and opened a popular rhetoric school in Rome. His statue resides at the entrance to the Parador.

Although the Parador Marco Fabio Quintiliano is a modern building, its bricks, pantiles, arches, and classical style reflect the Roman heritage of Calahorra. The interior is spacious, light and airy, and combines modern facilities with Medieval-style décor and furnishings. With numerous seating areas, and a welcoming café/bar lounge, there are plenty of spaces for guests to relax.

Many of the Parador de Calahorra’s bedrooms aim to emulate the historical atmosphere of the town with hard-wood flooring and Gothic furniture, yet they are still bright and comfortable.

The Parador’s restaurant has a palatial style where guests can sample some of the area’s specialities such as Chuletillas con pimientos (pork chops and peppers), and several featuring the world-famous Rioja wines, such as Menestra de verduras (vegetables stewed in wine) and Pera o melocoton al vino (pears or peaches in wine).

Local Area

The ancient hilltop town of Calahorra is in the heart of the Rioja wine-producing region, on the River Ebro, about half way between Bilbao and Zaragoza. Its history as a settlement goes back millennia, and it cherishes its Palaeolithic ancestry, as can be seen through the various ‘Tracks of the Dinosaurs’ excursions which follow the trails and fossils that are still preserved.

In 187 B.C. Calahorra was conquered by the Romans, who transformed the town into an important administrative centre and much of this roman influence is reflected in its architecture. Some centuries later, under Moorish occupation, the town became an important historical centre of culture and of innovative farming technologies in the cultivation of fruit and vegetables, which paved the way for the growth of some of the well renowned specialities of the region such as the Rioja wines, artichokes, and red peppers.

It was under this occupation that the first magistrate was appointed, regulating market trading and settling disputes, and higher education was at the forefront, with many encouraged to study humanities, law, medicine and sciences. Notable figures that emerged in Calahorra during this era include numerous poets and musicians, philosophers Averroes and Tofial, famous world geographer Idrisi, and the innovative chemist Abul-Rassen, rumoured to have been the inventor of turpentine.

The town of Calahorra is no stranger to visits from important historical figures, with many members of the Spanish royalty having stayed in or passed through the town, such as Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon and King José I of Spain, who is reported to have stayed in an inn situated on the very same road as the Parador de Calahorra.  Most famously, Calahorra is the site where El Cid defeated Martín González of Aragon and claimed the area for the Crown of Castile.

One of Calahorra’s most attractive features is the beautiful architecture seen around the town. In addition to the fascinating influence of Roman architecture, many of the town’s religious buildings are considered to be some of the most beautiful of the region. The town was once home to a large Jewish population and featured one of the most important Jewish quarters in Spain. With the arrival of the Franciscan friars in the 16th century, the mosque was torn down, and churches were built around the town. The Catedral de Santa María is a Renaissance Cathedral built between the 15th and 18th centuries. Legend has it that this was the place were two Roman legionaries were decapitated, and it is celebrated as one of the most important religious buildings in Rioja. Entrance is free, and guests can marvel at the fascinating blend of renaissance and gothic interiors.

Calahorra’s natural surroundings, green valleys and mountains, make the town an ideal base for nature lovers. The Villaroya Oak Forest is home to oak trees over 100 years old and plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking, vineyard tours, and country walks are available in the nearby areas. A popular walk is the Green Way of Cidacos, which follows a former railroad to the town of Arnedillo, home to natural springs and a well-renowned spa, the perfect spot to relax after your journey. 

Calahorra, being in the heart of the Rioja wine-producing region, is one of the Parador stops on the following 'Rutas': the Rioja and Navarra Wine Route (3 nights) and the Wine and Monasteries Route (7 nights).

Click here for Lorna Robert's expert view of this parador

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 10.30 and dinner from 7:30 to 22.30.

It may be possible to arrive up to 22.00 and still enjoy a meal.

Dishes on offer in the restaurant include Chuletillas con pimientos (pork chops and peppers), and several featuring the world-famous Rioja wines, such as Menestra de verduras (vegetables stewed in wine) and Pera o melocoton al vino (pears or peaches in wine).

How to get there

The Parador de Calahorra is located 200m from the town hall at the end of the road which links the urban and historical centre. It is 45 km from Logroño along the N-232, but the main access is by the A-68, Zaragoza-Bilbao/Bilbo motorway, with an exit leading directly to Calahorra.

Nearby Hotels

Olite - 45km
Santo Domingo de la Calzada - 90km
Soria - 95km
Argomaniz - 120km
Bilbao Airport - 200km

Region & Cuisine


Although one of the smallest of Spain’s Autonomous Communities, Rioja – or La Rioja to give it its correct name – must surely be one of the best  known,  at least by name.  Essentially a rural region, the fertile land is cultivated with special care and produces excellent fruit and vegetables and, of course,  grapes for wine. But what makes the grapes so special? A major factor has to be the climate.

To the north of La Rioja lies the Basque Country and Navarra, whose proximity to the Cantabrian Sea is responsible for mild temperatures. To the east are Aragón and Catalonia, bringing warmth from the Mediterranean.  Add to this a harshness of climate from the south, from the centre of the Iberian Peninsula in the region of  Castilla y León, and the resulting mix is – judged by the results - clearly ideal for the purpose. Logically, the influence of the north is felt more in the north of the region, hence ‘Rioja Alta’ or Upper Rioja  while the Mediterranean influence is more evident in the south, in ‘Rioja Baja’or Lower Rioja.

The capital city of La Rioja is Logroño, on the River Ebro in the extreme north of the region and ‘en route’ to Santiago de Compostela for pilgrims travelling the Way of St James. Also on this route is the historic city of Santo Domingo de la Calzada which owes its name to a hermit who in the 11th century devoted his life to helping the pilgrims by building bridges, inns and by working miracles... The old Pilgrimage hospice, founded by the admirable St Dominic, is now the splendid  Parador, facing the celebrated Cathedral.

Less than 10 miles from Santo Domingo is the wine capital of La Rioja,  Haro -  not to be missed. An elegant town with several attractive mansions, the emphasis here is of course on the product itself with the Wine Museum and the presence of many of the best known names in the business sure to keep the visitor happy.

Riojan cuisine is famous for its healthy,  hearty country dishes. A few typical examples: ‘Menestra de Verduras’, best described as a ‘medley of vegetables’; ‘Patatas a la Riojana’, potatoes flavoured with chorizo; roast lamb or kid; stuffed peppers and, particularly in the north of the region, a  whole variety of stews. And to go with all this? What else but ‘vino tinto de Rioja’.

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. 

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