Parador de Santo Domingo de la Calzada
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- Twin rooms (52)
- Double rooms (7)
- Room with living room (2)
- Capacity (122)
- Conference room
- Central heating
- Air conditioning
- Canal plus
- Deposit box
- Parking (charged)
- Credit cards
- Currency exchange
- Disabled facilities
- Golf (4km)
- Airport (60km)
- Station (17km)
- Port (130km)
Parador de Santo Domingo de la Calzada - 12th-century Pilgrim's Hostel (4*)
Situated south of Bilbao on the old pilgrims’ route to Santiago de Compostela, Santo Domingo de la Calzada can also be reached easily from both San Sebastian and Pamplona. The Parador de Santo Domingo de la Calzada is located in the main square in a former pilgrims’ hostel established in the 12th century by a local saint, Dominic, who is commemorated in the next-door cathedral and in the name of the town. The building that once provided shelter for tired pilgrims now offers very comfortable accommodation to the modern traveller, while maintaining a strong historic atmosphere.
The interior of the Parador features Gothic arches, stone pillars and wooden ceilings, while the comfortable bedrooms reflect the Parador’s overall ambience. Facilities include a sauna, and there is a golf course only 4 km away. Regional specialities on offer at the Parador's restaurant include Menestra de Verduras de la Ribeira (vegetable soup), Bacalao a la riojana (salt cod with Rioja peppers) and Tarta de Santo Domingo (a tart with almonds, raisins and candied fruit), all washed down with world-famous local Rioja wines. Less than half an hour away is the wine town of Haro, where many of the best-known Rioja names are established.
There is garage parking at this Parador. There is also a second Parador in the town (Bernardo de Fresneda) which is a 3* property, approximately 600m away.
Occupied early on by the Goths, Celts, Romans and Moors, the town began to flourish when the Camino de Santiago, the St James' Way, became a regular route for pilgrims across the north of Spain. The first bridge over the river was built in 1044 to encourage trade and passage, and defensive works were carried out later in the 11th century. The name of the town is attributed to Saint Dominic, ''de la Calzada'' referring to the Roman road that passes through the region. In 1973, the old quarter was declared an area of artistic and historic interest, to be protected, and within this vicinity lie the Pilgrims' Hospital, today's principal Parador de Santo Domingo de la Calzada.
The town is well situated to visit the fam0us vineyards of the La Rioja region, a region that not only produces some of Spain's finest wines, but also exports large quantities of vegetables such as asparagus, peppers, artichokes, tomatoes and potatoes to British supermarkets.
The town lays claim to many minor miracles and one major one, that of the cock and hen. A German family travelling to Santiago de Compostela were distraught to find their son accused of theft and hanged, following the accusation of a local girl scorned by the lad. The parents continued their pilgrimage to Santiago but on their return they discovered that their son still lived, seemingly under the protection of Saint Dominic. They appealed to the local judge, who was at table at the time, and he vehemently denied that the lad could survive the hanging. He declared that if it were true, the cock and hen cooked and served before him would rise up and sing, which they promptly did. You can still see today a cock and hen on display on the side of the original church, in reference to this tale.
To note: A second, smaller Parador was created in the early 21st century from the conversion of a 16th century convent on the other side of the old quarter.
This Parador has a garage and outdoor parking both of which have a charge, payable locally.
Restaurant meal times & typical dishes
Breakfast is served from 7.30 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.
Cuisine includes: Special red Rioja peppers, oven roasted pork ribs, "Menestra de verduras de la ribera" (fresh vegetable medley), "Bacalao a la riojana" (desalted cod prepared with typical Rioja peppers) "Tarta de Sto. Domingo" (cake made with almonds, raisins and candied fruit) and the world renowned wines of La Rioja (with designation of origin).
- L. El-Khatib
In our quest for discovering Rioja wine, we stayed at the Santo Domingo de la Calzada Parador. Not only did we discover the best wine we have ever drunk, we experienced the delicious regional foods of the area. The Parador created a wonderful setting of the once 12th century pilgrims' hostel. Our room overlooked the cathedral - I felt very privileged to have such a view from the balcony. We also booked use of the sauna and plunge pool which was very relaxing. While we were there we felt very special, the service was exceptional. We have very fond memories of our visit and lovely photographs of us sitting in the atmospheric lounge - friends, when seeing the photos, think we have inherited money!
How to get there
The Parador can be found in the old quarter of the town in the Plaza del Santo, next to the cathedral. Santo Domingo de la Calzada is 46 km from Logroño and 68 km from Burgos along the N-120, and 18 km from Haro, with a junction for the A-68 motorway to Zaragoza and Bilbao/Bilbo.
Sto Dom. Bernardo de Fresneda - 0.6km
Argomaniz - 75km
Calahorra - 95km
Olite - 130/136km
Soria - 151km
Bilbao Airport - 120km
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.