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Spain's Top 10

Simple...a series of lists rating Spain's top 10 in anything and everything...they may be lists compiled by independent reviewers or by myself....whichever, I hope you find them useful :-)

SPAIN'S TOP 10 - Gothic Cathedrals
11 November 2013

Due to the long construction time required, as well as the Moorish influence in the Iberian Peninsula, several of Spain's cathedrals are often an eclectic mix of Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Neoclassical and Mudéjar styles.
In the Middle Ages, the first portion of the building built would be the main altar and apse. After that the construction was followed with the crossing at the transept and the nave. It was during this time that Spain's great Gothic cathedrals such as those at Burgos, Toledo, and León, were built. At the dawn of the Renaissance, Spain saw herself commanding an empire in the new world. Spanish cathedrals began to incorporate newer classically-based architectural styles as seen in Granada Cathedral. Later, wealth from the Americas financed ornate Baroque architecture such as a new façade for the Romanesque cathedral of Santiago de Compostela or the Basilica of el Pilar in Zaragoza. In post-Gothic styles, Spanish cathedrals departed from the usual Latin-cross shape and developed more open designs (such as in the neo-classical cathedral of Cádiz). A handful of Spanish cathedrals contain touches of modern architecture. The Almudena Cathedral in Madrid was not finished until 1993, and the completed church is decorated with much more modern designs than other cathedrals in the country. 

Today the cathedrals of Spain draw visitors from around the world each year, forming a significant part of the country's tourist trade especially those which were influenced by the Gothic style. This period was a  time of cities, of guilds and merchants… and of cathedrals. The artistic expression known as the Gothic style evolved in the lower Middle Ages between the 12th and 15th centuries. The gradual disappearance of the feudal bonds, the resurgence of the cities, an ever more prosperous commercial sector and the progressive humanisation of the Christian doctrine served as a fertile breeding ground for this art form. The city became the main centre of activity and took on the role of cultural repository which had hitherto been solely reserved to the monasteries. In Spain, this was the time of the great cathedrals which soared up towards the sky in search of divinity. There are over 80 cathedrals in Spain and these are the top 10 Gothic styled cathedrals the country has to offer. 


1. León Cathedral

The León Cathedral, dedicated to Santa María de la Regla, was declared of Cultural Interest in 1844. It is known as the Pulchra Leonina and is a masterpiece of the Gothic style dominating the mid-13th century, by master architect Enrique. By the late 16th century it was virtually completed. The main façade has two towers. The southern tower is known as the 'clock tower'. The interior represents a combination of architecture, painting, sculpture and other arts. The Renaissance retrochoir contains alabaster sculptures and the choir was built by three great artists: Jusquin, Copin of Holland and Juan de Malinas. Particularly noteworthy is the Plateresque screen in the wall behind the sepulchre of King Ordoño. It has three portals decorated with sculptures situated in the pointed arches between the two towers. The central section has a large rose window. Particularly outstanding is the image of the Virgin Blanca and the Locus Appellatione, where justice was imparted.
Its almost 1,800 square meters of stained glass windows are one the main touristic attractions of the cathedral. The great majority of them are original, which is a rarity, and date from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century. They are among the world's finest stained glass works.


2. Burgos Cathedral

Burgos Cathedral was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is famous for its vast size and unique architecture. Its construction began in 1221 and it was in use as a church nine years later but work continued off and on until 1567. It was primarily built in the French Gothic style, although Renaissance style works were added in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The cathedral was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on October 31, 1984. It is the only Spanish cathedral that has this distinction independently, without being joined to the historic center of a city.The architects who directed its construction were a Frenchman in the 13th century and a German in the 15th century. In 1417, the bishop of Burgos attended the Council of Constance and returned with the master builder John of Cologne (Juan de Colonia), who completed the towers with spires of open stonework tracery.

 

3. Toledo Cathedral

The cathedral of Toledo is one of the three 13th-century High Gothic cathedrals in Spain and is considered, in the opinion of some authorities, to be the magnum opus of the Gothic style in Spain. It was begun in 1226 under the rule of Ferdinand III and the last Gothic contributions were made in the 15th century when, in 1493, the vaults of the central nave were finished during the time of the Catholic Monarchs. It was modeled after the Bourges Cathedral, although its five naves plan is a consequence of the constructors' intention to cover all of the sacred space of the former city mosque with the cathedral, and of the former sahn with the cloister. It also combines some characteristics of the Mudéjar style, mainly in the cloister, and with the presence of multifoiled arches in the triforium. The spectacular incorporation of light and the structural achievements of the ambulatory vaults are some of its more remarkable aspects. It is built with white limestone from the quarries of Olihuelas, near Toledo.


4. Avila Cathedral

 The Cathedral of Ávila is in the south of Old Castile. It was planned as a cathedral-fortress, its apse being one of the turrets of the city walls. It is surrounded by a number of houses or palaces, the most important being: the Palace of the Evening, the Palace of the Infant King, and the Palace of Valderrábanos, which were responsible for the defence of the Puerta de los Leales (The Gate of the Loyal Ones) also known as La Puerta del Peso de la Harina (The Flour Road Gate). It is not known exactly when the construction of the Cathedral began, there being two theories. One states that Alvar Garcia started its construction in 1091 inside the remains of the Church of the Saviour, which was in ruins as a result of successive Muslim attacks, and that Alfonso VI of Castile raised the money necessary to build it. Other historians believe the Cathedral to be the work of the maestro Fruchel in the 12th century coinciding with the repopulation of Castille led by Raymond of Burgundy.

 

5. Cuenca Cathedral

Cuenca Cathedral lies in the Castile-La Mancha region of south-eastern central Spain and is an exceptional expression of Gothic Anglo-Norman, begun in 1196. The wife of King Alfonso VIII, Eleanor Plantagenet of England, daughter of King Henry II Plantagenet of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, Duchess of Aquitaine, Sister of Richard the Lionheart, who inspired this cathedral. The influence of the Norman court of King Alfonso VIII, defined the construction of this cathedral, the first Gothic cathedral of Castile, together with that of Avila. Work began in the year 1196 and was completed in 1257.
It has a Latin cross plan, the arm of the cross reaching from the main entrance to the altar is considerably longer than the other arms, and a seven-sided polygonal apse. The facade was rebuilt by Vicente Lampérez in the early twentieth century.


6. Seville Cathedral

Seville Cathedral was built to demonstrate the city's wealth, as it had become a major trading center in the years after the Reconquista in 1248. In July 1401 it was decided to build a new cathedral since the structure of the current building, an ancient Muslim mosque which had been converted into a Christian church, was so badly damaged by the 1356 earthquake. According to local oral tradition, the members of the cathedral chapter said: "Let us build a church so beautiful and so great that those who see it built will think we were mad". Construction began in 1402 and continued until 1506. The clergy of the parish gave half their stipends to pay for architects, artists, stained glass artisans, masons, carvers, craftsman and labourers and other expenses.
Five years after construction ended, in 1511, the dome collapsed and work on the cathedral recommenced. The dome again collapsed in 1888, and work was still being performed on the dome until at least 1903. The 1888 collapse occurred due to an earthquake and resulted in the destruction of "every precious object below" the dome at that time.

7. Segovia Cathedral

The massive cathedral was built between 1525-1577 in a late Gothic style, an architectural style that was becoming retardataire elsewhere in Europe. The prior cathedral of Segovia had stood adjacent to the Alcazar, and had been used by the besieged royal armies in their defense. The rebellious Comuneros were intent on taking the Cathedral to protect its holy relics, and to use its position against the walls of the Alcazar in order to defeat its defenders. In a famous exchange, prominent city officials urged the comuneros to halt their attacks on the church that they should consider the injustice of razing a temple, so sumptuous, while making war against those who serving their king, defended his Alcazar. But their plea fell on deaf ears, and the comuneros replied: la Iglesia era de la Ciudad (the Church belonged to the City). After a bitter siege lasting months, the cathedral lay in ruins.
Fearful of a repeat assault, the cathedral was relocated to the present site and built using a design by the Trasmeran mason named Juan Gil de Hontañón, and the work was continued by his son Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón.
The building has a structure in three tall vaults and ambulatory, with fine tracery windows set, and numerous stained glass. The interior is characterized by unity of style (late Gothic), except for the dome, built around 1630 by Pedro de Brizuela. Gothic vaults rise to 33 meters high and measures 50 meters wide and 105 long. The bell tower reaches almost 90 meters. The current stone spire crowning the tower, dating from 1614, was erected after a major fire caused by a thunderstorm. The original spire, entirely Gothic, was built of American mahogany had pyramidal structure, and was the tallest tower in Spain.

8. Oviedo Cathedral

The cathedral of San Salvador is mainly a fine Gothic building, which was built between 14th and 16th centuries in a Classic and Flamboyant Style. The Chapter Room, whose construction was started in 1388, was the first part of the new Gothic cathedral to be finished: built in a classic Gothic fashion (including a great eight-sided dome), it was followed by the cloister and the choir (ca. 1400). The naves were built once the choir was finished, all through the 15th century. We can admire the progression of the constructive stages, taking as an example the tracery of windows and tryphorium. The sanctuary is still a classical-Gothic work, whereas the naves present typical flame-like elements typical of a late-Gothic style.

9. Barcelona Cathedral

Barcelona Cathedral, is the Gothic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona. The cathedral was constructed from the 13th to 15th centuries, with the principal work done in the 14th century. The cloister, which encloses the Well of the Geese (Font de les Oques) was completed in 1448.In the late 19th century, the neo-Gothic façade was constructed over the nondescript exterior that was common to Catalan churches. The roof is notable for its gargoyles, featuring a wide range of animals, both domestic and mythical.
It is a hall church, vaulted over five aisles, the outer two divided into chapels. The transept is truncated. The east end is a chevet of nine radiating chapels connected by an ambulatory. The high altar is raised, allowing a clear view into the crypt.
The cathedral is dedicated to Eulalia of Barcelona, co-patron saint of Barcelona, a young virgin who, according to Catholic tradition, suffered martyrdom during Roman times in the city. One story says that she was exposed naked in the public square and a miraculous snowfall in mid-spring covered her nudity. The enraged Romans put her into a barrel with knives stuck into it and rolled it down a street (according to tradition, the one now called Baixada de Santa Eulàlia). The body of Saint Eulalia is entombed in the cathedral's crypt.

10. Palma de Mallorca Cathedral

The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, more commonly referred to as La Seu (a title also used by many other churches), is a Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral located in Palma, Majorca, built on the site of a pre-existing Arab mosque. It is 121 metres long, 55 metres wide and its nave is 44 metres tall. Designed in the Catalan Gothic style but with Northern European influences, it was begun by King James I of Aragon in 1229 but finished only in 1601. It sits within the old city of Palma atop the former citadel of the Roman city, between the Royal Palace of La Almudaina and the episcopal palace. It also overlooks the Parc de la Mar and the Mediterranean Sea.
In 1901, fifty years after a restoration of the cathedral had started, Antoni Gaudí was invited to take over the project. While some of his ideas were adopted – moving the choir stalls from the middle nave to be closer to the altar, as well as a large canopy – Gaudí abandoned his work in 1914 after an argument with the contractor. The planned changes were essentially cosmetic rather than structural, and the project was cancelled soon after.



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SPAIN'S TOP 10 - National Heritage Hotels - Paradores
08 November 2013

Before I go into the top 10 national heritage Hotels of Spain, I thought it might be interesting to know a little background on this wonderful initiative. It was in 1910 that the government entrusted Marqués de la Vega Inclán the project of creating a hotel network, practically non-existent in the country at the time, which would provide accommodation for tourists and improve Spain’s international image.

In 1926, continuing this Project and from the office of the Royal Tourism Commission created in 1911, De la Vega Inclán impelled the construction of a hotel in the Gredos Mountains, which would open up the wonders of this landscape to tourism.

The idea excited King Alfonso XIII, who chose the location personally. Work began in August of this same year and was completed on the 9th of October 1928 with its inauguration by the King himself. This was to become the first establishment of the subsequent network of Paradores de España, the Parador de Gredos.

With this first establishment inaugurated, the ‘Board of Paradores and Inns of Spain’ was drawn up and efforts were focussed on perfecting the original idea and making use of chosen historical and artistic monuments and areas of great natural beauty to establish new Paradores.

In the favourable climate of the twenties the results of the first administration and the imminent Latin American Exposition reinforced the project and inspired the construction of new Paradores, now in monumental buildings, such as those inaugurated in Oropesa (1930), Úbeda (1930), Ciudad Rodrigo (1931) and Mérida (1933), among others. At the same time the first lodging houses that were being integrated into the network would also open to the public, such as Manzanares (1932), Bailén (1933) and Benicarló (1935).

With the passing of the years Paradores continued to spread out over the entire country. This was also a period marked by the development of infrastructures such as roads, railways, airports, ports…

The Civil War, naturally, meant not just stagnation but a slump for tourism. Some of the infrastructures comprising the network were damaged or used as hospitals, but once the conflict was over, the idea was consolidated and a new impulse was produced with the restoration and reopening of the existing Paradores.

During the period following the war Paradores were created with diverse ends, as in the case of the Parador de Andujar, as well as others whose objective was to promote the country’s tourist attractions. The conversion of the San Francisco de Granada Convent, located in the heart of the site of the Alhambra, one of today’s most attractive Paradores, took place during these years (1945). The same occurred in other tourism settings, such as Santillana del Mar (1946), Malaga, with the Parador de Gibralfaro (1948), and Pontevedra (1955).

Nevertheless, the greatest expansion was produced during the decade of the sixties, coinciding with the significant tourism development that the country experienced. During these years the network of Paradores went from 40 to 83 establishments. Among others, the following were opened: Córdoba (1960), Cañadas del Teide (1960), Jaén (1965), Guadalupe (1965), Nerja (1965), Aiguablava (1966), Ávila (1966), Olite (1966), El Saler (1966), Vielha (1966), Gijón (1967), Zafra (1968), Hondarribia (1968) and Toledo (1968).

The period of the Spanish transition brought about the change in the ownership of the General Management of Paradores, and more importantly, its administrative department. A broad restructuring was implemented, closing some obsolete installations or those very far of the traditional routes and as such producing heavy losses, and the operating criteria were revised in order to improve profitability. Over these years Paradores provided the setting for acts as important as the elaboration of the draft of the Constitution in the Parador de Gredos (1978), the signing of the draft of the Statute of Catalonia in the Parador de Vic (1978), and the Statute of Autonomy for Andalusia in Carmona (1980). And the inaugurations did not cease. Among them were some as outstanding as Sigüenza (1976), Carmona (1976), Cardona (1976), Tortosa (1976), Almagro (1977), Seu d’Urgell (1977) and Segovia (1979).

During the eighties a number of hotels from the public chain Entursa became part of the Paradores network. Among them, establishments as emblematic as the Hostal de Reyes Católicos (Santiago), the Hostal de San Marcos (León) and the Hotel La Muralla (Ceuta). Both Santiago and León have maintained their five stars deluxe category throughout the years. At the same time Salamanca (1981), El Hierro (1981), Chinchón (1982), Trujillo (1984) and Cáceres (1989) were opened.

With the arrival of the nineties Paradores experienced a fundamental change. On the 18th of January 1991 the corporation, ‘Paradores de Turismo de España, S.A.’ was established. The objective was to make the hotel chain a profitable company which depended exclusively on its own profits for the maintenance and operation of the network. At this time its activity consisted of the management of 85 establishments and two lodging houses located on the Spanish mainland, the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla.

During the last decade Paradores has combined tradition with innovation and developed new strategic policies: a clear commitment to environmentally-friendly policies, a strong investment in the renovation of the network, the development of R&D initiatives, the implementation of new technologies and the promotion of quality as the main premise of the hotel service offered by the chain.

The thirty hotel beds with which Paradores started, with the inauguration of the first establishment in the Gredos Mountains in 1928, have now reached over 10,000 and the number of establishments has reached a total of 93. Many of these are located in historical buildings such as convents, monasteries, castles and palaces. The rest, often located in monumental settings or in the very heart of nature, exhibit a regional or modern architecture.

Currently more than 3.500 professionals work for Paradores and the establishments have an average of 63 rooms, a size which allows for a more personalised attention with a higher degree of quality in the services offered to guests.

With establishments in all of the autonomous communities (with the exception of the Balearic Islands) Paradores de Turismo is the leading hotel chain in cultural and nature tourism. As such, in addition to having establishments in nine cities declared World Heritage Sites, more than half of the Paradores in the network are found in monumental settings and many others allow people to lodge in national parks and the most interesting natural areas of the country.

A corporation with just one shareholder, the Spanish state, Paradores de Turismo is also an instrument of the government’s tourism policy, as well as a leading company in the Spanish tourism sector.

 

 

In total, 62 Paradores de Turismo across Spain have been awarded with the 2012 Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor, the largest travel website worldwide. As opposed to other similar awards, these have been awarded by millions of travellers across the world, based on their own experiences.

Only 10% of the hotel portfolio of TripAdvisor is awarded with this certificate. The certificate is obtained when the users reiteratively recommend a hotel, keeping the high scoring during six consecutive months with a minimum average scoring of four points on five.

With this award, TripAdvisor recognises the quality and the excellence of service, in addition to the importance of the preservation of the historical, cultural and gastronomic legacy proposed by Paradores.

 

TOP 10  Paradores  2013 selected by travellers from around the world :

 

1. PARADOR DOS REIS CATÓLICOS – Santiago de Compostela  *****

Combining history, art and tradition, the goal of pilgrims and the emblem of St. James, the Hostal dos Reis Católicos, in the Plaza do Obradoiro, forms together with the cathedral one of the world’s most remarkable, and most visited, urban settings. The Hostal, which first saw life as a Royal Hospital in 1499 to house the many pilgrims arriving in Santiago, today still invites the traveller to enjoy this universal and fascinating city.
Considered the oldest hotel in the world, it is also one of the most luxurious and beautiful. It has four extremely beautiful cloisters, elegant public rooms, spectacular bedrooms and a luxurious dining room offering Galician style fish and meats and the classic apple filloa pies and crème brulee.

 

2. PARADOR SANTO ESTEVO – Ribeira Sacra  ****

This Benedictine monastery in the middle of the Ribeira Sacra, an area of outstanding natural beauty where the rivers Miño and Sil meet, is one of Galicia’s monastic centres and now a holiday highlight. The existence of the Monastery has been proven in the 10th century, although its origins appear to be in the 6th and 7th centuries. In the monastery, styles range from Romanesque to Baroque, with three remarkable cloisters (Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance). The building was declared a Historic and Artistic Monument in 1923.
The Hotel has a total of 77 rooms distributed around three cloisters of different styles and periods. The rooms are particularly interesting as they are all different, some with impressive views over the landscape and the valleys of the river Sil. The Hotel has a restaurant with terrace by the chestnut forest, a café with terrace in the entrance cloister, lounges and beautiful gardens.


3. PARADOR DE ALCALÁ DE HENARES – Madrid  ****

This newly opened hotel is located in Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, only 26 km from the capital city and 20 km away from Barajas International Airport and IFEMA. It has 128 guestrooms. Parador de Alcalá de Henares is housed in a magnificent seventeenth-century building, the former Santo Tomás Dominican Convent and School. It is one of the city’s landmarks along with Hostería del Estudiante, in the former Minor School of San Jerónimo, founded by Cardinal Cisneros in 1510 and overlooking the beautiful Patio Trilingüe at the University of Alcalá de Henares. These monuments form a complex that was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Around the cloisters at the Santo Tomás School-Convent there are the restaurant, the bar, the breakfast room, the guests’ lounge, and the night bar. There is also restaurant in Hostería del Estudiante, which serves a wide range of courses, including Cervantine food and the well-known traditional “costradas”. The Parador has a swimming pool, which is open only in the summer. All in all, it is a wise combination of tradition and avant-garde, creating a space where you can relax or hold successful business meetings in a comfortable place living up to the high quality standards of Paradores. 

 

4. PARADOR DE OROPESA – Costa Azahar  ****

The stately home of the Álvarez de Toledo, Counts of Oropesa, once the home of soldiers, clergy and noblemen, enjoys exceptional views of the Sierra de Gredos. The historic value of the Torre del Homenaje, a tower attached to the Parador, the columns of the courtyard, and the pool with outstanding views over the plains of Campo Arañuelo, make up a very attractive hotel.
The interior is dominated by lamps, chests and curtains, with large, bright rooms, lounges and work spaces. Game and seasonal produce are features of Oropesa, where the cookery of Toledo offers lamb, roast kid and other specialities such as migas del Arañuelo, a bread-based dish, and confit of partridge.

 

5. PARADOR  AIGUABLAVA -  Costa Brava ****

The Parador de Aiguablava is situated in the unique Punta D'es Muts enclave, surrounded by pine trees and overlooking the sea. Here guests can enjoy beautiful beaches, coves and unspoilt landscapes. It is an ideal location for sports and outdoor activities, as well as relaxing walks through picturesque green settings.
Under the distinctive light of the Mediterranean, the hotel provides its guests with a high level of comfort and a range of services both for individual guests and business conferences. There is a gym, swimming pool and sauna, as well as rooms with spectacular views overlooking the sea.
Costal influence is also reflected in the ‘ampurdanesa’ cuisine, whose typical dishes include sea urchins, baked snails and chicken and lobster stew. During the summer, dishes can be sampled on the beach alongside the restaurant.
The Parador has its own restaurant, ‘Mar i Vent’ which is separate from the hotel located in the neighbouring cove overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

 

6.PARADOR DE CANGAS DE ONÍS – Picos de Europa ****

Tradition has it that it was built by Rey Alfonso I, ‘The Catholic’, on February 21st 746, with excavations carried out before conversion work started on the building for the Parador supporting the idea. The present monastery was founded on the site and run by the Order of San Benito until the 1835 sale of Church lands. Two rooms displaying archaeological remains found during refurbishment work, especially ceramics, bear witness to its distant past.
The Monastery was declared a National Monument in 1907 with a new wing added using matching building materials to match the original. Set on the green banks of the River Sella, this jewel is reflected in the waters below.
The magnificent Picos de Europa setting, frames the backdrop. The modern and comfortable facilities at the Hotel make it the ideal spot to discover the wondrous Asturian landscape, enjoy local colour at celebrations and the ancestral folklore, as well as savour the best most genuine dishes from the rich local cuisine.

 

7. PARADOR DE CARDONA – Catalunya ****

The Hotel is located on a headland in a 9th century fortified enclosure, alongside the 11th century Minyona tower and an 11th century church with characteristic features from the surrounding Catalan Romanesque. Its location provides exceptional panoramic views over the city and the fertile lands bathed by the River Cardoner.
Some of the hotel rooms have charming canopy beds. Pits, towers, walls and gothic features come together with a predominantly comfortable décor and Catalan-inspired mediaeval furnishings.
Catalan cuisine is served in the dining room including aubergine terrine with pig’s trotters, selections of sausages and especially barbecue dishes with the braised lamb shoulder a highlight.

 

8. PARADOR DE PLASENCIA – Caceres ****

The hotel is in the former convent of Sto. Domingo, founded by the Zúñiga family in the mid 15th century, in the Gothic style inside and in part of the exterior.
Strategically located in the historic centre of Plasencia, this is the ideal place to explore the architectural beauty of this singular city and the beautiful landscape around it.

 

9. PARADOR DE CACERES – Caceres ****

The Parador de Cáceres represents the harmonious union of the palaces of the marquises of Torreorgaz and the so-called Ovando Mogollón, Perero y Paredes House, both dating from the 14th century.
The interior of the building boasts all the elegance, quality and comfort of a historic structure adapted to suit the needs of today's guests, especially the restaurant and outdoor areas, café and guest lounge. This last room is a particularly pleasant spot to meet and chat.
 In short, the renovated Parador de Cáceres will set the standard for tourism and gastronomy in the region as both a tourist location and a venue for celebrations and events.

 

10. PARADOR DE NERJA – Málaga ****

The Hotel is on a cliff overlooking the sea, in an ideal spot to enjoy the beach, which is reached by a singular lift; the coastline and the lovely natural landscape of the area. The entrance to the building boasts a splendid garden whose greenery contrasts with the blue of the pool.
The spacious, light-filled interiors are comfortably furnished with elegant decorative details. All the rooms in the hotel have large terraces looking onto the sea (except basic rooms). The upper rooms also enjoy spectacular views over the Mediterranean and the mountains of the Sierra Almijara, and the beautiful cliffs of this rustic Málaga coast.



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