Immerse yourself in the heritage and culture of Spain on an unforgettable vacation, Sceptre’s Spanish Paradors and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You will explore Spain’s historical sites and experience its vibrant culture on this vacation, driving through beautiful countryside, coming face-to-face with iconic landmarks, and visiting a selection of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, all while enjoying parador-style accommodations along the way.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites are selected based on their impact on a location’s cultural and natural heritage with consideration of the past, present, and future. Spain’s culture and history is so rich that it is no surprise that it holds 48 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spanish paradores are unique luxury hotels, many of which used to be castles, palaces, monasteries, convents, or other historical buildings.
This self-drive vacation will grant you the opportunity to explore many of these fascinating places, as well as the freedom to roam off the beaten path and make stops between destinations. By staying in traditional parador-style accommodations, you will be immersed in culture and history both day and night.
Spanish Paradors and UNESCO World Heritage Sites
You begin with a night in Segovia at the Parador de Segovia. Here you can take in panoramic views of the city, and enjoy a heated pool, gym, sauna, and wifi. Be sure to try the roast suckling pig, a local specialty, in the dining room.
Segovia’s medieval Old Town with its Roman Aqueduct is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The aqueduct dates from 50 A.D. Be sure to also see the 11th century Alcázar with its beautiful views of the city, and the 16th century Gothic cathedral, and the palaces from the 15th and 16th centuries. This area also boasts the Segovia Mint, the oldest industrial building still standing in Spain.
Travel on to Salamanca where you will spend two nights at the Parador de Salamanca, situated on a hill opposite the old quarter. After time exploring what the city has to offer, you can relax in the parador’s garden, sauna, fitness center, or Turkish bath. Do not miss the outdoor pool with its panoramic view.
Salamanca’s Old City has been a UNESCO site since 1988. The 18th century Plaza Mayor is particularly dramatic at night. In addition to the historical sites such as the University, 15th century Casa de las Conchas, and the Old and New Cathedrals, Salamanca has several wonderful museums, such as the Art Nouveau & Art Deco Museum and the Domos Artium. The Calle Zamora has extensive shopping opportunities.
Toledo, the “City of the Three Cultures,” is next on your itinerary. This walled city was home to the three religions and cultures of Christians, Jews, and Arabs who lived together peacefully. The city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986 and during your two nights in the city you can explore the more than 100 monuments found there. The Mirador del Valle will give you a panoramic view of Toledo and the three cultures can be explored by visiting the cloisters of the 15th century Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes, the 14th century Synagogue of El Transito, and the Mosque of Cristo de la Luz. The El Greco Museum celebrates the city’s most famous artist.
The Parador de Toledo has classic Spanish architecture with high ceilings, exposed wooden beams, and Muedjar-style rugs and tiles that reflect the influences of the Gothic and Islamic heritage of the city. Relax on the outdoor terrace and enjoy views of the city from the pool.
Finish your vacation with a night in Madrid. Visit art museums, stroll through the Plaza Mayor or Buen Retiro Park, or venture out of the city center to El Escorial Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984. The Monastery was founded by King Philip II to honor St. Lorenzo, and the king used it as a retreat during the final years of his reign. Built at the end of the 16th century, the site includes the monastery, gardens, a church, a royal palace and library, and more than a dozen courtyards.
Spain’s historical sites are unforgettable, and you can experience many of them on Sceptre’s Spanish Paradors and UNESCO World Heritage Sites vacation. Call our vacation consultants at 1-800-221-0924 to begin your journey back in time today.