parador de tortosa

Photos courtesy of Parador de Tortosa








Overlooking and guarding the Ebro River, this strategic site was ancient before the Moors built the castle during the time of the Cordóban caliph, Abd al-Rahman III in 944. The prehistoric Celtiberians laid the first foundations, followed by the Romans who built an acropolis.

The Moors tore down the Roman walls and built today’s castle. Sometimes the parador is named “Zuda,” which comes from the well built in the center of the castle.

In 1178, the count of Barcelona, Ramón Berenguer IV reconquered the fortress after having made a pact with the Knights Templars. He used it as the seat and royal residence of his lordship as well as providing law courts and jail facilities for the city.

Pamela’s Perspective

Tortosa is mainly an agricultural town without a lot to offer the traveler, but the lovely Gothic cathedral built on the site of a Roman temple and Moorish mosque is well worth a visit.

Tortosa is also the scene of one of the most horrific battles of the Spanish Civil War. Over 150,000 lives were lost in what amounted to little more than trench warfare.


Parador de Tortosa

A 1oth-century castle


Castillo de la Zuda, s/n
43500 Tortosa (Tarragona)
Tel: ++34 977 44 44 50
Fax: ++34 977 44 44 58
Official parador website
Reserve with

Fast facts

72 rooms

Double rooms: 95–131 euros
Single rooms: 80% of double room rate
Rates include tax. Breakfast extra.
Free Wi-Fi

Open: all year

Getting there

Tortosa is 90 km south of Tarragona at the mouth of the Ebro River. By car, from the A-7 highway, take exit 40. The castle is up the hill and through the archways. Tortosa is served by the Barcelona-Valencia rail line.

What to do

On site: seasonal swimming pool
Nearby: horseback riding; golf; jeep safaris; river trips; walks around Tortosa


A perfect break when driving from Barcelona to Alicante, the Parador de Tortosa offers the best accommodations around.

History abounds throughout the castle. The original “zuda,” or well with its iron-grill cover is still conserved in the garden. Roman columns grace the front façade. Strategically placed cannons still pose ominously over the town and river.

A number of public rooms are separated by stone archways and are filled with carpets from Cuenca. Wrought-iron chandeliers hang from wood-beamed ceilings. Paintings, sculptures, reproductions of Spanish antiques and ceramics give atmospheric touches.

Guest rooms are furnished in dark wood, with terra-cotta floors accented by an occasional throw rug. Bathrooms are large and modern.

You can enjoy Catalan cuisine in the spacious dining room, which features a fireplace, wrought-iron light sconces, and stained glass panels set into large Gothic windows.

Something special

curlicueTerrific views of the city, river, and mountains