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Photos courtesy of Parador de Jarandilla de la Vera


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At the end of 1555, a visitor came to stay at an isolated castle on the southern slopes of the Sierra de Gredos—a chain of mountains cutting through central Spain. He traveled by ship from Brussels to the Cantabrian coast and then was carried by litter over the mountains to the place where he would spend the final years of his life. Only 55 years of age, King Carlos V had ruled half of Europe, established Spanish dominance in Italy, and kept the German princes in line after his victory at Mühlberg. But he failed to overcome France, stop the Ottoman Turks, catholicize Germany, or end the corsair domination of the Mediterranean. Tired and disappointed, he surrendered his throne to his son Philip II.

Carlos stayed at Jarandilla—built at the end of the 14th century by order of the counts of Oropesa and the marquises of Jarandilla—until the final touches were added to his monastery at Yuste, 12 km to the west. Despite the remoteness of the area, he never lacked for any creature comforts. Nor was he ever out of touch with his son and the workings of the empire.

Pamela’s Perspective

Secluded Jarandilla de la Vera sits on the southern slope of the Sierra de Gredos mountains in Extremadura—far from any large city. Pine trees, lakes, valleys filled with apple and pear orchards, and other small villages sporting their own castles dot the landscape. People come here not for grand monuments, but rather for a peaceful atmosphere and the rugged beauty of Spain without the interference of tourist buses.


Parador de Jarandilla de la Vera

A 15th-century castle-palace


Avenida García Prieto, 1
10450 Jarandilla de la Vera
Tel: ++34 927 56 01 17
Fax: ++34 927 56 00 88
Official parador website
Reserve with

Fast facts

53 rooms

Double rooms: 85–180 euros
Single rooms: 80% of double room rate
Rates include tax. Breakfast extra.
Free Wi-Fi

Open: all year

Getting there

To reach the town of Jarandilla, follow C-501 between Plasencia and Arenas de San Pedro. Bus connections can be made from both towns.

What to do

On site: tennis; seasonal swimming pool
Nearby: horseback riding; hiking; swimming; Yuste monastery


The castle’s square and round towers stand at the corners of its rectangular grounds. The original walls and drawbridge remain, as do heraldic shields on the walls.

Made of local stone, the castle has a rugged quality that is softened by a peaceful surrounding garden filled with climbing roses, lemon trees, and a pond. A small gateway leads to a stone courtyard adorned with Carlos V’s coat of arms, beautiful glazed tile work, and embellished with a double gallery of columns.

Wall tapestries, paintings, ceramics, and armor decorate the interior.

Several of the comfortable guest rooms feature four-poster beds. Charles de Gaulle once stayed in the Royal Suite.

The medieval-style dining room has wood-beamed ceilings, leather-backed chairs, and wrought-iron chandeliers. The menu offers typical dishes of the region, such as lamb stew, fried bread crumbs, and stewed partridge.

Something special

curlicueBeautiful views and a peaceful setting