Photos courtesy of Parador de Chinchón
Double rooms: 90–180 euros
Single rooms: 80% of double
Rates include tax. Breakfast extra.
Open: all year
Chinchón is 46 km southeast of Madrid. Take National Road III (the main Madrid- Valencia highway) and exit at the Arganda bridge. Go south on regional road C-300 to Chinchón. A car is the best way to get around, although buses service the town.
On site: seasonal swimming
Nearby: horseback riding; golf; tennis; royal palaces and gardens at Aranjuez
Ten years of restoration resulted in this charming hotel. Glassed-in cloisters look out onto courtyards filled with fountains, fig and pomegranate trees, and rose gardens. Modern tapestries by Spanish artist Rosa Cubero hang on the walls.
A lovely gold-and-pink, high-domed ceiling above the staircase marks the way to the guest rooms, found along low, round-arched whitewashed corridors. The furnishings are few but well chosen: handwoven tapestries depicting archangels, white rugs on pale floor tiles, a ceramic art piece here and there, and lacy bedspreads. Some windows look out over the courtyard and gardens.
You can sample the local anisette in a lounge decorated with beautiful blue Moorish tiles. The El Convento restaurant presents traditional fair, and El Bodegón on the weekends and holidays offers seasonal specialties: cocido—a traditional stew—during the winter months and la Cocina de la Vega a lighter summer fare, both of which bring in the crowds from Madrid.
Occasionally during the spring and summer months, bullfights are held in the town’s Plaza Mayor.