parador de olite

Photos courtesy of Parador de Olite








When Charles III (1357-1425) took the throne of Navarra, he promoted a policy of peace between France and Castile while building churches and castles throughout the land. In Olite, Charles spent ten years building this castle as his summer residence. One of the largest Gothic castles in Spain at the time, it boasted 15 towers surrounding hanging gardens, corridors, and 365 chambers, as well as interiors with beautiful marquetry ceilings, painted plaster work, and Moorish azulejos.

Ironically, Charles III’s grandson was responsible for the demise of Olite and Navarra’s independence. Left out of the royal succession, he invaded Navarra in 1512 and stormed the castle at Olite. Spanish Navarra became part of Castile while the territory beyond the Pyrenees went to France.

The following centuries were also unkind to the castle. After suffering severe damage in the 17th century, it was nearly destroyed during the Napoleonic Wars by a guerrilla leader who preferred to burn it rather than let it fall into the hands of the French.

Pamela’s Perspective

Be sure to ask for a room inside the old castle. There is no additional cost, and they are much more atmospheric.

Parking is free but offsite.


Parador de Olite

A 15th-century castle


Plaza Teobaldos, 2
31390 Olite
Tel: ++34 948 74 00 00
Fax: ++34 948 74 02 01
Official parador website
Reserve with

Fast facts

43 rooms, including 16 rooms inside the castle

Double rooms: 90–186 euros
Single rooms: 80% of double
room rate
Rates include breakfast and tax.
Free Wi-Fi

Open: all year

Getting there

Olite is 45 km south of Pamplona off A-15. After entering Olite, continue into the old town through the stone archway. The parador is off the main plaza near the train station.

What to do

Nearby: hiking; Pamplona


The parador sits under the three towers that remain from the castle’s original fifteen.

Inside a massive stone façade devoid of windows, you’ll find a suitable medieval atmosphere of tapestries, wrought-iron chandeliers, red tile floors, an enormous fireplace, and a suit of armor—alas, without the knight.

The best guest rooms are in the historic castle. Balconies look out over part of the castle, a pine grove, or the rolling mountains of Navarra. Two have hugh stone fireplaces, wood floors, and four-poster beds. The newer rooms are larger and nicely furnished.

Something special

curlicueThe castle/palace is registered as a Spanish National Monument.