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Parador(s) detour from Sarria?

Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
During my career with a Fortune 500 company, we lived in Geneva, Switzerland for three years. We celebrated Christmas in Geneva, then travelled to Spain with our three young children for 10 days after Christmas. Each time we travelled throughout Spain, mostly staying in paradors. We absolutely loved it !

During our three Camino Frances, my wife and I have stayed in several paradors, including the two paradors in Santo Domingo, Leon, Villafranca del Bierzo. You pay more, but what luxury! Scanning YouTube last night, we found a video on Parador Santo Estevo which looks great. It is approximately 60 kms southwest from Saria, Then I found another Parador de Monforte de Lemos approx. 10 miles from Santo Estevo.

I'm wondering if any other pilgrims have taken a side trip to stay in these paradors? I'm guessing these paradors are in remote locations. My wife and I have discussed possibly taking side trips there travelling 20 kms per day. Then taking a bus or taxi back to Sarria and continuing our camino from Sarria to Santiago.

We already have private room reservations for Sept-Oct, 2021. But this might be a nice variation for our 5th camino which will tentatively be in 2023!

BCB
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I can only speak for myself, but when I am walking a camino, anything more than 300 metres 'off the Camino' doesn't stand a chance! :rolleyes:

We usually manage to do a Parador stay each time we walk the CF. It's a nice bit of luxury and the buildings are amazing. And some of the rural paradors are not 'that' crazy in terms of price.

We have stayed at Santo Domingo, (the one next to the church) which was really nice and amazing food.

Also at Villafranca del Bierzo. I would pass on that one. A modern building (or at least modern renovation) with little character and so-so food. Totally not worth it.

A place I would rate better than a Parador, is actually Monasterio De San Zoilo in Carrion.
Incredible place.

Other than those, we 'rough it' in e25 a night CRs/Albergues. :cool:
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
I must admit that I have stayed in most of them along Camino Frances and Via de la Plata, on the Camino Invierno in Monforte de Lemos, in Toledo, in Tui on C P, but missed a couple of planned stays in Funte De on the Vladience. Having walked the caminos since 2005, getting older and older, I enjoy staying in a parador for pilgrim or memberprice,much cheaper for media pension than a night without breakfast in an airport hotel in Oslo, where I have to stay overnight for my next flight arriving from the north of Norway.
On my last day on Via de la plata in 2011, I arrived late after walking from Arzua, all hotels were full after queing up for 2 hours for a compostela, except for the parador,where I got a reasonable pilgrimprize and enjoyed the stay very much
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
we found a video on Parador Santo Estevo which looks great
I have stayed in this parador twice, both times for long weekends when I was living in Lisbon. It’s beautiful, and the surrounding area has some ancient churches that are fascinating, if you like that sort of thing. Oh and the walks you can take along the Sil River gorge!!! I described one of those weekends in this thread

Then I found another Parador de Monforte de Lemos

I’ve also stayed in the parador in Monforte, the first time I walked the Invierno. As Rick says, it’s right on that Camino. My experience there was pretty awesome. I was dragging because it had been a long day. I chugged up to the top of the hill where the Parador is and asked about availability. They pulled up my name and saw that I had a lot of expired Parador points. They called Madrid and got authorization to un-expire some of them. And I had a free room for the night! It’s a very nice Parador, but of the two, Santo Estevo is much nicer. You might consider a few days in the area after walking, rather than as a detour from Sarria, because it is kind of a long way.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
They pulled up my name and saw that I had a lot of expired Parador points.

How did you acquire the Parador points?

I have stayed in the Parador in Vilalba on the Norte. I had been walking with shin splints, and when I reached Vilalba I spent the night in a very nice albergue, but realized that my Camino was probably over. The next morning I looked on booking.com for a hotel where I could get a good rest (I guess that I was still hoping that I might be able to continue), and saw that there was a Parador there. What's more, it was the closest hotel to the albergue where I was staying - not too far to hobble to. Rather than booking on booking.com I thought that I should walk over there around 8:30 when I had to leave the albergue and ask if they had a pilgrim rate (they did). I figured that I could wait in the comfortable lobby until a room was ready, but as it turned out they were able to check me in right away. I don't remember exactly, but the rate included at least the extensive buffet breakfast and a discount a pilgrim rate on other meals.
The room was very nice - not in the historic part of the Parador, but definitely a 4 star quality room, with a nice big bathtub! After taking full advantage of the breakfast buffet I had a nice relaxing day in my lovely room, then some fellow pilgrims that I had gotten ahead of arrived in Vilalba that afternoon, and I joined them for lunch.
The next day I didn't need to get to the bus station until late afternoon, but there was an option to extend the stay in my room past the regular check out time if I had lunch there (at the discounted pilgrim rate)
I ended up having use of the room for well over 24 hours.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
How did you acquire the Parador points?

Nice story, trecile. I haven’t stayed in the parador in Vilalba, but it looks nice.

If you sign up for the parador “amigos” program, you acquire points for your stays there and any money spent in their restaurants or bars. You also get the little perk of a free drink in their bar and free parking (not much of an issue for peregrinos, but in some of the paradores there is a charge for parking). So you should sign up even if you are not likely to get lots of points, because the parador bars are frequently in very nice parts of historic buildings and you can nurse a drink there for as long as you want! And no one, absolutely no one, ever makes you feel like you should move on. That’s one of the benefits of a system where the wait staff earns a living wage that doesn’t depend on tips!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
Two other places we stayed at which were as nice as paradors and also very rich in history were Hotel San Anton Abad in Villafranca de Montes de Oca and Hotel Real Colegiata San Isidro in Leon.

We stayed at the parador in Leon twice. The first time (2015) it was fabulous. Our room overlooked the wonderful inner gardens, and we enjoyed the welcome drink at the bar and the sumptuous breakfast the next morning. We stayed there again in 2017. I made reservations at least six months in advance. When I checked in, I presented my "Amigos de Paradores" card and said we had stayed in Paradors since the mid-90s when we lived in Geneva. We went to our room and it faced the gravel parking lot! I went to the front desk to complain and asked them to move us to a room that overlooked the garden. The receptionist said "it is complicated", and she could only move us to a nicer room if we agreed to pay a higher rate. Outrageous. After the camino, I sent a complaint. I will never stay in the Leon parador again ! BCB
 
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linkster

¡Nunca dejes de creer!
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
We camped out in the Parador in Cambados for a week several years ago after the Camino. Last year, we stayed at the Parador in Tui right off the Portuguese. Both times I was able to get a discounted rate either with my Amigos card or a pilgrim rate. Last year, someone said they got an €80 per night rate in SdC (sounds incredible). I have never been able to get a decent rate in SdC.

I think watched the same YouTube video on Santo Estevo (Ribeira Sacra). James and Yolly have several videos where they stay in Paradores.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Two other places we stayed at which were as nice as paradors and also very rich in history were Hotel San Anton Abad in Villafranca de Montes de Oca and Hotel Real Colegiata San Isidro in Leon.


That place is great. Almost on a par with a Parador at a much lower cost!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
Several years ago, I promised my wife that at the end of a camino, we'd stay in the parador in Santiago. Planning our 2021 camino, I checked the rate for the parador in Santiago and it was shockingly high - twice the rate that I've paid at other paradors or other very nice places in Santiago. Since we will spend two nights in Santiago, my wife and I agreed to skip the parador and book elsewhere. BCB
 
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Mike Wells

author of 'Cycling the Camino Frances'
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (1995) (2017 twice) (2018); Via de la Plata (1996); Finisterre (2018)
Over the years I have stayed in many Paradores, including those along the various Caminos. Most of the establishments listed in this thread are on the CF. From the architectural gems in León (hopefully still so when it fully reopens) and Santiago to the smaller modern hotel in Villafranca del Bierzo they are all wonderful places to stay. The most interesting is Santo Domingo with an expensive hotel right across from the cathedral and a considerably cheaper one (and more often available for last minute bookings) on the edge of town. Though not a Parador, the Zoilo in Carrión de los Condes is of a similar standard.

On the Norte there are a slew of properties available in Hondarribia, Santillana, Gijón, Ribadeo and Vilalba, plus two off-route in Fuente De and Cangas d'Onis. Perhaps the best served is the VdelP with hotels in Zafra, Mérida Cáceres, Plasencia, Salamanca, Zamora and Benavente. As a cyclist, many of these are one day's ride apart enabling one to travel from Parador to Parador.

Paradores can offer amazingly good value, if you have all the affiliations; Amigos for the points and welcome drink, your pilgrim passport for the pilgrim rate and if you are over 55 the Golden days 30% discount for senior citizens. As they use dynamic pricing, the rate varies from day to day depending upon demand. This can have a dramatic effect upon the price. In Santiago I once paid €240 for one night but only €120 for the next!

The latest addition to the chain is a newly opened ultra modern low-rise hotel overlooking the ocean at Lourido just outside Muxia. A perfect location to chill-out after finishing the ride. A difficult opening during the coronavirus lockdown has seen them offering very attractive promotional rates, including free nights. Has anyone stayed there yet? What is it like?
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
From the architectural gems in León (hopefully still so when it fully reopens) a
I seem to recall a thread last year talking about the renovations of the Parador in Leon.
Sounded like it was going to be totally ruined. Sorry 'modernised'.......
 

Mike Wells

author of 'Cycling the Camino Frances'
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (1995) (2017 twice) (2018); Via de la Plata (1996); Finisterre (2018)
Several years ago, I promised my wife that at the end of a camino, we'd stay in the parador in Santiago. Planning our 2021 camino, I checked the rate for the parador in Santiago and it was shockingly high - twice the rate that I've paid at other paradors or other very nice places in Santiago. Since we will spend two nights in Santiago, my wife and I agreed to skip the parador and book elsewhere. BCB
Don't despair, if you are looking at prices for Oct21 there are a lot of things that can happen between now and then. Paradores use dynamic pricing where room rates rise and fall depending upon demand. With 2021 being a holy year and a huge number of visitors originally forecast for Santiago, the start price will have been set deliberately high. If bookings do not match the forecast, then come the new year prices will start to fall. Hang on in there, if N American visitors are still being prevented from travelling to Europe in the spring there are going to be some bargain prices around. Moreover, many of the 'early' bookings will be options taken out by tour companies and travel agencies which they have yet to sell on. Typically these options will need to be confirmed and paid for by twelve weeks before the travel date. If they have not got the clients, the bookings will be relinquished and Paradores will put them on general sale, probably driving prices down.
 
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