Belonging to the Paradores Hotel Chain of Spain, Parador del Conde de Gondomar (also known as Parador de Baiona) is by far my favourite. With sunsets, sea views, and beaches nearby, it was easy to relax and enjoy this little piece of paradise.
Located on the west coast of Spain, over-looking the Atlantic Ocean and Cíes Islands, in the city of Baiona, this is a good place to set up base while exploring the surrounding area.
With over three kilometers of walls surrounding the hotel, an outdoor swimming pool, spa, a terrace bar with unbeleivable sea views, and within walking distance to the downtown and beaches, it would be easy just to move right in and never want to leave.
Formerly an old 12th century fortress, the Castillo de Monterreal was named in honour of the Catholic Monarchs; Isabel and Ferdinand. Many historical events took place here. In 1493 Martín Alonso Pinzón arrived onboard the ship, La Pinta making Baiona the first town in Europe to hear the news about the discovery of America.
Before this, the Romans, Visigoths, and Muslims all left their mark here. Julius Caesar conquered the fortress and sent rebels scattering to outlying areas, and the fortress survived pirate attacks from Sir Francis Drake. Like most places in Spain, the legacy of past cultures can be found deep in the roots of these magnificent buildings and places.
Best time to visit: Late spring and autumn. Prices are cheaper and the beaches are not as crowded.
Travel Fodder tip: If you are traveling with children: to the left of the main hotel gate is a playground with a fantastic zipline!
Favourite moment: Sitting on the hotel's outdoor terrace overlooking the ocean and sipping the local house white wine. Truly paradise.