Most famous former guest: Orson Welles.
Parador de Cardona is a towering, 9th century era, hilltop fortress near Barcelona now converted into a beautifully atmospheric, modern luxury hotel. It is seen as the most important medieval fortress in Catalonia and one of the most important in Spain, the strategic setting allowing jaw dropping views and the castle itself still retaining a strong historical ambience.
The have a choice of rooms; doubles, twins and triples and some large double suites. The rooms are spacious, clean and comfortable and furnished in a generally modern, quite minimalist style. Check your options on the booking page here.
The building as a whole is incredibly impressive and steeped in Catalan history, and though the rooms are of a high standard and have some historical details here and there, they generally lack the medieval ambience of much of the rest of the castle.
A wander around the grounds of Parador de Cardona as the sun sets is the best way to soak up some of that lovely ambience, you can admire its sturdy ancient walls and towers, the romanesque Church of Sant Vicenç de Cardona and the 11th century Torre de la Minyona for example with the views from the top of the Minyona Tower being absolutely spectacular.
They have a very highly rated restaurant here, the Abad Restaurant, which does a fantastic line of mainly Catalan traditional food; hearty meals like butifarra con mongetes or lomo de cerdo ahumada, and lighter dishes like espinacas a la Catalana for example. The dining takes place in the wonderfully atmospheric medieval era castle dining hall, you’ll find the service and the presentation both excellent and you’ll have a good choice of Catalan, and other, wines too.
Other facilities at the castle include a bar, a gift shop, a fitness center/gym and a sauna.
The castle is by the village of the same name, Cardona, just 90km from Barcelona with the journey by car from the Catalan capital taking less than an hour. The village is small and quaint with pretty, maze like streets, but is only really well known because of the castle, which became even more well known when it became a movie set for the Orson Welles classic ‘Chimes at Midnight’ in 1964.
The surrounding area is also very famous for its salt mines, it has Europe’s biggest deposits and Cardona Castle itself was in fact built to protect the quarries from invaders in ancient times. You can visit the Salt Mountain Cultural Park on the same hill as the castle which covers the background and history of the industry in the local area.
The most famous sight around these parts though is of course the gorgeous Montserrat Monastery around 50km from here, with the strangely beautiful serrated hills on which it stands being actually visible from the Parador de Cardona on a clear day.
WHAT OTHER GUESTS SAY:
“Sleeping in your own castle – you are going to love it! We often pick Parador Hotels for their special location. This one is very special – almost Harry Potter style!…”
“Unexpected gem of a find! Perfect day-trip from Barcelona. Opted to stay overnight as the Castle and town were steeped in Catalan history which made for an interesting stop. Castle accommodations were excellent. On-site restaurant was fantastic and the bar was perfect for an afternoon rest and snack. The views from both the castle and room were stunning!..”
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- Castell de Cardona