Senior Citizen Travel to Spain

Jul 1st, 2010 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

My wife and I had the good fortune to spend a week in Spain starting with Madrid.  We spent two days there including the world famous Prado Museum.  Spain’s vibrant capital is famed for its world-class art, friendly neighborhoods and legendary social scene. Madrileños talk, drink and graze on tapas long into the night. Although the pace of life may seem relaxed, the city’s economy is hardly at a standstill and has grown rapidly over the last decade. We departed Madrid in our rental car and headed north to Segovia and on to Salamanca.  Then south to Avila, Caceres, Seville, Cadiz, Gibraltar, Malaga, Granada, Cordoba, Toledo and back to the airport in Madrid.  I had planned our trip based on seeing as many World Heritage sites as possible in the southern half of Spain.  One can not go wrong visiting  any of these sites and Spain has 39 of them. 

We discovered as well hoteles instead of hotels or motels which were much less expensive.  They were clean and very nice overall.  Accommodation discount rates are offered at hoteles with online booking.  A word on Gibraltar… an amazing place.  Just seven miles of property, and something for everyone, with most of it steeped in history. The beauty of the area can’t be denied and for that reason alone, if no other, a trip to Gibraltar should be in your plans for a holiday.  We had trouble crossing the border into Gib as they call it, but we had a long long wait to enter back into Spain.  There has long been a dispute between the two as to the legitimate heritage.  Spain wants it back.  Here is a travel guide for you to use while there.

We met folks who were staying in Paradores.  They were envious of our accommodations and the difference in price.  The Spanish Paradores are hotels for luxury accommodation in Castles, Palaces, Fortresses, Convents, Monasteries and other historic buildings. There are also modern hotels, built in traditional style, in areas of outstanding beauty.  These hotels can be found from Galicia in the North West through Catalunya to Andalusia in the south of Spain, the Canary Islands and in the Spanish cities in North Africa.  Either the building or the location is spectacular and, if you have not already stayed at these hotels, you will find a very pleasant surprise waiting for you.  The hotels in the Parador Group were set up by the state to use quality tourism to act as guardian of the national and artistic heritage of Spain and to assist regions with fewer economic resources.  If you have the pocketbook, go for the Paradores.

Guests of the Paradors receive the high standards for which the group is renowned at prices which are very reasonable by international standards.  They are all over the country.  This is a nice site as it provides specific names of paradores in specific regions of Spain.  This map looks like a shotgun hit with all the dots that represent a parador. If you are going to be traveling into Portugal, your accommodations in Pousadas of Portugal can also be arranged.  Senior guests 55 years and older can enjoy a 30% discount off the official rate on stays including accommodation and breakfast.  You will enjoy a standard double room and breakfast for the dates of your stay (the discount can be applied to upgraded rooms as well – subject to availability).  Don’t we just love discounts?

We found that Spain is more than bullfights, flamenco dancers and crowded beaches. It’s a spectacular and diverse country, the north resembling the rolling, green hills of Ireland and the south giving you a taste of Moroccan landscapes and architecture. Its tremendous history is reflected in its prehistoric cave paintings, Moorish palaces, crumbling castles, Roman ruins, Gothic and Renaissance cathedrals as well as some very distinctive modern architecture. We can’t wait to go back now and take in the northern portion of the country.  Spain is cool. jeb



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