THIRDHOME members and good friends, Phyllis & Don Feil and Tamra & Charlie O’Hara, embarked on a journey together through Spain and Portugal. This Curated Journey, designed by THIRDHOME Custom Travel, allowed each member to enjoy their vacation without the hassle of planning. These 4 members were lucky enough to experience luxury accommodations in historic Paradores, once lived in by European royals.
Phillis Feil provided a first-hand account of her Curated Journey to Spain and Portugal. Keep reading for her account of this amazing experience.
In Barcelona we picked up the rental car, and began our Spain road trip. First stop was the Rioja wine region. The scenery was hard to believe. One rolling vineyard after another and such an easy drive. The Paradore we stayed in was on the path of the Pilgrim Walk, or El Camino de Santiago, which was an added bonus. We really enjoyed seeing and meeting people from all over the world.
After spending a few days in La Rioja we packed the car and headed south to Toledo. The Paradore was located at the top of the hill, overlooking the historic Toledo UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Paradore restaurant had the best views of Toledo, and served delicious authentic Spanish cuisine. A tour of the famous Saint Mary of Toledo Cathedral was the highlight of our visit. Its a must see if you travel to Toledo. Words can not express the beauty.
After spending a few days in Toledo we packed the car again, and headed south to Granada. The drive thru the Sierra Nevada Mountains was amazing, passing by hundreds of olive tree orchards and vineyards. We had no idea that olive trees lived up to 1,500 years old. We arrived a few hours later and checked into the Paradore, which was located inside the Alhambra, and just steps away from the front entrance. The following day we spent touring the Alhambra, General Gardens, and Moorish heritage. So many beautiful things to see!
Next stop was Ronda, Spain, located around one hour from Granada. This was one of our favorite Paradores. The views from our balconies were like a postcard. Ronda is so picturesque and such a charming place to visit. There were many restaurants and stores to shop within a two minute walk of our location. The town is gleaming from the white buildings and cobblestone streets.
After leaving Ronda, we headed to the Mediterranean coastline city of Malaga, the birth place of Picasso. We stayed at the Paradore Malaga, which overlooked a bull fight arena and cruise port. Once again, we were very happy wth the accommodations, views, and incredible Spanish cuisine offered on property. We got lucky and arrived the day of a large festival celebration. We attended the festivities offered by the Paradore restaurant. What a way to end our journey through Spain….. with fireworks and an amazing five course Spanish dinner.