Road Trip to Barcelona (Part 2)

After a morning at the Castle of Molina de Aragon (see previous post), we hopped in the car for the two hour drive to our next destination: Alcaniz. Alcaniz is a medieval town on the banks of the Guadalope river; its hill-top castle was renovated into a beautiful hotel in the early 20th century. In an effort to promote Spanish tourism, the government invested in the restoration of countless castles, palaces, and monasteries, creating a chain of luxury hotels across the country. 

Parador de Alcaniz

Parador de Alcaniz

The Parador de Alcaniz offers a complete vacation experience including multiple restaurants, entertainment, and a bit of history. But first, here's a look at the hotel's renovated interior:

Our Room

Our Room

The Stairwell

The Stairwell

A Lounge Area

A Lounge Area

After checking in, we headed across the castle courtyard for a tour of the historic tower.

The Keep. Built in the 14th century and decorated with mural paintings 

The Keep. Built in the 14th century and decorated with mural paintings 

The tomb of Juan de Lanuza, viceroy of Aragon (1537-1538). Located inside the tower's chapel.

The tomb of Juan de Lanuza, viceroy of Aragon (1537-1538). Located inside the tower's chapel.

Painted arches on the top floor of the keep, also from medieval times.

Painted arches on the top floor of the keep, also from medieval times.

The Cloister 

The Cloister 

After our dose of local history, we freshened up for dinner in the hotel's main restaurant.

The Restaurant

The Restaurant

Amuse bouche: chilled creamy tomato soup and breaded cheese with balsamic reduction

Amuse bouche: chilled creamy tomato soup and breaded cheese with balsamic reduction

Cardo with cod and hollandaise. Cardo is a local vegetable with a celery-like texture that takes a little like mild asparagus

Cardo with cod and hollandaise. Cardo is a local vegetable with a celery-like texture that takes a little like mild asparagus

Salad with ham, sun-dried tomatoes, egg, and peppers

Salad with ham, sun-dried tomatoes, egg, and peppers

Lamb Stew (Aragon is known for its local lamb and goat)

Lamb Stew (Aragon is known for its local lamb and goat)

Muscat and Cookies

Muscat and Cookies

Honey-Walnut Cheesecake

Honey-Walnut Cheesecake

Feeling very full, we made our way down to the terrace in the castle courtyard for a sangria and an instrumental string concert.

On our way to take in the on-site string concert presented by emerging local musicians

On our way to take in the on-site string concert presented by emerging local musicians

If you're planning a trip to Spain, I highly recommend staying at one of the Paradores. You can find them all over the country and they offer a truly unique and luxurious travel experience. Each one is a little different and gives you a glimpse into the flavour, history, and culture of the local region.

For more information on the Paradores visit: http://www.parador.es/en