With its romantically grumbling aristocratic palatial homes; narrow streets punctuated by archways; old squares and church spires, Arcos de la Frontera has all the elements of the quintessential rural hilltop Andalusian village
This fascinating town is slowly becoming better know. For a visitors considering a short break there’s a choice of B&Bs and small hotels in the town; as well as the historic Parador Hotel Arcos de la Frontera which runs along one of the sides of the Plaza del Cabildo.
It’s a grand looking building, and a place I’d always wanted to stay, if only to enjoy the views from the hotel’s balconies which hang vertiginously over the sandstone ridge, looking out over the small cathedral of San Miguel, and beyond to the fertile plains below.
On check-in we were fortunate enough to be upgraded to a corner room, with one of the best views in the hotel. Summer here in Arcos is low season, as the beaches and cooler breezes of the coasts attract national and international visitors, leaving the inland villages quieter than normal, so it is a good time to travel.
Here’s a video summary of our stay:
This 24 room Parador is a traditional hotel that hasn’t been part of the company’s recent renovation programme – and to be honest the property does look a little dated – yet it has an undeniable charm. What’s more the location is great, in the heart of the old district, a national monument for its remarkable historic Andalusian architecture (including plenty of arches (arcos), many of which were built to support buildings damaged in the 18th century earthquake.
To date the town hasn’t become over-run with tourism – it’s an authentic Andalusian town with lots to see for a weekend break.
Without doubt the balcony views are the highlight of the property. From our corner room we were able to sit in the evening, sipping wine and watch the swallows and swifts dart and dive, as the light slowly faded.
- Superb views from the rooms
- Great location, within walking distance of the historic sights
- Large rooms, with spacious bathrooms
- As with most historic towns in Andalucia, parking can be tricky. Access to the square is not for the faint-hearted as the street is extremely narrow. Yet if one finds a parking space, the hotels offers a free pass. Easier to park in the main town and get a taxi to the hotel front door
- No swimming pool
- The informal cafe bar was expensive and lacking in atmosphere, as there were few clients– it would better to have a lively tapas bar in this space for light bites and drinks open to residents and non-residents alike, as the main terrace was not used much – lost potential in my mind
Parador Hotels are renowned for their restaurants serving traditional, local food and this Parador has a formal restaurant as well as the informal terrace café. Our breakfast was generous; although the waiter was not particularly friendly.
The heat might seem unrelenting at this time of year, yet my advice is to rise early and explore in the morning, or enjoy an evening walk – both times of day mean one can experience Arcos in comfort.
Parador Arcos de la Frontera
Plaza del Cabildo, s/n
11630 Arcos de la Frontera Cádiz
Tel: +34 956700500