The Parador of Olite is approximately 45 Km directly south of Pamplona. It is housed in a wonderful 15th century fortified Gothic Palace much influenced by the French style of the era. The Olite Parador is a 3-star hotel that provides a level of comfort and service far above it actual star rating.
Some type of structure was founded here as far back as 620 A. D. by the Visigoths and their king, Suintla. Through the centuries, the various Kings of Navarre fortified and added to it, and by the 13th century it was a major fortress of the area. It was remodeled and given the stylish touches of the Gothic French in the 15th century. The building was severely damaged by fire in the 18th century, and most of what is to be experienced at Parador de Olite today is thanks to the incredible restoration work of the Spain Parador system.
The Parador of Olite has an assuredly medieval feel with it's stained glass, concealed corners, parapets, arcades and four-poster beds. This is a proper castle, and one of the prettiest in the Parador chain. The interior is tastefully decorated with tapestries, wrought-iron chandeliers, and red tile floors.
The town of Olite is a as if frozen in the past, and has not been discovered by the tourists crowds. It is nearly completely surrounded by the original medieval walls that are marked by 15 towers - the grandest of which is appropriately named, Gran Torre, and can be explored and climbed. This area of the province of Navarre is delightful - very near the magnificent Pyrenees Mountains in an area of unspoiled and little-touristed villages.
Interesting nearby excursions from Parador Hondarribia:
- Be sure and visit the Gothic Santa Maria la Real -which was formerly the royal chapel and has a marvelous 14th century facade.
- The Romanesque Iglesia de San Pedro.
- The La Oliva Monastery.
Interesting day trips include:
- A nice day trip is to drive up to Pamplona where there is much to see and do.
- The medieval town of Sos del Rey Catholico is worthy of a visit.
- Rioja wine country near Logroño is a great day trip. Stop for wine tasting and vineyard visits.
As you roam around on your excursions from the Parador of Olite, keep an eye peeled for the baxajaun - little elfish creatures who, local legend says, come up from the underworld now and then to help good folks and play practical jokes on the others.
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