Parador de Santo Estevo - Ancient Hillside Monastery (4*)
This stunning Parador, 28km from the town of Ourense and approximately equidistant between Santiago and Vigo, is in a former Benedictine monastery, one of the oldest in Galicia, tracing its origins to the 6th century and declared a Historic-Artistic Monument in 1923. The monastery buildings stand four-square on a wooded hillside, with magnificent views out over the surrounding landscape, an area known as the Ribeira Sacra. The carefully restored and preserved buildings have Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque elements, and notable features include a monumental staircase and three cloisters, one in each style. Several of the bedrooms have fine views down to the River Sil, and the bar is situated in one of the cloisters. At the Parador's restaurant you can dine on the patio in fine weather and sample such local dishes as Cocido (a stew made with garbanzo beans), Empanada Gallega (Galician stuffed pastry) and fresh fish from the River Sil.
One can also enjoy 21st century luxuries in these 10th century surroundings. The Parador of Santo Estevo benefits from a state of the art spa offering full facilities and treatments. There is garage parking at this Parador.