Parador de Granada (Granada; tel. 95-822-14-40; www.parador.es): Within the grounds of the Alhambra itself, the most famous parador in Spain is naturally the most sought after and difficult to get into. With verdant gardens, splashing fountains, and Arab- and Mudéjar-inspired architecture, the parador was converted from a former convent founded by Isabella and Ferdinand. The Catholic monarchs were once buried on its grounds.
Parador de Córdoba (Córdoba; tel. 95-727-59-00; www.parador.es): Not all paradors are converted from ancient buildings. This modern example, in the El Brillante suburb of Córdoba, occupies the site of a former Caliphate palace. It's known for its garden of orange trees, the first palm trees planted in Europe, and its highly praised cuisine. Oh yeah -- its bedrooms are spacious and luxurious, too.
Parador de Jaén (Jaén; tel. 95-323-00-00; www.parador.es): This parador, 5km (3 miles) east of this historic former Muslim stronghold, opens onto the most panoramic view of any of its competitors. On the site of a 10th-century Muslim fortress, it is a citadel of good taste and baronial comfort, with bedrooms featuring balconies and canopied beds.
Parador de Ronda (Ronda; tel. 95-287-75-00; www.parador.es): On a high cliff overlooking the fantastic gorge of Ronda, this parador offers beautifully furnished bedrooms overlooking the torrents of the Guadalevín River. Dramatically perched in this mountain town, it exemplifies good taste and fine living. There's even an outdoor pool.
Parador Hotel Atlantico (Cádiz; tel. 95-622-69-05; www.parador.es): This modern resort hotel opens onto one of the most beautiful beaches along the Bay of Cádiz outside this historic old port. Originally built as a private hotel in 1929, Atlantico now offers luxury, first-rate cuisine, a health club, and an outdoor pool.
Parador de Nerja (Nerja; tel. 95-252-00-50; www.parador.es): This comfortable and tasteful parador is dramatically set on a bluff above the Mediterranean, with an on-site restaurant featuring top-notch international and Andalusian regional cuisine, and one of the best beaches along the Costa del Sol only a short stroll away.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.