Get in on the fun of Saint Patrick's Day without the worry of being bogged down by the gloomy northern weather. With numerous Spanish cities celebrating the occasion, you can make the best of a long weekend basking in the sun, enjoying tapas and still managing to down a pint or two!
Paradores' luxury and historic hotels boast locations in some of the country's most festive Saint Patty's cities, ensuring a holiday in Spain that will be as enthusiastically Irish as any spent in Dublin!
A 'capital' Saint Patty's
Madrid is home to one of Spain's most vibrant communities of Irish expats, as the countless Irish bars and taverns located throughout the city centre make clear. The bar that holds the distinction of having celebrated Saint Patrick's Day the longest is La Ardosa (13 Colón Street), a legendary tavern that dates back to 1892 and features an eclectic, turn-of-the-century décor. La Ardosa possesses Madrid's oldest Guinness tap (installed in 1984) as well as tapas sure to delight on an evening out. After a stroll down to Plaza de Cibeles, which has been lit in green lighting on Saint Patrick's Day for the past few years, visit James Joyce (59 Alcalá Street), an Irish-owned pub that is a favourite amongst foreigners and natives alike.
Once you've finished your night on the town toasting to the most beloved of saints, retire to a well-deserved rest at Parador Alcalá de Henares. Just 26 kilometres from Madrid, this 17thcentury monastery school is the perfect spot to relax and spend the long weekend between the capital and this delightful, UNESCO World Heritage City.
Another way to celebrate Saint Patrick Day's to the fullest is to visit Salamanca, Spain's most famous university city. Once you've settled into Parador Salamanca, the charmingly modern hotel directly across the river from the Old Quarter, head into town to take in the iconic Plaza Mayor's architecture under the haze of the green lighting the city activates especially for the occasion.
Since the university's foundation back in the 13th century, Salamanca has been known for the many taverns that play host to its student citizens. Few celebrate the special date like Saint Patrick's Museum (2 Obispo Jarrín Street), a historic pub which offers over 200 varieties of beer!