One recent summer, Richard Starks and Miriam Murcutt traveled through Spain – from Barcelona in the north to Malaga on the southern Mediterranean coast – staying exclusively in ancient monasteries. As they quickly discovered, these are intriguing places in which to stay. They are ripe with history, art and culture (living museums); peopled by a dying breed of monks and nuns (last chance to see); rarely visited (so few tourists); and open to anyone who cares to stop by (you don’t have to be religious, although it doesn’t hurt if you are). They are also inexpensive (much of the time); eager for customers (most of the time); and always hospitable (in keeping with the Rule of St. Benedict).
This account of the authors' journey will show you what it is like to turn your back on tourist Spain, to leave behind the hotels, pensions and up-market paradors and immerse yourself in the cowled world of Spain’s many and varied ancient monasteries. This is not a guide book, but it does include enough information for you to plan a similar journey of your own. The tone is amusing, sometimes irreverent, but always respectful and entertaining.
Monasteries visited: El Reial Monestir de Santa Maria de Vallbona ** El Monasterio de la Virgen de Monlora ** Monasterio de San Salvador de Leyre ** El Real Monasterio de Santo Tomas, Avila ** El Monasterio de la Purisima Concepcion y San Jose , El Toboso ** El Monasterio de la Santa Maria de las Escalonias ** Convento de la Purisima Concepcion (Santa Maria) Marchena