The monasteries in Spain where you can spend the night

Esme Fox
Esme Fox - [email protected]
The monasteries in Spain where you can spend the night
Lay your head down at the Monasterio de Leyre in Navarra. Photo: Jl FilpoC / Wikimedia Commons

For accommodation with a difference, discover the ancient Spanish monasteries and convents where you can actually spend the night.


Whether you just want to get away from it all for a few days and contemplate in silence or you're a huge fan of historic religious architecture, there are monasteries all over the country that will let you book a room for the night.

Remember that these are not hotels, sometimes you are staying in working monasteries and convents where monks and nuns still live and worship. They may not have the same luxuries as hotels and there may be certain rules you need to follow such as curfews or dress codes. 

Monasterio de Poblet, Tarragona

If you want to truly see what life is like as a monk, then the Monasterio de Poblet near the city of Tarragona in Catalonia is the closest you'll get. The monastery only admits men and accommodation is sparse and simple. You'll also get the chance to dine with the resident monks. 

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it's one of the largest and most complete Cistercian abbeys in the world and was founded in 1151. Situated at the foot of the Prades Mountains, it's quite a sight to behold. 

Spend the night in the Real Monasterio de Poblet in Tarragona. Photo: Borjaanimal / Wikimedia Commons


Monasterio de San Martín Pinario, Santiago de Compostela

At the end of the famous pilgrim route, the Camino de Santigo, sits the imposing 16th-century Monasterio de San Martín Pinario, right near the famed Santigo Cathedral. After your gruelling month-long trek, you could take the opportunity and treat yourself to a night in this amazing historic monument. 

It offers 81 en suite rooms that aim to recreate the monks' lodgings and are decorated with furniture by a renowned local artist. Rates vary throughout the year. 

READ ALSO: Top tips to safely enjoy Spain's Camino de Santiago on foot or by bike

At the end of the Camino, you could stay at the Monasterio de San Martín Pinario. Photo: Diego Delso / Wikimedia Commons
Hostería San Millán de la Cogolla, La Rioja
The Monasteries of Suso y Yuso de San Millán de la Cogolla, located in La Rioja, were both declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The Royal Monastery of San Millán de Yuso was ordered to be built by King García Sánchez III of Pamplona and its library is considered to be the cradle of the Spanish language because of its ancient texts. 
The hotel here offers a unique stay in one of 25 rooms and suites, including the royal suite. Rooms are more luxurious than what you'd expect for a nun or a monk, however, and are of four-star quality. 
Stay at Hostería San Millán de la Cogolla in the wine country of La Rioja. Photo: Jose Luis Filpo Cabana / Wikimedia Commons


Monasterio de Piedra, Zaragoza

If your appreciation for religious architecture matches your appreciation for chocolate, then a couple of nights at the Monasterio de Piedra near the city of Zaragoza, is just what you need. 

The Monastery was built during the transition from Romanesque to Gothic periods and monks have lived here for more than 600 years. Some of the very first cacao beans that the explorer Hernán Cortés brought back from the Americas were sent here along with an Aztec recipe. The recipe was for a drink that contained cocoa beans, corn, water and chilli, but upon finding this recipe too bitter, the monks at the monastery experimented by adding things such as sugar, milk, vanilla and cinnamon, to make it into the type of chocolate we know and love today. 

62 rooms are set around the new cloister from the 17th century and offer luxury hotel-like facilities. 

READ ALSO: How Spain invented modern chocolate – and kept it secret for 100 years

Check out the birthplace of modern-day chocolate at the Monasterio de Piedra. Photo: Demilune / Wikimedia Commons


Monasterio de Leyre, Navarra

San Salvador de Leyre sits on a natural ledge in the Sierra de Leyre, looking out over the Yesa Reservoir, nicknamed the 'Sea of ​​the Pyrenees'. If the landscape alone, at the foot of the Pyrenees in Navarra doesn't put you in a spiritual frame of mind, then a night spent under its imposing vaulted ceilings just might.  

The Monasterio de Leyre was founded in the 10th century by Benedictine monks, who still inhabit it today. If you want to join them, the monastery offers 32 simple two-star style rooms. Double rooms start from €108 in the high season and €92 in the low season. 

Lay your head down at the Monasterio de Leyre in Navarra. Photo: Jl FilpoC / Wikimedia Commons


Monasterio de Santo Domingo de Silos, Burgos

One of the most celebrated Benedictine abbeys in all of Spain is Burgos' Monasterio de Santo Domingo. Its cloister is a masterpiece of the Spanish Romanesque style and its origins date all the way back to the 7th century. Over 1,300 years later, the monastery is still welcoming both monks and travellers and offers comfortable rooms. You can even stay to pray and eat with the monks if you wish, embracing the whole religious experience. 

Become a monk for the night at Monasterio de Santo Domingo de Silos/ Photo: José Antonio Gil Martínez / WikimediaCommons


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