In Spain, Rioja is synonymous of wine. The denomination of origin spreads along 54.000 hectares around three different Communities (La Rioja, Basque Country and Navarre). The wines of Rioja are the most famous of Spain and its long tradition supports their fame.
In Rioja you will find fabulous wine museums, emblematic wineries, fantastic hotels, some of which are built on wineries, breathtaking lansdscapes and ancient monuments worth visiting. Modern Architecture has contributed in recent times to the reputation of Rioja and, luckly enough, some of this great wineries are also hotels and restaurants. If you are in Bilbao and do not have much time, you may want to learn about our 1 Day Wine Tour in Rioja (Haro) from Bilbao
You will need from 2 to three days to maket the most out of this route.. This route will let you explore the history of wine in La Rioja and its evolution from its past, to its present and, why not, its future. Small fortified villages, old and modern wineries, excellent food and wine, amazing vineyard landscapes... Enjoy La Rioja at its best.
A good start for this route is a Tapas dinner in the city of Logrono, where the Ebro river flows . In Laurel Street (Calle Laurel) you will find a vast option of bars and taverns. You will enjoy different tapas and wines in every bar... we strongly recommend you change bar as many times as possible, since all of them have something different to offer to the visitor.
Interesting and important wineries are located near Logrono, and offer a very good opportunity to enjoy wine culture to all travelers. Another interesting visit in Logrono are the calados, old cellars with underground caves digged in the stone of the city.
The castle town of Briones was built near the Ebro river and offers a fantastic view of the Sierra de la Demanda and Sierra de Cantabria. It offers a great stop for lunch and for an interesting cultural stroll, including its stunning cathedral. Nearby sits Dinastia Vivanco´s wine museum, which shows the winemaking process in good detail, from the past to today.
The medieval city of Haro, capital of La Rioja Alta, is home to many of Spain ´s major wineries.
Every place of interest in Haro, and there are many, is accessible on foot. Palaces and beautiful churches will suprise the visitor. Most wineries are located near the Barrio de la Estacion (Station quarter), and were built in this area to faciliate the transportation of wine. To finish your day or to recharge your batteries during the visit, you will find many bars and taverns along the Barrio de la Herradura where all sorts of tapas are served.
Labastida was an important garrison in the Middle Ages and enjoyed its best time during the XVII century. This is why it is an interesting tourist destination today, and it offers many an option to the visitor, including The Church of Nuestra senora de la Asuncion, a magnificent catholic temple, located in the main square of the village and built between the 16th and 18th centuries in Renaissance and Baroque styles.
Another beautiful village in La Rioja Alavesa, Laguardia is near but far at the same time from some of the modern futuristic wineries in La Rioja. A medieval walled city built at a hilltop, Laguardia offers excellent views of la Sierra de Cantabria. One of the best ways to visit is to wander through its pedestrian pebbled streets, where we will find many medieval monuments like the gothic church of Santa Maria de los Reyes.
If you are planning a holiday in Rioja or just want to spend one or two days in the region of Rioja, we are sure you will find lots of ideas and inspiration in these pages. We also have a complete selection of deals to make the most out of a break in Rioja at a very good price. We also suggest that you look at our guided Tours to get some ideas. Our North of Spain guided Tour covers Rioja and is a very complete Wine & Gastronomy Tour, with excellent hotels hand-picked and a great selection of wineries visited.