How to get to Rioja from Madrid
In this post we want to share some of the options to get to Rioja from Madrid. Rioja is not a large region and the biggest city, Logroño, is not amongst the most important cities in Spain. This explains why getting to Rioja is sometimes not so easy.
If you do not want to drive and would like to enjoy a luxury experience we recommend one of our tours from Madrid to Rioja, which can be extended to Bilbao, San Sebastian, or Barcelona. You can find here information about these private tours from Madrid.
The Rioja wine region is hands down one of the most famous wine regions in Spain, and this is not without reason.
With its rolling hills that change colour throughout the seasons, old little wineries tucked in between mountain valleys, architectural winery giants that break all known design boundaries, wine hotels with their own vineyards, ancient monasteries, castles and local gastronomy to pair with that fantastic wine, who could blame you for wanting to visit- but how, exactly, do you get there?
In this post we are going to look at how to get to Rioja from Madrid. There are various options to choose from, including bus, train and car.
How to get to Rioja from Madrid by bus
You can travel by bus from Madrid to Logroño, a charming little town that calls itself the capital of Rioja. This town is well known for having a fantastic tapas street, which we talked about in our Things to do in Rioja- Part 1 blog.
You could leave directly from the airport, or from Avenida de America in the city itself.
The journey takes approximately 4 hours. Single tickets can cost from around 12 euros to 35 euros, depending on the time that you choose and whether you are travelling on a weekday or weekend. If you choose to book on the day, your ticket may cost as much as 55 euros approximately.
How to get to Rioja from Madrid by train
In Spain the main train company is called RENFE. For long distance journeys, AVE trains are the most popular choice, especially when people want to take the train from Madrid to other big cities. There is also another type of long distance train called the ALVIA, which but is not as well-known but offers more obscure routes.
AVE trains are extremely comfortable, clean and convenient, and one of Spain´s big achievements. Compared with many other long distance train services in other countries, these come up top, and are not an option to be shunned. The AVE train can be more expensive than other options like taking the bus, but they may also be in general much faster and more comfortable when they go directly to your destination.
Within Madrid we are lucky as the AVE trains connect us with many of Spain´s most important cities and beautiful places to visit. They are primarily useful for travelling long distances in a short time, and provide a scenic route to watch out your window as you travel (not to mention the newspaper and tea service available).
To travel to both Logroño (the capital of Rioja) and Haro (a beautiful wine town), you can take the AVE train and the ALVIA train.
When choosing your train, you will be offered different options: direct trains with ALVIA and indirect trains with both AVE and ALVIA trains (that stop in Zaragoza). Unsurprisingly, the direct trains are faster, and will take around 3 hours 20 minutes. An indirect train could take around 4 hours to 4 hours 30 minutes.
You can see the different options available by searching online. We would recommend booking well in advance, as the prices for trains can go up significantly as the date of travel moves closer.
Madrid to Rioja by car
There is also the option of renting a car and driving up to Rioja.
This is a great option if you are looking to visit rural wineries and would like to be able to move around within Rioja, rather than just stay in one wine town. It is also fantastic for watching the landscapes change as you enter the wine country.
Depending on your destination within Rioja, you could drive to the wine region in different times. To drive to Logroño, the journey would take you about 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Once you are in Rioja
Having arrived by bus, train or car, we have lots of exciting ideas for your hotel in Rioja. There are many wineries in Rioja, though most do not offer guided visits in English language. A good way to plan your winery visits in Rioja is with one of our winery passes. With a winery pass you get to know fantastic wineries, taste excellent wines and get your day organised in an easy way.
Just have a look on our website for more ideas (hotels with their own wineries, wine tastings and local gastronomic meals), or contact us for more information.
This offer includes: guided winery tour in English of Marqués de Riscal winery and tasting of 2 wines And the gastronomic option at a restaurant located at an ancient winery cave in Elciegoto enjoy a traditional Riojan tasting menu with wine You will not find this offer on any other site. Marqués de Riscal is one of the most visited wineries in Spain. A tour of the winery is a journey through the past and the present of Rioja wines
Includes: Guided tour of the prestigious winery Bodegas Muga in Haro, tasting of 2 wines, and gift. High quality meal in one of the best restaurants of Rioja. Muga is one of the most interesting wineries to visit during a trip to Rioja. You will witness the use of traditional methods to produce quality wines and you will see one of the few remaining wooden barrel warehouses located inside a winery
A perfect introduction to the wines of the Rioja region. A self-guided tour in Rioja, including regular bus service from Bilbao. From the bus station, you will walk to 2 of the best wineries in Haro, the wine capital of Rioja. Enjoy a winery visit & wine tasting guided by an English-speaking wine professional. Continue your thirst for Rioja wines with a second wine tasting. Half & full-day option available. Choose our full-day tour option for a quality Riojan meal at a local restaurant and extra free time to explore Haro
Includes: Accommodation, breakfast, a visit to a 15th century cellar and museum and a visit to the emblematic Marqués de Riscal winery with wine tasting. As an option, you can complete this getaway by adding an outstanding lunch or dinner at a restaurant very close to your hotel and cellar. This getaway is not available on any other site. You will stay at a pleasant rural hotel located in the town of Elciego, one of the most prestigious of Rioja Alavesa. Stroll through its picturesque streets and enjoy the wine culture of this town of Rioja
A self-driven itinerary that includes visits in English and wine tasting at 2 or 3 iconic wineries in Rioja. 4 or 6 wines tasted at these fantastic wineries. Our Rioja Winery Pass is the simplest way to book your winery visits in Rioja and taste highly-rated Rioja wines. Great value for money to ensure you will have visit some of the "must see" wineries Simply select if you prefer 2 or 3 wineries and pick-up your date. We also offer 2 excellent lunch options. 2 of the wineries are in Haro, in at Elciego. You will receive an itinerary with full details including confirmed times
Includes: Accommodation, buffet breakfast, and visit of an interesting winery in Laguardia. Optionally, you can include spa circuit, lunch or dinner at a castle in Laguardia or lunch or dinner at your hotel. Located in the medieval town of Laguardia, one of the most beautiful of Rioja, this getaway offers the opportunity to enjoy a full spa circuit (optional) and the local wine culture. For additional beds or groups, please contact us
Includes: Accommodation in a modern and comfortable hotel with breakfast and a visit to a local winery with wine tastings. This getaway includes a gift of a bottle of wine. This is a unique experience that you will not find on any other website
Enjoy Rioja´s famous wine and gastronomy culture near the beautiful and idyllic medieval town of Laguardia. Enjoy a traditional Riojan meal at a very special restaurant, with fantastic views of the vineyards, wine and coffee included (vegetarian options available). Visit a traditional local winery with a guide and learn more about the famous wine produced in the area before tasting the high-quality wine produced by the same bodega. THE GUIDED VISIT IN ENGLISH STARTS NORMALLY AT 16:30 BUT THIS WILL BE CONFIRMED AFTER THE BOOKING IS PROCESSED
Our Rioja private tour has it all: high-end wines with above 90 Parker points, tastings at 4 different wineries, a fantastic meal…. All part of an itinerary that will stop at the most amazing examples of fantastic architecture with the purpose of wine making. Your tour guide will ensure you enjoy a great day. Our tour is personal, informal, informative and fun! PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOUR DESIRED DATE IS NOT AVAILABLE ON THE CALENDAR
Includes: Accomodation in a special hotel, a traditional Riojan meal and guided visit to a top winery with wine tastings. This is a unique experience that you will not find on any other website