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.