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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.


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Marqués de Riscal winery tour with lunch

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 near the Marqués de Riscal winery in Elciego to 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

Tues-Sun Elciego, Rioja Alavesa 1.5 hour tour plus lunch

Rural getaway in Elciego

Hotel Agroturismo Valdelana is located at the premises of a 15th century cellar and at walking distance to the emblematic Marqués de Riscal winery. During your stay you will stay at this pleasant small hotel you will be able to stroll through its picturesque streets and enjoy the wine culture of this traditional town of Rioja

Year round Elciego, Álava From 1 night

Spa and wine getaway in Laguardia, Rioja

Laguardia is one of Rioja´s and Spain´s most beautiful villages. A getaway in Laguardia offers the opportunity to enjoy fantastic landscapes, gastronomy and wines. Besides that you can also find a relaxing environment and full spa services at one of the local hotels

All year round Laguardia From 1 night

1 Day Rioja traditional private tour

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

Year round Rioja 7 hours

1 Day Wine Tour in Rioja from Bilbao

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

Tuesday to Saturday Haro, La Rioja Half-day or full-day

Rioja Winery Pass

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 time

Every day except Sun Rioja 1-1.5 hours per winery

San Sebastian or Bilbao to Madrid via Rioja

Travelling by plane is good but enjoying wine country on your way to Madrid from North of Spain is simply amazing! With this 2 day tours you will enjoy 2 fantastic private wine tours, one in Rioja and a second one in Ribera del Duero. We use luxury vehicles and you will enjoy the company of expert bilingual local guides. Beautiful scenery, top rated wineries and vineyards, excellent food and a great hotel for your night in Rioja…

Upon request Departs from Bilbao or San Sebastian 2 days, 1 night

Winery hotel in Rioja

An excellent way to get to know Rioja and its wine region is to stay at a hotel located at a winery. Hotel Eguren Ugarte is surrounded by vineyards. Hotel customers enjoy a visit to the winery with wine tasting and a tapa. Explore the world of wine with this stay at a unique hotel surrounded by vineyards

All year Near Logroño and Vitoria 1 night

Walking tour of Rioja

A fantastic walking and wine tour to enjoy Rioja on foot. The itinerary is a moderate rated walking tour, which offers daily walks of approximately 15 kilometres. You will walk amongst beautiful little villages of this part of Northern Spain, hundred-year-old vineyards, visit lovely wineries, stay in charming family run hotels and enjoy the best local gastronomy. Haro is only 1 hour from Bilbao and we can arrange transportation from Bilbao

April - October Rioja 5 days, 4 nights

Holiday in Rioja - Wine hotel and vineyards

Includes: Accommodation at a beautiful hotel-winery surrounded by vineyards, a very complete buffet breakfast, complimentary visit to one local winery (with minimum of 3-night stay), spa access at the hotel with views over the vineyards. This wine and spa break in Rioja is the perfect way to get to know this beautiful wine region of Spain

From May to October Rioja Alavesa From 1 night



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