Rioja road trip – Rioja at its best - Rioja road trip – Rioja at its best -

Rioja road trip – Rioja at its best

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If you are planning a road trip in the Rioja wine country, save this URL in your favorites list. Our team of local experts has put great care into the preparation of this itinerary. This is a free travel guide

The Rioja road trip in a nutshell

Discover the best of La Rioja with a complete road trip in which you will enjoy fantastic landscapes, visit emblematic wineries and taste their wines, discover the traditional gastronomy of Rioja, get to know its culture, and curiosities, and enjoy activities related to the world of wine. Our team of Riojan experts has prepared this free itinerary to ensure you get the most of Rioja if you plan to enjoy your own road trip in Rioja.

This itinerary, as with any of the road trip plans we propose have been prepared to ease your travel planning.

Rioja road trip map

HARO
BRIONES-ELCIEGO
LAGUARDIA
LOGROÑO
SAN MILLÁN DE LA COGOLLA
SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA

3  nights / 4 days. With 4 days you will have enough time to enjoy wine country, and also visit the fascinating monasteries of Yuso and Suso and the town of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, a very important step in El Camino de Santiago. 

Best months to visit? September and the first part of October are fantastic months to enjoy wine country in both Rioja. End of March, April, May, June and first 2 weeks of July. August can be very quite, which is good in a way, but also rather warm.

List of recommended hotels for this roadtrip in Rioja and Rioja Alavesa

You may not need to change hotel since Rioja and Rioja Alavesa are not a large region. However, if changing hotel does not bother you, it offers a great opportunity to enjoy wine tasting closer to some wineries. You will also be able to enjoy some amazing hotels!

The hotels we include in this list have been visited by at least one member of our editorial team. They are exceptional and that means they normally get booked well in advance. We strongly recommend you get them booked as soon as possible to ensure availability but also the best prices. Please note that if you book with a flexible cancellation policy you could book today and cancel later with no problem!

Detailed road trip planner day by day

Get ready to enjoy the best Rioja has to offer!

Where to start your road trip in Rioja? Does it make to stay in more than one city and change hotels in Rioja?

These two questions are logical and important for your trip planning in Rioja. Rioja is not too big, which means it could be visited without the need to change the hotel. Please note that when we refer to Rioja here we do refer to the Rioja wine region, not Rioja the administrative region (part of the Rioja wine country region includes Basque country and even a small area of Navarre).

There is one important reason why you may decide to change hotel and that is to enjoy wineries and wine tasting. Haro is the best place to enjoy wine tasting at the wine bars of different wineries. If you stay in Haro you can walk to El Barrio de la Estación, and this is indeed a great option since you avoid driving.   But Haro is not the most «sexy» place to stay in Rioja. We would rather recommend Laguardia for instance. 

Besides wine tasting, you will probably want to enjoy tapas in Logroño, and to do so the best option is to stay there. 

You can always decide to join a guided wine tour which eases things since you do not care about driving. 

On this road trip, we will propose to stay at 3 different locations: Haro or Briñas, Laguardia and Logroño. The same itinerary can be enjoyed staying at just one place, though bear in mind driving would be increased: not a problem if the distance is considered, but this could pose a problem if wine tasting and tapas eating get into the picture. 

Top stops to enjoy in this roadtrip

LOGROÑO

1 night or 2 in case you would like to visit the Yuso and Suso monasteries

Logroño

The capital of Rioja is an important stop in El Camino. Logroño is famous for its wineries and for its tapas district. Calle Laurel and San Mateo offer one of the best tapas experiences in Spain.

Santa María La Redonda con-cathedral is the top monument in Logroño. We recommend a stroll along the river Ebro in the old town, including its squares, the food market and Calle Laurel and Calle San Juan.

Logroño is the administrative capital of Rioja in Spain. It is a mid-sized city, an important stop in el Camino de Santiago, and it is a gastronomic heaven for those who enjoy tapas dining. Tapas and wines in the old quarter of Logroño are the top tourist attraction of Logroño. Its Calle Laurel is one of the most famous tapas streets in Spain. In Calle Laurel and nearby streets; bars specialize sometimes in just one dish and serve it along with a glass of wine from Rioja normally in its «young» version. If you ask for Crianza you will be understood and you will be served Riojan reds aged in an oak barrel.

Logroño has a strong culinary reputation in Spain. This reputation was acquired through its tapas and pinchos, but has increased beyond and reached also Michelin starred status. In this article, you can find a guide with the best restaurants in Logroño

And for tapas, this other article includes our recommendations to enjoy tapas culture in Rioja, with the best tapas and guide with tapas bars in Logroño

LAGUARDIA PRIVATE TOUR

Enjoy a private visit to one of Spain´s most beautiful villages and discover its hidden secrets

LOGROÑO - TAPAS TOUR

Meet local guides and discover with them one of Spain´s top tapas districts. Wine pairing is included

RIOJA WINE TOURS

Enjoy an amazing tour to wine country from Logroño and enjoy wines, gastronomy, landscapes...

LAGUARDIA

2 nights to enjoy wine country and relax. It takes 30 minutes to drive from Haro to Laguardia.

You can get to Laguardia in different ways. Our recommended road is N124-N232 (please note that roads in Spain get numbers. Numbers apply to roads apply to regions. On this road trip through Rioja wine country, you will change region (administrative region) and hence the same road will change the name. It can be a bit confusing so pay attention.

This road offers great landscapes. We recommend stopping in Briñas, Labastida, San Vicente de la Sonsierra and ELciego. Both Labastida and San Vicente offer amazing viewpoints to enjoy the landscapes. You can get to the viewpoints by car but it implies driving through rather narrow streets. The viewpoint in Labastida is next to the church. The viewpoint in San -Vicente is next to the castle. At Elciego you will enjoy the best views of the Marqués de Riscal hotel and vineyards from one of the view points located outside of the village. 

Top attractions in Laguardia

Imagine a medieval walled village where cars are not allowed, perched at the top of a hill and with amazing views of wine country. Add beautiful squares, cobbled streets, mansions, and small palaces, and fascinating churches and you get a picture of what awaits to be discovered in Laguardia. Laguardia retains its old walls and it faces the Sierra de Cantabria mountain range with breathtaking views of the vineyards of Rioja.

  • Visit the Plaza Mayor or main square of Laguardia. Once every hour (minutes before the hour), you can see three Basque figurines dancing to a traditional song in the Pendulum Clock of one of the buildings. We recommend walking around the beautiful town of Laguardia. You can enjoy a walk in Paseo del Collado.
  • This is an interesting guided tour of Laguardia where you will learn about the history of this medieval village that served as a defense stand for centuries. Laguardia tour
  • There are 2 main highlights in Laguardia. Number one is with no doubt El Portico (portal) at the church of Santa María de Los Reyes. Number two is to enjoy a visit to one of the ancient wineries of the village.
  • Restaurants. One of the op attractions in Laguardia is its gastronomy. Our top pick is Hector Oribe restaurant. It is located in Paganos, a tiny village 2 minutes drive from Laguardia. Our second choice is Amelibia, inside Laguardia. If you prefer a lighter version or tapas we would recommend Cueva de Lobos

You can find more interesting things to do in this post with ideas and best things to do in Laguardia

HARO

1 night to be able to enjoy wine tasting and avoid driving

We recommend walking around the old part of Haro. Here you will be able to see the old architecture, houses, and palaces. Next to the main square, you will find the Palacio Bendaña, which runs next to Calle Santo Tomás. It is on this street that you will find one of Haro´smost interesting Gothic-style churches, Santo Tomás, which has beautiful views over the river and Barrio de la Estación.
You can also find the Palace of the Duques de Haro next to this church, and from here get lost amongst amaze of tavernas that serve wine and tapas.

  • THE FAMOUS WINE BATTLE OF HARO The wine battle takes place in July. It has become a very important Fiesta and one that attracts an increasingly large number of visitors.
  • Basilica of Nuestra Señora de la Vega This Baroque-style church dedicated to the patron saint of Haro was built in
    the 10th century. You do not want to miss its fantastic Baroque interior and altarpiece.

  • Museo del Torrejon (contemporary art) Riojan museum of contemporary art is located very close to Haro’s main
    square. The building that houses the museum is the only existing remnant
    of the walls that defended the town dating back to the 12th century.

Restaurants in Haro

Haro is home to a good number of bars and restaurants where you will be able to enjoy the local gastronomy. Our favorite option in Haro itself is Terete, a roaster with a good atmosphere. Beethoven in la Herradura area is a classical option too. You can find more information here about – THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN HARO

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