Spain: La Rioja

Select Experience Tour, Spain: La RiojaSelect Experience Tour, Spain: La Rioja

Spain

La Rioja

overview

A stay in northern Spain’s La Rioja region offers the perfect combination of world-class wine; sumptuous, country-style cuisine; and striking landscapes. Stroll through beautiful vineyards with a local connoisseur—stopping to help prune vines or harvest grapes. Sample complex reds and perfectly dry whites in a centuries-old winemaking town. Your home for your stay—a boutique hotel in historic Logroño—is well situated to sample the city’s many wine and tapas bars. And when you’ve eaten and sipped your fill, enjoy breathtaking walks through the scenic fields and forests of La Rioja.

Activity Level
Activities vary and
are accessible to
most fitness levels;
see full itinerary
Meet
Bilbao (or San Sebastian), Spain
Depart
Bilbao (or San Sebastian), Spain
Select Experience 
4 days, 3 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes:

  • Three breakfasts and three lunches (days 1, 2, and 3)
  • Accommodations in a boutique hotel (superior room)
  • Private vineyard and medieval castle walk with expert bilingual guide
  • Private full-day market, tapas and wine tour with expert bilingual guide
  • Private full-day walk, winery tour, and monasteries visit with expert bilingual guide
  • Private transportation from meeting point to departure point
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the Country Walkers staff
Number of Travelers
Total in your party
Price From
per person double occupancy

Surcharges may apply for solo travelers as well as for trips during New Year’s, Christmas, or national holidays.

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

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Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
La Rioja
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2
La Rioja
View on map
3
La Rioja
View on map
4
La Rioja
View on map
Day 1

La Rioja

Arrival in La Rioja, private transfer from Bilbao to Logroño; introductory walk, 6 miles, easy to moderate

You are met by your guide and driver in either of the northern Spanish cities of Bilbao or San Sebastian, and travel just under two hours through the wide dramatic landscapes of La Rioja to Logroño, the regional capital that is the center of Rioja wine production. Your immersion in the well-known wine-producing region of La Rioja starts immediately with an easy walk from Briones through vineyards to a medieval castle (Castillo de Davalillo), perched on a hill over the flat valley floor. (The path is out and back, allowing for shorter mileage options.) A picnic lunch provides an introduction to the tasty cheeses and savory cured meats of this region. Later, after checking into your charming hotel in the heart of historic Logroño, you may consult the list of recommended restaurants for dining ideas in this gastronomic mecca, known for its excellent restaurants and taperías (tapas restaurants).

Hotel Calle Mayor

La Rioja, Spain

This small boutique hotel in the historic center of Logroño, the capital of the Rioja region, occupies a beautifully renovated 16th-century palace. The ancient exterior archway opens onto a contemporary interior with simple and plush decor featuring warm colors, wood, and original exposed stone and beams.

Day 2

La Rioja

Morning guided walking tour of Logroño including market visit and tapas tasting; afternoon visit to family winery and walk to Laguardia; 5 miles, easy to moderate

You begin the day with a guided tour of Logroño—its location at the heart of La Rioja and on the Camino de Santiago has resulted in a rich and varied history. A combination of the perfect geographic conditions for grape growing as well as being poised on the crossroads of sea, mountains, and plains blesses the city with some of the finest food in the country. The freshest fish and seafood flow from the coast just to the north, while high-quality meats and cheeses arrive from the plateau to the south. A visit to the Abastos covered market is proof of the sheer quality of food available to the lucky people of La Rioja. Your guide leads you along the famous Calle Laurel where each small bar specializes in its own tasty delicacy—from shrimp to mushrooms to lamb chops or something more adventurous!

This afternoon your guide takes you to her own family’s vineyard where you learn about the winemaking process from vine to bottle; and, immediately family, you help out with whatever tasks the season demands, which might be anything from pruning the vines to harvesting the grapes—on a small farm, a helping hand is always welcome. From the vineyard you make your way to the family’s bodega where, until recently, the family made the wines. Nowadays they sell their grapes, keeping just enough to make wine for family and guests. As you snack on Grandma’s homemade chorizo, you learn more about the tradition of small-scale wine production in Rioja and even bottle up your own memento of the day. Facilities are very simple for winemaking on a family scale, so you can get a true understanding of the process. Later, you visit the medieval walled town of Laguardia for a guided walk through vineyards in the shadow of the limestone mountains. The route winds past the Ysios winery, with its remarkable architecture. Returning to your hotel, dinner is at your leisure in Logroño.

Hotel Calle Mayor

La Rioja, Spain

This small boutique hotel in the historic center of Logroño, the capital of the Rioja region, occupies a beautifully renovated 16th-century palace. The ancient exterior archway opens onto a contemporary interior with simple and plush decor featuring warm colors, wood, and original exposed stone and beams.

Day 3

La Rioja

Guided walk in Rioja, 2 miles, easy, Brinas to Hara and monasteries at San Millán, 3 miles, easy to moderate, elevation gain and loss of 500 ft.

After breakfast in your hotel, a short drive takes you to the village of Brinas, on the banks of the Ebro River. You begin a walk along the river bank, crossing a Roman bridge to reach the old station area of Haro, the largest town of Rioja Alta (the upper Rioja). This area is home to the finest, most traditional Rioja wineries, each with its own wine bar on site. Your guide takes you from winery to winery on this walking wine-tasting course. Strolling to the picturesque town square, you break for a tapas-style lunch. Soaking up a change of scenery, later this afternoon you travel to the fertile landscape to the south of La Rioja where the vineyards are replaced with fields, forests, and mountains. Your destination is the Monasteries at San Millán—UNESCO World Heritage sites—with Yuso being considered the cradle of the Spanish language and Suso one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in Spain; a lovely walk joins the two. You return to Logroño in the late afternoon.

Hotel Calle Mayor

La Rioja, Spain

This small boutique hotel in the historic center of Logroño, the capital of the Rioja region, occupies a beautifully renovated 16th-century palace. The ancient exterior archway opens onto a contemporary interior with simple and plush decor featuring warm colors, wood, and original exposed stone and beams.

Day 4

La Rioja

Departure from Bilbao or San Sebastian

After breakfast at your hotel, you are transferred to Bilbao (or San Sebastian) to join your next CW Adventure or continue your onward travels.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

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