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Whether walking through vineyards towards a medieval castle or sipping fine wine over Michelin-starred dinner, this Rioja self-drive holiday brings together beautiful walks and some of Spain’s finest gastronomy and wine.
Email us at email@example.com to discuss a tailor-made itinerary
Fly to Bilbao today (international flights are quoted separately). Make your way to your hotel, located just across the river from the Guggenheim. You spend one night in the city, staying in a first class hotel in the city centre. This evening you might like to head out into town to try one of the city’s famously good restaurants.
This morning take time to explore the old centre of Bilbao, as well as Frank Gehry’s famous titanium clad Guggenheim museum. After lunch, collect your car and drive to the region of La Rioja, just over an hour away. The area of the vineyards is wedged between mountains to the north and south. Stay in a very modern hotel integrated into a very traditional village. It is well known for its fine restaurant so tonight is dedicated to their tasting menu.
Your first visit this morning is to the very new Bodegas Baigorri, a superb example of modern and ancient technology in harness. This afternoon you visit a very different, much more traditional winery. Four generations of the Luis Canas family have been producing wine for the best part of a century, and are a wonderful example of the intimate boutique wines that Rioja Alavesa makes so well. After your tastings, you might like to walk through fields and vineyards to the walled town of Laguardia.
From the nearby village of Briones, set off walking a relaxed but pretty route through vineyards towards the castle at Davalillo. The valley is wide and open at this point so you enjoy lovely views of the mountains to the north and south, hilltop villages and the castle ahead. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the castle before returning to the hotel to relax. This afternoon, you might like to visit the fascinating museum of Dinastia Vivanco which is dedicated to wine production.
This morning, enjoy a spot of local, family-run winemaking - very different from the major Rioja players - but great fun, and a very warm welcome. You spend time out in the vines as well as back in the bodega seeing how villagers would make their own vintages. From here, it’s into the old city of Laguardia, the capital of La Rioja. Your guide shows you around the heart of the city before leaving you to check in to your beautiful small city hotel.
The day is yours to structure as you wish, there are plenty of options for you - from exploring the food market and wine shops of the city to hikes in the Sierra Cantabria nearby. Whichever you choose, try to work up an appetite for dinner at one of our favourite restaurants anywhere. Ingredients come from the hills around and about, but the food is remarkably sophisticated and delicious, and expertly paired with top notch wines from the region.
After breakfast, travel back to Bilbao to drop off your car and fly home. If this quick summary has whetted your appetite for a tailor-made trip to La Rioja, we'd love to talk to you about tailoring something that is just right for you. See below for various ways to get in touch or request a full PDF itinerary for more details of this trip.
On this independent self-drive holiday, you get to explore these landscapes at a relaxed pace, taking plenty of time to soak up the culture with time spent with local guides and hosts. Naturally there is no shortage of opportunity to sample the region’s output of food and wine.
The walks on this trip are moderate, rather than strenuous. Designed really to introduce you to the full variety of La Rioja's scenery rather than to have you trekking all day long. Most days consist of combinations of walking, a cultural visit or wine-based activity, followed by a delicious meal.
The described itinerary is just a taster of what this trip could involve. We would work with you to tailor your personal trip. The holiday can be run with almost any number of days and can easily be combined with other areas, such as the Pyrenees, Basque country or Picos de Europa.
This is a tailor made holiday, and can leave on a date to suit you, from April to October. Daytime temperatures will range between 15°-30°c. May and June tend to be showery but this is also one of the most beautiful times to visit. The driest month is usually September, with harvest happening usually towards the end of the month. October gradually gets more changeable but benefits from the beautiful colours of the autumnal forests.
The price is per person based on two sharing and includes:
First-class accommodation with breakfast
Compact vehicle hire
Guided excursions, wine tours and food experiences
Rioja Holiday Guide with personal recommendations
Spain driving guide
Detailed walking notes where appropriate
Pura’s expertise, local contacts, support and advice throughout
International flights are quoted separately for this holiday. Best routings are into and out of Bilbao (BIO).
In terms of physical comfort, we use 4* hotels for this hotel - smaller properties with atmosphere and friendly staff. In Bilbao this is a first-class property in the heart of town. In La Rioja, you stay in a modern hotel in a traditional village, a property famous for its gastronomy. In Logrono, again, it is a 4* hotel but on a small scale, family run and very, very well-maintained.
For more details, please get in touch to request a detailed PDF itinerary.
You have various interactions with our local guides, who share constant insight into the people, landscapes and history surrounding you. And there is a lot to experience... From rolling up your sleeves in a tiny family vineyard to sampling fine Rioja in the company of a renowned local winemaker. From the informal tapas of Logrono's vibrant Calle Laurel to Michelin-starred dining in the tiny rural village of Daroca.
As you can see, there is a lot more to Spain's smallest region than just the wine. More than any other trip in this part of Spain, this is a holiday designed to convey La Rioja in all its depth and breadth, its beauty and flavour.
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