Walking in Rioja

 
Walking in Rioja Spain
Rioja Spain Countryside
 

As the smallest region of Spain this tiny province has much to offer the visitor and is one of the most well known because of its wine. It is completely land locked by four of Spain's northerly regions -and has two main rivers running through it Rio Oja (from which it gets its name) and Rio Ebro. These rivers have forged their way through the Rioja landscape and created some stunning scenery, which has often be compared to that of Italy's Tuscany.

The region provides many wonderful walks along the route of St James and exploring the local mountains in the west and the south west, the Sistems Iberico sierras. This area offers extensive variety of walking opportunities for those wishing to gently stroll amongst its beauty and for the more experienced and adventurous walkers. The volume of water flowing the river Ebro, the largest in Spain, has created gentle hills and large flat plains ideal for the vines of its famous wine.

Despite its size Rioja has had a substantial influence on this area of Spain's history. Due to the St. James pilgrimage going through the region and the growth of monasteries that resulted from this.  During the middle ages it was the reason for Foral de Navarre, Castile y Leon and Aragon regions fighting over its territory. Its culture and architecture also show signs of the Roman conquest and Muslim occupation.

The temperature varies more in the mountain areas and is likely to see more regular rainfall throughout the year. The Rioja highlands have a gentle climate with a moderate rainfall. Temperatures vary from the average low of 4ºC in the winter to mid 20'sºC in the summer. The eastern region and the plains have a more Mediterranean climate that is warmer and drier.

 

Airports
Although this region doesn't have its own airport you can either use a connecting internal Iberia flight from one of Spain's major airports to the local Logrono airport.

  • Bilbao (connecting flight to Logrono)
  • Madrid (connecting flight to Logrono)
  • Barcelona (connecting flight to Logrono)

Or you can use the excellent road system between Rioja and its neighbouring regions, which make these drives easy to achieve, even though some may be long. The distance below give you an indication of the distance between the airports and Logrono.

  • Bilbao to Logrono - 133km
  • Madrid to Logrono - 330km
  • Barcelona to Logrono - 472km

 

 
Walking in Spain Rioja
Walking Near Yuso Rioja Spain
 

Walking in Logrono
The city of Logrono lies on the pilgrim route of St. James and was a Roman river port, enabling their armies and traders to cross the river Ebro. Its old town, casco antiguo, is a wonderful place to visit as the afternoon draws out and evening approaches.  Its many bars and restaurants make an ideal spot to enjoy some tapas and sample the local wines. Much of this city is more modern in nature, but its 15th century cathedral, Santa Maria de la Redonda, situated in La Plaza del Mercado is a spectacular building and location. Logrono makes a brilliant location from which to explore the numerous wineries of the area and sample their wares.

West of Logrono, just south of Najera, is the small town of San Millan de la Cogolla where the first written Castillian and Euskera (Basque) manuscripts are kept, in the monasteries of Yuso and Suso. As one travels farther north you will find the small town of Laguardia which offers you splendid walks within its marvellously preserved medieval walls and in the surrounding area.  For walks and explorations amongst spectacular landscapes you should visit the southern area of the region to see its marvellous caves and grottos at Tierra de Cameros.

Walking Around Haro
The region and town of Haro are just an exquisite example of traditional Spanish life. It continues in the same way today that it has done for centuries.  The local life is dictated by the wine growing and the needs of the vine and the autumn harvest time is particularly busy with the battle of the wines being their traditional and major feast day. You can walk around the town and surrounding area and enjoy its wonderful ambience.

 
Click here for a list of companies offering Walking Holidays in Rioja