Cycling in Rioja Wine Country

Independent 8 Days / 7 Nights

La Rioja, south of Bilbao, may be famous for its wines but its landscape is a delight in every way: gentle rolling terrain carpeted with grapes; historic towns; impressive estates; stately homes; stone walls and ancient bridges.

On every hilltop stands a monumental church or castle, avant-garde wineries that produce some of the world’s finest wines, hide amongst the vineyards. The local calendar is ruled by planting, harvesting and wine-making. Discover the many facets of La Rioja on this tour enjoying local wines and regional cuisine. Stay at three characterful accommodations: a 17thC wine estate; a historic monastery; and a charming family-run hotel in the town of Ezcaray close to haute cuisine tapas bars and restaurants.

Your Journey

Day 1: Abalos

Arrival in Abalos where you will spend the first three nights.

Day 2: Circular route in La Rioja Alavesa (approx 35 km)

Cycle east into the Basque section of Rioja Wine Country across a rolling landscape covered in grapevines, and medieval hilltop villages. Stop at historic Laguardia and the wine-making village of Elciego. Return to Ábalos, on quiet lanes through vineyards with the limestone peaks of the Sierra de Cantabria in the distance.

Day 3: Circular route via Haro (30 or 42 km)

Cycle south and follow the River Ebro to Haro. Pass through San Vicente de la Sonsierra, with its beautiful medieval bridge and impressively situated Gothic church. In Briones, option to visit the private collection at Vivanco winery: a display of almost anything to do with wine-making, with some 3500 corkscrews of interest to wine enthusiasts and art-lovers alike.

Day 4: Ábalos to San Millán (approx 39 km)

Cross the Ebro and cycle south through vineyards, fields of grain and orchards. You reach the monasteries of Yuso and Suso, set in an open valley at the foot of the Sierra de Demanda. Your accommodation is a Baroque monastery turned luxurious hotel, situated on the village square.

Day 5: San Millán de la Cogolla to Ezcaray (approx 39 km)

Ride along winding country roads toward Santo Domingo de la Calzada, an essential stopover for Christians, on the Camino de Santiago. Leave the vineyards behind and cycle into the grain-producing area of La Rioja following a dedicated cycle path to Ezcaray, where you'll spend the next three nights in the historical town centre.There are a wide selection of restaurants, bodegas and tapas bars in which to sample the local wines.

Day 6: Ezcaray Valley or Walking in Sierra de Demanda (approx 21 km cycling / 14 km walking)

Optional walking tour into the Sierra de Demanda. If you prefer to stick with wheels, you can cycle into the foothills, to remote villages with just a few resident farmers. After 10km cycle you'll begin to see a completely different side of La Rioja.

Day 7: Circuit route via Santo Domingo de la Calzada

Cycle a circular route through waving fields of grain from the flat Oja River Valley then up into the hills of orchards, sunflowers and shady woodlands. There is also an optional visit to Santo Domingo de la Calzada..

Day 8: End of programme

After breakfast your cycling trip comes to an end.

Terrain

Easy cycling on gentle terrain with some hills.

Meals

Breakfast daily. 2 Dinners.

Trip Notes / Dates / Prices

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    Auckland 0622, New Zealand
  • P: (0064) 09 486 7473
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Cycling Europe Offers Cycling Holidays in Europe and around the world.

  • Our experts Jill, Therese and Michele have over 65 years combined experience working within the travel industry.
  • Our team can advise and coordinate your travel arrangements to your personal requirements.