The famous Rioja wine region is a must for wine lovers visiting Spain. La Rioja is also a perfect destination for admirers of the great outdoors, and touring the area is a real feast for the senses. Beyond the area's wine attractions, a variety of recreational activities are offered in this picturesque region including horseback riding, paragliding, mountain biking, skiing, fishing, and hunting.
Rioja lies on the banks of the river "Río Oja"in northern Spain, which gives its name to the region. Haro, a unique medieval village, is the center of La Rioja's wine land, offering an excellent selection of restaurants and wine shops. Vines have grown in the fertile valley of the River Ebro since Roman times and the region has many excellent wine shops, bodegas, and wineries that appeal to visitors. A wine museum and the tourist office are open to the public and provide details of those bodegas. Marqués de Riscal winery, founded in 1860, is one of the most famous winery buildings in the area.
Rioja’s landscape is characterized by medieval towns on hilltops, mountains on the horizon, and some of the country’s most imposing monasteries. The Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route—also known as the Way of St. James—passes through La Rioja on its way to Santiago de Compostela. This is one of the most ancient and most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times, together with Rome and Jerusalem.
Located south of the Cantabrian Mountains along the Ebro river, La Rioja benefits from a continental climate. The mountains help to isolate the region and protect the vineyards from the common fierce winds of northern Spain.The nearby city of Bilbao, and the beaches on the north of Spain (La Concha in San Sebastian City), guarantee an experience full of excitement and contrasts.
Other major attractions in the area include the famous Frank Gehry Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, and the nearby Rioja Alta Golf Club. Several airports are within an hour’s reach, including Bilbao’s international Airport approximately 100 kilometers away and the Logroño, Vitoria, and Burgos airports about 50 kilometers away.