La Rioja is the smallest Spanish region known worldwide for its excellent wines.

It is a land with a variety of very interesting landscapes, from the Sierra de la Demanda to the Ebro valleys, and climatic micro-regions like that of Enciso.

Sierra Sur riojana, from Ezcaray to Cornago, is a good place to get lost in nature.

In La Rioja you can visit the Monasteries of San Millán, the forests of the Oja or see dinosaur tracks.

In Rioja Alta there are small paths that allow you to discover the Riojana sierra. Also in the region there are more than 30 caves. The wider cavity reaches 2,300 meters long and is located in Santa Engracia of Jubera.

As for the mountain tourism, Valdezcaray station located in the town of Ezcaray in the Sierra de la Demanda, is the perfect place to ski.

The winter station offers skiing enthusiasts a complete infrastructure occupying 300 hectares of piste and ski areas.

monasterio san millan La Rioja

In La Rioja there are important and numerous monasteries. The route monasteries most famous is that that passes for Nájera, Cañas, San Millán de la Cogolla and Valvanera.

The monasteries of San Millan de la Cogolla (Suso and Yuso), as well as being the most important and famous of Spain, they are part of the UNESCO World Heritage of humanity, because in those places saw the light the first text written in Spanish.

  • Suso is the oldest monastery of La Rioja. Consecrated in 984, it retains the caves where San Millán lived as a hermit in the sixth century. It is a rustic building quite the opposite of the Yuso Monastery.
  • Yuso, of Romanesque origin, was rebuilt between the sixteenth and the eighteenth century. Of great importance the main entrance, the Salón de los Reyes, the church, the museum, the library, the sacristy and the cloister.

Other monuments to visit in the region are:

  • The Calahorra Cathedral
  • The Cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada
  • The Co-Cathedral of Santa María de la Redonda

In Logroño, the capital of the autonomous community, you can visit:

  • The museum of la Rioja
  • The House of science
  • The Würth Museum of Contemporary Art La Rioja
  • The wall and Revellín Cube, exhibition hall where you can know about the history of the city.
  • Cellars for wine tasting, some with guided tour of the structure: Ontañón, Olarra, Marqués de Vargas, Darien, Franco Españolas, Velez, Juan Alcorta, Viña Ijalba, Marqués de Murrieta.
  • The Way of St. James: it passes through the city and arrive to a fountain where the pilgrims can refresh from the long walk.
bodega La Rioja

The wine tourism is one of the greatest pleasures available in the region. You can visit many cellars where you can taste the wines, in addition to eating well and exercising mounting on horseback or playing golf.

The wine culture was, in the Middle Ages, directly linked to the life of the monastery, because the monks were the main spreaders of the wine. The wine region of La Rioja is located in the Ebro Valley. It is bordered to the north by the Sierra de Cantabria and to the south by the de la Demanda. Haro is the most important center of its production, whose annual festival of “Wine Battle” is the most original festival in the region.

More than 55,000 hectares of vineyards currently make up the Denomination of Origin Rioja.

vigna

In the small villages the wine culture is decisive for fun. Festivals well known throughout the region and around the country are: the wine festivals in Logroño on September 21 and the Battle of Wine in Haro on June 29. Other festivals are linked to religious tradition, such as the processions of the Santo Domingo May 10, the Hundred Damsels of Soriano a reminiscent of the medieval tribute that Christians had to pay to the Arabs in the form of young maidens.

Among the festivals of Rioja Baja there is El Robo de los Santos of Arnedo on 26 of September, with the representation of the struggle between Riojanos and Navarros for the possession of the image of San Cosme and San Damián. Another special feast is the Danza de los Zancos of Anguiano, where the dancers whirl like tops in a descent, wearing a traditional dress with skirts and the foot stilts.

As for the riojana gastronomy, it is conditioned by gegraphy, thanks to the presence of the river Ebro, the land is perfect for vegetables. Legumes, fruits and vegetables, among which stand out the mushrooms and asparagus, are of excellent quality.

When it comes to desserts, the Mazapán de Soto, sweet of Arabic origin made based on sugar and chopped almond, it is known across the country.