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Add Rioja to your holiday list

This year World Tourism Day falls on Friday 27th September, and we can’t think of a better place to add to your travel list than the Rioja region!

 

Rioja Alta, San Vicente de La Sonsierra

 

Split into the three zones of Rioja Alta, Rioja Oriental and Rioja Alavesa with the river Ebro winding its way between the three, the landscape is as beautiful and varied as the wines. There are over 600 wineries in the region, each with their own unique style and character – you are guaranteed to be spoiled for choice. Three Rioja vineyards even feature in the top 50 of World’s Best Vineyards to visit list 2019.

 

Rioja Alta, Haro, harvest

 

If you’ve had your fill of wineries for a day, there are numerous picturesque towns to visit within the region. Stop off at the historic train station in Haro – the original gateway for Rioja wines to the rest of the world – and admire the stunning architecture and the beautiful wall of wine barrels, followed by a thorough sampling of the world-famous culinary delights of Northern Spain in Logroño.

 

 

The Basque speciality is pinchos, small, tapas-style snacks served in bars. These delicacies are especially abundant in Calle Laurel in Logroño, an Instagram-perfect cobbled street full of bars and restaurants – a real foodie’s paradise!

 

 

If active holidays are more your thing, you can also cycle around the region and take in the landscape from the saddle, with the gentle undulations of the Ebro valley making it appealing to even the most unseasoned cyclist. For those with a penchant for hills, there are picturesque wineries perched higher up in the foothills of the Sierra la Demanda in the south, and national parks in all of the three zones.

 

 

After visiting any of the many wineries through the region and sampling their offerings, you can head to the region’s wine museum where you can learn about the history of wine culture, as well as learning more about La Rioja – the cradle of the modern Spanish language and a historic location in its own right. Don’t forget, our website is full of information on exploring the region, with suggested wine routes too.

 

 

If cycling isn’t your thing, other outdoor activities to do in the region include hot air balloon rides over the vineyards, plenty of hiking trails with epic views along the way, off-road tours in four-wheel drives, climbing tours and many golf courses. There really is something for everyone.

 

 

Visiting the region couldn’t be simpler; Rioja is just an hour’s drive from Bilbao airport which you can fly to from a range of major UK cities, meaning it’s possible to visit for a weekend. If you’re coming from Ireland, there are direct flights from Dublin to Bilbao – what are you waiting for?