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It was during their southbound march through La Rioja that the Christians first integrated Mediterranean agriculture: the olive grove, the vineyard and the irrigation system. For centuries this junction would be both a disputed territory between the people of Castile and Navarre, and the center of cultural creation; for here is where the language of Spain was born, where the Route of Santiago de Compostela was consolidated, and where superior wines were nurtured.
5 Nights / 6 Days
The first route of our journey takes us to the Bilbao Airport, designed by the renowned architect Calatrava, followed by another landmark of contemporary art, Frank O. Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum, the newest icon of the Basque Country’s industrial capital city. We will further explore this refurbished city with a scenic tour that takes us from the newer suburbs to the historic old town and its Seven Streets. Travel to Logroño for overnight.
We will begin by visiting the old section of Logroño -capital city of La Rioja- and will walk along the city stretch of the Path of Saint James where we will find the late Gothic church of Santiago, as well as the con-Cathedral, the church of Saint Bartholomew. The towns of Samaniego and Labastida await us in the Alaves district of La Rioja. Possibility of visiting different wineries with tasting. Possibility of organizing a regional Rioja lunch. On our way back, we will enjoy a walk in San Asensio a prosperous village known for its Davalillo Castle ruins and the Battle of Wine- and in Cenicero, whose historic past is evidenced by gated homes marked with their respective coats of arms. Overnight in Logroño.
Today we follow the Path of Saint James to Nájera, the former venue for the Kings of Navarre, buried in the church of Santa María la Real-. Possibility of visiting different wineries with tasting. Continue to Santo Domingo de la Calzada, a site created for those making the pilgrimage, its walls, a beautiful Main Square, Cathedral, pilgrimage Hospital and the noted Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral remain intact. At the foot of the Sierra de la Demanda hills, we will retreat to San Millán de la Cogolla, the birthplace of the language of Castile, and a reference point for the history of Riojan monasticism dating from the Visigoths to the 18th century in the Suso and Yuso monasteries. Overnight in Logroño.
The day starts in Navarrete, a small village whose Calle Mayor will lead us to the castle and to the Romanesque gate of the cemetery. Navarrete maintains a strong pottery-making tradition and in Tricio we will discover a small church raised with Roman columns. We will cross the Ebro river to reach the village of Laguardia with its walled old quarter which has been perfectly kept, as has been its medieval urban layout. Laguardia is well situated above La Rioja Alavesa and offers the best views of the Riojan vineyards. Walking through its streets, we will visit the Church of Santa María and appreciate its polychromatic Gothic façade. Possibility of visiting different wineries with tasting. Overnight in Logroño.
Today we will focus on the upper region of Rioja. Its capital city Haro, surrounded by renowned wineries, boasts the Plateresque façade of the church of Saint Thomas. Possibility of visiting one of the renowned wine museums in Haro or Briones and different wineries with tasting. In the surroundings of Haro we will discover Casalarreina with its Palace of Los Condestables, the large Baroque Ollauri homes, and the narrow, winding streets of the walled city of Briones beneath the chapel of the Virgen de los Remedios. Possibility of organizing a special farewell dinner Overnight in Logroño.
Transfer to the Bilbao Airport.