La Rioja is a small and quaint town, in Northern Spain. It is well known for its large-scale production of high red wine. A little secret just for you, you will find excellent red wine and at a low price. This should be one of the reasons why you should pay a visit to the town. It isn’t just about the wine; La Rioja has a rich culture and a solid history that will intrigue you. I couldn’t summarize all the fun, educational, spiritual places that you will find in La Rioja. I will try my best to sum up some of the number one go-to places.
1. Marques de Riscal Winery
- Name: Bodegas Marques De Riscal
- Address: Torrea, 1, 01340 Elciego, Álava, Araba, Spain
- Phone: +34 945 60 60 00
- Hours: 9 AM – 6 PM Everyday
- Website: http://www.marquesderiscal.com/indexeng.php
2. Parque del Espolon
This is the central park in La Rioja. It is located at the center of the city. Many of their festivals are held there, such as the San Mateo Festival. This festival is a way to celebrate the wine harvest in the region as you stomp over grapes. You won’t get to do that anywhere else. The event is usually held in September. The park is also a congenial locale to relax and watch the rush while breathing in the amazing smells of the roses around and awe at the statues. A good place for some peace and quite or just spending time with the little ones.
- Name: Parque del Espolón
- Address: Calle Miguel Villanueva, 2, 26001 Logroño, La Rioja, Spain
- Recommended visit length: 1 to 2 hours
3. Catedral de Santo Domingo de la Calzada
Source: Manel Zaera
This Cathedral is devoted to Saint Domingo, and it has a fascinating legend about the saint and a rooster. They even have two chicken in a glass cage in the church. Don’t you believe me? Go check it out for yourself. The legend goes to say that if the chicken makes a sound as you enter, then you will have good Camino. The artistry applied in the church will leave you in awe. From the amount of gold used in the altarpiece to the great art display, you will have a splendid time looking around. It has well-organized items on display, not cramped into a heap.
- Name: Cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada
- Address: Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Spain
- Phone: 941340033
- Website: http://www.catedralsantodomingo.es/#_=_
4. Mirador de Las Ciguenas
It is the ideal place for a get together with family and newly made friends. There is a significant number of people, local and tourists alike seated, chatting, eating and drinking. So, you won’t feel out of place. The vast number of stocks perching and nesting on one roof top is a sight to behold. Not to forget the glorious cathedral overlooking the area that is amazing to look at as you make small talk. You don’t have to worry about food and drink as there are many eateries within the vicinity. All that is needed is your presence.
- Name: Mirador de las Ciguenas
- Address: Plaza Esperanza, 1, 26540 Alfaro, La Rioja, Spain
- Phone: 941180133
- Website: http://www.alfaro.es/turismo/Ciguenas.htm#_=_
Vivanco is like a museum of wine. In that, you will find all matters wine there. You will get to learn about the process of winemaking. Mark you, the lessons are brought to life by use of the latest technology as they inform you. You will also be lucky to get to know the history of winemaking in La Rioja and the culture thereof.Further, you will find on display some antique wine-related materials such as the Picasso jugs and religious artifacts in Span that have been influenced by wine.
- Name: Vivanco
- Address: Carretera Nacional 232, 26330 Briones, Spain
- Phone: +34 941 32 23 23
- Website: http://vivancoculturadevino.es/es/#_=_
6. Go Sightseeing at the River Leza Canyon
How well the Leza River Canyon looks from here!
— Rubén Álcazar (@Ruben_Alcazar_) February 7, 2016
If you want to have a taste of some of the beautiful sights in La Rioja, then the Canyon of River Leza is the place to be. The river is a stream of the Ebro river that flows in La Rioja. It passes by beautiful canyons that are quite impressive to the eye. You could also hike as you admire the sublime landscape. The trail will lead you to a stunning mountain village named Soto en Cameros. You will then find a map that will show the routes you can follow from the village. It will be an excellent and fulfilled day for you.
- Name: River Leza Canyon
- Location: La Rioja
- Website: http://winefolly.com/review/the-seven-valleys-of-rioja/, http://www.lariojaturismo.com/paisajes_riojanos/index.php?Id_contenido=14178
7. Tierra Rapaz
Have you ever tried to hold a bird of prey up close? Do you wish to? Well, lucky for you, if you happen to be in La Rioja, make your way to Tierra Rapaz. This is an enclosure of birds such as owls that are being taken care off by professionals. You will have the chance to learn a thing or two about their nature, not from the books but through experience. You will also get the opportunity to feed them but through supervision. You don’t want to make the wrong move. It is an educative and fun activity for you and your family. Children are also given the opportunity to be part of this. It will be the time of theirs and your life.
- Name: Tierra Rapaz
- Address: Ctra. Calahorra | Rincon de Soto, 26500 Calahorra, Spain
- Phone: +34 660969928
- Website: http://tierrarapaz.com/#_=_
8. Museo de La Rioja
The museum is the best place to learn about the history of the region, dating from the prehistoric times to present day. They have an impressive display of art that will get you glued. Entrance may be free, so, don’t forget to carry your passport. An addition of household material that was used in all those periods is there on display too. Time to get some history lesson. The place won’t be a bore; I can assure you. Get to learn about the history of La Rioja and how it has evolved over time.
- Name: Museo de la Rioja
- Address: Museo de la Rioja, 26001 Logrono, Spain
- Phone: 941291259
- Website: http://www.museodelarioja.es/#_=_
9. Be part of Batalla del Vino
This battle is a wine festival that is held every June. It starts at night and ends the following day around lunchtime. People dress in white and carry with them, buckets, water guns and even wineskins filled with cheap red wine. It involves a huge crowd as they merry and sing songs at night while dancing. At sunrise, the battle begins as everyone shoots wine at whatever is ahead or throws wine in every direction. Time to get dirty with cheap wine. This is not an everyday occurrence; you won’t get to do it anywhere else. Get going to La Rioja!
- Name: Batalla del Vino
- Location: La Rioja
- Date: 29th June
- Starting time: 7 AM
- Website: http://www.batalladelvino.com/
10. Get to See Stilt Dancers
In July and during the Mary Magdalene Feast, you will get to see stilt dancers on half a meter high stilts. They drape themselves in bright colors as they dance around. There are band players to get the party started. The ease in which they dance and strut around will leave you amazed and want to see more and more. They walk along the street of Anguiano as spectators cheer them on, from the church to the center. It is a sight to behold. You don’t want to miss it.
- Name: Mary Magdalene Feast
- Location: La Rioja
- Month: July
- Activity: Dancing
As intriguing as it sounds, nothing compares to the feeling of a vacation and experiencing in La Rioja.Park your bags and ‘Aloha La Rioja!’
Have a good trip and travel!