Treasures of Rioja

  • PRICE: from 1569 €

  • WHEN: April to October

  • DURATION: 6 days

  • NEAREST AIRPORT: Bilbao

  • Unique towns and monasteries.
  • Monasteries of Yuso and Suso, World Heritage site since 1997, a repository for the earliest known Spanish manuscripts-monastery with more than 15 centuries of age.
  • The jewels of ancient Rioja: Nuestra Sra de La Piedad, a 16th century monastery. Santa Maria La Real, a 11th century fort-like burial place of kings. Logrono´s beautiful cathedral: Santa Maria La Redonda.
  • Santo Domingo de La Calzada: network of medieval streets declared "National Historic Interest Site".
  • Breathtaking scenery and excellent range of wineries.
  • Visit Briones, the roman village encircled by a huge loop of the river Ebro. Dinasti­a Vivanco, the world wine largest museum is located in this village.
  • Haro, with the elegant wine mansions, Najera, built by the romans, occupied by the moors and conquered by the Spanish. Logrono, the capital, its wide boulevards reminiscent of Bordeaux from where the emigrate wine makers came.
  • Walk along the narrow streets of the medieval town of Laguardia.
  • Excellent range of wineries, ancient and some located under a small palace where you can taste wines and learn more about the stages of winemaking.
  • The river Ebro irrigates and fertilizes the garden of Spain, you will try the fresh fruit and vegetables typical from this region. Fabulous food including tapas.

Tour Summary

LA RIOJA, GASTRONOMY, WINE AND CULTURE AT ITS BEST

In five days we will take you back over a thousand years from the lustrous convolutions of the Guggenheim Modern Art Museum in Bilbao to the jewels of ancient Rioja: the 16th century La Piedad Monastery with its majestic stone alter piece and exquisitely carved portal with plant, animal and human motifs; Santa Maria La Real, an 11th century fort-like burial place of kings; the baroque golden doors of San Millan's Yuso monastery, a repository for the earliest known Spanish manuscripts and nearby the Suso Monastery, hewn from living sandstone. The cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada lies on the pilgrims' road to Santiago de Compostela and contains an extravagantly decorated cage where, for centuries, a live hen and a cockerel have been kept. You will discover the bizarre, the beautiful and the bounty of Spain's famous vineyards and gastronomic hot spots.

PLACES

Leaving Bilbao, you will travel by road to Haro, where elegant wine mansions meet lively pavement cafees. The picturesque Roman village of Briones is encircled by a huge loop of the River Ebro. Nearby, is Elciego, the home of Marques de Riscal Winery and its dazzling hotel designed by Frank Ghery. Najera was built by the Romans, occupied by the moors an conquered by the Spanish who built monastery of Santa Maria la Real in the 11th century by a cave in which a statue of the Madonna was found. It is also well-known for the artwork in the choir of the church. You will walk through Laguardia, a medieval hilltop city with encircling ramparts and the church of Santa Maria de los Reyes whose highlight is the impressive portico richly decorated with the Madonna flanked by the apostles. Narrow, cobbled streets are lined with bodegas and tapas bars. Finally, Logroño, the region's capital with its wide boulevards reminiscent of Bordeaux from where the emigrant wine makers came.

WINES

It starts with an exclusive tour round the amazing Dinastia Vivanco Museum which tells the story of wine-making in Spain and Europe. Next, you will visit some of the most important and renowned wineries such as the chateau-style Remelluri Winery . You may also be taken to see as well a complete contrast at Bodegas Roda - after years of research, winemakers Rottlant and Daurella contracted 17 separate vineyards to produce a limited quantity of very prestigious, organically-produced wine. Or a tour of Lopez de Heredia (founded 1877) will show how a family business has developed some of the finest wines in the region. At internationally famous Marques de Riscal, it is possible to discover is Medoc inheritance, its varieties of wines and its passion for winemaking. Finally, you will arrive at El Fabulista, located under the Palace of the Samaniegos in Laguardia, a kind of museum where you can taste the wine and learn more about the stages of winemaking. There are many more astonishing and important wineries in La Rioja that you will visit depending on how busy these are when we make the reservations.

FOOD

Rioja is not just famous for its wine. The River Ebro irrigates and fertilises the Garden of Spain where Spain's finest and most abundant fruit and vegetables come from. Just as the wines of Rioja have a unique character, so does the regional gastronomy. Some say the food here is more sophisticated and varied than anywhere else in Spain. So, as you dine in fine restaurants, tapas bars and the famous gastronomic societies, it will dawn on you how Rioja's food and wine really is a marriage made in heaven.

This 5-day accompanied cultural food and wine tour starts and finishes at Bilbao Airport and allows plenty of time to go exploring on your own.

Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Accomodation
Reviews
Itinerary

Day One - Bilbao-Haro

You are welcomed and escorted by our guide to our carefully selected hotel in La Rioja in our vehicle. Check in at our pre selected hotel in Haro. Evening free.

Optional: Guggenheim Museum visit in Bilbao. Subject to arrival time


Day Two - Haro-Briones-La Bastida-Najera-Haro

We depart from Haro towards the hill-top village of Briones, guided tour through its medieval streets and fabulous guided walk with spectacular views.

Next door to Briones is Dinastia Vivanco, extraordinary guided tour of the world's largest wine museum, experiencing the wine culture of centuries.

In La Rioja there are plenty of renowned wineries, we will visit one of the most prestigious wineries in La Rioja for its successful style of blending the modern technology with the wine-making traditional methods or one of the most reputable, traditional and oldest wineries in La Rioja with very high quality.

After the visit you will be given a typical lunch from the area. We will continue then to the next town: Najera, where we will visit the Monastery of Santa Maria la Real, an important pilgrimage stop on the Camino de Santiago. Return to the hotel.


Day Three - Haro- Casalarreina-Haro

Another great winery to visit today. Guided visit to one of the oldest and prettiest Wine Estates in Europe. Tour can be conducted by one of the members of the family. Wine tasting included.

Second winery visit of this day. Private guided visit to one of the most prestigious wineries in Spain for its wine making methods for their constant research in perfecting the wines as well as experimenting with the Grapes. Wine tasting included. After two amazing winery visits we will have lunch in the area.

We will head to Casalarreina for our well deserved lunch. We continue to visit one of the biggest and impressive Monasteries in Spain, Nuestra Señora de la Piedad, built in 1522. The guided tour, allow us to discover this incredible unknown architectural jewel which will become undoubtedly a surprising visit.


Day Four - Haro- San Millan- Santo Domingo- Logrono

We drive to San Millan from Haro for our privilege visit to the famous Monasteries of Yuso and Suso. A guided tour through history learning the birth of the Spanish Language, how the monks lived centuries ago, their involvement in the making of wine and everything in a superb peaceful setting.

After experiencing this magnificent UNESCO site we have a light lunch next to the Monastery of Yuso. After lunch we head for to Santo Domingo de la Calzada, strategic town for the pilgrims of the way of St James. Its network of medieval streets, declared a National Historic Interest Site, store a valuable heritage, particularly its walls, the Cathedral and the old Pilgrims' Hospital. Guided tour of the town and the Cathedral. Transfer to Logrono.


Day Five - Logrono- Elciego- Laguardia

We depart to the village of Elciego where we visit a well known centenary winery pioneer in the Rioja wine region. Guided tour of the winery and hotel, Marques de Riscal, including a wine tasting, its wines have earned some of the most distinguished international awards. The amazing hotel has been designed and built by Frank O. Gehry. Private guided tour of Laguardia, one of the most astonishing medieval towns in Europe. The visit includes the unique church of Santa Maria de los Reyes with its incomparable portico one of the few of its kind in Europe. Privileged visit to one of the best underground cellars in the medieval town of Laguardia. Wine tasting. After a very busy morning we will have in a nice restaurant providing superb dishes. We continue driving to Logrono, experiencing a guided tour of the old part, the cathedral Santa Maria de la Redonda and numerous churches as well as the main boulevards and squares. Return to our hotel in Logrono.

Optional. In the evening we have a fabulous treat: Guided tapas tour in the famous gastronomic street: Calle Laurel, sampling the best tapas of the area accompanied with wine or beer.


Day Six - Logrono-Airport

After the buffet breakfast we return to Bilbao, subject to flight times.
Prices & Dates

Tour Prices

Price Per Person: 1.569 EUROS (*)

Duration - 6 days / 5 nights

(*) SPECIAL PRICES for groups.


Hotel Supplements or Reductions

229.00 EUROS Single supplement

109.00 EUROS Supplement. Wine festival 19th-23rd September 2018.

Upgrade of Accommodation on request.


Departures

From April to October - Every Week.

From November to March - On request.

We can also organize a similar tour subject to your requirements of number of people and days, budget etc,
please e-mail us on [email protected].

BOOK NOW e-mail us at i[email protected] with the departure date and number of people.


Price Includes

Transport for 4 full days.

Transfers from and to Bilbao airport.

Personalised English speaking expert guide throughout the tour.

Five nights accommodation based on double occupancy with private bath.

Five full breakfasts.

Guided tour of three Monasteries.

Guided tour of three cathedrals and churches.

Guided tour of two medieval villages.

Guided tour of two cultural towns.

Five exclusive wine estate visits.

Five wine tasting.

Guided visit to the world's largest wine museum.

Four gourmet lunches.

All entrances and fees.

All taxes.


What is not Included

Travel insurance.

Flights.

Tips.

Meals not specified.

Personal expenses.

Optional visits.


Note: If any of the published accommodation, range of wineries or restaurants in the tour becomes unavailable,
others of similar category will be allocated.

Note: Upgrade of wineries and/or restaurants will have a supplement. Please request.

By booking your trip with The Unique Traveller you agree to our Terms and Conditions

Accomodation

EXAMPLE OF ACCOMMODATION IN MADRID AND LA RIOJA (*)

Hotel Los Agustinos (Haro-La Rioja)

Historic Building, 4 Star

   

Location:

This four star property is located right in the historic centre of Haro, centre of the wine production in Rioja, surrounded by a valley of vineyards and the Cantabrian Mountains. Walking distance you can experience numerous and excellent tapas.

General Facilities:

Founded as a convent in 1373, Los Agustinos hotel is a beautiful and protected building, now its walls full of history play host to exceptionally comfortable facilities where it is a privilege to stay. It has an impressive courtyard where you can relax reading your favourite book or having a glass of Rioja.

Particular mention should be made of the Las Duelas Restaurant; the Bistrot de las Duelas; Bar-Cafeteria; 24-hour room service; and free WIFI throughout the Hotel. They offer conventional, modern and regional cuisine based on fresh products from the area and also having an outstanding wine-list and everything in historic surroundings.

The rooms:

There are 62 guestrooms, most of which are outward-facing, whilst the Hotel's most salient feature is the impressive, glass-domed cloisters, which are air-conditioned and enclosed. All rooms are decorated in a rustic style and enjoy all the modern comforts: satellite TV, wifi, private bathroom with hairdryer. Guests also have access to the hotel's fitness center.


Hotel Marques de Vallejo (Logrono)

Boutique Hotel

   

Location:

This boutique hotel is located right in the centre, in the historic and cultural heart of Logroño, at a walking distance of the main gastronomic streets, where you can find the best pinchos and tapas in northern Spain, the old part with the cathedral and numerous churches and the outdoor dining area full of terraces where you can have delicious meals accompanied by excellent wines.

General Facilities:

Built in 1911, was known popularly as Posada de Las Animas (Inn of the souls).

In May 2004, Hotel Marques De Vallejo had a meticulous work of restoration, interior design and decoration, always with the aim of offering a more comfortable and pleasant stay to our guest.

Nowadays they keep on working/betting on the innovation and the improvement of our services and facilities with the aim of satisfying each and every need of our guest.

The rooms:

The 50 contemporary rooms at Hotel Marques de Vallejo feature parquet floors and air conditioning. They contain an LCD TV, and the private bathrooms come with a hairdryer. Wifi access, safe and temperature controller as well as mini bar, are also available in the rooms.

(*)Accommodation will be in these hotels or in others of similar category. Will be confirmed when making the booking. Upgrade available on request.

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