Spain – La Rioja Tour
- Trip Outline
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Welcome to Spain's wine region at the very heart of the country where our Safari meanders along the River Ebro, the longest river in Spain, flowing from its source in the Cantabrian Mountains down to the distant Mediterranean.
Your jouney is characterised by magnificent vineyards, a landscape of gorgeous flora made up of alpines and orchids etc, canyons with sculptured limestone and small rustic villages offering a unique culture and history.
Your tour takes you through the beautiful valley of Valderredible and offers the chance to explore characteristic churches carved into rocks before you visit the 'fairytale village' of Orbaneja del Castillo with its waterfalls running through its center. You cycle along quiet country roads and spend a night in the spectacular Frias, a town built around its castle and with fine views of the Ebro valley. You spend a night in Haro where you can sample the local Rioja before heading to your final destination is Laguardia, with its historic walls dating back to the 13th century.
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Transfer to Campoo
Arrival in Santander or Bilbao and transfer to our hotel in Campoo.
Campoo ~ Polientes (59km or 97km)
This stage takes us through some fabulous and unspoilt scenery. From the green mountain pastures of the Cantabrian Mountains, along with the shores of the Ebro Reservoir, past the Monastery of Montesclaros surrounded by forests to finally rejoin the Ebro in the Valley of Valderredible and tonight’s stop in Polientes.
Polientes ~ Valle de Zamanzas (43km)
We begin by cycling through the Valley of Valderredible, where you can visit the Romanesque church of San Martín de Elines. As you progress down the river, the sides of the valley begin to close into a marvellous canyon of ever-increasing dimensions, where eagles soar overhead. Stop to visit the fairytale village of Orbaneja del Castillo en route to our nights stop.
Valle de Zamanzas ~ Medina de Pomar (36km or 63 km)
A beautiful route which follows the river through the most picturesque, quiet villages. An optional extension takes you to the dramatic village of Puentedey, built on a natural rock bridge over the River Nela. Tonight you stay in the Castillian town of Medina de Pomar with its old Jewish quarter and the castle dominating the town and the surrounding landscape.
Medina de Pomar ~ Frías (58 km)
From Medina, you head back to the Ebro, The route heads along a quiet country road running parallel to the river where the valley begins to open out again. Visit the Romanesque church of San Pedro de Tejada en route to yet another canyon, which then opens out into the fertile valley around Frías. This is a spectacular village built around its castle and enjoying fine views of the Ebro Valley.
Frías ~ Haro (62 km)
You cycle through another spectacular canyon and along the shores of a reservoir surrounded by high mountains and through short tunnels carved out of the rock. The route crosses the little town of Miranda del Ebro before passing through imposing peaks towards the enormous open valley of La Rioja. Overnight is in the wine-producing village of Haro, a chance to drink a glass or two of Rioja in its birthplace.
Haro ~ Laguardia (50 km)
You cycle through endless vineyards and numerous picturesque villages of La Rioja, with the backdrop of the Sierra de Cantabria mountains and the Ebro never too far away. We finally reach the superb walled medieval village of Laguardia where, as in Haro, wine is almost a way of life.
After breakfast, you will be transferred from Laguardia to Santander or Bilbao at 9 am. (transfer time to Bilbao is approx. two hours)
- 7 nights bed & breakfast accommodation
- 5 meals with wine
- Luggage transfers
- route descriptions and maps
- GPS route files
- Transfer on arrival day ( from Bilbao / Santander )
- Transfer on departure day ( to Bilbao / Santander )
Bike rental is not included in the tour price. This is an additional:
€120.00 Touring bike
€165.00 Road bike
€45.00 Garmin Rental
€60.00 If bringing your own bike the supplement to transfer your bike case
On a self-guided tour we will organize your bike hire, the accommodation, and the luggage transfer. On this tour, we will also organize your airport transfers for you. Your tour package will be waiting for you in your first night’s accommodation. You will set off by yourself and the luggage will be transferred to the next stop by our local taxi transfers.
On a self-guided tour it is possible to add extra days or shorten the trip if you wish to or we can customize the route for you.
As this is a self-led trip you do not have the back-up of a guide and support van. Our aim is to allow you to feel like an independent traveler, free to cycle each day at your own pace while at the same time having the security of knowing that your luggage will be waiting for you in your next accommodation.
If you experience small problems with the bike (e.g., a puncture) you will have a spare tube, pump and tire lever. You also have access to a 24-hour helpline.
Bike rental is included not included in the basic tour package.
However we can of course rent bikes to you .
You are provided with hybrid-type tourist bicycles with conventional handlebars and with triple chain ring and easy-to-change gear ratios for comfortable and easy cycling. Road bikes may also be available on request. We can also provide tandems, children’s bikes, tow bikes and child seats for those with children.
Hybrid bikes will carry a handlebar bag, useful for carrying money, documents, camera and lots of other useful items which may be needed close at hand. This bag is easily removed it from its click fastening and carried around with the shoulder strap. They are also equipped with a rear luggage rack and one or two panniers, or a rear rack bag to carry just what you need for each day's cycling. Road bikes carry a seat post bag if required.
In addition, all cycles are equipped with pump, spare inner tube, water bottle, bike lock and basic toolkit. Extras such as lights or toe clips are available on request.
E–bikes & Road bikes are also available
On a scale from 1 - 10 (1 being the easiest and 10 being the hardest) we are giving this tour 6 points
Moderate cycling with some climbs
Daily Ave: 47-55km
Weekly Ave: 289-370km
Continental breakfast is included each morning. Also, five meals with wine are included on this tour.
Specialized cycle clothing may be handy but not strictly necessary. What you do need (among other things) is the following:
• shorts/ long trousers/ tracksuit/ legging
• shirts/ sweater/ rain clothing
• gloves (only when you book a tour in April. It can be chilly in the morning at that time of year!)
• good shoes
• sunglasses/ cap/ swimming costume
• extra towel
• soap/ insect repellent
We had a fantastic time on the Rioja tour, all the travel arrangements went according to plan and the guide was very obliging in terms of the airport transfer. We were very happy with the bikes, excellent condition. We loved this tour, the scenery was amazing, the cycling was excellent, the people were friendly, the wine and tapas went down very easily!
Nicola Martin (La Rioja group July 2016)
2023 SELF LED TOUR
€1120 per person sharing
€1310 for single occupancy
Self Guided Tour Information
Tour runs from 1st April to 31st October and can begin any Sunday
* Groups of 4 or more can choose any start date at no extra cost
* Groups of 2 – 3 people can start any day at a supplement of €110 per person
* One person travelling on their own can start any day at a supplement of €300
The closest airport for arrival is Santander Airport and the most convenient for departure is Bilbao Airport which we would prefer if possible. It may be easier to book a return flight from Bilbao Airport.
It is important to remember that at the end of the tour, the transfer time from Laguardia to Bilbao is 90 minutes, so if you allow for a 2-hour check in time, then it means departure time from Laguardia would be three and a half hours before flight time. Departure time from Laguardia is scheduled for 9 a.m. so customers should take this into account before booking their flights.
Another option is to spend an extra night in Bilbao and visit the city and the Guggenheim Museum (remember the museum is closed on Monday except during the months of July and August when it is open every day).
Take note that you may not need to go to Bilbao after the tour, depending on what your plans are. For example, if you are going to Barcelona or Madrid then it is a lot easier to transfer to nearby Logroño and then take the train or the bus to either of these cities.
Day 1: Posada de Ormas
Day 2: Cuartelillo Viejo
Valle de Zamanzas
Day 3: Posada Molino del Canto
Medina de Pomar
Day 4: Hotel Romanca
Montejo de Cebas
Day 5: Casa Rural Posada Colas
Day 6: Hotel Arrope
Day 7: Hospederia de los Parajes