So we know Rioja can produce wine, but what else? Today, ancient monasteries, historic villages, rustic and innovative restaurants, a world-class wine museum and futuristic architecture are all blended within this wonderful region of Spain. Below are some highlights you wouldn’t want to miss:
Known as the wine capital of the region, Haro is home to most of the wineries founded in the 19th century, when French winery owners came to Rioja in search of a place that could produce high quality wine. Haro is also known for a very peculiar annual event, “La Batalla del Vino,” where people engage in a “wine war” by soaking opponents with wine. See you there?
Known as the center of fruit and vegetable production in the region. Talk about fresh!
A walled village perched on a hilltop in Rioja Alavesa, housing two churches, including Santa María de Palacio, which has one of the best-preserved gothic doorways in Spain.
The Convent of Santa María la Real, Nájera
This is the burial place of many local and regional noblemen.
The Suso and Yuso Monasteries, San Millán de la Cogolla
This is where the first written evidence of the Spanish language was found. A must see for linguists!
Dinastía Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture, Briones
A fantastic wine museum featuring a comprehensive collection of ancient wine-making artifacts and wine-related art (from ancient Greek pottery to masterpieces by the likes of Miró and Picasso). Oh yea, and the largest display of corkscrews in the world – 3,000 from the 18th century to the present.
Ruins, Rioja Alavesa
Rioja Alavesa is famous for its pre-historic and Roman ruins, including the remains of a Celtic village at La Hoya.
Sierra de Cameros and Sierra de la Demanda
Enjoy a day of fishing, hunting, hiking and mountain biking in these picturesque mountains.
A ski resort near Santo Domingo de la Calzada, one of the oldest towns in Rioja.