The region of La Rioja stands out not only for the excellence of its wines, backed by the prestigious Qualified Designation of Origin, but also for the wide range of activities, experiences, knowledge, picturesque places and landscapes that make up its wine tourism offer.

Designated as the venue for the prestigious World’s Best Vineyards 2023 competition, recently held in July, both the appellation and four of its wineries – the only Spanish region with more than one representation in this world ranking of Best Wineries and Vineyards – have been recognised as global benchmark destinations thanks to their ability to provide exceptional experiences for visitors, as well as for hosting architectural, historical and cultural wonders.

However, Rioja goes beyond being simply a beautiful territory covered in vineyards and contrasts: it awaits visitors on an extraordinary journey full of discoveries that reveal the secret of its success in captivating the senses of all those who explore it. For this reason, here are five solid reasons to come and discover this region.

Extraordinary Wineries

The wineries, authentic jewels of wine, deserve a special mention. From the world-famous and emblematic to the smallest, family-run, century-old, avant-garde, recovered, hidden or grouped in picturesque neighbourhoods, the wineries of Rioja are unique in the world, preserving their splendour generation after generation.

Each has a different history and something unique to offer: from ancient underground caves to fascinating architectural masterpieces and breathtaking vineyard landscapes that leave visitors spellbound.

Gastronomy for All Tastes and Budgets

Rioja’s long tradition as Spain’s oldest designation of origin is also reflected in its rich gastronomy, one of its greatest treasures. Tasting a traditional Rioja menu paired with the best DOCa wines is a real delight for the senses. Many wineries open to the public have restaurants offering cuisine based on high-quality, seasonal local produce. In addition to the options at the wineries, the region offers everything from Michelin-starred restaurants to famous pinchos and tapas routes in the streets of Logroño, Haro, Laguardia and other towns.

Dreamlike Landscapes

The spectacular landscapes of Rioja are another compelling reason to visit the region. Capturing sunsets among vineyards after a bike ride, on horseback, or on foot is an unforgettable experience. Lookout points scattered throughout the region offer incomparable views of the wine cultural landscape, such as the Mirador del Rollo in Briñas or the Mirador de Briones in Haro. Additionally, some wineries have their own viewpoints, and a hot air balloon ride is a very popular option for enjoying spectacular panoramic views.

A Link to History

Immersing oneself in culture and history outdoors during the summer is possible in Rioja. Exploring the region means traversing history, from charming municipalities to prehistoric archaeological sites, medieval churches and monasteries, walled towns, and defensive castles of Muslim influence. The contrast between different historical periods is truly fascinating.

Exploration Without Limits

Adventure lovers and travelers eager for unique experiences will find their ideal destination in Rioja. The DOCa offers a wide variety of options to explore its wineries, vineyards, and corners in surprising and unique ways, whether by segway, on horseback, in buggies, by kayak, or through peaceful walks or bike rides. Additionally, some wineries offer activities such as yoga and spa sessions, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in nature, sports, and culture in the birthplace of Spanish wine tourism.

Tips for Traveling to Rioja in Summer

Plan Ahead: During the peak summer season, there is likely to be a higher influx of tourists, so it is advisable to book accommodation, activities, and winery visits in advance to avoid setbacks.
Appropriate Attire: La Rioja experiences high temperatures during the summer, so make sure to wear lightweight clothing, hats or caps, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.
Schedules: Keep in mind that in summer, the opening hours of wineries, restaurants, and other places may vary. Get information about the specific schedules of each place you wish to visit to avoid surprises.
Outdoor Activities: Take advantage of the warm weather to enjoy outdoor activities such as walks through the vineyards, bike excursions, hiking in the nearby mountains, or even a relaxing day on the banks of the Ebro River.
Events and Festivals: Find out about the events and festivals held in the region during the summer. La Rioja usually has a varied cultural and gastronomic offer during this time of the year, such as grape harvest festivals, outdoor concerts, and food fairs.
Stay Hydrated: It is important to stay hydrated, especially if you plan to engage in outdoor activities during the day. Always carry a water bottle with you and drink regularly to avoid dehydration.
Drive with Caution: If you plan to travel by car around the region, remember that roads may be busier during the summer due to increased tourism. Drive with caution and respect traffic rules.
Explore the Villages: In addition to the wineries and vineyards, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the charming towns and cities of La Rioja, such as Logroño, Haro, Laguardia, and Santo Domingo de la Calzada, which offer rich history, architecture, and gastronomy.

By following these tips, you’ll be prepared to make the most of your trip to La Rioja during the summer. Have an unforgettable journey!

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