+44 (0)191 2651110   info@skedaddle.com
Spain

La Rioja - Ruta del Vino

Guided Road Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

7 days

Prices from

£1,815 P.P.
BOOK NOW

The region of Rioja in Northern Spain doesn’t need much of an introduction.

 

A combination of calcium rich clay soils, a climate influenced by both Mediterranean and Atlantic weather and masses of sunlight is the perfect recipe for the production of fantastic wine.

 

However, the deep red ‘vino tinto’ that has shaped the culture and land for centuries isn’t the only thing the region has to offer and cycling around La Rioja’s wonderful landscape leaves a lasting impression.

 

Rioja is spread out along the fertile Ebro valley, hemmed in by the dramatic Cordillera Cantabria and the lofty peaks of the Sierra de La Demanda and is blessed by an abundance of sinuous roads which allow us to fully explore the region.

 

Add to the wines, quiet roads, wonderful landscapes and fascinating heritage, some of the best food in Spain and you have everything you need for a perfect road cycling adventure.

Spain-La-Rioja-Ruta-del-Vino-Guided-Road-Cycling-Holiday (7).jpg

Holiday Highlights

  • Staying at the fantastic San Millan de la Cogolla monastery, a World Heritage Site.
  • Cycling high along the limestone cliffs of the Sierra de Cantabria
  • Enjoying the atmospheric, medieval towns of Ezacary and Laguardia
  • Wine tasting in a Riojan bodega (or two!)
  • Cycling through Mediterranean forests, along mountainsides and through endless vineyards
  • Rolling along the Rio Ebro into Logroño for an authentic slice of tapas heaven in Calle Laurel

Back to Top

We thoroughly enjoyed the holiday and we will be recommending it to our friends. A good range of cycling in wonderful surroundings! The tour leader and guides were all excellent and made a great team.

Alistair, Cheshire

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival: Bilbao / Logroño
Non Riding Day

Following arrival at Bilbao airport we transfer as a group to the capital of Rioja, the beautiful and historical city of Logroño situated on the banks of the majestic Rio Ebro.

After bike building and fitting, schedules permitting, it’s well worth stepping out to discover this wonderful city, where a visit to the Museo de La Rioja is highly recommended.

Logroño is gaining a culinary reputation to rival anywhere in Spain and no visit to the town would be complete without a visit to Calle del Laurel. The district perfectly showcases the best pincho and tapas bars in the city and provides a great opportunity to go shoulder to shoulder with the locals and soak up some typical Riojan atmosphere.

Day 2
Logroño to San Millan de la Cogolla
47 Miles / 76 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,150 Metres Approx.

Our first day in the saddle begins by following the route of the Camino de Santiago. We leave the city via the ‘Puerta del Camino’ and head into the seemingly endless vineyards; quiet, single lane strips of asphalt lead us through pretty sandstone village as we head towards the imposing Sierras de Cebollera.

By mid-morning we’ll reach the tiny village of Ventosa, a traditional traveller’s watering hole, with never-ending views across the Ebro.

Refreshed, we proceed west from Venrosa and descend steadily on winding roads which lead us into the medieval town of Nájera where we will have lunch on the banks of Rio Najerilla.

Heading into the afternoon we continue through more medieval villages such as Codovin and Villar de Torre before one final climb delivers us to the majestic monasteries of San Millan de Cogolla (designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites). Here we will spend our evening in the shadows of San Lorenzo’s towering peaks.

Day 3
San Millan de la Cogolla to Quintanillar de la Sierra
48 Miles / 77 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,100 Metres Approx.

The views across the Ebro Valley and the Cordillera Cantábrica are nothing less than spectacular as leave out hotel we continue our journey into the into La Demanda Mountains. We wind our way through foothills and farmlands, before dropping into the beautiful Najarilla Valley. Later, the dramatic road weaves along the valley, leading us past the Anguiano monastery until we reach a point high above the rushing river where we will take a break for coffee and, if we are lucky, observe vultures soaring in the skies overhead.

As we creep further away from the fertile Ebro Valley, it feels that we are becoming ever more enclosed by the magnificent mountains that surround us as we head toward the Mansilla reservoir. Leaving the reservoir, a virtually traffic-free road winds its way up a beautiful narrow canyon and takes us high into the Demanda mountain range where cross over into the Castille y Leon province. The road eases us gently into a beautiful glacial valley before leading us to Neila, a small, picturesque village where we will stop for a well earned lunch by the village spring.

We continue, riding higher into the forested sierra and over the Collado pass, ending our day with a beautiful descent to the village of Quintanillar de la Sierra. The isolated village situated in the midst of a vast and tranquil wilderness, will be our home for the evening.

Day 4
Quintanillar de la Sierra to Ezcaray
67 Miles / 108 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,600 Metres Approx.

As we continue our journey deeper into the La Demanda mountain range, it isn’t long before we are warming our legs as we find the road pointing unmistakably uphill! Thankfully the discomfort is only temporary as a fantastic 20km descent down a narrow forested valley follows.

We’ll stop for coffee upon reaching the Valley floor and Rio Pedroso before the narrow road rises again, dramatically switching back multiple times on its way to the summit. A second 20km descent follows, dropping us down to the Uzquiza Reservoir.

Through pine trees we once again begin to climb as we head for Pradoluengo, a beautiful spot located between pastures of wild flowers and towering mountains where we will break for lunch.

We complete our ride by descending once again, this time through the Ciloria and Rio Oja valleys, until we reach Ezacaray. The quintessentially Riojan village with its cobbled streets and bustling plazas is renowned for its cuisine making it a perfect place to spend an evening.

Day 5
Ezcaray to Laguardia
49 Miles / 79 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,200 Metres Approx.

Our day begins gently as we leave Ezacaray and head down the Rio Oja valley. The landscape, dominated by limestone cliffs, flattens and opens widely as we approach the plains of the Ebro.

Riding through woodlands and wheat fields we eventually arrive at Santo Domingo de la Calzada where we encounter the Camino Santiago for a second time in our journey. If time allows we might spend a few minutes exploring the town’s medieval streets and 12th century cathedral before moving on through the vineyards to Haro, the hub of the Riojan wine industry and home to some of the world’s most famous wineries for the last 150 years.

From Haro we meander downstream, passing the the wine village of La Bastida before climbing into the beautiful Sierra de Cantabria and the Alava province of the Basque country. As we descend back towards the Ebro valley and the village of Elciego, we can marvel the architect Frank Ghery’s dramatic creation, the Marques de Riscal Winery and Hotel.

As we begin to rise out of the Ebron Valley once again, with vineyards as far as the eye can see, this evening’s destination, Laguardia eventually comes into view.

The beautiful medieval village sits high on a rock foundation and is surrounded by pristine fortressed walls. Hardly changed since the 13th century, below the village is a honeycomb of tunnels built to store food and provide refuge to residents when under siege. These cellars have, for the last few centuries, been used to produce and store wine and this evening, before dinner, we’ll head into the depths to a 13th century bodega to enjoy a fascinating tour and a little wine tasting.

Day 6
Laguardia to Logroño
51 Miles / 82 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,300 Metres Approx.

As the sun rises and lights up the ancient golden sandstone of Laguardia, our final stage sees us heading for the stunning Sierra de Cantabria.

Griffon vultures fly high above the impressively craggy landscape as we rise steadily through vineyards and pedal past the bronze-age dolmens that scatter this ancient land. Golden wheat sways in the breeze as we pass the village of Lapoblacion and cross into the Navarra, a region which stretches all the way to the border with France high in the Pyrenees. The roads here are eerily quiet and surfaces fantastically smooth which only adds to the joy of the 15km descent down the Linares valley.

A shot or two of fine Spanish coffee should set us up for the last real challenge of our journey, a 5km climb past the impressive Santuario de Condes.

Having completed the climb we leave the sierra via 20 rollercoasting kilometres through deciduous forests and wheat fields until we reach, once more, the beautiful vineyard blanket of the foothills.

The final few kilometres after lunch complete our journey and deliver us back to where our adventure began in Logroño in time for a few celebratory sips of the local produce and evening of tapas along Calle Laurel.

Day 7
Departure: Logroño / Bilbao
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

Alas, it’s time to pack our bags for the last time before heading back to Bilbao and saying our farewells.

Back to Top

The Cycling

Terrain

The ride through Rioja will be 100% on asphalt roads. The route uses a full mixture of different types of road from single lanes, and quiet double roads but traffic is kept to a minimum. Please be aware that there will be some busier roads which we’ll cycle on, especially when close to towns and villages. Overall the quality of the roads is excellent as throughout most of Spain, although there are sections that are potholed and gravelly at times. It’s a mountainous region, hemmed in by 2 mountain ranges, so we can expect lengthy climbs and descents.

day6_northern_spain_172.jpg

Road Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3 : Moderate

45-60 miles / 70-95 kms per day

For riders with experience, good fitness & a decent level of skill

Some features that may be experienced more frequently in a higher grade tour

Most days include a couple of significant climbs

Some long days & some steep to very steep sections

Not for beginners

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

You’re definitely not a novice rider, you’re fit, you ride regularly at weekends, sometimes staying on the bike for much of the day, you love your bike! You also enjoy a challenge and if you haven’t already done so you’re keen to attempt a semi-serious to serious mountain pass or two. You’re as comfortable with the prospect of descending from the top of a col as you are with the idea of climbing it and you’re confident that you have the skills to do so safely. You’re not necessarily a “racer” but you can crank up the pace a little when it’s necessary and you don’t mind forgoing a coffee stop if the schedule demands it occasionally. You probably own and use clipless pedals. You have good control of your bike and can take a drink from a water bottle without having to unclip and put your feet on the ground. Whilst you find a full day in the saddle fulfilling you’re not obsessed and as much as you are looking forward to the riding on your holiday, you’re also looking forward to a little local culture and cuisine. Grade 3 would be a good option for you.

Back to Top

Really enjoyed the different types of accommodation each night on this trip from Lograno to the monastery, country hotel, Michelin type hotel. The food and wine could not be faulted!

Emily, Aberdeenshire

Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
11/06/2023
Return Date
17/06/2023
Duration
7 days
Price
£1,815.00
Start Date
01/10/2023
Return Date
07/10/2023
Duration
7 days
Price
£1,815.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms)

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Full tour service, including Skedaddle guides

D) Unless stated, at least one leader qualified in first aid

E) Support vehicle and luggage transfers

F) 1 wine tasting session

G) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Bilbao airport (BIO)

H) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Bilbao airport (BIO)

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike rental (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Meals not stated in the itinerary

D) Single room (available if required)

E) Travel insurance

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)

H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route

I) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

Back to Top

The Essentials

Travel Options

Your tour starts and finishes in Logroño.

Group airport transfers are included in the cost of your holiday and both the arrival and return transfer from / back to Bilbao airport (BIO) will be co-ordinated with the group flight schedule.

We will provide you with details of suitable flight/arrival/departure schedules as flight timetables become available.

Please check with us before making any travel arrangements to ensure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your holiday and to make sure your arrangements fit with our scheduled transfers.

Please note If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the scheduled transfer windows, there may be an additional charge for individual transfers.

Accommodation

Accommodation (shared twin or double rooms) will usually be in en suite 2, 3 and 4 star hotels or guesthouses. Great care has been taken to find great accommodation for you to enjoy on your holiday. Family run, personable, charming, comfortable and homely are boxes we tick when looking for places to stay. A million miles away from chain style hotels all with unique touches.

Bike Hire

If you have opted to hire then your bike will typically be an aluminium frame Giant Contend with Giant/Liv Avails available for those preferring a women’s specific geometry. They are great bikes with good quality components and generally come equipped with at least one bottle cage, a saddle bag and a small pump. We can also include a helmet which should be requested at time of booking. The bikes come with flat pedals as standard, so if you prefer to ride with clip-in pedals please bring your own pedals along with you.

Back to Top

News, Reviews & Stories

Our 26 favourite days in the saddle

What is the best day you can experience? Well, our expert team has some ideas...

Cycling in Spain

We’re proud to call it our casa! Here's 8 things you’ll only understand if you’ve been cycling in Spain…

Wine, food and cycling pairings

Pull the cork on a bottle of wine and begin an armchair journey to some of our favourite cycling destinations...

Reviews

6

SHOW MORE

You May Also Like...

Back to Top