The vine, a monastic heritage, constructs this exciting circuit for riverside, Rioja and Navarre wines, full of art, culture and nature.
A city of poets, Soria invites you to wander and discover the places that inspired Bécquer, Machado and Gerardo Diego. Some architectural gems are really worth visiting: the Santo Domingo church, the Concatedral de San Pedro, the Romanesque cloister of San Juan de Duero or two of its cultural references: the bucolic San Polo, former monastery of the Temple, and the San Saturio chapel with its quiet boardwalk along the Duero river. Once you have restored your energy with the local energy bars -the crispy and irresistible torreznos (rashers of bacon) or some other culinary delicacy -try to plan your trip during the fungi season-, you should head to the interesting Celtiberian site of Numancia, which passed into history for its fierce defence against the Roman siege. In the surroundings, it is worth visiting El Burgo de Osma, the entry to the Río de Lobos canyon. In the west side of the province, with the N-122 road (future A-11) as the axis, some of the famous wines of the Ribera del Duero Designation of Origin are made. This wine tourism route offers historical sites such as Langa de Duero, San Esteban de Gormaz or Rejas de San Esteban, and the ethnographic set of traditional wineries of Atauta are worth stopping off for.
Changing the wine-making area Rioja is synonymous with wine and, in this area, this culture is a way of life to be experienced if visiting Santo Domingo de la Calzada. It is an excellent starting point to get to know the Rioja Alta region and all its value and wine heritage, famous all over the world. It is recommendable to visit the Ontañón winery-museum (Logroño), the Oenological Station of Haro (Haro), the museum of the Vivanco Wine Culture (Briones) as well as some of the wineries with certificate of origin that can be visited, or going on a route of the ‘Wine Architecture’ (Gehry, Calatrava, Moneo, etc.). In Santo Domingo you will be able to discover the Extenta Tower, the Cathedral (main altarpiece, the mausoleum of the saint, the hen house and the cloister), or nearby the town of San Millán de la Cogolla, the San Millán de Yuso Monastery and the San Millán de Suso Monastery. Its location in the middle of the Jacobean route makes it an ideal place for those who want to enjoy rural tourism, sports such as golf or hiking and the Valdezcaray ski station. The wines of the area combine perfectly with the famous Riojan cuisine, which is a must: Rioja-style potatoes, stuffed piquillo peppers, Rioja-style cod, vegetable stew from La Ribera... without forgetting some lamb chops roasted with vine shoots.
Days 3 and 4
Tuesday and Wednesday.
Rioja is synonymous with wine and, in this area, this culture is a way of life to be experienced if visiting it. We start our journey in the historical Calahorra and its Roman remains, where it is recommended to visit the Cathedral of Calahorra and the Episcopal Palace. It is the ideal starting point to get to know La Rioja Baja, commencing on the also known as the Rioja Oriental Wine Route. In Aldeanueva del Ebro, you can visit the first Wine Museum, located in the Hermitage of Nuestra Señora del Portal, or fantastic wineries where exquisite wines are made, such as the Viña Herminia or Torres Librada wineries, the latter located in Alfaro (Alfaro). The Romanesque route, which is also highly recommended, offers two nearby areas that stand out: the Estella route (45 km) and the Nájera route (65 km), as well as the Dinosaur route (30 km), which includes more than 40 Ichnite sites (fossilized footprints). La Rioja is the land of wine; a privileged place where this product reaches is pinnacle. Near to Calahorra, you will be able to visit the wineries of Rioja Baja such as the Bodega Torres Librada (Alfaro) or the Bodega Rioja Baja: Bodegas Viña Herminia (Aldeanuela del Ebro). In Calahorra it is recommendable to visit the Cathedral and the Palacio Episcopal. Seasonal Calaguritan vegetables, lamb meat and fruits, paired with good Rioja wine, will make your stay unforgettable. And if you have time to relax, you can enjoy relaxing natural hot springs in the Arnedillo pools just 30 kilometres away.
On the way to Olite, a stopover in Logroño is well worth to, at least, take an enogastronomic walk through its famous Laurel street. Upon arriving to Olite and watching its silhouette dominated by the slender and harmonious fortress on the horizon, you will feel that there is still much to discover. The town offers us the opportunity to get to know the Palace of the Kings of Navarra, the most important example of Navarre's civil Gothic style and one of the most remarkable in Europe, or the Square of Charles III. A tour through its narrow streets will allow you to walk sheltered by noble stone houses with coats of arms and great wooden eaves, medieval galleries and splendid churches, and discover the Roman walled enclosure. You will be able to discover the world of wine at the Wine and Vineyard Museum of Navarra that is located in the same beautiful square as the Parador. Within the town itself, the Piedemonte, Marco Real and Bodega Ochoa wineries are worth visiting. And you must be predisposed to try and have new experiences, because Navarran wines are much more than the popular and appreciated rosé. And although they are complex to pair, do not forget to have a great feast with artichokes and the famous vegetables and legumes of the area. Many towns in the area are worth visiting, but at least you have to go to Ujué, a beautiful medieval town with narrow streets that run along steep slopes, ending at the top in front of the sanctuary-fortress of the Virgin of Ujué.
Days 6 and 7
Friday and Saturday.
Your journey ends in the province of Zaragoza, in the charming medieval village of Sos del Rey Católico. Its steep streets lead to beautiful places such as the Lonja and the ruins of the medieval castle, the parish church of San Esteban from the 11th century, the Sada Palace or the Monastery of Nuestra Señora de Ventuñana. The Parador, located in a noble Aragon-style building, is the right place to experience it and savour a delicious asado de ternasco (roasted lamb) from Aragon. Within a 25 km radius, you should visit the neighbouring Monastery of Leyre, one of the most important monastic complexes in Spain; the Castle of Javier, a pilgrimage site where San Francisco Javier was born and lived, and Uncastillo, one of the greatest monumental complexes in Aragon. It can be a good starting point to discover Aragonese wines, divided into four Denominations of Origin: Somontano, Campo de Borja, Calatayud and Cariñena.