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Cycling the Wine Roads of Rioja

May through October

The perfect tour for a group of friends who love good wine and food, and want to combine gentle to moderate cycling along rail-to-trail and country roads through some of Spain’s most beautiful wine country with wine touring en route. Stay in a parador, charming country inns and enjoy two days at the end in sophisticated San Sebastián on the Bay of Biscay, home to Michelin chefs and one of Iberia’s most beautiful beaches. 

 

Day 1  PAMPLONA • CALAHORRAbike_bridge

Meet in Pamplona early afternoon. Explore this old Basque capital on a  walking tour from the famous Plaza de Toros to the Cathedral and through the authentic medieval quarter of the old city. Transfer to nearby Calahorra above the Ebro River alluvial plain. The two thousand year old town preserves traces of Roman occupation as well as a rich medieval past.  It’s also the capital of Rioja baja, one of the subzones of the famous wine region. Drinks and Orientation Talk in the garden before a Welcome Dinner.
Overnight: Parador Calahorra  D

Day 2   CALAHORRA • ARNEDILLO

After breakfast bike fit out. Enjoy a leisurely ride along the Via Verde to the spa town of Arnedillo, tucked into the gorge formed by the Cidacos River. The bike route takes you to the town’s famous waters, said to cure rheumatism and bone disorders. It’s also home to the Château-like Santuario Vinícola Riojano bodega, built around a 300 year old mill on the river bank. Optional afternoon activities include: swim/soak in the river and mineral pools; enjoy pre-arranged  spa services, or cycle out and back to see  Spain’s Jurassic Park—plus 38 KM.  Dinner in the village. 
Overnight: Hotel Las Pedrolas  34 KM B  D

Day 3   ARNEDILLO • LOGROÑO

Today you’ll ride along quiet country roads from lower Rioja to upper Rioja along the River Jubera, through desert-like  mesas and on into Logroño. Picnic lunch en route. Logroño is the marketing center for Rioja and a prosperous small city, with a charming old quarter overlooking the Ebro River. No visit to the town is complete without an evening stroll along Calle Laurel to sample Riojan vinos  & tapas.  
Overnight: Hotel Ciudad de Logroño  68 KM B Picnic Tapas

"Carlos was amazing. Hard-working, so pleasant to be with, he couldn’t have been better. He made sure to accommodate all our crazy food issues. He was great in how he adjusted the bike routes to suit our needs. He provided a lot of useful info on Spain. He was great in working on the bikes. I would recommend him to anyone. We will consider another bike tour with Saranjan again and recommend to friends."
Nieder/Fridman/Toussie, New York, NY

Day 4   LOGROÑO • LAGUARDIA • EL CIEGO • BRIONES • BRIÑAS

Cycle quiet country roads across the River Oja and through undulating terrain to the  medieval hill town of Laguardia,  seen from miles off. The town is riddled with a maze of underground cellars. On a walking tour, see one of the cellars and the local church with its famous portal. Riding on to El Ciego for a light lunch, you’ll see Frank Gehry’s  award-winning hotel extension to the Marqués de Riscal Winery. There are wonderful vineyard views en route to Briones, a picturesque  hill top town with Ebro River views, medieval walls, a ruined castle, and a nicely preserved medieval feel. At the bottom of the hill is the impressive Dinastia Vivancos Wine Museum; your visit is  followed by a wine tasting. From here, it’s 12 km to Briñas.  Stay in one of Rioja’s prettiest villages with more mansions than any other; your base for two nights is an  18th century house beautifully restored and  complete with old wine press/lagar.  This evening, meet your local hosts over a private dinner in a winery overlooking the vineyards. 
Overnight: Hospedería de Briñas  46KM B D

Day 5   BRIÑAS • CASALLAREINA • SANTO DOMINGO • EZCARAY • BRIÑAS

Cycle a quiet country road from Briñas to Casallareina where you  join the Via Verde. Stop to see the Cathedral in Santo Domingo on the Camino de Santiago, with its celebrated hen house. Continue through bucolic countryside towards the Sierra de Demanda Mountains and Ezcaray . Countryside lunch in Ezcaray. Return  on the Via Verde to Santo Domingo and turn off to follow the Turón river to the Oja river where it flows below Briñas. Dinner in nearby Haro, in a favorite haunt of the wine makers.
Overnight: as above  76 KM B D

Day 6   BRIÑAS • SAN MILLÁN DE LA COGOLLA • NÁJERA • SAN SEBASTIÁN

Cycle through the rolling verdant Valley of San Millán de la Cogolla, to two of Spain’s most ancient and important monasteries. Guided tour and picnic at Yuso & Suso. After lunch, ride on to  Nájera, beneath cliffs carved out with caves used for food storage. The town was a former capital of the Kings of Navarra whose tombs are enshrined in a church built around a cave shrine. After a brief tour of Nájera, you’ll be transferred to  San Sebastián, one of northern Spain’s jewels. Stay in the heart of the city by sea. Join your guide on an evening tapeo in the city that is famous for them—tapas in the old quarter Hotel Londres. 67 KM  B Picnic Tapas

Day 7   SAN SEBASTIÁN

Enjoy a free day in the city known as the Pearl on the Bay of Biscay. Your bike and route maps will be available if you wish to do an independent circuit ride out of the city. Cider house farewell dinner.
Overnight: as above B D

Day 8   SAN SEBASTIÁNbottle_leaves

Tour ends after breakfast. B

 

 

INCLUDED:
Hotels or similar, double occupancy with breakfast
Meals per itinerary
English speaking guide/driver
Support van 
Entrances per itinerary
Bikes & bike equipment (list on request)

PRICE:

  • On request
  • No Scheduled departures
  • Custom groups only
  • 4 pax minimum

 

 

 


Contact us for smaller or larger groups. All prices subject to currency fluctuation adjustment.

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For more information, contact SARANJAN TOURS
Phone: 1 800 588 9594 • Fax: 1 206 720 0492
E-mail: info@saranjan.com
Web site: http://www.saranjan.com

Copyright © 2016 Saranjan, Inc. All rights reserved