La Rioja is a small autonomous community in northern Spain, known especially for its wines. However, the region offers much more to tourists who like to avoid overly touristy places. Medieval villages and hilly landscapes await you. If you’re planning a getaway soon to get to know the Iberian Peninsula better, I suggest a mini-guide to visit La Rioja in 2 days in slow travel mode.
Visit La Rioja:
As the capital of the region, Logroño is located on the Way of Saint James (Camino de Santiago). It also has several cultural sites, such as the Santa Maria Cathedral and the Santiago El Real parish.
The cathedral is a work from the 16th century, with numerous reforms in the 17th and 18th centuries. The central body forms the oldest part.
The parish building is very beautiful, especially its ceilings, which are very colorful. Also, noteworthy are the corners of the central room shaped like a scallop shell, as this church is obviously dedicated to Santiago.
For a truly relaxing moment, it’s best to wander through the streets according to your desires before indulging in pintxos, which are clearly a must to enjoy the local gastronomy. Among the variety of pintxos you can find on the counters, two must be distinguished, which are specialties of the Riojan capital. La zapatilla de jamon: very thin slices of cured ham on a large piece of bread, baked in the oven. And el txampi: a piece of bread, three large mushroom caps, a small shrimp, and a delicious sauce.
Pintxos are a specialty of northern Spain: a portion of food on a slice of bread. They are typically enjoyed as an accompaniment to drinks. In fact, they are so popular that there is an expression “ir de pintxo-pote,” which means going for drinks and eating pintxos.
La Rioja is the land of production for some of the finest wines in the Iberian territory, and in Logroño, it’s possible to taste hundreds of them. If you enjoy this beverage, the must-do is to explore the surrounding vineyards starting from Logroño. Getyourguide sometimes offers interesting excursions to learn more about the wine culture of the region and to participate in tastings.
The economic activity of the village of Haro is primarily centered around winemaking. Its beautiful main square deserves a brief visit before wandering through its narrow medieval streets filled with bars and restaurants emitting rich aromas. The most remarkable monument, and atypical for the town, is the cathedral.
SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA
Next stop: Santo Domingo de la Calzada, the perfect place for pilgrims on the Camino de Compostela. Two places are a priority to visit: the cathedral that houses a rooster and a hen, and the interpretation center of the Camino de Compostela, to learn more about this mythical route.
Everything is done to immerse you in the life of a pilgrim. With your cape on your shoulders and your stone in your hand, you enter several rooms symbolizing the phases experienced during the journey: the heat, the night, the wood, and more. The visit is truly educational, enjoyable, and very enriching.
Arrival in Ezcaray, a village that thrives on tourism, especially in winter with the surrounding ski resort. The smell of wood permeates every alley. The atmosphere is family-friendly and warm. It reminds me of the typical atmosphere of a mountain village in the Alps. Here, the architecture is worth a visit, whether it’s the facades of the houses or the very distinctive church.
Visiting La Rioja is the perfect opportunity for wine lovers to explore the local fine wines. For everyone else, the region is full of sublime places to take the time to live and enjoy the present moment.
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