La Rioja Cycling Trip

La Rioja Cycling Trip

Day 1 Bilbao - Abalos

Arrival into Bilbao where you have a taxi transfer to the village of Ábalos, where you'll spend the first three nights. Your host is a young wine-maker and oenologist, whose first commercial wine won the prestigious Bachuss de Oro in the year 2006. Dinner and Accommodation.

Day 2 Abalos

35km, with 350m in ascent.    
Villages along the way: Laguardia, Elciego, Navaridas, Eskuernaga

Breakfast. The first cycling route of this program takes you east of Ábalos, into the Basque area of Rioja Wine Country. This rolling landscape is covered in grapevines and Medieval villages perched on hilltops. Visit historic Laguardia and the wine-making village of Elciego, with architect Frank Gehry's intriguing winery and avant-garde hotel designed for the vintners at the Marques de Riscal Estate. On your way back to Ábalos, cycle along quiet country roads through vineyards near Navaridas and Eskuernaga, with the limestone peaks of the Sierra de Cantabria in the distance. Accommodation.

Day 3 Abalos

30km/42km with 350m in ascent OR 39km with 440m in ascent
Villages along the way: San Vicente, Briones
Breakfast. Today's itinerary takes you south toward the River Ebro. You then follow its course, winding all the way to Haro. En route, spot in San Vicente de la Sonsierra, with its beautiful Medieval bridge and impressive Gothic church. Option of visiting the private collection at Vivanco winery: a great display of wine-making and gardens home to over 200 varieties of grapevines. Accommodation.

Day 4 Abalos - SAN MILLAN

39km with 420m in ascent
Villages along the way: Alesanco, Badarán, Yuso, Suso
Breakfast. Today you cross the Ebro and cycle 42km south through gently rolling terrain with vineyards, fields of grain and orchards.   Travelling through Alesanco and Badarán, you reach the monasteries of Yuso and Suso, set in an open valley at the foot of the Sierra de Demanda. Your accommodation is a Baroque monastery turned luxurious hotel, located in the village square. Dinner and Accommodation.

Day 5 SAN MILLAN - Ezcaray

39km with 400m in ascent
Villages along the way: Santo Domingo de la Calzada

Breakfast. A short ride back to Badarán then travel along winding country roads towards Santo Domingo de la Calzada, an essential stop for the pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. Leaving the vineyards behind, you cycle into the grain-producing area of La Rioja. A converted railway used to transport coal in the 19th century is now a surfaced cycling path which leads directly to Ezcaray, where you'll spend the next three nights at a welcoming family-run hotel in the historical town centre. Wide selection of restaurants, bodegas and tapas bars in which to sample the local wines. Accommodation.

Day 6 Ezcaray

21km by bike, ascent 150m and/or max. 20km on foot, ascent 330m
Villages along the way: Sierra de Demanda, Posada, Zaldierna, Urdante
Breakfast. An optional circular walk along the River Ojo. If you prefer to cycle, you can ride into the foothills to remote villages with just a few resident farmers. After 10km of cycling, you'll begin to see a completely different side of La Rioja, one undiscovered until now.  Accommodation.

Day 7 Ezcaray

49km, with 300m in ascent
Villages along the way: Valle de Oja, Santo Domingo
Breakfast. Your last day of cycling offers a 46km circular route through fields of grain, orchards, sunflowers and woodlands along the way. Optional visit to Santo Domingo de la Calzada. Return route by way of the Via Verde to Ezcaray. Accommodation.

Day 8 Ezcaray - Bilbao

Breakfast.  Your cycling trip comes to an end this morning after breakfast.
Departure from La Rioja and flight out of Bilbao. End of Services.