Trip Report

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Trip Report

Romantic Getaway in La Rioja Wine Country

A 5 day escape to the Spanish wine country...perfect for foodies, wine connoisseurs, and couples looking for a romantic getaway!

by alextigheAbout Me:I'm an American who decided to jump off the rat wheel in order to follow his dreams in Spain. I spent the last five years working as an ESL Teacher until recently going full-time with my copy editing, content writing, and translation busin... read more

Spain4 days / August 2020

Highs & Lows

Tapas in Logroño. Touring an underground winery in Laguardia.

It's VERY hot during summer in La Rioja!

Itinerary Overview

With the COVID-19 pandemic eliminating the possibility of visiting the United States, Lucie and I were forced to re-plan our 2020 summer vacations. What started as a last-minute idea, turned out to be one of our most unique and memorable vacations spent together! 

Get ready to step back in time as this itinerary begins in the 12th-century village of Laguardia. From here, you'll drive 30 minutes south to the Riojan capital of Logroño before finishing near the countryside town of Ortigosa de Cameros. Rolling hills covered in vineyards so close to the road that you can touch the grapes will accompany your journey between stops. 

Highlights of this region include 5-star tapas, wine (of course!), local cuisine, picturesque views unique to the region, and a wide variety of activities offered by wineries. Whether you're a professional sommelier or a non-alcoholic family with kids, there is something in La Rioja for everyone!

  • 2 Nights: Laguardia
    Medieval village & winery tours
  • 2 Nights: Logroño
    Tapa touring & street art
  • Day trip: Ortigosa de Cameros
    Relaxing at Lake González Lacasa

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    Visiting La Rioja in August is not the best idea. Summer temperatures can easily soar to 100°F, making it difficult to enjoy long periods outside. If we could re-plan the trip, we would come in early autumn for the grape harvesting activities or late spring for milder temps.

  • How was the food?

    In Laguardia, we splurged for a meal at Amelibia. This Michelin Star restaurant puts its own modern spin on traditional dishes and boasts an amble list of locally made wines. If you call ahead, be sure to ask for a table by the windows...the view of the surrounding vineyards is spectacular! Not only is Logroño a foodie's dream, but it's also one of the least expensive cities for tapas in Spain. Once you hit Calle Laurel, it's hard to go wrong when choosing from the dozens of bars. Most tapas run between €1-4, and unless your eyes are bigger than your stomach, you'll be full after three or four stops! Over by Ortigosa de Cameros, we recommend the Club Náutico El Rasillo. Fantastic lakeside views accompany hearty local cuisine....Read More

  • What tips would you give a friend?

    To beat the crowds when tapa touring in Logroño, keep in mind that Spaniards have completely different eating times. Lunch typically falls between 2-4pm and dinner between 8-10pm. If you start around 1pm for lunch or 7pm for dinner, you'll have the best chance of beating the locals and finding bars ready to serve food.

  • Transportation Tips?

    While you could try and do everything on public transportation, a rental car is your best bet in La Rioja. Unlike metropolitan areas, this region lacks the infrastructure to support a large public transportation network. Buses do exist, but the timetables are limited, and finding them often involves digging through city hall websites written in Spanish.

  • Any surprises?

    Since I don't drink alcohol, I was initially skeptical of planning a vacation in the Spanish wine country. But we were pleasantly surprised to find that most wineries offer a variety of non-drinking related activities, as well as non-alcoholic options for tastings.

Lodging

  • There are a variety of upscale hotels inside the medieval walls, as well as rural cottages in nearby villages. As an alternative option, you could stay 20 minutes down the road in Logroño where you'll find plenty of inexpensive backpacker's hostels and Airbnb's.

  • Logroño is the capital of La Rioja and offers accommodations for all budgets. If you want the privacy of a hotel without the price tag, try searching for a 'pension' (the English equivalent of a 2-3 star hotel).