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Inside Rioja self drive discovery tour (5 days)

Totally inside Rioja Self Drive Tour

An introductory self drive tour for independent travellers who want to discover Rioja and Northern Spain wineries on their own.
Departing and ending: Madrid, Bilbao or any place of your choice.
Your route will be adapted according to your place of departure. This tour can be tailored to suit your holiday schedule, so you can make the most of your journey!
A minimum of 4 days is recommended.

Dates: any dates – 

5 days + 5 nights 

 

Drive and Discover La Rioja

Day 1: Bilbao-Haro

Haro is a small capital in the world of wine! It is a small provincial town where the neighbours know each other, and virtually all business is related to the vine. 

Visit one of the most emblematic bodegas of this region. Learn a few useful things about  traditional wine making and its evolution towards more modern wine production processes. Discover how barrels are still manufactured and taste the excellent rich wine in the tasting room at the end of your visit.


Day 2: Haro – Elciego- Laguardia-Haro

Drive to the beautiful town of La Guardia, in the Rioja Alavesa Zone. On the way, if you appreciate quality wine, a stop in San Vicente de la Sonsierra is an option worth noting. You will partake in a wine tasting session in a small, family style and very traditional winery. You can also stop in Ábalos and Samaniego before arriving at Elciego. We suggest you visit a small wine museum located in the town centre. Your senses will respond emotionally to the surprising display. Do take a moment at the main square in Elciego to sit on a terrace and have a drink or lunch in the exceptional winery of Marqués de Riscal, a famous  Frank Gehry designed building. 

Your next stop is in Laguardia. An exceptional semi-medieval village where you can take time to stroll in the centre. Visit a small astonishing winery where Mikel will explain the origins of wine production in LaGuardia about 500 years ago.

Day 3: Haro – Rodezno - Briones

In Rodezno, you’ll visit a typical winery house, where the owner will take the time to join you in tasting the outstanding wines.

En route to Briones, we are moving through an ever-changing landscape, as the terrain reveals itself to another emblematic place in the Rioja wine district.
Visit the most comprehensive and interesting wine museum in Spain.
Learn how wine is made, how barrels and corks are produced. View the large collection of wine bottle openers of all kinds and origins. A visit not to be missed!

In the town centre there is another typical wine house where a  Spanish television series was filmed in 2010 telling the story of a wine-making family  

Day 4: Haro-Santo Domingo de la Calzada- Badarán – San Millán de la Cogolla.

Today’s program will take you to cultural places in the Rioja region: Santo Domingo de la Calzada with its beautiful Cathedral, on the Camino de Santiago.

Badarán is another Rioja wine town where you can visit a family run wine house.
The estate is run passionately by several generations of family members who will make you part of their history. The wealth of details inevitably catch the eye of every visitor.  

San Millán de la Cogolla. Visit the Yuso and Suso Monasteries. Suso Monastery was the setting for the first words of Castilian Spanish and also of the first poems in the language. It received the World Heritage designation in 1997.

Day 5: Haro- Cenicero-Fuenmayor-Logroño

After crossing Cenicero, another emblematic wine town, you will head towards another great wine estate in the vicinity of Fuenmayor. The winery is ideally situated outside the town centre, overlooking the River Ebro. The guided visit is a great learning experience, helping you to understand how a modern winery with a large production is managed. Fuenmayor is of little interest beyond a couple of places renowned for their cuisine. 

Finally, Logroño, capital of the Rioja district, home to about 22 wineries, and an iconic city for the Spanish wine lover.
Logroño’s night life is best enjoyed in and around the vibrant Laurel quarter: all the wines that you have already, or not yet discovered are there, served in a multitude of tapas bars.  

 

Relax at the end of the day

Depending on your departure point, your budget for rental car, and accommodation type, we will offer alternative options as part of your holiday package.
Adjustment to the original wine route can be proposed too. 

The accommodations have been carefully hand-picked for you. Our selection in Logroño:
A charming hotel full of history in the center of Logroño. General decoration has embraced modernity without turning its back to where it comes from, that is, a bourgeois small palace. All rooms have a personalised touch. The hotel is a restored mansion of the sixteenth century. A reading room to relax with a good Rioja red wine for example and the food comes from the hand of the lounge area and so does the breakfast service.

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This is a self drive tour from 490 €

Price inclusive:

  • Entrance to wineries and performances
  • Between 4-5 wines in each tasting sessions
  • All the scheduled meals of a half board program
  • Accommodation in shared room (2 persons)
  • All taxes and tips

NOT included in the price:

  • Flights
  • Car Rental
  • Meals, services not specified
  • Personal expenses
  • Spa treatments

    > Single room supplement: about 160 €

Optional (and subject to extra charge)

  • Transfers from and to the airport

 About the price

This is only an indicative price, based on average factors such as group size (5-6 pers), qualitative boutique hotels out of high season prices, and no extras.
When we receive your enquiry and price request for wine holidays, long week-end breaks, it takes a bit of customization to include the holidays request and nature of the group before coming up with a tour proposal that meets your interests, requirements and expectations. Factors such as time of the year, group size, type of accommodation, if rooms are shared or not, duration of the tour, are essential to us to complete the quote.

Slow Wines will adapt the program and price according to the information you will provide us. This price evaluation needs some adjusting, and this can go slightly down or up depending on the number of persons, and what could be changed from the program. In the end, we will make a quotation which should suit your budget.
 
When all parties are satisfied with the proposal, we ask you to confirm the booking. Our itinerary proposal and quote has to be approved within 10 calendar days, through your booking and first deposit. Keep in mind that the price for air tickets tends to increase the closer to the date of departure the reservation is made. Book preferably your hotels and accommodation well in advance!

Check here the easy steps of the booking process.

For your convenience, we hand deliver to you all vouchers and pertinent information (itinerary, road maps and additional details about the places to visit) that have been prepared for you upon booking. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • La Rioja: an iconic wine region and Spain's best ambassador for years
  • A gateway to some of the nicest picture perfect - medieval towns and cellars in the area
  • So many places are worthy of a visit.
  • Everyone is forging the wine culture of the region
  • The Rioja wine capital: Haro or Logroño. Decide for yourself!
  • Logroño’s night life, especially in and around the vibrant Laurel quarter:
  • Harvest time: Unbelievably hectic all around the place. Still, an ideal moment to live.

Pierre Balsam
Over the years,  I have consistently progressed into wine and wine-making, multiplying experiences in the world of wines, either in wineries or simply writing articles for lifestyle and travel magazines. Prior to this I have worked in operations and logistics assignments involving seamless material flows between production plants. I guess my organisation skills come from these years.
My interest in wine started like an affair with sparkling wines, particularly Champagne and then Cava. It triggered a learning process on all possible wine topics. I am constantly thrilled by the intriguing chemistry betwen the wine and the people behind wines.  This is so true for oenology. We understand the underlying wine culture with a bit of time, a stroll in the vineyard as we exchnage with the winemaker. Wine through travelling is also very rewarding, time and time again, it fuels fantastic discoveries. 
I am a keen promoter of wine escapes, convinced this entertaining approach fits everyone's taste.
I have enthusiastically embraced Slowwines travel venture, leading small groups on more than 15 different destinations.
No doubt this is a great project with a great future.
 

Client Testimonials

5 days - Inside Rioja self drive discovery tour

from €490 pp

Places of interest

  • Picturesque medieval towns of Santo Domingo de la Calzada
  • Laguardia, Elciego
  • and other picture perfect towns
  • World Heritage Sites of Yuso, Suso
  • Monastery of San Millán de la Cogolla
  • Rioja towns: Haro, Briones, Rodezno
  • San Vicente de la Sonsierra, Fuenmayor, Badarán, Logroño
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