Self-Guided Rioja Cycling

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Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
96%
Travel Style: For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level: N/A
  • N/A
  • Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    7 days
    From: $ 1,060 $ 151 / day
    Checking price

    Overview

    Highlights

    • Cycle La Rioja - Ride past the famed vineyards of the Ebro Valley and visit historic villages
    • Wine and Tapas - Excellent local wines complimented by superb regional cuisine
    • Sierra de la Demanda - Cycle the foothills of the Demanda range to the birthplace of the Spanish language
    • Camino de Santiago - Cross the pilgrims' trail (St James' Way) at Santo Domingo de la Calzada

    Short Description

    This self-guided cycling trip takes you through the vineyards, rolling countryside and picturesque villages of La Rioja. Along your route you can visit impressive wine estates and soak up the history and culture of this fascinating region.

    Sierra de la Demanda - Cycle the foothills of the Demanda range to the birthplace of the Spanish language

    Camino de Santiago - Cross the pilgrims' trail (St James' Way) at Santo Domingo de la Calzada

    Wine and Tapas - Excellent local wines complimented by superb regional cuisine

    A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
    Trip Type Self-guided / Independent Tour
    See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
    Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
    Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
    Lodging Level Value - 3 star
    Flights & Transport N/A
    Start City Santo Domingo
    End City Haro Bus Station

    Destinations

    Spain

    Cities & Attractions

    Bilbao Santo Domingo

    Activities

    Cycling Hiking Trekking

    Age Requirement

    14

    N/A
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    Itinerary

    Day 1 Trip starts in Ezacaray

    Your holiday starts at Santo Domingo bus station where you will be met and driven to your accommodation in Ezcaray. You can travel to Santo Domingo bus station by public transport or private transfer; alternatively a direct taxi transfer from the airport to Ezcaray can also be arranged at additional cost. Sitting in the foothills of the Sierra de la Demanda Mountains, the pretty town of Ezacaray is an hour and a half's bus journey from Bilbao Airport. Here, the first two nights of your holiday are spent in a welcoming and family-run hotel in the pedestrianized town centre. Depending on your arrival time, you may choose to visit the bicycle shop and test out the bikes on a 20 kilometre ride through the foothill villages of Posada, Zaldierna and Urdante. You will be required to sign an agreement of care upon receipt of the bike. We also recommend taking time to explore your host town. Built between the 12th and 14th centuries, the church of Santa María la Mayor is worth a visit. Its impressive Aragonese Gothic style is unique in La Rioja. Ezcaray offers a good choice of restaurants and tapas bars for this evening's dinner. Your total optional cycling distance today is approximately 20 kilometres (160 metres total ascent, 160 metres total descent).

    Meals Provided : None

    Day 2 Circular route via Santo Domingo de la Calzada

    On your first day of cycling, a circular route will take your through La Rioja's beautiful painter's palette of grain fields, orchards and sunflowers, as well as shady woodlands. After riding downstream through the Oja River Valley, you head into the hills. Stopping off in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, the cathedral here merits a visit. You may be struck by the number of pilgrims passing through this town on their journey to Santiago de Compostela. Your return route takes you along the Via Verde - an old railway track that has been converted into a cycling path. Your total cycling distance today is approximately 48 kilometres (300 metres total ascent, 300 metres total descent).

    Meals Provided : Breakfast

    Day 3 Pedal to Badarán via UNESCO World Heritage monasteries

    The first part of this morning's route takes you back along the Via Verde, but in the opposite direction. After turning off onto gravel tracks to the village of Gallinero de la Rioja (the Riojan Chicken Coop), you will follow a tarmac road to San Millán de la Cogolla. This remote village at the foot of the Sierra de Demanda is home to the UNESCO World Heritage monasteries of Yuso and Suso. A fine Romanesque church built to honour St Millán still stands at the site of Suso. It was here that the first literature was produced in Castilian, from which the Spanish language derived. In the early 16th century, the monks moved to the neighbouring monastery of Yuso and it remains a thriving community today. You may choose to take a guided tour of these treasures before continuing north to the wine-producing village of Badarán - your base for tonight. Your total cycling distance today is approximately 40 or 44 kilometres (400 metres total ascent, 585 metres total descent).

    Meals Provided : Breakfast

    Day 4 Bike across plains to San Vicente de la Sonsierra

    Today's route to San Vicente de la Sonsierra takes you across the plains of the Rioja Alta, by way of Alesanco, Azofre and Briones. On your way, you may choose to visit Vivanco winery, with its vast collection of wine-making paraphernalia, including some 3500 corkscrews. In addition, their gardens are home to over 200 varieties of grapevines. With its beautiful Medieval bridge and impressive Gothic church, the pretty town of San Vicente de la Sonsierra will be your base for the last three nights of the holiday. Your cosy hotel here is situated in the historic town centre. Your total cycling distance today is approximately 30 kilometres (200 metres total ascent, 325 metres total descent).

    Meals Provided : Breakfast

    Day 5 Loop ride into Alava

    Today's circular route takes you into Alava - the Basque province of the Rioja wine region. Here, every square inch of fertile soil across this rolling landscape has been covered in grapevines, with Medieval villages sitting on hilltops. On your route, you will pedal through the historic town of Laguardia and the wine-making village of Elciego, where you will find the intriguing and avant-guard Marques de Riscal Estate, designed by Frank Gehry. Your return route to San Nicente takes you along quiet country lanes through vineyards near the River Ebro. Your total cycling distance today is approximately 41 kilometres (580 metres total ascent, 580 metres total descent).

    Meals Provided : Breakfast

    Day 6 Circular route along the River Ebro to Haro

    Today's circular route takes you along the banks of the winding River Ebro to the Rioja wine capital of Haro. Along the way, you'll pedal past lovely spots, such as La Bastide and Abalos. Should you prefer, there is the option of doing the first section along gravel roads instead of the slightly longer tarmac route. Your total cycling distance today is approximately 28 or 31 kilometres (285 metres total ascent, 285 metres total descent), depending on the route you take.

    Meals Provided : Breakfast

    Day 7 Trip ends in San Vicente de la Sonsierra

    After breakfast, at a designated time you will be driven to Haro bus station where the organised part of your holiday comes to an end. From Haro bus station you can catch a bus back to Bilbao. A direct taxi transfer to Bilbao can also be arranged.

    Meals Provided : Breakfast

    Availability

    Checking price
    Price From $ 1,060
    Price Per Day: $ 151 per day
    Check Availability
    Checking price
    Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
    Oct-01-2019Oct-31-2019$ 1,070NoSold Out Reserve
    Mar-15-2020Apr-13-2020$ 1,060NoSold Out Reserve
    Apr-14-2020Apr-20-2020$ 1,140NoSold Out Reserve
    Apr-21-2020Jun-30-2020$ 1,060NoSold Out Reserve
    Jul-01-2020Sep-30-2020$ 1,140NoSold Out Reserve
    Oct-01-2020Oct-31-2020$ 1,060NoSold Out Reserve

    Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Explore!.

    Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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    Clark Norton
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    Stride Featured in

    Stride Feature In

    73 Explore! Travel Reviews & Ratings

    96%
    4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
    Excellent 55
    Great 11
    Average 3
    Disappointing 3
    Terrible 1
    Value
    4.5
    Guide
    4.7
    Activities
    4.6
    Lodging
    4.3
    Transportation
    4.5
    Meals
    4.4

    Self-Guided Rioja Cycling

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    I travelled as a solo traveller and was relieved to find that about half the boat was also solo travellers. It was a great adventure - on a ferry board for a week with the most amazing panoramic views around us every day. We were regularly out on smaller boats to see the bird cliffs up close, or to go onto land to walk around. We saw lots of amazing wildlife including walrus, blue whales, beluga whales, endless species of birds, and of course Polar Bears! The week went by too quickly. It was a great mix of wildlife and landscapes. Each day there was a different guide giving a presentation of everything from the biology of a polar bear, to the fauna found in the arctic circle. You could join in for as little or as much as you wanted. Definitely recommended.
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    Excellent

    5.0
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    Mohammed was excellent!

    Enjoy the trip

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    The highlight of this trip was seeing Machu Picchu, which I loved it.

    Great Tour Leader will come back in 2017

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    A great tour leader - friendly, personable, approachable, knowledgeable of the local area, sights and people. We plan to come back and cycle with Andrew again in 2017.

    Pleasant surprise experience

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    Details

    Age Notes

    Min. Age: 14

    Trip ID#:

    explore_new-CSRR

    Meals Included:

    • Breakfast : 6
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