Rioja

A bike tour through the Rioja region of Spain is sure to be filled with history, wine, open roads, and amazing foods. This bike journey in the the Spanish countryside is a great way to take a relaxing vacation while not gaining weight from all the great food and wine. Rioja offers country roads through ancient vineyards, medieval cities, and Christian pilgrimages. People have been traveling through this land for thousands of years.

Bike Friendly Vacation Spot

Most of the Rioja region of Spain is filled with farmland and open roads. The region is also speckled with monuments to the vast history of this region. As with most rural areas, this means there are few vehicles on the roads and even fewer tourists this far off the beaten path. Those who do travel these roads by bike are presented with a wealth of beauty and history. Cycling is a favorite pastime for many Spaniards and those who visit this country.

The beauty of a bike vacation in the Rioja region of Spain is that you have time to be alone with your thoughts, see beautiful sights, and partake of amazing food and wine with your travel companions. Since you will be biking your way through the countryside, you can splurge on a few extra calories during your vacation without gaining weight. Also, Rioja has some of the best wine the world has to offer.

Tourist Sites

On the short list of tourist attractions in and around the Rioja region of Spain, there is the Guggenheim, Laguardia (medieval walled city), Museo Dinastia Vivanco (world famous wine museum), and a section of Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James). The Bilbao Guggenheim is only part of this world renowned network of museums which has hosted more than ten million visitors at this location alone. Laguardia, the medieval walled city, is filled with amazing architecture dating back to the 13th century. The Museo Dinastia Vivanco began as an entrepreneurial endeavor of Pedro Vivanco Paracuello with the idea of a small museum dedicated to wine and its productions. This original idea has quickly grew into the massive 96,000 sqft complex that exists today. Last on this list, we have the Way of St. James which has existed as a Christian pilgrimage route for over a thousand years and is still in use today.

Wineries

Although the Rioja region of Spain has enjoyed a long history of world famous wine making, most of the vineyards here only date back to the 1960's. This is due to food shortages during the Spanish Civil War which required that ancient vineyards be transformed into wheat fields in the 1930's. It was not until the 1970's that Rioja regained its notoriety as one of the great wine regions of the world.

Major Cities

The four largest cities in the Rioja region of Spain are Logroño (the capital), Calahorra, Arnedo, and Haro. The capital, Logroño, has a population of more than 150,000 people. Each of the next three cities fall between 10,000 and 50,000. Each of these cities is steeped in history with a past the predates the Roman conquest of the Iberian peninsula.

Airport and Transportation

There are two international airports within the Rioja region of Spain which are commonly used to kick off bike tours within this region. The one to the north is Bilbao (BIO) and closer to the center of the region there is Vitoria (VIT). Additionally, within the center of Rioja, there is a domestic airport called Logroño-Agoncillo (RJL). With all these options, you'll find it very easy to find transportation in and out of the Rioja region of Spain.