CHARMING VILLAGES IN LA RIOJA
VISIT GUIDE FOR LESS THAN ONE HOUR FROM OUR HOTEL
Nájera, Briones, Ezcaray … Discover the charm of La Rioja visiting some of the most charming villages
CHARMING VILLAGES IN LA RIOJA LESS THAN ONE HOUR FROM SAN MILLÁN
La Rioja is a relatively small community but it has a wide range of places and monuments of great value, charming towns, a wine culture that makes us one of the most recognized Denominations of Origin in the world, an excellent gastronomy and a great environment with beauty landscapes. And, best of all, is that all these attractions you can visit less than 1 hour by car from our hotel in San Millán de la Cogolla.
Below, we present our guide with the most beautiful villages in La Rioja to visit near Hostería de San Millán.
CHARMING TOWNS AT LESS THAN ONE HOUR
In these picturesque villages of La Rioja you will find monasteries, churches, wineries, restaurants of all kinds (even one with a Michelin star) and ideal natural areas to enjoy the scenery and hiking.
SAN MILLÁN DE LA COGOLLA
The town where we are. Located at the foot of the “Sierra de la Demanda”, the highlights of our town are the famous Monasteries of Yuso and Suso, declared a World Heritage Site and the cradle of written Castilian. Here you can immerse yourself in history by visiting the two monasteries and staying in our hotel-monument, part of the Yuso Monastery.
Apart from the monasteries, the magnificent natural environment of the Sierra de la Demanda invites to the walk, being able to travel the town and make routes in the surroundings to enjoy the tranquility, or to observe the monasteries from the distance with the mountains as a backdrop. These attractions make us one of the most picturesque villages in La Rioja.
BADARÁN (A 10 MINS)
In our neighboring town of Badarán, you can visit some of its places of interest such as houses with shields and coats of arms or the Church of Expectation. In addition, here you can visit the two large wineries that are in the town: Bodegas David Moreno and Bodegas Martín Alesanco and other more traditional and family like Bodega El Chaval.
Here is also the other hotel that we manage, Condes de Badarán, located just at the entrance of the town arriving from San Millán. A visit that you can not miss on your route through charming villages in La Rioja.
NÁJERA (A 20 MINS)
Located in the middle of the Rioja Alta and the place where the Camino de Santiago French passes, Nájera is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful villages in La Rioja. This town stands out for its historical legacy, with several monuments of great interest such as the Monastery of Santa María La Real, the Royal Chapel and the Parish of Santa Cruz, the Convent of Santa Elena or the Archaeological Museum Najerillense. The views of the Najerilla River from the bridge of San Juan de Ortega, complete a perfect combination between natural and monumental environment.
Being one of the most populated towns in La Rioja, in Nájera you will find a good gastronomic offer
SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA (A 20 MINS)
Key point of the St. Jacques Way, Santo Domingo de la Calzada is one of the most touristic towns of La Rioja for its historical legacy.
It emphasizes above all the cathedral, of Gothic style, but with elements of other styles, like its magnificent altarpiece of plateresque style. The Pilgrims Hospital, now converted into a National Parador, the walls, the Cistercian Abbey or the Plaza de España, where the City Hall and the Alhóndiga building are located, are some of the places of interest that make Santo Domingo de la Calzada one of the most charming villages in La Rioja.
The historic center of the town is considered a Historic-Artistic Interest Complex.
EZCARAY (A 35 MINS)
This beautiful town is geographically very close to San Millán de la Cogolla, but to access it we have to surround the mountains of the Sierra de la Demanda.
We are facing the so-called “First Tourist Villa of La Rioja” for its excellent historic center and its natural environment surrounded by mountains, among other attractions. In this charming village in La Rioja, it highlights its historical ensemble houses palaces, arcaded squares and places such as the Royal Tapestry Factory or the Parish Church of Santa María la Mayor.
But that is not all. Ezcaray houses the only ski resort in La Rioja, Valdezcaray, one of the best ski resorts in the north, as well as an excellent gastronomy in which the Echaurren Restaurant stands out, the best restaurant in La Rioja, with 2 Michelin stars. Therefore, if you are lovers of skiing and haute cuisine, you have a must visit to one of the most picturesque villages in La Rioja.
VILLAGES OF THE SIERRA DE LA DEMANDA
This mountain in which San Millán de la Cogolla is located and to which Ezcaray and Santo Domingo de la Calzada also belong to, is home to other small towns that deserve a mention and a visit. In Anguiano, you can visit the beautiful Monastery of Valvanera, surrounded by a wonderful natural environment.
Matute and Tobía are 2 other nearby villages where you can admire its green landscapes, its rivers and its historic buildings. In addition, they are an ideal area to make hiking routes between beech forests or to climb some of the highest peaks of the Sierra de la Demanda. Undoubtedly, one of the charming villages in La Rioja that you can not miss.
LOGROÑO (A 40 MINS)
The capital of La Rioja is presented as an elegant and well-preserved city, with a mood and an ideal environment to visit its monuments and taste its renowned gastronomy and local wines.
Here you can visit the Cathedral of Santa María, a multitude of churches and nice and spacious squares to walk along with other very narrow, which are around the historic center, which highlights the Laurel Street, famous for the large number of bars that houses where you can taste their exquisite pintxos, accompanied by a good Rioja wine.
In addition, in Logroño you can visit the famous “drafts”, underground caves that were formerly used as cellars to make wine and preserve it.
HARO (A 35 MINS)
If Logroño is the capital of La Rioja, Haro is the capital of wine and the Rioja Denomination of Origin. In this charming town of La Rioja its great wine tradition stands out, with some of the most famous and important wineries of the D.O. Rioja as Muga, CVNE or Ramón Bilbao, located yin The Barrio de la Estación.
Haro also has a beautiful and monumental historic center, where the 7 statues that you can find in this area, which represent the ancient trades of Haro, deserve special mention.
This, together with its gastronomy and enology, make Haro one of the most beautiful and picturesque villages of La Rioja.
BRIONES (A 35 MINS)
This small town located very close to Haro, is part of the “Most Beautiful Villages in Spain” and stands out for its historic center paved with narrow streets where you can see their houses with their coats of arms, their main square or their stately palaces. In the surroundings, next to the wall, you Will enjoy the beautiful landscapes of vineyards in the area next to the Ebro river.
But, if there is something that makes Briones one of the most charming villages to visit in La Rioja, it is home to the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture, considered the best wine museum in the world. A must-see jewel to soak up the wine culture of La Rioja.
LAGUARDIA Y LA RIOJA ALAVESA (A 45 MINS)
Also in the guide of the “Most Beautiful Villages of Spain” by own merit, there is this town that no longer belongs to La Rioja, but to the province of Álava. It is the capital of the Rioja-Alavesa, an area that stands out for the beauty of its villages and, of course, for having some of the most spectacular design wineries you can visit. Among them we can highlight Marqués de Riscal (in Elciego), Ysios or Bodegas Baigorri.
The town of Laguardia itself stands out for its walled enclosure, its magnificent medieval gates, its squares and its cobblestone streets. It is an area with many wineries to visit and a wide gastronomic offer.