SF&T

La Rioja has much to offer lovers of nature, culture and gastronomy. Enjoy vineyard tours, 2 Star Michelin dining & enchanting landscapes, with some special places to stay.

La Rioja is one of Spain's finest landscapes of medieval towns, monasteries, vineyards and good food. Explore the Camino de Santiago whilst indulging your culinary senses in our selection of delightful hotels and Michelin restaurant - all in exquisite settings with charming views over a beautiful and varied landscape. Here you will find Mediterranean forests along with high mountain landscapes that rapidly give way to semi-arid areas with an almost lunar look to them.

Walking the Camino Frances in La Rioja and the Sierra de la Demanda

Walk the Way of St James on wonderful wide country tracks through vineyards and undulating farmland. The Way goes past medieval villages, pilgrim fountains and majestic monasteries which have been linked for centuries to the Camino de Santiago. We recommend that you start in the wine capital of La Rioja - Logroño.  Following three days walking along the Camino from Logroño to Santo Domingo de la Calzada, we take you on a wonderful off the beaten track route for some rather special gastronomic experiences. You walk the foothills of Sierra de la Demanda through magnificent beech woods to the cradle of the Spanish language,  Monastery of Yuso before looping back to the Camino. Contact us and we will be happy to create a personalised itinerary designed specifically around your needs and interests.

Michelin Restaurant Culinary Experience

The Ebro River basin provides the kitchen table with all manner of fruit and vegetables. Asparagus, peppers, artichokes and other vegetables are the staples. Typical dishes are potatoes "a la riojana" or vegetable stew, the famous lamb cutlets with vine shoots and delicious almond sweets "fardelejos", and marzipan and pears in wine.

We will take you for an extraordinary culinary experience to the Hotel Echaurren, which boasts three of Spain's finest restaurants. One of them -El Portal- was the first in La Rioja to gain a Michelin Star and now holds two.

One of the highlights of the trip is seeing Michelin star chef Francis Paniego and his team at work in a kitchen that creates both the refined traditional cuisine of the area or the avant-garde modern Rioja dishes prepared by the hotel's talented chefs.

Following this fascinating insight into one of the most renowned kitchens in Spain, you'll be able to enjoy the superb tasting menu. A gastronomic feast that comprises between 8 and 11 dishes, showcasing locally sourced produce that Francis uses to create his gourmet impressions of the surrounding landscape.

World-Famous Rioja wines: Wine Cellar and Vineyard Tours

La Rioja produces some of the most esteemed wines in the world, with its own Designation of Origin standard. Whites, rosés and especially reds accompany and form part of this rich gastronomy.

Our Rioja wine tour includes several wine cellar and vineyard visits. These can include the Bodegas Corral and the renowned Bodegas David Moreno, as well as a visit to the wine cellars of the Monastery of San Millan. 

The magnificent San Millan Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Founded by the Saint of the same name and linked for centuries to the Pilgrim's Route to Santiago de Compostela, this impressive monastery is also known as the cradle of the Spanish language, since the first documents written in this language are preserved here.

The Hospederia Hotel of the Monasterio is simply outstanding. The hotel is accommodated within a wing of this architectural and historical gem. Your sumptuous surroundings will be remembered for a long time to come and the dining here is of the highest standard. Here you also have the option of the trying the special dining experience - El Menu Del Autor.

 

The following is our popular 8-day itinerary.

However, if time permits we lso recommend starting in Logroño and adding an extra walk from Logroño to Navarette.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like us to create a personalised itinerary designed specifically around your needs and interests.

Day 1 - Transfer from Bilbao to Najera

Najera was once the capital of the Kingdom of Navarre in the 11th century. Enjoy an evening stroll to see the magnificent monastery of Santa Maria de la Real with its Royal Pantheon, Knights Cloister and Museum, also its ancient Castle. The Plazas de España and Navarra have a variety of bars and restaurants.

Day 2 - Walk the Camino: Navarette to Najera

An early transfer to Navarette allows you to make your first vineyard and Rioja wine tour to the Bodegas Corrales for a special tasting tour. Thereafter, you'll be walking the Camino de Santiago, passing along the main street of Navarette. This historic Camino town has original period houses with carved family crests, arcaded and cobbled streets and lively plazas with bars and cafes. The path then becomes a track of bright red Riojan earth, continuing through farmland and vineyards back to Najera.

Day 3 - Walk the Camino: Najera to Santo Domingo de la Calzada

Walk the Camino de Santiago on wonderful wide country tracks through remote and undulating farmland. The Way continues past notable medieval way-markers, ancient pilgrim fountains and little villages. Santo Domingo is intrinsically linked with the Camino, named for Saint Dominic who dedicated his life to this pilgrims' road. He built the Cathedral as well as the pilgrim hospital which today houses the Parador. The town is a fascinating network of medieval streets housing a variety of bars and restaurants.

Day 4 - Walk: Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Ezcaray

The walk continues through farmland with views east and west to mountain ranges, following the valley of the River Oja, which feeds the vineyards of La Rioja. In a valley of the Sierra de la Demanda mountains, on the banks of the Rio Oja, sits the charming little town of Ezcaray.

Day 5 - Michelin Restaurant Experience in Ezcaray

A highly regarded gourmet town, Ezcaray and its surrounding area are ideal for those who seek rest and peace and quiet. This area around the little town is made up of striking mountain scenery with streams, forests and peaks over 2,000 metres high. We recommend a circular walk from the hotel offering fine views of this beautiful valley. The route allows for relaxation time before another excellent dining experience.

The Echaurren Micheling Restaurant Experience: We provide you a rare chance to not only sample the exquisite creations from the 2 star Michelin kitchen of Francis Paniego, but also an opportunity to see behind the scenes.

Day 6 - Walk: Ezcaray to Monasterio de San Millán de la Cogolla, UNESCO World Heritage Site

In the middle of the Cárdenas river valley sits the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site, monastery of San Millán de la Cogolla. This Rioja town was founded by the saint of the same name and linked for centuries to the Pilgrim's Route to Santiago de Compostela. The deep-rooted monastic tradition of the town can be seen in the beautiful collection of historic buildings it houses, where the sibling Monasteries of Suso and Yuso are outstanding. The importance of San Millán de la Cogolla is also due to its status as the cradle of the Spanish tongue, since the first documents written in this language are preserved here.

Day 7 - Walk: San Millan de la Cogolla to Najera

Walk from San Millan through vineyards on the Route of the Monasteries, which eventually rejoins the Camino at Najera. You'll have great views north to Sierra Cantabria and its "sleeping lion" outline. The walk allows plenty of time to enjoy your pre-arranged vineyard and Rioja wine tour en route, at the renowned Bodegas David Moreno in Badaran.

Day 8 - Bilbao Transfer

Transfer by taxi from Najera to Bilbao/Bilbao Airport. If time permits, why not visit the Guggenheim Museum and its world class collection of avant-garde art.

 

La Rioja is one of Spain's finest landscapes of medieval towns, monasteries, vineyards and good food

 

The main highlights of our typical 8-day gourmet Camino itinerary in La Rioja are:

 

History and Landscape: The Camino Frances in La Rioja

 

Walk the Camino de Santiago in la Rioja's beautiful and varied landscape of wide country tracks, vineyards and undulating farmland, but also Mediterranean forests and high mountain landscapes that rapidly give way to semi-arid areas with an almost lunar look to them.

 

The thousand-year old Way of St James goes past medieval villages, pilgrim fountains, and majestic monasteries linked for centuries to the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. La Rioja's historic Camino towns and villages house a variety of lively plazas with bars and restaurants.

 

Culinary experience, including Michelin Restaurant

 

Explore the Camino de Santiago whilst indulging your culinary senses. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy the delicious Spanish tapas and Rioja wines in the many bars and restaurants on the Camino.

 

Our selection of delightful hotels include an extraordinary culinary experience to the Hotel Echaurren, which boasts three of Spain's finest restaurants. One of them -El Portal- was the first in La Rioja to gain a Michelin Star.

 

One of the highlights of the trip is seeing Michelin star chef Francis Paniego and his team at work, while tasting both traditional and cutting-edge modern Rioja dishes prepared by the hotel's talented chefs: a meal that comprises of between 8 and 11 dishes, all showcasing the locally sourced produce that Francis uses to create his impressions of the surrounding landscape.

 

World-Famous Rioja Wines: Wine Cellar and Vineyard Tours

 

La Rioja produces one of the most esteemed wines in the world, with its own Designation of Origin standard. Whites, rosés and especially reds accompany and form part of this rich gastronomy.

 

Our Rioja wine tour includes special wine cellar and vineyard visits, including the renowned Bodegas David Moreno, the Bodegas Corrales' vineyards, and the wine cellars of the Monastery of San Millan.

 

Kings and Saints: Ancient monasteries including a UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

In Najera, once the capital of the Kingdom of Navarre in the 11th century, you will visit the magnificent monastery of Santa Maria de la Real with its Royal Pantheon, Knights Cloister and Museum.

 

Walking through vineyards on the Route of the Monasteries, one of the highlights of the tour is the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site of San Millan de la Cogolla. Founded by the saint of the same name and linked for centuries to the Pilgrim's Route to Santiago de Compostela, this impressive monastery is also known as the cradle of the Spanish language, since the first documents written in this language are preserved here.

 

The Hotel of the Monasterio is simply outstanding. The hotel is accommodated within a wing of this architectural and historical gem. Your sumptuous surroundings will be remembered for a long time to come and the dining here is of the highest standard.

 

As an addition to the tour, we would recommend you the following optional extras:

 

Michelin Restaurant: The Echeaurren Experience

 

After spending some time in the heat of the kitchen, seeing the Michelin star chef and his team at work, you can then relax and sample several mouth-watering delights from the Menu. Ask us for details.

 

The Guggenheim Museum

 

One of the most admired works of contemporary architecture of the 20th century and more than ten million visitors to its credit, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is one of several modern and contemporary art museums belonging to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.

 

Designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, the museum has world class collection of avant-garde art and features permanent and visiting exhibits of works by international artists. Ask us for details about this optional extra. 

Excellent accommodation in sumptuous surroundings

Just two of the highlights of the trip are Michelin-Star Hotel Echuarren in Ezcaray and the Hospederia of San Millan at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Logroño has an array of fine hotels and is the wine capital of La Rioja.

In Santo Domingo de la Calzada, the historic C11th Hospital de Camino de Santiago is now a fine Parador. The name refers to the founder Dominic de la Calzada, who built the bridge, hospital and hotel for pilgrims on the Way of St. James.

The Hotel Echaurren boasts three restaurants, including one of the finest restaurants in Spain - El Portal, the the first in La Rioja to gain a Michelin Star. You can take the opportunity to taste both traditional and cutting-edge modern Rioja dishes prepared by the hotel's talented chefs, Michelin-starred Francis Paniego, and his mother, Marisa Sánchez.

The Hospederia of the Monasterio San Millan de la Cogolla is simply outstanding. The hotel is accommodated within a wing of this architectural and historical gem. Your sumptuous surroundings will be remembered for a long time to come and the dining here is of the highest standard. You may also have the chance to visit the wine cellars before beginning another memorable dining experience.

 

 

Booking Enquiry

Please send in your enquiry or any question and we'll contact you within 24 hours

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Logroño's Famed Calle Laurel
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Ezcaray Gastro Town
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The View from San Millan
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San Millan de Cogolla Valley
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Francis Paniego & team from 2 Michelin Star Restaurant "El Portal"
  • Date

    All year availability - except Winter when Ezcaray becomes a ski resort

  • Cost

    8 nights B&B with baggage transfers from £935 pp based on sharing double / twin rooms.

  • Accommodation

    Excellent quality of lodgings.Choose from Bed & Breakfast or Half Board Accommodation. Baggage transfers, two bodega visits and 2* Michelin kitchen dining experience with tasting menu included.

  • Grade

    Easy/Moderate

  • How To Get There

    Bilbao Airport Recommended. Rail access from Madrid. We can arrange local transfers.

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