Spain La Rioja Guided Bike Tour

Tour Dates: May 15 – 24, 2023

Bordering the Basque country of Spain and nestled in the Ebro River Valley, our La Rioja Bike Tour is surrounded by some of the most beautiful vineyards in Europe.  We will be following the River Ebro, the longest in Spain, as it flows from its source in the Cantabrian Mountains down to the distant Mediterranean. The very name of the Iberian Peninsula comes from this river – Iberia, the country of the Ebro.

We begin our route along this tiny mountain stream through the green pastures and beautiful valleys of Cantabria. We’ll witness the changes in the river as it creates imposing canyons and finally we arrive in La Rioja, home of the finest wines produced in Spain. With the limestone mountains of the Sierra de Cantabria in the background, we’ll be surrounded by a sea of vineyards dotted with ancient villages, castles and wine-producing bodegas. This is a magnificent trip for those who wish to visit parts of Spain that few tourists ever see.

Charming accommodations with breakfasts and dinners are included, and Chuck and Judy Nichols will join this tour.  We’ll have road bike, hybrids and ebike rentals available and we will be accompanied by a support vehicle.

2023 Price: €3300 Euros per person double occupancy

Single Supplement:
Price Includes:
  • 9 nights hotel
  • 9 breakfasts and 9 dinners
  • bilingual guide/driver
  • van support and luggage transfers
Price Does Not Include:

International flights, lunches, beverages, gratuities for local guide/driver, hybrid bike rentals €160, carbon road bike rentals €200, electric bike rentals €240

Tour Difficulty

This trip is a moderate trip. The terrain is hilly and each day you can expect 35 to 60 km (20 – 36 miles) of riding.

  • Difficulty: Moderately Hilly
  • Road Conditions: Smooth & Paved
  • Recommended Bike: Hybrid, Road or Electric bike

Tour Highlights

  • Fabulous scenery
  • Cultural heritage
  • Incredible food and wine

Itinerary

Day 1- Arrival in Bilbao, transfer on your own to hotel.

Free Day, Dinner on your own. Hotel in Bilbao included.

Day 2 – After Breakfast: Group transfer to Campoo, where our journey will begin.

When we arrive we’ll have a bike fitting and depending upon our arrival time, we might have time for a short warm up ride. Dinner and tour orientation will follow.

Day 3 – Campoo to Polientes   60 km/ 38 miles

This stage takes us through some fabulous and unspoilt scenery. From the green mountain pastures of the Cantabrian Mountains, along the shores of the Ebro Reservoir, past the Monastery of Montesclaros surrounded by forests to finally rejoin the Ebro in the Valley of Valderredible and tonight’s stop in Polientes. Those on the short version follow the river direct to Polientes. The longer version circumnavigates the Ebro Reservoir.

Day 4 – Polientes – Pesquera del Ebro  43 km / 27 miles

We begin by cycling through the open valley of Valderredible. Take the opportunity to visit the Romanesque church of San Martín de Elines and also the churches carved into the very rock, which are so characteristic of this region. As we progress down the river, the sides of the valley begin to close in until we find ourselves in a marvellous canyon of ever-increasing dimensions, where eagles and vultures soar overhead. Stop to visit the fairytale village of Orbaneja del Castillo with its cascades running through the village. As we approach Pesquera, the canyon of the Ebro reaches unbelievable dimensions before we finally reach the attractive village that will be tonight’s resting-place.

Day 5 – Pesquera del Ebro – Medina de Pomar  36 km / 23 miles or (63 km – 39 miles with route extension to Puentedey)

A beautiful route which follows a huge bend of the river through the most picturesque and undiscovered villages. An optional extension takes us to the dramatic village of Puentedey,built on a natural rock bridge over the River Nela. Tonight we stay in the Castillian town of Medina de Pomar with its old Jewish quarter and the castle dominating the town and the surrounding landscape. 36 km – 23 miles

Day 6 – Medina de Pomar – Frías  58 km / 36 miles

From Medina, we head back to the Ebro, The route then takes us along a quiet country road running parallel to the river where the valley begins to open out again. Visit the Romanesque church of San Pedro de Tejada and soon we are cycling through yet another canyon, which then opens out into the fertile valley around Frías. This is a spectacular village built around its castle and enjoying fine views of the Ebro Valley.

Day 7 – Frías – Haro 62km / 39 miles

As we leave Frías, the valley begins to close in on us again until we find ourselves in another spectacular canyon. The road runs along the shores of a reservoir surrounded by high mountains and through short tunnels carved out of the rock. The route crosses the little town of Miranda del Ebro before passing through imposing peaks that signal the gateway to the enormous open valley of La Rioja. Tonight is spent in the wine-producing village of Haro, with a chance to drink a glass or two of Rioja in its birthplace.

Day 8 – Haro loop ride   30 – 50 km / 20 – 30 miles

Rest day in Haro or bike loop through the vineyards. Today will be relaxing day where we can choose to ride a bike loop through the La rioja vineyards and we’ll visit one of the many famous bodegas in Haro, complete with wine tasting.

Day 9 – Haro – Laguardia  50 km – 31 miles

We cycle through endless vineyards and numerous picturesque villages of La Rioja, with the backdrop of the Sierra de Cantabria mountains and the Ebro never too far away. We finally reach the superb walled medieval village of Laguardia where, as in Haro, wine is almost a way of life.

Day 10 – Departure

Group Transfer after breakfast from Laguardia to Bilbao