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Wine connoisseurs of the world, this is the tour for you! Often overlooked, the regions of Rioja and Ribera del Duero have been producing wine since antiquity. This guided bike tour runs through gorgeous countryside, rolling plains, and quaint little towns and villages. You’ll marvel at the fairy-tale landscapes and enjoy sumptuous meals and world-class wines.
For centuries, the regions of Rioja and Ribera del Duero were Spain’s best kept secret. Wine lovers flocked to well-known regions in France and Italy, unaware that some of the greatest wines on Earth were being produced just a stones throw away. Nowadays, the regions have finally been given the recognition they deserve and, using the latest methods, are at the forefront of modern wine production.
You’ll be staying at luxury accommodation and stopping off at wineries and bodegas along the way to sample the huge range of red, white, and rosé wines, and exquisite local cuisine on offer.
Guests are collected at the agreed time at the airport or their hotel in Madrid. Transit by minibus (4 hours) to a charming mountain hotel in the ski resort of Ezcaray. Pause for a light lunch, followed by a tour of the landmarks of the ancient city of Burgos. From Santo Domingo La Calzada we bicycle the last 15 miles along the river Oja as far as Ezcaray. Upon arrival, welcome drink, delivery of tour documents and bicycle selection process. Time for a stroll around to the village through which flows the river Oja, giving its name to the Autonomous Region of La Rioja. Dinner at the hotel.
After breakfast we start our cycling route towards Santo Domingo de la Calazada and Haro. (This will be quite a long day, but the route may shortened depending on the group’s bicycling abilities). From Haro we cycle towards the village of La Bastida (fortress) then on to Remelluri, where we have lunch at the bodega. This route, taking us along the left bank of the river through the High Rioja and the Rioja Alavesa regions is gently rolling and follows side roads flanked by abundant vineyards. Later, we visit the village of El Ciego where we pause at the newly (end of 2006) inaugurated Marques de Riscal winery, designed by celebrated architect, Frank Gehry. Transfer back to the hotel by minibus. The evening will be free and supper will take place at the Parador hotel. * we would use our best endeavours to make reservations in the new hotel, if requested, but this would involve and upward adjustment in the overall price of the tour. Haro is the “wine capital” of Rioja Alta (the “High Rioja”). Many noblemen settled in this region, leaving their beautiful sunny palaces and mansions for posterity. It has many wine cellars and an interesting wine museum. Our hotel, situated in the center of the town, is a former Augustine convent. Nowadays it offers all the comforts and traditional style of a four star hotel.
After breakfast we depart on bicycle following the Pilgrim’s Way towards Nájera. We proceed to San Millán de la Cogolla to visit the famous monasteries, site of the first manuscripts ever to be written in the Castilian language, followed by lunch. In the afternoon our minibus will take us through the Tierra de Cameros mountain region, following the River Najerilla, and pausing to view the village of Mansilla, now submerged by the new reservoir. But we will remount our cycles for some of the most beautiful stretches, to arrive at Covarrubias in time for a wholesome country dinner and an overnight stay at a charming hotel at the main square. Covarrubias is an ensemble of well-restored and preserved buildings of popular architecture where most of the mansions have maintained their mediaeval characteristics and charm throughut the centuries.
Our day starts on bicycle, heading towards Santo Domingo de Silos to visit this village’s unique monastery, famous for the Gregorian chants superbly sung by its monks. We then continue towards the Yecla Gorge and on to Caleruega. From there we bicycle to Peñaranda where we stay at the Posada (Inn) overlooking the main square and the Castle. This inn has very pleasant and comfortable lodgings, as well as excellent cuisine. Peñaranda is a small and peaceful village dominated by an impressive fortress. Also to be mentioned are the church, the main square in front of the hotel and the palace of the Zúñiga and Avellaneda families which can be visited. Peñaranda hosts also one of the oldest pharmacies of Spain (always within the same family after eight generations).
We start with a visit to an ancient pharmacy – maintained by the same family for eight generations – and then visit the palace. Afterwards, the minibus takes us on to Sotillo where we tour one of the oldest wineries of this region. From there we will bicycle to Roa for lunch. The afternoon’s ride takes us towards Peñafiel, whose imposing castle can be seen from many miles away. In Peñafiel our accommodation is an ancient monastery converted into a 4-star hotel. We dine at a restaurant previously housing an flour mill. Peñafiel is the central point of the Ribera del Duero region in the province of Valladolid. It has one of the finest castles in Spain and a very typical main square.
We begin cycling along the meadow on the banks of the river Duero. Our route takes us through beautiful and plenteous vineyards and we pause at charming villages like Pesquera. Lunch on the way, and we board the mini-bus in Tudela to be driven to our hotel in Valladolid. Here we can rest or enjoy free time for shopping and visiting the city sights. Dinner is at a typical restaurant in the city centre. Valladolid, of 320.000 inhabitants, is the capital city of the Autonomous Community of Castille and Léon. It has many museums and churches with a lively and bustling city centre thanks to its many bars and restaurants.
Early morning departure for Madrid where we will arrive in the early afternoon after a journey of 3 hours. We will stop for a lunch break on the way, and there is the possibility of including a visit to the city of Segovia. Evening in Madrid free.
End of trip or extenstion. Why not book on one of our exciting 3 hour Madrid city bike tour with the time you have to spare before your departure for free?
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