Famed for its wine, La Rioja is both a province and a self ruling region situated in the North part of Spain. It is located between Castilla León to the west, Castilla La Mancha to the south, Navarra and the Pais Vasco to the north and Aragón to the east. Logrono is the capital of La Rioja and the commercial centre.
La Rioja is a fertile part of Spain due to the water supply from the 7 major rivers that flow through it, the Iregua the Oja, the Leza, the Jubera the Najerilla, the Cidacos and the Alhama and all of which come to an end in the Ebro, which also runs through the province. La Rioja is also well known as the province with 7 valleys, although in reality there are many more.
Although very small, La Rioja is extremely rich in natural resources. Of course it is one of Spain’s most famous wine producing areas as well as having amazing landscapes. It has an important historical heritage and there are endless possibilities for visitors.
If you enjoy sports, then La Rioja has an abundance of them. You will find ski slopes in the mountain ranges of Valdezcaray, Cebollera, Obarenses and the Cantabria and Demanda. You can go climbing, paragliding, canoeing (in many rivers), hiking and even do bungee jumping here. You can also go up in a hot air balloon, go horse riding, fishing, hunting or play golf.
La Rioja’s economy is predominately via wine production and the related industries, distribution and rural tourism. The other industries found here are the textile and shoe industry as well as its agriculture.
Cuisine from La Rioja is based on locally grown products such as artichokes, asparagus, potatoes, mushrooms, gem lettuces, red peppers and pulses. Obviously there are many vineyards, fruit tress and olive groves. You can get excellent meat and cheeses here due to the pastures. A typical dish here would be a Rioja style vegetable stew. For dessert you can try marzipan, fried almond pastries and pears in wine.
Tapas is very popular in La Rioja, especially in the San Juan and Laurel streets and the surrounding area.
Each bar specializes in one particular type of tapas, so you could try new tapas and a new bar every night. Haro has many bars and pubs, which makes it popular with hen nights and stag parties.
You have to try the excellent Riojan wines on your trip. There are in excess of 500 wine bodegas in La Rioja and many of these offer guided tours with wine tasting included and usually a set lunch or dinner.
It is well connected by air, the closest airport being Agoncillo in La Rioja. There is also a good coach service that connects La Rioja to the rest of the Spain.