La Rioja: countryside within everyone's reach
Sierra de Cameros mountains
La Rioja , in northern Spain, is a land of vineyards and wine, art and culture, and, of course, countryside. You will love the variety of its landscapes. 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. Water will accompany you on many routes - there are seven rivers in this Region. There are many ways to discover the countryside of the La Rioja Region. These are a few of them.
From peaceful walks on specially prepared trails, to adventure sports, activities for young children, biking routes on Vías Verdes (disused, conditioned railway lines)... Many alternatives, all with the same idea: to enjoy the countryside of the La Rioja Region to the full.
For the more daring
If you like excitement, then La Rioja is your ideal destination. Here you can go climbing on rock walls reaching 200 metres high, in the Najerilla, Iregua, Leza and Cidacos valley canyons; or climb more than 120 peaks, including the Sierra de la Demanda Mountains, the region's highest, with San Lorenzo peak at 2,260 metres above sea level. Otherwise, you can feel all the excitement of caving at any of its 36 caves and potholes; go paragliding or hang-gliding over the San Millán and Leza Valleys, or in the Ezcaray area; you can explore tracks and forest trails by mountain bike, with stunning routes like those in the Oja Valley; canoe down the white waters of the Iregua and Najerilla rivers, or go canyoning along the gorge of the San Martín and Peña Muro stream, or the Jubera River. Sounds fun, don't you think?
For all kinds of people
Mountain boots and clothing, water bottle, hat, rucksack and, above all, a desire to experience the countryside. In La Rioja you will find many easy, signposted routes with good access. Trails like those running through the Obarenes Mountains, dominated by vineyards; or those to be found alongside pine woods, lakes with icy water, and waterfalls in the Picos de Urbión Mountains. Come to the Sierra de Cebollera Nature Reserve, just 50 kilometres from Logroño, and explore its network of tracks and trails. At the Visitor Centre you can get detailed information on activities available at the reserve throughout the year. Here you can visit the La Paz and La Viña caves. They are fully prepared for visits by the general public of all ages.
Did you know that Europe's largest colony of white storks is to be found in Alfaro? This is one of the surprises awaiting you at the Sotos del Ebro Nature Reserve, where you can also see herons, blackbirds and kingfishers. Less than 50 kilometres away, Arnedillo awaits you in the heart of the Rioja Baja Valleys. This area has the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation. Here you can see griffon vultures in flight from up close, at the Vulture Viewpoint. Don't forget your binoculars! These carrion-feeding birds, along with other birds of prey, eagles and different protected species, inhabit other mountain ranges in La Rioja, such as the La Demanda, Urbión, Iregua, Leza, Jubera and Obarenes Mountains. Choose a route and watch these birds in flight.
These are just a few suggestions for you to enjoy the countryside in the Region of La Rioja. As always, the best thing is to come and see for yourself. You won't regret it.