If you want to unwind and leave the stresses and strains of everyday life far behind, then think La Rioja. A small region in inland Spain whose contrasting landscapes, vineyards and natural parks will captivate you. Read on if you’d like to enjoy this peaceful region where you can lose yourself in different destinations in the company of your choice.
A natural park in the Northern Iberian System for you to explore, very close to the city of Logroño. Sierra de Cebollera Natural Park is important for its woodlands, especially the forests of Scots pine, Pyrenean oak, and beech. Wildlife includes foxes, wild boar, red deer, squirrels, and wildcats. An area declared to be of international importance for the passage of migratory birds. There's a choice of different routes within the park, for example you could visit the emblematic village of Villoslada de Cameros, or enjoy your surroundings by checking out different trails. Try the one that takes you to the Cebollera lake, the route to the Mojón Alto peak, or the trail to the Puente Ra waterfalls, without doubt this one is the best known, and never fails to impress.
Sotos de Alfaro Nature Reserve
This is an area of woodland on the banks of the river Ebro. Located in the Rioja Baja it's a haven of peace and tranquillity where you can relax and enjoy your surroundings. It’s here that the largest colony of white storks nest during their migration. You’ll see their nests on the rooftops and also in other places in the village of Alfaro. And that's not all, there are other birds and mammals that you might also be lucky enough to catch sight of.
Picos de Urbión (and its lakes)
The Picos de Urbión Nature Reserve is shared with the province of Soria (Castilla y León). This high mountain range boasts a series of glacial lakes that provide a perfect route for a day out. If you're an experienced hiker, you can climb up to the top of the highest peak and reach the Black Lagoon.If you fancy seeing another lake, you could visit the Laguna de Hervías.
Vineyards in La Rioja Alta
A vineyard visit is a possibility absolutely everywhere in La Rioja Alta. Autumn is a good time to go walking in this region, as the vines take on the striking colours so characteristic of the season. And of course you can always combine your passion for the mountains with a wine tasting session.
Sierra de la Demanda
This is a place where you can give full rein to your most adventurous side. The highest point in the region is to be found here in the mountains of the Sierra de la Demanda, it's the Pico de San Lorenzo at a height of 2,260 metres. The Oja valley is a great place to enjoy magnificent views of the most distinctive landscapes in the area, and it's good for bicycling. In this same area you could also visit Ezcaray, a village with a very pretty old quarter.