Discover the Wine Routes through Spain's most beautiful villages
Visiting any of the most Beautiful Villages in Spain is a real treat. And you can combine this with tours related to the world of wine and visits to wineries and restaurants. Several of the certified Wine Routes of Spain pass through some of these Beautiful Villages. Do you want to discover them and find out what you can do there?
Rioja Alta Wine Route
One of the claims to fame of La Rioja is undoubtedly its wine. This is not only exquisite and internationally renowned, it is also intrinsic to the culture of the area, its traditions and its fiestas. This route passes through around 80 municipalities, but we are only going to recommend two of its Beautiful Villages this time: Briones and Sajazarra. These two uniquely beautiful towns offer wineries, restaurants, country house lodges and hotels where you will want to spend a few days. Strolling through Briones, with its buildings of ashlar stone, is like traveling back to the Middle Ages, particularly if you visit during its famous Medieval Festival. You can discover its heraldic shields and visit sites such as the Church of the Asunción. There is also a beautiful 4.5-kilometre path along an old mining road surrounded by vineyards to the Davalillo Castle. If you want to learn more about the area's wines, you will love visiting the Vivanco Dinastía Wine Museum.Sajazarra is another beautiful Rioja Alta village, set among a landscape of extensive vineyards. It still has its famous "barrio de bodegas", where wineries in the form of caves were dug and used for storing wine. You should not miss its Castle-Palace, with its old wineries and contemporary art.If you want to travel this entire Wine Route, it also offers other experiences such as balloon flights and visits to vineyards on electric bikes, quadbikes or carriages.
La Rioja Alavesa Wine Route
There is another Wine Route very close to La Rioja, in Alava in the Basque Country. The quality of these wines is famed beyond its borders. You can visit and enjoy a host of activities at any time of the year, with wine being the star in its hotels, restaurants and museums.This route passes through 23 towns and villages, some of which hide veritable underground cities of wineries and wine cellars where wine is still made by hand. One of the highlights is the only Beautiful Village in the whole Basque Country: Laguardia. You will love visiting this picturesque town with its medieval atmosphere, cobbled streets and ancient walls. It has been recognised as the "Best Wine Tourism Town" by the Wine Routes of Spain Association. Make sure you visit the Church of Santa María de los Reyes and the wineries with spectacular contemporary architecture, such as Ysios and the nearby Marqués de Riscal Winery, which offers a fascinating guided tour.Are you looking for more experiences? Laguardia also boasts a health and beauty centre offering treatments based on wine therapy. You can tour the region's vineyards by bicycle or electric scooter, visit medieval wine cellars, be a viticulturist and oenologist for a day, do wine tastings while gazing at the stars... There are so many activities to choose from!
The Sierra de Francia Wine Route
This route to the southeast of Salamanca in Castile and Leon includes around 20 towns. The area is also home to beautiful natural spaces for you to enjoy, such as the Sierras de Béjar y Francia Biosphere Reserve and Batuecas-Sierra de Francia Nature Reserve. The vineyards grow on sustainably cultivated terraces throughout this region, where you will find wineries, wine bars and specialist shops. We are going to focus on two of the area's Beautiful Villages: Miranda del Castañar and Mogarraz. Miranda del Castañar is on a hill surrounded by forests, with its old castle presiding over its walled setting, reflecting its Medieval past. Mogarraz has perfectly preserved its stone civil architecture and its terraced agriculture integrated into nature to this day.Complete your visit by drinking a toast among the clouds during a hot-air balloon trip, or with an olive oil tasting or by exploring one of its unique routes, such as the "Art Trails in Nature", with sculptures hidden In the landscape.
Madrid Wine Route
The two Beautiful Villages in the Region of Madrid, Chinchón and Nuevo Baztán (about 50 kilometres from Madrid) are part of the Madrid Wine Route. The history of the area's wines cannot be understood without its towns, its heritage, its traditions and its gastronomy.Entering Chinchón's famous medieval Plaza Mayor square, with its wooden balconies and lintelled galleries, is quite a spectacle. Other major sights include the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, which houses a painting by Goya. You can visit one of its old wineries and enjoy a tasting of D.O. (Designation of Origin) Madrid wines. Nuevo Baztán is also worth a trip. The town was founded by the businessman and financier Juan de Goyeneche (1656-1735) in the early 18th century. It is home to beautiful sights such as the Palace of Juan de Goyeneche and the Church of San Francisco Javier. The Nuevo Baztán Wine Visitor Centre features models, explanatory panels and reproductions of objects from local industries.If you want to do the entire Madrid Wine Route, you can enjoy more experiences, such as making your own wine and visiting a winery in a cart.
El Bierzo Wine Route
The Bierzo region is in the north of the province of León. Wine has been cultivated in the Bierzo region since Roman times. The area offers hiking and bicycle tourism routes that take you through vineyards growing Mencía and Godello grapes, the area's two prized varieties. You can explore deep into forests where you will find hermitages and monasteries, and you can visit spectacular natural spaces such as Los Ancares and Las Médulas, an impressive opencast mining operation dating from Roman times, which has been declared a World Heritage Site.Which Beautiful Village will you find here? Molinaseca. This is a beautiful and very peaceful little medieval town, where it is a pleasure to cross the Roman Bridge of Peregrinos and find yourself in the Calle Real with its well-preserved houses with their coats-of-arms. Make sure you visit the Shrine of the Angustias, built on the site of an 11th century hermitage.The Bierzo Wine Route also offers experiences such as tours combining wine tourism with the industrial heritage of the area, tastings in vineyards, visits to organic wineries and a chance to find out about the process of producing honey.
Somontano Wine Route
Our final recommendation is in the Somontano area of the province of Huesca, with 4,000 hectares of vineyards. You can enjoy its wine varieties in family, traditional and avant-garde wineries, such as the Sommos winery, which is considered one of the architectural wonders of the world of wine. Lovers of adventure sports will love the landscapes of the Guara Sierra and Canyons Nature Reserve.And make sure you visit the Beautiful Village of Alquézar, a medieval town nestling in fascinatingnatural surroundings above the Río Vero canyon. In addition to visiting the beautiful Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor, you cannot leave without taking a trip through the water and rock of the Vero river canyon, taking what is known as the "Ruta de las pasarelas".Throughout the year, the Somontano Wine Route offers activities such as the Wine Bus and Segway and horseback rides among the vineyards. There are two particularly special times to visit: the first weekend of August, when the Wine Festival is held, offering wine tastings, visits to wineries, workshops and other activities, including the Gastronomic Exhibition at night; and November for wine tourism month, with tastings of wine and chocolate, tastings in atriums and museums, and live music.