· La Rioja ·

Any lover of good wine will immediately recognise this region, because La Rioja gives its name to the excellent wines that, for centuries, have been produced in what was Spain’s very first Designation of Origin.

Visiting wineries and vineyards to taste what they have on offer, and enjoy their cuisine is one of the main reasons why thousands of bon vivants travel to La Rioja every year.

Many of the activities available in La Rioja revolve around this precious liquid, such as wine therapy treatments offered in its fantastic thermal spas, hot-air balloon rides over the vineyards, and festivals, like Harrow Wine Festival’s Batalla del Vino, among many others.

For those who wish to expand their knowledge of the subject, the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture, in the charming town of Briones, is considered the best in the world by many experts.

However, while wine is a wonderful excuse to visit La Rioja, there are many more reasons. Its beautiful capital, Logroño, and towns such as Santo Domingo de la Calzada and Néjera, are a must for any pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago.

The Suso and Yuso monasteries, located in San Millán de la Cogolla and declared a World Heritage Site in 1997, are especially important.

Traditionally this region is thought to have been the birthplace of the Spanish language, which now has almost 500 million native speakers around the world, since it is here where the oldest texts written in the language have been preserved: the Glosas Emilianenses.

If palaeontology appeals to you more than philology, then La Rioja offers you some of the best-preserved dinosaur remains in Europe.

Along the Route of the Dinosaurs, which is full of ichnites and traces of these fascinating reptiles, you can learn a lot about the way of life of the inhabitants in La Rioja millions of years ago…