La Rioja

Here you’ll find travel reports about La Rioja. Discover travel destinations in Spain of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

88 travelers at this place:

  • Day18

    Sunday in Logroño

    September 9 in Spain

    Totally relaxed! It was a very easy - no major gradients at all - walk of just under 10 km from Viana to Logroño. We still left early in the cool morning air - there had been thunderstorms in the evening and night, even though we walked yesterday under a cloudless sky. And they predict more for later today. The festivities in Viana did continue on into the night as warned! Woke at 3.30 and heard music and revelry, but at 7 am the street cleaning truck was doing its thing and when we left the street was spotless, and ready for the bulls!

    So we have left Navarra and the Basque lands now. Arrived in Logroño at about 11 am but the room was ready, and the bags arrived soon after, so we were all set. We are here for 2 nights in this very good hotel, right on the edge of the old centre, and right on the Camino. After changing from our barely sweaty clothes, we went on a reconnoiter, all fairly familiar from 5 years ago, and a really lovely town. We of course first checked out where the laundromat was, and it’s hours!! Amr was happy, and is there now doing the washing with his kindle. But first after checking, we went into the main centre and found a crazy crowd - again...! Weekends! We discovered there was a Rioja agricultural and wine expo, and the main square was packed. Plus there was a mass just starting in the adjacent cathedral adding to the chaos. Anyway, it was fun, and we had a beer and some tapas for lunch, and after that I found I could better cope with the madding crowds...which were finally starting to thin out.

    So all good..I am having downtime in the room (wifi seems excellent!) and Amr is having downtime at the laundromat! Tomorrow will be a relax day, and the next 2 walking days (Tuesday and Wednesday) are also both under 20 km, as a longer walk has been split into 2 shorter sections...perfect. Tonight there is Masterchef España on TV!!!
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  • Day21

    P.S. to Nájera

    September 12 in Spain

    Just had to add a bit more about the afternoon and dinner, we did go exploring, though by mid afternoon it is very hot and glaringly bright...but found the jewel of Nájera - the Monasterio Santa Maria de la Real, with its church, burial place of kings, queens and knights of Navarra (this must have all once been part of Navarra, and in fact Nájera was the capital of the kingdom of Navarra in the 11th and 12th centuries). And there is a beautiful cloister was abused (used as army barracks, munition storage, prison and even a bull ring!) over the years but in the late 1800s was taken over by Franciscan monks and restored. Very beautiful. Then we had a glass of wine and kindle time, wandered along the river a bit, and waited till dinner time - 7.30. The hotel sends us round to a little restaurant round the corner which we remembered.

    Only one drama...we were sitting, with wine and water, no food yet, when there was a loud thumping on a door....the one very busy waitress was elsewhere so Amr did the rescue thing - someone couldn’t unlock the toilet Amr released her...big commotion, and the waitress came to thank Amr with a big flourish and knocked his glass of vino Tinto all over him! Oh dear, she died of mortification, Amr took off his shirt (luckily he had a respectable black t-shirt underneath, and went back to the hotel to hang up the rinsed shirt (5 mins away).... Finally we sat down to a delicious meal - white beans with shell fish, sort of a soup, a plate of leeks, and we both had the most delicious stuffed peppers...
    So all was well, and now ready to hit the sack, even if only 9.30!

    Tomorrow we walk about 21 kms to Santo Domingo de la Calzada, where the famous chooks are in the cathedral. Life is good.
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  • Day19

    Lazy Monday in Logroño

    September 10 in Spain

    A beautiful lazy day. Woke early as were were asleep by 10.30, but leisurely went to breakfast- very large selection in this good hotel....we know that many of the smaller places will just be bread and coffee, so we enjoy it while we can.

    We had a walk along the river, just to keep from being totally immobile, and it was cool when we left - I almost wished I had a jacket except it was meant to get warmer. It was cloudy bright, but has now become clear blue sky, and probably hot in the sun, and very pleasant. Finally made our way to a cafe/bar we had spied yesterday, but was shut in the evening when we planned to go. Open now, and it was worth the wait! We had spotted chipperones a la plancha on its list, which is my very favourite thing - baby calamari on the grill - and not all places do it. Also there was octopus a la plancha with their special home made salsa (mayonnaise-like), which was also amazing, in fact I liked it more than the famous octopus Galician style (with a sprinkle of smoked peppers)....and we rounded it off with pimientos de padron, another favourite!! We do love the informality here, and the relaxed dress code etc. - no one in Dior outfits or fancy shoes - in fact everyone seems to wear sneakers, not just the walkers - maybe it’s the cobbles... Also, can’t get over the prices...a glass of wine - beautiful Rioja red - costs anything from €1 to €1.75!

    So now returned for some downtime. Amr is downstairs in the jacuzzi. Tomorrow we walk!
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  • Day20

    We have had a lovely, not too demanding walk to Navarrete this morning. I say this morning because we arrived here a bit before 11.30! It was a pleasant route, taking about an hour just to get out of Logroño, but mostly through parks - not too much of boring city outskirts. Logroño is quite large - it is the capital of the Rioja, but you don’t realise when mainly staying in the old historic centre.

    We still see mountains surrounding, but there was only one gradual rise today, and many vineyards in their red earth, and always olives trees. We passed the famous bull - a huge replica that appears on the skyline (equivalent to the big banana etc maybe)....your see it for miles in every direction.

    Then before we knew it, there was Navarrete on a hill in the distance. Last time we just walked straight through, though I do remember the little Plaza Mayor with its trees and water fountain, as we still had a further 17 kms to go to get to Najera. Thankfully today Navarrete was our destination, and we sat at a bar and had a fresh OJ, heaven as usual, and then went to the hotel. No one seemed to be around, and it was early, so we went off for a bit and went up a huge set of stairs to a park on the very top of the town with a 360° panoramic view....could even see the bull in the distance! We sat in the shade up there for a while, listening to a podcast of Outsiders that Amr had on his phone! Then finally went back to the hotel, rang a very loud bell, and a young, friendly, skinny girl appeared who spoke in rapid Spanish ....fortunately Amr got the gist and we got checked in and found that dinner is in the restaurant that has its entrance outside on a lower level...this town is totally on a hill and very charming.

    Our room is spacious and airy. Amr couldn’t make the shower work (this is a daily IQ test - actually sometimes they are straightforward) so he had a bath....I will try my skill later. Now we are at a bar, having a bocadillo and a glass of wine to keep us going till dinner. And we found that 2 Canadian women we had talked to, but lost in the melee of Logroño, are in the same hotel and we may have dinner together tonight. Very peaceful.
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  • Day21

    Good walk to Nájera

    September 12 in Spain

    Another great day! Cloudless, cool and crisp as we set off at 8.20am and hot and sweaty when we arrived here at about 1 o’clock, having walked 17.6 kms. The itinerary said 17.4, so was accurate this time! We walked through vineyards and more vineyards, all laden with grapes. Yesterday someone tasted one and said it was sweet, but today someone said tart...not sugary...I think the grape harvest is October usually, so assume they are just needing a few more weeks. They are mostly red, but every now and then there are a few rows of white...and yesterday we saw some labelled Tempranillo blanco....didn’t know Tempranillo could be white.

    Anyway, a lovely walk, not too demanding, but enough to feel hot and ready for a beer on arrival. We did that, before heading to the hotel - stopped at a bar and had a snack as well. Now in this lovely hotel (known from before) and washing and soon will be ready to hit the town and see some of the sights. Last time we had walked the 30 kms from Logroño and didn’t have the energy to do any this is good!

    We were in step with 2 Swedish women today for a while, which was fun, but I found that I got quite breathless having an animated conversation while walking! They were having a drink at the bar when we arrived, having sprinted on ahead after a while! And there is an Australian woman from Gold Coast in our hotel...walking alone. So many people from so many places, and the inevitable bike riders zooming past and being annoying!! This wifi seems good, so will see how we go with photos.
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  • Day22

    Photos on walk to Santo Domingo

    September 13 in Spain

    Will try and post a few photos of our beautiful walk, and the henhouse in the cathedral. Live rooster and hen in there, the rooster even crowed ....Amr seeking better wifi at the Parador, but this may work...

  • Day13

    Lograno to Navarrette

    May 2 in Spain

    Hola from Navarrette, Spain. I am in a small town between the larger towns of Lograno and Burgos. So, a couple things have happened...I have discovered that I cannot walk 17-18 miles per day through hills and valleys, get into a town and search for a place to stay at 5 or 6 pm. I am too tired and there is limited rooms and most are taken by that time of day. Sooo, I plan on hiking until one or two o’clock, and dumping into the closest town which may or may not have, If you don’t hear from me, don’t worry...just off the grid. I reached Navarrette at around noon today...met up with two hikers that I have gotten to know, Kristy from Australia and Ellen from Virginia...had lunch at a cafe and they
    proceeded on to the next town and I stayed put here. I found a great Albergue in the center of town for around $10. I settled in, did some laundry and walked around town some. I am sharing a room with a group of Canadian woman from Ontario and they invited me for dinner in the Albergue kitchen. They cooked, I mostly sipped wine and sliced some chorizo but a good time had by all. I plan to head out at around 730 am...not sure what my destination is as of yet but somewhere west of here. That’s about it from Spain...hope all is well back home. Thank you for checking in!
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  • Day15

    Hello from Santo Domingo, Spain. I got a late start from Najera this morning, so I arrived a little later to Santo Domingo at around 4pm. I met up with an 81 year old Australian guy named James on the way into town. He was at least a km behind me and caught up with me in under an hour. He walked the AT at the age of 65, walked the full length of the UK in his 70’s and now the Camino at age 81. I am a little embarrassed to admit that he crossed the Pyrenees in 7 hours at age 81 and it took me twice that long. Very humbling. He is actually in the bunk next to me tonight in an old monastary run by a group of nuns. The trip here today was uneventful really....lots of vineyards, grassy fields and hills, a 14 mile day. One note of interest...I walked through a literal ghost town today...very weird. Apparently a developer created an upscale community complete with a golf course and hundreds of condos...the whole thing flopped and it was abandoned as is. It felt like I was in a nuclear area like Chernobyl in Russia in the 80’s. Tomorrow I will attempt to make it to Belorado. Some stories from the Camino: On the same day I crossed, a guy arrived at the Albergue Orrison (the only refuge on the Pyrenees crossing) at around 5pm...they had no room for him and turned him away. He went a mile up the trail, pitched his tent and settled in until the wild horses came along and destroyed his tent...scared the guy half to death apparently but I hear he survived okay. I met a 19 year old kid hiking the Camino backwards...started in Portugal and is walking to his home in England...about a 4 month trip. There is apparently another guy from Maine hiking somewhere near me but haven’t met up with him yet. That’s it from here for now....I am getting there. I have walked over 100 miles so far but can’t pin down the exact number but that means I am 20% of the way and still alive! Take care, I hope this finds everyone well!Read more

  • Day16

    Hello from Villambistia, usual, thank you for checking in. I left Santo Domingo yesterday morning at around 7:30 am and arrived in Belorado at 3pm. I did not post last night due to being busy with the festivities in the albergue. There are a bunch of people that are traveling in a group and I have been running into them a lot and they invited me to join them. So between that and a great political discussion with two young political science majors from Germany and Denmark....the ole blog got neglected. The political discussion was great...the girls had never actually met a Trump supporter in person so they were very interested in my views on American politics. I like to think that they walked away a little more enlightened. 😉. The walk yesterday was through mostly grassy fields and small towns. I started listening to the music on my iPad for the first time on the actually adds a whole other dimension to the walk. Nothing says healing like walking through a 900 year old town with “YMCA” blasting through the earphones! As I write this, I am at a cafe in a small town between destinations....I am not sure where the final destination is today as beds and rooms are getting more difficult to find. The tent may be coming out soon. That’s all for now and thank you again for checking in!Read more

  • Day121

    The town celebration went on until the wee hours of the morning, and the music and revelry kept me awake. It was like reliving my college days with AC/DC, Michael Jackson, Queen and Van Halen songs blaring 😂😂 So, when Alan woke me up this morning, I really wished I could sleep brain kept saying, “just a little while longer, you don’t have to get up.”

    But, no...we had to get going. We left early again, not to beat the heat, but to beat the thundershowers this afternoon. We didn’t want to get caught in a deluge like some of our group did yesterday.

    Today’s walk was about 13 miles, so that felt nice compared to our 18 milers the last two days 🙂 I woke up while walking in the cool morning air and enjoyed the landscape changing from vineyards to wheat fields. I kept telling Alan it looked like the Pullman area and the Palouse...beautiful rolling hills with wheat with a slight breeze blowing through. The difference being the red poppies. I can’t get enough of them 🙂

    I also enjoyed visiting with our fellow hikers today. The ebb and flow of the walk meant at times you walk with one person and then you are with others. I also spent some time walking alone while Alan walked ahead with Andy (from England). They share a common love of the same music and sped off discussing Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Mud Honey and who knows what else 🙂.

    What I didn’t enjoy, today, was my left shoulder tightening up on me, then my middle back. “How can my pack seem heavier today?” I kept asking myself 😬 I have gone through it more than once thinking maybe I would find something hiding in there I could toss, but no 😂😂. I barely have anything, and for sure can’t get rid of any of it.

    The albergue we are in tonight is very nice with a huge lounge area to enjoy watching the World Cup. It’s fun watching the game with people from the countries who are playing. The French were quite pleased when their team won earlier today. Sleeping wise, I am on the top bunk again, and I can zip up there like an expert now. 🙂
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Provincia de La Rioja, Provinz La Rioja, La Rioja, A Rioxa, La Rioxa, Província de La Rioja, Errioxa, Province de La Rioja, ラ・リオハ

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