Ideas for Holy Week: Cycling through La Rioja and Navarra

Trek and Ride has been exploring and designing a  new route in La Rioja and Navarra. Cycling through these two Spanish regions via parts of the St James Way and rural backroads via vineyards, majestic mountain ranges and mysterious medieval buildings, it feels like you are travelling back in time. Far away from busy roads and crowded tourist attractions, the hospitality of the local people is legendary; they will actually keep the shop open until they are certain the last travellers have what they need to continue. Departing from Iruña (Pamplona), the chief town of the Vascones and a major stop on the medieval-era pilgrimage route of Santiago de Compostela, you cycle via the old city walls into the Navarra country side, which in spring shows its most spectacular colors.

The rural roads roll through fields of delicate green are surrounded by heavily wooded forests and abrupt mountain peaks and seem to go on forever. Villages here are small and have preserved that authenticity you can only find when industrialised farming and mass tourism do not thrive. Most villagers still live off the land and are truly the salt of the earth.  Cycling through these medieval villages you can feel the history ooze from the walls and streets. Everywhere you look there are medieval churches,mysterious temples, stone cobbled town squares and ancient monasteries.

Navarra is a scarcely populated region and has been able to preserve wide areas of unspoiled nature, a haven for birds of prey that fill the sky. You will spot plenty of Griffon Vultures, Red Kite and Montagu´s Harrier as you cycle  through the plains. 

As you get closer to La Rioja, the mountains are less abrupt and make way for vineyards where the famous La Rioja wines are produced. Villages like Laguardia are amongst the most beautiful of the Spanish Peninsula and a visit to some of the local bodegas is an absolute must. 

If you are looking to cycle off the beaten track and taste a piece of the real Spain, away from the masses, you will love our La Rioja Tour!

For more info and bookings: http://www.trekandride.com/wine-tour-rioja