Wine & Monasteries Route
WINE AND MONASTERIES ROUTE (RUTA DEL VINO Y LOS MONASTERIOS)
Running through the northern provinces of Soria, La Rioja, Navarra and Zaragoza, this route will appeal to those who enjoy a combination of history, art and culture with the pleasures of the vine.
Suggested access airports: Zaragoza/Bilbao
7 NIGHT ITINERARY
First Night: Parador de SORIA
Must-sees in Soria include two cultural and monumental points of reference characteristic of the city: San Polo and San Saturio, with a poplar-lined avenue along the riverbank. The nearby towns of Almarza, Narros, Golmayo and Arnacón have all retained their rural way of life. In Garray, less than 15 kilometers from the provincial capital, you will find the Numancia archeological site, which includes educational facilities. Also of interest are Burgo de Osma and the nearby Río Lobos Nature Reserve.
Second Night: Parador de SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA
The town of Sto. Domingo is an excellent starting point for discovering the Upper Rioja region and its wealth of heritage linked to wine and viniculture, famous throughout the world. We recommend a visit to the Ontañón Winery/ Museum (Logroño), the Haro Enology Station in Haro, the Vivanco Museum of the Culture of Wine in Briones, as well as some of the vineyards in the Upper Rioja region, which are open to visitors. Another possibility is following the Wine Architecture Route (Gehry, Calatrava, Moneo, etc.). In Santo Domingo you can explore the exenta, or stand-alone cathedral itself (with its impressive high altar, saint’s mausoleum, hen’s cage and cloister). Nearby lies the town of San Millán de la Cogolla, where you can visit the San Millán de Yuso Monastery and San Millán de Suso Monastery.
Third and Fourth Nights: Parador de CALAHORRA
Rioja is the land of wine, an exceptional place where some of the world’s finest wines are produced. Near Calahorra you can discover the wineries of Lower Rioja, including Torres Librada (Alfaro) and Viña Herminia (Aldeanela del Ebro). In Calahorra, we recommend exploring the cathedral and the Episcopal palace.
Fifth Night: Parador de OLITE
The town of Olite offers you the opportunity to discover the palace of the Kings of Navarre, Sta. María la Real Church, San Pedro Apóstol Church, and the square of Carlos III. You can explore the world of wine in the Navarre Museum of Wine and Vineyards, which is located in the same beautiful square as the Parador. Other highlights include the Piedemonte, Marco Real and Bodega Ochoa wineries. Another highlight is the nearby Oliva Monastery, which was made a Cistercian abbey in 1948, following restoration work.
Sixth and Seventh Nights: Parador de SOS DEL REY CATÓLICO
Located to the north of the Cinco Villas (Five Towns) region, Sos has retained a medieval atmosphere in the steep streets of its centre. Its proximity to Navarre made this an important military site, and King Fernando the Catholic was born here. Of interest to visitors are the 11th century San Esteban Parish Church, and the ruins of the castle. The walls, which date from a later period, surround the village, intermingling with the houses built right up against them. The key element is La Fuente Alta Tower, also known as La Reina. Also not to be missed is San Salvador de Leyre Monastery, a Benedictine abbey near Sos, and Javier Castle, birthplace of Saint Francis Xavier. Other highlights include Sangüesa, Uncastillo, Sadaba and Tauste.