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8 days
  • self guided cycle
  • Atmospheric 2-4 star hotels
  • 2 Dinners
  • 7 Breakfasts



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Trip Code: HRJ

Trip highlights

  • Experiencing medieval hilltop villages and the sweeping landscapes of the Ebro River Valley
  • Cycling amongst modern wine estates with their avant-garde architecture
  • Staying in atmospheric accommodation to truly appreciate the region
  • Sampling delicious Spanish gastronomy and exposure to some of the best wines in Europe

Bordered by mountains with the Ebro River running through the middle, the Rioja region in northern Spain has a micro climate ideal for viticulture. For more than two centuries its wine industry has developed to become world renown principally for its classic bold reds. In tandem, the development of gourmet cuisine has resulted in award winning restaurants housed in countryside estates and medieval villages dotted throughout the region. This exceptional journey by bike is ideally suited to lovers of wine and Spanish cuisine, with opportunities to sample regional produce at cellar doors and at the evening meal. During the cycle day explore charming villages and small castles, view religious art in monasteries and churches and cycle the quiet country roads along the banks of the Ebro and on the Camino de Santiago. Evenings are spent in specially handpicked hotels brimming with character.

Trip Grading

introductory to moderate

More info about grading system

Arrive in the village of Ábalos, where you'll spend the first three nights. Your host is a young wine-maker and oenologist, whose first commercial wine won the prestigious Bachuss de Oro in the year 2006. The hotel serves a creative set menu for dinner each evening, accompanied by estate-produced wines.

Meals:  D

The first cycling route of this program takes you east of Ábalos, into the Basque section of Rioja Wine Country. Every square inch of fertile soil across this rolling landscape has been covered in grapevines and medieval villages sit on hilltops throughout. You'll see historic Laguardia and the wine-making village of Elciego, with architect Frank Gehry's intriguing winery and avant-garde hotel designed for the vintners at the Marques de Riscal Estate. On your way back to Ábalos, you cycle on quiet country lanes through vineyards near Navaridas and Eskuernaga, with the limestone peaks of the Sierra de Cantabria in the distance. Cycling: 35km/21.7mi, ascent 580m/1902ft Villages along the way: Laguardia, Elciego, Navaridas, Eskuernaga

Meals:  B

This morning you pedal south toward the River Ebro. You then follow its course, winding along all the way to Haro. En route, lovely spots such as San Vicente de la Sonsierra, with its beautiful Medieval bridge and impressively situated Gothic church. Option of visiting the private collection at Vivanco winery: a display of almost anything having to do with wine-making, of interest to wine enthusiasts and art-lovers alike, with gardens home to over 200 varieties of grapevines. Cycling: 38-45km/23-27.5mi, ascent 285m/935ft Villages along the way: San Vicente, Briones

Meals:  B

You leave behind Abalos, cross the Ebro and cycle south through gently rolling terrain with vineyards, fields of grain and orchards. By way of Alesanco and Badarán, you reach the monasteries of Yuso and Suso, set in an open valley at the foot of the Sierra de Demanda. Your accommodation is either a Baroque monastery beautifully renovated into a hotel, situated on the village square (subject to availability) or a characterful 3 star hotel. Cycling: 29-36km/18-24mi, ascent 420m/1378ft Villages along the way: Alesanco, Badarán, Yuso, Suso

Meals:  B,D

The cycle begins with a short stretch back to Badarán then ride along winding country roads toward Santo Domingo de la Calzada, an essential stopover for Christians on the Camino de Santiago. Leaving the vineyards behind, you cycle into the grain-producing area of the region. A converted railway used to transport coal in the 19th century is now a surfaced cycling path which leads directly to Ezcaray, where you'll spend the next three nights at a welcoming family-run hotel in the historical town centre. Wide selection of restaurants, bodegas and tapas bars in which to sample the local wines. Cycling: 32-39km/19.8-24mi, ascent 400m/1312ft Villages along the way: Santo Domingo de la Calzada

Meals:  B

If a break from the saddle is appealing, there's an easy optional walk for today, a there-and-back route along the Río Ojo. If you prefer to stick with wheels, you can cycle into the foothills to remote villages with just a few resident farmers. After 10km of cycling, you'll begin to see a completely different side of La Rioja, undiscovered until now. Cycling: 20km/12.5mi by bike, ascent 160m/524.8ft and/or max. 20km/12.5mi on foot, ascent 330m/1083ft Villages along the way: Sierra de Demanda, Posada, Zaldierna, Urdante

Meals:  B

Your last day of cycling offers a circular route through waving fields of grain, first through the nearly flat Oja River Valley then up into the hills. Orchards, sunflowers and shady woodlands along the way. Optional visit to Santo Domingo de la Calzada. Return route by way of the Via Verde to Ezcaray. Cycling: 49km/30.5mi, ascent 300m/984ft Villages along the way: Valle de Oja, Santo Domingo

Meals:  B

Trip concludes after breakfast with a transfer to Santo Domingo bus station.

Meals:  B


  • 7 breakfasts, 2 dinners - continental breakfasts are served and will often consist of breads, spreads, yoghurt, cheese, tea, coffee & juices
  • 7 nights in atmospheric hotels - 4 nights 3-4 star and 3 nights 2 star - on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • 24 speed high quality rental bike equipped with panniers, lock, repair kit and helmet (e-bike available on request - supplement applies)
  • Detailed road book and maps per room booked (GPS information is available on request)
  • Transfer on day 8 to Santo Domingo (for onward travel by bus to eg, Madrid)

  • Travel to Ábalos and from Santo Domingo
  • Lunch daily and 5 dinners, beverages
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees
  • Transfers
  • Travel insurance - mandatory

Bike information


introductory to moderate  

The cycling distances range from 21 to 49km/13 to 30.5mi over flat to undulating terrain. The rides follow mostly well surfaced tarmac lanes and secondary roads with little traffic and a few dirt tracks. Inevitably, near the larger towns there is more traffic. It is considered suitable for cyclists with a reasonable level of fitness. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with road cycling in light traffic in order to participate comfortably. *For safety reasons, and in compliance with Spanish law, we insist that cycle helmets are worn at all times whilst cycling.

Departure dates


Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • e-bike SupplementUSD$160
  • Single SupplementUSD$300
  • Single Traveller SurchargeUSD$580
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews

Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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