La Rioja is an Autonomous Community situated in the north of the Iberian Peninsula. It encompasses a section of the Ebro Valley in its northern area and the Iberian System in the south.
It is comprised of high mountain ranges, dramatic in appearance, and lunaresque landscapes, rolling hills and winding rivers. The region is also known for its magnificent pieces of religious architecture. Amongst the most famous are the Cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada and the Suso and Yuso monasteries in the town of San Millán de la Cogolla, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The internationally renowned Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route runs right through the region.
La Rioja has become a household name all over the world for its wine production. Under the Qualified Denomination of Origin Rioja, which is the oldest in Spain, it makes some of the most internationally acclaimed wines. On our trip we visit one of its wineries: Bodegas David Moreno in the locality of Baldarán. We chose this bodega partly because it belongs to a new generation of producers, and partly because these people are particularly good and singularly passionate when it comes to explaining the wine production process to visitors http://www.davidmoreno.es
Silent Walking suggests a two-pronged trail for approaching this region:
The beechwood of Tobía
From Anguiano in the valley of the river Najerilla we head for Tobía through a landscape of crags and rocky cliffs. Greyish limestones and orange-toned clusters invest this scenery with a marked individuality. We recall that we are still on the Atlantic side here and in Tobía we penetrate a deep forest of beeches and oaks until we gain the heights of the Sierra de la Demanda to make the descent to the Monastery of Valvanera.
Monastery of Valvanera
Its origins go back to the 10th century and the oldest buildings it conserves are the Romanesque tower and the late Gothic-style church. To spend a night in the monastery guesthouse and attend one of the liturgies celebrated by the Benedictine monks is an unforgettable opportunity to sense the call of religious seclusion.
Valley of Urbión
The peaks of Urbión are a mountain range pertaining to the Iberian System, constituting one of its highest sierras: its most important peak, Urbión, is 2,228 metres high. Its relief was modelled by glaciers, giving rise to lakes such as that of Urbión, which will be our target for day two. At the foot of Urbión, on the side facing La Rioja, glacier phenomena have shaped an ensemble of ten lakes: one is permanent and typically Alpine, while the rest are much smaller.
Technical features of the trail
Tobía to the Monastery of Valvanera
Distance: 9.12 km
Upward gradient: 649 m
Downward gradient: 417 m
Duration: 3h 30m
Technical evaluation: Easy
Valley of Urbión-Lake of Urbión
Distance: 29.78 km
Upward gradient: 1.128 m
Downward gradient: 1.179 m
Duration: 10h 32m
Technical evaluation: Moderate
In this case, windproof thermal garments will be required, and they become even more necessary if the route is undertaken in the autumn, winter or spring. Hiking shoes and a backpack carrying water and foodstuff are also a must. Walking sticks or poles, meanwhile, are always advisable.
Price: €577,17 per person
It includes VAT guide, insurance, transport, visit to de vineyard with wine tasting and lunch. Also included accommodation at Hospedería Valvanera (B&B) and dinner at Venta Goyo.
This is the standard price for a group of 4. Prices for groups of up to 8 people get reduced proportionally. Other options for groups of 3 or less, also available. Please check when making a reservation or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information and booking, please send us an email or call us on +34 680 253 354