Rows of vines stretch across the hills and plains that surround the medieval town of Elciego, where limestone mountain ranges and lush valleys have witnessed vibrant, ancient cultures. In tiny towns, traditions are handed down between generations. Festivals celebrate food, saints, and above all, wine.
Hidden away among the dramatic hills and forests of the Rioja Alta lie the remnants of a 6th-century monastic community. Visit the reclusive San Millán’s cave home, which later became an important pilgrimage site. The religious destination expanded with the construction of a Romanesque church and the Suso Monastery, whose monks wrote the first Castilian literature. The 16th-century Yuso Monastery is still in operation today.
On the evening of January 5, the Three Kings (Wise Men) bring children gifts, and this Christian holiday is celebrated throughout Spain with gift giving and processions.
Locals mark the start of the Lenten season with parades, street processions, and fanciful costumes.Learn More
Locals and intrepid tourists celebrate the bounty of the Rioja region for a wild wine festival that culminates with a hike up a mountain for a friendly wine-inspired battle where people drench one another in red wine.Learn More
Pamplona San Fermin is just over an hour’s drive from Elciego and the home to one of the world’s most famous festivals: the running of the bulls, where bulls are lead through the ancient streets in pursuit of red-scarfed runners.Learn More
Join the festivities in the charming village of Anguiano as men in regal costume proceed through the cobbled streets on stilts in honor of its patron saint.
Nearby Bilbao plays host to a huge Basque festival of folk music, dance, parades, strongman competitions, bullfighting, regional foods, and nightly fireworks.
Join the locals in Logroño for the annual harvest celebrated with grape stomping, concerts, feasts, wine tastings, and fireworks.
“This region is best experienced through the grapes—Tempranillo, Manzuelo, Graciano, and Garnacha— that elevate this land where Romans and Moors once ruled. One of the most pleasant ways to spend the day is on a tour of local wineries with a trusted guide.”