Rioja Alta & Sierra Cebollera NEW

Guided walking, history, nature - small international group - north-central Spain

The Rioja Alta is one of the three traditional divisions of the Rioja wine region, but the name also well describes the little-known mountainous south of the province, with the high peaks of the Cameros, Sierra Cebollera natural park and Sierra de la Demanda.

ONE WEEK Activities: 5 mountain walks of 3h-4h30 and one shorter walk of about 1h30, on (occasionally steep and/or stony) paths; denivellations of up to +400m/day; visits: monasteries, a bodega, caves and the transhumance museum. Group 10 maximum.

in rooms for two (private bathrooms): 3 nights in the charming 'Casa San Andrés del Valle' at Estollo and 4 at the 'Venta de Piqueras' in the Sierra Cebollera. Excellent local cuisine: wines, meats and famous stews featuring the pochas and caparrones bean varieties.

DATES (Wednesday-Wednesday)
2017 14-21 June (reverse order),
6-13 September. FULLY BOOKED.

895 euros per person; single room supplement 175 euros.

RENDEZVOUS Bilbao airport in the afternoon - choose a flight arriving before 15.00.
DISPERSAL Bilbao airport in the late morning - choose a flight departing after 14.00.
Please consult us if you wish to arrive by coach, train or car.

Location of this programme:

WEDNESDAY: Transfer from Bilbao to Estollo, in the Iruela valley, for 3 nights. Interesting short walk of the Salto de Agua de Matute.

THURSDAY: The 'El Rajao' walk in the Sierra de la Demanda, in a splendid beech forest. Visit to a reputed bodega of Rioja wines.

FRIDAY: The (still occupied) monastery of Valvanera, symbol of La Rioja, hidden in a steep, wooded valley sheltered by the summit of Pancrudo (2065m). The starkly beautiful limestone scenery of the escalineta de Brieva. Lunch at the isolated Venta Goyo.

SATURDAY: in June: the monastery of Yuso ("of down below") at San Millán de la Cogolla; in September: the chapel of Tricio, perhaps the oldest religious building in Spain still in use. The former Visigothic monastery of Suso ("of up above") at San Millán, cradle of the Castilian language and UNESCO world heritage. Four nights in the Sierra de Cebollera Natural Park.

SUNDAY: Walk of the hamlets of Lumbreras, in the heart of the Natural Park. The museum of transhumance, until recently the most important activity of the area.

MONDAY: The Puente Ra walk, in the steps of the transhumant shepherds and their flocks. The livestock market at Villoslada de Cameros (September).

TUESDAY: The valle de la Leza and the fantastic cliffs of Soto en Cameros, with a big vulture colony. The wonderful formations of theOrtigosa caves.

WEDNESDAY: Transfer to Bilbao airport.

Mar y Sierra: Asturias / Mar y Sierra: Cantabria / Natural Parks of Old Castile / Albarracín-Cuenca-Teruel
walking: Andalusia / walking: Extremadura / Ruta del Oro / Ciudad Rodrigo & Arribes del Duero
Discovery: Uncastillo-pre-Pyrenees / Berlanga-Soria / Almagro-La Mancha-Toledo / Jaén
Candás and the Costa Verde / Liérganes and Santander / Extremaduran Kaleidoscope
Summer/autumn flamenco nights
(Granada-Jerez) / Xmas 2017 at Cordoba / New Year 17-18 at Trujillo
historical journeys / nature rambles / festivals / for groups, families or friends
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