Landscapes & traditions of the Rioja Alta

Discovery week based at the Venta Piqueras - small international guided group - north-central Spain

A splendid country of luxuriant valleys and plateaux, with grazing cows and horses surveyed by numerous vultures... Fascinating monumental and popular architecture... Delicious mountain gastronomy... Ancient traditions: wine bodega, transhumance and shepherds' crafts.

ONE WEEK Activities: six days with easy walks of 2 hours-2h30; visits: chapels and monasteries, bodega, caves, museums, transhumance. Group 8 maximum.

in rooms for two (private bathrooms) in the historical Venta de Piqueras, at an altitude of 1340 metres. A warm welcome and excellent local cuisine.

DATES (Friday-Friday)

945 euros per person; single room supplement 225 euros.

RENDEZVOUS Soria bus station at 17.50 — direct bus from Madrid airport; choose a flight arriving before 14.00.
DISPERSAL Soria bus station — choose a flight departing Madrid after 16.30.

We can book your bus tickets in advance and send them to you. Ask us for further information.

Location of this programme:

FRIDAY: Transfer from Soria to the Venta Piqueras, in the Sierra Cebollera Natural Park.

SATURDAY: The monastery of Valvanera, symbol of La Rioja, hidden in a steep, wooded valley sheltered by the summit of Pancrudo (2065m). Lunch at the isolated Venta Goyo. Walk among the rocks of Anguiano.

SUNDAY: This morning, at Brieva de Cameros, should take place the welcome fête which celebrates the return of the transhumant shepherds each midsummer from Extremadura — a transhumant itinerary of 580km. Their ancestral knowledge (such as shearing by hand), crafts and typical dishes are on the agenda! The wonderful formations of the Ortigosa caves.

MONDAY: A panoramic footpath which dominates Lumbreras village, then passes through forest to arrive at the monumental village of Villoslada de Cameros.

TUESDAY: Visit to Soria city and its surroundings, with the Mudéjar-Romanesque monastery of San Juan de Duero, along whose banks we follow the steps of Bécquer and Machado, and the rock-shelter paintings of Monte Valonsadero.

WEDNESDAY: The picturesque villages of Soto and Cabezón en Cameros: gorges with a big vulture colony and dinosaur footprints. Ethnographic museum of the 13 Villas.

THURSDAY: The adorable former Visigothic monastery of Suso at San Millán de la Cogolla, cradle of the Castilian language and UNESCO world heritage. The chapel of Tricio, one of the oldest religious buildings in Spain. Visit to a reputed bodega of Rioja wines. Spectacular short walk in the Iregua valley.

FRIDAY: Transfer to Soria.

Discovery: Berlanga-Soria / Almagro-La Mancha / Jaén / Almería / Huelva, land of mariners
Candás-Costa Verde / Liérganes-Santander / The land of lakes and storks / Extremadura: Trujillo / Zafra
Semana Santa at Granada / Xmas at Cordoba / New Year 2020-21 in the heart of Andalusia
Walking: Duero soriano / Natural Parks of Old Castile / Albarracín-Cuenca-Teruel / Sanabria Natural Park
walking: Andalusia / Mar y Sierra: Cantabria / Ruta del Oro / Ciudad Rodrigo-Arribes del Duero
historical journeys / nature rambles / festivals / for groups, families or friends
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