La Rioja - The Descent of the River Ebro

A superb ride down the River Ebro from the Cantabrian Mountains to the vineyards of La Rioja.
  1. 1 Arrival Point Campoo

    Arrival in Santander or Bilbao and transfer to our hotel in Campoo. Test bikes.

  2. 2 Campoo 59 or 97 km Polientes

    This stage takes us through some fabulous and unspoilt scenery. From the green mountain pastures of the Cantabrian Mountains, along the shores of the Ebro Reservoir, past the Monastery of Montesclaros surrounded by forests to finally rejoin the Ebro in the Valley of Valderredible and tonight's stop in Polientes. Those on the short version follow the river direct to Polientes. The longer version circumnavigates the Ebro Reservoir. 59 km - 38 miles or 97 km - 61 miles

  3. 3 Polientes 43 km Pesquera de Ebro

    We begin by cycling through the open valley of Valderredible. Take the opportunity to visit the Romanesque church of San Martín de Elines and also the churches carved into the very rock, which are so characteristic of this region. As we progress down the river, the sides of the valley begin to close in until we find ourselves in a marvellous canyon of ever-increasing dimensions, where eagles and vultures soar overhead. Stop to visit the fairytale village of Orbaneja del Castillo with its cascades running through the village. As we approach Pesquera, the canyon of the Ebro reaches unbelievable dimensions before we finally reach the attractive village that will be tonight's resting-place. 43 km - 27 miles

  4. 4 Pesquera de Ebro 36 or 63 km Medina de Pomar

    A beautiful route which follows a huge bend of the river through the most picturesque and undiscovered villages. An optional extension takes us to the dramatic village of Puentedey,built on a natural rock bridge over the River Nela. Tonight we stay in the Castillian town of Medina de Pomar with its old Jewish quarter and the castle dominating the town and the surrounding landscape. 36 km - 23 miles (63 km - 39 miles with route extension to Puentedey)

  5. 5 Medina de Pomar 58 km Frías

     From Medina, we head back to the Ebro, The route then takes us along a quiet country road running parallel to the river where the valley begins to open out again. Visit the Romanesque church of San Pedro de Tejada and soon we are cycling through yet another canyon, which then opens out into the fertile valley around Frías. This is a spectacular village built around its castle and enjoying fine views of the Ebro Valley. 58 km - 36 miles

     

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  6. 6 Frías 62 km Haro

    As we leave Frías, the valley begins to close in on us again until we find ourselves in another spectacular canyon. The road runs along the shores of a reservoir surrounded by high mountains and through short tunnels carved out of the rock. The route crosses the little town of Miranda del Ebro before passing through imposing peaks that signal the gateway to the enormous open valley of La Rioja. Tonight is spent in the wine-producing village of Haro, with a chance to drink a glass or two of Rioja in its birthplace. 62 km - 39 km

  7. 7 Haro 25 or 50 km Laguardia

    We cycle through endless vineyards and numerous picturesque villages of La Rioja, with the backdrop of the Sierra de Cantabria mountains and the Ebro never too far away. We finally reach the superb walled medieval village of Laguardia where, as in Haro, wine is almost a way of life. 25 km - 15 miles or 50 km - 31 miles

  8. 8 Laguardia Santander or Bilbao departure points

    Transfer from Laguardia to Bilbao - 9 a.m.

2017 Prices

1 person in double share - 965 € (+ 125 € supplement for July & August tours)          

Single person - 1235 € (+ 145 € supplement for July, & August tours)          

Bike hire - 99 € / Tandem hire - 158 € / E-bike hire 158 €

 The tour includes 5 evening meals with wine: Campoo, Polientes, Pesquera de Ebro, Medina de Pomar, Frías. 

High season 2017 runs from 1 July - 26 August. Tours beginning on 26 August are low season. 

Arrival date is any Sunday from April to October. The first day's ride is on the Monday, and the final day is on the Saturday. Clients will be free to depart after breakfast on the Sunday. Check before booking departure flight as it may be difficult to accommodate early departures. We normally leave the Laguardia hotel at 09.00 on the Sunday. 

  1. Personalise this tour for 4 or more riders

    Personalised tours are available for groups of 4 or more riders. You may like to add extra days, choose a different arrival day, modify the itinerary.

    Please contact us if you would like to personalise this tour.

  2. What are the arrival and departure points for the La Rioja tour?

    The closest airport for arrival is Santander Airport and the most convenient for departure is Bilbao Airport and we would prefer this. However, it may be easier for customers to book a return flight from Bilbao Airport. It is important to remember that at the end of the tour, the transfer time from Laguardia to Bilbao is 90 minutes, so if we allow for a 2-hour check in time, then it means departure time from Laguardia would be three and a half hours before flight time. Thus, departure time from Laguardia is scheduled for 9 a.m. so customers should take this into account before booking their flights. Another option is to spend an extra night in Bilbao and visit the city and the Guggenheim Museum (Remember the museum is closed on Monday except during the months of July and August when it is open every day). 

    In Bilbao we work with two four-star hotels:

    • Hotel Miró - the Miró is a pleasant boutique-style hotel located just opposite the Guggenheim Museum
    • Hotel Spa Jardines de Albia - a comfortable hotel with spa facilities and within walking distance of the Old Quarter of Bilbao and the Guggenheim Museum

    Prices (including VAT and breakfast) when booked through IberoCycle are as follows:

    • Hotel Miró - double room from 117 € per room per night / single room from 110 € per room per night
    • Hotel Spa Husa Jardines de Albia - single room 83 € per room per night / double room 98 € per room per night / triple room 124 € per room per night
  3. What is included on a Rioja self-guided tour?

    Accommodation with en-suite bathroom
    Breakfast

    Dinner on nights 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Transport to and from arrival / departure points - normally Bilbao or Santander, airports, ferryports, railway stations, bus stations (please note that departure from Laguardia on the final day will normally be at 9 a.m. Other depature times must be consulted previously. 
    Information Pack (Route Guide and maps)
    Luggage transport between hotels

  4. Who runs IberoCycle?

    IberoCycle is run by Simon Proffitt. Born in Lancashire, England, Simon has been resident in Northern Spain since 1985. He is a keen amateur cyclist and cycle-tourist, and is well acquainted with Spain and the Spanish way of life. 

  5. Vegetarians

    Although vegetarianism in Spain is rare, there is plenty on offer for vegetarians to eat. Restaurants tend to be fairly flexible and in general have no trouble in catering for vegetarians. Please consult for further details.

  6. What is a self-guided tour?

    IberoCycle transports luggage to the next hotel. On some stages cyclists are also transferred part of the way to avoid unnecessary climbs (details in individual route descriptions).

    Cyclists do not travel as part of a group or with a guide, although they may coincide with other cyclists on the same trip.

    Guests are transported to and from arrival / departure points, unless otherwise stated

    Our "IberoCycle On Call" service means we are always available for help or advice.

    Cyclists are provided with our own detailed Route Guide and maps for their chosen route.

    Fitter cyclists may extend stages at will.

    Guests on the Northern Spain tours normally spend two or three nights at the same hotel and thus have one or two free days. The Route Guide provides a selection of Free Day Routes of varying lengths for these days. These are of course merely suggestions, and guests are free to do what they like. 

  7. I'd like to spend some time in Bilbao and/or San Sebastián

    Bilbao

    Many people like to take the option of spending an extra night in Bilbao to visit the city and the Guggenheim Museum (Remember the museum is closed on Monday except during the months of July and August when it is open every day).

    In Bilbao we work with the following hotels:

    Hotel Miró - the Miró is a pleasant 4-star boutique-style hotel located just opposite the Guggenheim Museum
    Hotel Spa Jardines de Albia - a comfortable 4-star hotel with spa facilities and within walking distance of the Old Quarter of Bilbao and the Guggenheim Museum
    Hotel Silken Indautxu - fine 4-star hotel in centre of Bilbao.
    Hotel Silken Gran Domine Bilbao - excellent 5-star hotel right by the Guggenheim Museum.
    Prices (including VAT and breakfast) when booked through IberoCycle are as follows:

    Hotel Miró - double room from 143 € per room per night / single room from 133 € per room per night
    Hotel Spa Jardines de Albia - double room 119 € per room per night / single room 102 € per room per night / triple 152 € per room per night
    Hotel Silken Indautxu - double room 109 € / single room 94 €
    Hotel Silken Gran Domine - double room 142 € / single room 136 €

    San Sebastián

    San Sebastián is another option for those who have some extra time on their hands. In San Sebastián we use the modest but comfortable and friendly **Hotel Parma. Contact us if you would like to enquire about prices. The hotel is ideally situated for the Old Quarter with its tapas bars, and is also located on the seafront.

    Transport

    Customers staying extra nights in Bilbao are responsible for their own transfers between the hotel and the airport. The easiest way is by taxi. There is also a bus service with departures every 30 minutes to Bilbao centre.

    There is an hourly bus service from Bilbao Airport to the Plaza de Pío XII in San Sebastián with Pesanet.
    Check the Bilbao Airport website for more information on transport options.
    There is a regular bus service Santander - Bilbao - San Sebastián run by ALSA.

  8. IberoCycle bikes

    Comfortable fitted and fully-equipped bikes for your cycling pleasure. We use exclusively Trek bikes on all tours except Camino de Santiago / Lanzarote / Portugal (please request information on bike used on these tours).

    You can either make arrangements to bring your own bicycles or hire Iberocycle's own models. Most airlines will carry bicycles for a small extra charge or even free. Cyclists who choose to hire will be provided with a comfortable quality bicycle to suit their particular measurements and preferences. We place great importance on getting the bikes right.

    Too many cyclists on trips with other companies have complained about past experiences where they have had to put up with uncomfortable saddles, the wrong sized bike etc. Measurements are requested on booking so the right bike is waiting for you on arrival.

    You are provided with hybrid-type tourist bicycles from Trek with conventional handlebars and with triple chain ring and easy-to-change gear ratios for comfortable and easy cycling. Road bikes may also be available on request.We can also provide tandems, which make for great cycling fun, and are also ideal for those with children.

    Click on the images below to vist the manufactuters' websites. 

    Ladies bike (Trek 7.2 FX) Men's bike (Trek 7.2 FX)
    Road bike (Trek 1.5 or 1.2) Female road bike (Trek Lexa)
    Tandem (a fun way to ride, and also ideal for helping smaller children - Dawes Duet)



    Equipment depends on the tour option chosen Luggage Service or Independent. Cyclists who choose to carry their own luggage will be provided with spacious waterproof panniers fitted on the rear of the bicycle. Those who take advantage of our luggage service will have their bicycles fitted with two lateral panniers with sufficient space to carry what they need for that particular day.



    Hybrid bikes will carry a handlebar bag, useful for carrying money, documents, camera and lots of other useful items which may be needed close at hand. This bag is easily removed it from its click fastening and carried around with the shoulder strap. They are also equipped with a rear luggage rack and one or two panniers, or a rear rack bag to carry just what you need for each day's cycling. Road bikes carry a seat post bag if required.

    In addition, all cycles are equipped with pump, spare inner tube, water bottle, bike lock and basic toolkit. Extras such as lights or toe clips are available on request. Iberocycle provides cyclists with a fine bicycle in tip-top condition to make cycling an absolute pleasure.

    Childrens Bikes

    Children's bikes, and child seats are available on request.

    Iberocycle Route Guide and Maps

    Full route directions and general information along with plenty of suggestions for your free days.

    Each tour has its own Route Guide. This booklet is designed to provide constant suggestions for routes and activities so cyclists are never alone but enjoy a supported independence.

    This Guide includes detailed route instructions along with interesting information on landscapes, towns and villages, monuments, alternative route suggestions, timetables for local trains and buses, tips on eating and drinking, an exhaustive gastronomic dictionary and a host of other useful information and suggestions to keep cyclists occupied. Routes are carefully described so no time is wasted on unnecessary deviations. Maps of the area are also provided to support the Route Guide.

    Trips that include more than one night in the same destination include optional round rides of differing lengths for these free days so cyclists will never be at a loose end.

Personalised tours are available for groups of 4 or more riders. You may like to add extra days, choose a different arrival day, modify the itinerary.

Please contact us if you would like to personalise this tour.