Whilst the wines from Rioja are known throughout the world, the wine region itself is relatively underrated compared to other regions with such a famous name. This is a real plus, because, in addition to the spectacular views along the mountain ridge-line and the oh-so-pretty small villages perched on top of the various rocky-outcrops, you don’t tend to get the huge hoards of fellow tourists you normally associate with such regions . . . nor the prices
I only spent a very short time in the Rioja Wine Region, so I won’t go into much detail for tips, except:
Tip #1 – visit the Eguren Ugarte winery. Both the winery itself and its surroundings that look over the valley are simply stunning. They do wine tours and tastings and really reasonable overnight staying options
Tip #2 – try to stay in the wine region itself. We stayed in Burgos which, although it was nice and had the UNESCO World Heritage Cathedral, felt a bit too far away from . . . well . . . any sign of vineyards!
#1 The beautiful views across the mountain ridges and hilltop towns of the Rioja Wine region
#2 Exploring some of the vast caves in this part of the world that are perfect for storing the vast quantities of wine
#3 The ground and setting of the Eguren Ugarte winery
#4 Staying in Burgos with its UNESCO-world heritage Cathedral and pretty Old Town
#5 And of course - the tasting!
The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences
Other Wine Region Experiences
Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"? That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others. That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score
This overall experience score is calculated by: take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10). Then convert into a score out of 100
Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique". Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides. So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique". But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience). So, both of these scores are standalone