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La Rioja – The Descent of the River Ebro (8 Days) 1-8 Sept 2012
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La Rioja – The Descent of the River Ebro (8 Days) 1-8 Sept 2012

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 8 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 15 people
Destination(s): Spain  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring   Cultural Journey  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 959 Euro (EUR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1089 Euro (EUR)

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Campoo. Transfer to Campoo. We meet you at Bilbao or Santander Airports and transfer to our hotel in Campoo. Test bikes.

Day 2: Campoo – 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 circumnavi-gates the Ebro Reservoir. Distance: short - 66 km (41 miles) and long - 103 km (64 miles).

Day 3: ^Polientes – Pesquera del 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 marvelous 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. Distance: 43 km (27 miles).

Day 4: Pesquera del Ebro – 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. Distance: short - 36 km (23 miles) and long - 63 km (39 miles).

Day 5: Medina de Pomar - Frías (Tobera). 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. Distance: 56 km (36 miles).

Day 6: Frías - 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. Distance: 62 km (39 miles).

Day 7: Haro - Laguardia. We begin this day with a visit to one of the many famous bodegas in Haro, complete with wine tasting. We then 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. Distance:short 25 kms ( 15 miles) or long 50 km (31 miles).

Day 8:Transfer Laguardia. Pick up from hotel and transfer to your departure point.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Continental style breakfast
- Set evening meal on Day 4 Visit to wine bodega and wine tasting on Day 7
- Transport to and from arrival/departure points
- Information Pack with Route Guide and maps
- Luggage transport between hotels.

Price Excludes:
- Lunch and dinner
- Bicycle hire
- Holiday extension.

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