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A weekend break in Spain’s winegrowing heartland

There are no end of magical destinations to discover inSpain, but few can match the homeland of Rioja wine. Spread between the regions of Álava and La Rioja, this is a land of unrivalled culture and beauty where the food is a genuine delight. It’s no coincidence that this is the birthplace of Martelo and #Martelism.

Not only recognised as one of Spain’s most magnificent places to live, this is also the perfect destination for a weekend getaway.  Let Martelo give you a taste of what the Riojan heartland has to offer:

The ‘Balcony’ of La Rioja (El Balcón de la Rioja)

There’s no better way to start your weekend than by taking in some panoramic views high up on the Cantabrian mountains. From the viewing platform, reached by driving along the winding A-2124, which crosses the Herrera mountain pass, you can see our next destination: The Torre de Oña Bodega.

Get to know the home of Martelo

A wine like Martelo could only start its life in such special environs as the boutique bodega of Torre de Oña. Nestled among vineyards and cypress trees, the winery sits alongside a manor house, with the Cantabrian Mountains as a spectacular natural backdrop. It’s an inspiring setting for walking, reading or wine-tasting. You can also make the most of its fantastic restaurant and visit the cellars. To book a visit call +34 945 621 154 or send an email to info@torredeona.com  

Enjoy a meal in Restaurante Arrope

Located right in the centre of Haro, a town which prides itself as one of Spain’s wine capitals, Restaurante Arrope offers traditional cuisine which is carefully crafted with exquisite ingredients. You can accompany your glass of Martelo with such delicious dishes as griddled artichokes layered upon a cream of wild mushroom soup with crispy ham, oak-smoked cecina (cured beef), or cod cheeks in red pil-pil (a creamy sauce made from fish, garlic and oil). Don’t forget to book. 

Kayaking on the Ebro River

For more adventurous visitors, paddling along the Ebroin a kayak is a great way to get to know the region. This kayaking expedition, which is suitable for adults and children, will take you along the Ebro River, passing by picturesque villages such as Lapuebla de Labarca and Eltziego. It’s a unique opportunity to connect with the natural world. More Information.

Spend a night within the historical walls of Los Agustinos

When night falls and you’re looking for a place to stay, no hotel has such a rich history to offer as Los Agustinos. Since its construction in 1373, the building has housed a convent, a military garrison, a prison and even a hospital. Located in the centre of Haro, it’s the perfect base from which to draw up your plans for the rest of your weekend.  And they serve Martelo 😉 

The “Witch’s Hut” Dolmen (Chabola de la Hechicera)

Discovered in 1935 the Chabola de la Hechicera (literally, Witch’s Hut) Dolmen, is one of the few megalithic structures remaining in the Iberian peninsula. Legend has it that witches used to gather around the dolmen, but the structure was actually used as a burial monument.

A walk around the lakes of Laguardia

If you want to spend some time getting in touch with nature, you won’t want to miss a visit to the lakes of Laguardia: Carralogroño, Carravalseca, Musco and Prado de la Paul. Surrounded by vineyards, these wetlands are home to some truly unique flora and fauna.

A fiesta to round off your weekend in style

Last but not least, on Sunday 15 September 2019, the village of Baños de Ebro hosts the Rioja Alavesa Grape Harvest Festival (Fiesta de la Vendimia de Rioja Alavesa). A date that no wine lover should miss. To a backdrop of music and dancing, there will be grape treading and tasting sessions where you can sample the year’s first mosto (freshly-pressed grape juice).

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