Away from the Crowds logoAway from the Crowds

Active, self-guided cycling and walking holidays in unexplored Spain

Sustainable tourism watermarkCycling along cycle lane used to be railway line

Cycling holidaysCycling to La Rioja

A stunning self-guided adventure cycling through the Sierra de la Demanda Natural Park to the famous vineyards of La Rioja.

From 691 € per person

Difficulty level gauge

Difficulty:Moderate

Details ...

Duration:7 nights, 8 days

Dates:April to 31st October

Start:Any day of the week

Location on map of Spain

Undulating or hilly terrain with perhaps three ascents per day.

Cycling surface:Tarmac: 80.6%. Cycle track: 17.6%. Dirt road: 1.8%.

Average daily distance / climb:26 miles (42 km) / 1224 ft (374 m).

Description

Experience "the real Spain" first hand along this journey across an isolated and beautiful landscape of central Spain.

  • Begin by visiting the historic city of Burgos and it´s World Heritage gothic cathedral.
  • Enjoy 65kms of dedicated cycle tracks through wilderness throught the Sierra de la Demanda Natural Park.
  • Each night at a different picturesque village such as Pineda de la Sierra, San Millán de la Cogolla and San Vicente de la Sonsierra.
  • Meander downhill along the spectacular valleys of the Najerilla river until you reach the Rioja region.
  • Visit another World Heritage site: 5th century jewel Yuso Monastery, birthplace of the Castilian language.
  • A chance to visit famous wineries and their spectacular buildings and taste the excellent wines of La Rioja.
  • Visit the fantastic and renown Vivanco Wine Museum in Briones.
  • Pleasant cycling amongst vineyards taking you to historic and charming villages.
  • Finish off with a bang visiting beautiful medieval Laguardia and the spectacular Building at Marques de Riscal vineyard designed by famous architect Frank Gheary.

Itinerary

Burgos

Day 1: Arrival to Burgos

Your tour begins as you reach the beautiful ancient city of Burgos, in the northern plains of Castilla. Your hotel is very much in the centre of town, overlooking one of the most outstanding cathedrals of Spain. You will have a chance to explore the city centre before setting off in the morning.
via verde de la demanda and cyclists

Day 2: Burgos to Pineda de la Sierra

Distance: 29 miles (47 km). Climb: 1624 ft (495 m).

Today you will receive your bikes and set off along a lovely cycle path out of the city. Once out of town, you will join the famous pilgrim route: the “Camino de Santiago” for a few kilometres and later you will cycle towards the mountains of La Demanda. This cycle track takes you completely away from traffic and deep into dense oak and beech woodland following the cycle railtrail, an old railway track which used to transport coal from the mines up on the hills.
cyclist on the via verde de la sierra de la demanda

Day 3: Pineda de la Sierra to Viniegra de Abajo

Distance: 38 miles (61 km). Climb: 1490 ft (454 m).

After a night in the picturesque village of Pineda de la Sierra, you will join the cycle track once again for another stunning day in this nature reserve. At the end of the cycle track you will join quiet country roads following the river Najerilla downstream, amongst spectacular landscapes. You will spend the night in a beautiful, isolated mountain village.
monastery of Yuso, San Millán de la Cogolla

Day 4: Viniegra to San Millan de la Cogolla

Distance: 27 miles (44 km). Climb: 1014 ft (309 m).

Today your route takes you downstream to reach the extraordinary Monastery of Yuso, in San Millán de la Cogolla (birthplace of the first written record of the Castilian language).Take some time to marvel at the beautiful architecture and absorb the ancient, peaceful atmosphere of this special place of introspection.
lovely dirt road amongst vineyards

Day 5: San Millán de la Cogolla to San Vicente de la Sonsierra

Distance: 21 miles (34 km). Climb: 761 ft (232 m).

Your cycle today takes you into the rich valley of the Ebro River, where the famed Rioja grapes are grown. You will cycle along rolling hills of extraordinary beauty, amongst ancient vineyards and other cultivations. You will spend two nights at San Vicente de la Sonsierra, from where you can explore these landscapes.
cyclist passing cool sign in La Rioja

Day 6: Round trip in Rioja Wine Region

Distance: 21 miles (33 km). Climb: 1348 ft (411 m).

Today you can enjoy a fantastic vantage point that offers outstanding views over this “wine valley” and later you will visit historic Haro, in the epicentre of the wine production area. Finally, you will cycle beside the river Ebro amongst beautifully manicured fields of vines. Take the opportunity to stop at one of the wineries you come across to try some of the local award-winning wine!
Bodega El Ciego

Day 7: San Vicente de la Sonsierra- Laguardia- Elciego

Distance: 20 miles (32 km). Climb: 1109 ft (338 m).

Today you will cycle from San Vicente de la Sonsierra to the medieval town of Laguardia, just inside the Basque region, exploring some of the most famous wineries and the extraordinary architectural designs of their buildings and of course not missing the chance to taste some of the best wines that this region has to offer!
Logroño city

Day 8: Departure

Why not take an extra night to enjoy the cultural delights of Burgos or to indulge in more wine tasting in Elciego.Return to Bilbao or Madrid from Logroño.

Travel

Frequent questions:

Which airport should I fly to?
Bilbao or Madrid International Airports.
How do I get to the Starting Point?
From Bilbao there are frequent buses to Burgos (Alsa Buses, 1h:45m). From Madrid there are high speed trains taking two hours to reach Burgos.
How do I get back?
We recommend a taxi from Elciego to Logroño train or bus station. From Logroño bus or trains available to Bilbao or Madrid.

Useful links:

Hotels

Day 1 in a centrally located city hotel. Days 2 to 7 in small rural hotels with character.

View from the Burgos hotel dining room

Night 1: Burgos

Centrally located city hotel within easy walking distance of the historic center, main square and fabulous gothic cathedral. Warmly decorated rooms and comfortable common areas.

Pineda de la Sierra hotel

Night 2: Pineda de la Sierra

Small rural hotel set in a stunning stone house dating back to 1720. Quirky, charming decor, full of delightful character! Traditional cooking in its lively restaurant popular with the locals.

Bedroom in Viniegra de Abajo hotel

Night 3: Viniegra de Abajo

Tiny rural hotel in a beautiful mountain village. A comfortable, family-run, accommodation with only three rooms and is run by the local vet´s wife. Dinners are served at the local, nearby restaurant.

Hotel in San Millán de la Cogolla

Night 4: San Millán de la Cogolla

Warmly decorated rooms in this rural hotel, just meters away from the World Heritage Site: Yuso Monastery in a picture poscard town on the edge of La Rioja region.

Bedroom in San Vicente de la Sonsierra hotel

Nights 5 and 6: San Vicente de la Sonsierra

A modern boutique hotel situated in the historic center of beautiful San Vicente de la Sonsierra. A perfect place to enjoy a walk along ancient streets and a drink at a nearby square.

Bedroom in El Ciego hotel

Night 7: El Ciego

Charming rural hotel with its own winery in the very heart of the Rioja region. Surrounded by vineyards and wineries, you cannot leave without visiting the spectacular Marqués de Riscal building in El Ciego.

Our Bikes

Touring bikesElectric bikes

Designed to withstand heavy loads and provide high safety and comfort even after long hours of riding in the saddle, these adventure bikes will serve you well both on and off-road.

The downside to all these extra features and equipment is weight, but on a long distance tour, reliability, comfort and safety, win the day.

Gentleman's push bikeLady's push bike

Characteristics:
  • Time tested components to stay maintenance free during the tour.
  • Broad range of gears.
  • Stable carriers for luggage transport.
  • Permanently mounted lights with a hub dynamo.
  • Comfortable sitting position and straight, adjustable handlebars.
  • Other comfort features include bike stand, mudguards and bottle holder.
  • High bar and low bar models and sizes xs to XL.
Equipment provided:
  • Odometer
  • Rear pannier
  • Map carrier
  • Helmet
  • Water bottle
  • Lock
  • Pump
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Multitool set

Touring bikesElectric bikes

Not every type of electric bike is suitable to use in a cycling tour. Most e-bikes are actually designed for city cycling rather than long distances routes.

Experience allows us to choose e-bikes with the most suitable features for touring: reliability, simple operation, long battery life and short charge time.

Electric bike

Characteristics:
  • Time tested components to stay maintenance free during the tour.
  • Broad range of gears.
  • Stable carriers for luggage transport.
  • Permanently mounted lights with a hub dynamo.
  • Comfortable sitting position and straight, adjustable handlebars.
  • Other comfort features include bike stand, mudguards and bottle holder.
  • High bar and low bar models and sizes xs to XL.
Equipment provided:
  • Odometer
  • Rear pannier
  • Map carrier
  • Helmet
  • Water bottle
  • Lock
  • Pump
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Multitool set

Prices

Basic price:

Per person in double room740 €

This includes:

  • 7 nights' accommodation. 7 breakfasts.
  • Dinner on day 2 in Pineda de la Sierra
  • Luggage transfers between hotels.
  • Detailed maps with your trail clearly marked.
  • Itinerary description, full of recommendations for things to do and places to visit, advice and suggestions and information about your accommodation, etc.
  • Emergency support.
  • Activity insurance.

Supplements:

Single room supplementHelp button106 €

For those travelling with others, but wanting a room to themselves each night.

Solo traveller supplementHelp button275 €

For those travelling by themselves. Do not choose the "Single room supplement" as well in this case.

Extras:

Bicycle hire100 €

E-bike hire180 €

GPS rental (one per group)30 €

Transfers:

Taxi Elciego to LogroñoInfo button35 €

(price per taxi)

Other options:(Prices on request)

Extra night(s) in Burgos 

Extra night(s) in Bilbao 

Extra night(s) in Logroño 

If interested, please contact us with your plans, requirements and queries,

or simply use the "Get a quote" section, which we would recommend.

Get a quote

Calculator

Basic price:

Per person in double room
740 €plusminus

Supplements:

Single room supplement
106 €plusminus
Solo traveller supplement
275 €plusminus

Extras:

Bicycle hire
100 €plusminus
E-bike hire
180 €plusminus
GPS rental (one per group)
30 €plusminus

Transfers:

Taxi Elciego to Logroño
35 €plusminus
 
Total: *

Continue

Required fields are marked *

Other prices on request
 Extra night(s) in Burgos
 Extra night(s) in Bilbao
 Extra night(s) in Logroño

Please use "Notes" below to specify when. Thanks!

Holiday dates
Notes - Doubts - Questions - Special requirements
Contact details
Customer Service
Privacy
View:   🡥 Friendly     🡥 Legal
On we go
 ← captcha

Reviews

Best way is to cycle in the cool of the morning

We had a grand holiday! The landscape was beautiful and the fiestas great fun. The hotels were basic and comfortable and the food was tasty home-cooking.

We would commend the Hotel Villa Sonsierra – lovely room and classy, modern facilities, welcoming, friendly, helpful staff.

In Viniegra de Abajo we had a delicious meal at Irene’s Restaurant – vegetables from their own garden, perfectly cooked with home-made garlicky mayo, grilled meat with delicious Spanish side dishes, vino and puddings!

The bikes, maps, directions and routes were well designed and easy to manage. On the first day on the Via Verde the vegetation had been cut and we had 4 punctures which meant a long hot day's cycle. We had good back-up support from Nava Rent and the rest of the holiday went without a hitch – we loved it!

Best way is to cycle in the cool of the morning but not all hotels offered breakfast before 9 – it would be good it they could.

We visited villages and countryside we would have missed, and had a wonderful experience. Thanks for a great holiday!

Joan Melville, UK.

Glad you enjoyed it Joan and Gordon. Thanks!

Jaime, AFTC.

the best holiday I have ever had!!!

Having recently returned home I wanted to thank you for the best holiday I have ever had!!! Cycling La Riojca was simply amazing and I cant stop think about what a wonderful trip it was. The organisation was great, bike route superb and the friendly staff at each hotel were truly gracious. Spain is quite simply the most beautiful country - you are incredibly lucky to call it home!!

I have referred your website to all of our family and friends and we are already planning our next trip with you.

Andrew Warner, USA

Many thanks Andrew. High praise indeed! We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Jaime, AFTC.

We will surely recommend you

We had a really great time and we are really impressed by Away from the Crowds.

The holiday was everything you promised and even more. We will surely recommend you to our friends, and we will be back – maybe next year.

Ole Morten, Denmark

Thanks Ole, you are always welcome.

Jaime, AFTC.

Overall: a really excellent holiday

1. Overall: a really excellent holiday. Well designed with first class instructions and immaculate help from your associates, bike providers and hotels. It was a wonderful introduction to a very beautiful area.

2. specifically: good design of the holiday; excellent maps and instructions; a very responsive team in your office – quick response to queries; good quality bikes and the sense the back up would have been there had we needed it; quick and efficient transfer of our baggage.

3. Although in one sense it was good not to have the extra 3.7 k at the end of that day, we felt it a shame that we stayed not in Viniegra de Abajo, but instead in the hostel on the main road…which however was perfectly satisfactory (a good and very reasonably priced dinner).

4. More ready flexibility in terms of the timing of breakfast could have been helpful. None of the cycling days are long, but it was hot, and on some mornings we would have liked to be able to get away earlier.

We both hope that as a business you will flourish and do well as we think that you strongly deserve to. Regards and very many thanks.

Tim Stevenson, UK.

Thanks Tim. We took note of your comment about breakfasts and do our best in requesting flexibility from hotels in that regard.

Jaime, AFTC.

we really felt we were away from the crowds!

A huge thank you for a wonderful holiday, everything was great: the instructions, maps, road book, hotels were beautifully arranged, we didn’t experience any problems at all.

The countryside and the tour certainly lived up to your name and we really felt we were away from the crowds! We had a fantastic time, despite the 8 punctures on the 1st day!!

We would certainly recommend the holiday and your company to others.

Jilly Oatham. Devon, UK.

Thanks Jilly. The cycling days 1 and 2 go through an area of woodland where there can be a lot of thorns, particularly in autumn time. Since we have noticed that punctures can be a problem, we now use puncture resistant tires in all our bikes and we have spare inner tubes located in different hotels just in case you need spares.

Jaime, AFTC.

CO₂ footprint offsetting

This holiday produces a carbon footprint of 0,4051 tonnes of CO₂. This includes taxis, luggage transfers and accommodation for every traveller.

We will compensate the CO₂ footprint for each booking through tropical reforestation projects in collaboration with the CeroCO₂ platform.

Additionally, you can also offset your own flight emissions by visiting myclimate. See the link below.

Committed to Sustainable Tourism logo