- Cycle the vineyards and orchards of Rioja
- Visit avant-garde Marques de Riscal wine estate
- Discover the world famous Guggenheim Museum
- Stay in luxury historic country house accommodation
- Enjoy a mouth watering pintxos tour of Bilbao
Cycle the winelands of Rioja and pair it with the discovery of Spain’s arts and foodie capital, Bilbao.
Ride from the luxury of your 17th century country house accommodation and explore the heart of Rioja’s villages and vineyards. Cycle against the backdrop of the Sierra Cantabria Mountains to the village of Elciego, home of the decadent Marques de Riscal Wine Estate. Pedal quiet country lanes to sample a world class Rioja’s including the revered Vivanco winery.
From Rioja, transfer to the quirky city of Bilbao where a visit the world famous Guggenheim Modern Art Museum and tour of the delicious pintxos bars is included.
Read an in-depth tale of this adventure in National Geographic Traveller: Rioja by Bike.
Day 1 Arrive Ãbalos
The small village of Ãbalos is situated in the southern foothills of the Sierra Cantabria, the heart of Rioja Alta region. Spend the next three nights at the Hotel Villa de Ãbalos, a 17th century estate owned by an award winning wine maker. Surrounded by vineyards, kick back and relax in the landscaped gardens, with a glass of Rioja.
Day 2 Cycle loop La Rioja Alavesa
Your cycle route today takes you east of Ãbalos, through the Rioja Alavesa wine route to the ancient hilltop town of Laguardia and onto the wine making village of Elciego. Just beyond the village is the decadent Marques de Riscal Wine Estate designed by architect Frank Gehry, where you will visit to sample this globally known wine. Return to Ãbalos through the Rioja countryside punctuated by the peaks of Sierra Cantabria passing by the vineyards near the villages of Navaridas and Eskuernaga.
Cycle: 35 km, 3– 3h30, 483m Ascent, 502m Descent
Day 3 Cycle to San Millán de la Cogolla
Leaving Ãbalos behind cross the River Ebro cycling south towards Briones, an atmospheric hilltop town offering spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding area. Here you have the option of visiting Vivanco winery, home to over 200 varieties of grapevines.
Cycle: 39 km, 3h30—4h, 415 m Ascent, 270m Descent
Overnight: San Millán
Day 4 Cycle to Ezcaray
Today’s ride takes you through the winding country roads towards Santo Domingo de la Calzada, an essential stopover for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. Later, follow a dedicated cycle path to the Medieval town of Ezcaray. An inviting town filled with bodegas, restaurants and tapas bars to enjoy the local cuisine and of course accompanied by the fine local wines.
Cycle: 39 km, 3– 3h30, 486m Ascent, 402m Descent
Day 5 Loop Ride Santo Domingo
Cycle a circular route amongst a colourful patchwork of grain fields, orchards and sunflowers. First ride through the Oja River Valley then into then through rolling hills to Santo Domingo de la Calzada where the cathedral truly merits a visit. Later return to Ezcaray by way of the easy Via Verde.
Cycle: 49 km, 4– 4h30, 362m Ascent, 361m Descent
Day 6 Transfer to Bilbao, Pintxos Tour
After breakfast a private car will transfer you to the town of Santo Domingo de la Calzada where you will catch a comfortable air conditioned bus to the food capital of Spain, Bilbao. In the afternoon explore the streets of Bilbao, touring the city and its famous pintxos bars (small dishes of local delicacies).
Day 7 The Guggenheim Museum
Today visit the Guggenheim Museum, home to some of the worlds most famous modern art exhibitions and collections. Later in the day you can further explore the quirky architecture, riverside cafes and cuisine of Bilbao which have give this city the reputation for being the foodie capital of Spain.
Day 8 Onward Travel
After breakfast you are free to start your onward travel at leisure. If you would prefer to extend your stay in Bilbao, please do let us know.
Each evening will be spent in a 3* or 4* hotel. We will always try and accommodate you at the locations detailed below, but on occasion, especially during peak season, we do use alternative accommodation of equal or higher standard. Examples of accommodation are listed below.
Single Rooms & Solo Travellers
If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.
This holiday is available for solo cyclists but as some costs are not shared there is a supplement payable.
Breakfast is included each morning. Lunches are not included. You can pick up a picnic lunch before you set off or stop along the route in one of the villages. There is always a sleepy plaza to pick up some local delights. Dinner is only included on nights 1 and 4 so please do let us know in advance of any special dietary requirements. On the evenings when dinner is not included there are always restaurants close by to, or at your accommodation.
Hotel Villa Ãbalos - Ãbalos
Surrounded by vineyards this attractive modern hotel with traditional features has twelve bedrooms, a sun terrace, landscaped gardens, relaxing lounge, restaurant and a cellar boasting an impressive selection of wines from the region.
Hotel San Millán - San Millán
Hotel San Millán, a converted Baroque monastery situated at the foot of the Sierra Demanda has 25 well appointed rooms each offering views of the surrounding mountains or the monastery square and features a restaurant serving local Riojan cuisine.
Hotel Casa Masip - Ezcaray
Hotel Casa Masip, a rustic family run hotel in the heart of the town has been tastefully restored to blend it’s traditional authentic character with a modern design.
You can start this holiday on any date between 15th March and 15th November. We would suggest booking early if you wish to travel during the Easter or Summer European break (July-August).
This cycling tour is graded easy to moderate. Daily distances range between 20 - 40 km a day on flat and gently rolling terrain. Each route takes in the best of the villages, vineyards and picture-postcard countryside. Well suited to those that actively cycle to seek out the sights by pedal power.
You will be provided with detailed route notes, maps, GPX tracks and access to our smartphone Macs App to help you find your way. Most of the time you will be cycling on quiet back roads, however, in order to connect the various routes, you will encounter short cycles on busier roads. Please be mindful of other road users at all times.
Your bags will be transferred between Ãbalos and San Millán on day 4 and between San Millán and Ezcaray on day 5. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.If you require more than 20kg allowance per person, please contact the office.
Hybrid bikes are available for hire. All bikes are equipped
with a pannier, trip computer and spare inner tube along with a pump.
Unfortunatley we are unable to offer EBike rental on this journey.
If you’d like to hire a bike, please let us know your height and
frame size you currently ride. Alternatively, we’re happy to answer any
questions you have about the hire bike
You will need a helmet, cycling clothes, as well as casual clothes for the evenings. Your info pack will have a detailed equipment list.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable Travel Insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.
The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking/cycling gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.
Getting to Ãbalos / From Bilbao
By Air: Bilbao Airport is the closest airport located 84km from Ãbalos .
From the UK and Europe: Bilbao Airport is easily reached from the UK by Easyjet who operate a regular direct service.
If you are coming from Europe then please check out Bilbao Airportwebsite and check what airline suits best.
Alternatively Santander Airport is located 130km from Ãbalos which is served by a direct service from London Stansted by Ryanair.
To/From Bilbao Airport: Ãbalos can be reached via public transport. The easiest method is to take the bus from central Bilbao to Haro and then a short taxi transfer. You can view bus timetables at autobuseslaunion.
- 5 Nights 3* hotels & 2 nights 4* hotel
- 7 Breakfasts & 2 Dinners
- Baggage transfer
- Travel from Ezcaray to Bilbao
- Self-guided Pintxos tour of Bilbao
- Wine tasting at Marques de Riscal
- Entrance to the Guggenheim Museum
- Detailed maps, route notes, and information pack
- 24/7 local partner and UK telephone support
- Travel to Abalos / from Bilbao
- Bike hire & helmet
- Lunches & 5 Dinners
- Drinks and snacks
- Transfer from Bilbao bus station to hotel
- Personal equipment and expenditure
- Travel insurance
- Single room supplement.
- Solo traveller supplement.
- Bike hire.
- Arrival transfer from Bilbao Airport to Ãbalos.
- Extra nights.
We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful.Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.
How fit do I need to be?
The cycling is graded easy to moderate so you will enjoy the holiday more if you enjoy an active lifestyle. Daily cycles follow quiet roads and tracks and average 20 - 40 km per day which is equivalent to around three hours cycling.
Which is the best airport to fly to?
Bilbao, which is served by low cost, charter and scheduled airlines.
How far in advance do I need to book?
We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this holiday is extremely popular especially in Spring. You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans.
What personal equipment do I need?
You will need comfortable cycling clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack, warm clothing in the early/late part of the year and hats etc during the summer. We supply a detailed packing list with your information pack.
When is the best time of year?
This holiday is available from the middle of March to the middle of November. July and August can be extremely hot.