Located in the Rioja Oriental region, Arnedo is one of the largest towns in the Rioja region, and is situated in the valley of the Cidacos River surrounded by mountains of rocks and sandstone – indeed it’s current name has come from the Latin Arenetum (“Place of sand”).
Arnedo is steeped in history and has many stunning buildings such as the castle and monastery which make for a wonderful cultural visit. Stroll around the charming streets that display a historic journey.
Due to its location and key communication route, the area of Arnedo has been inhabited since the Neolithic age. Overlooking the town and the river valley you can still see the remains of the Castle of Arnedo. The first fortified buildings on the hill date from ancient Roman times; but after the Muslim invasion (711-718), the conquerors built a new defensive fortress—dated to the 9th century – over the existing remains. The Castle of Arnedo was the most important castle in the region during the Middle Ages, and it changed hands between Muslims and Christians several times during the Reconquista.
Despite the town’s long history, local shoe manufacturing is mostly responsible for its early 20th century growth. The Shoe Museum, where you can observe the equipment and utensils used in traditional shoemaking, reflects the significance of this industry in the area and is well worth a visit.
But the town’s lengthy history has also left behind a fascinating architectural legacy. The mediaeval castle, the 1658 residence/palace of Archbishop Argaiz, the modernist-style residence of the Baroness of Benasque, and the Vico Monastery – where, according to history, the Virgin Mary appeared to a Moorish leader in 1045 – are some of the most impressive structures.
Arnedo is located 17km from Calahorra – accessed by the main road LR-134 – and 49km from Logroño.
Logroño–Agoncillo Airport: 32 km
Pamplona Airport: 72 km
Vitoria Airport: 86 km
Train: Nearest station is at Calahorra 15 km away
WHERE TO STAY IN AROUND ARNEDO
Arnedo has two excellent hotels and a self catering apartment in the middle of the town. And there are other options in the surrounding small towns.