The city of Logroño has a long history and many customs that have been upheld since the Middle Ages.
The town became one of the most significant ones along the Pilgrim’s Route to Santiago de Compostela, leaving a fascinating architectural legacy that is directly connected to the pilgrims’ passage.
The Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago de Compostela is inextricably linked to the history of Logroño. Indeed, it was only when the route increased in prominence at the start of the 11th century that Logroño gained in importance.
Today the city of Logroño has a variety of tourist attractions, from its impressive medieval architecture to its lively nightlife.
Logroño is well connected to many cities in Spain, and easily accessible from Bilbao (arrivals by plane or ferry from UK), or Zaragoza airport.
Car: Several main roads: AP-68 connects Zaragoza with Bilbao while the A-12 connects Pamplona and Burgos. The N-120 road goes from Logroño to Vigo and the N-232 follows the river Ebro to the coast.
Train: Trains operate between Logroño and Barcelona (3 hr 58 min), Bilbao (2 hr 25 min), Madrid (3 hr 15 min), Salamanca (4 hr 45 min), Santiago de Compostela (9 hr 33 min), Valladolid (3 hr 4 min) and Zaragoza (1 hr 50 min)
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Logroño is a city with a rich history dating back to Roman times when it was originally founded by the Romans as a settlement known as “Villa de Logroño”. The city is believed to have been founded in the 1st century BC and has been historically important ever since. It was an important stop on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, and was the birthplace of the famous explorer and navigator, Vasco da Gama. Logroño was an important cultural centre in the Middle Ages, and its university was founded in 1268. In 1396, Logroño was the site of one of the most important battles of the Hundred Years War between Spain and France, known as the Battle of Logroño. In the 16th century, Logroño became an important centre for the production of wine, and it remains so today. The city is also known for its ham, which is made from cured pork, and its local cheese, Manchego. Logroño has been an important cultural centre for the region for centuries, and it is home to numerous festivals and events.
The most important monument is the Cathedral of Santa María de la Redonda, a late Gothic style building built in the 16th century. The city also contains several Baroque churches and palaces, including the Palacio de los Condes de Haro, the Palacio de los Hurtado de Mendoza, and the Palacio de los Reyes de Navarra. Another important monument is the Convento de San Francisco, a former Franciscan monastery built in the 15th century. Other buildings of note include the Iglesia de San Bartolomé, the Palacio de los Carvajal, and the Logroño Town Hall. Another site popular with visitors is the Iglesia de Santa Maria de Palacio – this beautiful Gothic-style church was built in 1489 and is one of the most iconic landmarks in Logrono.
The country’s more recent history is recalled in the impressive monument, built in 1944 known as El Portal de la Paz, which is dedicated to the victims of the Spanish Civil War.
The Museo de La Rioja, situated in the centre of the city is devoted to the culture and history of La Rioja and features an impressive collection of artifacts and artwork. It contains 3 floors of history and includes information in English as well as Spanish. A great starting place to learn about the town and the region.
WHERE TO STAY IN LOGRONO
Logroño offers the visitor a wide range of accommodation opportunities, with several hotels, guest houses and self-catering properties, depending on your budget and desire for luxury.
FOOD AND DRINK IN LOGRONO
Of course Logroño is a wine town, and opportunities to visit local Bodegas abound. Logroño is particularly famed however, for its evening eating and drinking opportunities, and the density of its tapas (or more properly, “pinchos”) bars.
When it comes to food, no visit to Rioja is complete without an evening spent in the famous Calle Laurel area of the old town in Logroño. Just south of the Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Rodonda, Calle Laurel cuts through the centre of the town, and, together with the network of streets that run from it, forms the pinchos centre of Rioja. Pinchos (or Pintxos in Catalan) are the local version of tapas. They come in a wide range of varieties but most commonly are served on a small piece of baguette, with a skewer or cocktail stick in the middle to keep it all together. They will be put out in the bar area, so it is very easy to order by simply pointing, even if you don’t know the names of the different pinchos. It is always worth asking whether they prepare anything fresh to order as well, as these can be worth waiting for
A very pleasant evening can be spent in this area on a “pinchos crawl”, basically going from bar to bar ordering a glass of wine and a pinchos. You will be very surprised at how filling they are, and what a cheap night out this can be. It is quite usual not to be able to get a seat, especially on busy evenings, so be prepared to eat and drink standing up, shoulder to shoulder with the locals. It is perfectly acceptable to stand in the street outside once you have purchased your wine and pinchos, and given the balmy climate it is often more pleasant outside than in.
As the capital of La Rioja, the province that contains the largest proportion of the Rioja wine area, Logroño is a town that prides itself on the quality and variety of its wines. Rioja wine is made from a blend of grapes, with Tempranillo being the most dominant variety. The wine is aged in oak casks, which gives it a distinctive flavour and aroma. Rioja wine is known for its ruby colour and is often described as having flavours of red fruit, such as cherries and raspberries, as well as spices and oak. If you like a complex, heavy wine, try a well-aged Reserva. If you prefer a lighter, fruiter, easy drinking wine, the young Joven wine is for you.
The River Ebro wends its way right through Logroño, and the city benefits from a number of public parks that line the river. The Parque del Ebro is a popular place for a stroll in the evening, and nearby you will find the Piscina Las Norias sports complex, which, as well as a number of pools, also houses a gym, multisport track, tennis courts, and petanque courts.
Logroño makes a great destination for adventure seekers. There are plenty of activities to choose from, including hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, and even hot air ballooning.
For those looking for something a bit more extreme, the nearby Sierra de Cebollera mountain range offers plenty of opportunities for rock climbing and canyoning. The Leza Canyon, just 30 minutes from Logroño, is a popular option. Guides are available and recommended.
For those who like watersports, there are a number of options. Kayaking on the Ebro is available, with boarding and disembarkation taking place at the Logroño pier. The route takes you through the bridges of Logroño, where you will enjoy unique views of the city. For the more adventurous, there is the possibility of white water rafting on the nearby Iregua and Najerilla rivers.