Rather like its wine, the region of La Rioja in Northern Spain is an elegant and very traditional region – nothing too brash or overly showy here. It’s famous for its ruby red wine – it was the first region to achieve ‘Denominacion de Origin’ (DO) in Spain but it’s also well known here for its cuisine and charming countryside. At Totally Spain, we’ve been planning trips to La Rioja for over 16 years, and here’s our award-winning guide to the region!
The Basque Country is a coastal region in Northern Spain made of up cities such as the triumphant Bilbao and elegant San Sebastian (plus dozens of small fishing villages) on the coast. Inland there are lots of treats also including the wonderfully un-touristy Vitoria – and the Rioja Alavesa wine region – which is an area that once visited, you’ll want to return to again and again.
Ever noticed how people from Spain usually talk about their own region rather than the country as a whole? It’s because Spain is a very diverse country and the geography, landscape, climate and even the language changes from region to region. It’s part of what makes a trip here so exciting. Sometimes clients think they have to choose one part of Spain to visit. But they’re wrong! They don’t have to choose between the the gastronomy, winery and pilgrimage trips in the North, the Moorish architecture, sherry tastings and skiing in the South and the Dalí, Gaudí, paella and Calatrava sights of the North East and East. They can have it all!
Congratulations to charming Vitoria in the Basque Country on being elected Spain’s Gastronomy Capital for 2014! This terrific win comes just a year after being Europe’s Green Capital so this city certainly knows well how to go about making a success of these prestigious awards.