Focus your visit to Spain around Madrid and a stay at one of the the Paradores in the Rioja and Navarra Wine Region.
Visit Madrid, Capital of Spain since 1562, Madrid's museums host, among others, Dalís, Mirós and Picasso's Guernica. Madrid is a city of great contrasts: the Old City, the Madrid of the Hapsburgs, the Royal Palace, the Puerta de Alcala, the Retiro Park. At night, the city changes gears with its famous Madrid nightlife. The city's endless energy is hard to resist, and its sociable style invites you to jump right in.Discover Spain along its Wine Routes and venture into some of the country's most important wine-growing areas. Did you know that some of Spain's most internationally famous wines are produced in the Rioja region The region is home to some of the new cathedrals of wine: avant-garde buildings and wineries designed by the world's leading contemporary architects. Why not try some vinotherapy and invigorate your body and mind A mere 100 kilometers away lies the start of the Navarre wine route. The journey takes in villages such as Olite and Tafalla. They both serve as reminders of the region's importance throughout the history of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, which has the UNESCO World Heritage designation. Don't forget to try the local wines, with rosés leading the way.
SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADAIs the last great staging post of the Pilgrim's Road in La Rioja. Outstanding in this well-cared for town are its walls, its Roman road and the Cathedral of San Salvador. A large number of religious buildings were erected along the La Rioja leg of the Pilgrim's Road to Santiago de Compostela, giving rise to the name of the Route of the Monasteries, which, passing through San Millán de la Cogolla, takes in the towns of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Ezcaray, Bañares and Cañas.
SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA ? 4 stars
Former pilgrim's Hospital on St. James way. The Parador is in a 12th century former hospital next to the Cathedral, built by Saint Domingo to house the pilgrims on St. James' way. Regal and elegant in style, it has majestic lounges and a vestibule full of gothic arches and coffered ceilings.
193 miles from Madrid
OLITEIt is a Historic-Artistic Site where traces of a Roman and Gothic presence can be found in its walled enclosure and in the splendor of the medieval court of Carlos III in its castle-palace. It has two medieval churches: Santa María, Gothic from the 13th century and San Pedro, the oldest in Olite, with a Romanesque façade and cloister. It was built during the 12th century. In the surrounding area are the lagoon of Pitillas, with a bird observatory, and, on the other side of the river Aragón, the Monastery of Oliva, with a striking Cistercian church and Gothic cloister.
OLITE - 3 stars
15th Century castle and palace. The hotel occupies part of a majestic palace-castle that dates back to the 15th Century and has been declared a National Monument. Its stone walls enclose a multitude of features that enhance the Medieval atmosphere of the building. Stained glass windows, archways and other typically Medieval elements can still be seen today inside and on the facade of the palace-castle..
279 miles from Madrid
CALAHORRAIt stands on a promontory overlooking the fertile plain of Cidacos and its chief activity is distributing the area's excellent garden produce. It?s historic center offers many vestiges of its past, such as the Cathedral, in an elevated flamboyant Gothic style and with a main front bearing alabaster figures, which dates from the 15th century; in the Muslim old town there is a Roman arch and the church of San Andrés, from the 16th century. In Plaza del Raso, a former Roman forum, stands the church of Santiago, the finest example of La Rioja's Neoclassic style. Also worth a visit are the Municipal Museum, which contains some 11,000 archaeological pieces.
CALAHORRA - 4 stars
Relaxing ambience of the Rioja. The Parador, built using red bricks, strikes a wonderful contrast with the clear waters of the river Ebro and the Cidacos Valley. The garden, thick with vegetation and full of flowers and palm trees, is part of one of the most important historical and artistic buildings in La Rioja.
258 miles from Madrid
La Rioja Wine Region with Paradores
Enjoy a visit to Madrid and then proceed for an enchanting stay at one of the paradores in the Rioja Wine Region.
Price history for this itinerary (past 14 days):
From New York,John F Kennedy, NY for 6 nights
$1,236 * incl.tax
Madrid (147) Spain (269)
Recomended for 6 to 9+ nights.
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