Why Laguardia is the ideal destination for the next few months 

The capital of Rioja Alavesa, a land of vineyards, has a rich heritage dating back to the Middle Ages, and its gastronomy is in itself the best excuse for a trip. Hedonism reigns here. 

The barely 20 minutes by car from Logroño to Laguardia can be confusing, but make no mistake, this is the capital of the Rioja Alavesa region, which belongs to the Basque Country. However, thanks to its proximity, over the years it has become one of the most popular destinations when passing through Logroño. This medieval town is the ideal place to spend a day or a whole weekend, where wine, good food, history, rest and relaxation are the order of the day. Why go. 

Now that the new year has begun and we are ready to bid it farewell with tours and experiences that invite the most absolute pleasure, don’t hesitate to include Laguardia on your list of travel resolutions. You won’t be disappointed. 


To understand all the historical and cultural heritage you will find during your visit to Laguardia, you should know that this medieval town was founded in the 10th century with a clear defensive purpose. It was founded in the 10th century for defensive purposes. Located at the top of the hill that guards the current capital of Rioja Alavesa, it was then under the rule of King Sancho Abarca of Navarre. He created this border fortification with the idea of protecting the Kingdom of Navarre from possible invaders, especially Moors and Castilians. 

From the 16th century onwards, Laguardia lost its role as a military fortress and experienced centuries of peace, during which time the love of wine and the numerous wineries scattered around the town began to spread. It is interesting to note that almost the entire town could be explored through the underground cellar passages – also known as “calados” or caves – in the cellars of the houses, many of which are still open to the public today and are a must-see. 


Now that we have introduced ourselves, it is the turn of hedonism. In fact, people also come here to have fun, unwind and, of course, to eat and drink. After an aperitif in one of the many taverns that fill the medieval quarter, the restaurant Sugar, on calle Paganos 35, is a culinary surprise for the visitor and a declaration of intent that is committed to the quality of local products. The Solete 2021 Repsol Guide only confirmed what was already an open secret: they know what they are doing here! 

Despite specialising in grilled meats, with options such as lamb chops, acorn-fed pork loin, beef T-bone steak and sirloin steak, the rest of the dishes that complement the proposed gastronomic menu have nothing to envy. Some of our favourite dishes? carpaccio of seasonal mushrooms with La Vera peppers and olive oil; grilled leeks (from Navarre); Basque veal croquettes; grilled vegetables; Rioja-style cod; caparrones with chorizo for the winter and pochas with clams for the summer. 


Rioja Alavesa has more than 300 vineyards, around 13,000 hectares of vineyards and belongs to the Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin. Whether in the town centre or in the surrounding area, wineries appear as you pass through Laguardia, and a visit to one of them is not only inevitable, but essential to get to know the qualities of this land of wines a little better.

In Laguardia itself, in calle Paganos 78, Casa Primicia awaits us, considered the oldest building in the town and the first winery in Rioja Alavesa, dating from the 15th century. Without leaving the centre, in the Plaza San Juan is the wine bar El Fabulista, founded in honour of the fabulist Félix Maria de Samani, who lived at the end of the 18th century. 

In the area there are several authentic wine-related gems that take the wine tourism experience to the extreme. Some examples are Bodegas Rioja Vega, Ysios, Hacienda López de Haro, Eguren Ugarte or Marqués de Riscal. 


In addition to food and drink, Laguardia also offers space for hikers and birdwatchers. Among the vineyards, on the outskirts of Laguardia, is the Laguna Laguardia complex. 

With four wetlands – Carravalseca, Carralogroño, Musco and Prao de la Paul – it is a protected biotope due to its geological characteristics and the flora and fauna that inhabit it. Hiking along the rural paths is especially popular from March to September, when the most birds can be seen. 

Posted in Europe, Spain.