Excursions

LAGUARDIA (LA RIOJA ALAVESA)

TUESDAY 9TH JUNE

  • 12:00h. – Departure from Vitoria-Gasteiz to Laguardia.
  • 13:00h. – Typical Rioja lunch
  • 15:00h. – Guided visit to Laguardia (old town, Santa María de los Reyes Church and different wineries and caves).
  • 18:00h. – Departure to Vitoria-Gasteiz.

There is a place where every corner tells a story, it has a reason. Throughout the centuries it played a relevant role in the evolution of events. This place is in the heart of the Rioja Alavesa, cradle of wines. It is called LAGUARDIA.

Laguardia is located south of the historical territory of Álava and occupies a privileged place within Rioja Alavesa. Its location in the center of this region responds to the warrior spirit of its founder and the defensive mission that the kings of Navarra commissioned the town, initially naming it with the name of “La Guarda de Navarra”.

Tradition tells that the Navarrese king Sancho Abarca built a castle in the early 10th century to keep and defend the south of the Kingdom of Navarra. Sancho VI, the Sage, granted Laguardia in 1164 the jurisdiction and raised the population to the rank of town, which attracted merchants, artisans and farmers who concentrated on the hill under the protection of the military castle.

Sancho VII, the Fort, fortified in the thirteenth century the town with a great wall that, despite the damage suffered during the wars of independence and Carlist in the nineteenth century, is still perfectly restored.

Laguardia retains its medieval layout, consisting of three main streets, narrow and elongated that join together by squares and alleyways, and the whole complex is surrounded by the “old” wall that still maintains several towers and the five access doors to the town . On this medieval town planning the houses of the municipality have been built at different times and styles. The Churches of San Juan and Santa María de los Reyes, built in medieval times, are its most important monuments, especially highlighting the latter for having an impressive polychrome gothic portico inside.

All the subsoil of the town is pierced by wineries or family caves where not until many years ago one of its most precious treasures was elaborated and stored: wine. The existence of these “caves” constitutes another of the unique characteristics of Laguardia, the subsoil of the Villa is completely perforated, precisely for this reason Laguardia is absolutely pedestrian. Vehicles cannot enter the town (there are three public parkings).

PRICE PER PERSON: 55 euros.

DONOSTIA-SAN SEBASTIÁN

WEDNESDAY 10TH JUNE

  • 10:00h. – Departure from Vitoria-Gasteiz to Donostia-San Sebastián.
  • 11:30h. – Guided visit in Donostia-San Sebastián.
    • Panoramic visit
    • Palacio de Miramar / Peine del Viento
    • Old town visit
    • La Concha beach
  • 13:30h. – Lunch in a typical Basque Restaurant.
  • 16:00h. – Departure to Vitoria-Gasteiz.
  • 17:30h. – Arrival in Vitoria-Gasteiz.

It is a city 20 kms far from France. Its main economic activities are commerce and tourism, 8 constituting in the past one of the most famous tourist destinations in Spain. Its landscape, dominated by the bay of La Concha, as well as its modern architectural development initiated in the second half of the nineteenth century, which shaped a city of French and bourgeois court, led to the development of tourism activity at European level. All this, together with international events such as the San Sebastián International Film Festival, the San Sebastián Jazz Festival, the Musical Fortnight or the Horror Film Festival, has given external projection to the city, despite its small dimensions . San Sebastián was the European Capital of Culture in 2016 together with Wrocław, Poland.

Its origin is due to a monastery dedicated to San Sebastián that was in the current location of the Miramar Palace, next to the El Antiguo neighborhood. The medieval town was founded by Navarrese King Sancho el Sabio around 1180 in the vicinity of the monastery and it established in the village letter that the town was called San Sebastián.

It is said that San Sebastián is the city in the world with the highest number of Michelin stars per square meter. In fact, it is the only city in the world, along with Paris, which has three restaurants with three stars, the highest rating.46 Thus, gastronomy is one of the main tourist attractions of the city. Also popular are pintxos bars in the Old Town, miniature culinary works of art.

PRICE PER PERSON: 50 euros.

VITORIA-GASTEIZ

THURSDAY 11TH JUNE

You can choose two differents excursions:

VITORIA-GASTEIZ OLD TOWN (Walking)

  • 16:00h. – Guided visit (Old town, Santa María Cathedral and palaces).

Nestled at a crossroads, it has been an important strategic point throughout history both in the military and commercial and cultural fields. Since Roman times, in which the road between Astorga and Bordeaux passed through Álava, these lands have not ceased to be an axis of communications between the Central Plateau and Europe. It is a city with an intense history that manifests itself in a valuable monumental heritage. He holds the title of “very noble and very loyal.”

VITORIA-GASTEIZ GREEN CAPITAL (Bus)

  • 16:00h. – Guided visit by bus.

The Green Ring is a route that completely borders Vitoria-Gasteiz. Through six parks, (Salburua, Zadorra, Zabalgana, Armentia, Olarizu and Errekaleor) joined together by roads and paths, a pleasant walk of about 30 km has been created that can be traveled completely or by sections.

PRICE PER PERSON: 20 euros.

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