2019 Eurotrip – Rioja and Cantabria
Updated: Feb 26
Just as we were starting to say that there couldn’t possibly be a more beautiful place than the one in Charo, our journey took us to a small village in La Rioja, where we stayed in a family-run, elegant boutique hotel called Pura Vida. This place is the epitome of hospitality – the hosts are beyond kind and helpful and their sweetness is only topped up by the deliciousness of the breakfast. I think by this point you might think there’s something wrong with me and breakfast, but don’t they say that the way to your heart is through your stomach?
We used this place as a base camp to go wine-tasting in Rioja (which by the way, is a completely different thing to La Rioja. I know – confusing, right?). It was definitely the right choice and we ended up with another place on our ‘must return‘ list. Our guide was lovely, extremely knowledgeable and the experience was perhaps one of the best wine tours I’ve ever been on. If you go, I would strongly recommend that you get in touch with David as he can organise pretty much anything for you in the area and is an awesome guide. Tell him I said hi!
I cannot commend it enough and I could write about it forever, so instead of that, I will let the photos speak…
Drunk on the wines and flavours of Rioja (obviously not the driver), we got in the car and steered towards the place that had been our initial reason for going on this road trip – a national park in Spain called Picos de Europa, and we were most certainly not disappointed.
Here we stayed for another two nights and what a stay it was. A small agriturismo place in Tudes, Cantabria located just 7 km up a windy road from Potes.
La Casa de las Chimeneas is a one a kind location. It is a self-catering flat within an old farmer’s house that has been converted into a top of the mountain oasis. Oh! I almost forgot…with an infinity pool and a nearby (and only!) pub with the best views in Spain. Do pop in and see the lovely Jesus for the coldest beer and the warmest welcome in all of Cantabria. Back in the accommodation, the views from the rooms are breathtaking and the local hospitality and deliciousness of the food are as if from an old kings’ tale. See for yourself…
Whilst staying in Tudes, there are lots of hiking trails that you can do and the hosts are ready to help. Also, a short drive gets you to the more ‘official’ hiking in Picos de Europa where you can do some serious trekking/hiking. There’s lots of other activities available for those more adventurous, as well as plenty of opportunities for gourmands to indulge in local delicacies. Another one to go back to.
It was now time to start heading back towards the UK and our chosen stopover (since we were kind of following the wine trail), where best than the famous Bordeaux? Read about it here.