From Romans, to Visigoths, and even the Muslims as a part of Al Andalus (Andalucia – the southernmost region of Spain), La Rioja has been occupied by many. In 1179 the region officially became a part of Castille, but not before it was taken by Napoleonic forces in the Peninsular War in the early 1800s, meaning that the French had control briefly until 1814. Originally just a province, it was made into an autonomous community after Franco’s death.

Now La Rioja is most well known for its wine (as it should be). It is the Napa Valley of Spain and filled will rich culture and unparalleled wine and food. The wine tasting concept is still just developing here, so don’t expect to hop on a wine train to visit multiple fancy bodegas. That said, however, it’s starting to grow and with planning you can experience the best Spanish wine country.

Cities to visit in La Rioja