Rich in history, culture and nature, the actual name La Rioja derives from R o (River) Oja, which is a tributory of the River Ebro - Spain s longest river.
The area can be divided into two - Rioja Alta, with its higher rainfall and milder climate ... Rioja Baja, which is hotter and more arid.
Its fertile plains have been producing fine wines since Roman times, along with high quality fruit and vegetables.
But La Rioja is not only a gourmet-lover s dream.
Spectacular scenery and fine nature reserves form the perfect background for enjoying outdoor activities - hunting, fishing, mountain climbing, hiking ...
Its rich history and World Heritage sites beckon to those interested in Spain s culture.
A large section of the pilgrim route of Santiago Way or Way of Saint James lies within La Rioja, offering several superb monumental towns.
Logro o - its capital - is on the Camino de Santiago route ... the medieval town of Santo Domingo de la Calzada with its beautiful cathedral ... San Millan de la Cogolla with the famous Suso and Yuso Monasteries - the latter the supposed birthplace of the Castilian language.
Haro, with its Battle of the Wine (Batalla del Vino) fiesta, is close to the many bodegas and centre of wine production.
La Rioja also offers the best dinosaur traces in Europe at the Paleontology Centre in Enciso, with its trail of prehistoric footprints and fossils.
La Rioja region - popular places
La Rioja region - popular sights
Check out the other, wonderfully varied, regions of Spain at the links below.