La Rioja is synonymous with great Spanish wines. For decades, wines from La Rioja, protected by their own Designation of Origin standard, have been an obligatory reference throughout Spain and beyond.
The deep tradition of devotion to St. James which exists in La Rioja is felt in each and every one of the towns which the Pilgrim's Road to Santiago de Compostela crosses in this province. Leaving Logroño behind, the French Road passes through Navarrete, with the remains of a pilgrims' hospital, and Nájera, a former royal court. In this latter place, we can stop to admire the Monastery of Santa María la Real, which is noteworthy for its splendid cloisters and its use as a pilgrims' shelter. Continuing along this route, walkers must branch off a few kilometres to San Millán de la Cogolla to admire the incredible beauty of the site formed by the Monasteries of Suso and Yuso, declared World Heritage Sites.Santo Domingo de la Calzada is the last great staging post of the Road in La Rioja. Outstanding in this well-looked after town are its walls, its Roman road and the Cathedral of San Salvador. Welcoming the visitor are a Casa del Santo and the Parador de Turismo, a former pilgrims' hospital built in the 12th century next to the cathedral premises.
Off the Pilgrim's Road to Santiago de Compostela, other towns of major importance in La Rioja are Calahorra, capital of Lower Rioja, which has a Parador de Turismo; neighbouring Alfaro, in whose historic quarter stands the collegiate church of San Miguel Arcángel (16th-17th centuries); and Haro, a stately town which has become the centre of the Rioja region's wine production.
To the south of the region you can tour the Route of the Dinosaurs, an itinerary which takes in the tracks left by these prehistoric animals.
Another of La Rioja's attractions is its wealth of nature. The Sierra de Cebollera National Park, in the Los Comeros region, bordering on the province of Soria, is home to one of the greatest examples of glacial scenery in the peninsula.
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