A few weekends ago I made a day trip out to what has to have been one of the most beautiful little towns I have been to in Spain. Laguardia (not to be confused with the airport in Queens NYC) is an incredibly well-preserved medieval fortress town about 30 minutes outside of Logroño. Perched high on a rocky hilltop, it overlooks the surrounding vineyards for miles with tall, imposing mountains just in the distance. Seriously, the views from the old town are unbeatable.
I arrived just in time to see all of the leaves on the vineyards changing for the fall. If you ever come to La Rioja, it must be in October/November, when all the colors are out. Laguardia used to be the gateway to Navarra in the Middle Ages, and from what I saw, not much has changed since. Cars are banned in the old walled quarter of the town, so it’s easy to slip back in time. Hundreds of years ago many tunnels are storage spaces were dug under the buildings into the rock of the hilltop making it unstable for traffic nowadays, if you are lucky you can find your way down into some of these incredible spots. I went with friends and one guy knew the owners of a little cafe that had a downstairs seating area and bodega in what looked like a cave, complete with medieval carvings on the walls!
There are lots of cute wine, pastry, and gourmet shops around town, as well as tons of bodegas to visit. We went on a little hike out to Bodega Ysios, a super modern winery shaped like a wave which is about a 30 minute beautiful walk out of the town towards the mountains among the vineyards. I couldn’t have been happier to steal bunches of grapes and frolick about the vines. Heaven. After we climbed back up to the old quarter and had a nice long lunch followed by a siesta in the park.
I went a little overboard with the photos again. I couldn’t help but take a million! Laguardia is such a beautiful little hidden gem in northern Spain. Have you ever been there?