miércoles, 18 de abril de 2012

Laguardia, a beautiful medieval village in La Rioja Alavesa

It is worth a visit inside Laguardia´s walls to discover its pedestrian streets.  It is a small village  but it is full of interesting buildings and all of them very well kept. Santa María de los Reyes (probably a Templar Monastery), the Plaza Mayor with both the old and the new town halls, the palace where Felix María Samaniego was born, el Convento de los Capuchinos, San Juan,  the Chapel of Santa María de Berberana...
Plaza Mayor
Pedestrian street in Laguardia
Walk surrounding the village walls


While you admire all of these buildings, you are walking over  hundreds of metres of tunnels bellow the surface where villagers use to keep their wine. Some of them are still in use, you can visit the Fabulista or the one in the Hospedería los Parajes Hotel.
I stayed at Hospedería Los Parajes and I just loved it. It is beautifully decorated, very comfortable and service is great. It is just in the middle of the village centre, in the Plaza Mayor, with balconies overlooking the Plaza. Some of the rooms are including a Jacuzzi and it also has a wonderful spa and a very nice restaurant in the underground winery. Breakfas is just perfect.

Hospederia Los Parajes

This is a region of vineyards, so from Laguardia you can visit some of the hundred of wineries in this area. Two of the most famous ones are:
1)      Ysios, the winery designed by Santiago de Calatrava. The idea of the design is to look like a line of barrels. If you do not want to go inside, you can see the building from the walls of Laguardia.
Ysios winery
2)      The Marques del Riscal winery, in El Ciego is one of the oldest wineries in the area it has been renovated including a luxury hotel. The wonderful design was made by the architect Frank Gehry. The colours of the roof represent the 3 colours of the botle of wine, the pink/red of the liquid, and the gold and silver of the label. Really worth a visit to see the design of the building in the middle of the nature. The winery inside is ok but from my point of view the ones in Haro at Barrio de La Estación are more interesting.

Marques del Riscal Hotel

Just two more wonders of Spain, really worth a visit. Laguardia, a lovely medieval village and the outside view of the Marques del Riscal winery and hotel, in el Ciego.

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