Mini guide to La Rioja, Spain
History hangs in the air at Los Agustinos, which was originally founded as a convent in 1373. Now the 62-room hotel offers Haro’s most luxurious accommodation in spacious rooms furnished with antiques and floral-print décor (00 34 941 311308; hotellosagustinos.com; San Augustín 2, Haro; from £115).
Occupying a former monastery in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, the Parador Santo Domingo Bernardo de Fresneda offers by far the best value among the region’s paradores – Spain’s luxurious state-owned hotels in historic buildings (00 34 941 341150; parador.es; Plaza de San Francisco 1; from £120).
When to go
Early summer is the ideal time to enjoy the warm weather and good hiking in the fertile valleys and dramatic mountains. Or plan your trip to coincide with the grape harvest in September and October.
Regular trains connect Haro with Logroño (£11) and Logroño with Bilbao (£19; renfe.com); there is also a local bus network (autobusesjimenez.com). The best way to get around the region is to hire a car at Bilbao airport (from £20 per day; europcar.com).
How to go
Bilbao is the closest airport. International and budget carriers such as British Airways, Iberia and easyJet fly to Bilbao from London Stansted (from £75; easyjet.com) and Edinburgh (from £230; ba.com). A bus connects Bilbao airport with the city centre and car hire is available at the airport.