Mar 18, 2024

Uncorking Bilbao and Rioja: Awesome Outdoor Adventures for Nature Lovers

Welcome to Bilbao-Rioja! Let yourself be kissed by the Spanish sun in our beautiful vineyards and beaches. Feel the rhythm of nature, and stop whenever a picturesque spot tempts you for a photo (or a local tapas picnic!).

There’s much more to experiencing this area in Northern Spain than just a wine tasting room after the other. Uncork Bilbao and Rioja: awesome outdoor adventures! Enjoy the Rioja vineyards and Bilbao magnificent riverside landscapes and beaches with these unique travel options -and these are just a few examples of what awaits you.

1. Pedal Through Wine Paradise: Bicycle Tours

Rioja’s rolling hills, splashed with endless rows of vines, are a sight to behold. Imagine cruising past a sea of vines, the gentle Spanish sun warming your back. A bicycle tour allows you to soak in the breathtaking scenery at your own pace.

Immerse in the heart of Rioja Alavesa and the wonderful landscape that surrounds Bodegas Izadi. Book a comfortable 3 km ride on an electric bike with Finca El Regalo destination, emblematic vineyard planted in 1936, cataloged as “Singular vineyard” by the DOCa Rioja.

Enjoy a pleasant ride on an electric bike among the beautiful vineyards of Bodegas Lecea in San Asensio (Rioja Alta). A fun, comfortable and sustainable way to learn about agriculture and the Rioja landscape accompanied by a guide. The activity includes a guided visit to the 16th century winery with a tasting of 3 wines and maybe a nice lunch, just ask in advance!


Ride through vineyards with electric bike with Bodegas Lecea

Ride through vineyards with electric bike. Photo: Bodegas Lecea.


Other many wineries and tourism agencies offer guided tours with knowledgeable leads who can share fascinating details about the region’s history and winemaking secrets.

2. Soar Above the Vines: Hot Air Balloon Ride

For a truly bird’s-eye view, take a hot air balloon ride. Drifting silently above the patchwork vineyards, you’ll witness Rioja’s vastness and beauty unfold beneath you.

This is a truly unique experience: a hot-air balloon trip with a mid-morning Riojan snack, hosted by Bodegas Muga. The sun paints the sky with vibrant hues, this unforgettable experience will leave you breathless. Imagine capturing panoramic views of wineries nestled amongst the rolling hills!

At Bodegas Muga you can also opt for guided tours of the vineyard by segway.


Hot-air balloon ride; Rioja from above by Bodegas Muga

Hot-air balloon ride; breathtaking Rioja lanscape. Photo by Bodegas Muga.


3. Gallop Through History: Horseback Riding and Segway tours

Channel your inner equestrian and explore Rioja on horseback. Connect with the land in a unique way. Travel alongside experienced guides who can lead you on scenic trails, offering glimpses of hidden bodegas (wineries) and charming villages. Breathe in the fresh air and imagine the region’s rich history as you ride through vineyards that have been cultivated for generations.

The activity On horseback among vineyards has been hosted by Bodegas Corral. Includes a guided visit to the winery with a tasting of their wines and a snack of local products and a horseback ride through “Altos de Corral”, its most emblematic vineyard in Navarrete, near Logroño, La Riojas’s capital.

This historic winery is located next to the remains of an ancient medieval monastery in the middle of the Camino de Santiago. Pre-booking is required.


Bodegas Corral on horseback

Photo: Bodegas Corral.


There are many ways to visit a winery and its surroundings, how about trying your hand at riding a segway? These self-balancing scooters offer a comfortable and effortless way to navigate the vineyards. At Eguren Ugarte the adventure starts with a visit to the winery, followed by a segway ride through the more than 32 hectares of vineyards surrounding Hotel Eguren Ugarte, ending with lunch.


Eguren Ugarte vineyards on segway

Photo: Eguren Ugarte.


4. Get a taste of Game of Thrones legend landscapes

Retrace the footsteps of your favourite characters with visits to the Game of Thrones filming locations in the Basque Country: the spectacular cliffs over 60 million years old of the flysch, the magical San Juan de Gaztelugatxe (Dragonstone) island, the setting for pirates, witches and legends, or the unspoilt beach of Barrika sheltered by stunning cliffs.


Gaztelugatxe in BIlbao, Spain

Game of Throne’s devotees will already know Gaztelugatxe. Photo: Canva.


5. Best Surfing Beaches and kayaking

We love the sea! Bilbao in Bizkaia has been blessed with a large number of surfers, shapers and world-renowned brands in the sector. No matter what your level, you will find all kinds of surf waves along our coast with the best surfing beaches. From beginner waves for those who are new to this sport, to the wildest and most exciting waves for experienced surfers.

Canoeing down the Bilbao, Butrón and Urdaibai river estuaries is also a stuning experience! Discover urban and rural landscapes, including the bays, coves and salt marshes.

Canoeing next to the Guggenheim Bilbao.

Canoeing next to the Guggenheim Bilbao. Photo: Ayuntamiento de Bilbao.


While Rioja is known for its land-based adventures, don’t miss also the opportunity to explore the region from a different perspective. Kayaking down the Ebro River, which snakes through the heart of Rioja in Logroño, offers a refreshing change of pace.


Text by Liz Aldayturriaga.

Featured photo: La Rioja Turismo.

Learn more about Bilbao-Rioja Great Wine Capitals