Stage 7: Los Arcos – Logroño Distance 30km
Leave Los Arcos past the cemetery and church through an ach and cross the Río Odrón.
Continue through farmland and vineyards to the little hamlet of Sansol.
Sansol has some fine examples of Baroque architecture from the large houses to the Iglesia de San Zoilo.
Leaving Sansol cross over the main road and downhill to a stone brdge across the Río Linares then uphill into the village of Torre del Río.
Torre del Río
Torres del Rio is situated in the Río Linares valley. It’s best known for its pretty octagonal 12th century Iglesia de Santo Sepulcro which is thought to be linked to the Knights Templar.
The design of the church is similar to the style associated with the Knights.
The church is usually open in the mornings and again in the evenings.
You’ll find the opening hours and phone number of the church guardian posted on the door.
The guardian may open the church for you if you ask nicely enough and offer a small donation / donativo.
Head out of Torre del Río passing a cemetery out onto a dirt track. Stay on this track until you join the main road as you pass Ermita de Nuestra Señora del Poyo. Looking out over the open flat countryside you should be able to catch a glimpse of Viana and Logroño.
Cross the main road once again and climb up a dirt track that leads us to the road to Bargota. On the other side of this road, drop down into the little Cornava valley, whose watercourse you follow downwards and cross further on.
From here head up again and over the main road straight to Viana. Cross back over the road and through the outskirts of Viana and climb up into the centre of Viana on Calle Algorrada passing through an archway in the town walls and then onto the Rua de Santa María.
King Sancho III ‘El Fuerte’ officially founded Viana in 1219 with a clearly defensive objective. Situated on a hill, the layout is that of a fortified square, with narrow streets surrounded by part of its thick medieval wall.
Today Viana is a lively own with a population of around 3,500.
The majestic Iglesia de Santa María is one of the most impressive buildings in the town. It was built between 1250 and 1312 in Gothic style with the tower and the southern doorway added, in Renaissance style, in the 16th century. At the foot of the church, under the slabs of the atrium, lie the remains of the soldier, prince and cardinal Cesare Borgia, who died close to Viana in 1507.
The church is on the Plaza de los Fueros which has a nice fountain at its centre and plenty of cafes.
Although the 13th-century Iglesia de San Pedro is in ruins its Baroque façade dating from the 18th century is still in good condition. From here you get a good view of the medieval walls and the nearby lands of La Rioja and Álava.
Tourist Information, Plaza de los Fueros 1. Tel: (0034) 948 44 63 02
Leave Viana through the medaeival stone arch of Portal San Felices and turn left down Calle la Rueda and through the suburbs until you get back to the main road. Cross over onto a quiet dirt track which passes through fields until you reach the Ermitas de las Cuevas.
Beside the old hermitage there’s a picnic area with a fountain.
At the end of the picnic area follow the track to Laguna de las Cañas taking you to the main road. Cross over to a path which runs parallel to the road through fields and past a factory into the region of La Rioja.
Head under the ring road towards Cerro de Cantabria. Follow the new paved track gently up the flat topped hill which is home to the medaeival ruins of the prehistoric city of Cantabria. Excavations are still ongoing on the site.
Head downhill passing the Casa de Chozo where a lady called Felisa will stamp your passport / credencial whilst you enjoy some welcome refreshments.
Continue of for 1km then turn left across a stone bridge Puente de Piedra over the Río Ebro.
The bridge was restored in 1880, replacing the medaeival pilgrim bridge that dates back to the 11th century and was later repaired by Santa Domingo and San Juan de Ortega.
At the other side of the bridge turn right and down Calle Rua Vieja past the Iglesia Maria del Palacio into Logroño.
Logroño,the capital of La Rioja, is a busy university city with a population of around 148,000. It is also at the centre of the regions wine industry.
As well as it’s wine industry, Logroño also makes living from the production of metal and textiles.
The Catedral de Santa María de la Redonda can be found in the Plaza del Mercado. It’s two towers are home to a couple of large storks nests. The cathedral is open from 08:15am – 13:15pm and 18:30- 19:00. You’ll also find a few cafes scattered around the square.
The Iglesia de Santa María de Palacio can e found next to the hostel. It’s pyramid tower, Aguja as it is locally known is the emblem of the town.
The Iglesia de Santiago el Real is located on the camino route at the end of Calle Rúa Vieja. Above the entrance Santiago Matamoros (Santiago, the Moor slayer) depicted riding into battle. The building is on the site of a 9th century church built to honour the battle of Clavijo where SAntiago Matamoros helped defeat the Moors.
Around the 21st of September every year the Fiesta de San Mateo, wine festival takes place. The grape crushing in the Paséo del Espolón is worth watching.
Tourist Office, Paseo del Espolón, Principe de Vergara, 1. Tel: (0034) 941 29 12 60 / 902 27 72 00
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