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Obarenes Mountains - Sierra de Toloño

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Obarenes Mountains - Sierra de Toloño

Montes Obarenes

Las Conchas de Haro Ravine receives the River Ebro by opening a door for it in the middle of the Obarenes Mountains. On the right-hand bank is the whole of La Rioja, except the La Sonsierra region which, as its name (under the sierra) suggests, is nestled on the left bank of the river in the shadow of Sierra de Toloño.

You have just entered wine country. The almost 1,000 metres of the Cellorigo, Galbárruli and San Felices escarpments in the Obarenes mountains acts as a barrier to the humidity from the north and the limestone soil with its abundant sandstone provides a good anchor for the vines.

But above all, it is the hard work of the Riojan people which makes the miracle happen. This land of vineyards, which is generous in its fruits and changes with the seasons, is just waiting for you to explore it, to come and have a drink, a meal and stay the night. It will make you feel at home.

On foot, on bike, on horseback… explore the footpaths and discover the old vine sheds, stone huts which are still used for storing farming implements, and cave presses, holes carved in the rock in which wine has been pressed for centuries.

Above your head, a large group of golden eagles, peregrine falcons, Egyptian vultures and griffon vultures use the crags to land between holm oaks, tree strawberries, box trees and other aromatic plants. 

If you climb the Toloño or Bilibio peaks, look for humid zones where the gall oaks provide shady spots ideal for taking a break and enjoying a sip of wine. Oh, and remember, every year on 29 June the Wine Battle is held on the Bilibio Crags.

The Ebro winds its way through the northern end of La Rioja. Evidence of its presence includes the wide meanders lying between the towns of Briñas and Haro or between Briones and San Vicente de la Sonsierra. A serpent of water that brings sustenance to the forests on its banks and which can been seen, to name but one place, from the vantage point of a hot-air balloon in Haro. 

If you follow the Ebro you will arrive at Sierra de Cantabria where rocky escarpments mix with huge vertical walls standing well over 1,000 metres. Over this Sierra, the Santiago Pilgrim Trail arrives in Logroño and offers wonderful views of vineyards and poplar groves which, in places, hide the course of the river.

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