Laguardia, wineries, wines and more

TOP BASQUE COUNTRY · 10 reasons to come to Basque Country

Laguardia, the capital of Rioja Alavesa, stands guard on a hill surrounded by vineyards.

This medieval town is the capital of Rioja Alavesa. It was founded in the 10th century as a defence for the Kingdom of Navarre and its medieval layout has remained almost intact. There await the fortified churches of San Juan Bautista and Santa María de los Reyes, whose portico was polychromed by Juan Francisco de Rivera in the 17th century.

The streets of Laguardia are full of splendid medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical buildings. Among them is the 14th century Casa de la Primicia, the oldest civil building in the town.

A walled town and an important vantage point in the past, today Laguardia welcomes visitors with open arms and fine food and drink. The winding mediaeval street plan of Laguardia, the old gates into the town and the surviving remains of its walls will carry you back in time, just like the neolithic and bronze age remains found nearby, the oldest agricultural communities discovered in the Basque Country.

When you plunge into its streets, you mustn’t miss the chance to visit one of the jewels of Basque art, the church of Santa María de los Reyes with its polychrome doorway, the oldest parts of which date from the 12th century, and the church of San Juan Bautista, which boasts valuable works of religious art like the spectacular baroque altar screen. At midday you have the chance to see the mechanical dantzaris in town hall clock in action.

A town dotted with wineries

The town is dotted with wineries and you can easily see this for yourself by visiting the basements of some of its hotels and restaurants. Wine has marked the life and the history of Laguardia, so you really must try some. There is no shortage of wineries to visit in the surrounding area, many of them boasting leading-edge architecture. You can find out just how the wine is made on many of the guided tours run by wineries in the area. And don’t forget, the best wine is always the wine you’ve drunk (as they say here) - in Laguardia you can also enjoy it in the place where it was made and aged. A visit to the town and a stroll through its streets or up to the viewpoint of “El Collao” is something you won’t forget in a hurry.

    How to get about by public transport

    By bus: Line 9 of the Álava Bus takes you from Vitoria-Gasteiz to the town of Laguardia in just less than an hour. From Bilbao you have different options, the companies Cuadrabus, Alsa or Autobuses La Unión take you from the Termibus bus station. As well as from San Sebastian you can arrive by bus with the companies Lurraldebus or La Estellesa in an hour and a half.

    Nearby essentials

    Nearby routes and plans

    Tour of the settings for El silencio de la Ciudad Blanca (the Silence of the White City)
    Tour of the settings for El silencio de la Ciudad Blanca (the Silence of the White City)
    Discover Rioja Alavesa and its wines by canoe
    Discover Rioja Alavesa and its wines by canoe
    All of Laguardia
    All of Laguardia


    Look up any of the events being held at the moment


    Less than an hour away…