We cross La Rioja Alta transversally from Briñas, on the bank of the mighty Ebro, directing our steps along the Rioja plain towards Santo Domingo de la Calzada, closely guarded by the high summits of the Sierra of La Demanda, such as the 2271m San Lorenzo. Lands of crops and wine culture await us along the route, marked contrasts ranging from the orography of hills where the vines that give the famous wines of the area are lined up, through the exploited plain of cultivated fields.
Boxed between two mountain formations, the Sierra of the Toloño and the Obarenes Mounts on one side and the spectacular Sierra of La Demanda on the other, the almost completely free route of visual obstacles will allow us to enjoy with calm wonderful panoramic views that on clear days will allow us to contemplate as far as the eye can see. The stage Briñas-Santo Domingo de la Calzada with 24.3 km starts next to the church of the Concepción in Briñas, whose construction on the remains of the old Romanesque church began in the sixteenth century. We will take a pleasant walk along the banks of the majestic Ebro up to the medieval bridge, with seven arches, known as the Bridge of Briñas, being its first construction of the XI century although the current one is of the XVI century. From here we will enter fully into what has been and is one of the main engines and attractions of the area, the Neighborhood of the Wineries of Haro, where we walk discovering the largest concentration of centennial wineries known. We will be surprised to admire the mixture of classicism and robustness of historical buildings with the modernity of the present times.
Step by step we will enter Haro, a city of traditions, such as the Wine Battle or the Procession of the Lanterns and remarkable history, witnessed by its noble palaces. The Way in Haro passes next to El Torreón or Tower of the prisoners, the existing rest of the walls that defended the city since the 12th century. It reaches the Peace Square where several noble and important buildings await us, such as the neoclassical town hall, and runs through the beautiful gardens of the street of the Vega, place where the Basilica of Our Lady of the Vega, patron saint of Haro, it is said that the origin of the first buildings in this place date from the tenth century. The Way bids farewell to Haro, but not before letting us enjoy the Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente Park and its hundred-year-old poplars. The route now takes us to the next locality, through an almost imperceptible change in the landscape, as the vine gives way definitively to cereal crops among others. Zarratón welcomes us with its parish church of the Assumption from the XIII-XVI centuries and the Palace of the Counts of Casafuerte from the XVI century.
From this locality the route, as if it were a straight tiralíneas, leads us to Bañares not without first passing through the curious town of Madrid de los Trillos, formed by a group of houses and dependent on the nearby Cidamón. Bañares surprises us with the artistic ensemble formed by the church of Santa Cruz from the XV-XVI centuries which houses the Arca de San Formerio, a Romanesque relic from the XII century and the hermitage of Santa Cruz from the XII century, whose beautiful portico is a clear example of Romanesque. The silhouette on the horizon of the Tower of the Cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, from the 15th century, grows bigger at each step, but before reaching it we must make two ways one, joining our journey to the French Way to travel together the last meters to finally enter the historic center of Santo Domingo de la Calzada.
We begin the stage in the square of the Church of Briñas (0h 00min) passing under the tower of the church and continuing by the street that in front of us descends towards the bank of the river Ebro.
Solana Street is a pleasant walk along the river, which to our left is hidden in the grove.
The Way of Saint James goes straight on the course of the Ebro to reach the bridge known as the Briñas turn left and cross it.
As soon as we cross to the other side we turn to the right again to take again the direction of the march, now in the other bank of the river.
The track begins then a smooth ascent that added to the turn that the Ebro makes in that place makes that we separate from him and thanks to the height that little by little we are gaining we can enjoy some beautiful panoramic ones. The asphalt track, but not in very good condition, takes us after passing a cruceiro and agricultural pavilions to the access road to the next town of the day.
When you reach it the Way continues on the right crossing the bridge over the national and entering the Neighborhood of Wineries or Haro Station Neighborhood.
Following this street between hundred-year-old wineries we come across a tunnel on our right that allows us to cross the railway track.
As soon as we leave this short pass on our right we see the access road to the station and on our left a large car park with a fountain.
Continuing on the left, the wall of the cellars that form part of this neighbourhood takes us once again to the road that we left behind, and without taking a detour we reach the bridge over the River Tirón.
The route crosses this bridge and continues, as soon as it reaches the other side, along Navarre Street, which in front of us climbs towards the Peace Square in Haro (1h 00min).
When you reach this beautiful square the route turns radically and skirting the building we have on our right continues along the street Virgen de la Vega.
The itinerary takes us along this street without abandoning it at any time to the Basilica of Santa Maria de la Vega.
Just when arriving at its height we turn to the left and leaving to our back the basilica we continue by this new street to the encounter of a roundabout, to which we arrive quickly.
The Way then turns to the right passing by the building that houses the courts of Haro, at that time we find a fork in the street, and must continue on the street on the left.
A building with the façade, which is located in front of us, in a circular shape serves as a reference as the route continues along the street that leaves this building on our right hand side. Continuing along this street, leaving to the right and left all the crossroads we find, we pass by the century-old bullring which, located on our right, confirms that we are going in the right direction.
Little by little we are leaving the locality and following the now local road that leads to Zarratón we arrive at Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente Park (1h 25min), a place where we can take a rest and recover our strength.
We leave behind this park and its hundred-year-old poplars to follow the layout of the road, the practically flat terrain and the scarcity of trees allow us to contemplate a wide panoramic view of what surrounds us.
Shortly after and just after passing the motorway, at the end of the bridge that crosses it we have to turn right and continue along the dirt track that follows parallel to it.
A few hundred metres further on, on the first path we come across, we have to turn left, as the route goes up the hill to our left.
This part of the route has a good number of plots of land that give access to the different estates along which our route runs, not having to leave the main track that continues in search of the top of the hill in front of us.
A small valley in the shape of a uve that draws the almost straight silhouette of the hill, serves as a reference in case of doubt, as the track uses this area of less height to climb to the plateau that awaits us in the upper part of it.
Big yellow arrows in the irrigation wells show us the way from now on. Step by step we have been gaining height almost without realizing it and this together with the characteristics of the area allows us to contemplate, if the weather is good, practically the entire stage.
The slope of the track is softened, it is cut in half by the new route of the national road that crosses it. The traffic of this road and the relatively high earth slopes that serve as a base discourage trying to cross it, for this following the layout of the earth track that brought us here we find on our right a bridge that serves to pass to the other side.
This obligatory detour of approximately 1 km does not take too much time and avoids unnecessary risks.
The track turns to the right following parallel to the national one until arriving at the height of the bridge by where we crossed, nothing more to do we turn again to the left. Following our footsteps, but on the other side of the national road, we return to the point where the road got in our way.
When arriving at this place we find again with the earth track that to our right follows its straight course with the tower of the church of Zarratón and the Sierra of La Demanda in the horizon.
A few metres further on, the distribution of the plots obliges us to take the track on which we are going to turn right and continue a few steps until we reach a crossroads where, turning left again, we recover the direction of the march oriented towards our next objective.
This new track that crosses fields of cultivation ends in turn in another one that returns to take us to the right.
Shortly after this new detour, we come across another path on our left which, continuing along it, allows us to recover once again the beautiful panoramic view of our destination.
The track then undertakes a rapid descent thus hiding the high mountains of the horizon and crossing with some other track that we will leave behind.
When we arrive at the beginning of an ascent zone, just at the height of a hut surrounded by vegetation, we see that some marks of the Way indicate us straight and others take us by the track of the left.
The option on the left is about 600 m more and takes us to the road that comes from Haro and from there enters directly into the town, crossing it until the meeting with the Camino.
The other one ascends straight on the track we are on and leads directly to the municipality, which we reach without turning off by entering the road that goes into it. This road takes us next to the church of Zarratón (3h 30min) whose tower served as a guide.
Again we have the option to continue straight the few meters that separate us from the road that arrives at Zarratón from Haro, where we will join with the variant that before we left behind, to already together continue by the right.
Or to cross the interior streets that pass by the church to unite us a little further on, descending along the street that on the left allows us to join the two variants again.
In the place where the two options meet is a small square, where if we come by the road, this draws a curve to the left, at which time we continue straight down the street in front of us ascends between the buildings.
If, on the other hand, we come from the street that brought us from the church, when we reach the small square we leave the road in front of us and definitively joining the other variants, we turn right to continue along the street that takes us out of Zarratón.
This new dirt track is still surrounded by fields of cultivation with some sporadic tree that in the days when the sun squeezes us bring the little shade that we will find in this stage.
The route follows its course practically in a straight line, arriving at a crossroads of tracks where it continues without diverting us to reach a wooded area shortly after this crossroads, where Madrid de los Trillos is located (4h 10min).
The track crosses this town, dependent on nearby Cidamón, leaving on the left the track that comes here from the nearby road and follows its linear route.
The light posts next to the path keep us company along part of the route, leaving us shortly before reaching the height of an asphalted track that comes from the town of Santorcuato and that we cross to follow the straight track that takes us to the next town of the day.
Our way, a while after leaving behind this asphalted track and another crossing, reaches the road that connects Bañares with Zarratón and that we left behind us before in this locality.
Continuing to the right along this road and after a long stretch along it, we arrive at a roundabout that leads into the town and in front of us a little to the left begins the street Real de Abajo, where we continue.
We follow this street ignoring how many crossroads leave at our pace until we reach a fork where a reddish brick building divides the street in two. We follow the street on the left that brings us closer to the town hall square of Bañares (4h 55min).
At the end of the façade of the town hall, the Way turns right, as soon as it meets the first street, next to the church, it turns left again and continues its journey through Bañares.
Continue along Iglesia street until you reach a crossroads, where a building forces you to turn a little to the left to continue straight on along the street in front of you that will take you out of the locality.
We continue along this street that turns out to be the same one that introduced us to Bañares and that crosses from side to side the town, without turning off at any of the crossroads that we find until we reach the outskirts.
The street now turned into an asphalted track makes a small curve to avoid a fenced wall of a house and go straight ahead through this wall and some agricultural pavilions, leaving on the left a street that enters from the nearby road.
Our route continues along this asphalted track, leaving another two paths on the left, in the distance you can already see the next objective.
In the distance we see how the asphalted track seems to become a dirt road, at that point we leave the track that continues to turn left to continue straight along the dirt road.
This way continues crossing fields of cultivation crossing with the different tracks that communicate these fields, which we should not follow, since the route continues its rectilinear run crossing the highway of the Way thanks to a bridge that crosses it.
We follow the main track that meanders now between some recreational property until we come to find the route of the Greenway of the Oja, an asphalted road that crosses with ours, in this place we turn to the left to continue by this greenway the few meters that separate us from the first buildings of the city.
After passing by an old pavilion, the route continues straight on, entering the locality and arriving at the crossroads where it joins the French Way of Saint James to cross the final stretch of the stage together.
At this crossroads with the old Logroño road, the itinerary turns right, turning the corner of the building that houses the headquarters of the municipality's Red Cross.
Continuing along the same sidewalk of the street Doce de Mayo we arrive at the end of it, where in front of us we see the beginning of the Main Street, which takes us to the square of the cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada (5h 50min) where this stage ends.
Our start and end point will mark the total distance of the stage.
It is the total time following, of the different variants, the shortest route, because there is not too muc:difference in distance from one to the other options, going for one or the other should not increase the total time too much.
In summer wit:hig:temperatures and without shady areas we have to be attentive wit:the water we carry. In winter the low temperatures make it possible to find persistent snow and frost that make the journey difficult. Bot:in rainy and non rainy seasons, given the special characteristics of the land and the crops that are irrigated in certain seasons and that from Haro we will find, we can find areas of the road quite muddy and even flooded.
The good state of the itinerary allows the stage to be made wit:comfortable footwear, althoug:we have to take into account the possibility that even wit:good weather we may find areas of the dirt track between agricultural plots that are very muddy or flooded wit:water. Recommended sports clothes and footwear according to the time of year and the weather, backpack, water bottle and walking sticks, you can not miss the camera, cap or hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Consult our list of material and equipment to make the Way. Read more
Smoot:stage bot:in the mileage and in the slope, practically flat wit:a couple of ramps in whic:the ascent becomes more pronounced but that does not involve great complications. It is the heat in the summer months and the lack of shady areas where we can cool what can harden a little, wit:the advantage of having population centers every few miles.
Unfortunately, the Way travels on some stretches on local roads without hard shoulders or wit:it very narrow, where we will have to take extreme precautions. As for the rest, unless we find areas that are too muddy or waterlogged, we should not have to face any major difficulties.
The route has been signposted again recently, wit:marks that from Haro are clearly visible, the possibility of throwing us off is at our passage throug:the localities either by the excess of marks that lead us by different variants or in the few cases by their lack in some crossroads. In Haro we will have to guide us by the shells of the sidewalks and some yellow arrow, watc:out, the hostel is out of the original route but it is also well signposted bot:the detour to it and then resume the Way from it. In Zarratón there are several routes all of them well signposted and in Bañares some marks send us by one side of the town hall and others by the other, but all of them take us out of the town, being to the exit where it will be more difficult for us to see the signs, althoug:the straightness of the route helps not to get lost.
|1-Briñas||0:00h||455m||0Km||30T 513775 4716531|
|2-Haro||1:00h||470m||3.7Km||30T 512541 4713859|
|3-Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente Park||1:25h||480m||6Km||30T 511331 4712076|
|4-Zarratón||3:30h||560m||13.2Km||30T 509733 4707022|
|5-Madrid de los Trillos||4:10h||565m||15.8Km||30T 508797 4704698|
|6-Bañares||4:55h||595m||19.1Km||30T 507321 4701838|
|7-Santo Domingo de la Calzada||5:50h||640m||24.3Km||30T 503910 4698730|
Coordinates UTM Datum WGS84
This sketc:of the route is not made to scale nor does it contain all the information relating to the area, it is merely indicative.
This schematic wit:the pat:is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrantes 169, 170, 202 y 203, 1:50.000".
Senditur has manipulated the tracks to correct the aberrant points that may exist, caused by problems wit:the reception of the GPS signal. In any case they are always approximate. SENDITUR encourages you to use the new technologies within your reach, using them as support and consultation in your activity, not basing the realization and orientation of the same only and exclusively on them, since they may see their functioning altered by very diverse causes, not functioning correctly and their indications may not be precise.
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¿Did you know that...
Haro was the first Spanish town to have electric lighting in all its streets, a total of 62, with 260 points of light and was inaugurated on September 17, 1890. Apparently, it is said that it was the first since the other localities did not have lighting in all its streets, being Haro the only one that did, also from the beginning.
Don't miss out...
The Viewpoint of the Rollo or the Ebro, in Briñas, apart from being able to enjoy marvellous views from it, you will discover a large number of small chimneys that emerge from the ground and which are the vents through which the tufo escapes, carbon dioxide gas that emanates from the grape during its fermentation process in the coves at the foot of this viewpoint perched on a hill.
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This route has been carried out in the field by SENDITUR on 18-06-2018. The route may vary greatly depending on the time of year, weather conditions and terrain, as well as the actions of third parties and the evolution suffered in the natural environment where it is located. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in their descriptions are for guidance only and are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions of the specific day of the route, referring to that specific day, taken from trained people, with the appropriate experience and with a high level of physical and technical preparation as a reference, as well as correctly equipped.
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