In the more rural Spain, Many kilometers from the big cities and the constant bustle of people, there are towns that are true jewels of the national heritage and that provide the country with unmatched wealth. The architecture, the environment, the gastronomy and the history are just some of the attractions that the best towns have to offer the world, and for this reason they are worth visiting. That is the case of Riojan municipality of Ezcaray, which has been named by National Geographic as the most beautiful one that can be made getaway during this month of February.

Less than an hour by road from the incredible Logroño is this town of barely 2,000 inhabitants that many will have heard of because of its well-known Valdezcaray ski resort, but in reality it hides some beautiful images in its cobbled streets and its historic buildings that make the town one of the best rural destinations in which to spend a weekend. Relaxation, luxury gastronomy and even hiking trails are just some of the attractions that this incredible municipality has.

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Its church and its incredible architectural complex

Town of Ezcaray.
Town of Ezcaray.

Located in the Oja Valley, in the heart of the Santo Domingo region, the town of Ezcaray had the enormous honor of being named years ago as the ‘First tourist town in La Rioja’, In this town in the Sierra de la Demanda there are numerous buildings that have turned it into a true rural paradise. The most impressive of all is the church of Santa María la Mayor, It dates back to the 16th century and is one of the few examples of Aragonese Gothic style that can be found in the community.

Erected on a previous Romanesque sanctuary from the 12th century, The church combines elements from all types of periods, although without a doubt its greatest attraction is the impressive Spanish-Flemish altarpiece that stands out compared to its only ship. Built with reddish ashlar masonry typical of the area, inside you can also find a beautiful museum with numerous relics and carvings. In addition, on the outskirts of the town there are two hermitages, that of the Virgin of Allende and that of Santa Bárbara, that despite their small size, they are also two extraordinary buildings that any tourist cannot miss.

The bell tower of Sant Romà de Sau exposed by the drought

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Another of the great attractions to visit Ezcaray is its incredible set of palaces and arcaded squares. Stroll through the small squares with wooden arcades, as well as contemplate the numerous noble houses that are in the town, such as that of Torremúzquiz, the palace of the Angel, that of the Archbishop or that of Barroeta, will delight anyone who comes to this historic town to spend a weekend, especially if they are a ski lover.

Gastronomy in historic buildings

From a restaurant Michelin star in an old post house, the Echauren (which is also a beautiful hotel), to a beautiful bar at the train station, Ezcaray has established itself as one of the Riojan towns where you can best eat, and that is saying something. In addition, there are numerous establishments where you can taste the authentic wine from the cradle of oenology.

The Valdezcaray ski resort

Valdezcaray, La Rioja
Valdezcaray, La Rioja

Located just 14 kilometers In the town center is the Valdezcaray ski resort, one of the cheapest options in all of Spain for those who enjoy practicing this sport. On the slope of the San Lorenzo peak there is 22 kilometers open to the public Spread over 26 slopes, as well as recently renovated facilities, it is ideal for those who spend a day in the snow and do not want to spend a lot of money.

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