Untamed nature, wineries, golf and tradition
A walk on clouds
The famous wines of the Rioja Alavesa owe their exceptional quality to the imposing Sierra de Cantabria o de Toloño, which retains the rigours of the continental climate and soothes the temperatures in the valley of the wines. Looking out over its crests, which reach an altitude of 1,455 metres, offers a double scenic reward: to the South, a sea of vineyards; to the North, an ocean of cereal fields, beech groves and the Izki Nature Reserve, the largest marojo oak forest in Europe. From the foothills of the mountains, the villages of Lagrán and Bernedo (both 15 minutes by car from Suite Curry) are the starting point for many routes that will dazzle lovers of hiking, Nordic walking, mountain biking or paragliding. All of them will take you straight to the clouds.
The Jurassic Valley Caves
A 4-kilometre walk from Suite Curry opens up the lush Holy Valley, also known as 'Alavese Cappadocia'. It is guarded by cliffs formed in the Jurassic era. 1.300 years ago, a community of hermits settled on its walls, carving into the limestone rock to open a complex of 31 caves that they used as dwellings and spiritual retreats. Centuries later, after their abandonment, their descendants used them for their funeral rites. This is an evocative circular route of 7,6 kilometers, signposted and explained with information panels, that will immerse you in a mysterious and remote past, in the midst of exuberant nature. It starts in Laño and ends up in the same village through a gorgeous beech forest.
'Alavese Cappadocia' also extends around the village of Marquínez, 10 minutes from Suite Curry, where its panoramic views, lush beech forests, herds of horses and ancient monoliths sculpt a captivating landscape.
The village of Faido (10 minutes away by car) houses the 'cathedral' of this group of hermit caves, considered the most important in the Iberian Peninsula. It is Nuestra Señora de la Peña, the oldest hermitage in Spain where worship is still celebrated. Excavated in the living rock between the 5th and 8th centuries, it is located in a spectacular natural setting. It was declared a National Monument of the Basque Country in 1977.
The Ayuda River Gorge
One of the most emblematic excursions starts in the picturesque village of Sáseta (8 kilometres by car from Suite Curry) and runs upstream through the gorge of the River Ayuda, between waterfalls, pools where you can cool off, beech forests, herds of cows and horses. The finishing point is Okina, a village surrounded by mountains and legends. This 11-kilometre round trip is part of the iconic GR-38, known as the Wine and Fish Route in memory of the 166-kilometre journey that muleteers used to make in ancient times to take their black gold to Bermeo, on the North Basque coast, and return home with salted fish.
Wine and architecture in Rioja Alavesa
Between the Sierra de Cantabria and the river Ebro, a hundred wineries in Rioja Alavesa pamper 12,000 hectares of vineyards that contribute more than 40 million litres of wine to the Rioja Designation of Origin. It is a land for toasting among medieval villages with fortresses, walled enclosures, ancestral mansions, emblazoned houses, unique churches and unexpected buildings designed by renowned international architects, such as Frank Gehry - in the picture his 'mini Guggenheim' for Marqués de Riscal, in Elciego -, Santiago Calatrava or Phillipe Mazières. You should set aside at least one full day to admire the landscape of this region, visit a winery and taste its wines, and stroll around the capital, Laguardia (a 30-minute drive from Suite Curry). It is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. One of its hotels has a spa open to everyone.
Golf among oaks and holy trees
Just a 16-minute drive from Suite Curry, in the village of Urturi, you can practise your best 'swing' without crowds or housing developments in sight. The legendary Severiano Ballesteros was in charge of designing the Izki Golf Course, which is publicly owned. It consists of 18 holes, par 72, distributed over 98 hectares of land with an abundance of holly and oak trees. The total length of the course is 7 kilometres. The complex periodically launches offers for green fees and golf baptisms for the uninitiated. It also has a restaurant open to everyone.
The Water Route, liquid beauty and panoramic views
Advertised by the Basque Department of Tourism as one of the most gorgeous itineraries in the Basque Country, it starts in the village of Berganzo, a 20-minute drive from Suite Curry. The first part runs along the Inglares river during a stretch of the riverbed that concentrates rapids, waterfalls and crystal clear pools where it is inevitable to make several stops to enjoy so much liquid beauty (and dive into it in summer). The second half winds through the mountains of the canyon in which Berganzo is located, parallel to the old canal that was built in the eighteenth century to supply the hydraulic center of the village. The panoramic views of the mountains of the area offered by this stage are lovely. In total, 10 kilometers (2 hours and a half) of circular walk, relaxing and very affordable, which begins in a parking lot, where it is necessary to book online before going. It costs 3 euros.
Romanesque architecture in the County of Treviño is characterised by its elegance due to its late development, between the end of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th century, which gave the temples subtle Gothic features. At least, ten of them are worth a visit. Outstanding among them all is the hermitage of the Immaculate Conception, in San Vicentejo, (a 12-minutes drive from Suite Curry). It is often guarded by a herd of friendly colts.
Natural, river and chlorine pools
This is one of the secluded pools with the cleanest and freshest water in the area. It is a 4-kilometre walk through the mountains and a 10-minute drive away. Don't you feel like diving in? The Fresneda River Pools in Santa Cruz de Campezo, 30 minutes away by car, are much more popular. They have a leisure area divided into two zones located on both sides of the Izki river and connected by a wooden bridge. This recreation area is equipped with tables, barbecues, fountains, a basketball court, toilets, showers and a bar that serves meals in summer. All in the middle of nature. Those who prefer a traditional swimming pool can find it in Bernedo, 15 minutes away by car, and also in Treviño, 12 minutes away. Access per day costs 4 euros and 2.50 euros, respectively.
Guided tours on demand
- Fauneando: From the neighbouring village of Samiano, Andoni Llosa runs interpretive trekking routes in Condado de Treviño and throughout Álava, as well as birdwatching sessions for the curious or photographers from his hide, located at an altitude of 800 metres in the Izki Natural Park. In the picture, one of its emblematic birds, the Middle Spotted Woodpecker. Tlf: 649098282
- Kalearte Turismo y Cultura: It offers organised and tailor-made cultural visits in Treviño County and throughout the Basque Country. Tlf: 945101070/ 717164820.
- Guiartu: By bike or on foot, in groups or privately, this company from Vitoria discovers the cultural, artistic and natural treasures of the capital of the Basque Country. Tlf. 616203656
Signature and informal cuisine
- Urgora Restaurant: Signature cuisine. Each season offers a sophisticated menu with local and seasonal products during the weekends. It can be adapted to vegans and vegetarians. During the week it is served on request, in addition to a more simple but very tasty daily menu. In the village of Torre, 5 minutes by car from Suite Curry. With prior reservation. Meals only. Closed on Monday and Tuesday. Phone: 639126672
- La Traviesa Restaurant: Modern cuisine. They also offer a tasting menu in long and short versions. It also serves casual dinners based con hamburguers and talos. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Reservations required. Phone: 657643712
- Garimotxea Restaurant: Quality traditional cuisine. It has a beautiful garden to enjoy an open-air wine. In Urturi, 15 minutes by car. Monday and Tuesday closed. Tlf. 630414066
- Oula Restaurant: Signature cuisine. In Ventas de Armentia, 10 minutes by car. Lunch from Friday to Sunday. Phone: 945403911/681020870
- Izki Golf Restaurant: Overlooking the course. In Urturi, 15 minutes by car. Open every day for lunch. Open Friday, Saturday and the day before a public day for dinner. Phone: 654034913
- Arrea! Restaurant: Signature cuisine with one Michelin star. In Santa Cruz de Campezo, 30 minutos by car. Closed on Monday and Tuesday. Dinners, Friday and Saturday. Phone: 689740370
- Ibernalo Restaurant: Tasty traditional cuisine. It has a terrace with the best views in the area, where you can enjoy sandwiches and snacks. In Santa Cruz de Campezo, 30 minutes by car. Tuesday and Wednesday closed. Lunch and dinner. Phone: 945403501
- Sidrería Treviñu: In Ascarza, 15 minutes by car. Open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for lunch. Phone: 657736599/945244852
- Dulanto Tavern: It is also a tobacconist. Only lunches based on combined dishes and appetizers. With a terrace. In Argote, just 5 minutes by car. Closed on Monday. Phone: 945360058
- Ventas de Armentia Bar-Restaurant: Homemade cuisine. With a terrace. 10 minutes by car. Tuesday and Wednesday closed. Dinners also on Saturday based on sandwiches, hamburgers and casseroles. Phone: 652770179
- Bar-restaurant Roa: In Treviño, 12 minutes by car. Daily simple lunch and dinners on Friday and Saturday. Phone: 945360008
- La Gaso: Gas station and coffee shop with sandwiches, pintxos and homemade meals to take away. It also has a small supermarket with basic products and a terrace. Open daily from 7.00 a.m. until 10.00 p.m. In Ventas de Armentia, 10 minutes by car. Phone: 945054993
- Saraso Bakery: On weekends it also elaborates croissants and butter cakes. Open in the mornings until 3.00 p.m. Closed on Monday. Phone: 94536032
- Obrador Elizaurre: Our neighbour Eli in Pariza makes biscuits, muffins and sponge cakes made from spelt, and sourdough bread to order. Phone or whatsapp: 683435055
- Covirán Supermarket: In Treviño, 12 minutes by car. It also opens on Sunday and public days in the morning. Phone: 945360699