Haro Located on the Northwest side of the famed wine region of Spain, La Rioja, Haro is a city with an exquisite taste for wine, and a soft spot for architecture and design.
Haro is best known for its red wine and hosts a wine festival each year in the summer in which guests drink and throw wine all over each other. The city is home to several famed wineries including Bodegas Muga and Bodegas Lopez de Heredia, which are popular destinations for tourists. A walk around the city shows a side of the wine industry on every corner. From sculptures to other artistic expressions containing wine in some form, a glimpse of the wine trade can be seen everywhere.
Though the town is relatively small, Haro’s cityscape is full of old-time Spanish architecture. One of the best areas of the city to explore is the Old Town, which in 1976, was designated a heritage and artistic site. Here you will find many of the city’s old-style buildings which are finished in a variety of styles.
Top Things To Do In Haro
Many of the city’s wineries are located near each other, which is great for tourists coming to the city for one day. Generally, most of the city’s wineries can be found between the Ebro River and Rio Tiron. Here you will find some of the towns best wines, and some great architecture as well.
Lopez de Heredia Winery (Bodegas López de Heredia)
Located just north of the main part of the city, Bodegas López de Heredia was founded in 1877, and produces over 25,000 barrels of wine a year. The main winery has vineyards on several thousand acres of land and produces both white and red wines. This particular winery ages its wines for several decades, in white oak American barrels, while many wineries in this region have begun using French barrels.
Guests will notice that the winery is like a small village, with part of the winery being above ground and the other being below. There are countless corridors and staircases to be walked to see the entire thing, but this is made easy thanks to the winery’s tours. Tours last several hours, come with a bottle of wine and only cost around 30 euros.
Muga Winery (Bodegas Muga)
Located in the railway district of Haro, Bodegas Muga is located nearby to Bodegas Lopez de Heredia. Bodegas Muga features facilities that were built using stone and oak over two centuries ago. The grounds feature a hint of the past, with a taste of the future. The buildings, inside and out, have a modern feel to them which carries over into the tasting areas as well as the store. This bodega is often said to have one of the best tasting rooms in La Rioja, and is a can’t-miss bodega when visiting the area.
There are three ways to experience Bodegas Muga. You can either do a tasting, a guided tour or take a ride on their hot-air balloon. Touring the Bodega provides a unique look with a the process of making wine, and even shows the barrels that the wine is aged in being made. Aside from Bodegas Muga’s hot air balloon, there are other hot air balloon rides available to choose from. These vary in their flights, but most offer a great look at the region.
Hot Air Balloon
Bodegas Muga offers a hot air balloon ride that offers great views of Haro and La Rioja. Flights last about an hour, usually take off around sunrise and cost 160 euros. For an unforgettable event, you can rent the entire balloon out, and charter it to wherever you please. This is more expensive, though, with the package costing 650 euros.
For a more relaxed time, stop into the Old Town portion of Haro. This portion of Haro is what you’ve come to expect in the old town portions of cities: small streets, beautiful buildings, with shops and restaurants nearby. Located here is the Church of Sant Thomas, which features a baroque bell tower that was built in the 18th century and a facade that was completed in 1525.
Events and Festivals in Haro
Every summer, on June 29th, Haro hosts the Haro Wine Festival. The festival takes place on the day of the Saint San Pedro, with the festival starting at 7 a.m. People young and old head to the main square of the town wearing all-white everything, and once there, they begin dousing each other in red wine. This is what gives the festival its name “Wine Battle.” Aside from the tradition of coating each other in wine, the festival also boasts tastings and drinking competitions.
Planning a Trip To Haro
Haro is a small town, and as such it is great for day trips. But for those that want to stay overnight, there are some great hotels offered. The two top hotels are Hotel Los Agustinos, which is located close to city centre and is old in design which gives it a beautiful look, and Casa de Legarda, which isn’t technically in Haro. The hotel is in a small village outside of Haro, about ten minutes away, but offers a unique stay in the Spanish countryside with a rustic feel.
Tip – Most places you visit will want you to have an appointment in place. Whether it be a winery, a hot air balloon ride or a restaurant.
How To Get To Haro
If you’re flying into the region, the closest airports to Haro is Logroño (which are both about 36 kilometres away). Logroño airport only has domestic flights arriving from Madrid, so it might not be the best option. The other option is the airport in Bilbao, which is about 80 kilometres away. Most of these airports offer bus service to the city, and you can always take a cab (though this will likely be expensive).
Haro is serviced by three main roads, N-124, N-126 and AP-68. If you’re planning to drive to Haro, you can do so via any of these highways.
Train service in Haro is limited to just 8 trains a day. Train service is offered to/from Barcelona, Bilbao, Valladolid Campo Grande and Zaragoza Delicias. These trains leave at varying times throughout the day, so you will want to check the times before heading to the Haro station.
There is an early morning Renfe train that goes from Bilbao to Haro. It leaves Bilbao from the Abando Indalecio station and arrives at Haro within 2 hours. A round trip ticket can cost you around 20 euros. You can also take a train into Logrono, which is about 40 minutes away. From there you would need to take a bus from Logrono to Haro.
Haro in One Day Itinerary
Waking up at sunrise can be hard, but it is worth it if you just have one day in Haro. Start the day off with an hour-long balloon ride; not only will you get to see the beautiful sunrise while up in the sky, you will also catch a beautiful glimpse of the city and surrounding countryside. Following the balloon ride, make your way over to Bodega Muga for a tasting and tour. There are several wineries nearby, so it is best to visit as many as possible in your one day in Haro. Luckily, Old Town isn’t far away, so between wineries, you can make your way there for brunch. End the day by visiting the one of the town’s most popular restaurants, Las Duelas, which offers luxurious foods in a beautifully crafted building.
Haro is small, yet unique. It is a place shielded from mass tourism, while offering a wide array of destinations for its guests to experience. A trip to La Rioja is not complete without a stop in this historic small town.