SMALL ANECDOTES OFTEN CONTAIN BIG LESSONS. THE ROUTE OF THE INTRA-HISTORY OFFERS OBJECT LESSONS ABOUT EVERYDAY LIFE THAT WILL SURPRISE YOU AT EACH STEP ALONG THE WAY. AÑANA, MONTAÑA ALAVESA AND LAGUARDIA-RIOJA ALAVESA ARE WAITING FOR YOU TO EMBARK ON YOUR INTERNAL QUEST EMBEDDED IN FIRST-CLASS SCENES OF NATURE AND HISTORY IN WHICH YOU WILL UNDERGO EXTREMELY INTIMATE EXPERIENCES.
The Route of the Intra-History goes deep into Álava through a territory that breathes magic on all sides. In the Añana District, contrasts become a marvellous routine. Head to the Jardín Botánico de Santa Catalina (Santa Catalina Botanical Garden) (1) , located in the town of Trespuentes. The passage of time and its aggressive nature with nearly one thousand native species from the five continents have grown over and hidden the ruins of the old Santa Catalina Monastery. This unusual setting deep in the heart of the Sierra de Badaya, is also Parque Estelar, or Starlight. Take your time to enjoy its whimsical nature and astronomical observations.
After a subtle and moving experience, head to the Gisement Archéologique d’Iruña Veleia (Iruña Veleia Archaeological Site) (2) , at Iruña de Oca. Designated as one of the most important cultural assets in the Basque Country, its origins can be traced back to the end of the Bronze Age. During the trip, you will relive the customs and traditions of its third-century inhabitants and signs of previous eras. Clearly, it is an object lesson that you will not forget.
Once night has fallen, the restaurant and lodging selection in Añana will help you to process the emotions you have experienced.
LThe next morning, more thought-provoking feelings await in the Montaña Alavesa District, which is where you will get to know the unique medieval village and the open-air Ethnographic Museum in Peñacerrada (3) . Getting lost in the streets of “Urizaharra” is doing so in the universe of another time. Experience it within the remains of its walls, the Portal del Sur (Southern Gate) and the Paseo de Ronda, the windmill or the Church of the Assumption with its twelfth-century Romanesque portal XII and sixteenth-century plateresque reredos.
Take a walk in the in the present day by replenishing your energy and attending to your most earthly feelings in the accommodations offered in Peñacerrada and Lagrán.
On that note, Lagrán is where the next landmark on our Route is located: Centro de Interpretación La Traviesa - GR 38 Ruta del vino y el pescado (La Traviesa Interpretation Centre – Route GR 38, the Wine and Fish Route) (4) is an example of a friendly encounter between nature and new technology. Additionally, it is one of the natural gates to Route GR38, the Ruta del Vino y el Pescado (Wine and Fish Route) that courses through old paths of mule drivers between Rioja Alavesa and the ports located along the Cantabrian coast. This trail is the best remedy for disconnecting from the everyday routine and forgetting about stress. When leaving La Traviesa and enjoying the contrast between the landscapes, our itinerary will drive you to the village of Laguardia, located in the Laguardia-Rioja Alavesa District. A perfect location, - it is listed as one of “The Most Beautiful Towns in Spain” – to spend the night and blend all sorts of oenogastronomic delights.
The next morning, surprises abound during your stroll about this lovely village. In the lower part of its charming walled centre is the Estanque Celtibérico de Laguardia (The Celtiberian Pond of Laguardia) (5) . Luck, during an archaeological dig, unearthed the remains of a pond aged over 2100 years. The Interpretation Centre houses a museographic hall that immerses you in the history of this village intimately connected to water. Your second appointment with history this morning takes place on the high part of the hill, next to the Church of Santa Maria de los Reyes. From the top of Torre Abacial (Abacial Tower) (6) look out over Rioja Alavesa. They say that the answers to the enigmas that this tower-castle conceals in the walls of its square floor plan can be found on the horizon line. Before we part ways, you will have time to discover one of the most underappreciated treasures of Rioja Alavesa, the Winepresses of Lanciego, Moreda and Oyón. Likewise, the Lagares Rupestres (Rock Art Winepresses) (7) are a mandatory visit for understanding the extent to which wine is part of our culture. In Labastida, to the east of Rioja Alavesa, there are twelve winepresses that can be visited where you can escape into a visit that addresses the ritual and history of wine. The winepress known as Monte Buena Norte, which is in the best state of conservation and the most accessible, could put the final seal on a memorable set of days travelling.
A few days later, as you remember the great moments you experienced, you will hear the call. It is that inner voice that will bring you back for more experiences among us.See you soon..