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Wine Blog

La Rioja comes alive at christmas

In December, the temperature in La Rioja drops. Cold descends. Coats, hats, and turtlenecks are pulled out of closets. Logs make their way into fireplaces to crackle merrily. Christmas lights adorn the street corners and houses.

During the daytime, we’re drawn to time outdoors or in nature: city strolls with the help of a hot coffee, exploring the history-filled, cobblestone streets in any of the region’s villages. When the sun sets, we take refuge indoors to curl up with a good book, enjoy a glass of wine or a hot drink, put on a bit of Christmas jazz, and gather together with loved ones… We yearn for a hot meal, perhaps a hearty stew, to warm us, body and soul.

La Rioja en Navidad

For some, it’s a time to go home. For others, it’s the perfect chance to get away and enjoy the things we can’t do during the other eleven months of the year. 

It’s a time when La Rioja is filled with peace and tranquility, but there’s no shortage of fun, entertaining, and enriching activities to share in and spend quality time with the people we love and value most. 

December is a month full of fun ideas that we want to share with you:

Stroll through the christmas markets

This time of year, the capital dons its Christmas colors and lights up with traditional markets, bringing a warm, magical atmosphere to the city streets. Logroño hosts four artisanal Christmas markets every year: a Local Business Christmas market, the Hundred Tents Christmas Fair, the Artisanal Food and Crafts market, and lastly, the Christmas Market at Belén Monumental, accompanied by a one-of-a-kind nativity scene. You can shop and enjoy unique products, Christmas decorations, drinks, and food at each of the markets.

La Rioja en Navidad
Savor a wine tasting

In December, the world takes a bit of a break. It’s a month to slow down and enjoy yourself. A wine tasting tucked away from the cold and rain outside could be just what you need. And if there’s one thing we have an infinite selection of in La Rioja, it’s wineries. Modern, traditional, innovative… Stop by the reception desk at our Santa María Briones boutique hotel for guidance.

Make time for a ski outing

If you’re in La Rioja for several days, a ski outing can be an energizing and fun excursion. Just one hour by car from Santa María Briones, Valdezcaray ski resort is a chance to frolic in the snow, surrounded by trees and mountains, while hitting the slopes, enjoying a quick coffee break on one of their sunny terraces, or taking in the landscape from the chairlift… 

The season calendar, with its anticipated opening date, is already available.

Take a dip in a hot spring

You won’t find hot springs just anywhere. La Rioja is home to its very own thermal baths, Las Pozas de Arnedillo.

La Rioja en Navidad

Located on the banks of the Cidacos River, these natural hot springs are an ideal spot to enjoy a toasty bath in a spectacular landscape. Nothing compares to the comfort of the heated waters – up to 120F on the surface with an average of 99F elsewhere – when contrasted with the outside temperature, which can dip below zero in winter. Plus, they possess medicinal properties thanks to the iron, silicon, and magnesium ion in the pools. A visit to this corner of La Rioja is its own reward.

Explore Briones itself

It’s not just us saying it… In an article from 2019, Traveler magazine mentioned the village of Briones as one of the most beautiful destinations to experience the magic of Christmas.

Briones is the ideal place to rest and recharge. Stroll through its history or vineyards, surround yourself with nature, and visit the nativity scene at the parish church, which depicts houses and buildings characteristic of the village and, most importantly, its food…

At the hotel, we offer two dining experiences perfect for any gourmand:

  • Allegar. with our appetizing winter menu or tasting menu. The blend of flavors is sure to provide a sensational experience for the palate.
  • El Calado. Our wine cellar hearkens back to one of the most distinctive gastronomic traditions of the Riojan culture and way of life. It’s a space to gather and celebrate with friends in a more casual setting. Nestled within its walls, you’ll enjoy a delicious menu created especially for festivities in this cozy nook.


But at Santa María Briones, we don’t just want to be there for you during the month of December. We want to help you ring in the new year, too. That’s why we’re offering an unforgettable plan for December 31st so you can come back together and celebrate more than ever: 

Our Unforgettable New Year’s Eve packet includes both dinner and breakfast. You can view dates and availability on our website:

New Year’s Eve menu:

Chef’s appetizers

Pickled oyster
Braised langoustine on avocado roll stuffed with seafood and its ‘ajoblanco’ soup
Roasted lobster on leek cream from the Briones garden
Cantabrian hake, sliced crispy bacon and fine peas
Mellow and crispy lamb, Riojan breadcrumbs and sweet potato pil pil

Red fruit soup, meringue foam and pastry wafers
Three-milk brioche

Nougat and Christmas sweets
Christmas bells with grapes
Open Bar
Simple supper and chocolate with Churros

We’re a stop along the way. We’re a destination. But most of all, we’re a place to come together. Especially during the month of December. We’ll be expecting you.

For more information and reservations:
+ 34 941 991 599

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