Elciego

ELCIEGO & MARQUÉS DE RISCAL

Elciego & Marqués de Riscal Tourism Guide

A contemporary building set in an old town full of stone houses makes for an interesting contrast. The hotel and restaurant, while fairly pricey, are quite lovely. And how often do you get the chance to stay in a Frank Gehry building?

This quant little town dates back to 1067 and is typical of the villages found in the La Rioja wine region. In the center there is a town hall and close by are a few restaurants and bars where local wines can be tasted.

Elciego has become famous in recent years due to the Marqués de Riscal Winery and the hotel that was designed by the Canadian architect Frank Gehry. Like the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the hotel is covered by titanium. However, this time the titanium contains some pink and gold tones in addition to its natural silver tone. The color palette is based on the wine and the bottles from Marqués: pink for the wine, gold for the metal net that covers the bottle, and silver for the foil around the cork.

 

As the story has it, the Marqués de Riscal Winery approached Frank Gehry to design a hotel but found he was not the least bit interested. Many years later, when Gehry was visiting La Rioja on vacation, he stopped by the winery. He was offered vintages from his birth year by the owners from their personal collections and after a few bottles, he agreed to do the project.

While the hotel at the winery is pretty cool and worth a visit, the winery isn’t so welcoming to visitors unless you are staying in the hotel. If you go for the tour, you have to enter into a building on the side and then are taken through various other buildings on the property. You aren’t allowed to get close to Gehry’s building and we find that really sad. That is after all, the main reason most visit this winery since the mass produced wine itself is nothing special.

Guided tours of the winery last between 60 - 90 minutes. More information can be found on their website:

Marqués de Riscal Winery – Tour Reservations

One last tip… there is a very nice lookout point on the hill on the same side of the village that the winery is on. The lookout point is called “Aires de San Roque” and it gives a nice view of both the village and Marqués de Riscal.

Hotels in Elciego

Hotels in Elciego

Get In & Around

Get In & Around

Once you have arrived in Elciego, everything is reachable by foot.

Arriving to Elciego

PLANE – The closest airport is in Bilbao which is located 130 km away (about 90 minutes). The airport of San Sebastian is located 165 km away (about 2 hours). However, there isn’t direct transport from these airports to Elciego.

CAR – Elciego is located 7 km south west of Laguardia. The two main roads AP-68 (toll road) and N-232, which connect Bilbao with Zaragoza, run 3 km south of Elciego and they can be used to get to any of the big cities in the area. To get to Vitoria, it is also possible to use the roads A-3212 and A-2124 instead.

If you want to get out of the town and venture off to some other wineries, it would be a good idea to think about renting a car.

BUS – There are buses to Elciego from Vitoria, Logroño and surrounding towns in the region.

TRAIN – The closest train station is located in Logroño, about 25 km away from Elciego.

Other Places of Interest in the Surroundings

In the Surroundings

Map of Elciego

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