In the north of Spain, in a valley between two mountain ranges, lies one of the biggest wine regions in Europe — La Rioja. One could easily spend days, maybe even weeks, here, doing winery tours and wine tastings all day in the vineyards, and eating pintxos all night in the region’s capital, Logroño (if that sounds like your idea of a dream itinerary, I have some pro tips you can read here). We spent two of our three days in Logroño doing just this, and boy oh boy, it was totally amazing! On the third day, we drove out of town to Baquedano and did the stunning walk along the Rio Urederra.
We arrived in the tiny village of Baquedano. The parking lot seemed busy, but we quickly found a spot, paid our €4 and parked the van. We followed the signs towards the river. This region of Spain is just stunning. It is very desert-like, but full of both coniferous and deciduous trees, and the surrounding terrain is craggy and rugged. We found the path entrance and began.
The Spanish word ‘urederra’ means ‘beautiful water’ in English, and there isn’t a doubt that this river was aptly named. After walking for maybe 15 minutes, the path connects with the river and we were able to see the water for the first time. The riverbed seemed to be illuminated with blue light, the water shone crystal clear. It was almost iridescent. We stopped to take pictures, of course, along with the few other people on the path.
We continued the walk, stopping along the water at every viewpoint. We continued to be blown away by the colour of the water. You aren’t allowed to swim here, which felt like kind of a shame at first, but the water is so clean, and the surrounding area so tranquil, I think it would be ruined with a bunch of sunscreen-covered bodies splashing around in the water. We came to the end of the path, where a tall waterfall cascaded down the rocks. The trees were unbelievably tall, and formed a canopy that darkened the forest floor. We turned back and followed the other path back to the parking lot.
The information I read on the sign at the beginning of the walk led me to believe the entire hike would take us about 3 hours. In fact, the whole hike took us just over three hours and that included the multiple stops we made to take photos, and the long lunch stop we took to eat our sandwiches.
- When following Google Maps or GPS, do not search “Rio Urederra” but instead, follow the directions to Baquedano. This is where the parking lot and the beginning of the trail are located.
- We paid €4 for parking our van. I have seen some people say €3, some people say it’s free. I believe is has to do with high and low season, or maybe the size of car? Either way, I am happy to pay €4 to help with the upkeep of such a beautiful area.
- From the parking lot, you have to walk through the village of Baquedano to find the path entrance. Follow the purple-ish signs that say “Urederra” and you will find it in no time.
- Don’t swim, don’t feed the fish, don’t litter…just don’t be an idiot.
- Bring snacks and/or lunch. There isn’t much in the village.
- That being said, there is a bar once you leave the path that serves tinto de verano (my fave) for a very reasonable price!