Vino on the Camino
For many people, when they think of Spain they think of wine, and for those interested in the Camino de Santiago they think of walking, so why not combine the two. If sampling the Camino de Santiago and Spanish wine sounds like something you would like to experience then read on to find out more!
The Camino de Santiago is a network of pilgrimage routes leading to Santiago de Compostela that have been walked by pilgrims for centuries.
Wine has also been made in Spain for centuries and was, in fact, a favourite of the Romans! So it could be said they are already two long-life friends and a perfect combination!
Both have also had their own trials and tribulations. The Camino was hugely popular in the middle ages but afterwards it’s popularity declined for many years only to see a resurgence in the late 20th century. Spanish wine was widely exported by the Romans, but come the 8th Century when the Moors invaded the Iberian Peninsula it restricted the export of Spanish wine. With the reconquest of Spain, Spanish wine was once again being exported and with the discovery of the new world it opened up new markets for exportation.
The 20th century for Spanish wine saw both restrictions and decline in wine production under the rule of Franco, however after his death and the introduction of democracy to Spain wine production and export took off and today Spain is one of the largest exporters of wine.
Today it can be said that the Camino and Spanish wine are in a boom period, so what better time to experience them!
Key Wine Regions of The Camino
The most popular route, the Camino Frances, starts in the Pyrenees and moves west across the north of Spain. Along the way, you will encounter wonderful towns and cities, many churches and monasteries but also many vineyards.
The Camino Frances passes through the wine regions of Navarra, La Rioja, Tierra de Leon, Bierzo and Galicia, while nearby are also the regions of Ribeira Sacra, Ribeiro and Rias Baixas close to Santiago de Compostela. The Camino del Norte passes through the País Vasco region around Bilbao and the Via de La Plata passes through the Ribera del Guadiana and the Tierra del Vino de Zamora. So plenty of options for wine on the Camino you will agree.
To combine these two favourite pastimes we have two options. A self-guided option for walking the Camino and sampling wine as you come upon it or we are also taking expressions of interest for wine expert-led guided tours on the Camino including wine tastings and winery visits.
Self Guided Tours
For our self-guided options, we recommend walking the section from Pamplona to Logrono as this takes you through the La Rioja wine region where the Camino actually passes through many vineyards and also has the famous Irache Fountain that provides wine to pilgrims rather than water! Or start your Camino in Logrono and traverse the vineyards to Burgos where just south lies the region of Arlanza.
Finally, if the Galician wines are what you are looking to discover then why not walk from Tui to Santiago on the Camino Portuguese and sample the local produce along the way or upon finishing in Santiago take up the opportunity to do a full day Rías Baixas boat tour!
Our guided option, for which we are taking expressions of interest, will be based in both the Galicia and La Rioja regions, depending on demand. For this guided tour we want you to experience the best of walking the Camino along with sampling some well known and not so well known wines of the region.
These 4-5 day guided tours will have a daily schedule of short 2-3hr walks in the morning so you can experience a sample of daily life on the Camino for a pilgrim and then followed by a wine tastings and winery visits in the afternoon, allowing you to experience some of the best wines and meet some of the most interesting people involved in the production of wine. You will be accompanied by a wine expert who will make sure the experience is one that you will never forget.