Experience Rioja, Spain, Like Rachel Lindsay on 'The Bachelorette'
La Rioja, Spain, has it all: fabulous wine, extraordinary food, unmistakable architecture, and easy access to the Spanish countryside. Located in the heart of Basque Country in northern Spain, Rioja is filled with history and experiences you’ll only get here. When you visit, you’ll be glad you and your love added this city to your Spanish itinerary and as a stop on your personal journey for love.
Rachel Lindsay got engaged to Bryan Abasolo in Rioja on Season 13 of “The Bachelorette.” If you make your way here, follow along for how to have a vacation just like Rachel!
Where to Stay
You’ll find no shortage of wonderful places to stay in Rioja. However, if you want to live like Rachel, book a room at Hotel Viura, where you can lounge by the pool, taste local wine, and relax as you prepare to head off to some of the most unforgettable dates of your life. If you want a day at the hotel, you can even book an onsite wine tour of the region! Cheers!
One-on-One Date: Be My Bay-By
Basque Country is one of the most picturesque regions in the world, so you’ll surely want to visit a number of cities surrounding Rioja.
Start off your first date in the area by visiting a winery, such as Vivanco, and then live large by chartering a helicopter to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe on the Bay of Biscay. There’s a church dedicated to St. John the Baptist at the top of a winding path on the island, and it’s worth the trek. This is a great way to see if your date can keep up with you and whether they have what it takes to take the right steps in your relationship. The water and terrain in Gaztelugatxe might be rocky, but your relationship sure isn’t!
You and your date can top off the evening with dinner and more at Hotel Echaurren.
One-on-One Date: Will You Accept This Rosé?
The time has come to see if your date can handle your palate. Spend the day strolling through vineyard at Eguren Ugarte and taste wine from a winery that’s been in the family since the 1800s. You and your love can discuss your future together as a family and what that could look like generations from now. Maybe you’ll get as lucky as Rachel and get to stomp some grapes yourself!
This date is the perfect opportunity to see and understand what sets your date and this wine apart from everyone and everywhere else in the world. By the end of the day, you’ll surely say with your glass held high, “Will you accept this rosé?”
One-on-One Date: Horseback Ride Into the Sunset
Rioja offers that ideal mix of city and country, so you can have the best of both worlds. Try out the latter with a day of horseback riding through the breathtaking Spanish countryside, pointing out vineyards and other sites that catch your eye along the way — and we’re not just talking about your date!
Continue the day with the wine-tasting experience of a lifetime at Bodegas Ontañón. They even have a room called “El Templo de Vino,” the Temple of Wine. The only thing you’ll be repenting for here is not visiting Rioja earlier!
After satisfying all your oenophile tendencies, you can be like Rachel and make your way to Hotel Bodega Finca de los Arandinos for a romantic dinner. If the day felt like a dream come true, keep it going and have a Fantasy Suite date of your own!
One-on-One Date: Spirit Guide
Rioja has its fill of spectacular modern architecture, but many of the city’s centuries-old buildings instill a sense of awe in any visitor. Take the Monasterio de Yuso as an example. The monastery dates back to the 10th century, though its current structure was built in the 1500s.
If the setting intrigues you, take another spiritual outing to Monastery of Nuestra Señora de Valvanera. Rachel and her date encountered a monk along the way who offered them advice about their relationship. While you may or may not meet a monk, you can still use the opportunity to discuss your future with your date and see what’s written in the stars.
Rachel accepted Bryan Abasolo’s proposal in San Vicente de la Sonsierra, a fortress city with views overlooking vineyards and the country. Whether or not a proposal is in your cards, visit San Vicente de la Sonsierra for a day exploring castles, wineries, and churches.
These city’s walls are no match for your love, which towers above all else!