What to see in Calahorra. A hidden gem in La Rioja


La Rioja, that famous wine giant beyond our borders, has a hidden—but highly appreciated—gem, called Calahorra. The main city in La Rioja Baja, it is a land of vineyards, of course, but it is also one of the best vegetable-growing areas in Spain and a historical melting pot of cultures.

Intrigued about what Calahorra has to offer? Starting preparing your next trip with Renfe!

Must-sees in Calahorra

Located in the Valle del Ebro (Ebro Valley), it was fought over by Romans, Muslims, Jews and Christians. It's easy to guess why: 'calahorras' were places that handed out free bread to people in times of scarcity, and this city with the fertility of its lands does honour to the name.

  • Calahorra cathedral

One of the main monuments in Calahorra that you cannot miss is the Cathedral of Santa María. This Gothic-style temple is sure to catch your eye, on account of the reddish tone of its facade and the beauty of its sixteen chapels.

  • Jewish quarter

Getting lost in its winding streets is one of those magical adventures that you simply have to experience for yourself. In mediaeval times, Calahorra was home to an important Jewish neighbourhood surrounded by a wall and even had its own synagogue.

  • Monasterio de San José

This monastery was founded in the sixteenth century and is popularly known as Convento de las Monjas Encerradas, or the convent of the enclosed nuns. Its baroque façade is made of stone while inside, it is home to works of great artistic and heritage value.

  • Museo de la Romanización

This museum is home to the Roman archaeology section of Museo de La Rioja. It features information about the Roman past of the city, as well as findings from different archaeological sites in Calahorra and La Rioja.

  • Museo de la Verdura

Because vegetables, in Calahorra, are much more than just a food: they are objects worthy of exhibition in its Museo de la Verdura (Vegetable Museum), the stars of its Jornadas Gastronómicas (Gastronomy Events)—which bring together the best chefs in the country—and they are even the raw materials with which the dresses for its original fashion show are made from. Would you miss being in the front row for a show like this?

What's more, if what you really want is to go back 2,000 years and relive its golden age, you can't miss the Mercaforum at Easter: a place where you'll see legionnaires parading, gladiator fights and a bustling Roman market full of excellent artisan products.

Gastronomy in Calahorra: an ode to vegetables

If in addition to being passionate about history, you love good vegetables, Calahorra will be your particular paradise. A gastronomic getaway to this city in La Rioja is guaranteed to involve an explosion of flavours, colours and scents coming directly from the vegetable garden to its markets and restaurants... and there is also the chance you'll come home with your suitcase full of delicious preserves.

Endives and tasty artichokes in autumn and winter. Asparagus and tender peas in spring. And what to say about the region's tomatoes? When the heat arrives, tomatoes are the ingredient par excellence – juicy, sweet and succulent.

And peppers! The star seasoning for La Rioja cuisine will delight your taste buds – and those of the most demanding among us. A gift full of flavour... and one to feast your eyes on too. You'll see them hanging out to dry in the sun along the streets, adorning the city's balconies.

How to get to Calahorra by train?

History, great atmosphere, good wine and the best produce from the vegetable garden. Calahorra has it all. What more could you ask for? Sit back, relax and explore this city with Renfe.

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