There are countless hermitages scattered throughout the Rioja Alta. Many of them have necropolises nearby, which indicate that there were once settlements in their vicinity. It is impossible to make a route through all of them, but we think it would be interesting to take a tour of some of the most interesting ones.

There are countless hermitages scattered throughout the Rioja Alta. Many of them have necropolises nearby, which indicate that there were once settlements in their vicinity. It is impossible to make a route through all of them, but we think it would be interesting to take a tour of some of the most interesting ones.

In Treviana we have to stop at the hermitage of the Conception, formerly known as San Pedro, located in the village cemetery. It is a Romanesque chapel from the 12th century. It retains many decorated stoned-pieces. During the visit we can take advantage of the Romanesque Centre located in this town and where, in addition to discovering different aspects and resources of the Romanesque in the area, it will offer you information and guided visits in different places of interest.

Three kilometres from this town on the road that leads to Haro we can find the Nuestra Señora de la Junquera hermitage, which still has its Romanesque head; the rest of the church dates from the 17th century.

From the town of Cuzcurrita del Rio Tirón we can approach the Sorejana hermitage. To do so, we will take the street that borders the castle and continue approximately 2 km along a comfortable and well-compacted path. The route is signposted. The head of this church and the first section are Romanesque from the 13th century. The rest is 14th century Gothic. There are still two pilgrimages to this chapel, on September 8 and the weekend before Whitsun.

In Sajazarra, we can visit the Cillas hermitage, which we will access by leaving the town through the arch of the wall located next to the church and taking the branch on the left. Here there was a village of the same name. From the place we have excellent views of the whole area. The building is simple, from the 13th century.

In Haro it is highly recommended to visit the San Felices chapel, where the famous wine battle is held. To reach it, take the LR-306 road that leaves very close to the Station district. After 3.5 km, there is a paved road that leads to a car park located under the chapel, under the image of the saint who presides over the complex. From here we will have to continue walking about 300 metres, but with a steep slope. We are in what was the castro of Bilibio, of which there are still some remains. The views from here are truly spectacular. And we’ll be able to understand much better why they call the place the Haro shells.

In Briones it is interesting to visit the Calvary. To do so, we leave the town from the west towards the train tracks. Before crossing the tracks we take a path that leads us to the place. The route is signposted. We can follow the crosses to reach the top of the hill. From there we have a great view of the whole valley. Going down the opposite side of the hill, we will find the small chapel of the new factory. Behind it are the remains of a building that may have been the original construction. If we continue along this path around the hill and a few metres away we will reach the chapel of San Bartolomé. It is a semi-excavated church that will undoubtedly surprise us. It is a visit that is worthwhile.

In San Vicente de la Sonsierra we can approach the chapel of Santa María de la Piscina. To reach it, we leave San Vicente in the direction of Ábalos and, after two kilometres, we find a road on the left that leads to Peciña; we continue along it until we see the chapel.

The necropolis is still in front of it. It is a Romanesque church from the 12th century. Tradition says that the church was built by the posthumous will of Ramiro Sanchez when he returned from the First Crusade, where he participated in the capture of Jerusalem by entering the Probatory Pool. Hence the name. The church is the seat of the order’s motto, La Piscina. In the 18th century it was practically ruined. It was restored in 1974.

In the next town of Ábalos we can approach the hermitage of San Felices, a hermitage that we can easily discover on a hill above the town. To get there we leave Ábalos in the direction of Samaniego and 300 metres on the left we will find a paved path that leads to the temple. We will have to be careful as turning left is currently forbidden, so we will have to continue until we can make a change of direction. Maybe there was a monastery here. The building dates back to the 12th century.

In San Asensio we can approach the Davalillo hermitage located at the foot of the castle hill. The landscape, surrounded by vineyards, is very attractive. The temple is baroque from the end of the 17th or beginning of the 18th century. We can take advantage to visit the castle. To arrive we leave San Asenso towards Haro. After leaving the roundabout that allows us to join the N.232, we will find an asphalted road one kilometre away, on our left, after passing the access to the railway station.

In Navarrete we can visit the ruins of the San Juna de Acre pilgrim’s hospital. First of all, we recommend that we go and see its magnificent façade, which was dismantled at the end of the 19th century and moved to the cemetery in front of the ruins of the temple. It is a Romanesque jewel.