Visiting Logroño with your Dog
Logroño does not stand out as the most dog-friendly city in Spain – there are hardly any hotels that accept us, and there are not a lot of tourist attractions or restaurants that allow us to enter. During our visit, we did find a handful of bars that allow dogs to enter so that our human companions can try the delicious tapas. Also, there are wine tastings that are open to tourists with dogs. If you go to the Rioja, don’t miss out on the dinosaur route or the marvelous vineyards
I was in Logroño in November 2018. If you are thinking of staying in a hotel in the city center, you will find it very difficult. The only one we found that permits dogs was closed for renovations, and in the urban zone there was one other but it was on a highway next to a gas station. Thus, we had only two other options: choose a hostel or apartment (there are nice ones in the city center) or stay in a hotel farther out in the more industrial area. We opted for the latter and stayed in a cool hotel that is located in a commercial center in Viana, a neighboring city not too far from Logroño.
To get around we used a car, in large part because the city buses do not allow dogs. We also had a hard time finding dog-friendly restaurants, so mostly we ate in tapas bars. There is a particular tapas zone in the old city area, on and around Laurel Street. Almost all the bars have a window looking onto the street, and because it was the middle of the week and it wasn’t raining, we succeeded in trying some local pinchos. Unlike in the Basque Country, where the counters are full of different kinds of pinchos, many of the bars in Logroño do not display too many pinchos on the counter, but they feature pinchos that are made when ordered.
Tapas in the Old City Area
In the middle of this minimally dog-friendly panorama, we did find a few places that allowed the entry of well-behaved dogs: La Gota de Vino (known as El Zorropito, the name of its star sandwich) and Lavid (serving delicious calamari, among other things). We had coffee at Avenida 55, with Alberto, which is how we got to know Berni and his enormous comics store, Frikomics, where dogs are “just another freak.”
In the city there are other tapas bars to recommend, but we didn’t visit them ourselves (we list them below in our guide).
We went to the Calado, also located in the old part of the city. It is oldest winery of Logroño, going back to the 16thcentury. Today, its walled environs host all kinds of activities. For example, you can attend a tasting alongside your human there.
Wine Tourism and the Route of the Dinosaurs
If you are into wine tourism, there are two dog-friendly options not too far from Logroño, and within the Rioja region: En San Vicente de la Sonsierra (35 minutes by car), Bodegas Carlos Moro has created a path through the vineyards, in which you come across a necropolis, a winepress, and other fun things. The winery also admits well-behaved dogs to tastings at the wine bar. And 15 minutes to the south of Logroño, you can tryt the Hotel-Bodega Finca de los Arandinos, where dogs can stay with an advance request.
Laguardia is 20 minutes to the north of Logroño, in the Rioja Alavesa (Basque Country). There are several charming dog-friendly hotels there. Among the vineyards you can see La Chabola de la Hechicera, a magnificent dolmen (a Druid stone monument), in Elvillar. I took a photo there because I don’t get to witness prehistoric remains every day. It is one of the most important monuments in the Basque area, and if you go in August you can see a witches’ sabbath in the vicinity.
Finally, an hour by car to the south of Logroño, I recommend that you visit the Yacimientos de Icnitas, a route of dinosaur tracks, which is an open-air site in the area of Enciso. There are several paleontological deposits, but for me the best part was Valdecevillo, a site with several dinosaur footprints and tracks that are well-preserved and that also has five life-size reproductions that will surprise you: a Tarbosaurus (a carnivore that you see in the photo, at the top of the hill), a pair of herbivores next to a baby, and a Brachiosaurus (a 23 meter long sauropod).
To finish the day, what could be better than a relaxing bath in one of three thermal pools that can be found in the village of Arnedillo, which is on the way back to Logroño. They are open-air hot springs next to the river and the facilities include showers. Because they are in an open-air area, they can be visited at any time. Dogs can’t go in, but if you have a pleasant demeanor, you can hang out near by hooked up by leash to a bush while your human colleague soaks in the 40 degree waters, which are said to have medicinal properties.
THANKS TO SHANA AND JEFF MINTZ FOR TRANSLATING THE ORIGINAL TEXT
Dog-friendly Bars in LOGROÑO