If there's one city worth visiting in La Rioja, it's Ezcaray.

It is a beautiful city with a long history, a very touristy destination in the summer, and also the gateway to the Valdezcaray ski resort in the Sierra de la Demanda.

The entire area surrounding the city is very beautiful, in the summer there is the possibility to enjoy activities in nature and, more recently, in the winter to do a day of skiing in the Ski Resort of Valdezcaray.

Ezcaray is that kind of charming city, all very well maintained, that is easy to see in European countries like Great Britain, France or Germany.

Located in the heart of the Oja River valley, surrounded by green landscapes, at an altitude of 1,100 meters and at the foot of the Sierra de la Demanda, Ezcaray is not a big city, but it will catch your attention for its beautiful and surprising typical mountain architecture.

In fact, while walking through the historic center of Ezcaray, you can even get the feeling of being in a Basque town.

And this is even more pronounced when you know that Ezcaray is, especially in summer, a regular destination for visitors from the Basque Country and, specifically, from Biscay.

What to see and do while visiting Ezcaray

During the city tour, you will be able to appreciate the beautiful architecture with half-timbered facades in many of its buildings, very flowery in the summer, and its arcaded street, in addition to some stately homes.

Ring of the Fuero

Ring of the Fuero

In Plaza de Verdura you will see one of the main half-timbered houses and arcades that you will find in Ezcaray, which in the past was the seat of the historic town hall and which now houses the Tourist Office.

You will recognize it by the so-called Ring of the Fuero, which is attached to one of the columns of the arcades, and about which a legend has arisen that connects to the aforementioned Royal Charter.

Legend says that if an evildoer touched the ring, for a while he could not be prosecuted by the courts.

It seems that the truth is that it is a simple ring that was used to tie the horse of someone who was going to the town hall.

Palace of Archbishop Barroeta

Palace of Archbishop Barroeta

Among the stately homes that you can see in Ezcaray, the Archbishop Barroeta Palace, from 1766, stands next to the aforementioned Plaza del Quiosco, which had two notable residents.

On the one hand, the former Archbishop of Lima in the mid-18th century, who gave the palace its name, and on the other, a wealthy family from the Ezcaray textile industry that exported to South America.

Also noteworthy is the Palacio del Ángel, from 1753, which is located opposite the church of Santa María la Mayor.

Church of Santa Maria la Mayor

Church of Santa Maria la Mayor

This building was built in several phases, between the 12th and 16th centuries, and from an architectural point of view, it draws a lot of attention due to a structure that resembles a medieval fortress.

Come on, from the outside, its main facade doesn't look like a church.

The complex starts from a tower from the 10th century, before the Romanesque church, which had an extension in the 13th century in Gothic style, and another later in the 16th century in Renaissance style.

Inside, with a single nave, there are capitals and a Romanesque-style baptismal font, but the main altarpiece in walnut wood from the 16th century in Gothic style will especially draw attention.

There is also a Gothic virgin from the 16th century, and over the side entrance door, a matachín, that is, a baroque automaton from the 17th century still in operation.

Ezcaray blanket factory