Rioja is a small province, but offers a wide variety of landscapes and picturesque scenery. There are several officially maintained parks which are great for walking, trekking, cycling, horse riding, hill climbing, and mountaineering.
The further East you travel the dryer and flatter the landscape becomes. Rioja Baja is a fruit bowl with numerous plantations. It benefits from the richer soil and dry arid landscape.
Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Alta enjoy a much greener and mountainous landscape. These views themselves change with the seasons. The green gradually turning red, then purple as winter approaches. The vines then lose all their leaves and stand bare until the spring.
Rioja can suffer cold temperatures in winter, often with snow and ice. Due to it being a basin on the foot of the Cantabria Mountains, it can also sustain high winds and cold fogs.
Rioja has its own Ski station called Valdezcaray Ezcaray and is situated about 13 km from base town of Ezcaray, at the base of the San Lorenzo peak. Valdezcaray has 22 km of marked pistes with the highest point being San Lorenzo peak, 2125 m AMSL, with a vertical drop of 600 m.