The Ocón Valley is located at 35km from Logroño and is home to villages steeped in history.
If we focus on the municipality of OcónThe municipality currently has 6 villages (La Villa de Ocón, Aldealobos, Santa Lucia, Las Ruedas, Pipaona and Los Molinos) with a total number of 350 inhabitants. Formerly were 2 more villages Oteruelo, abandoned in 1974, and San Julián, now part of the forest.
Other villages in the area are Galilee y El Redal.
The charm of the Ocón Valley is to walk through it as a wholeThe villages are only 1 to 3 kilometres apart, which means that they can be used as a base to build a new function as a whole.
1. Historical and Religious Monuments in the Ocón Valley
Site of Parpalinas
The rehabilitation of the ecclesiastical complex of Parpalinas, from which the name Pipaona derives, is of great historical and cultural significance for La Rioja.
This is due to the fact that San Millán de la Cogolla moved to this site around the middle of the 6th century AD. Archaeological excavations carried out between 2005 and 2008 brought to light the remains of two superimposed temples.
The oldest one already existed when San Millán arrived in Parpalinas, requested by the owner of the town to carry out a exorcism in their own home. Undoubtedly this was the temple he visited and where he would perform prayers and liturgies together with local priests.
This church was dismantled a few decades later and replaced by a larger one, characterised by its circular apse and by the fact that it housed in its nave a baptismal pool and a mausoleum for the members of the family that owned Parpalinas. This temple disappeared around the 10th/11th centuries and its site became a cemetery during the Middle Ages. In the latter period a small building was erected that served as a place of worship.
The intervention carried out was aimed at the consolidation and protection of the preserved material remains, and at the development of a simple museumisation of the site which makes it possible to correctly interpret the late antique church buildings and their historical development.
The church of Parpalinas is part of an archaeological site which also contains the Senator Honorio's HouseLord of the village of Parpalinas.
The Ocón mill has become a the image of the Valley It is a replica of the original mill that was located in the same place and of which the ruins can still be seen.
It consists of a cylindrical tower 6 metres in diameter, with the wall being 1 metre thick, leaving an interior of 4 metres in diameter.
It is a windmill for grinding wheat similar to those seen by Don Quixote in La Mancha.
*Guided visit to the mill 5€.
The ruins of the Ocón Castle are from Muslim origin and irregular ground plan at an altitude of 905 metres.
Both the town and the castle belonged to the Dukes of Nájera y Counts of Treviño.
Churches and Hermitages in the Ocón Valley
As is the case everywhere in La Rioja every village has its own church and often one or more chapels.
Discover these buildings that hold so much history and so many stories The experience of the people who went there is always a moving one.
Ruins of the village of Oteruelo in the Ocón Valley
The ancient village of Oteruelo was depopulated in 1974. due to the rural exodus.
At present the original urban layout is preserved and a good number of houses built in masonry, as well as the Church of San Lorenzo.
2. Nature and Sport in the Ocón Valley
The Ocón Valley is one of the great unknowns of La Rioja that not only houses a great historical heritage, but also landscape.
The Sierra de la Hez with its peaks and oak groves is the ideal place to enjoy great walks for everyone.
There are hiking trails (Cycle-mountain rings) that run for 16km linking the seven villages of Ocón. They are perfectly signposted and conditionedwith information panels and maps in the 7 villages (6 inhabited and the uninhabited village of Oteruelo).
They are also signposted mountain bike routes and the equestrian route of the villages of the Ocón Valley.
3. Startlight Biosphere Reserve - The light of the stars
Several Riojan municipalities in the Leza, Jubera, Cidacos and Alhama valleys due to their geographical, climatic and landscape homogeneity of high environmental value, they have been declared by the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
Part of this area is located in La Rioja Media Rural and it is an ideal place for the astrotourism. In 2012, it became the first natural area in Spain to receive certification as a Starlight Tourist Destination.
Some of the most suitable places for this practice are El Molino de Ocón, the village of Zenzano or Robres del Castillo.
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