Autumn Walking Along the Ebro

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Autumn Walking Along the Ebro: Vineyards, Orchards, Harvest Festivals

by James Larocco | Alexandria, VA

We’ve just finished walking the Via Podiensis. As with our previous nine Caminos, we started this Camino in September on the cusp of autumn. Rain is less frequent then, but more important, it’s harvest time. Of all our Caminos, the most memorable in this respect has been the Camino del Ebro in Spain. Since we have been enamored with walking in Rioja, we knew that the Ebro promised a much bigger slice of this lovely province.

Instead of starting in Barcelona, we chose to set off from Logroño on the feast of San Matteo when Logroño comes alive with its annual wine festival. The festival made for a wonderful start. We set out the next day, and it wasn’t long before we were passing vineyard after vineyard, with ripe grapes ready to be picked. At one point, we paused for a photo. Suddenly a man approached us and said some of the workers didn’t show up. Would we help him pick grapes, at least for a few hours? It was an offer we couldn’t refuse, and it was an unforgettable experience, especially chatting with the other pickers as we were served lunch in the vineyard.

Alcanadre pears on the Camino Ebro.
Alcanadre pears spotted along the Camino del Ebro, 2016. Photo by Janet Larocco.

The next day we were surrounded by pear orchards. As we passed by, a farmer shouted to us: “You’re going the wrong way. Santiago is the other way.” We smiled, saying we chose to walk this way. He called us over and tossed us some ripe pears, the most luscious and juiciest we have ever tasted.

As we were approaching Gallur, we passed by a long line of almond trees. Some pickers called us over and asked if we knew how to eat raw almonds. When we replied “no,” they showed us how to hit the fruit against a small rock to release the almond seed, and then they invited us to take as many as we wished.

We did, and one of our favorite breaks was walking along the canal high above the valley, stopping to break open some almonds on a stone. A pilgrim from Ireland came by, and we shared some with her. Spring on the Camino boasts its flowers and greenery, showing off nature’s beauty, exciting our senses of sight and smell. Autumn provides nature’s bounty, exciting our senses of sight, smell, and taste. We will always savor our autumn along the river Ebro.

Rioja Grapes walk the Ebro.
Rioja grapes along the Camino del Ebro, 2016. Photo by Janet Larocco.

Learn More About Various Camino Routes

Visit our routes page to learn about the various different Caminos. The Ebro is definitely a route less traveled. But you can find out more about it at Gronze.

Explore More of the Pilgrims Way

This story was featured in our Fall 2023 issue of La Concha. The theme was “Seasons of the Way”, and you can find the full issue in our archive here