DiscoverThe City With 7km of Underground Wine Cellars 

The City With 7km of Underground Wine Cellars 

Are you traveling to Spain sometime this year? If so, don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience a small city with over 7km of connected underground wine cellars. Aranda de Duero is one of the most magnificent wine spots that I have been to. A spur-of-the-moment trip brought us to this small little town about 2 hours outside of Madrid, where we found bodegas and the wine trail of a lifetime. Aranda is in a hot climate in Spain almost desert-like. It has many vineyards on the outskirts of the city, but most of its wine is stored within the underground tunnel system that connects the entire city. It was originally invented to keep the wine temperature-controlled and close to the locals living in the city.  

Getting to Aranda de Duero

If you’re headed to Aranda de Duero, we recommend renting a car or taking the local bus. Most people end up taking a car so they can experience the area in its entirety and enjoy the scenic ride. However, if you’re traveling on a budget, the bus is your best bet. We used the Aisa bus company and it only cost us 12 USD. While the bus was easy to get to and there were no changes, we do recommend using the Omio Travel Site to reserve your booking, as the Aisa site in another language can be difficult to navigate. 

Where to Stay 

While Aranda has a few hotels, we decided to go the Airbnb route. The place we stayed at was right in the heart of the city, and only cost us 67 euros a night for 3 bedrooms! Our host, Cesar, was great at communicating with us and you can find his listing here

Other top-rated Airbnbs in the Downtown Area: 

  1. Luxury Outdoor Penthouse
  2. Aranda Apartments – Ribera
  3. Centrally Located Luxury Apartment 

Top Rated Hotels, If You Want to Travel a Bit More Luxuriously: 

  1. Kinedomus
  2. Hotel Torremilanos
  3. Hotel Spa Tundanca Aranda 

Exploring the Underground Wine Cellars 

Aranda’s Cellars are what drew us to the area. Some of the best ones we experienced can’t be found anywhere online and don’t have websites. However, the town is quite small, and it’s easy to find your own experiences just by popping into unassuming shops and bars. My best advice to someone looking to explore all the cellars would be to find a local guide. While tours are available, a more personal and authentic experience awaits if you befriend locals who might invite you to explore their personal cellar. The magic hides in these private spaces, echoing with stories of winemaking tradition and generational appreciation. 

Some of our friends we met brought us down to their personal cellar, which they can get into with an app on their phones, even though the cellar looks like it hasn’t been renovated for centuries. Stepping into the cellars is like escaping in a time machine. Covered in dust and in history the wine barrels in Aranda’s cellars are integral to the space and cannot be removed. Our friends informed us their ancestors built the barrels in the cellars, where they will forever stay. While most of the barrels are now empty, they still create an illusion of wine wealth and are amazing to see. 

While we tried to use the local angle as much as possible, we also realize that finding friendly locals won’t be a reality for everyone. So, we also visited a few guided tours and tastings in the more touristy cellars. Our favorites were as follows:  

  1. Bodega Historica Don Carlos
  2. Bodega Ribera del Duero 
  3. Ruta del Vino Ribera del Duero 

Other Restaurants and Landmarks to Explore

Aranda’s culinary scene is as rich as its wine cellars, offering a delightful array of restaurants. Most restaurants have cellars within the space that can be viewed but some of them are closed off to the public. 

Top Restaurants in Aranda de Duero:

  1. Palo Santo Cafe: 

This humble cafe is right across the street from the cathedral and has a beautiful ambiance. We sipped on 2 euro wines here and practiced our Spanish with the owner who’s been running the restaurant for years. 

  1. Mesón El Roble: 

A cozy spot known for its traditional Spanish tapas and excellent wine selection.

  1. Cafe Los Caracoles: 

While the wine and tapas here are incredible, the secrets that hide beneath this bar are even better. There is a cellar that is special to the locals. It’s locked for the general public, but if you make some Spanish friends, you may be able to experience this lovely place. It’s kind of like a secret local speakeasy. Shh!  

  1. Asador Lagar de Isilla: 

Famous for its grilled meats and a diverse wine list, this restaurant captures the essence of local flavors.

  1. Restaurante El Lagar de Isilla: 

A charming eatery with a focus on regional cuisine, offering a perfect pairing with local wines.

Wineries in the Area 

If you brought a car with you to Aranda de Duero, make sure to stop by some of the top wineries a little outside of the city to see where all the grapes are grown. These vineyards also have underground wine cellars and are very informative. While we weren’t able to access these vineyards in the three short days we were here, our local friends highly recommended them. 

Top Wineries to Visit:

  1.  Bodegas Portia: A modern winery designed by architect Norman Foster, offering a blend of architecture and viticulture. They also focus on sustainability which the locals really appreciate. 
  1. Bodegas Emilio Moro: You may have heard of Emilio Moro, it is a huge distributor known for its dedication to quality. This winery is a must-visit for wine enthusiasts and has a massive selection of wines to try.
  1.  Bodegas y Viñedos Montecastro: A boutique winery producing exceptional wines in the heart of Ribera del Duero.
  1. Bodega y Vinedos Pradory: This was one of our new friends’ family-run vineyard. They host a variety of tastings and experiences and the land is so beautiful!  

Immerse Yourself in the Culture

While Spanish is the primary language, you’ll find English speakers in certain places. The people of Aranda are warm, kind and embody a strong sense of community. The city, not overrun by tourists, preserves its unique charm, making your visit a truly special experience. With limited accommodations, including no more than 10 Airbnbs in the immediate downtown and a handful of hotels, Aranda de Duero promises an exciting adventure and an opportunity to witness a hidden gem in the heart of Spain. Explore the secret underground wine cellars, you won’t regret it!

If you have the chance to explore this amazing area of the world, please reach out or comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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