You want to make a wonderful trip through Spain, but don’t know where to go? Choose from 10 breathtaking routes for your journey through Spain with our guides, detailed itineraries and insider tips.
Whether you want to relax in the mountains of the Costa del Sol, walk through the narrow streets of Toledo or walk along the Ramblas in Barcelona, we can help you plan the perfect trip to Spain.
Better road transport in Spain compared with
In the past fifteen years we have made many trips to Spain. Before you delve into your ideas, here is a complete list of the best driving routes with the most important information. Scroll down for more details on each of these areas.
|Travelling by car||Evaluation|
|1. Travel by car in Andalusia
11 days, 518 miles.
|2. Cruise along the Spanish Mediterranean coast
14 days, 1385 miles
|A little drive.|
|3. Castilla León – Visit to the heart of Spain
7 days, 345 miles
|4. Travel by car to Northern Spain
10 days, 737 miles
|5. Basque Country and Pyrenees
7 days, 234 miles
|6. Driving in Catalonia
9 days, 520 miles
|7. Historic Centre of Spain – Castilla-La Mancha
7 days, 380 miles
|8. Journey to Galicia
5 days, 322 miles
|9. Travel by car around Mallorca
5 days, 175 miles
|10. Full circle – Full car ride in Spain
35 days, 2,800 miles
Whether you want to relax by car along the coast or take a tour of Spain, here are 10 great opportunities for a car trip in Spain.
1. Travelling to Andalusia by road
The ideal way to get to know Spain is via Andalusia. If you like sun, beach and beautiful mountain huts overlooking the sea, then Andalusia is the place for you.
If you are more interested in culture and love the beautiful cathedrals, medieval forts and breathtaking architecture, then Andalusia is also the place for you.
If you just want to walk through the historic cities and enjoy the traditional and nutritious Spanish cuisine, then Andalusia is your ideal destination.
The ideal journey through Andalusia along the route takes you on a loop that includes coastal destinations such as Nerja, Malaga, Marbella, Gibraltar and Cadiz before heading inland to discover Ronda, Seville, Cordoba and Granada.
In this car you can see the mountains with breathtaking views and reach the beautiful Mezquite Cathedral in Cordoba and the unique Moorish Alhambra complex in Granada.
Relax in the world famous white Andalusian villages of Mijas, Benahavis and Casares and mingle with the fresh money in the marina of Puerto Banús, which is full of super luxurious cars, people with too much plastic surgery and the largest yachts in the world.
Duration of car journey: 11 days
Total distance: .518 miles
2. Cruise along the Spanish Mediterranean coast
The Spanish Mediterranean coast is ideal for a car trip – make sure you put sunscreen on your left hand while driving – the sun will be hot!
Start your trip with a short break in Barcelona, where you can visit attractions such as the Sagrada Familia, Las Ramblas and Gaudi’s unique buildings. Several cities offer as much as Barcelona, so it’s a great start for a trip along the Mediterranean coast.
The next step will take you south to Valencia, a very discreet Spanish city offering culture, food and sunshine with an amazing historic centre.
After crossing the Sierra Nevada the journey continues to Granada, the Costa del Sol, Seville and Cordoba.
You make a short version of your trip to Andalusia higher up, but you get a much wider picture of Spain when you go from one corner to the other.
As you drive almost all the way along the coast, you are only a short distance from the beach – which can be a welcome change on your way.
This trip is the perfect combination of culture and relaxation. If you want to combine culture and relaxation, you have to try it. You’ll see the best architecture in the world in Barcelona, the Mezquita in Cordoba, the cathedral of Seville and the Alhambra fortress in Granada, but you’ll have time to relax in Puerto Banús, lie on the beach in Nerja and stroll through the narrow streets of the white Andalusian villages.
Duration of car journey: 14 days
Total distance: 1385 miles
3. Castile-Leon – Visit to the heart of Spain
If you fly to Madrid, a trip to Castilla y León can be an extraordinary way to discover Spain without having to drive to the coast or travel for weeks.
This journey to the heart of Spain begins and ends in the province of Segovia.
You will start with the historic city of Segovia, known as one of the best architectural sites in Spain and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After a day of exploring, the road heads west via Arévalo in the direction of Salamanca. Arévalo is a small historic town known for its Mudejar architecture and art, which gives it a special status in Spain, and Salamanca is an old town with two cathedrals – the new one (that’s what it’s actually called), whose construction began in 1513!
From Salamanca you can explore the other beautiful and historic cities of Ledesma and Zamora before stopping in Valladolid, the supposed capital of the province of Castilla y León. The medieval history is visible throughout the city – the Spanish monarchy made Valladolid the most important city in the 17th century. For centuries even in their homes!
After a visit to the city that shares its name with Castile and Leon, the journey ends with a walk through the Ribera del Duero wine region – extremely undervalued compared to Rioja and the Portuguese Douro wine, which is further down the same river valley.
At the end of your trip you will return to Pedras, in the province of Segovia, and then to Madrid airport.
You can extend this trip to the historic Spanish cities of León and Burgos, in the north of the province, but this will add a lot of kilometres and time to your trip. There is already a lot to see in the south of Castilla y León – you can easily explore this part of Spain for two weeks and see new places every day.
Duration of car journey: 7 days
Total distance: .345 miles
4. Travelling by car in Northern Spain
So often overlooked, the Costa Brava, Costa del Sol or Costa Blanca, the northern coast of Spain, takes an amazing road trip and explores a mix of cultures, fantastic cuisine and rocky coastal landscapes.
The journey starts in the capital of Spanish Basque Country, Bilbao. It is a place worth spending a few days to get to know the old historic centre, the surrounding mountains and the impressive world-famous Guggenheim Museum.
Bilbao has something for everyone: beautiful pintoxos in Michelin-starred bars and street restaurants, medieval streets and modern boulevards.
The journey then continues west along the coast to Santander, with stops at Santillana del Mar, Picos de Europa National Park and Gijona.
This trip includes a mix of beaches, historic Spanish cities and nature exploration – the perfect combination for a Spanish road trip!
After crossing great gorges and eating pies it is time to go to Oviedo and A Coruña.
After a day inland to Santiago de Compostela you drive along the entire coast of the Spanish Gulf of Biscay, with everything you can see along the way.
Depending on the flight you take, you may have to fly back to Bilbao along the coast or get off in Porto or Madrid – it’s just an incredible journey that you won’t find in many recommendations or guides!
Duration of the car journey: 10 days
Total distance: .737 miles
5. Basque Country and Pyrenees
Located in the Gulf of Biscay and bordering France, northwest Spain is rich in history, traditions and culture. The mountains.
The Basque Country – a unique part of Spain – has an excellent local language, cities that form two excellent medieval kingdoms (Basque Country and Navarre) and a unique connection to the Pyrenees. In the Middle Ages, the Basque Country stretched over a mountain range that included part of France on the other side.
Today, the region is passionately focused on its culture. On your travels to major cities like Bilbao, San Sebastian and Pamplona you can try the local pintxos traditions. Like tapas, which are very popular in the rest of Spain, pintos are small snacks that are served in bars and are paid per piece or per plate.
On leaving the tourist areas you will find local Pintoxo bars where snacks are free while you continue buying drinks!
The Pyrenees are an amazing mountain range that does not appear on the radar of many tourists.
The Pyrenees are an ancient mountain range with many peaks of over 3000 m altitude, often neglected in favour of trips to the Alps or even the Sierra Nevada further south in Spain.
The roads crossing the Pyrenees are fantastic and can make a great journey with a bonus like no other car. There are fantastic hotels if you really want to relax and travel for a few days – we stayed at the Arantza Hotella at the foot of the Pyrenees and can’t recommend it high enough – it’s expensive but super luxurious and worth it!
Some rooms offer stunning views of the surrounding hills, with the morning mist rising over the peaks, and you can relax in a Jacuzzi overlooking the countryside before dining in the hotel’s gourmet restaurant.
After a few days of luxury, it’s time to descend a mountain slope and travel to Pamplona, a historic town known for its bullfighting festival in July, which offers much more than the medieval tradition. Narrow streets, beautiful stone buildings and fantastic local cafes invite you to relax in the late morning.
It takes a little less than 2 hours to get back to Bilbao airport to take you home!
Duration of car journey: 7 days
Total distance: 240 miles
6. Travelling with Catalan car
In Catalonia there is much more than in Barcelona. You can tour the region for weeks and still not see dozens of great villages, secret beaches, mountain waterfalls or picturesque museums.
If you want to settle in Barcelona instead of travelling, our 40-day trips from Barcelona will give you ideas about places to go!
An excellent route through the region can start and end in Barcelona to facilitate flights.
From Barcelona follow the coast south to Tarragona, with a stop in Sitges and the opportunity to relax on one of the many beautiful beaches.
From Tarragona this journey leads inland to Mont Blanc and, via Solson, to La Seu d’Urgell in the Pyrenees.
On your way through northern Catalonia you will be spoilt with a choice: the Garrotcia National Park of volcanic origin and the village of Santa Pau, which is well worth a visit. Take a detour through Andorra and cities like Besalú and Castellfallit de la Roca, all excellent options before arriving in Figueres.
After seeing some of the cultural attractions, head to Cadaquez on the coast, where you will find beautiful beaches and the Salvador Dali house museum.
The rest of the trip follows the Costa Brava to Barcelona. There are countless places to stop, including the Rosa Resort, the Empuriabrava, L’Escala and the Begur canals. A trip to the interior of Girona is optional before reaching the end of your trip, with stops at the beaches of Tossa de Mar and Lloret de Mar on the menu.
In such a compact region, both culturally and naturally, there is little to see in the world. If you love the mountains, hiking and life off the beaten track, then a trip to Catalonia is definitely the best choice in Spain.
Duration of car journey: 9 days
Total distance: 520 miles
7. Historic Centre of Spain – Castile-La Mancha
Castilla – La Mancha is one of the largest regions of Spain and at the same time one of the least known by tourists.
Hidden in a plain near Madrid, it stretches almost as far as Valencia and Murcia in southeastern Spain.
Exploring this region offers a mix of natural attractions and beautiful historic cities of Spain. Like a trip to Castile and Leon, Madrid is easy to start and finish if you can get there easily by plane.
This Spanish road trip starts in Toledo, the most famous city in the La Mancha region. Toledo is known as a mixture of Christian, Islamic and Jewish religions and cultures. It was the capital of the Visigoth kingdom, of the Spanish Moors, and then at certain times in the history of Spain.
After a few days of sightseeing it’s time to hit the road and drive via Consuegra and Daimielle to Ciudad Real.
There is much to see in this part of Spain, including the famous windmills made famous by Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes. Most of the region lies on a plateau with regularly deserted hills.
The journey continues eastwards to Cuenca and Siguenza, two breathtaking cities, but very different from many typical Spanish destinations.
If you’re in the mood for adventure, there are a number of national parks along the way where you can stretch your legs on a walk or just take a detour through the countryside.
Duration of car journey: 7 days
Total distance: 380 miles
8. Tour of Galicia by road
If you like picturesque slices along spectacular coasts, lighthouses and seafood, this trip is for you.
Access to the area can be difficult and you may have to adapt your route to your place of origin.
The intention is to bypass the Galician coast, starting at the beach of As Catedrais. If you don’t know the name, you’ve probably already seen pictures of huge rocks and arches on a sandy beach.
Despite the fact that this trip takes only 5 days, you will spend some of these trips on small coastal roads. We advise you to ignore the navigator, which sends you inland on faster routes. Keep the sea to your right and you won’t go too far.
Passing the cliffs of Vixia Erbeira you arrive in A Coruña. Next to the Hercules Tower, the main attraction is the lighthouse. Of course you did.
Take a day to visit the city and the surrounding area – the seafood is great here as it is an active port that supplies most of the region and beyond.
The journey then continues along the coast to Santiago de Compostela. You can take the direct, short route, but you will pass many breathtaking landscapes, rocks overlooking the sea and exciting places for lighthouses – on the coast, on the rocks and even on your own islands.
After getting to know this historically and religiously important town, we return to the coast and pass Pontevedra in the direction of the beautiful town of Vigo.
It may not be so much a Spanish car trip as a light breeze along the coast (and there will be a lot of wind!), but it is certainly something to keep in mind if you want to relax and avoid the tourist traps in Spain.
Duration of car journey: 5 days
Total distance: .322 miles
9. Travel to Majorca
Many people do not associate Mallorca with road traffic, but the island offers great opportunities for relaxation near beaches and clubs.
Leaving for Palma and coming back means it’s a great place to start and end your journey.
Palma is the capital and is often overlooked by visitors who travel directly from the airport to their favorite part of the island. The city actually has a lot to offer, so it’s a good idea to spend the first or last night here, depending on the flight time.
Don’t miss the huge cathedral (which you really can’t miss) and part of the city around the market (only open in the morning).
When you leave the island, it’s best to drive all the way.
First follow the narrow, rocky roads along the coast to Valdemosa and Soler, two popular destinations north of Palma. The road continues to Port-de-Paulence and then crosses the island to Cala Mesquida.
If you have decided to go on excursions, a short trip along the coast will take you to Cala Agulla, where the beaches are empty and the sun is just as warm to rest in.
To complete your journey you must stay in the resort of Cala d’Or before returning to Palma.
A short trip with many breathtaking views and cliffs in the north and resorts with fantastic beaches in the south can be the ideal way to relax for a short holiday!
Duration of car journey: 5 days
Total distance: 175 miles
10. Full Circle – Full Journey to Spain
If you have the time and feeling ready for adventure, a trip to Spain can be a great way to immerse yourself in the culture, see every corner of this amazing country and really get into the swing of things.
One of the most important warnings is that although it’s at the top of our travel list, we haven’t made a full journey yet – it’s a long journey!
But if you’re brave enough, you can start anywhere on the path you want by going in circles.
Barcelona and Madrid are probably the best centres to get in and out of Spain, as well as for cycling through Valencia to Andalusia, before returning to Cordoba in the north.
After discovering the centre of Spain, with stops in Toledo and neighbouring towns and guided tours of Madrid, the journey continues to the Duero Valley, Valladolid, Vigo, Santiago de Compostela and A Coruña in Galicia, with breathtaking views of the rocks overlooking the sea and the huge waves.
The journey continues along the north coast with stops in Santander, Bilbao and San Sebastian, before reaching the Pyrenees and the historic towns of Pamplona and Zaragoza. The mini tour of Catalonia, which completes the trip, takes at least a month if you want to do something other than driving.
If you do, let us know! We’d like to see how you’re doing!
Duration of car journey: 35 days
Total distance: 2,800 miles
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