SPAIN Road Trip – Tips for Routes & Itineraries

You are looking for inspiring Spain Road Trip recommendations & tips with route itinerary, highlights and maps? Here we go. In this article, travel bloggers from all over the world recommend the best Spain Road Trips with iconic world-famous sights, beautiful landscape and amazing things to do. Here you will find Spain Road Trip classics like Costa Brava, Andalusia or a round trip from Seville, but also beautiful itineraries off the beaten track like the pyrenees from Bilbao to San Sebastian or Picos de Europa National park to inspire your next bucket list entries. Plan your great Spain Road Trip itinerary in 2021!

Spain Road Trip – The most amazing routes & Itineraries

All Spain Road Trip route recommendations at one glance

Here you find the Spain Road Trip Highlights with the best things to do at a glance 📷

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This article covers Spain Itinerary Recommendations as well as the Spain Road Trip Highlights marked in dark red on the map.

Spain Road Trip Highlights – Recommendations by Travel Bloggers

Catalonia Mountains: From Roses to Barcelona

If you’d like to visit an area of the Pyrenees which boasts incredible scenery but is much less crowded, head east to Catalonia. You’ll find some wonderful roads and plenty of things to do in the area. To get the most out of your visit, you’ll need to spend at least 3/4 days here, which doesn’t leave much time for relaxing on any of the great beaches along the coast.

Start your road trip in Roses, a pretty town on the coast worth spending a couple of days in, then head inland to the Garrotxa Natural Park. This area has around 40 volcanoes (thankfully none of which are active) but the scenery is spectacular and the roads are fantastic – especially if you’re touring Spain on a motorcycle and appreciate good twisties.

Next stop is Ripoli. If you’ve in a car or bike, take the smaller, but more scenic route on the 260 then go up the C-38; the views are spectacular. Ripoli is home to the Santa Maria monastery, which does open to tourists at set time but you can also head south to the Abadia de Montserrat; this awe-inspiring monastery is surrounded by unique rocks and hills, creating an incredible setting you won’t get enough of.

If you’ve based yourself at Roses and want to do a circular trip, you can head back following the pretty coast road. Alternatively, end your trip in Barcelona and enjoy one of the most vibrant cities in Spain.

Explored by Kat from Biker Girl Life

The monastery of Monserrat in the mountains of Catalonia

 

Costa Brava Road Trip & Barcelona

Spain’s Costa Brava is a treasure trove of culture and gorgeous coves and beaches – and a short road trip is a great way to experience the highlights of this region. Start your road trip in Girona, in northern Catalonia. Girona is a compact old town sprinkled with Roman and Medieval architecture and pretty riverside houses.

From Girona, head south for 40km to the coast and explore the Costa Brava towns of Tossa del Mar, Lloret de Mar and Blanes. The beaches in this area are what they call, ‘coarse sand’ which doesn’t sound very enticing.. but actually, this sand is lovely. The particles are small enough not to hurt your feet like shingle can, and large enough not to get stuck in every crease of your skin and to your beach towel – so it is quite perfect, really! A favourite beach is the small, tree-lined Platja De Sa Boadella, to the west of Lloret De Mar (but be warned, there can be nudists here!).

When you’ve had your fill of white beaches, finish your trip with a visit to Catalonia’s capital, Barcelona, 77km south of Lloret de Mar. There are so many things to do in Barcelona, including wandering the alleys of the Gothic quarter and marvelling at the many Gaudi architectural masterpieces.

Explored by Martha from May Cause Wanderlust

The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is one of the highlights of a Catalonia road trip / round trip

 

Spain Road Trip Highlights: Costa del Sol

The Costa del Sol is one of the most beautiful areas of Spain and perfect for a road trip. This coastline is known for its stunning beaches and little towns all in front of the backdrop of incredible mountains.

Start your road trip in the town of Marbella. This cute little seaside village is known for its beach clubs and laid back lifestyle. It’s not the most budget-friendly in the area though so make sure you have enough funds to sustain your stay. Camping is highly recommended to save some money especially during the summer. Continue your drive and head to Málaga which is an incredible city that perfectly combines culture, nightlife and great city beaches. Have authentic tapas by the ocean and explore the historic architecture of the city like the famous Alcazaba.

Continue to follow the coastline and try to leave the highway to drive along the beach promenade instead. Make a stop in the beach town Nerja which is known for its steep cliffs with crystal-clear waters at the bottom. Only a 15 minute drive from the coast lies the mountain town of Frigiliana which has iconic white houses and narrow alleyways. You’ll love the stunning views of the ocean and surrounding mountains.

Explored by Victoria from Guide your travel

Take a Spain road trip along the Costa del Sol

 

Bilbao to San Sebastian via National Parks

If you’re looking for a road trip which gives you a sense of the breathtaking natural beauty of northern Spain, take a trip from Bilbao up to San Sebastian, via stops to the south and several national parks. Of course, you could drive down the main motorway and get between the two places in just over an hour, but the scenic route is much more enjoyable.

Once you’ve explored Bilbao, set off south for Tudela, a wonderfully historic town made extra famous for its role in the series Game of Thrones (season 6.) Thousands flocked here before filming to try to become an extra – you’ll be pleased to know the huge crowds are mainly gone and it’s a lovely town to wander around. Don’t miss the main attraction – the Santa Maria Cathedral, built in 1180. You might want to stay here overnight so you can enjoy the next day fully.

Explore the famous rocks of Bardenas Reales

Next, it’s time to head into the badlands of the Parque Naturale Bardenas Reales – one of Europe’s largest deserts. The park is full of incredible rock formations, yet a surprising amount of wildlife. Parts of often closed due to nesting birds or other animal conservation efforts. If you’re motorhoming or campervanning in Spain, the park is very accessible to you too- roads are wide enough for all vehicles and easy to navigate. You can do a 3/4 hour circle and really get a taste of the park. From here, drive a short way to the Sierra y Canones National Park, which is famous for its gorges, canyons, rivers and waterfall walks; you might find hiring a guide helpful to see the best spots.

Finally, head to your last spot to relax in San Sebastian. This pretty and bustling town has a lot to offer, but you can also be forgiven for relaxing on the beach and enjoying those beautiful sea views.

Explored by Kat from Wandering Bird

The Spain Parque Naturale Bardenas Reale

 

Alicante – Torrevieja Pink Lake – Villajoyosa

If you are looking for the best Spain road trips, consider exploring some parts of the Costa Blanca region and specifically basing yourself in Alicante. This peaceful town won’t disappoint you with its rich history, beautiful sandy beaches, and colorful streets.

One of the main attractions of Alicante is the Santa Barbara Castle, located on top of a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and the city itself. Moreover, the trail leading to the castle passes through the charming Santa Cruz neighborhood with white houses and colorful window frames.

Once done with Alicante, head to Torrevieja Pink Lake for a natural wonder. This bubble-gum pink lake is a salt lake that gets the color from algae and bacteria that grow in such an environment. The lake is relatively big, so visiting it by car is recommended. Moreover, it has several entrances, and having a car comes in handy.

Finish your road trip to the colorful town of Villajoyosa, another jewel of Costa Blanca. The city boasts gorgeous multi-colored houses nestled in the city and along the coast.

Even though Villajoyosa has limited attractions for you to visit, the main idea to include it on your Spanish road trip is the tranquility and beauty of this town. However, if you wish to do some touristy exploration, visit the Gothic Church of the Assumption, and hunt down excellent street art pieces.

Explored by Baia from Red Fedora Diary

Alicante is a great destination for a Spain round trip by car

 

Costa Blanca Road Trip

The beautiful Costa Blanca is a great choice for an unforgettable road trip in Spain. This region is located in the province of Alicante and is often called the White Coast of Spain. On a coastline of over 200 kilometers, you will discover a whole range of interesting road trip stops. In particular, you will find beautiful sights and numerous breathtaking beaches. For a round trip by car you should plan a week, if you also want to relax and enjoy the sea, then it is worth staying longer!

The best place to start your Costa Blanca road trip is Xabia in the north. Here you will find some really spectacular beaches with hollow rocks like at Granadella Bay or the Cala del Moraig. After that you will go to Calpe, where the famous Penon Ifach mountain is located in the sea and where you can see many rose flamingos in the city.

Afterward, you should continue your journey to Altea. In the white city enchants a pretty old town overlooking the sea. Another highlight is a stop in Benidorm, the so-called “Manhattan of Spain“.  Here you will be amazed by the countless skyscrapers. There are many clubs and amusement parks which do not let boredom arise.

Not far away is Villajoyosa, a colorful coastal town that you simply have to see! And last but not least, you should plan a day in the city of Alicante. There you will also find beautiful beaches and an enchanting old town with a castle.

Explored by Martina & Jürgen from Places of Juma

Spain road trip round trip by car recommendations for routes & itineraries with all sights, things to do & highlights along the way: Near Calpe you will experience a breathtaking coastal landscape during your Spain road trip

 

Historical Highlights: Madrid – Toledo – Avila

Madrid is the right place to start the road trip in Spain. From here, you can explore most of Spain’s history. Find out where to stay in Madrid so that you get some time to explore its beauty. After that, cities like Toledo, Avila, and Segovia are places full of history and are surrounded by loads of architecture. Apart from historical sites, there is also a beautiful mountain range.

That is why the road trip from Madrid to Toledo to Avila is a worth-visit. The travelers can start the drive from Madrid and through the way of Toledo, they can end the trip at Avila. On this magical road trip, they can explore the historical highlights of Spain.

From Madrid, travelers can stop at Toledo. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. Some highlights not to miss out include medieval churches, synagogues and mosques. Do not forget to enjoy the view from two popular bridges- the Roman Alcantara Bridge and San Martin Bridge. After stopping there for a while, the travelers should head to Sierra de Gredos to explore the mountain range and continue to Avila, the final stop. The not to miss out highlights in Avila include the incredible walls surrounding the old city.

At the final stop, the travellers can pause for a while and explore the city from inside. Avila is a cute city with a lot of history. There are monasteries, museums and old churches. All of them are worth exploring.

Explored by Paulina from Paulina on the Road

Include the capital Madrid in your Spain tour

 

Spain Road Trip Highlights: Costa Tropical

Costa Tropical is one of the best places to go for a road trip in the South of Spain. It’s perfect if you want to experience the authentic Spanish lifestyle and avoid the crowds. Costa Tropical, also known as Granada’s Coast, is relatively small, but with plenty of things to see and do along the way. Starting just after Nerja and ending in La Rabita, Costa Tropical is a perfect destination to go to year round. Due to the proximity to the sea of the Sierra Nevada mountains, this area maintains a warm climate, no matter the month. If you want a winter sun holiday, this area is guaranteed to have temperatures of over 15 degrees.

There are plenty of places to stop along this stretch of Andalucian Coast. Almunecar and Salobrena are beautiful historical towns, each with its own castle overlooking the sea from a high cliff. Here you will find remains of the first civilizations who lived on this stretch of land, the Phoenicians. Factoria de Salazones are the ruins of an old Roman Fish Salting Factory which used to supply the entire Mediterranean Coast.

Further up the coast, in Motril, you will find a unique mill museum, which stands on the ruins of an actual medieval sugar mill. Also in Motril, you can go for a rum degustation at the Ron Montero distillery. It was founded here because of the sugar cane crops – which now don’t exist anymore.

Of course, one of the best attractions on Costa Tropical are the beaches and the natural parks, where you can enjoy water sports or go snorkelling.

Explored by Joanna from Andalucia in my Pocket

Spain road trip round trip by car recommendations for routes & itineraries with all sights, things to do & highlights along the way: A Spain round trip highlight is the Costa Tropical

 

Ibiza Road Trip Highlights

The Balearic Islands are well known for the vibrant nightlife, Ibiza, in particular. It is where parties lovers head from spring to summer to enjoy the clubs and the beaches. Ibiza is also known for the incredible sunset of the island.

The most famous island in the Mediterranean is also the perfect destination to explore on the road, from a cala to another. What’s a Cala? These are incredible natural spaces, often hidden through the wild nature and covered paths, heading to a paradisiac beach. For your epic trip to Ibiza, you will arrive at the main airport. Ibiza town is served by international flights every day, and is the perfect hub to rent your car and hit the dusty roads in the countryside. The pristine atmosphere outside the main city centre is unique and unbelievable for such a busy island.

Take the EI-700 toward Sant Josep de sa Talaia, a small town in the heart of the white island, one of the latest outposts of the Hippie Culture nearby Ibiza Town. For the best sunset, you should go toward the sea, drive toward Es Cubellis, enjoy the beach and then go to Es Vedra’ viewpoint to admire the best sunset in Ibiza. Nearby this beautiful photo spot of Ibiza there is Cala d’Hort, one of the most enchanting beaches in Ibiza.

Explore the best beaches of Ibiza

Head to the north, discovering Sant Antonii de Portmany, a chameleonic hotspot for travellers, welcoming mostly families on the beaches in the morning, changing its face at night with nightclubs opening up. You need a lot of time to explore the island and within one week in Ibiza, you might cover just a few incredible locations. Some of the best places to visit in Ibiza are definitely Portinatx and Santa Eulalia des Riu.

Also, make sure to visit the best beaches of Ibiza: Cala Llonga, Cala Blanca, Cala Talamanca, Playa d’En Bossa the party place of Ibiza, Cala Pada similar to an open resort with blue turquoise water, Cala Tarida and Cala Benirras where you can still listen to the drums of hippies on the island at sunset.

Explored by Toti & Ale from Italian Trip Abroad

The coast is one of the highlights during an Ibiza road trip or round trip

 

Spain Road Trip Hidden Gem: Picos de Europa

One of the best Spain road trips is hidden in the north of Spain and twists through the incredible Picos de Europa National Park. This worthwhile national park is easy to access in a circuit from the port city of Santander. The park can be explored at ease with 3 -4 days by car.

A road trip through the Picos includes breathtaking nature, charming villages, beautiful hikes, and a cuisine that is unique to the three autonomous regions that make up this spectacular National Park. Each region offers something a little different than the next, so try to explore all three: Cantabria, Asturias, and León, or Castille & León.

On this road trip, zip up the Teleférico de Fuente Dé, which offers some incredible views from close to 6,000 ft on the mountainside. Don’t miss a hike through the Cares Gorge. This scenic path cuts through the jagged limestone mountains, caves, crosses the river, and is the best day hike in the Picos de Europa. While driving through the mountain, there are multiple viewpoints to savor along the way. The Lagos de Covadonga are beautiful and are easy to reach from Cangas de Onís, which boasts an old Roman bridge.

While exploring the Picos de Europa make sure to stop at a Sidra, or cider house. These can be found all throughout the north of Spain, but are most prevalent in the Asturias region.

Discover one of Spain’s best hidden gem road trips through the Picos de Europa National Park!

Explored by Megan from Packing up the Pieces

Spain road trip round trip by car recommendations for routes & itineraries with all sights, things to do & highlights along the way: The high mountains in the Picos de Europa National Park are best explored by car.

 

Sevilla to Huelva via Cadiz

One of the best road trips in Spain is from Sevilla to Cadiz to Huelva. The travellers can start the trip from Sevilla by car and end the trip at Huelva.

Visiting Sevilla to Cadiz is worth because there is a lot to discover along the way. There are a lot of landmarks of Sevilla and Cadiz. Cadiz is known for its historic streets, local art, chiringuitos, churches and seafood. Along the road trip, the travelers can explore all of it. From Cadiz to Huelva, the road trip is more magical. Huelva amazes you with its array of attractions including whitewashed villages, historic sites, several championship golf resorts and more.

From Sevilla to Huelva, the travellers should not miss stopping at Alcázar de la Puerta de Sevilla. Amazing other destinations are Catedral de Sevilla, Plaza de Espana, Casa Paco Ceballos to try hake, Donana National Park. If you still have time visit La Palma del Condado, and San Juan del Puerto.

While Sevilla is popular for its tourist attractions like historic city centre, Real Alcazar, the Giralda tower, Plaza de Espana; the travellers should not miss trying tapas (the highlight of Sevilla). Try going on the road trip during summer to enjoy the Carnival of Cadiz.

At the last stop, travelers can enjoy the calmness of the beaches of Huelva. After exploring the things to do in Huelva, they can head back to Sevilla.

Explored by Paulina from Paulina on the Road

The old town of Seville is one of the highlights of a trip to Spain

 

Spain Road Trip Highlights: Andalucia

An Andalucia road trip is an absolute must when in Spain. There is such great nature and the famous white villages dotted around the mountains and coastline. Malaga is a great place to start and end a round trip as there are good flight deals into the city. Make sure you visit the cities of Granada, including the Alhambra fortress, palace, and gardens, Seville, Cadiz, and Ronda.

But in between, there is a myriad of amazing things to do and see. Make sure you book tickets to Caminito del Rey, Malaga’s most famous walk pinned on the gorge wall of Desfiladero de Los Gaitanes, wander through the unique rock formations of El Torcal de Antequera that were pushed up from below the sea millions of years ago, and walk along the cliffs on Cabo de Gata’s coastline.

Visit the witch village, Soportújar, the Smurf village, Júzcar, and the village carved in rock, Setenil de las Bodegas. Take a boat ride from Cadiz to the lesser-known coastal town of El Puerto de Santa Maria. Here you can wander the cobblestoned streets and taste local sherry. And if you like what you taste, you can drive on to Jerez de la Frontera. It is Andalucia’s sherry capital!

There are so many things to do in Andalucia that you could spend weeks. But if you only have a week, make sure you at least visit Caminito del Rey, Granada, Alhambra, and Seville. And don’t forget to discover Malaga city on either the first or last day of your road trip.

Explored by Linn Haglund of Brainy Backpackers

Spain road trip round trip by car recommendations for routes & itineraries with all sights, things to do & highlights along the way: You should visit El Caminito del Rey during a Spain road trip!

 

Fuerteventura Road Trip Recommendations

There is no better way to explore fabulous Fuerteventura than road trip. Start your journey in Corralejo – town located on the northeast coast of the island. Driving through nature reserve will give you the best experience ever! Amazing beaches on one side of the road and Sand Dunes on the other.

Your next stop should be at Salinas del Carmen which is just 40 minutes drive from Corralejo Sand Dunes. Near Museum of Salt you will spot plenty of Barbary ground squirrels that come from Africa. After short break in Salinas del Carmen follow FV-2 road to Costa Calma – one of the best holiday resort towns in Fuerteventura.

In southern part of the island you will find windsurfing and kitesurfing paradise. The most popular place among windsurfers is definitely Playa de Sotavento. Don’t forget to check out other beautiful beaches in this area such as Playa Esmeralda or Playa Esquinzo-Butihondom.

Final destination of my recommended road trip is Morro Jable. Town on the south coast of the island is a home for the highest lighthouse in Canary Islands. Playa del Matorral is just few steps from 59 meters tall structure. Long sandy beach with turquoise waters will not disappoint you.

Explored by Paulina from UK Everyday

A road trip along the coast of Fuerteventura offers great views of the sea

 

Where to go next in Spain & Europe?

In this article, Travel bloggers from all over the world revealed their insider tips for Spain Road Trip Routes & Itineraries. You learned about highlights and amazing things to do along the way. Get inspired and expand your Europe travel bucket list with the tips and infos.

What is the destination you put on your bucket list now? Let us know in the comments!

 

If you’re looking for more top destinations in Spain, have a look at JOURNICATION’s city guides:

 

You can also use Spain as a starting point for great tours to France. Go on reading here for the best France Road Trips 

 

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Spain Road Trip - Travel Tips with Itinerary, Routes & Maps

2 Comments

  1. Paulina

    So many beautiful places to visit. I love road trips, because you can explore so much in such a short time. Great round up!
    Ukeveryday

    Reply
    • Phil

      Thank you so much Paulina 🙂

      Reply

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