12 Epic Road Trips in Spain

Last updated on February 9, 2024

Best Spain Road Trips

Spain was my first travel love – I went there many times as a child, exploring the different coasts, and then did my first solo trip to Oviedo at 15 to visit friends I’d made on a Spanish exchange programme.

Several years later, I fell head over heels for Barcelona and have been returning regularly ever since. From the tapas to the churros, to the late evening strolls and the warmth of its people, Spain is country to fall in love with.

One of the best ways to explore is by doing a Spain road trip, and we’ve teamed up with a bunch of other bloggers to bring you 12 epic Spain road trip itineraries. From the Basque region down to Andalucia and out to the islands, these are the best road trips in Spain.

For more road trips, see our guide to the best road trips in Europe, the best Italy road trips and the best road trips in Portugal.


See all our road trip itineraries here. And don’t miss our guide to how to plan a road trip.


Explore the Stunning Picos de Europa National Park

Santander – Potes – Fuente Dé – Ruta del Cares (from Caín de Valdeón) – Cangas de Onís – Lagos de Covadonga – Santillana del Mar – Santander

Discover one of Spain’s best kept secrets, the stunning Picos de Europa National Park.

By Megs at Packing up the Pieces

Best Spain Road Trips

Highlights

  • Wander through the medieval village of Potes and discover the mountains from the nearby Fuente Dé cablecar.
  • Hike the most popular day hike in the Picos de Europa, the Ruta del Cares.
  • Drink cider from a “sidra” bar in Asturias and explore the lovely Lagos de Covadonga.

Distance

400km

Duration

4 days

When to go

May – October

This incredibly diverse National Park spans across the three autonomous communities of Cantabria, Castile and León, and Asturias and makes for a truly intrepid road trip.

Pick up a car from Santander, a busy port town, and drive along the twisting and turning scenic road to the medieval village of Potes. Explore this adorable city and visit the nearby village of Fuente Dé. Hop on the cable car to appreciate those jagged peaked mountain views at 1,823 meters.

Leave early in the morning towards the small hamlet of Caín de Valdeón. If you have time, stop at the two popular passes of San Glorio and Mirador del Oso. The real highlight of the day is to hike the 12 km path that connects the two mountain villages of Caín de Valdeón and Poncebos.

This adventurous hike passes through small caves and boasts steep and incredible views of the Cares River Gorge. The trail is an out and back path, so sleep in the tiny village Caín de Valdeón.

In the morning, head towards Cangas de Onís and explore the lovely Lagos de Covadonga. The two turquoise lakes have a small restaurant on-site and connect to worthwhile hiking trails and viewpoints. Don’t miss the Buferrera Mines and the Chapel of the Good Shepherd. At night, sleep in Cangas de Onís, where it’s possible to relax in a cider bar.

Take a morning stroll over the Old Roman Bridge, and sadly leave the Picos de Europa National Park. Don’t fret, there’s still one more stop at one of Spain’s most beautiful villages, Santillana del Mar. Wander the charming cobblestone streets and appreciate the picturesque town. Finally, head back to Santander, where it’s fun to explore the local tapas scene.

Where to stay

Ultimate Andalucia Road Trip

Seville – Cadiz – Pueblos Blancos (Arcos de la Frontera, Setenil de la Sierra, Ronda) – Granada – Ubeda – Cordoba

A 10-day road trip around Andalucia, covering the highlights of this beautiful region.

By Chrysoula Manika at Travel Passionate

Best Spain Road Trips

Highlights

  • Royal Alcázar of Seville
  • Seville Cathedral
  • Caves at Setenil de las Bodega
  • Views of the Puente Nueve in Ronda
  • Alhambra in Granada
  • Mezquita of Cordoba

Distance

740km

Duration

10 days

When to go

Spring/Autumn

Your trip starts in Seville where you will need two days to see the Alcazar, the Cathedral and the other sites the city has to offer.

Next spend one day and night exploring the city of Cadiz before driving through the Pueblos Blancos making a few stops along the way. Spend the night in the village of Ronda.

The next day after some exploration head to Granada for another two days. Highlights of the city include the Alhambra and the Albaicin Neighbourhood. See this article for the best times of year to visit Granada. A particularly good time is the festive season as Spain has lots of Christmas celebrations.

Your next stop is the city of Ubeda, famous for its renaissance architecture. After exploring the city, drive to the last stop of your road trip, Cordoba, with the Mezquita, one of Spain’s most famous landmarks. Spend two days in this beautiful Andalucian city, following this Cordoba itinerary, before heading back home.

Where to stay

Green Spain – The North

San Sebastian – Gatzelugatxe – Bilbao – Santander – Santillana del Mar – Oviedo – As Catedrais Beach – Santiago de Compostela

Travel the northern coast from San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela, visiting some of the best places in Northern Spain.

By Claudia Tavani at My Adventures Across The World

Best Spain Road Trips

Highlights

  • Gatzelugatxe Hermitage, a Game of Thrones filming location
  • The coastal villages of Asturias
  • The gorgeous beaches of Galicia
  • Santiago de Compostela.

Distance

796km

Duration

10-14 days

When to go

End of June

Start the road trip with a bang in San Sebastian, Spain’s gourmet capital where you can spend the evening hopping from one bar to the other in search of the best pintxos – the local version of tapas. San Sebastian is also one of the best surfing destinations in Europe, thanks to the great waves.

If the day is nice, Playa de la Concha will be crowded with locals enjoying the cool water. The Hermitage of Gatzelugatxe, in the Bay of Biscay, is known to many as a GoT filming location, and a perfect spot to stop for half a day on the way to Bilbao, which on the other hand is packed with city charm. Make sure to visit the Guggenheim Museum, where the collection is as interesting as the architecture of the building.

Santander, the capital of Cantabria, is another lovely coastal town. Lesser known to mass tourism, it’s a pleasant place to walk around and explore. Use it as a base to visit the quaint Santillana del Mar, known as the city of the three lies: it’s not saint – santa; it’s not on a plain – llana; and it’s not close to the sea – del mar. Home to a lovely monastery, it’s close to the Altamira Cave Museum , a great reproduction of the Altamira Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Oviedo, capital of Asturias, is a nice city with a local feel and a gorgeous cathedral, and packed with pubs serving the most delicious apple cider – not even remotely similar to what you may have tasted until now.

A drive along the coast will take you through lovely villages such as Cudillero and Luarca, all the way to As Catedrais Beach, one of the most beautiful in Europe and famous for the unique rock formations. Plan to be there early in the morning, before the tide rises, so that you can enjoy a walk on the beach.

Your last stop will be Santiago de Compostela, the final point of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. The most impressive sight in town is the Cathedral, facing the massive Obradoiro square. The atmosphere in town is always festive thanks to the presence of many pilgrims on the final days of their walk.

Where to stay

Highlights of the Pyrenees

Bilbao – Tudela – Sierra y Canones National Park/ Huesca – Pamplona – San Sebastian – Bilbao

Take in some of the most dramatic views and history in northern Spain in this whistle stop road trip.

By Kathryn Bird at Wandering Bird

Best Spain Road Trips

Highlights

  • Marvel at the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao
  • Don’t miss Tudela- one of the locations for Game of Thrones in season six.
  • Be sure to take time to head into the badlands of the Parque Naturale Bardenas Reale – one of Europe’s largest deserts and full of incredible rock formations.
  • Go canyoneering in Sierra y Canones National Park
  • Explore the citadel of Pamplona
  • Enjoy an ice cream on the beach in San Sebastian

Distance

700km

Duration

1-2 weeks

When to go

Summer


Starting in Bilbao, be sure to make time to explore the city properly before leaving for Tudela, a beautiful, historic town famous for its role in Game of Thrones (season six)

Once you’ve seen the sights, head into the badlands of the Parque Naturale Bardenas Reale – one of Europe’s largest deserts and full of incredible rock formations.

From here, head up to Sierra y Canones National Park and the nearby town of Huesca. There are some incredible castles and history to explore, so spend as long as you can.

Sierra y Canones is famous for its canyons, gorges and rivers and there are plenty of tours offering canyoneering and waterfall walks. If you are exploring Spain in a motorhome, you can stay in one of the many beautiful campsites.

Next up is Pamplona, full of Roman history with its imposing Cathedral, Citadel and massive square.

Finally, relax in San Sebastian. This vibrant town has a lot to offer, but you can be forgiven for just sitting and enjoying the beautiful beach. If you are returning a vehicle, Bilbao is just a short drive away. The Basque Country is one of Spain’s best wine regions, so be sure to have a glass or two.

Where to stay

The White Villages of Andalucía

Seville – Arcos de la Frontera – Grazalema – Zahara de la Sierra – Ronda – Júzcar – Málaga

Explore five of the best white villages of Andalucía, plus the beautiful city of Seville, finishing up in the beachside hub of Málaga.

By Paul Healy at Anywhere We Roam

Best Spain Road Trips

Highlights

  • Take in the views from the top of Seville Cathedral
  • Climb the winding lanes to the cliff top of Arcos de la Frontera
  • Try the tapas underneath the Moorish castle at Zahara de la Sierra
  • Climb down the 100m to the bottom of the Puente Nuevo bridge
  • Visit the blue smurf-inspired village of Júzcar
  • Enjoy the rejuvenated foreshore at Málaga

Distance

327km

Duration

5 days

When to go

March to May

Start in Seville, where the intoxicating blend of Christian wealth and Islamic design has created a vibrant colourful culture.

Enjoy the many wonderful things to do in Seville before heading out to Arcos de la Frontera, the jewel of the Andalusian white villages.

Spend a night in Grazalema to soak up the magnificent mountain-set village and enjoy the surrounding parkland before moving on to Zahara de la Sierra.

Here, stroll the maze of winding lanes that trickle down the hilltop town before finding a spot for tapas under the 13th Century Moorish castle.

Next, head on to Ronda to explore the dramatically set village, carved in two by the 100-metre deep gorge of the El Tajo River. Enjoy a late evening stroll around the vibrant old town before spending the night.

The following day, drive to Júzcar, the historically white village, which is now blue, following a promotion for the Smurf movie (which the residents loved, so decided to keep!).

Finish up in the buzzing, rejuvenated seaside hub of Málaga. While there, consider doing the spic Caminito del Rey hike.

Where to stay

Barcelona to Madrid

Valls – Lleida – Zaragoza – Alhama de Aragón – Acolea del Pinar

Take in two of Europe’s most beautiful cities on this road trip across the country.

By Dymphe at Dymabroad

Best Spain Road Trips

Highlights

  • See Gaudí’s buildings in Barcelona
  • Visit the Prado Museum
  • Relax at the Balneario Termas Pallarés

Distance

975km

Duration

3 days

When to go

All year round

Start in Barcelona, one of Spain’s most interesting cities. There are interesting sights, beautiful buildings by the likes of Gaudí, and amazing beaches (see our guide to the best of what to do in Barcelona and things to do with kids in Barcelona).

The next stop of the trip is Lleida,one of the oldest places in Catalonia where you can learn a lot about the region’s history. I recommend staying in this city for the first night.

The second day starts with a visit to Zaragoza. Zaragoza is known for its architecture that combines Gothic and Islamic styles, and you find here the famous Nuestra Señora del Pilar basilica.

After that, it’s time to go to Alhama de Aragón. This is a town with a great spa that is worth visiting. I recommend staying the second night here.

On the final day, visit Acolea del Pinar, another lovely Spanish town. At the end of the day it is time to explore Madrid. Spend at least 2 days in Madrid, exploring the wonderful sights, such as the Prado Museum, beautiful parks, and the Royal Palace.

Where to stay

Galicia: Northern Spain’s Rugged Coast

La Coruña – Viveiro – Praia das Catedrais – Ribadeo – La Coruña

Drive northern Spain’s salty Galician coastline for a sense of wild adventure, craggy cliffs, cracking seafood and the longest serving lighthouse in the world.

By Abigail King at Inside the Travel Lab

Best Spain Road Trips

Highlights

  • UNESCO World Heritage lighthouses
  • The San Andrés de Teixido Retreat
  • Cathedral Beach
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Distance

400km

Duration

5 days

When to go

May – September

Start in La Coruña, home to the Tower of Hercules, a lighthouse built by the Romans that still functions today. A climb around the spiral stairs of this UNESCO World Heritage Site sets the tone for this road trip through Galicia: ancient, imposing and ruled by the sea.

The Torre will be the first of many lighthouses you’ll pass on rocky outcrops, the wind in your hair, salty tears in your eyes. But you’ll find moments of peace as well.

Like the golden sands of the Praia das Catedrais, where the rocks form cathedral like shapes of stone. Or the quiet, candlelit silence of the sanctuary at San Andrés de Teixido, where pilgrims leave wax body parts to wish for better times ahead.

Between quiet fishing villages like Redes and Porto do Barqueiro, you’ll also find the side of Spain that most tourists never get to see. And by chomping on the dinosaur claw-like local barnacles, you’ll find a flavour most never get to taste as well.

Where to stay

Road Tripping in Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria Airport – Maspalomas – Puerto Rico – Puerto de Mogan – Roque Nublo – Tejeda – Gran Canaria Airport

Explore the sunshine island on this seven day adventure.

By Anuradha at County Hopping Couple

Best Spain Road Trips

Highlights

  • Explore the Maspalomas Sand Dunes, one of the Nature Reserves in Gran Canaria
  • Hike the famous volcanic rock – Roque Nublo
  • Stay in an authentic cave house dwelling, the history of which dates back to 2500 years ago.

Distance

167 km

Duration

7 days

When to go

Spring – Autumn

Gran Canaria is small island off the African Coast, rich in diversity and stunning landscapes that it is rightly called a miniature continent. Receiving nearly 320 days of sunshine, weather is one of the top reasons to visit Gran Canaria.

Begin your road trip from Gran Canaria Airport to Maspalomas. Spreading over 1000 acres of wind sculpted sand dunes, Maspalomas is a protected natural reserve. It is also a popular coastal resort in Gran Canaria.

With plethora of things to do, you can either spend a day or two in Maspalomas. Enjoy the Sand dunes walking trail that begins from Playa des Inglis and end it in Faro Maspalomas, a 19th century lighthouse.

Drive to the coastal towns of Puerto Rico and Puerto de Mogan. Enjoy the beach time, or indulge in water sports. Alternatively, get lost in the charming white washed lanes of Puerto de Mogan.

Drive to Roque Nublo, a volcanic rock and an iconic landmark of Gran Canaria. Roque Nublo is moderate and is a 3km linear hike, offering an other-worldly landscape of the surrounding ravines.

Explore the surrounding villages of Tejeda before heading back to Gran Canaria Airport.

Another great place to visit in the Canary Islands is Lanzarote, which is particularly good for families. See this guide on how to choose between the two most popular regions of Playa del Carmen or Playa Blanca (although with a road trip you could do both!).

Where to stay

Aragon: Town and Country

Zaragoza – Huesca – Loarre – Teruel – Zaragoza

This road trip in Aragon province takes you to a family-friendly region of Spain catering for both adventure lovers and history lovers.

By Shobha George at Just Go Places

Best Spain Road Trips

Highlights

  • Cathedral of the Saviour of Zaragoza
  • The Castle of Loarre
  • Murillo de Gallegos
  • Teruel Cathedral

Distance

525km

Duration

7 days

When to go

Spring/Summer

Start in Zaragoza, a large city with a beautiful historic center, also has an international airport perfect for Northeast Spain travel.

From Zaragoza, travelling north to the charming town of Huesca, you will find more historic buildings, great tapas and a fabulous planetarium. Nearby, the Castle of Loarre occupies a prominent position and is a UNESCO listed heritage site.

Huesca is in the foothills of Los Mallos de Riglos, sandstone formations loved by rock climbers. A mere half hour away from the city of Huesca in the province of Huesca, there is plenty of hiking and cycling opportunities.

There are also water based activities like white water rafting in the rivers that flow down from the Pyrenees and collecting in the valleys of Huesca.

Once you’ve had your share of adventure, head a couple of hours south and visit Teruel.

Like Zaragoza, Teruel is noted for its Mudejar architecture which is UNESCO world heritage site listed. Mudejar architecture is unique to Spain in that it combines Moorish and Christian influences together.

Teruel has a charming town square where locals hang out and drink into the night as children play in the town fountain. You will feel like you are in an authentic part of Spain far from the tourist crowds.

Where to stay

Mediterranean East Coast Adventure

Barcelona – Girona – Tarrangona – Valencia – Alicante – Catagena – Almeria or Cabo de Gata-Níjar Nature Reserve

A sunshine, beach-filled trip with fabulous city stops along the way.

By Victoria at Bridges and Balloons

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Highlights

  • Nights in Barcelona, enjoying tapas in one of the many squares
  • Enjoying paella in Valencia
  • Partying in Sitges
  • Exploring the nature of Delta de l’Ebre Natural Park
  • Colourful Villajoyosa

Distance

895km

Duration

14 days

When to go

Spring/Autumn

You can start this trip in Girona or Barcelona, depending which you can fly to easiest.

Barcelona, one of my favourite cities in the world, is a wonderland of beauty – from its architecture to the coast to the winding streets, it’s filled with interesting cafes, restaurants and shops. See our guide to the best things to do in Barcelona.

Base yourself in Girona to explore some of the Costa Brava, including the main Dali sights, such as Cadaqués (for the Dali museum), Figueres (for Dali’s house), and Púbol (for the Dali Castle Museum).

You could also visit the bigger seaside resorts such as Lloret de Mar, or head inland to explore some more of Catalonia, such as the Garrotxa region.

Regardless of whether Barcelona or Girona was your first stop, next head down the coast to the Costa Daurada.

The lively beach village of Sitges is a good stop along the way, and can be reached via the thrilling C-31, a road of hairpin turns and gorgeous coastal views. Also consider a stop at Monserrat.

Spend the night at the beach town of Tarragona (for the Tarraco Roman archaeological site); Salou (popular beach resort) or the Delta de l’Ebre Natural Park (wetlands with plenty of birdlife), depending on what vibe you’re looking for.

Next up is Valencia, a vibrant city famous for its paella, medieval quarter and lively cultural scene. Spend at least a day exploring all it has to offer. On the way there from the Costa Daurada, choose a village or two to stop at along the way, such as Alcossebre, Benicàssim or Castellón de la Plana.

After Valencia, head to the pretty Costa Blanca and its largest city of Alicante. Either stay in Alicante or one of the smaller villages. The colourful Villajoyosa is a good otpion.

The next costa is Costa Calida in Murcia, a family friendly destination with gorgeous nature, including the Calblanque Regional Park. Base yourself in Cartagena where you can visit the roman theatre.

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Your final stop is Almería and Cabo de Gata where you explore beautiful coves and the otherworldly landscape of the Tabernas Desert. On the drive from Cartagena to Almería, stop at Mojácar, a gorgeous white village.

Where to stay

Mallorca Road Trip

Palma – Es Trenc – Cala Figuera – Cala d’Or – Cala Pi – Palma; Palma – Valldemossa – Deià – Sóller – Port de Sóller – Palma; Palma – Port de Pollença – Mirador es Colomer – Platja de Formentor – Cap de Formentor – Palma

Starting from Palma de Mallorca, this four day Mallorca road trip itinerary will take you to all the most beautiful white sandy beaches, charming hilltop towns and scenic viewpoints on the island.

By Krisztina Harsanyi at She Wanders Abroad

Highlights

  • Explore Palma de Mallorca, the capital city of the island
  • Swim at the most beautiful beaches in Mallorca such es Es Trenc, Cala d’Or or Platja de Formentor
  • Discover the hilltop villages of Valldemossa, Deià and Sóller
  • Take in the scenic views at Mirador es Colomer
  • Explore the pretty seaside town of Puerto Pollensa.

Distance

430km

Duration

4 days

When to go

Late Spring

Although Mallorca offers countless amazing things to do, spending four days in Mallorca is the perfect amount of time to discover the best sights and enjoy the most beautiful beaches on the island.

You can do a round trip around the island and stay at a different location each night. However, since the island is not so big, you can also use Palma de Mallorca as a base and go on day trips to different parts of the island from here.

Start your first day by discovering the capital city, Palma de Mallorca. When in Palma, you can’t miss the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, the Royal Palace of La Almudaina and Castell de Belver.

On the second day, it’s time to spend some time on the beach. Head over to the southeast part of the island where you can enjoy the view of the rugged coastline at Far de Cap Blanc, swim at Es Trenc Beach, visit the iconic archway at Mirador es Pontás and explore some of the best calas on the island – Cala Santanyí, Cala Figuera, Cala d’Or and Cala Pi.

The third and fourth day will be spent discovering the northern part of the island. Mallorca is home to many charming villages located in the Tramuntana mountain such as Valldemossa, Deiá and Sóller. Spend some time wandering around the narrow cobbled alleys and soak in the typical Spanish lifestyle.

Make sure to also take the time to visit Cap de Formentor on the northern most point of the island where you can get a scenic view over the coastline. You could base yourself in Port de Pollenca for your final night.

Where to stay

Malaga to Motril

Nerja – Frigiliana – Cerro Gordo National Park – La Herradura – Almunecar – Salobrena

Spain’s Costa Tropical makes a fantastic destination for a slow-paced road trip in Spain.

By Joanna at Andalucia in My Pocket

Highlights

  • White villages
  • Stunning views along the route
  • An ancient cave
  • Moorish castles

Distance

100km

Duration

3 days

When to go

Spring/Autumn

The road trip starts in Malaga and follows the A7 highway to Motril, stopping allow the way in the beautiful seaside towns and white villages up the mountain. You can take as much time as you want to do this road trip. Malaga is roughly 100 kilometres away from Motril so, to stop in as many towns as possible, it is recommended to allocate around three days to the road trip. I’d recommend doing the following.

On the first day, stop at Nerja and visit the famous caves. Don’t forget to stop and admire the old aqueduct on the way. Explore the town and enjoy the sandy beaches.

In the afternoon, head over to Frigilliana, a beautiful white village up the mountain, only a few kilometres away from Nerja.

On the second day, explore Cerro Gordo National Park by foot, and rent a kayak from La Herradura to discover the coastal caves accessible only by paddling.

And on the third day, enjoy the history of Salobrena and Almunecar, two gorgeous historical towns on Costa Tropical. There are so many things to do in Salobrena and in Almunecar, both having castles on top of the rocks, which can be explored for a very small fee.

Don’t forget to enjoy the delicious cuisine of the area, especially fish dishes and salads. Yes, salads! Costa Tropical produces some of the most delicious fruits and vegetables in Spain, and the salads here are pretty epic.

Where to stay

Murcia to Almeria

Murcia – Lorca – Cabo de Gata – Almeria

The road trip from Murcia to Almeria takes about two hours and is a picturesque route taking in historic sites.

By Paulina at Paulina on the Road

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Highlights

  • Murcia Cathedral
  • Lorca Castle
  • The beaches of Cabo de Gata
  • Almeria Alcazaba

Distance

217km

Duration

1 days

When to go

Spring

Start in Murcia where you can enjoy the cathedral and the historic city center. The cathedral is one of the prettiest in south east Spain.

Then head to Lorca where you can marvel at the medieval fortress. The town has a charming historic center. After an earthquake a few years ago, much of it was destroyed. However now you can enjoy the Spanish daily grind here in all its vibrancy.

Next up is Cabo de Gata which is famous for some of the most pristine beaches in Spain. Some of the best beaches you must visit it Playa Genoveses which was the setting for several movies.

And finally finish at Almeria where you can visit the Alcazaba, an old Moorish fortress which was the setting for Game of Thrones. And enjoy a meal to end the day – perhaps some Spanish Oxtail soup.

Where to stay

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