The Five Best Road Trips in Spain

The Five Best Road Trips in Spain

There’s something truly captivating about driving on the open road. The wind whipping your face (if you’re fortunate enough to be in an open top car), the ultimate road trip playlist blasting from the speakers (likely a Bruce Springsteen number) and nothing but the distance ahead and the promise of adventure. Road trips are about the journey as much as the destination, as you weave along scenic roads and soak up magnificent views. Somewhere that has both in spades is Spain. The culturally rich siesta- and fiesta-loving nation has snow-capped mountains, more monuments than you can count and sophisticated cities that are perfect for cruising through. So, if you’ve got wheels – be it car, camper or even motorbike – we have the five best road trips in Spain that you need to experience.


  1. A Journey Across Northern Spain
  2. Central Spain: Castille to León
  3. Experience Spain’s Mediterranean Coastline
  4. Costa Brava: An Art Lovers Paradise
  5. The Big One: All around Spain


A Journey Across Northern Spain

Easing us into first gear and kickstarting our roundup of the best road trips in Spain is the often overlooked northern coastline. This stretch of the country makes for an incredible ten-day journey spent driving along the rocky shore-lined coasts, with mouth-watering meals in Michelin-starred restaurants, refreshing evening aperitivos and a distinct culture - it’s easy to see why so many fall in love with this northern region. Beginning your trip in the capital of Spain’s Basque country, Bilbao provides you with historic architecture, the iconic Guggenheim Museum and a craggy mountainous landscape that provides an epic backdrop. From here, travel along the west coast to Santander. Not to be confused with the bank, this Spanish destination has bountiful beaches that are perfect for a pitstop. Continue your road trip with stops at Santillana del Mar, the Picos de Europa National Park, Gijon and Oviedo - all of which offer a veritable feast of history, tapas and exquisite natural wonders - before heading inland to Santiago de Compostela (a pretty hilltop town on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route) where seafood, daring contemporary art and more awaits.

spainish national park


Central Spain Castille to León

For those wanting a shorter road trip, this week-long adventure through central Spain could be just the ticket. You’ll be met with high plateaus and rocky mountains on what is easily one of the best road trips in Spain. The roads here ribbon their way through the ever-changing landscape, and are particularly beautiful during the spring and autumn months, with the promise of freshly bloomed wildflowers and crisp fallen leaves that crunch under tire. Starting in the country’s capital, Madrid, you can enjoy the quintessentially Spanish sights before heading to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Segovia, a regal walled city. The classical architecture continues in the next spot on the tour; Salamanca. Nicknamed the ‘Golden City’, it is awash with honey-coloured sandstone buildings, and it pairs perfectly with the city of Zamora, known for its Romanesque churches and cobbled streets that pave the way to a perfect overnight stay. From here, journey to León where you’ll find breath-taking Gothic architecture and delicious traditional Leonese cuisine. With tummies sufficiently full, it’s then time to head east for something to wet the whistle in Peñaranda del Duero. The lush vegetation and rolling vineyards provide travellers with some of the best wines in Spain, making this the perfect place to toast to a road trip well done.

leon in spain


Experience Spain’s Mediterranean Coastline

This epic coastal road trip offers some serious jewels along the country’s edge, confirming it as one of the best road trips in Spain. You’ll journey all the way to Cordoba on this two-week holiday, with many opting to begin their road trip with a mini break in Spain's trendiest city, Barcelona, where you’ll find uber-cool bars, avant-garde vibes and urban charm along every narrow winding street. It’s the perfect place to discover Art Nouveau architecture and famous Gaudí sites before your next stop in Valencia. Here, sunshine, paella and more awaits in this often-overlooked Spanish city. From here, cross the Sierra Nevada mountains, and wind your way back down to sea level where beach seekers will find themselves spoilt for choice, with countless strips of sand hugging the coastline. Next, ease your way through Granada, Costa del Sol and Seville before finishing in Córdoba, where you can enjoy the authentic slower pace of Spanish life and appreciate the smaller details of this carefree and sun-seeking road trip.

seville spain


Costa Brava: An Art Lover’s Paradise

Up next in our roundup of the best road trips in Spain is the short but sweet journey through one of Spain’s artiest regions, with a four-day trip exploring Costa Brava’s 3,000 miles of coastline. Here, sun washed shores, picture-perfect fishing villages and cities packed with history await keen drivers. Those looking for serenity in the region that inspired the likes of Salvador Dalí should start in Barcelona, where art enthusiast can walk the galleries of the Picasso Museum and the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya or discover the limited exhibitions of local Barcelona artists in the little art galleries that live among the twisting stone paved streets. After Barcelona, continue onwards to the ancient city of Girona. A towering cathedral graces the skyline, with wide Gothic naves lining the roof’s interior and archaeological treasures found underfoot. Then art lovers can unite in the famous ‘Dalinian Triangle’ formed by the municipalities of Figueres, Portlligat and Púbol. Here, you can immerse yourself in the spectacular world of Salvador Dalí as you explore his former residences (now open to the public) before finishing up in the seaside town of Cadaqués on the bay of the Cap de Creus peninsula. A summer home from home for countless big names including Pablo Picasso, Walt Disney, Melina Mecouri and more, it's certainly a spot worth visiting.

costa brava in spain


The Big One: All around Spain

For those with more time on their hands and a love of being behind the wheel, there really is only one road trip to rule them all... the mammoth month-long journey travelling the entirety of Spain. Covering over 2,800 miles, you’ll quite literally see it all, which is why it’s often best to start in Barcelona or Madrid, as both are great hubs to explore before getting stuck in. Then it’s a case of circling through Valencia, Murcia and Gibraltar before heading north to Córdoba and experiencing all that central Spain has to offer. Stops in Toledo offer handsome historic quarters and medieval architecture galore, with countless towns nearby that are perfect for exploring. Continuing the drive into Spain's Douro valley, you’ll find culinary escapades, luxury stays and delicious wine tastings before heading off to Valladolid, Vigo and A Coruna. Big waves and even bigger cliffs jut out of the warm waters below, meaning lots of stop offs to snap those picture-perfect moments. Close the loop by ticking off Bilbao, Zaragoza and Catalonia before heading back and wrapping up what will have been the Spanish trip of a lifetime.

spain overview