10 epic Spain road trips to do on your own (2024)

spain road trips

After years on the road exploring my own country, I bring you the best Spain road trips.

If walking is one of the best ways to see a city, then driving is one of the best ways to see a country. Driving in Spain will bring you me deep, deep joy, rising through the red dust of Andalucía and plunging through the deep green of Galicia.

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Warning!

Historical city centers in Spain were designed for pedestrians and, at a stretch, horses. They were not designed for cars! Be careful when following Google Maps, Apple Maps or Waze instructions into steep, old towns. You can find yourself unable to make some tight turns and then somehow need to reverse backwards down a narrow road. Stick to the main roads in town!

Do you want to experience an amazing Spain road trip but you’re not sure where to go?

Choose from these 10 stunning routes for your road trip in Spain all with a detailed itinerary.

The ultimate Spain road trip

If all you have is two weeks, then this is the best Spain road trip itinerary for you. This two week self-drive Spain itinerary brings you the highlights of the country at a reasonable, but not relaxed, pace.

However, I’d always advise that you take is slow if you can. It’s far more enjoyable to spend more time out of the car than in. With that in mind, check out some of the other regional road trip ideas below.

Of all the places in the world, Spain is disinclined to rush. People here like to take their time and savor the joys of everyday life. Racing to fit your busy schedule does not usually rank highly in that regard.

The ultimate Spain road trip itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive Barcelona
  • Day 2: Barcelona
  • Day 3: Barcelona
  • Day 4: Girona
  • Day 5: Valencia
  • Day 6: Valencia to Madrid
  • Day 7: Madrid
  • Day 8: Madrid to Toledo
  • Day 9: Toledo to Granada
  • Day 10: Granada
  • Day 11: Seville via Córdoba
  • Day 12: Seville
  • Day 13: Cádiz
  • Day 14: Málaga to fly home

Road trip through Andalucía

A road trip through Andalusia, Spain’s biggest region, unsurprisingly covers a lot of ground. This passionate place is the home of flamenco, jamón and bullfighting, as well as staggering, world-renowned monuments.

You can easily fill 2 weeks with UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Alhambra in Granada, the Real Alcázar in Seville and the unbeatable mosque turned cathedral in Córdoba.

But a self-drive road trip through Spain allows you to visit off the radar places and explore local traditions like admiring the astonishing Semana Santa processions. From the beaches to the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada, driving through Andalucía really is one of the best road trips in Spain.

Andalucía car journey itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive in Málaga
  • Day 2: Drive to Cadiz via Mijas and Vejer de la Frontera
  • Day 3: Cadiz
  • Day 4: Cadiz to Seville via Doñana National Park
  • Day 5: Seville
  • Day 6: Seville
  • Day 7: Seville to Granada via Córdoba
  • Day 6: Granada
  • Day 7: Back to Málaga to fly home

Road trip through Catalunya

Barcelona is the most famous part of Catalunya but to see more of the Catalan character, get behind the wheel and enjoy one of the best road trips in Spain.

Travel by car in Spain to discover the sandy coast of Costa Brava. This beautiful region offers an amazing scenery, sleepy coves and some of the best restaurants in the world. I’m not joking. That’s actually a validated claim.

Apart from the medieval city of Girona, you’ll also find flamboyant artwork from local household name Salvador Dalí.

Catalunya car journey itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive Barcelona
  • Day 2: Barcelona
  • Day 3: Barcelona
  • Day 4: Barcelona to Begur via Calella de Palafrugell
  • Day 5: Begur to Figueres via Cadaqués
  • Day 6: Figueres to Girona
  • Day 7: Back to Barcelona to fly home

Road Trip along Spain’s Mediterranean Coast

Start your road trip with a mini-break in Barcelona where you can visit sights such as Sagrada Familia, Park Güell and unique buildings designed by Gaudí.

Next leg takes you south to Valencia – a seriously underrated Spanish city that offers culture, food and sunshine aplenty with an amazing historical center.

Alicante is the gateway to many of the mainstream Spanish beach resorts on the Costa Blanca. But this sunny city is also a popular holiday destination itself with its trademark alleys, palm trees and historic harbor.

End your trip visiting Cabo de Gata – a National Park not only about beaches and nature, but there are also many forts, ancient ruins and tiny villages.

Mediterranean Coast car journey itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive Barcelona
  • Day 2: Barcelona
  • Day 3: Valencia via Tarragona
  • Day 4: Valencia
  • Day 5: Alicante and the Costa Blanca
  • Day 6: Alicante to Cabo de Gata
  • Day 7: Cabo de Gata
  • Day 8: Back to Alicante to fly home

Road trip through Central Spain

Treat yourself to a literary, gastronomic and thoroughly authentic journey through this central part of Spain, the region of Castilla y León. It’s one of the best road trips in Spain for hidden gems and a sense of exploration.

Although in a short route it’s impossible to know all the historical heritage of Castilla y León, this itinerary starts in Segovia so you can visit the aqueduct and the Granja de San Ildefonso, discover Valladolid, visit the cathedral of Burgos, admire the city of León and the cozy Zamora, to end up in the university city of Salamanca.

Castilla y León car journey itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive in Madrid
  • Day 2: Madrid
  • Day 3: Madrid to Segovia via La Granja de San Ildefonso
  • Day 4: Segovia to Valladolid
  • Day 5: Valladolid to Burgos via Palencia
  • Day 6: Burgos
  • Day 7: Burgos to León
  • Day 8: León to Zamora
  • Day 9: Zamora to Salamanca
  • Day 10: Return Madrid to fly home

Northern Spain road trip

Prepare to be surprised when you find out what makes this one of the best road trips in Spain.

The northern area of Spain swaps dry plains for rocky coves, and bull rings for lighthouses and salt marshes amid the green. Famed for its seafood and as the finishing point for the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route, this road trip adventure will show you a different side of the country.

Northern Spain car journey itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive in San Sebastián
  • Day 2: San Sebastián to Bilbao
  • Day 3: Bilbao to Gijón via Santillana del Mar
  • Day 4: Gijón to A Coruña via Cudillero
  • Day 5: A Coruña to Santiago de Compostela
  • Day 6: Santiago de Compostela
  • Day 7: Santiago de Compostela to fly home

Road trip around Galicia

Decked out in deep green hues and bursting with salty seafood, a road trip through Galicia provides a completely different experience of Spain.

With a coastline more reminiscent of the rugged, craggy inlets of Scotland than the white sand of the south, it’s no surprise that Galicia offers seafood to make even the uncertain smile. Expect lighthouses, green fields, great walking routes and great food.

Galicia car journey itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive in Santiago de Compostela
  • Day 2: Vigo via Pontevedradeume and Redes
  • Day 3: Orense via Bayona and La Guardia
  • Day 4: Lugo via Monforte de Lemos
  • Day 5: Ferrol via Playa de las Catedrales
  • Day 6: A Coruña via Pontedeume
  • Day 5: Back to Santiago de Compostela to fly home

Road trip across the Basque Country

Link up San Sebastián, Bilbao and Vitoria for an epic road trip through Spain’s Basque country. Taste arguably the best food in the country in the pintxos bars in San Sebastián and take in the curls and swirls of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

From its own modern art museum to its magnificent cathedral, add in the magic of Vitoria, and you’ll find yourself with an unforgettable Spanish road trip.

Basque Country car journey itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive in Bilbao
  • Day 2: Bilbao
  • Day 3: Bilbao to Vitoria via Parque Natural de Gorbeia
  • Day 4: Vitoria
  • Day 5: Vitoria to San Sebastián via Tolosa
  • Day 6: San Sebastián
  • Day 7: Back to Bilbao via Zarautz to fly home

Driving the Balearic Islands

One of the best road trips in Spain involves flying to one of this small islands and taking a laid back approach to plans and itineraries all together.

Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza are the 3 main Balearic Islands and each has a distinctive character:

  • Mallorca is full of beautiful towns, UNESCO World Heritage and wild hiking routes.
  • Menorca specializes more in secluded coves, snorkeling sites, towering cliffs, and verdant hills.
  • Ibiza has party spots, stunning beaches coves and an incredible music scene.

Set yourself up with one home base for a week and take a series of day trips to explore either island.

Road trip through Tenerife (Canary Islands)

As the largest Canary Island off the northwest coast of Africa, Tenerife is famous for its fly and flop beach holidays. But there are so many unusual things to do in this beautiful island, from UNESCO World Heritage cities like Laguna to primitive biosphere reserves in Anaga Natural Park. It’s a hiking paradise and if tight turns and steep roads aren’t your thing, a great wild landscape awaits.

Driving through Spain takes on new and heady heights when you’re bounding over black volcanic landscapes. This is one of the best road trips in Spain as it’s also one of the most beautiful.

It’s also easy to combine with staying in one place and organizing a series of day trips around the island. So if packing and unpacking on a road trip deters you, try this instead.

Tenerife car journey itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive and stay in UNESCO World Heritage La Laguna
  • Day 2: Drive El Teide Volcano
  • Day 3: Los Gigantes for a whale watching excursion
  • Day 4: Hiking in Anaga National Park
  • Day 5: Orotava, Icod de los Vinos and Garachico
  • Day 6: Pyramids of Guimar
  • Day 7: Explore La Laguna and fly home

This article is part of a complete tutorial about car rental in Spain where you can read all the information you need to organize your road trip around the country.

Here is a complete summary of all the guide:

1. Best way to travel across Spain: road trip or train?
2. Full guide on traveling to Spain by car
3. 10 epic Spain road trips to do on your own
4. How to book your rental car online
5. How to find cheap car rental rates?
6. 8 essential rental car tips to get the best deal
7. Drive in Spain with an international driver’s licence
8. Guide for getting around Spain: rental car
9. 6 essential tips for driving in Spain
10. Guide to car parking in Spain: tips, costs, and regulations

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