Although Spain is known for its fantastic public transport, there’s nothing like exploring this dynamic country with the freedom of having your own wheels. From snaking roads through the breathtaking “Peaks of Europe” to sun-drenched coastal roads that hug the Mediterranean, here are some of Spain’s most scenic road-trip routes.
A Tour of Andalucia’s Olive Groves via Autovía del Olivar
The olive groves located throughout Andalucia are a must-see, and this short drive takes you from Ubeda to Baeza. You’ll discover some of the most stunning landscapes in the country. If you’d like to extend it, you can also head to (or from) Sevilla by way of the Parque Natural Los Alcornocales. Here, you’ll be treated to non-stop green before heading to the coast.
The N-621 from Cantabria to the Picos de Europa
If you love winding roads and snaking close enough to the coast that you can stop for fresh seafood at the halfway point, you’ll adore driving in northern Spain. A favourite among the Spanish Royal Family, the region of Cantabria has a certain regal feel to it, complimented by tumbling countryside and a rugged coastline. Discover gorges and snowy mountains on your way to the dizzying Picos de Europa (Peaks of Europe), located in Spain’s region of Asturias. It’s no surprise that this is one of the best driving destinations in the country.
Madrid to Murcia via the E-901 to 903
There’s a good chance you’ll fly into Madrid, and if that’s the case, the beautiful coastal town of Murcia is less than a four-hour drive away. The landscapes will vary significantly along this route, which includes the remarkable greenery of Quebrada del Toro en route. A hike at the Montesinos caves along the way is a great excuse to pull over and stretch your legs.
The AP-7 from Barcelona to La Jonquera
This small town at the French border is one of the longer trips at over seven hours, but well worth it for the scenery and food. Pull over in the colourful little town of Figueres to explore the Salvador Dali Museum, before exploring the Gulf of Roses and Aiguamolls de l’Emporda for a peek at a nature conservation site (some of the rarest birds in the world live here!).
Valencia to Castellón via the E-15
A brief drive whisks through the orange-blossomed landscapes of Valencia Province to the city of Valencia (the third biggest city in the country – and definitely one of the most beautiful). The route hugs the coast so you’ll have a view of the Mediterranean through most of the journey. Options for stops include Parc Natural de la Serra Calderona or El Poblet, a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Ibiza’s E-20 Route
If Ibiza is your destination, you’ll love the E-20 from the airport to the famous party island. You can also branch out to the any of the PM or PMV routes that will take you into lesser known territory—and some of the most stunning views on the island.
Tip: Also be sure to jump on the ferry and spend a day road-tripping around Ibiza’s paradise sister island of Formentera – doubly fun on a scooter!
The A-92 from Seville to Málaga (and on to Gibraltar)
If you’re in Seville for the history and culture, Málaga is just a short ride away when you have your own wheels. This vibrant coastal town offers unbelievable views, and you can continue onto Gibraltar to enjoy one of the closest routes to the sea in Spain. Simply take the A-7 from the 92 in Málaga, and you’ll be on your way to Spain’s answer to California’s 101.
Tip: If you don’t have much time but still want to explore the areas around Seville, definitely head to the idyllic beach town of Chipiona, just an hour and a half from Seville. More day-trip destinations from Seville here.
Santiago de Compostela to A Coruña
Covering the north-western expanse of Spain, and bordering Portugal, the region of Galicia is perfect for road-tripping explorers. Take the E-1 to the seaside town of A Coruña, where you’ll find an explosion of smaller routes near the sea that let you explore the various inlets and suburban and rural territories. This portal city is known for the Tower of Hercules and Roman Lighthouse, both of which are Spain bucket-list destinations.
Arriondas to Riano via the N-625
If you want to get a look at the Parque Nacional de Los Picos de Europa from the inside, this route takes you through Oseja de Sajambre, one of the few towns actually located within the park. Riaño is tucked along the Esla River and is a charming rural village in the mountains of León.
Take the N-111 from Logroño to Soria
Logroño is the capital city of Spain’s world-famous Rioja wine region – defintiely worth taking a few over-night ptstops around here.The N-111 will take you through the heart of Parque Natural Sierra de Cebollera. Your journey begins at a famous stop on the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route before snaking through the lush greenery of the park.
Make it Happen
Whether exploring culturally-rich cities like Barcelona and Madrid, the mountainous regions of northern Spain or the blissful Balearic Islands, Spain promises spectacular landscapes and rich cultural experiences.
How: If you want to get to all of Spain’s top destinations comfortably and safely, you’ll want a reliable SUV to take you there. It gives you the space you want without compromising on – and a “we can go anywhere and do anything” sense of adventure. Fortunately, SUVs are readily available at rentals throughout Spain, making every scenic road yours to discover.
When: Spain is a year-round travel destination. the southern regions of Andalucia and Valencia are bright and sunny even in the winter, while the northern expanse offer more manageable temperatures during the blistering summer months.
Where to Stay: From rural country hotels and guesthouses to urban retreats and luxury spa hotels, there are countless options to choose from when driving around Spain. Book your accommodation online ahead of time or simply turn up and use an accommodation app to find local deals.
What are your favourite Spanish road-trip routes? Leave a comment below to let us know!