Spain is one of the most popular destinations for package holidays and resorts in Europe, but for similar reasons, it is also an increasingly exciting choice for a road trip. Featuring crystal blue waters, scenic drives, quality accommodation, sublime food and fine weather; these reasons cover most bases for intrepid adventurers when it comes to taking a road trip, but even the smaller details in Spain are enough to keep tourists coming back again and again.
Where to go on a road trip in Spain
Much of tourism in Spain and indeed the Mediterranean is focused around the coastline for obvious reasons. In fact, there is more than one thousand miles of coastline to explore which features many scenic roads and beautiful coastal towns such as San Sebastian, Malaga, and Marbella. Travelling from north to south or vice versa, you can also find variety in the larger cities of Barcelona or Alicante, while the more isolated sections in between provide a great opportunity to escape and unwind.
At the same time, the mainland is immense, and the interior of Spain offers a lot more than most visitors realize before their visit. Inland from some of the port towns above you can find some unique experiences, whether you do this by sampling Basque culture in Tolosa or exploring the walled city of Ávila near Madrid. Travelling further into Galicia the Cañón de Río Sil is an imposing sight from behind the wheel while the Roman ruins on the northern coastline in Costa Brava are as impressive as any in Europe.
Simply put, there is so much to see in Spain, and the excellent roads make it a pleasure to journey from one spectacular destination to the next.
Here are just a few of the more popular driving routes in Spain:
Popular driving routes in Spain
Cinco Villas – From the largely unassuming town of Aragon, you will find five famous towns between Sol del Rey Catolico and Tauste which is also home to very spectacular and scenic 100km drive.
Sierra de la Demanda – Awe inspiring mountain scenery, ancient monasteries, and luscious valleys stretch as far as the eye can see between Castilla y Leon and La Rioja.
Valle de Jerte – From Rio Jerte to Barco de Avila, this is one of the most spectacular scenic drives in Spain, especially during the Spring when flowers are in full bloom.
Alt Emporda – As mentioned above, the Roman ruins in northern Costa Brava are mesmerizing, and with tiny, charming villages along the way, this coastal drive is more than worth the effort.
Andalucia – Visit cities like Malaga, Granada, Gibraltar, and Competa in this part of Spain where you still can see signs of it’s moorish past.
Rules and advice for driving safely in Spain
An international driving permit is required to drive in Spain unless of course, you are a citizen of the European Union. As with many other European countries, the use of a mobile device is strictly prohibited while driving and it is strongly advised to keep your lights on during the day to improve visibility. A car insurance is also mandatory. You can find more about it on sites like GDV.de, Bilforsikring, DMV.org and justlanded.com. That being said, most of the regulations are standard and straightforward while the majority of roads are free to use except motorways which sometimes carry a toll.
When it comes to taking a road trip in Europe, there are many options to choose from but with so many attractions, scenery, and infrastructure for tourism, this Mediterranean hotspot is usually a safe choice. Spain is also a rather cheap and comfortable country to travel by car, from fuel prices and affordable restaurants to smooth roads and ample lodging. You can stick to the coastline and venture into the interior on occasion or just get lost in the mountains before checking into the big cities for some modern entertainment. Either way, with a flexible itinerary and an open road, this is one of the most enjoyable destinations in Europe to take a road trip.