There is something wildly exhilarating about hitting the open road with no set destination in mind. Switching plane travel for the slower pace of driving creates a deeper connection with one’s surroundings and allows you to get under the skin of your destination. Road trips conjure up images of the Pacific Coast Highway, the sunkissed Californian coastline and a tantalizing taste of excitement. However, you don’t have to travel long haul to enjoy the delights of driving on roads less taken. A Spanish roadtrip offers all the cool of California with an extra side helping of ancient culture thrown in for good measure. From the ornate Moorish palaces in the foothills of Granada to the chic, modern cityscapes of Valencia, Spain is a diverse country just waiting to be explored.
Choose your Spanish roadtrip
Whether you are an avid foodie on the hunt for mouthwatering eats or just eager to see the most beautiful Spanish cities, a Spanish road trip offers the perfect way to the Iberian Peninsula. Choose your starting point and take time to plan your route. Will you follow the footsteps of a famous Spanish artist, visit Spain’s top wineries or simply just enjoy the views? Making your Spain road trip itinerary is one of the most important stages of planning the road trip. Since the majority of your time will be spent behind the wheel, make sure that any free time is full of unforgettable experiences. Don’t forget to book any attractions in advance to guarantee entry and avoid the queues.
Driving in Spain 2021
Luckily, driving in Spain after Brexit remains hassle-free. You can still use your UK driving license for your Spanish roadtrip but those in possession of a paper driving license will need to visit the Post Office to purchase an international drivers license. It is worth reading up on the driving laws in Spain, to avoid receiving an unwelcome fine or even worse, lose points. If you are driving in Spain for the first time, knowing the rules and being aware of the laws is especially important. If you don’t plan to bring your car with you, hiring a car is an option and some companies even allow car rental to young drivers without the need of a credit card.
Plan a Spanish road trip in the North to San Sebastian
Begin your Spanish roadtrip in one of Spain’s most popular cities for fine dining. Famous for its film and jazz festivals, Michelin starred restaurants and the stunning Bay of Biscay, San Sebastian is a city bursting with flavours. Head to the beach of La Concha and soak up the rays on the vast expanse of white sand before tasting the catch of the day at one of the beachfront restaurants. After, discover the history of Basque culture at the San Telmo museum. And, finish the day with a sunset stroll around the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Chorus to marvel at the ornate architecture. The day is not complete however without a visit to Santa María and the Trinitate Plaza to savour pintxos in the city’s famous tapas bars. Before bed, enjoy a cocktail in one of the luxury hotels situated in the Parte Vieja, old town, of San Sebastian before catching some rest ahead of your north of Spain road trip.
Driving in Barcelona
Stay in the heartland of Catalonia on your road trip through Spain and enjoy the creative city of Barcelona. The neighbourhood of Gràcia offers an authentic snapshot of city life with its art nouveau monuments and lively cafes. Stroll through its winding streets until you reach the Rambla, the hub of the city. From there duck into the maze-like streets of the Barrio Gótico where you will be met with a dizzying array of churches, palaces and the Gothic Cathedral in all its glory. Make a pit stop in La Boquería, the local food market and a melting pot of culinary delights. It is hard to miss Gaudi’s surreal architecture that now forms part of Barcelona’s creative identity. Marvel at his most famous work La Sagrada Familia before heading to the Picasso museum to discover more about Barcelona’s other famous artistic resident. Rest your head at one of the city’s chic hotels before continuing with your Spanish roadtrip.
Spain by car – Valencia
Just a stone’s throw from Barcelona sits the cosmopolitan city of Valencia. The birthplace of Paella, this city is a top destination for a Spanish roadtrip. If you are travelling to Valencia with children, a visit to the Oceanogràfic is a must. Europe’s largest aquarium sits at the heart of a space-age complex known as the City of Arts and Sciences and it is home to over 45,000 marine animals. The Carmen district is also a must and the perfect way to see the ancient Moorish ruins, once a gateway to the city. The Plaça de la Mare de Déu provides the perfect dose of café culture and its picturesque monuments provide the perfect backdrop for holiday photos. Before continuing on your road trip around Spain, dinner at one of Malvarrosa Beach’s beachfront restaurants is the ideal send-off. Don’t forget to order Paella.
Spanish road trip in the South – Granada
If you are hunting down the most beautiful Spanish towns, the south of Spain is the place to be. You don’t have to venture far from the luxury resorts of Andalusia to discover towns where time has stood still. Steeped in tradition and mysticism, cities like Granada entrance visitors year upon year with their breathtaking Moorish palaces, mouthwatering tapas and foreign culture. For those staying in the city centre, a trip to the Alhambra is not to be missed. This fortified hilltop complex is something from a Disney movie with its intricate detailing and dominating presence. Take a stroll down El Paseo de Los Tristes until you reach the San Nicolás lookout point to gain fabulous views of the Alhambra from a new perspective. Of course cool off from the heat of the day with a quick drive to the Costa Tropical, boasting 73km of pristine white sand beaches to enjoy on your Spanish roadtrip.
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