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    Road Trips in Spain

    Spain Road Trip Planner

    Spain Road Trip Planner: The Best Spain Holidays

    Have you been looking into a trip to Spain? Good News--the search is over! Take a look at the four incredible Spain road trips listed below, and get ready to embark on the vacation of a lifetime, as you explore at your leisure in the comfort of your very own Spain rental car from Auto Europe. Whether you're looking for the latest travel news, need to explore family rental car options, or are in search of travel tips, Auto Europe has you covered with award-winning customer service agents awaiting your call, 24/7.

    Click any of the Spain road trip banners below to navigate to each specific itinerary.

    Plan Your Road Trip in Spain Now

    Catalonia & Valencia Road Trip
    Basque Country Road Trip



    Andalusia Road Trip
    Central Spain Road Trip



    Road Trip
    Road Trip Stops
    Total Distance
    Total Drive Time
    Catalonia & Valencia
    Barcelona, Tarragona, Valencia, Alicante
    540kmapprox. 6h 17m
    Basque Country
    San Sebastian, Vitoria, Haro, Bilbao
    approx. 2h 59m
    Sevilla, Malaga, Granada, Cordoba
    548kmapprox. 6h 03m
    Central Spain
    Madrid, Segovia, Avila, Toledo
    287kmapprox. 3h 44m

    Spain Road Trip Planner
    Catalonia & Valencia


    Catalonia & Valencia Road Trip Planner & Guide: Barcelona to Alicante

    Tourists flock to Spain each year for it's sunny weather and spectacular food but many miss out on experiencing all this Iberian country has to offer when they stick to a typical package tour. Instead, come bask in the sun on Spain's eastern coast with all its Mediterranean acclaim on a relaxed road trip by way of your own private rental car in Barcelona from Auto Europe.

    Enjoy touring the rolling Catalan countryside at your own pace; taking in the Roman ruins, delightful small villages, world-class wineries and culinary experiences that you choose to partake in. With over 500 kilometers to explore between the bustling Barcelona and the pristine beaches of Alicante, in the comfort and convenience of your own private luxury car rental, your Spain travel plans will truly come alive.

    Road Trip Planner Spain Catalonia & Valencia Barcelona sm      Road Trip Planner Spain Catalonia & Valencia Tarragona sm

    Road Trip Planner Spain Catalonia & Valencia Valencia sm       Road Trip Planner Spain Catalonia & Valencia Alicante sm

    Road Trip Drive
    DistanceDriving TIme
    Major Route
    Barcelona to Tarragona
    95.8 km
    1 hour 24 minutes
    Tarragona to Valencia
    259.2 km
    2 Hours 47 minutes
    Valencia to Alicante
    184.9 km
    2 hours 6 minutes


    539.9 km
    6 hours 17 Minutes

    Catalonia & Valencia Road Trip Day 1: Barcelona to Tarragona

    Catalonia & Valencia Road Trip Planner - BarcelonaBarcelona Events & Attractions:

    Begin your Spain road trip in the cultural center of Barcelona, celebrated for its Catalan cuisine, diverse art scene, and myriad architectural wonders. The sheer volume of attractions found in Barcelona, coupled with it's idyllic seaside locale makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and undoubtedly you could spend your entire vacation in this city alone. Most Spain tours overlook the many exciting towns and villages outside of the city, though, so break from the tourist mold and ready your Barcelona rental car for the ultimate Spanish vacation!


    • Basilica de la Sagrada Família: Probably the most recognizable work by experimental architect Antoni Gaudí; a famously unfinished piece of architecture
    • La Pedrera (or Casa Milà): Modernist building by Antoni Gaudí, known for it's serpentine walls
    • Museu Picasso: Picasso museum, located in the palaces of La Ribera
    • La Rambla: Tree-lined pedestrian boulevard and outdoor shopping mall, popular with tourists and locals alike
    • Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya: Art museum dedicated to conserving Spain's artistic heritage 
    • Avinguda Diagonal: Barcelona's largest avenue that bisects the city. An absolute shopper's paradise!

    Barcelona Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:

    Barcelona RestaurantsCatalan cuisine is praised far and wide for its sundry and assorted use of fresh vegetables and seafood. Similar to other Mediterranean culinary styles, Catalan cuisine is highly diverse, making Barcelona's restaurant scene vibrant and full of options. No matter what your food preferences are, you're sure to find a restaurant in Barcelona that you'll love. Somewhat expectedly, the nightlife scene in Barcelona is top-notch with an endless array of dance clubs, bars, and afterhours venues peppered throughout the city.



    • La Ribera: You won't be able to turn your head without finding an enticing tapas bar on this street
    • Restaurant Elisabets: Authentic, fixed-price tapas bar, local favorite, usually absent of tourists
    • Xiringuito d'Escribà: Waterfront seafood restaurant, known for both paella and pastries
    • Balthazar: Mediterranean-Catalan fusion cuisine, great value in a modern setting

    Barcelona Hotels & Lodging:


    • Majestic: 5-Star Hotel, luxury accommodation in the heart of Barcelona. Includes fine dining, modern spa complex, rooftop bar, pool and restaurant
    • Princesa Sofia Gran Hotel: 5-Star Hotel, located on the avenida Diagonal in the heart of the financial, residential, and business districts of Barcelona 
    • Hesperia Tower: 5-Star Hotel, ideally situated between Barcelona International Airport and Barcelona city center


    Catalonia & Valencia Menu back to top

    Catalonia & Valencia Road Trip Day 2: Tarragona to Valencia

    Catalonia & Valencia Road Trip Planner - TarragonaTarragona Events & Attractions:

    You may be drawn to Spain for the urban enchantments of Barcelona but you'll stay for the utopian country villages. Between Barcelona and Valencia you'll discover the Gothic and medieval gems of Tarragona, an long-ago port city trapped by an eponymous district, which blends the romance of ancient history with the best of Mediterranean of today.


    • Montblanc: 14th century city walls and ancient cave dwellings. Legend claims St. George slew the dragon here
    • Monestir de Poblet: Built in 1151, grandiose monastery located at the base of the Prades Mountains
    • Castellers festivals: Museum building housing plaster casts of people who didn't escape the Mount Vesuvius eruption
    • Siurana: Ancient Moorish fortress village

    Tarragona Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:

    Tarragona RestaurantsMuch like Barcelona, Tarragona's coastal Mediterranean locale inspires a wealth of fresh seafood options and tapas bars. The larger province of Tarragona has been a major wine production region since the ancient Romans, and today is celebrated for the continued production of traditional wines, including sweet dessert wines, sun-aged Rancios, and high alcohol content Tarragona Clásico. Though obviously smaller than Barcelona, the restaurant and nightlife scenes are still thriving, with a number of bars, cafes, and bistros spread throughout the area.



    Tarragona Hotels & Lodging:


    • AC Hotel Tarragona: 4-Star Hotel, easy access to the train station, exhibition centre, beaches, Archaeological Museum, and the Contemporary Art Museum  


    Catalonia & Valencia Menu  Back to Top

    Catalonia & Valencia Road Trip Day 3: Valencia to Alicante

    Catalonia & Valencia Road Trip Planner - ValenciaValencia Events & Attractions:

    Located on the Mediterranean Sea, nearly 4 hours south of Barcelona, Valencia's paradiasical locale offers a unique vantage point from which to explore the regional culture and attractions. In contrast to most coastal tourist destinations where the pulse of the city is experienced primarily at the beach, Valencia's cultural personality is centered around its downtown neighborhoods. A wide variety of attractions await you in Valencia, including the internationally famous Fallas Festivity--a week long, city-wide celebration in March where each of Valencia's neighborhoods displays massive paper mache effegies before burning them to the ground on the final day during a proud display of fireworks.   


    • Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias: Kid-friendly, entertainment-based cultural and architectural complex, aquarium, planetarium, interactive science museum, and concert hall
    • Barrio del Carmen: Old-town Valencia, Roman, Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance style architecture
    • Cathedral de Valencia: Rumored to be the home of the renowned Holy Grail
    • Las Fallas de San José: Mid-March festival week of bonfires and late-night music, culminating in the burning of over 700 effegies, and mocking representations that lambaste politicians, celebrities and current events with a good dose of humor

    Valencia Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:

    Valencia RestaurantsAs the official birthpace of Spain's most popular culinary offering, paella, it's basically a requirement to sample all the incredilbe paella varieties when you're in Valencia. To differentiate authentic Valencian paella from the tourist-trap variety, it's smart to avoid restaurants that advertise with large doorway signs displaying paella. In most circumstances, this is an indicator of previously-frozen/microwaved paella. Valencia's cultural customs indicate that paella is typically served as a mid-day meal, as opposed to dinner, so you may want to avoid restaurants that oppose this custom, as the quality of the paella should be in question. 


    • Los Arcos: Waterfront location, rustic decor, traditional rice-and-seafood stews
    • La Pepica: Pricey, popular, seafood, paella
    • La Alegria de la Huerta: Beachfront, traditional cuisine, tapas, rice dishes, fresh fish
    • Ca Sento: Pricey but delectable splurge


    Valencia Hotels & Lodging:


    • Ad Hoc Parque Golf: 4-Star Hotel, outdoor complex with swimming pool, sun terrace, loungers and parasols. Additional facilities include a sauna, solarium and a gym 
    • Vincci Lys: 4-Star Hotel, convenient location close to a number of sites of interest, such as City Hall Square and the Bullring 
    • Sh Ingles Boutique: 3-Star Hotel, licensed historical building located in the tourist center of Valencia, just a few minutes from the city center


    Catalonia & Valencia Menu  Back to Top

    Catalonia & Valencia Road Trip Day 4: Alicante & Beyond

    Catalonia & Valencia Road Trip Planner - AlicanteAlicante Events & Attractions:

    As your Spain road trip through Catalonia and Valencia comes to a close, the final day brings you to the paradiasical port-city of Alicante. This historic Mediterranean port is an excellent destination to soak up some sun, and relax a bit after all the site-seeing you've been doing the previous 3 days. A variety of private and public beach-fronts can be found throughout Alicante, including the Explanada de Espana, a promenade lined with palm trees, restaurants, shopping, and beach-access. 


    • Explanada de España: Beachside promenade with shops, restaurants, and beach-access
    • Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Alicante (MACA): Contemporary art museum 
    • Museo de la Ciudad de Alicante (MUSA): Waterfront promenade and boulevard with shops and restaurants
    • Playa del Postiguet: Popular beach choice 

    Alicante Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:


    Alicante RestaurantsPiripi: Modern take on the traditional trinity of rice, fish, and seafood

    Mesón de Labradores: Bona fide tiled décor, appetizing croquetas

    Dársena: Nautical themed, flavorful tapas

    Nou Manolín: Local hidden gem

    Don Carlos: Fusion cuisine  


    Alicante Hotels & Lodging:


    • Hospes Amerigo: 5-Star Hotel, located close to the city center. A varierty of bars, restaurants and pubs are located within 20 metres 
    • Melia Alicante: 4-Star Hotel, beach hotel built in 1973, located 100 metres from the center of San Juan, close to the beach promenade 


    Catalonia & Valencia Menu   Back to Top


    Additional Travel Resources: Catalonia & Valencia Road Trip


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    Spain Road Trip Planner
    Basque Country


    Basque Country Road Trip Planner & Guide: San Sebastian to Bilbao

    Bordered by both the Pyrenees Mountains and Atlantic sea, as well as straddling two nations, this seaside region of Basque country has much to offer to travelers year-round. From ocean air and sunny beaches to the rolling hills of the Basque countryside, immerse yourself in the locals' unique language, exciting personalities and amazingly rich history. With the advantage of having your own personal mode of transportation, you will have a vacation that is uniquely you and nothing like the packaged tours you'll find else where.

    Take advantage of the Spain Road Trip itinerary below, or craft your own as you go; this adventure is in your hands!

    Basque Country Road Trip Planner - San Sebastian      Basque Country Road Trip Planner - Vitoria Gasteiz

    Basque Country Road Trip Planner - Haro       Basque Country Road Trip Planner - Bilbao

    Road Trip Drive
    DistanceDriving TIme
    Major Route
    San Sebastian to
    99.6 km
    1 hour 16 minutes
    AP-8 & AP-1
    Vitoria-Gasteiz to
    49.7 km
    41 minutes
    AP-1 & N-124
    Haro to Bilbao
    94.6 km
    1 hour 2 minutes


    243.9 km
    2 hours 59 minutes

    Basque Country Road Trip Day 1: San Sebastian to Vitoria Gasteiz

    Basque Country Road Trip Planner - San SebastianSan Sebastian Events & Attractions:

    With it's classic romantic ambiance, it's difficult to understand why San Sebastián--known by locals as Donostia--isn't a Mediterranean hotspot. Come discover the magical atmosphere for yourself. Known primarily for it's golden-sand beaches and paradiasical coastal flora, San Sebastian is the perfect destination to relax and soak up the sun in-between adventures to must-see attractions.


    • Playa de la Concha: Urban, public beach
    • Playa de Ondarreta: Urban, public beach
    • Playa de Gros: Urban, public beach, great for surfers
    • Fishing Boat Regattas of La Concha: Held in early September, fantastic display of boats
    • San Sebastian Aquarium : Great for families with children 
    • Monte Igueldo: Explore via the old funicular railway; panoramic views of this Basque city

    San Sebastian Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:

    San Sebastian RestaurantsParte Vieja--historic downtown--is a gourmet food lovers paradise, overflowing with tempting tapas and pintxos bars, it's a perfect locale for hopping from place to place sampling all the flavors this countryside has to offer. San Sebastian's seaside locale means that the seafood offerings are almost always fresh caught, so be sure to sample the local ocean-fare.



    • La Cuchara de San Telmo: Often crowded & lively, risotto with squid ink, foie a la plancha
    • La Mejillonera: Traditional patatas bravas, calamari, mussels
    • Astelana: Tapas with an Asian twist
    • Arzak: Michelin-starred, seafood, larger meals

    San Sebastian Hotels & Lodging:


    • Maria Cristina: 5-Star Hotel, centrally located waterfront locale, on-site restaurant
    • Nh Aranzazu: 4-Star Hotel, beach hotel mere 300m from Playa de Ondarreta, minutes from city center 
    • Husa Europa: 5-Star Hotel, located in downtown shopping district walking distance from Playa de la Concha


    Basue Country Road Trip Menu back to top

    Basque Country Road Trip Day 2: Vitoria-Gasteiz to Haro

    Basque Country Road Trip Planner - Vitoria GasteizVitoria-Gasteiz Events & Attractions:

    Many tourists visiting Spain don't find their way to modest Vitoria-Gasteiz, heart of Basque Country, but you're one of the lucky ones. Visiting this enchanting village, with its 15th century storefronts, will no doubt be a highlight on your trip as you're swept back in time.


    • Vitoria City Walls: Built in the 11th century, medieval architecture
    • Bendaña Palace: Located in the city center, well-preserved Renaissance palace
    • Escoriaza-Esquivel Palace: Located in Old town, well-preserved Renaissance palace
    • Plaza de la Virgen Blanca: Quiet and peaceful square, market/cafes, 4th of August of every year Celedón comes down to the city and opens the fiestas of Vitoria

    Vitoria-Gasteiz Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:


    Vitoria-Gasteiz RestaurantsCalle Correría: Memory-making, high-end splurge restaurant

    El Portalón: Historic stagecoach inn turned restaurant, wait staff wears vintage farming costumes

    Zaldiarán: Eight-course tasting menu, classy yet affordable

    Restaurante El Clarete: Adventurous Basque cuisine, "surprise degustation" menu



    Vitoria-Gasteiz Hotels & Lodging:


    • Nh Canciller Ayala: 3-Star Hotel, centrally located, balcony views of Cathedral, parliment, and Florida Park 
    • AC Hotel General Alava: 3-Star Hotel, located in Heart of Vitoria, walking distance to Fine Art Musuem, Cathedral, and old quarter 


    Basue Country Road Trip Menu  Back to Top

    Basque Country Road Trip Day 3: Haro to Bilbao

    Basque Country Road Trip Planner - HaroHaro Events & Attractions:

    Haro sits at the northwestern tip of the celebrated wine region of Rioja, a region that produces some of the best value bottles of wine in the world--like its Tempranillo-dominant, cherry and vanilla hinted reds, and its crisp whites. The best time to visit Haro is during the Summer when the Haro Wine Festival begins, where vintners and oenophiles engage in a red wine fight. Be sure to pack an old white shirt for June 29, the Day of Patron Saint San Pedro, and prepare for a wine and grape slinging free-for-all.   


    • Haro Wine Festival: 29 of June--the day of the patron saint San Pedro, wear a white shirt and be prepared for a "wine battle"
    • Bodegas López de Heredia Viña Tondonia: Winery, traditional 19th century equipment
    • Bodegas y Vinedos Gomez Cruzado: Offers tastings flights (a sampling of 3-5 or more wines)
    • Globos Arcoiris: Hot air balloon rides over rolling hills and stunning architecture

    Haro Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:

    Haro Restaurants"Food without wine is a corpse; wine without food is a ghost." ~ Andre Simon
    Experience the life and excitement of perfect parings on your Basque road trip at one of Haro's many fabulous restaurants. 


    • Asador Beethoven: Traditional Spanish dishes, varied wine list
    • Restaurante Mesón Atamauri: Rustic, lamb, asparagus, mushrooms, reasonably priced wine
    • Arrope: Centrally located, vegetarian options 


    Haro Hotels & Lodging:


    • Hotel Los Agustinos: 4-Star Hotel, luxurious, large rooms, centrally located to fine restaurants, originally a 13th century convent 
    • Hostal Aragón: 1-Star Hotel, family-run, budget, simple, spacious rooms


    Basue Country Road Trip Menu  Back to Top

    Basque Country Road Trip Day 4: Bilbao & Beyond

    Basque Country Road Trip Planner - BilbaoBilbao Events & Attractions:

    Welcome to Bilbao, the final stop on your Spain road trip, and the capital of Basque country. Art and culture lovers will find themselves at home in the frenetic cultural capital of Bilbao. Myriad attractions await you, from stunning architecture to idyllic beaches, so be sure to use your Bilbao rental car to the fullest and explore unabated. Looking for a bit more history out of your Spanish tour? Day trip to Guernica and experience one of the first aerial bombing targets by the Nazis in 1937. Take in this inspirational location for Pablo Picasso's black-and-white mural Guernica or contemplate the challenges of war and peace at the Gernika Peace Museum.


    • Guggenheim Museum: Modern art musuem, rotating art exhibitions inside
    • Museo de Bellas Artes: Museum with both contemporary and classical art collections, includes local Basque artists 
    • Teatro Arriaga Antzokia: Theater inspired by the Paris Opera House, still presents opera, ballet, concerts, live theater
    • Euskal Museoa: Experience Basque culture from prehistoric times to the 21st century, at this Musuem. Formerly Jesuit college cloister 

    Bilbao Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:


    Bilbao RestaurantsMercado de la Ribera: Open air market with fresh produce, food-carts, and sit-down eateries

    Plaza Nueva: Prime people-watching location, tapas bars in all directions

    Rio-Oja: Traditional Basque fare (like sheep brains & squid in pools of its own ink)





    Bilbao Hotels & Lodging:


    • Lopez De Haro: 5-Star Hotel, facilities include tearoom, restaurant, cocktail bar, and workout room 
    • Spa Husa Jardines De Albia: 4-Star Hotel, located in the centre of Bilbao, near the church of San Vicente, in the heart of the commercial and business area 
    • Gran Bilbao: 4-Star Hotel, located in the new Miraflores neighbourhood, just 500 m from the Bilbao-Atxuri Station and a 5-minute walk from the city's Las Siete Calles del Casco Viejo district


    Basue Country Road Trip Menu   Back to Top


    Additional Travel Resources: Basque Country Road Trip


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    Andalusia Road Trip Planner & Guide: Sevilla to Cordoba

    From lively festivals to diverse architecture & cultural history, this Andalusian road trip will leave you breathless. It comes as no surprise that over two million visitors a year vacation here. Stretching across the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, Andalusia has played host to numerous empires across the ages that have left beautiful, indelible marks upon the region.

    Branch out from the package tour and explore its whitewashed villages and rich cultural defining traditions--from bullfighting to tapas to flamenco dancing. Andalusia is a captivating and romantic provence you'll be loth to miss out on so book your private rental car with Auto Europe and prepare to venture on the road trip of a lifetime.

    Andalusia Road Trip - Sevilla      Andalusia Road Trip Planner - Malaga

    Andalusia Road Trip Planner - Granada       Andalusia Road Trip Planner - Cordoba

    Road Trip Drive
    DistanceDriving TIme
    Major Route
    Sevilla to Malaga
    217.6 km
    2 hours 30 minutes
    Malaga to Granada
    131.7 km
    1 Hour 27 minutes
    Granada to Cordoba
    198.4 km
    2 hours 6 minutes


    547.7 km
    6 hours 3 Minutes

    Andalusia Road Trip Day 1: Sevilla to Malaga

    Andalusia Road Trip - SevillaSevilla Events & Attractions:

    In terms of impressive architecture, Sevilla is second to none. Not only is the world's largest cathedral, Seville Cathedral, located in Sevilla, but myriad other architecture wonders. The hardest part of visiting Sevilla is deciding where to go first. With so many incredible attractions at your fingertips, a Sevilla rental car only makes sense.


    • Alcázar: UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 15th century royal court of Fernando and Isabel, originally a medieval Muslim fortress--offering exotic Arabic influenced architecture
    • Seville Cathedral: World's largest Gothic cathedral, multiple cultural influence during the build offers a unique architectural experience--the bell tower (La Giralda) has a Moorish influenced minaret and Renaissance styled top
    • Barrio de Santa Cruz: Medieval Jewish neighborhood, romantic atmosphere
    • Museo del Baile Flamenco: Housed in an 18th century palace, Flamenco history and culture, offers shows in the evenings after closing hours
    • Semana Santa: Easter, Holy week 
    • Feria de Abril: Lively 6 day fair that includes music, dance, traditional costumes, daily bullfights

    Sevilla Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:

    Sevilla RestaurantsTraditional of Spain, you can always find tasty tapas (small plates) to sample throughout the night and the riverside district of Triana is an excellent place to visit as it's packed with rustic bistros and tap houses galore. Beyond tapas, another regional specialty not to be missed is the Sherry--a fortified (meaning Brandy is added) wine.



    • Mesón Cinco Jotas: Not-to-miss authentic jamón
    • Extraverde: Locally made cheese
    • Bar Santa Ana: Good for Sports fans, bullfighting décor
    • Bar Bistec: Seafood, (grilled fish, cod fritters, calamari)

    Sevilla Hotels & Lodging:


    • Fontecruz Sevilla: 5-Star Hotel, pricey, centrally located, terraces, elegant décor, views of Sevilla's most popular tourist attractions


    Andalusia Road Trip Menu back to top

    Andalusia Road Trip Day 2: Malaga to Granada

    Andalusia Road Trip Planner - MalagaMalaga Events & Attractions:

    Málaga was founded in the 8th century and while keeping with its roots and plenty of historic Moorish influence, it is also a hotbed for art of every kind (from glass and crystal to classic cars).


    • Alcazaba: 11th century palace and fortress, includes partially excavated Roman amphitheater and the Museo Arqueológico--which houses a collection of artifacts from the site
    • The Castillo de Gibralfaro: Castle ruins and spectacular views
    • Museo Picasso Málaga: Considerable exhibit honoring the artist and his birthplace
    • Costa del Sol: Opulent and extravagant beach resorts, Spain's Riviera strings together Playa de la Malgueta, Playa de Pedregalejo, Playa del Palo

    Malaga Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:


    Malaga RestaurantsMalaga plays host to a largely exuberant nightlife and you can easily find your place to party at any of the bars near Plaza de la Merced, Plaza Mitjana and Plaza de Uncibay.


    La Rebaná: Centrally located, tapas, unique dishes (foie gras with salted nougat)

    El Tapeo de Cervantes: Fresh dishes (artichoke and goat cheese quiche with basil pesto)

    Aire Gastrobar: Vast range of Mediterranean fare



    Malaga Hotels & Lodging:


    • Cortijo Chico: 4-Star Hotel, 15 kilometers from the city center, tranquil gardens, spacious & bright rooms 
    • Malaga Centro: 4-Star Hotel, centrally located, includes rooftop pool 


    Andalusia Road Trip Menu  Back to Top

    Andalusia Road Trip Day 3: Granada to Cordoba

    Andalusia Road Trip Planner - GranadaGranada Events & Attractions:

    The ancient Muslim capital of Granada still displays the best of its Islamic influences, evident from the heavy-presence of Moorish architecture, tiled facades, and modern bazaar-style markets.   


    • The Alhambra: Icon of Spain's Moorish occupation, much to explore--the Alcazaba's tower, Charles V's Palace, the Generalife Gardens, Palacios Nazaríes; also offers night time tours
    • Mirador de San Nicolas: Hilltop viewpoints and stunning lookouts
    • Capilla Real: Location of King Fernando and Queen Isabel's burial site
    • Alcaiceria: Reconstruction of an old Moorish bazaar offers an exciting shopping opportunity

    Granada Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:

    Granada RestaurantsAmazingly, many of the city's bars still keep to the fading tradition of serving a free tapas plate with the purchase of beer or wine. Plenty of delicious options are available to you as well if you're looking for a more substantial meal, such as at Carmen--a restaurant within one of the Albayzín's magnificent walled gardens overlooking the Alhambra. 


    • Calle Navas: Affords a variety of bar hopping opportunities
    • Restaurante Arrayanes: Moroccan meals with an exciting setting
    • Carmen Mirador de Aixa: Fine dining


    Granada Hotels & Lodging:


    • Fontecruz Granada: 5-Star Hotel, refurbished Renaissance façade with modern interior


    Andalusia Road Trip Menu  Back to Top

    Andalusia Road Trip Day 4: Cordoba & Beyond

    Andalusia Road Trip Planner - CordobaCordoba Events & Attractions:

    Welcome to Córdoba, where the central Mezquita represents a unique cultural combination that joins Roman and Visigoth influences with the rich impact of Islamic medieval architecture--like it's Mihrab and Torre del Alminar.


    • Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos: 13th century Christian palace, seat of the infamous Spanish Inquisition
    • Juderia: The town's maze-like Jewish quarter, medieval Sinagoga 
    • Museo Romero de Torres: Few minutes walk from the Mosque/Cathedral, gallery for the works of Julio Romero de Torres
    • Medina Azahara: Just outside the city, 10th century Muslim capital ruins 

    Cordoba Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:


    Cordoba RestaurantsInsider's secret: Venture into the Jewish Quarter for the best restaurant values in town.


    Restaurante El Choto: Grilled meats, offers fixed price as well as tasting menus for any appetite

    Casa Mazal: Jewish cuisine, modern feel, good for vegetarians

    Taberna San Miguel El Pisto: Traditional Spanish dining, tapas, old-school ambience



    Cordoba Hotels & Lodging:


    • Nh Califa: 3-Star Hotel, business-class accommodations 


    Andalusia Road Trip Menu   Back to Top


    Additional Travel Resources: Andalusia Road Trip


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    Central Spain


    Central Spain Road Trip Planner & Guide: Madrid to Toledo

    With its popular Mediterranean climate, delightful eateries and deep cultural heritage, millions of visitors are drawn to this region each year; few Spain destinations can contend with the capital city of Madrid. While the environment differs from that of the coastline experiences, the country's largest city provides immense eye-opening opportunities as it dates back to the Middle Ages and is overflowing with both historical treasures and 21st century excitement.

    Whether you're a tapas-loving foodie or you desire to be drawn into a fiery flamenco beat, you can probably find a packaged tour of Madrid on the market. However, to truly uncover the heart of Spain and delve into the culture, nothing compares to the comfort and convenience creating your own personalized itinerary with the versatility afforded by having your own method of transportation. Enjoying Madrid itself on foot and then pick up your vehicle to further your Spanish adventure with the suggested itinerary below.

    Central Spain Road Trip Planner - Madrid      Central Spain Road Trip Planner - Segovia

    Central Spain Road Trip Planner - Avila       Central Spain Road Trip Planner - Toledo

    Road Trip Drive
    DistanceDriving TIme
    Major Route
    Madrid to Segovia
    91.7 km
    1 hour 11 minutes
    A-6 & AP-61
    Segovia to Avila
    64.3 km
    50 minutes
    N-110 & AP-51
    Avila to Toledo
    131 km
    1 hour 43 minutes


    287 km 3 hours 44 Minutes

    Central Spain Road Trip Day 1: Madrid to Segovia

    Central Spain Road Trip Planner - MadridMadrid Events & Attractions:

    As one of the livliest cities in Spain, Madrid is the perfect destination to kick off your Central Spain road trip. With so many incredible attractions to choose, from multi-genre art musuems and ancient architecture, to a undoubtably legendary nightlife scene, a rental car in Madrid is an absolute must in this Spanish metropolis.


    • Museo del Prado: Impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints from around the world, also including Goya, Velázquez, El Greco
    • Centro de Arte Reina Sofía: Houses Pablo Picasso's commemoration of the Nazi bombing of this Basque town--the Guernica mural, also works by Salvador Dalí & Joan Miró 
    • Museo del Arte Thyssen-Bornemisza: Hosts lesser-known but no less significant works
    • Palacio Real: 18th-century, tour the Royal Armory & old-fashioned palace apothecary
    • Plaza Mayor: 17th-century, ancient home to the Spanish Inquisition, great place to begin a self-guided walking tour of Madrid 
    • Fiesta de San Isidro: Mid-May, typical lively Madrid festival offering parades, bullfights and dancing as it welcomes the city's patron saint

    Madrid Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:

    Madrid RestaurantsMadrid is a city that deeply honors culinary tradition, evident through the myriad restuarant and bar options scattered throughout the city. Madrid's inland locale makes it more of a haven for farm-fresh local ingredients than seafood options, but regardless of what you desire, Madrid is sure to have something that piques your interest. 



    • Casa Alberto: Heartier, authentic meals (grilled octopus, deep fried peppers stuffed with oxtail)
    • El Caldero: Romantic ambiance, excellent paella
    • Sobrino del Botín: High-end eatery, outstanding roast suckling pig, busy, pricey
    • Plaza Mayor: Try their squid sandwiches (bocadillos de calamares)

    Madrid Hotels & Lodging:


    • Villa Magna: 5-Star Hotel, located on the Paseo de la Castellana, one of the main avenues in Madrid. The very chic street and its elegant boutiques can be found just behind the hotel
    • Lope De Vega: 4-Star Hotel, 60 themed rooms inspired by the 17th century writer 
    • Liabeny: 4-Star Hotel, clean, modern, average fare


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    Central Spain Road Trip Day 2: Segovia to Avila

    Central Spain Road Trip Planner - SegoviaSegovia Events & Attractions:

    Treasured collections of modest Moorish architecture and medieval churches line the city streets, making a simple afternoon stroll the most picturesque of events.




    • Segovia: UNESCO World Heritage site, microcosm of Spanish history, sandstone architecture, mountainous environment, cool location during summer heat
    • El Acueducto: 28 meters high, mortar-free engineering marvel
    • Gothic Catedral: Medieval Alcázar, panoramic viewpoint
    • Vera Cruz Church: 13th century, panoramic vistas, a dodecahedral edifice built by the Knights Templar

    Segovia Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:


    Segovia RestaurantsNo Spain road trip is complete without sampling the regional fare of roast suckling pig in Segovia. Segovia, Spain, has a multitude of eateries and bistros that do traditional meals, as well as plenty of modern bars, lounges, and clubs.


    Mesón de Candido: Celebrity-frequented, offers traditional roast sucking pig

    Restaurante Casa Chapete: Local favorite, smokey atmosphere

    Narizotas: Ever popular chef's "mystery sampler," tapas


    Segovia Hotels & Lodging:


    • Parador De La Granja: 4-Star Hotel, located only 11 km from the World Heritage City of Segovia, right in the heart of the Sierra de Guadarrama
    • Los Arcos: 4-Star Hotel, located in the heart historical city center, Acueducto and Alcazar are both 5 minute walks from the hotel 
    • Santana: 3-Star Hotel, located just outside of Segovia near the Guadarrama natural park, ideal for those travelers who want to enjoy the outdoors without sacrificing modern creature comforts 


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    Central Spain Road Trip Day 3: Avila to Toledo

    Central Spain Road Trip Planner - AvilaAvila Events & Attractions:

    At the intersection of medieval wonderment and Mediterranean paradise lies the quaint UNESCO World Heritage site, Avila. The city's primary claim to fame is its curved, ancient city walls providing a remarkably preserved lens into the 12th century.   


    • Winding City Walls: UNESCO World Heritage Site, contructed in the 12th century
    • Monasterio de Santo Tomas: Royal monastery
    • Basilica de San Vicente: Romanesque architecture
    • Four Posts: Stand-alone historic structure, picturesque views of town below

    Avila Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:

    Avila RestaurantsThere are plenty of delicious meal options around Avila but for a sweet treat to round off your meal, look for "yemas de Santa Teresa"--a lemony custard cake specific to Ávila and named for the town's patron saint. 


    • Los Candiles: moderately priced, home-cooked & hearty meals (cozy tomato and bread soup, tender chuletón rib steak)
    • Padel League: mushroom croquettes, grilled octopus
    • Soul Kitchen: fusion restaurant, located inside the 16th century castle


    Avila Hotels & Lodging:


    • Puerta De Gredos: 4-Star Hotel, located on the outskirts of El Barco de Ãvila's town centre and numerous entertainment venues and shopping areas
    • Parador De Avila: 4-Star Hotel, convenient location, large rooms, authentic medieval setting  
    • Palacio De Velada: 4-Star Hotel, located within the central city walls, lush courtyard, restaurant & bar


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    Central Spain Road Trip Day 4: Toledo & Beyond

    Central Spain Road Trip Planner - ToledoToledo Events & Attractions:

    Toledo sings a magnificent melody of Spanish history--filled with impressive remnants of Roman, Visigoth, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian occupation. A self-guided walking tour through the city's labyrinth of streets will give you an excellent glimpse into Toledo's vast past via it's architecture alone.


    • Catedral de Toledo: A standout of traditional Catholic architecture (stained glass, gold works, sacred arts)
    • San Juan de los Reyes: Franciscan monastery 
    • Jewish Quarter: Includes 14th-century synagogue and a museum on Sephardic history

    Toledo Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:


    Toledo RestaurantsLos Cuatro Tiempo Restaurante: Offers three-course dinners, romantic ambiance, game and roasts or step into the shoes of an old world aristocrat at the palatial restaurant locale


    Castilian Restaurante Casón López de Toledo: Located in a 16th century palace, reservations recommended

    Restaurante Mesón Palacio: Hearty home cooked meals (steaming bowls of bean soup with partridge)

    La Abadia: Lighter meals, traditional fare, decent price



    Toledo Hotels & Lodging:


    • Parador De Toledo: 4-Star Hotel, splurge stay, view overlooking the Tajo Gorge (the very same that inspired El Greco) 
    • Kris Domenico: 4-Star Hotel, located in the Cigarrales area. The hotel is around only 3 km from the city center


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