See where the road will take you in Spain

Today’s article gives plenty of ideas for your driving holiday in Spain, whether you’re into sightseeing in Seville, relaxing on the beach in Alicante or running the bulls in Pamplona.

Spain is undoubtedly the capital of Europe when it comes to package tourism, yet behind the busy beaches and all-inclusive hotels, Spain is also a land of both cultural and geographical diversity and contradiction. Divided as a country until the 15th century, Spain has six official languages and a richly varied cultural heritage, with its people, food and even climate ranging enormously from region to region. From the rich greenery of the Basque mountains to the wilderness of the Tabernas Desert, Spain hides a multitude of secrets waiting to be discovered.

Seville Cathedral, Spain

Seville Cathedral, Spain

So why not avoid the usual tourist traps and plan your perfect Spanish road trip? Car hire in Spain is not only cheap and easily accessible, it also offers the freedom to wander off the beaten track to discover breath-taking hilltop villages, sea coves and mountain passes. With winding coastal roads and picturesque valley trails, Spain is also a place to fall in love with driving again. Here are some suggestions to kick-off the route planning, with a few tips to make sure your holiday is as fun and enjoyable as possible.

Culture vulture?

Book a low-cost flight into Malaga airport and take advantage of the cheap car rental options available. From here drive along the back-roads northwest to Seville, one of Spain’s most entertaining cities. With one of the largest cathedrals in the world, dating from the 16th century, and housing Christopher Columbus’ tomb, this inspiring city also boasts the remains of a 12th century mosque.

Tip: Travel in Easter to enjoy vibrant fiestas in every part of Spain, with Seville leading the celebrations. April is home to the famous Feria de Abril festival, a week long party of flamenco dancing, horse shows and bull fighting.

View of Alicante, Spain

View of Alicante, Spain

Sun worshipper?

Why spend an entire holiday bathing on one beach when you enjoy new scenery every day? With plenty of cheap car hire in Alicante , it’s the perfect stepping stone to the 200km stretch of gorgeous Mediterranean sand in the Costa Blanca. Follow the winding coastal roads round the mountains to visit the most famous hotspots or go on your own search for an untouched hideaway. A short wander inland from the beaches offers fascinating medieval towns and orchards filled with citrus trees.

Tip: Driving in a foreign country can be intimidating. Equip yourself with a good map or hire a car with sat-nav, and get familiar with Spanish road signs before your trip.

Bull running in Pamplona, Spain

Bull running in Pamplona, Spain

Adrenaline junkie?

Fly into Madrid and either pre-book car hire or rent a car at the airport to enjoy a magnificent drive north to see Pamplona, the jewel in the crown of the Basque country. Famous for the festival of San Fermin and its bull-running, Pamplona attracts thousands of dare devils every July as six bulls and six oxen race through the crowd-filled winding lanes of the town. Hispanic legend tells that this fascinating practice began when traders would use a mixture of fear and excitement to speed up their bulls’ journey to the market. This blend of emotions still runs high during this unique event and is sure to set pulses racing in even the bravest travellers.

Tip: Book your hotel in Pamplona well in advance as they sell out early; the festival runs every year from the 6th to 14th July.

Resources to plan your driving holiday in Spain

Spain Driving Trip Planner
Planning Your Ultimate Roadtrip in Spain
Beaches in Alicante
Pamplona Bull Run (San Fermin)

Photo Credits:  Seville Cathedral  by  Herry Lawford , Alicante by Bea y Fredi , Pamplona by viajar24h

More Spanish adventures

A visit to Ojén – the Pueblos Blancos of Andalucia
Seafood on the beach at the Chiringuito in Spain
08 Valencia in the Springtime – podcast

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read more travel articles at Travel Blog Home

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  • Reply
    Mark H
    January 21, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    I’d love to check out some of the back roads of Spain and see some of rural Spain with their great history and fine food.
    Mark H´s last blog post ..Keeping Pace in Malta

  • Reply
    January 22, 2011 at 1:35 am

    Spain is a great contry!! Have been to Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza and Toledo. Would like to go to Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada, Valencia, San Sebastian and Santiago de Compostela.

  • Reply
    Sherry Ott
    January 25, 2011 at 7:02 am

    The Feria de Abril festival sounds amazing…and not quite as crazy as running with the bulls…yet of course I’d love to experience both!
    Sherry Ott´s last blog post ..signs

  • Reply
    places to visit
    January 27, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I went to Pamplona a few years ago and found it really beautiful – lovely place and very friendly people.

  • Reply
    Edmonton Dodge Dealers
    May 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    My boss asked me to search for places best to visit. I think this place will do. My personal choice because I will be tagging along. Love the pics! Definitely a must-visit for me. Our next business trip will be Pamplona. Thanks for giving me a great idea!

  • Reply
    Vancouver Hyundai
    July 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    I’d love to visit Spain someday and enjoy the sights, sounds, and food. My wife and I have been planning to visit Spain for our yearly vacation and I am sure we’ll be doing it this year. I am still polishing my Spanish though.

  • Reply
    Simon Creed
    July 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Hi Mark

    I like the subjective way you are writing, a really good slant on the topic.

    Keep it coming…

  • Reply
    Mac James Motors
    February 16, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    I’m vacillating between going to Spain or to Argentina. Both have such a wonderful history and culture. Perhaps I’ll find the time to visit both 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to write this article.

  • Reply
    July 8, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    The coastal city of Alicante with its harbour, colourful old quarter and palm tree-lined ‘Explanada de España’ is a pleasant Spanish city that gives you that laid-back holiday feeling.

  • Reply
    October 18, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    I absolutely agree with you about travelling by car. It can give so amazing impressions of different places, sea sights and beautiful views of nature. Turn off the road and discover new hidden corners of Spain – what a great thing.

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