Spain offers you gorgeous beaches, beautiful cities and delicious food. We have curated an 11-day road trip through Spain to help you make the most of your trip. Start your trip at Madrid and make your way through charming Córdoba, the gem of Andalusia - Seville, Spain’s third largest city Valencia and Barcelona, famous for its culture and cuisine.
You will arrive in Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport in Madrid. Here you will rent a car to begin your Spain road trip journey.
Madrid is an engrossing city that will have you gripped from the moment you set on it. It has fine art from Flemish to Goya, it’s one of the richest culinary capitals of Europe, the architectural wonders provide a stunning backdrop to city life and to top it all off, the nightlife is legendary.
With plenty of things to do in the city, it can be tough picking what to fill your itinerary with. Here’s to helping you narrow down your quest.
From the iconic streets of Gran Vía to witnessing the glitz and luxury of the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) to Puerta del Sol to the most important art museum in Spain, Museo del Prado to Plaza Mayor, the famous spot in the heart of the city, to the grand Palacio de Cibeles with breathtaking views from the observation deck, to Puerta de Alcalá, the imposing neoclassical passageway all the way to Atocha train station with an indoor rainforest, every sight has something unique to offer visitors.
For Spaniards, football runs through their veins, for die-hard fans visiting Spain, you can head to Atletico Madrid in Vincente Calderon stadium or Real Madrid in Santiago Bernabeu stadium. All of these are the best places for sightseeing.
Foodies lovers visit Mercado de San Miguel market where you can taste everything Spanish. From the best Mediterranean rice from Castile or fresh seafood from Galicia to special cheese from Castile to the finest wine from the length and breadth of the country, eat your heart out in this market with over 30 stalls.
For fancy dine-out, head to Platea. Located in the posh Barrio Salam, it’s a stunning location which has balconies and a stage as it used to be a theatre once. It has a basement level with international cuisine, Spanish tapas and cheese on the ground floor and restaurants on the floors to follow.
Other markets include the hip Mercado de San Ildefonso brimming with kitschy tunes, international food stalls and outdoor beer gardens and Mercado de Antón Martín, a traditional local market. For the best churros served with gooey hot chocolate (fried dough pastry) head to San Gines.
Same as day 1
Drive from Madrid to Córdoba. It’s about 400km and takes about 3 hours and 25 minutes.
Córdoba is a charming little city with exceptional restaurants and a plethora of things to do and see. Explore the true charm of the city by exploring the winding cobble stoned streets of the medieval city all the way to the buzzing touristy areas. Witness overhanging trees, potted plants, wrought-iron balconies, verdant interior patios and golden-stone buildings.
Sightseeing in Cordoba, a city full of Andalusian charm and rich history is an experience of a lifetime. The Mosque-Cathedral, Mezquita, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was once a mosque and later converted to a church. Today, you will witness a great hybrid structure in all its glory. The impressive architecture of the Roman Temple made with exquisite marble and workmanship will take your breath away. Onto the next, situated low over the pristine waters of the Guadalquivir, Puente Romano or the Roman Bridge is a bridge that’s supported by 17 arches. From the middle of the bridge, you have a perfect view of Córdoba and the hilly, green countryside which surrounds it. On the other side of the Roman Bridge, you will find Puerta del Puente, one of the grandest entrances in the country. At the centre of the old town and the beating heart of the city’s daily life, San Andres-San Pablo neighbourhood is lined with a plethora of tapas bars where you can grab a quick bite and a glass of beer.
The city is filled with plenty of tapas bars. With distinctive flavours, the cuisine in Córdoba stands out. It draws influences from Andalusia, Moorish, Moroccan and Arab flavours and spices. A few popular dishes are Salmorejo which is a thickened cold tomato soup topped with breadcrumbs. Regañás which is a crispy biscuit made from bread that is served in tapas bars. Pastel Cordobés is a pastry with a pumpkin filling that’s sweet.
Same as day 3
Drive from Córdoba to Seville. It’s about 140km and takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Seville is the best place for foodies to visit and those who love dancing, this is the hub of the ever-famous flamenco dance form where dance floors are constantly buzzing.
The Royal Alcazar Palace is a UNESCO listed palace complex which also featured in the hit TV series Game of Thrones. The Catedral de Sevilla and La Giralda is an enormous structure and one of the largest Gothic cathedrals which entices travellers to admire its Gothic architecture. La Giralda is the adjacent tower and it is one Seville’s tallest landmarks. Plaza de España is an over the top grandiose building with Venetian-style bridges, mini canals and impressive fountains. The detailed artwork of the structure helps it stand out. A botanical garden, Maria Luisa Park is an area sprawling with greenery. This stretches along the banks of the Guadalquivir and the walkway is laden with tropical foliage, ponds and fountains. One serving as the city's Jewish quarter, Barrio Santa Cruz if a picturesque neighbourhood which has plenty of charming shops and restaurants and while walking through this area, you will definitely spot the orange-tree-covered plazas at every turn. It's a great escape from the sun and to relax in the flamenco or the tapas bars. La Carbonería, a popular spot and a local favourite to catch a good flamenco experience.
The self-proclaimed tapas capital of the world has many good restaurants and markets. Typically, the food in Seville ranges from periños which are sweet honey-coated fritters, fritos which are sugar-coated doughnuts, torrijas which is fried bread with honey, tortas de aceite which are a cake coated with sugar and made with olive oil. Seville is also known for its oranges.
Same as day 5
Drive from Seville to Valencia. It’s about 655km and takes about 6 hours.
Valencia is a magnificent city with thriving eating, cultural, dining and nightlife scene. With contemporary buildings, many museums, a colourful old quarter and endless stretches of pristine beach there’s plenty to do and see. Don’t forget to try the ever-famous paella.
When it comes to sightseeing, Valencia does not disappoint. Starting with the former gateway, Torres de Serranos. The historic tower here makes for a great spot to click photos. The opening ceremony of the Las Fallas festival takes places outside this gate. Along with it’s pretty Plaza de la Virgen, Valencia Cathedral is a famous site. You can witness magnificent Gothic architecture both on the inside and out. El Miguelete is a bell tower which overlooks the Old City district. You need to climb 206 steps to reach the tower and you will be rewarded with great views which extend far beyond the city until the sea. Flanked by the imposing El Miguelete on one side and the cathedral on the other, the bustling Plaza de la Reina is one of the main tourist hubs and liveliest spots in the city. Sit in one of the terrace cafes and bars, sip on a cup of cafe con leche and admire the architecture that surrounds you. A former riverbed converted into green spaces, Turia Gardens is dotted with sports facilities and playgrounds. It curves through the city all the way from Bioparc to the City of Arts and Sciences and towards the sea. If modern architecture piques your interest, then the City of Arts and Sciences should definitely be on your list of places to visit. With futuristic buildings that are awe-inspiring to serene outdoor spaces of the complex, you will get lost for a few hours here.
One of the most famous Valencian dishes is paella; don’t leave without trying it. Typically, paella is made with chicken or seafood. The perfect pick me up after a long day of sightseeing, Horchata is a popular traditional beverage which is made with cinnamon, almonds, rice, sesame seeds, etc. and is paired with fartons which is sweet bread. Fideuà is another popular dish made with noodles and seafood. Valencianos surely love rice and one of their all-time favourite dishes is arròs a banda. It's rice served with seafood with fish as the first course and a dollop of garlic mayonnaise (aioli) as the second course. Bunyols are fritters made with a dash of pumpkin in the dough. This is usually consumed during the famous Las Fallas festival but available throughout the year as it’s a local favourite.
Same as day 7
Drive from Valencia to Barcelona. It’s about 355km and takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes.
An enchanting seaside city, Barcelona comes with loads of culture, famous architecture and a world-class dining scene.
To start with, Sagrada Família which is one of the most popular attractions in the country. Designed by Antoni Gaudí, a Catalan architect, this is a Catholic basilica and it’s known for Catalan modernism, an architectural style. Although its construction remains incomplete, it continues to attract millions of tourists. A large boulevard which starts from the Plaça Catalunya and goes on all the way until the seafront, La Rambla is one of the most iconic streets in the city. It’s full of food markets, boutiques, cafes and shops. At the end of the pier of La Rambla, is this monument which pays homage to Christopher Columbus. Mirador de Colom also has a viewing tower which offers panoramic views of the surroundings. A historic route which connects two areas, Passeig de Gràcia is often compared to the Champs-Élysées in Paris due to the presence of luxury boutiques and designer stores. One of the largest football stadiums in Europe and home to the famous FC Barcelona football team, Camp Nou Stadium is an experience to visit. It also displayed original football shirts, trophies and memorabilia.
Some of the best-known recipes of Barcelona include stews like la escudella i carn d'olla which is made with rice, noodles, vegetables, potato, etc. Arroz a la cazuela is a famous dish which is similar to the Valencian paella. Believed to be invented in Barcelona, bombas are large fried balls made with bread and stuffed with potato or meat and topped with garlic mayonnaise. Croquettes is also famous, and they are bread rolls filled with cheese or meat and fried.
Same as day 9
After a hearty breakfast, drop off the car at Barcelona airport as it’s time to bid adios to Spain and head to the airport for your flight to your onward destination.