The Best Places to Visit on a Road Trip Through Spain - Fall 2018
Known for its historic landmarks, iconic festivals, idyllic beaches, and delicious food, Spain is a favorite amongst new and seasoned travelers. Spain’s relaxed atmosphere is best appreciated when traveling by car, giving you the flexibility to take your time, spend your days as you wish, and venture on any detour that catches your eye. Pick up your car from Barcelona’s El Prat Airport, only 20 minutes away from the city center.
Barcelona is full of color and culture, with a deep appreciation for fine and eccentric arts, flavorful food, and warm hospitality. A visit to La Boqueria is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the mouth- admire the beautifully arranged specialty foods and take home some snacks or groceries after sampling and finding your favorites. Casa Batlló is one of many architectural marvels in Barcelona, famously designed by Gaudí. Also designed by Gaudí is Parque Güell, a public outdoor space where visitors can enjoy the garden’s views of the surrounding city. The Palau de la Música Catalana is a wildly impressive concert hall, with interesting design elements both on the interior and exterior of the property. Admire the space during one of its scheduled programs or opt to see the hall empty during a tour.
Tarragona (1 hour and 40 minutes from Barcelona)
Tarragona is home to ancient Roman Ruins and tombs overlooking the coast, with some fragments still visible in its medieval old town. Travelers can explore the historical sites while enjoying the comforts of a beautiful destination along the Mediterranean.
Siurana (1 hour from Tarragona)
In the mountains with sweeping views of the river below, Siurana is a romantic and adventurous destination complete with wine tastings, hiking, and climbing. The village feels frozen in time and travelers visiting the picturesque region are sure to create memories lasting a lifetime.
L'Ametlla De Mar, Cataluna (1 hour 30 minutes from Siurana)
The perfect balance of rocky coves and sandy beaches exists at L’Amettla de Mar, a fishing town turned vacation favorite amongst native Spaniards. The destination is made for appreciating the beauty of the Mediterranean, where travelers can scuba, snorkel, relax on the beach, take a boat tour, or walk from cove to cove along the coast.
Valencia (2 hours from L’Amettla de Mar)
Home to many museum and various attractions, Valencia is the third largest city in Spain and attracts travelers interested in a culturally rich destination complete with medieval architecture and traces of influence from multiple rulers.
Calpe (1 hour 20 minutes from Valencia)
Calpe is a beach town that is one of Spain’s lesser known gems. Views from the beach feature a monolith that attracts adventurous hikers and climbers. Most known for the architectural project La Muralla Roja, many visitors are surprised to find that the landmark is actually an apartment complex, with some units available for rent on Airbnb.
Cuenca (3 hours from Calpe)
Head back up north and pass through Valencia again on your way to Cuenca, a historic walled village that was founded by Moors in 700AD and is famous for its “Hanging Houses” built along the cliff-side above the valley’s river. Travelers can find unique accommodations in converted monasteries, bed and breakfasts, or luxury hotels.
Madrid (1 hour 40 minutes from Cuenca)
The capital city of Spain is home to many expats who decided that a visit to Madrid just wasn’t enough. The endless restaurants, museums, attractions, parks, historical centers, and unique neighborhoods warrant an extended stay in this city. There is surely something for everyone in Madrid, including families, couples, business travelers, or students. Rich in culture and with a long history of appreciating fine arts, Madrid is home to the Museo Nacional Del Prado, a prized collection of European art. For travelers who enjoy spending the day at leisure, the Parque de Retiro is full of worthwhile stops, including the Palacio de Cristal, a glass and metal greenhouse that often hosts rotating exhibits and art shows. Madrid has no shortage of restaurants or places to eat, but one way to sample your favorites would be to visit the Mercado de San Miguel, turning your lunch from just a meal to a full experience.
At the end of your trip when you are ready to depart, drive yourself to Madrid’s Barajas Airport where you can conveniently leave your car at our drop-off location. With Auto France’s Open Europe Program, drivers that lease their cars short-term are never subject to additional fees for picking-up and dropping-off at different locations.
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