The best road trips in Spain

15 September 20236 min read

View of a curving road that leads to the famous lighthouse on the Formentor Peninsula on the Balearic Island of Majorca

Please note: this article is sponsored by our partners at Orbit. The links on this page will take you directly to the Orbit website.

With enchanting coastlines, ancient cities and sun-soaked seaside towns to discover, Spain is a brilliant country for a self-drive holiday.

From beach-hopping adventures along Majorca’s west coast to iconic countryside drives in Andalusia, we’ve tapped our partners at Orbit Car Hire to round up seven road trip routes to see Spain at its best.

Mainland Spain

Basque Coast

Length: Around 345 miles | Allow 5-7 days

For a Spanish getaway with a difference, it has to be the Basque Coast. And this driving route from Bilbao to A Coruña ticks off all the top spots along the way.

Get acquainted with Bilbao’s striking architecture and world-class art before skimming the coastal roads west. You can expect grand palaces and white sandy stretches in Santander while Gijón’s fish-filled waters deliver seafood suppers at their best.

Ancient ruins, churches, and museums await you in A Coruña, reached by a final epic stretch through the rugged landscapes and dramatic valleys that the Basque Country is famed for.

Hire your car from Bilbao City or Bilbao Airport to start your road trip from Bilbao.

Southern Spain

Length: Around 427 miles | Allow 8-10 days

Spain’s southern region of Andalusia needs no introduction – its sun-drenched scenery and historic cities are a favourite with road-trippers and holidaymakers alike.

Dive headfirst into its highlights on this central circuit, looping from Seville to Córdoba via Malaga and Granada. Flamenco shows, art museums and ancient cathedrals are all on the itinerary, as is the iconic hilltop Alhambra palace.

If you’ve got a whole ten days to play with, linger a little longer on Malaga’s golden beaches or stretch your legs among Jaén’s sprawling olive groves.

Collect your rental car from either Seville City or Seville Airport to begin this route in Seville.

East coast

Length: Around 228 miles | Allow 4-6 days

Get set to explore the popular seaside resorts and cities of the Costa Brava and Costa Blanca on this coastal jaunt from Barcelona to Valencia.

Allow some time in Barcelona to tick off its highlights before striking out south. Take your pick from Sitges, Tarragona, Salou or Cambrils as you saunter down the coast – you’ll find buzzing beach resorts, top-notch tapas and trendy nightclubs in the lot.

Castellón de la Plana’s 13th-century cathedral and impressive bell tower are what puts this romantic town on the map. Valencia, meanwhile, is all about huge helpings of paella – it’s where the dish originated from, after all!

To set off from Barcelona, pick up your hire car from Barcelona City or Barcelona Airport.

Balearic Islands

Majorca west coast

Length: Around 115 miles | Allow 3-4 days

Make a beeline out of Palma and bypass the resorts of the south – Majorca’s real magic lies along its lesser-visited west coast.

The winding Ma-10 road is your guide on the drive up to Alcudia, but you can easily spend three to four days on off-route adventures to secluded coves and sparkling cobalt bays. You won’t be short of options along this dreamy coastline, either. Highlights worth stopping for include Caló d'en Monjo, Cala Estellencs, Cala Banyalbufar and Cala de Deià.

When the road dips inland not far out of Port de Soller, you’ll discover an altogether different side of this well-trodden island. Follow the lush foothills of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains to Port de Pollença’s sandy shores.

Get started from Majorca Airport, just 20 minutes from the city centre.

Ibiza east coast

Length: Around 31 miles | Allow 2-3 days

Would you believe Ibiza has a quieter side, one of family-friendly resorts, peaceful beaches and traditional market towns? Get to know it on this laidback east coast drive.

While there’s no one road that will take you directly along the coast, the PM-810 covers most of the east, so you can detour to beaches and seaside villages as you please. Leave behind lively Ibiza Town to swim beneath pine-clad hills in Cala Llonga, watch yachts drift into Santa Eulària marina and browse hippie markets in Es Canar.

Snorkelling in Es Figueral’s turquoise waters and catching the sunrise from Cala de Sant Vicent’s beach are the perfect way to round out your trip.

Pick up the keys at Ibiza Airport, less than a ten-minute drive from Ibiza Town.

Canary Islands

Gran Canaria north to south

Length: Around 58 miles | Allow 3 days

A central snapshot of Gran Canaria, this cross-country adventure shows off the best of the island, from its incredible national parks to its most popular coastal resorts.

Only 58 miles (93 km) in length, three days is enough to take you from the beaches and bars of the island’s cosmopolitan capital in the north to Maspalomas’ sand dunes in the south.

In between? Get set for dramatic twists and turns as you slalom your way around the ravines and volcano peaks of Doramas Rural Park en route to Valleseco; tackle hairpin bends to hilltop Tejeda; and navigate the steep valley roads to Fataga, skimming the outskirts of the desert-like Pilancones Natural Park as you go.

Only 20 minutes from Las Palmas’ centre, collect your rental car from Las Palmas Airport to start your journey.

Tenerife coast

Length: Around 122 miles | Allow 4-5 days

From its best-known resorts to its quieter fishing towns, this complete island loop from Santa Cruz checks off Tenerife’s coastal highlights in one go.

Discover Canarian charms of the east coast’s easy-going towns in Candelaria, Abades and El Médano, before taking your pick of all-inclusive hotels, sun-lounger-lined beaches and energetic bars that the southern beach resorts are known for. Los Cristianos, Playa de las Americas and Costa Adeje are the big-hitters here.

Over on the west coast, lesser-known Garachico and La Orotava are full of pretty architecture to admire while Puerto de la Cruz’s black-sand beaches are a must-visit. Round up this route in style back on Santa Cruz’s lively beaches.

To begin your adventure in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, rent your car from Tenerife North Airport, a 15-minutes drive away.

*All drive times and distances are accurate according to Google Maps.

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