9 of the best road trips in the world
8th August 2021
From the mountains, to the cities and the sun-drenched islands, Spain is a country that offers travellers such a wealth of experiences that they return again and again. Whether you're a history buff, an island-hopper, a foodie or a culture vulture - or a blend of them all - you'll be spoilt for choice. Wander through an ancient Moorish palace perched on a hilltop in Granada, admire Gaudi's never-quite-finished Cathedral in Barcelona or tuck into a paella, or perhaps some tapas, whilst sipping a glass of Spanish wine and watching the world go by. Our local partners know Spain like the back of their hands - it's their home after all! - and will create the perfect tailor-made tour for you.
While there are myriad experiences to be had in Spain, there are some that are the most popular (for good reason!) and are considered some of the best things to do when in the country. Speak to our local partner company if any appeal to you, and they can easily incorporate them into your itinerary.
Admire the spectacular Alhambra in Granada
If you plan to explore Andalusia whilst you're in Spain, then make sure you put a visit to the Moorish palace and fortress complex of Alhambra at the top of your list of things to do there. Built on top of an ancient Roman fort in the 14th century, it is a truly stunning piece of architecture, that still takes your breath away today. Glorious views abound from nearby Mirador de San Nicolás and there are plenty of places to eat or have a drink whilst you watch the sun sink over the fortress.
Island hop through the Balearics
Fragrant woods and craggy cliffs frame white sand beaches and heavenly, turquoise bays in the Balearics. Don't be put off Ibiza by the infamous nightlife - the island itself is gorgeous and there are secret coves to swim in and some great walking routes to take in the scenery. Mallorca and Menorca offer equally stunning vistas as well as a healthy dose of culture, with picturesque towns providing a bit of bustle in the form of markets and restaurants, and secluded beaches just crying out for a beach towel and a good book.
Tantalise your tastebuds...
Spain is a fantastic foodie destination with some iconic dishes to its name. Whether you're drawn towards the street food staples of paella (bursting with spicy, fishy flavour) or churros (long pastries with chocolate dip) or the classic tidbits of the tapas bars, you will never be disappointed. For those who fancy a bit of finesse, there are vineyards offering tours and tastings of Spain's famed wines, and Michelin-starred restaurants aplenty.
From the art and culture of coastal Barcelona with Gaudi's magical cathedral, to the spectacular architecture and colourful tiles of Spanish Square in Seville, there are so many incredible city highlights to explore in Spain that we couldn't possibly do them justice in a little summary. Just know that if you want culture, music, food, history, sun, sand or sea... you name it, a Spanish city has it.
The best time to go to Spain is in spring (March - May) or autumn (September - November) as the weather is usually at its most pleasant and you miss the summer crowds, however there really isn't a bad time to visit the country. The climate is mild and it generally stays dry year-round (though you may find that it can rain in the mountains a little more come late autumn).
Summer (June - August) is pretty hot, especially in the south of the country, and you may find that there are more European visitors taking advantage of the summer school holidays to go to the popular beach resorts. The north of the country remains slightly less hot during summer however, so if you're hoping to avoid the crowds and make the most of the cooler climes then venture there.
Even in winter, temperatures rarely drop below 10°C but it's worth noting that cold and wet weather can make the north a little dreary for a holiday while the south remains pleasant, dry and sunny.
While you know about the incredible cities, beautiful islands and fabulous tapas treats, here are a few of the lesser-known highlights of this fantastic country. Of course, if you want any insider info then don't hesitate to speak to our local partners who are the true experts on their country!
Basque in a foodie heaven
Among Spain's fine regional cuisines, the food of the Basque Country stands out for its fantastic flavours. An abundance of amazing produce from both land and sea is revered, and once it has been prepared with local flair you will find yourself under the spell of Basque gastronomy. Renowned specialities include Idiazabal cheese, txakoli wine and the delicious cured hams, all of which you will develop a deep understanding of as you get to know how they are made and their origins.
Pueblos Blancos - the whitewashed towns of Andalucia
Weaving through the Andalucian countryside there is a wealth of beauty to discover, from the undulating olive-clad landscapes to the smattering of whitewashed villages and the stunning cities. Take in coastal gems, follow scenic hiking trails and enjoy traditional local artisan crafts and foodie treats. Incredible Moorish architecture adorns Andalucia's fine cities, spellbinding in its design and colour, while the lively street life is an added draw.
Get into the great outdoors in Aragon
The mountains of Aragon are one of Spain's best kept secrets. A paradise of green peaks and gorges clustered with medieval churches, castles and villages invites outdoor adventures and is well set up for kayaking, rafting, mountain biking and even paragliding and skiing. Natural hot springs welcome aching bodies after all that action, and the hearty local dishes are perfect for hungry hikers. Awe inspiring views and impressive birdlife complete the picture.
'The Sun also Rises' by Ernest Hemingway
A novel, often named as Hemingway's best, follows a group of expats as the make their way from Paris to Pamplona to see the running of the bulls. Marvellous characterisation and a lively plot.
'Ghosts of Spain' by Giles Tremlett
An poetic examination of Spanish society, history and the secret tragedy of the victims of Franco's regime. The author has spent more than two decades living in Spain and his close up view of Spain and the Spanish is revealing.
'The Shadow of the Wind' by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Set in post civil war Barcelona and written with engaging prose and haunting atmosphere, this elaborate tale is one of Spain's most popular recent novels.
Do you already have an idea of what your dream holiday in Spain entails? Whether you're ready to book or would like your ideas to be fined-tuned into something more, send an enquiry and our trusted local experts will design your perfect tailor-made holiday.