Where Should you Drive in Spain? The Best Road Trips

23rd May, 2022, in Travel Advice & Guides

Spain is the most popular destination for British tourists. Every year, millions flock to enjoy the sun, scenery and sangria. Quite often, though, the best areas of this beautiful country are missed as people head to tourist hotspots, overlooking the hidden gems.

We have put together a selection of some of the best journeys you can enjoy in your hire car and where to find them. However, when venturing off the beaten track, always remember to keep yourself covered from all eventualities. Holiday car excess insurance is one way to do this, plus ensuring you know the country’s driving rules. Once you have these in place, you can strap in and enjoy the ride. Collecting your hire car has never been easier either thanks to our directory. Whether flying into Seville, Valencia, Barcelona, Madrid or anywhere else, we have all you need to get on the road in Spain.

The mountain roads to El Chorro

The mountains of El Chorro are in the heart of Andalusia. Loved by hikers and those without fear of heights, this scenic beauty allows for some breath-taking views and challenging driving.

Situated an hour from Malaga, the route itself can take just half an hour. The roads are a mix of narrow and wide, meaning you will have to keep your focus. However, when you choose to stop and take in the sights, it will be worth it.

The wooden paths have depths in some places of over 100m, making for an exciting, daring walk for hardcore hikers.

Things to look out for are the Conde de Guadalhorce Reservoir, which will appear on your left as you approach El Chorro. When you reach the end of this route, you are once again thrown into a dreamscape with the Andalusian sky and plains filling the vista.

To accomplish this visual treat, take the route Ardales to El Chorro.

Tunnels and time travel

Sticking with Andalusia, this trip mixes a blast from the past and modern-day culture. The N-430 road is an old coastal road that takes you along the Costa del Sol. Rarely used nowadays, many say this route feels like traveling back in time. The tunnels you pass through are carved in stone, allowing you to be transported from inner cities to a stunning coastal drive. The luscious Mediterranean sea joins you on one side, whilst craggy rock accompanies you on the other.

It is a drive to be paced out as there are many sights to take in and for those looking to keep things a little modern, the deserts around Almeria were used to shoot scenes for Game of Thrones as the home of the Dothraki. You might also stop at the Torre de Mesa Roldan and Cabo de Gata Park, where parts of Game of Thrones were also filmed.

You’ll pass the old town of Salobrena when taking this route, providing a fantastic view of the famous hill and castle. For the best possible view, you could check into a nearby hotel featuring a sky bar.

To complete this route, take the N-340 from Adra via Ancantilados de Marco through to Malaga.

Montserrat Mountain

If you are staying in Barcelona or nearby, Montserrat is well worth a visit. Just 45 km from the northwest part of the city, the mountain provides a challenging yet exhilarating drive. It will take about an hour to complete the full route (not including your travel from Barcelona), but every minute of it is worth it. Mixing twisty hairpins with steep gradients, this drive boasts mind blowing views.

As you near the top, you will reach the Benedictine monastery, giving way to Catalunya. Built into the mountains itself, this monastery is centuries old, a world away from the traditional tourist hotspots.

To complete this route that some say replicates a car commercial with its incredible views, Take the Barcelona-Montserrat Mountain road BP-1121.

Countryside beauty

Our final recommendation offers two countries for the price of one with this long but spectacular drive. From Bilbao, this 480 km route will take you through quaint villages, spectacular mountain roads and dramatic ocean views.

You begin in Bilbao and head towards some smaller mountain roads, then venturing towards the Pyrenees and entering France. As you encounter incredible sights at every turn, you’ll be wanting to stop for photo opportunities whenever you can! Once the first leg of the journey is complete and you are heading back to Bilbao, you’ll be cruising past rugged cliffs and crashing waves, making for a journey that gives you a real taste of what untouched Spain is really like.

To begin this route, start in Bilbao and head to Pamplona. From here, the N-135 will take you into France.

Have these trips inspired you to venture into other areas of Spain?  It is a country so full of diversity that we couldn’t possibly cover all the incredible road trips you can enjoy. However, we hope those mentioned above have given you food for thought.

Make sure you keep yourself protected from any of the surprise costs that can appear whilst travelling abroad. Our team at Direct Car Hire Excess are experienced in giving drivers the cover they need, be it for European or worldwide insurance car hire excess policies. We provide you with varying levels of cover to keep you protected against all types of excess costs. Contact us today to see how we can help, or get a free quote now.


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