Best Scenic Drive Through Spain

How to spend a week in Spain

The road trip is a truly classic way to travel in both comfort and style. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is also one of the safest ways to continue exploring the world. You can remain in your bubble, maintain hygiene standards and be always on the alert for a beautiful view! Traveling by car is a great way to experience as much as possible within a region when you’re limited by time. However, we know that if you’re not a local it can be daunting to begin planning routes without any knowledge of the area. That’s why we’ve compiled the ultimate itinerary for the best scenic drive through Spain, so you can see the very best of a beautiful country in one trip. ¡Vamos!

Start off in Spain’s most famous city before you begin your scenic drive

First Stop: Madrid

Starting off in the capital, you can acquaint yourself with the city famous for fine art, football and Spain’s official road-trip start point. Puerta del Sol (a main square in the city) is also known as ‘kilometre 0’ as all of Spain’s six major roads originate from here. What better place to begin your scenic drive through Spain?

Explore the vibrant museums, dine in quality restaurants and discover the diverse city landscape that Madrid is known for. It’s the best place to start to get a sense of city life before you begin your road trip journey into the Andalusian countryside.

Marvel at the incredibly scenic Roman ruins in Segovia. Source: PabloCabezoz @Flickr

Second Stop: Segovia

Segovia is just over an hour’s drive north of Madrid and is well worth the trip. Not only does it have a stunning Cathedral and Alcazar, but it is also home to an Aqueduct that is one of the most impressive relics of the Roman Empire in Spain. It spans 17 kilometers and has around 166 arches. So, there’s no surprise that its been declared a UNESCO world heritage site. 

However, before you get there why not check out some of the scenic views on your way? The Valley of the Fallen is a stunning Catholic basilica that has been hailed a triumph of 20th century Spanish architecture. It’s a truly unique site in Spain and is tied to 20th century Spanish history as it was built by the dictator Francisco Franco. Alternatively, if you want to explore a smaller town, stop off at El Espinar! You can gently relax in the small squares and parks before you head to Segovia.

Soak in the history and the scenic landscape in Toledo. Source: PhilFiddyment@Flickr

Third Stop: Visit Toledo

Toledo is around 74km south of Madrid and is a city famed for its historical significance. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, and has been so since 1986. It boasts a magnificent Cathedral, medieval bridge and Moorish ruin. The city is a testament of the unique religious history of Andalusia, when people of Jewish, Christian and Islamic faith lived and co-operated together. Before getting there make sure to stop off at the ancient city of Illescas! The picturesque city makes the route one of the best scenic drives in Spain, with plenty to see and do there. You can walk the parameters of the city which was once walled and manned by five gates and visit the beautiful churches within. 

Stop off at Cordoba on the best scenic drive through Spain
Walk the historic bridge of Cordoba and visit the famous Mezquita. Source: GrahamStanley@Flickr

Fourth Stop: Cordoba

Cordoba is one of Andalusia’s most beautiful cities and is also home to a stunning UNESCO World Heritage site. The Mezquita is a truly unique building that combines both Christian and Muslim architecture. As well as this, if you visit Cordoba in May you also have the unique opportunity of attending the Feria de los Patios. At this time, private courtyards are opened to the public, where you can see the vibrant flower displays that are unique to the city.

However, Cordoba is worth visiting all year round so that you can take in the spectacular history and wander through the narrow streets. Before heading to your next stop, make sure to visit the Parque Natural Sierra de Hornachuelos, a protected biosphere. The views are stunning and it’s the perfect place to stretch your legs and have a break from driving. As well as this, you can also stop off and visit the Medina Azahara. This is truly a hidden gem in the area, as it remains unknown to many native Andalusians. The Medina Azahara was an ancient and splendid city, and you can visit its ruins situated only 7km away from Cordoba.

Delight in Seville’s stunning architectural landscape. Source: RhiannonMorris@Instagram

Fifth Stop: Seville

South West of Cordoba is the city of Seville, around an hour and forty minutes drive away. Seville is one of Spain’s most well-known cities, and there is plenty for you to do during your visit (we recommend spending two days here if you can). There are stunning views of the Guadalquivir river from Triana, where you can often find great tapas and flamenco. The Royal Alcazar and Cathedral are also must-visit destinations, offering both Gothic and Islamic architecture that is unparalleled by anywhere else.

If there’s one view you can’t miss in Seville, it’s the sunset. From besides the river or a rooftop bar, Seville will provide the ultimate romantic backdrop. You may also glimpse the famous oranges ripening in the trees and marvel at the mosaic tiles throughout the city. Seville is an essential stop for your Instagram and the perfect spot for one of the best scenic drives through Spain. 

Best scenic drive through the white villages
The white villages are one of the best scenic views in Andalusia. Source: MarkChinnick@Flickr

Sixth Stop: The White Villages

The White Villages signify a change in Spain’s historic landscape, adding a splash of white onto the rocky terrain. Driving through the region, you’ll marvel at the houses submerged in the cliff faces. It really does have to be seen to be believed! Perhaps the most notable view can be found in Ronda, which is literally split in half by the El Tajo gorge. You won’t be able to take your eyes off the 100 feet drop,  or the transfixing view of the New Bridge that spans the canyon. This is perhaps the most scenic area of Spain, so you can’t afford to miss it! Don’t forget to check out the view in some of the lesser known villages too, including Zahara de la Sierra and Grazalema.

Visit the famous Alhambra palace and gaze out at the Sierra Nevada mountains. Source: SnippyHolloW@Flickr

Seventh Stop: Granada

From one stunning city to another, Granada is the perfect place to end your scenic drive through Spain. Looking for captivating beauty? You won’t be disappointed by the stunning view from the Alhambra palace that takes in the whole city and the Sierra Nevada mountains beyond. 

You can also wander through ‘mini Morocco’, a series of streets that reflect the traditional Moroccan bazaar. As well as this, you can explore the Sacromonte caves and witness the rich culture of flamenco that still exists in the caves. Finish your tour with a beer in hand as the sunset fades over the most beautiful areas in the world.

Ready to hit the road? We’ll help you organise your trip and work out the details. Whether it’s to hire a car for you, or to organise private transfers we’ll get the most affordable rates and the best quality. All you’ll have is to enjoy the best scenic drive in Spain!

Post written by: Rhiannon Morris

2 thoughts on “Best Scenic Drive Through Spain

  1. Sushil Gill says:

    Great information. We’re from Texas and planning to drive from Madrid to Cadiz. We are trying to find quiet country roads and villages along the way south in September. Any tips would be helpful. Thanks

    • Mahsa says:

      Hi Sushil,

      Glad you likes our post. There is a lot to do, see and experience on the way. It depends on the time you have, the season and what interests you. Would you like to have a proposed itinerary? In this case please pass me your dates and interests and I would be happy to design a nice itinerary for you which we can also modify. It costs 200 euros.

      Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks!


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