Take advantage of your 11 days in Spain with a road trip through numerous cultures, regions, and landscapes. Options include driving along the scenic Basque coastline, exploring the historic towns of La Mancha and Extremadura, and combining buzzy Madrid with laid-back Andalusia. Regardless of your choice, these itineraries allow you to dive into Spain's rich history while experiencing its natural beauty.

Itinerary #1: Spain Off-the-Beaten-Path Road Trip: Madrid, La Mancha & Extremadura

An adventurous alternative to Spain's popular beach holidays and major cities is to embark on this off-the-beaten-path road trip through La Mancha and Extremadura, a vast expanse filled with castles, vineyards, and medieval towns. After experiencing La Mancha's highlights, you'll tackle western Extremadura and visit historic, lesser-known cities like Mérida and Cáceres.

Stroll through the historic streets of towns like Trujillo, Spain
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Madrid, Evening Tapas Experience Madrid
Day 2 Private City Walk, Discover Madrid's Royal Legacy Madrid
Day 3 Pick up Rental Car, Drive to Toledo, City Walk Toledo
Day 4 Drive to Almagro via Las Tablas de Daimiel Almagro
Day 5 Explore La Mancha, Drive to Valdepeñas Valdepeñas
Day 6 Wine Tour of La Mancha Valdepeñas
Day 7 Drive to Mérida, Guided City Walk Mérida
Day 8 Drive to Cáceres, Stroll the Old Town Cáceres
Day 9 Drive to Trujillo, Guided Experience Trujillo
Day 10 Drive to Madrid via Monfragüe National Park Madrid
Day 11 Depart Spain  

You'll start in Madrid and discover the buzz and history of Spain's capital city, being sure to carve out time for some tapas. Then after picking up your rental, head south to Toledo on Day 3, one of the country's most historic cities, where you can view Jewish, Muslim, and Christian monuments. Next, enter La Mancha, a region famous for its wine, windmills, and connection to Cervantes' "Don Quixote." Be sure to visit the beautiful Las Tablas de Daimiel National Park, an important wetland teeming with wildlife, and sample wines of the region.

On Day 7, it's time to experience one of the most off-the-beaten-path areas of Spain: Extremadura. You'll find numerous hilltop castles and charming old towns filled with history and architecture, such as the Roman ruins in Mérida, the Arab tower in Cáceres, and 15th-century paintings in the Hispano-Flemish style in Trujillo. You'll stop at another national park, Monfragüe, to walk among lakes connected by waterfalls. End your trip back in Madrid for a final night before your departure the next day. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Spain Road Trip: Madrid, León & Santiago de Compostela

Focusing on Spain's northwest on this 11-day adventure, you'll drive from the capital of Madrid into Galicia, where you can indulge in everything from wine tours to boat excursions to islands framed by white-sand beaches. You'll even visit the historic city of Santiago de Compostela, the endpoint of the historic Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route.

Pais de ronda, spain
Relax on the white-sand beaches of the Cíes Islands, Spain
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Madrid, Evening Tapas Experience Madrid
Day 2 Madrid's Highlights, Prado Museum & Food Tour Madrid
Day 3 Drive to Ribera del Duero Peñafiel
Day 4 Free Day in Ribera del Duero Peñafiel
Day 5 Drive to León, City Walk León
Day 6 Drive to Ribeira Sacra via Astorga Monforte de Lemos
Day 7 Boat Ride in Ribeira Sacra, Drive to Vigo Vigo
Day 8 Day Trip to the Cíes Islands Vigo
Day 9 Drive to Santiago de Compostela via the Camellia Route Santiago de Compostela
Day 10 Santiago de Compostela City Walk & Cooking Class Santiago de Compostela
Day 11 Depart Spain  

Starting again in the capital, you'll explore Madrid by visiting its highlights, including the majestic Royal Palace and the city's "green lung," Retiro Park. Save time for some tapas, then hit the road on Day 3 and drive to Ribera del Duero, a scenic region filled with castles and vineyards. One of the most picturesque fortresses is Peñafiel Castle, dominating a dramatic hilltop. Then spend a night in León, a lesser-known city with a history dating back to the Romans.

On Day 6, enjoy the picturesque landscapes of Galicia with stops in Ribeira Sacra, with its rivers twisting through canyons, and the Cíes Islands, home to the turquoise waters and white sand of Roda Beach. Your road trip finishes in Santiago de Compostela, the terminus of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, which ends at the Romanesque Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Visit important landmarks, explore the cobbled streets, and enjoy a cooking class before heading home. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Ultimate Northern Spain Road Trip: Madrid, Galicia & Basque Country

This 11-day packed road trip is similar to the option above, starting in Spain's capital of Madrid and visiting the Galicia region. However, you'll keep going and take the scenic coastal drive through Basque Country while leaving time for an excursion to the Cíes Islands. Mix city excursions with trips out into the countryside to learn about traditional and authentic Northern Spanish ways of life. 

Beach Praia de Nosa Senora in Cíes Islands
Enjoy the scenery of Galicia, like Praia de Nosa Señora beach in Cíes Islands
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Madrid, Evening Tapas Experience Madrid
Day 2 Private City Walk, Discover Madrid's Royal Legacy Madrid
Day 3 Drive to León, City Walk León
Day 4 Drive to Ribeira Sacra via Astorga Monforte de Lemos
Day 5 Boat Excursion in Ribeira Sacra, Drive to Vigo Vigo
Day 6 Explore the Cíes Island, Drive to Santiago de Compostela Santiago de Compostela
Day 7 Santiago de Compostela Cooking Class & City Walk Santiago de Compostela
Day 8 Drive to Oviedo via Lugo Oviedo
Day 9 Drive to Bilbao Bilbao
Day 10 City Walk in Bilbao & Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Day 11 Depart Spain  

If the itinerary above perked your interest, and you want to include the Basque Country, consider this option. Similarly, you'll start in Madrid, enjoying city walks and tapas, but then you'll head straight to León to explore its ancient Roman walls. Then on Day 4, visit the natural beauty of the area's Ribeira Sacra and Cíes Islands, stopping in the historic town of Astorga and staying the night in coastal Vigo.

Continue to Santiago de Compostela for city walks and a cooking class, then make your way to a new city, Oviedo, a hub in the Asturias region and home to refreshing sidra (cider). Stop in Lugo to walk along the ancient walls surrounding the city's Old Town, then hop back in the car and carry on until you reach Bilbao, taking the scenic coastal route to get there. Enjoy two days in Bilbao, checking out its Old Town, Mercado de la Ribera, and exploring the impressive Guggenheim Museum. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Ultimate Southern Spain Road Trip: Madrid to Andalusia

Hit the road and explore Southern Spain on this self-drive adventure from Madrid to Toledo, once the nation's capital in the Middle Ages. You'll continue to Andalusia and marvel at the region's Moorish gardens and palaces while also stopping in historic cities like Córdoba.

Watch the sunset over the famous Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Madrid, Evening Tapas Experience Madrid
Day 2 Private City Walk, Discover Madrid's Royal Legacy Madrid
Day 3 Pick up Rental Car, Drive to Toledo, City Walk Toledo
Day 4 Drive to Córdoba, Guided City Experience Córdoba
Day 5 Drive to Seville, Tapas Walk Seville
Day 6 Half-Day City Exploration of Seville Seville
Day 7 Drive to Ronda via Arcos de la Frontera Ronda
Day 8 Drive to Granada via the Caminito del Rey Granada
Day 9 Private Excursion to the Alhambra, Ceramics Class Granada
Day 10 Drive to Málaga Málaga
Day 11 Depart Spain  

Swap the north for the south with this itinerary option. You'll still start in Madrid to soak up the city's energy and historical sites and stop in Toledo to learn about the "City of Three Cultures." But then you'll turn south toward Andalusia, with Córdoba as your first stopping point in the region. Visit the unique Mezquita (a mosque-cathedral in one) and stroll across Puente Romano, a bridge built in the first century BCE. 

Next, head to Seville for tapas and visits to sites like the Seville Cathedral and Royal Alcázar, then drive to one of the most famous White Villages, Ronda, via one of the most charming of these whitewashed towns, Arcos de la Frontera. No trip to Andalusia is complete without Moorish Granada. Along the way, stop to hike the infamous Caminito del Rey trail, with its views straight into the Guadalhorce River Gorge. Visit the incredible Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens, then take a ceramics class before ending your trip in coastal Málaga. Learn more

More Great Spain Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Spain? Check out these other Spain road trip itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of excursions to hit the highlights. 


Map of 11 Days in Spain - 4 Unique Road Trip Itineraries
Map of 11 Days in Spain - 4 Unique Road Trip Itineraries