Spain is a perfect road trip destination, and with seven days it's best to focus your time on just a few regions. Start in Madrid and spend a week in the north or south, or head to the Canary Islands for a week of nature-focused adventures. We've selected these five driving itineraries to show you the best spots for adventure, world-class gastronomy, and slow-paced small towns.

Itinerary #1: Ultimate Southern Spain Road Trip - Madrid to Andalusia

Balance self-guided travel with the expertise of local guides as you road trip from Madrid to Andalusia, with adventures like a heart-pumping canyon hike, ceramics class, and plenty of delicious tapas. 

A view of the Alhambra, Granada
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Madrid - Evening Tapas Tour Madrid
Day 2 Private City Tour - Discover Madrid's Royal Legacy Madrid
Day 3 Pick up Rental Car - Drive From Madrid to Seville - Córdoba Tour Seville
Day 4 Half-Day City Tour of Seville Seville
Day 5 Drive from Seville to Granada - Hike the Caminito del Rey Granada
Day 6 Private Tour of the Alhambra - Ceramics Class Granada
Day 7 Drive from Granada to Málaga - Departure  

Although you’ll be navigating your way southward through Spain on your own, you’ll have plenty of help from expert guides and unique experiences along the way. Nearly every stop on your self-driving adventure includes private tours and adventures tailored to show you the best of southern Spain. Kick off your trip in Madrid, with a delicious culinary exploration and a comprehensive tour of the city. 

Hit the road on day three, stopping first for a guided tour of Córdoba, which was home to Roman pagans, Jews, Muslims, and Catholics throughout the ages. Explore Seville in the evening and continue discovering the city at your own pace the next day. As you continue south toward Granada, you’ll hike along the thrilling Caminito del Rey. The path is built along a towering gorge above the azure Guadalhorce River. Your guide will treat you to unparalleled vistas of the canyon and the valley floor. 

Once you’ve rested up in Granada, take a private tour of the city’s most iconic landmark: The Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the 9th century. End the day with a private ceramic tile-painting lesson by a local artist. In the morning, head to Málaga to wander the town or laze at the beach before returning home. Learn more.

Itinerary #2: Northern Spain Road Trip - Madrid to the Basque Country

Foodies and wine lovers will love this northern Spain itinerary through the La Rioja wine region and the Basque country. While you’ll still have plenty of insight and guidance from local experts, this itinerary is a bit more laid back than others on this list, just like the vibe of the northern coast.

San Sebastian's beaches and cityscape
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Madrid - Evening Tapas Tour Madrid
Day 2 Private City Tour - Discover Madrid's Royal Legacy Madrid
Day 3 Pick up Rental Car - Drive From Madrid to Laguardia - Wine Tour La Rioja
Day 4 Drive From La Rioja to San Sebastian - Food Tour San Sebastian
Day 5 Walking Tour of San Sebastian San Sebastian
Day 6 Drive From San Sebastian to Bilbao - City Tour & Guggenheim Bilbao
Day 7 Depart Spain  

Start with two days in Madrid learning about the city’s regal history and enjoying its delicious food with a tapas tour around town. Then pick up your rental car to head north, stopping first in the incredible La Rioja region, home to undulating hills, romantic medieval villages, and world-class wines. Take a guided winery tour, followed by perfect food pairings for each glass. 

After a night in a charming 10th-century village, head to the coastal city of San Sebastian for an exploration of northern treasures and delicacies. Take a walking tour of the famed Parte Vieja ("Old Quarter"), followed by a sampling of the city’s best pintxos (bite-sized tapas) and wines. The next day, tour the city’s highlights and ride a ferry to the gorgeous Santa Clara island. 

Finish in Bilbao, where your guide will show you the impressive architecture, cute neighborhoods, or Basque history. Admire the impressive modern art collection at the Guggenheim Museum, housed in an iconic design by all-star Frank Ghery. Learn more.

Itinerary #3: Wild Canary Islands Road Trip

This Canary Islands road trip is perfect for those who prefer their independence; you’ll explore two gorgeous islands by car and by foot, with visits to incredible national parks, charming city centers, and Spain’s highest peak.

Tenerife's sweeping northern coastline 
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tenerife La Laguna
Day 2 Anaga National Park La Laguna
Day 3 Buenavista del Norte, Masca & Santiago del Teide Santiago del Teide
Day 4 Mount Teide Santiago del Teide
Day 5 La Gomera Playa de Santiago
Day 6 Garajonay National Park Playa de Santiago
Day 7 Depart the Canary Islands Madrid

Spend the first four days in Tenerife, the “Isle of Eternal Spring.” Explore the island’s ancient capital, then spend a full day losing yourself in the verdant magic of Anaga National Park, a UNESCO-protected Biosphere Reserve; make your way through one of the world’s last remaining laurel forests with great views of black sand beaches, tiny villages, and panoramic vistas.

The next day, you’ll hit the road north along the island’s western coast, driving through primeval landscapes en route to the national parks that surround Mount Teide, Spain’s highest peak. Spend your final day on the island admiring the view from the mountain’s summit after a rigorous hike (or a relaxing cable car ride if you prefer).

On day five, catch a ferry to the smallest of the Canary Islands, La Gomera, where you’ll spend the rest of your trip. Spend the night in a charming seaside village, then head inland for an incredible day of hiking through Garajonay National Park’s subtropical rainforest. You can head out on your own or hire an expert to guide you through the park’s highlights, history, and biodiversity. Learn more.

Itinerary #4: Spain Road Trip - Madrid, Leon, & Santiago de Compostela

Explore Madrid, then curve northwest toward the coast on this epic road trip through wine country, medieval treasures, and the heart of Galicia. This itinerary also includes a traditional cooking class and a fantastic view from the last stop on the Camino de Santiago walking route. 

The Catedral de León
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Madrid - Evening Tapas Tour Madrid
Day 2 Drive From Madrid to León - City Tour León
Day 3 Drive From León to Ribeira Sacra - Stop in Astorga Monforte de Lemos area
Day 4 Boat Tour of Ribeira Sacra - Drive to Vigo Vigo
Day 5 Drive From Vigo to Santiago on the Camellia Route Santiago de Compostela
Day 6 Santiago de Compostela - Cooking Class & City Tour Santiago de Compostela
Day 7 Depart Spain  

Before you dive into the charm and history of Spain’s countryside, you’ll begin your adventure with a day in Madrid and an evening of sampling the capital’s cuisine on a guided food tour.

Once you hit the road, you’ll stop in storied towns like León, with history dating back over 2000 years, and will get a taste of Galicia’s natural splendor with some time to unwind in the Ribeira Sacra region. Hike around the river canyon or go wine tasting before a relaxing boat tour that winds along the river through the valley. 

On day five, head north toward Santiago de Compostela via the Route of the Camellia, whose vibrant coral blooms are especially photo-worthy if you’re driving through during warmer months. It’s fitting for Santiago to serve as your final stop, it's also the end of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. Explore the town on a guided tour, then taste and recreate the flavors of Galicia with a cooking class. The next morning, you’ll head to the airport for your departure. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Spain Off-the-Beaten-Path Road Trip: Madrid to La Mancha

This road trip itinerary takes you into the heartland of Spain into La Mancha, famous for its cheese, wine, and windmills that will bring out your inner Don Quixote. 

The Campo de Criptana windmills
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Madrid, Drive to La Mancha Daimiel
Day 2 Drive From Daimiel to Almagro; National Park Tour Almagro
Day 3 Tour Almagro (optional Trip to Campo de Calatrava) Almagro
Day 4 Drive From Almagro to Villanueva; Wine Tour Villanueva de los Infantes
Day 5 Tour Villanueva de los Infantes Villanueva de los Infantes
Day 6 Drive to Alcázar de San Juan, stopping at Ruidera Lakes Alcazar de San Juan
Day 7 Drive to Madrid & Departure  

Arrive in Madrid and head straight to the region made famous by Cervantes, who used it as the backdrop for Don Quixote. The area is full of charm, great wines, fabulous cheese (hello, manchego), and serves as a gateway to some incredible landscapes. As you drive to La Mancha, you'll pass its iconic windmills, which the fictional Don Quixote imagined to be nefarious giants. 

The next four days will focus on the region's charms, which you'll discover with local experts. You'll explore Las Tablas de Daimiel National Park, the tiny yet captivating town of Almagro, the wine region of Valdepeñas, and the charming Villanueva de Los Infantes

On your final full day in La Mancha, relax in the lush wetlands of Lagunas del Ruidera featuring over a dozen lakes connected by waterfalls. Spend the day soaking up nature and perhaps tasting the area's wonderful brandies. Learn more.