With eight days in Spain, you can drive a lot of ground, whether cruising along the rugged Basque coastline, exploring historic cities in Andalusia, or traversing the stunning countryside of La Mancha. These road trip options take you through different regions of Spain, including the Canary Islands, to soak up the country's rich history, diverse cultures, and stunning natural beauty.

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

Andalusia is one of Spain's most popular regions, and with this eight-day itinerary, you'll visit all its iconic highlights, plus the country's capital, Madrid. Enjoy famous sites like the Alhambra in Granada, the Royal Alcázar of Seville, and the Mosque-Cathedral in Córdoba. 

Visit Córdoba's Calahorra tower on your road trip of Andalusia
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Madrid, Evening Tapas Tour Madrid
Day 2 Private City Walk, Discover Madrid's Royal Legacy Madrid
Day 3 Pick up Rental Car, Drive to Córdoba, City Walk Córdoba
Day 4 Drive to Seville, Tapas Experience Seville
Day 5 Half-Day Seville City Experience Seville
Day 6 Drive to Granada, Hike the Caminito del Rey Granada
Day 7 Private Tour of the Alhambra, Ceramics Class Granada
Day 8 Drive to Málaga, Depart Spain  

In a little over a week, you can embark on the road trip of a lifetime through Spain. After enjoying a city walk and a meal of traditional tapas in Madrid, you'll pick up your car and hit the road south to Andalusia. Your first stop is the ancient Roman city of Córdoba, home to an incredible bridge built in the first century BCE and the country's famous Mosque-Cathedral. Next, enjoy more architecture and tapas in Seville, visiting the massive Gothic cathedral and Royal Alcázar

No trip to Andalusia is complete without stopping in Granada, home to the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, one of Spain's most-visited sites. You can also hike the country's infamous Caminito del Rey route along a towering gorge and take a fun ceramics class. The trip culminates in the coastal city of Málaga, the birthplace of Pablo Picasso. Learn more

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

If you start your Spain adventure in Madrid, one perfect pairing is the Basque Country in the north, which this eight-day adventure tackles perfectly. You'll mix Spain's capital with the beautiful and delicious La Rioja wine region and the Basque Country's best foodie cities. 

Discover El Flysch, a hiking area in Spain's Basque Country
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Madrid, Evening Tapas Tour Madrid
Day 2 Private City Walk, Discover Madrid's Royal Legacy Madrid
Day 3 Pick up Rental Car, Drive to Laguardia, Wine Excursion La Rioja
Day 4 Drive to San Sebastián, Foodie Experience San Sebastián
Day 5 Guided Walk through San Sebastián San Sebastián
Day 6 Drive to Bilbao, Optional Stop in Guernica Bilbao
Day 7 City Walk in Bilbao & Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Day 8 Depart Spain  

Eight days give you enough time for an epic road trip through northern Spain. On this itinerary, you'll start in Madrid to learn a bit about the country's capital city and history, plus enjoy some traditional tapas and visit the Royal Palace. Then, you'll drive north through the stunning La Rioja wine country, stopping to visit a winery or two. Enjoy staying in the cultural city of Laguardia and discovering more of the wine region.

For the rest of your time in Spain, you'll stay on the coast of the Basque Country. Enjoy city excursions in Bilbao and San Sebastián, both home to a rich culture and incredible food. When traveling between the two, you can opt for the scenic route that hugs the rugged Basque coast, stopping in a town like Guernica, which inspired one of Picasso's most famous works. And then, on Day 7, you'll get to explore Bilbao and its impressive Guggenheim Museum. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Spain Road Trip: Madrid, León & Santiago de Compostela

This Spain road trip lets you see a few lesser-known areas of Spain, like Monforte de Lemos and Vigo, while still enjoying the country's dynamic capital city. Some of these smaller cities are hidden gems full of incredible architecture, history, and culture. The trip ends in Santiago de Compostela, a unique city where the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage ends. 

Santiago de Compostela, Spain
End your road trip with time spent in Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Madrid, Evening Tapas Experience Madrid
Day 2 Madrid City Walk, Jamón Carving & Flamenco Show Madrid
Day 3 Drive to León, Explore Salamanca León
Day 4 Drive to Ribeira Sacra via Astorga Monforte de Lemos area
Day 5 Boat Excursion in Ribeira Sacra, Drive to Vigo Vigo
Day 6 Drive to Santiago via the Camellia Route Santiago de Compostela
Day 7 Cooking Class, Explore Santiago de Compostela Santiago de Compostela
Day 8 Depart Spain  

This eight-day road trip includes the best parts of Spain's rich culture, historic cities, and unforgettable landscapes. In Madrid alone, you'll visit famous city sights, dine at authentic tapas bars, and take in a live flamenco performance. Then it's time to hit the road as you travel to the lesser-known city of León, stopping in Salamanca along the way to explore the city's incredible architecture and gastronomy. 

Your trip ends in Santiago de Compostela, but you'll first stop in the Ribeira Sacra region, visiting the ancient city of Astorga with its Roman walls and medieval churches. Enjoy a boat excursion in the Ribera del Duero wine region, stay in coastal Vigo, then drive to Santiago via the Camellia Route, a journey that passes through fragrant gardens (the area is home to 8,000 varieties of camellia). Learn more

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Itinerary #4: Ultimate Andalusian Road Trip

Discover Andalusia with this ultimate self-driving excursion, which lets you visit some of the lesser-known areas of this popular region. You'll start and end in Málaga, stopping in history and culture-rich Ronda, Jerez de la Frontera, and Cádiz. 

Catch a sunset from the top of gorge in Ronda
Catch a sunset from the top of the gorge in Ronda
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Málaga Málaga
Day 2 Drive to Ronda via Marbella Ronda
Day 3 Guided City Walk & Winery Visit Ronda
Day 4 Morning Hike, Explore the White Villages Ronda
Day 5 Drive to Jerez via the White Villages Jerez de la Frontera
Day 6 Explore Jerez: Dancing Horses & Sherry Tasting Jerez de la Frontera
Day 7 Day Trip to Cádiz Jerez de la Frontera
Day 8 Return to Málaga, Depart Spain  

This self-drive itinerary takes you from Málaga to Cádiz through a beautiful section of Spain's southern coast. After enjoying the sights of Málaga, you'll drive to one of Andalusia's most popular Pueblos Blancos (White Villages), Ronda. This charming town sits atop the El Tajo Gorge with three historic bridges—all from different eras, including the Roman period—crossing it. Along the way, stop in glitzy Marbella to enjoy more coastal vibes.

Next, explore more of the White Villages as you wind your way to Jerez de la Frontera. These whitewashed towns make quite a dramatic scene atop hills and cliffs. Once in Jerez, you'll stay in the countryside yet still explore the city, with its beautiful Old Town and reputation for sherry and the famous Andalusian horses. Your final stop is Cádiz, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the West, with a fascinating history. Learn more

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

If you're interested in seeing a side of Spain not typically explored, you might like this off-the-beaten-path adventure that mixes the story of "Don Quixote" with hidden natural parks. Visit the iconic windmills as you weave through arid plateaus and countryside, and stop in unique places, like beautiful wetlands and lakes connected by a series of waterfalls. 

Consuegra windmills of La Mancha
The Consuegra windmills in Castile-La Mancha, Spain
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Madrid Madrid
Day 2 Pick up Rental Car, Drive to Daimiel, La Mancha Excursion Daimiel
Day 3 Drive to Almagro, National Park Experience Almagro
Day 4 Tour Almagro, Optional Day Trip to Campo de Calatrava Almagro
Day 5 Drive to Villanueva, Wine Experience Villanueva de los Infantes
Day 6 Explore Villanueva de los Infantes Villanueva de los Infantes
Day 7 Drive to Alcázar de San Juan, Stop at Ruidera Lakes Alcázar de San Juan
Day 8 Drive to Madrid via Campo de Criptana & Depart Spain  

In central Spain lies the region of La Mancha, an arid plateau first brought to international attention in the classic novel "Don Quixote." It's a stunning area in real life, and you'll discover its historical towns, castles, and unspoiled national parks on an eight-day self-drive road trip. After a night in Madrid, your first stop is Las Tablas de Daimiel, a national park protecting the area's largest wetland ecosystem. Here you'll visit the historical town of Almagro and the unique region of Campo de Calatrava.

Your next drive takes you to Villanueva de los Infantes for more history and a wine excursion in La Mancha. This is the world's largest continuous wine-growing region, with over 300 vineyards and 22,000 grape growers. Soak up more nature at Ruidera Lakes, another wetland area with 16 glassy lakes connected by cascading waterfalls providing beaches and swimming areas. You'll end your trip by returning to Madrid via another scenic route, passing more windmills. Learn more

Itinerary #6: Wild Canary Islands Road Trip: Tenerife, La Gomera & Madrid

Not many visitors to Spain make it out to the Canary Islands, but those who do, know the effort is worth it! With this Canary Islands excursion, you can visit Tenerife and La Gomera. This allows you enough time to visit several national parks, cruise the coastline, and discover the unique history and culture of the islands. 

Disocver Tenerife's volcanic Roque Cinchado in Teide National Park and marvel at Pico del Teide
Discover Tenerife's volcanic Roque Cinchado in Teide National Park and marvel at Pico del Teide
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tenerife La Laguna
Day 2 Hiking Excursion in Anaga National Park La Laguna
Day 3 Drive to Santiago del Teide via Buenavista del Norte & Masca Santiago del Teide
Day 4 Summit Mount Teide Santiago del Teide
Day 5 Take the Ferry to La Gomera, Free Evening in Playa de Santiago Playa de Santiago
Day 6 Sail La Gomera's Coast Playa de Santiago
Day 7 Hike in Garajonay National Park Playa de Santiago
Day 8 Depart for Madrid Madrid

Escape to an unspoiled island paradise on this exploration of Spain's remote Canary Islands—off the coast of Western Sahara. You'll start in Tenerife, where lush rainforests and towering mountains welcome you to a unique ecosystem. Hike through ancient woodland and discover idyllic Canarian villages. A highlight of this first stretch is summiting Spain's tallest volcano, Mount Teide, either with a hike or by cable car. 

End your stay on the neighboring island of La Gomera, where you'll venture deep into its volcanic landscapes and spot whales along its northern coast. To get there, you'll take the ferry. You can enjoy some coastal views en route, but you'll also sail along the island's remarkable and unique coastline. Polish off the trip with another hike in a national park, then catch your flight back to the mainland (Madrid is a great option to fly in and out of). 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 8 Days in Spain - 6 Unique Road Trip Itineraries
Map of 8 Days in Spain - 6 Unique Road Trip Itineraries