With nine days, you could plan a grand tour of Spain that not only includes Barcelona but lesser-visited locales along the coast. The stunning Costa Brava is one option, as are the white sands of the Costa de la Luz, in the Andalusia region. You could also take road trips to the north of Spain for a food tour of Basque Country, or south to La Mancha to see the land of Don Quixote.

Itinerary #1: Best of Barcelona & the Costa Brava

This nine-day adventure in Catalonia focuses on the most beautiful parts of northeastern Spain. Naturally, the starting point is Barcelona, and after enjoying Catalonia's capital you're off to wine tastings in the countryside and visits to the beautiful seaside villages of the Costa Brava. 

La Sagrada Familia and Barcelona
Day Highlights Overnight
Days 1-2 Arrive in Madrid - Explore the City Madrid
Day 3 Train to Sevilla - Drive to Conil de la Frontera Conil de la Frontera
Days 4-6 Explore Conil & Costa de la Luz Conil de la Frontera
Day 7 Drive to Sevilla - Return Rental Car Sevilla
Day 8 Guided Tour of Sevilla Sevilla
Day 9 Train to Madrid - Depart Spain  


The journey begins with your arrival in Barcelona. A driver will meet you at the airport to transfer you to your hotel in the city center, and after checking in you can stretch your legs on a self-guided tour. The next morning you'll dive right into the city on a half-day tour that includes stops at popular attractions like La Sagrada Familia, the iconic church designed by legendary Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.

On day three you'll continue the architecture theme with a stroll around Park Güell plus a visit to the Catalan-modernist Casa Milá building, both Gaudí gems. Later you'll sample the tastes and flavors of Catalonia in Barcelona's markets. Day four you'll venture outside the city to Santa Maria de Montserrat, a 16th-century abbey perched atop a mountain, plus enjoy a traditional Catalan lunch and wine tasting nearby. 

Day five you'll hop a train north to the ancient city of Girona where a local guide will lead you on a walking tour. Then you'll continue to Figueres, which is Salvador Dalí's hometown, and visit a museum dedicated to the surrealist master. Days six and seven are free to explore the rocky coves and crescent beaches of the Costa Brava, and on day eight you'll finish strong with a wine tasting in the Empordà region. Day nine you'll depart. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Best of Barcelona & Valencia

This is another nine-day jaunt to Spain's Mediterranean coast. However, instead of venturing north after touring the highlights of Barcelona, you'll leave Catalonia for Valencia, a coastal city abounding with medieval history and rich culture.

Valencia's historic city center
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Madrid - Evening Tapas Tour Madrid
Day 2 Madrid's Highlights, Prado Museum, & Food Tour Madrid
Day 3 Drive From Madrid to Ribera del Duero Peñafiel
Day 4 Drive to Ribeira Sacra - Stop in Astorga Monforte de Lemos area
Day 5 Boat Tour of Ribeira Sacra - Drive to Vigo Vigo
Day 6 Day Trip to the Cíes Islands Vigo
Day 7 Drive From Vigo to Santiago on the Camellia Route Santiago de Compostela
Day 8 Santiago de Compostela - Cooking Class & City Tour Santiago de Compostela
Day 9 Depart Spain  


Like the previous itinerary, this one also begins on the streets of Barcelona. After checking in to your hotel and getting your bearings on day one, days two and three you'll spend on private tours of the Gaudí architecture highlights plus visits to local markets. Day four you'll travel to Montserrat, and you can also visit other highlights of the abbey, like the Santa Cova shrine and chapel that houses the Black Madonna.

Day five you'll take a train south three hours to Valencia and transfer to your boutique hotel in the city center. In the evening you'll take a guided culinary tour of this city, which is famous as being the origin of that most famous of Spanish dishes: paella. Day six you'll take a half-day tour of the city and visit its most famous sites, like the 13th century St. Mary's Cathedral, the Central Market, and City Hall.

Days seven and eight will be dedicated to exploring Valencia and its famed City of the Arts & Sciences. This is a real treat, as this modern architectural complex consists of a planetarium, interactive science museum, an oceanographic park, and even an opera house. If you wish, you can end your time in Valencia with a tasting in the Utiel-Requena wine region. On day nine you'll return to Barcelona and depart Spain. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Taste of Northern Spain

Get ready for a delicious food tour of the best locales in northern Spain. This includes cooking classes in Barcelona plus cava tastings and a trip to the Spanish Basque Country for an unforgettable tapas experience.

Traditional pintxos, a regional type of tapas in Basque Country
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Barcelona Barcelona
Day 2 Half-day city tour Barcelona
Day 3 Antoni Gaudí architecture tour - Market visit Barcelona
Day 4 Day trip to Santa Maria de Montserrat; Wine tasting Barcelona
Day 5 Train to Girona and Figueres - Explore Costa Brava Begur
Days 6-7 Free days: Explore the Costa Brava  Begur
Day 8 Visit a winery on the Costa Brava Begur
Day 9 Depart  


Settle into Barcelona and dig right in with a tapas tour of the famous Gothic Quarter. Then on day three, you'll take a cooking class presided over by a master chef and prepare a meal from scratch with fresh ingredients from the local market. On day four you'll discover Catalonia's flagship sparkling wine, cava, on an exclusive tour of a cellar and cava museum that includes tastings paired with delicious food. 

On day five you'll transfer from Barcelona to the Rioja Alavesa wine region, and on day six you'll learn all about its winemaking tradition on a tasting tour. Day seven is a real treat as you'll arrive at Basque Country and the coastal city of San Sebastian just in time to indulge in their traditional tapas, which they call pintxos (pronounced "peenchos"). Day eight you'll travel to the city of Bilbao for some bar-hopping with the local traveling minstrels, known as Txikiteros. On day nine you'll depart Spain. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Spain Off-the-Beaten-Path Road Trip

A self-drive road trip in Spain has all the ingredients for a great adventure. This is particularly true when you travel south from Madrid to La Mancha, an arid plateau region home to medieval towns, vineyards, and the iconic white windmills featured in Spain's greatest literary work, Don Quixote

The famous windmills of La Mancha
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Barcelona Barcelona
Day 2 Half-day city tour & La Sagrada Familia Barcelona
Day 3 Antoni Gaudí architecture tour & market visit Barcelona
Day 4 Day trip to Santa Maria de Montserrat - Wine tasting Barcelona
Day 5 Train to València - Private tapas tour València
Day 6 City tour of València València
Days 7-8 Explore València & the City of the Arts & Sciences València
Day 9 Return to Barcelona - Depart  


You'll arrive in Madrid and have just enough time to enjoy a self-guided tour, taking in highlights like the Plaza Mayor, Puerto del Sol, and the shopping and theater district around Gran Vía. On day two you'll hop in your car and head south to Toledo, which was the capital of Old Spain until the 8th century. This ancient city sits on a hill near the Tagus River and boasts a well-preserved alcázars, a grand 13th-century Cathedral, and Santa María la Blanca, a Moorish synagogue.

Day three you'll continue south into La Mancha. In this elevated desert, you'll pass by the windmills from Don Quixote and see old castles like the 10th-century Castillo de la Muela. You'll overnight in the wetlands national park of Las Tablas de Daimiel, and on day four you'll hike around the area, which is a great spot for birding. You'll then drive to the medieval town of Almagro, and on day five tour its expansive Plaza Mayor and 15th-century amphitheater, the Corral de Comedias.

Then you're in for a treat as on day six you'll stop in the wine region of Valdepeñas for a tour of the vineyards and a tasting at a winery. Afterward, you'll press on to Villanueva de los Infantes, an old town that is considered to be the home of the character of Don Quixote. On a tour on day seven, you'll stroll its Plaza Mayor (which features a statue of Don Quixote). Day eight you'll travel to the waterfall-filled oasis of Lagunas del Ruidera, and on day nine you'll return to Madrid and depart. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Madrid, Costa de la Luz, & Seville

This southbound road trip through Spain begins in Madrid, where you'll have a couple of days to immerse yourself in local culture. Then, you'll venture south, first to Seville, the capital of Andalusia, followed by a jaunt to the southernmost edge of the country and the beaches of the Costa de la Luz. 

Cádiz, on the Costa de la Luz
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Barcelona! Barcelona
Day 2 Catalan taste and history Barcelona
Day 3 Cooking with household names Barcelona
Day 4 The roots of cava Barcelona
Day 5 Transfer to Álava Elciego
Day 6 Century of wines Elciego
Day 7 "Pintxo" culture Bilbao
Day 8 Bars of Bilbao Bilbao
Day 9 Depart  


The first couple of days in Madrid are yours to discover the city at your own pace on self-guided tours. You'll want to see the highlights like the Prado Museum (featuring one of the most impressive collections of European art in the world), the Plaza Mayor, and the Royal Palace, as well as visit charming neighborhoods like La Latina, which abounds with traditional tapas bars. 

Day three you'll transfer to Seville. Here you'll pick up your rental car and hit the road for the Andalusian countryside. Your destination is the Costa de la Luz, a section of the Atlantic coast that runs from Tarifa up through the provinces of Cádiz and Huelva.

Days four through six you'll explore this unspoiled region thoroughly, visiting historic port cities like Cádiz and the Jerez de la Frontera, a region famous for sherry wine. Day seven you'll return to Seville and drop off the rental car, and after touring the Moorish palaces of this beautiful regional capital, you will depart Spain on day nine. Learn more

Itinerary #6: Spain Road Trip: Madrid & Santiago de Compostela

This is another nine-day road adventure, this one taking you from Madrid into Galicia. Located in northwestern Spain, Galicia is a region as historic and beautiful as any other in the country, but it's a bit further off the tourist trail and thus more of a secret.

The Santiago Cathedral, a popular pilgrimage destination
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Madrid Madrid
Day 2 Pick up Rental Car - Day Trip to Toledo Toledo
Day 3 Drive From Madrid to Daimiel - Tour La Mancha Daimiel
Day 4 Drive From Daimiel to Almagro - National Park Tour Almagro
Day 5 Tour Almagro - Optional Trip to Campo de Calatrava Almagro
Day 6 Drive From Almagro to Villanueva - Wine Tour villanueva de los infantes
Day 7 Tour Villanueva de los Infantes villanueva de los infantes
Day 8 Drive From Villanueva to Alcázar de San Juan - Stop at Ruidera Lakes Alcazar de San Juan
Day 9 Drive to Madrid - Optional Activities - Departure  


Upon arrival in Madrid, you'll experience the flavors of Spain right away on a tour of the city's best tapas bars. On day two you'll take a guided tour of city highlights like the Royal Palace and El Prado museum, but you'll cap the day with yet another food tour where you'll pair delicious tapas with the perfect wine. Day three you'll drive north from the city to the Ribera del Duero wine region and the medieval village of Peñafiel, whose impressive 10th-century castle overlooks the town.

On day four you'll drive west into Galicia and the Ribeira Sacra wine region, a mountainous area where a confluence of rivers meet. You'll see the terraced vineyards on a riverboat tour on day five before driving further west to the port city of Vigo. In Vigo, you'll hop in another boat and enjoy a day tour of the Cíes Islands, which, aside from the Balearic islands, feature the finest white-sand beaches in Spain.

On day seven you'll head north to the capital of Galicia, Santiago de Compostela while stopping along the way at some fragrant camellia gardens. The next day you'll take a guided tour of the city, visiting the most famous sights including the 11th-century Santiago Cathedral, where St.James the Great is supposedly buried. It's for this reason the church is the final destination on the famous pilgrimage route of the Camino de Santiago. Day nine you'll depart Spain. Learn more

Map

Map of 9 Days in Spain - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 9 Days in Spain - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas