More a combination of culturally distinct regions than one homogenous country, Spain is almost too diverse to experience in a single trip—almost. You can enjoy the major areas of this Iberian gem no matter if your interests are leisure and gastronomy, culture and history, or road-trip adventures. See our travel recommendations below to enjoy Spain to the fullest, whether you're here for five days or two weeks.
Spain Travel Insights
Barcelona is a city where you can get happily lost—in its energy, its culture, and its cuisine. With as little as 24 hours in Catalonia's capital, you can see the highlights, but with multiple days you'll discover even more of its treasures. Continue reading for the best options for activities in Barcelona, whether you're there for one day or five.
If you're planning a vacation in Spain, most likely you'll arrive in the capital of Madrid. Not only is this the seat of Spain's government, but you couldn't imagine a more fun city—practically every block is home to world-class dining and drinking options. Even with just a day or two you can have a great holiday in Madrid, but with four or five you'll be able to explore beyond the city limits.
In six days you can fully immerse yourself in one or even two regions in Spain. Those looking for something a bit different can choose off-the-beaten-path tours of major cities like Barcelona and Madrid, visiting the Moorish alcázars of Andalusia, and horseback riding to secluded beaches on Menorca. The more adventurous could take a road trip to La Mancha, head north into Basque Country for great food and rich culture, and travel up the eastern coast above Barcelona to the stunning Costa Brava.
11 days is long enough to comfortably immerse yourself in up to three regions of Spain. Sunseekers can opt for the beaches in Barcelona and the Balearics and tours of the Moorish alcázars of Andalusia. Intrepid travelers can enjoy a self-drive road trip from Madrid to Seville, and foodies can go on a gastronomic odyssey to feast on the best tapas in Madrid and Andalusia—plus enjoy a flamenco show.
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.
In sixteen days you could experience two or even three different regions of Spain. You can combine a highlights tour of Madrid, Barcelona, and Andalusia with an island hop around the Balearic Islands. There's also the option for a self-drive road trip to either Basque Country or southern Spain, and you could indulge your appetites by visiting the best tapas bars and taking the best wine tours in the country.
There are no limits to the type of Spanish vacation you can plan with 15 free days. You can revel in the Moorish history of Andalusia, take a road trip into Spanish Basque country, go off the beaten track in La Mancha, and even hop a border into Portugal. If an island holiday is more your speed, consider horseback riding along the rugged coast of Menorca and sailing to secluded coves on the larger and equally beautiful Mallorca.
In just under two weeks, travelers can experience most of Spain's most beloved highlights without rushing. First-time visitors will enjoy spending time in Madrid, Seville, Granada, and Barcelona, with day trips from each. You can also opt to spend your whole trip in either the north or south, combining well-known points of interest with deeper cultural dives: think farm stays, coastal drives, and a cooking class in the Andalusian countryside.
Twelve days in Spain is a great trip duration for getting to know two of the country's regions. Pair six days in Barcelona with a sun-filled week exploring the Balearic Islands or the Costa Brava, or hop between the major cities of central and southern Spain. Or, stick to one region or theme and do a deep dive: take a Southern Spain road trip inspired by local expertise, or see the country through the lens of food and wine on a culinary tour.
With two free weeks to spend in Spain, all options for fun and adventure are on the table. You can embark on food and wine tours throughout the country, laze on the white-sand beaches, tour the Moorish palaces of Andalusia, and even make a jaunt to Portugal. The six itineraries below represent a diverse array of options to craft the perfect European vacation.
A memorable vacation in Spain doesn't require a minimum of two weeks—in just five days you can stick to one or two major cities, like Barcelona and Madrid, or see the highlights of a specific region. Head to Andalusia for Moorish history and architecture, get your fill of artistic and culinary masterpieces in Basque Country, or make it a laidback island vacay on idyllic Mallorca.
As a general rule, Spain has mild weather—but you'll still need to come prepared for the region and season you're visiting. In the ski resort-laden Pyrenees, for example, average winter temps hover around freezing, while Andalusia's sizzling summers often exceed 100°F. Shoulder seasons tend to bring the most moderate temps, along with fewer tourists and good travel deals. Find more tips on seasonal weather, crowds, and costs below.
Take a break from the real world and lose yourself in Spain's rich culture over five brisk days. You'll arrive in Madrid and immerse yourself in history while also learning how to prepare a mean Sangria. Then you're off to Seville, capital of Andalusia, where you'll tour its ancient alcázars and cathedrals plus enjoy a live flamenco performance you won't soon forget.
This brisk six-day road trip includes stops at some of Spain's most historic locales. It's a celebration of rich Spanish culture as you drive from Madrid to Seville and partake in a cooking class to learn how to prepare traditional Spanish cuisine. As if that's not all, you'll drive to Granada and tour one of the most magnificent Moorish palaces in Europe, the Alhambra.
In a single week, you can enjoy the road trip of a lifetime. The destination is Spain, and beginning in Madrid you'll drive south to Seville, the capital of the culturally rich Andalusia region. You'll tour many Moorish landmarks and even take a trip to Granada to see the mother of them all, the 9th-century Alhambra palace.
In a little over a week, you can embark on the road trip of a lifetime through Spain. After enjoying a city tour in Madrid, you'll pick up your car and hit the road south to Andalusia, stopping at the ancient Roman city of Córdoba. From there you'll visit Andalusia's capital of Seville, with its famous Gothic cathedral and Islamic architecture, before the trip culminates in the coastal city of Málaga.
Due to its abundance of natural beauty and historic cities, Spain's southern Andalusia region is perfect for a road trip. This nine-day self-drive adventure begins in Madrid and includes a stop in Toledo, one of the most well-preserved medieval cities in Spain. Upon arrival in Andalusia, you'll visit cities like Córdoba and the capital of Seville for tapas tours and visits to Moorish landmarks.
On this 11-day self-drive adventure you'll visit not only the most historic cities in Spain, bust some of the most beautiful countryside in the Andalusia region. From Madrid, you'll travel south into Andalusia and arrive at Seville, a city renowned for its Gothic cathedrals, Moorish palaces, and expansive plazas. You'll also visit other Andalusia gems like Córdoba, the famed white villages, and the mountaintop city of Ronda.
The best way to see the most historic sights in Spain is on a road trip. This 11-day self-drive adventure begins with city tours in Madrid, and then you'll hop in your car and head south to Toledo, once the capital of the nation in the Middle Ages. You'll continue to Andalusia and marvel at the region's Moorish alcázars and royal palaces while also stopping in historic cities like Córdoba.
Enjoy a road trip through Spain that takes you from Madrid to Málaga through Toledo and the three jewels of Andalusia: Córdoba, Seville, and Granada. Beyond the cities, you'll enjoy cultural excursions like sherry wine tours and horse competitions. And at each destination, you'll meet a private guide who will reveal the hidden treasures of these historic and beautiful locales.
Get ready for an unforgettable road trip through southern Spain that takes in many of the nation's highlights. The adventure begins with city tours of Madrid before hitting the road south, stopping in La Mancha and Córdoba before reaching Seville, capital of the Andalusia region. You'll visit historic Moorish and medieval landmarks, tour authentic tapas bars, and even hike along the side of a gorge near Ronda.
In two weeks you can enjoy a road trip that takes you to some of the most historic and beautiful locales in Spain. It begins in Madrid, and from there you'll travel south through La Mancha into Andalusia and visit Moorish cities like Granada, Ronda, Córdoba, and Málaga. But that isn't all—you'll also enjoy wine and sherry tours, eat delicious tapas, and even witness a traditional equestrian show.
It's almost impossible to design a more comprehensive Spanish holiday than this 15-day road trip. Beginning in Madrid, you'll drive south to historic locales like Toledo and La Mancha on your way to Andalusia, where Moorish history and amazing food await. Besides enjoying wine and tapas tours, you'll visit incredible cities like Seville, Granada, Ronda, and Córdoba.
This comprehensive 16-day road trip includes all the highlights of Spain's Andalusia region, from the capital of Seville to the Moorish palaces of Granada and even the coastal retreat of Málaga, birthplace of Pablo Picasso. As an added bonus you'll also visit La Mancha, an arid plateau region home to great wine and historic villages.
In less than a week you can visit some of Spain's most historic cities while touring its famed La Mancha region. It begins in Madrid followed by a trip to Toledo, once the capital of Old Spain. You'll then hit the road into La Mancha, enjoying wine tours and stops at the region's famous windmills before returning to Madrid.
In a mere week, you can take a road trip through one of the most beautiful yet little-visited areas of Spain: La Mancha. The adventure kicks off straight away as you'll hop in a rental car and drive from Madrid south to medieval towns like Almagro and Villanueva de los Infantes. You'll also stop for a wine tour and visit storybook national parks like Ruidera Lakes.
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 historic towns, castles, and unspoiled national parks on an eight-day self-drive road trip. On top of this, you'll also tour Valdepeñas, one of the most productive wine regions in Spain.
See a different Spain on a nine-day road trip that takes you from Madrid south to the arid plateau region of La Mancha. This land of Don Quixote is a major wine-producing region, which you'll discover on a tasting tour. You'll also visit historic medieval towns like Villanueva de los Infantes and the romantic waterfalls of Ruidera Lakes.
Over 10 days you'll leave the tourist traps and discover the real Spain, the ancient Spain—Don Quixote's Spain. From Madrid, you'll embark on a road trip into the plateau region of La Mancha, famous for its medieval towns, national parks, and vineyards. By the time the adventure ends, you'll have experienced a region that has captivated the world ever since Spain's golden age of literature.
Get lost in La Mancha on a 10-day road trip in this historic region in central Spain. It begins in Madrid and from there you'll travel south to the arid plateaus famous for being the homeland of the fictional character Don Quixote. Between wine tours and visits to national parks, you'll head to the Extremadura region and tour medieval cities like Cáceres, birthplace of the conquistador Francisco Pizarro.
An adventurous alternative to the popular beach holidays and major city tours of Spain is to embark on a road trip through La Mancha. This plateau south of Madrid is a vast and beautiful expanse filled with castles, vineyards, and medieval towns. After experiencing La Mancha's highlights, you'll continue to western Extremadura and tour historic cities like Mérida and Cáceres.
Spain is filled with historic regions abounding with well-preserved ancient cities, like La Mancha. This dry plateau region is located south of Madrid, and you'll discover its historic and literary legacy (it's Don Quixote's home region) on a self-drive road trip. Along the way, you'll imbibe in La Mancha's wine, visit its national parks, and travel further west, to Extremadura and medieval cities like Mérida and Cáceres.
You're in for a treat because over 13 days you'll discover historic Spain, colonial Spain—the Spain of conquistadores and Cervantes. It's a road-trip adventure that begins amid the windmills of La Mancha, home region of Don Quixote. After wine tours and visits to national parks, you'll tour medieval cities of the Extremadura region like Cáceres, the birthplace of Francisco Pizarro.
Just south of Madrid is a wildly beautiful region little-visited by tourists in Spain. This is La Mancha, an arid plateau famous as the home of Cervantes' legendary protagonist, Don Quixote. Fables aside, La Mancha is real, and on a road trip you'll discover its fertile vineyards and unspoiled national parks plus the well-preserved medieval cities of Spain's western Extremadura region.
This 15-day road-trip adventure allows you to experience regions of Spain most tourists never see. It begins in Madrid and you'll quickly hit the road south, to La Mancha, the land of Don Quixote, windmills, arid plains, and stunning national parks. From there you'll head west to the Extremadura region, home to some of the most well-preserved medieval towns in the country.
Get ready to travel the route of Don Quixote on a road trip through Spain. It begins with a city tour of Madrid before you hit the road, driving amid the arid plateaus and windmills of La Mancha and into the Extramadura region of western Spain. Here you'll tour historic towns like Cáceres and Trujillo while sampling delicious local cuisine and visiting unspoiled national parks.
In a mere five days, you can enjoy an unforgettable Spanish vacation. This is possible when you make the culturally rich Basque region your destination. This itinerary includes tours of Bilbao and the Guggenheim Museum plus a coastal drive to San Sebastian, a seaside resort city of singular beauty.
In less than a week you can visit the highlights of Spain's northern Basque Country while enjoying its rich culture. It begins in Bilbao with city tours, then a Basque cooking class followed by a visit to the famous Guggenheim Museum. Then you're off to the Cantabrian Mountains to see how rural Basque residents live before heading to one of the most beautiful seaside cities in the country, San Sebastian.
In just a week you can embark on the road-trip of a lifetime from Spain's capital to its stunning Basque Country. The adventure begins in Madrid with city tours before hopping in your rental and driving north to La Rioja, one of Spain's most beautiful wine regions. After a tasting, you'll continue on to Basque Country, where tours of San Sebastian's historic center and Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum await.
Eight days is enough time to have the trip of a lifetime—particularly when it's a road-trip through northern Spain. On this itinerary, you'll drive from Madrid north through the stunning La Rioja wine country, of course stopping for a tasting or two. The experience culminates on the coast of Basque Country with city tours of Bilbao and San Sebastian, both home to rich culture and incredible food.
Nine days is enough time to immerse yourself in a couple areas of Spain, ensuring you get the most out of the experience. This itinerary begins with a road trip from Madrid to wine country for a tasting of Spain's world-renowned varietals. You'll finish the tour on the Basque coast and its most beautiful cities, San Sebastian and Bilbao.
Over 10 days you'll embark on a gourmet road trip from Madrid to Spain's northern Basque Country. This unforgettable excursion is a delight for the eyes and taste buds that includes tapas tours in Madrid, wine tasting in La Rioja, and sampling the great cheese and seafood of the Basque coast. A visit to the famous Guggenheim caps the trip, adding a cultural cherry atop an epic vacation sundae.
Spain is the perfect country in which to escape for a few days, and Galicia is one of its most beautiful areas. This five-day jaunt will take you from the cobbled streets of Santiago to the green mountains of the Ribeira Sacra wine country. The cherry on top is a boat tour to the Cíes Islands, a small group of islets with white-sand beaches crystalline waters.
Even in six days, you can enjoy the highlights of Galicia. This region is as culturally rich and naturally beautiful as any other in Spain, but it's less visited than popular tourist destinations like Catalonia and Andalusia. The itinerary starts in Galicia's capital of Santiago, and from there you'll travel to inland wine country plus charming coastal cities while also embarking on a boat trip to beautiful offshore islands.
One week is all you need to embark on the road trip of a lifetime through Spain. You'll spend the first day in Madrid, seeing the sights and enjoying local cuisine, before hopping in your car and heading north. You'll stop in León, a well-preserved medieval city, then travel through wine country, visit the gardens of country homes, and end the trip in Santiago de Compostela, the last destination on Spain's most famous pilgrimage route.
This eight-day road trip includes the best parts of Spain's rich culture, historic cities, and unforgettable landscapes. In Madrid alone you'll tour famous city sights plus dine at authentic tapas bars and take in a live flamenco performance. Then it's time to hit the road as you travel to Salamanca, León, and finally to Santiago de Compostela, the final destination on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route.
Spain's Galicia region is famous for its beautiful coastline, countryside, and religious pilgrimage sites. You'll experience this first-hand on your own four-wheeled pilgrimage that will take you from the busy streets of Madrid to the green mountains of Galician wine country and finally to the historic city of Santiago. Throw in a tour of offshore islands and you have the ingredients for the perfect Spanish adventure.
The best thing about a road trip in Spain is that you're not only guaranteed to see beautiful landscapes but you'll visit incredible cities as well. This 10-day tour offers the best of both worlds as you drive from the capital of Madrid to León and then to Santiago and the heart of Galicia. Along the way, you'll stop for wine tours, river cruises, and even an island hop.
Spain is the perfect country for a road trip, as the landscapes and culture change from region to region. Over 11 days you'll drive from the capital of Madrid into Galicia, where you'll indulge in everything from wine tours to boat excursions to islands rimmed with white-sand beaches. You'll even visit the historic city of Santiago de Compostela, the terminus of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route.