With 10 days and a rental car, you can explore several of Spain's regions to discover local highlights, hidden towns, beautiful nature, and local food and wine. The roads are easy to navigate and a road trip lets you explore in more depth and at your own pace.
Spain Travel Insights
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.
Madrid or Barcelona? These cities have different character and attractions, and we generally recommend spending time in both places on a moderately-paced trip. But for travelers with less time to spend, Spain's two top cities provide a tough choice. Here are some important things to consider if you have to choose between Madrid or Barcelona.
We interviewed local experts, scrutinized hundreds of actual trips, and considered the feedback of intrepid travelers in order to put together the very best Spain itineraries for first-time travelers. Plan for five days to two weeks with the itineraries below, all crafted by local travel specialists.
This 19-day itinerary allows you to visit three different regions of Spain, including Madrid, Basque Country, and Catalonia, as well as the Balearic Islands and Portugal. Throughout the adventure, you'll enjoy great food, wine tours, a flamenco show, historic Gothic architecture, and even make time for a bit of island-hopping in Ibiza and Mallorca. You'll also fly into Portugal to explore the cities of Porto and Lisbon, as well as the wine region in the Douro Valley and the famous palace of Sintra.
This 2-week trip leads you through Spain's major cities while also experiencing unique nature and beaches in the Canary Islands. Explore the historic city centers of Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville with tapas tours, flamenco dancing, bike rides, and sailing excursions. Enjoy a Jeep safari on the slopes of a volcano, go whale watching, and hike the Caminito del Rey trail, plus tour the famous Alhambra and enjoy a sherry tasting in Jerez.
This 8-day tour takes you through the historic districts of Madrid, Valencia, and Barcelona, starting with a tapas tour and visit to the famous El Prado Museum in Spain's capital. Enjoy a day trip to a medieval city near Madrid before driving to the coast and eating paella in Valencia. End the trip in Barcelona by sailing its coastline and exploring its culinary scene.
Discover the culture of Spain's cities on this 9-day trip, starting with a tour through Madrid and an evening of flamenco and tapas in Seville. Then make your way to Granada, passing through the village of Ronda and a winery along the way. You'll explore Granada's famous Alhambra palace and gardens, then fly to Barcelona for a cycling tour of its historic districts, as well as a visit to the sites of Gaudí's.
This 9-day road trip includes stops at some of Spain's most historic locales, including Madrid, Toledo, and the Andalusian cities of Seville and Granada. Celebrate rich Spanish culture as you tour historic Old Towns by foot and bike, all while tasting delicious tapas and enjoying a flamenco show. You'll explore the southern countryside with a tour of an olive oil farm and a hike along Caminito del Rey, and then visit Granada to discover one of the most impressive Moorish palaces in Europe, the Alhambra.
Explore Spain's lively cities and vibrant culture, starting with a gourmet food tour in Madrid and a flamenco show in Seville. Stop in Córdoba to tour the Mezquita, then discover Granada's most popular site, the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens. Meander the historic district of Albaicín with a personal photographer before ending the trip in Barcelona by touring the works of Gaudí and enjoying a day trip.
Explore some of Spain's best cities on this 8-day trip to Madrid and the region of Andalusia, starting with private tours of Madrid's historic neighborhoods and its royal past. Board the train to the city of Seville for tapas and flamenco, as well as a day trip to the town of Ronda and a winery. You'll end the trip with Granada for a tour of the famous Alhambra and Generalife Gardens before returning to Madrid.
Explore the highlights of Spain by visiting the cities of Madrid, Córdoba, and Granada on this 8-day trip. You'll enjoy private tours of the historic old towns, as well as a day trip to Toledo to learn about its historic steel production and marzipan. End the trip in Spain's southern region Andalusía with tours of the Alhambra in Granada, the Mezquita in Córdoba, and the famous White Villages in the countryside.
This 8-day itinerary focuses on Madrid and Seville, leading you through the historic centers of both cities, as well as day trips to Córdoba and Toledo. You'll explore the cities with food and biking tours, visits to tapas bars, and flamenco shows, plus a private tour of the El Prado museum in Madrid. End the trip with a visit to the famous White Villages of Andalucia and the town of Ronda, plus tours of an olive oil farm and a vineyard.
Most travelers will find that 7 to 9 days is perfect for a well-paced Spain trip with stops in both Barcelona and the Costa Brava. It's possible to hit the highlights in 5 or 6 days if you don't mind a fast-paced journey. Or, extend your trip and explore more of the country—one of the best-loved trip extensions includes the medieval town of Vic. See more ideas and itineraries below.
Travelers to Spain typically plan a trip for 12 to 14 days when combining Seville, Granada, and Ronda, including a few days in Barcelona and Madrid. If you're not interested in Barcelona and Madrid, 8 days is enough for your Seville, Granada, and Ronda trip. Check out our favorite Seville, Granada, and Ronda trips below.
Barcelona is one of Spain's most beautiful and vibrant cities, and on this six-day tour you can really focus on what makes it so special. With a combination of time in the central city and surrounding areas, focusing on culture as well as natural attractions, you'll experience the best of Barcelona. Learn about its history and iconic architecture, get a taste of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea along the Costa Brava, and take your pick of nearby day trip destinations.
On this immersive 6-day itinerary, you'll get a local's eye view of Madrid as you explore its culture and cuisine with a series of guided walks and excursions. After visiting the capital's landmarks and sampling its best tapas, set out on a selection of easy day trips into the surrounding countryside of Castilla y León. Visit the historic towns of Segovia and Pedraza as you tour and taste your way through cheese farms, olive groves, and wineries, returning to the bustle of Madrid each evening.
During this fun, family-friendly 10-day tour you will experience the natural beauty of southern Spain, as well as its cultural highlights. Activities like treasure hunts and canyon walks have been selected to suit families with kids, who want a combination of action and down time. Starting in Málaga and ending in Seville, along the way you'll visit Ronda, Granada, and Córdoba, home to a wealth of Spanish culture and history.
This tour of Spain's Canary Islands allows you to discover the entirety of this famous archipelago, exploring Tenerife, La Palma, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Gomera, and La Graciosa with hikes, mountain biking, and snorkeling, as well as road trips through the core of the islands and along rocky coastline. You'll discover traditional alpine villages, sand dunes, national parks, and idyllic beaches, as well as forests, waterfalls, and arid deserts. Highlights include exploring the volcanic activity on Lanzarote, hiking the Caldera de Taburiente, and visiting the highest villages of Gran Canaria.
Discover the highlights of Spain's cities and nature on this tour, starting in Picos de Europa National Park near Bilbao, and heading into Madrid via the UNESCO city of Segovia with its ancient Roman aqueduct. Visit the region of Andalucía, exploring the cities of Granada, Seville, and Ronda, plus hiking the Caminito del Rey, exploring the white villages, and enjoying an optional beach day. End your trip on the island of Mallorca, discovering its historic inland villages and coastal harbors, as well as its caves, mountains, and wineries.
For most travelers, 6 to 9 days is the perfect amount of time for a Spain trip with stops in both Barcelona and Madrid. If you don't mind a fast-paced journey, you can see the highlights of this route in less time—as few as about 5 days. Travelers with more time can enjoy extra sights and activities at each stop, or explore more of the country—some of our favorite itinerary extensions include Seville, Valencia, or Córdoba. See more ideas for Barcelona and Madrid itineraries below.
For most travelers, 8 to 10 days is the perfect amount of time for a Spain trip with stops in Barcelona, Seville, and Madrid. If you don't mind a fast-paced journey, you can see the highlights of this route in less time—as few as 6 or 7 days. Or, extend your trip and explore more of the country—some of the best-loved trip extensions include Granada or Valencia. Keep reading for more inspiring Barcelona, Seville, and Madrid itineraries.
This tour takes you from the unique architecture of Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona to the vibrant streets of Madrid, finishing in the historic region of Andalusia in Spain's south. Along the way, visit the cities of Segovia and Toledo, as well as Ronda and the traditional white villages of Grazalema and Zahara de la Sierra, including a hike along the Caminito del Rey. Enjoy a guided visit through the Alhambra in Granada, and ample time to explore Córdoba, Seville, and Cádiz on your own, all while enjoying traditional tapas, local wine, and a flamenco show.
Seville offers the perfect mix of culture, architecture, and gastronomy. With Neo-Moorish structures, beautiful manicured parks, and a welcoming spirit, the Andalusian capital is one of Spain's best cities. Although Seville is relatively small, you should plan to spend at least two to three days visiting its major landmarks, catching flamenco shows, and indulging in tapas to your heart's content.
This 3-week tour takes you from Madrid in Central Spain to Cádiz in the south, stopping along the way to enjoy personalized walking tours in cities like Barcelona, Valencia, Málaga, Granada, Córdoba, and Seville. You'll scavenge these cities for architecture (like the works of Gaudí in Barcelona), art (like the Picasso Museum in Málaga), and history (like the distinctive cultures of Toledo), while enjoying an organic wine tasting, hiking in the karst region, and visiting unique towns in Andalusia. Visit some of Spain's most important attractions, like the Alhambra, the Royal Alcázar, and Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, all while enjoying Spanish cuisine, tapas, seafood, and more at traditional taverns and markets.
This comprehensive two-week itinerary spotlights the cultures and cuisines of Spain with an immersive blend of self-guided, small-group, and private tour experiences. Starting in the Catalonian capital of Barcelona, you'll discover Modernist architecture and Catalan tapas before heading down the Mediterranean coast to Alicante for fresh seafood and the charms of the Costa Blanca. Tour Madrid's grand palaces and monuments, soak up Seville's vibrant Andalusian character, and wander the hallowed interiors of Granada's famed Alhambra. End your journey on the coast in Málaga, where you'll savor locally-grown delicacies from the region's olive and almond groves.
With a combination of private, small-group, and self-guided excursions, this lively 9-day itinerary explores the culture and cuisine of Spain's eastern coast. Start in Barcelona, where you'll tour Gaudi landmarks and sample Catalonia's best tapas in the medieval Gothic Quarter. Continue south along the Mediterranean to discover Valencia's blend of cutting-edge design and historic character while savoring the city's famous paella. End your journey in the vibrant port city of Alicante, where you'll learn to cook the regional cuisine, relax on golden beaches, and discover the spectacular coastline of the Costa Blanca.
Combine Spain's historical culture with its unique island landscapes in this trip that takes you from tapas tours through Madrid's winding streets to windsurfing at some of the world's best beaches. Explore the Canary Islands by riding camels along sand dunes, hiking to the tallest peak, and traversing the lunar-like terrain of Timanfaya Park, plus perusing idyllic villages and noshing on exceptional local cuisine. Before heading back to Madrid, experience the artistic works of architect Manrique, take a tour of La Graciosa Island, and try your luck surfing or scuba diving in the warm waters of Lanzarote
Combining the historical culture of Spain's capital city with its rugged and unique landscape of the Canary Islands, this trip takes you from tapas tours in literary quarters to windsurfing at some of the world's best beaches. Traverse the islands by hiking to the tallest peak, walking the lunar-like terrain of Timanfaya Park, and riding camels along sand dunes, plus relaxing at renowned beaches, eating local cuisine, and exploring idyllic villages. Try your luck with surfing or simply spend hours lounging on white-sand beaches, then explore the creative works of famous architect and activist, Manrique, all before returning to Madrid for one last night perusing its monuments.
After enjoying the splendor of Spain's buzzy capital city, with its endless tapas bars, historic sights, parks, and monuments, head to the dynamic Canary Islands, starting in Gran Canaria. Discover the island with a guided tour of all four coasts, followed by free days to further indulge in its historic cultural and renowned nature, including windsurfing, sunbathing, and hiking. Head to Fuerteventura and Lanzarote for idyllic villages and beaches, camel rides through sand dunes, a guided tour of the unique Timanfaya Park, and a hike to the islands' tallest peak, plus delicious, locally-sourced cuisine and an unforgettable experience with the works of the famous architect, Manrique.
Start your 2-week trip in the Canary Islands by exploring the four dynamic coasts of Gran Canaria and spending a day within the historic significance of its seaside capital city. Discover other islands with trips to idyllic beaches and villages, guided tours through Timanfaya Park, hikes to scenic vistas, and camel rides along sand dunes, plus visits to the impressive works of the artist Manrique. End your trip in Spain's bustling capital city where you can peruse its historic streets in search of tapas and cañas, as well as its beloved parks, monuments, and museums.
Go beyond Spain's mainland by discovering the beauty of the Canary Islands, including Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote. Explore charming island villages, white-sand beaches, locally-sourced cuisine, and scenic outlooks on all three islands, plus enjoy a guided tour of the four famous coasts of Gran Canaria. Be active with an array of water sports, hiking the islands' tallest peak, traversing the lunar-like terrain of Timanfaya Park, and riding a camel along sand dunes, all before polishing off your trip with a night in buzzy Madrid.
Explore some of Spain's most treasured destinations, starting in the buzzy capital of Madrid where you'll discover its multicultural neighborhoods and nosh on tapas in the city's literary quarter. Then fly to the Canary Islands, enjoying idyllic coastal towns, white-sand beaches, lively port cities, and locally-caught cuisine, plus trips to smaller islands and leisurely days spent at renowned beaches. Get active with surf lessons, scuba-diving excursions, a guided tour of the unique terrain in Timanfaya Park, camel rides along sand dunes, and a hike to the highest peak on the islands.
From the buzzy, tapas-filled streets of energetic Madrid, to the quiet nature of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, this tour hits some of Spain's best highlights. After exploring the capital city, fly to the Canary Islands to enjoy charming villages, scenic vistas, idyllic white-sand beaches, and local cuisine sourced straight from the Atlantic Ocean. Get your adrenaline pumping with a camel ride across sand dunes, a hike to the islands' tallest peak, a guided tour of the lunar-like terrain of Timanfaya Park, and a surfing excursion in the famously warm waters.
Starting in Spain's buzzy capital, this trip takes you from the energetic streets of Madrid to the incredibly unique nature of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. You'll discover your adventurous side with hikes in lunar-like terrain, camel rides through beachfront sand dunes, and surfing in the area's warm waters. Visit charming island villages and idyllic white-sand beaches, plus taste local cuisine straight from the Atlantic Ocean.
This week-long trip takes you to Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, two of the incredible Canary Islands, where you'll enjoy charming island villages and idyllic white-sand beaches, as well as delicious, locally-sourced cuisine. Discover your adventurous side with camel rides through beach dunes and hikes to the highest peak on the islands, plus surfing and mountain biking. The highlight of the trip is a guided tour of the unique and otherworldly landscape of Timanfaya Park.
Get ready for an adventures across two of the incredible Canary Islands: Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. Start your trip by driving through charming island villages, discovering white-sand beaches, eating locally-sourced fish straight from the ports, riding camels through sand dunes, and hiking to the highest peak on the islands. End with a sports day enjoying surfing and mountain biking, plus a guided tour of the unique and otherworldly landscape of Timanfaya Park.
Discover the unique beauty of Spain's Canary Islands on this 6-day tour covering both Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. With your own rental car, you'll explore the islands' charming villages, pristine white-sand beaches, and quirky terrain and rock formations that'll make you wonder if you're on another planet. Ride camels on sand dunes, hike to the tallest peak on the islands, and nosh on freshly-caught seafood like a local.
Valencia is a Mediterranean city with a legacy as rich as Barcelona. Its historic Old Town is a walkable area whose highlights, like the Valencia Cathedral and Quart Towers, you can see on a day trip. With more than 24 hours, there are beaches and paella food tours you can indulge in. And in five days you can do all of the above plus visit can't-miss attractions like the famous aquarium at the City of Arts and Sciences.
A perfect combination of nature and city culture, this adventurous tour starts in the bustling capital of Madrid where you can explore its dazzling palaces, parks, and restaurants while sampling tapas and watching flamenco. Fly to the Canary Islands, stopping in Tenerife to explore its stunning natural beauty, historical vineyards, and culinary significance before taking a ferry to nearby La Gomera. Enjoy a little adventure by hiking in Anaga Park, summiting Spain's highest peak, star gazing, finding whales and dolphins while cruising on a yacht, sleeping at an aloe vera plantation, and exploring the rich forests of the islands.
This 2-week tour starts in the buzzy capital city of Madrid, where you can explore its monuments, parks, and local tapas culture before flying to the incredible Canary Islands, to Tenerife and La Gomera. Discover the natural beauty of the islands, plus the cultural significance with their historical vineyards, culinary extravagance, and idyllic villages. Before returning to Madrid, get a little adventurous with hikes in Anaga Park, star gazing atop Spain's highest peak, traversing dense forests, and whale-watching aboard a yacht.
A perfect combination of nature and city culture, this 2-week tour starts in the bustling capital of Madrid where you can explore its dazzling palaces, parks, and restaurants while sampling tapas and local cuisine. Fly to the Canary Islands, stopping in Tenerife to explore its stunning natural beauty, historical vineyards, and culinary significance before taking a ferry to nearby La Gomera. Enjoy a little adventure by hiking in Anaga Park, summiting Spain's highest peak, star gazing, finding whales and dolphins while cruising on a yacht, and exploring the rich forests of the islands.
Lose yourself in the rugged beauty of Spain's Canary Islands with this adventurous 13-day itinerary. Start in Madrid, where you'll savor the local cuisine of the capital before catching a flight to Tenerife. Here you'll hike through ancient forests, stargaze under pristine skies, and scale the towering Mount Teide. Continue to the remote island of La Gomera to explore lush volcanic landscapes and go whale and dolphin watching along its stunning northern coast.
Blessed with fertile volcanic soils and delicate microclimates, the Canary Islands are a paradise for nature lovers. This exciting 12-day itinerary starts on Spain's mainland, where you’ll sample the culture and cuisine of Madrid before flying to the Canary’s largest island of Tenerife. Hike through ancient forests, horseback ride through almond groves, and scale the towering Mount Teide before catching a ferry to the magical island of La Gomera. Here you’ll explore lush mountainous landscapes, get lost in subtropical rainforests, and spot whales and dolphins along its rugged northern coast.
Explore the rugged beauty of the Canary Islands on this adventurous 11-day itinerary. Starting in Madrid, you’ll fly southwest over Spain and the Atlantic to reach the largest island of Tenerife. Hike through ancient ecosystems, climb volcanic mountains, and roam pine forests on horseback before catching a ferry to the small, remote La Gomera. Discover its pristine subtropical landscape on foot, then set sail for a whale-watching excursion around the dramatic coastline. Your final day takes you back to Madrid for a night on the town as you bid "adios" to island life.
The dramatic beauty of Spain's Canary Islands is the backdrop to this active 10-day itinerary. Starting in Madrid, you’ll have a day to explore the vibrant capital before flying southwest down the coast of Africa to reach the Canary’s largest island of Tenerife. Here you’ll explore black sand beaches, hike through ancient ecosystems, and climb volcanic mountains before catching a ferry to the small, remote island of La Gomera. Discover its pristine subtropical countryside on foot, then set sail for a whale-watching excursion around the dramatic coastline. Your final day takes you back to Madrid for a night on the town as you bid adios to island life.
Escape to an unspoiled island paradise on this 8-day exploration of Spain’s remote Canary Islands. Start on Tenerife, where lush rainforests and towering mountains welcome you to a unique ecosystem. Hike through ancient woodland, climb Spain’s tallest volcano, and discover idyllic Canarian villages. 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.
Get lost in the wild beauty of Spain’s Canary Islands on this adventurous 7-day itinerary. Explore ancient forests, rural villages, black sand beaches, and the towering Mount Teide on Tenerife, before journeying to the smaller island of La Gomera to discover lush volcanic landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Your final day takes you back to the mainland where you'll depart from the capital of Madrid.
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.
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.