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.
Make the Most of Your Time in Spain
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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.
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.
With one week in Spain you can take a fast-paced trip to experience Spain's top cities Barcelona, Madrid & Seville. Or dive deeper into one region by sampling the legendary cuisine of the Basque Country, laze on Mediterranean beaches, tour Madrid, or enjoy some unique culture in the southern Andalusia region. Below we list five different itineraries that show you how.
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.
With a week and a day in Spain, you can hit the highlights of two or three different regions. That would include stops in the most famous cities in the country like Barcelona and Madrid, plus allow time for island hopping. Take a road trip through Andalusia, laze on the beaches of Ibiza, discover the hidden coves of the Costa Brava, and more with these unique itineraries.
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.
With 10 days, you can easily hop between three of Spain's great cities—Seville, Barcelona, and Madrid make a great pairing. Alternatively, you can combine the exploration of one major city with a region, like the Costa Brava or Basque Country. Go on a coastal road trip in Catalonia, indulge in a foodie tour, or take a horse-drawn carriage ride in Andalusia with the unique itineraries below.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Three weeks in Spain gives you enough time to see the main highlights of several regions and dive deeper into the regional culture. Hop the high-speed trains to hit the main cities, such as Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, and Granada plan your trip around food and wine as you explore the regional culinary scene; or combine the top venues and experiences of Spain and Portugal. Read on for unique itineraries spanning the best of the Iberian Peninsula.
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.
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.
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.
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.