A campervan road trip in Spain has a lot to offer the intrepid traveller. There’s the great year-round climate, diverse landscapes, delicious cuisine, and vibrant and colourful culture for starters. There are plenty of campsites to choose from and a dazzling array of attractions and places to visit. In fact, it might be hard to keep to an itinerary because there are so many worthy distractions on offer!
But as every motorhome holidaymaker knows, the best road trips start with research. This guide to the 5 best campervan road trips in Spain offers some great suggestions for itineraries to follow to make sure you get the most out of this wonderful country. We’ve selected a range of options to suit every type of traveller, from day drives that will give you a flavour of the region to multi-day road trips to help you get under the skin of Spain and its beguiling culture. Let's take a look at some of the best campervan road trips in Spain.
1. Best road trip in Spain for mountain and hiking enthusiasts
Santander to Los Picos de Europa
Drive time: Approx 3-4 hours, depending on how many stops you make. Stay overnight in one of the mountain villages, if possible.
If your ideal road trip in Spain involves glorious mountain vistas and world-class hiking opportunities, the journey from Santander to Los Picos de Europa could be just the ticket. We recommend a day or two in the lovely seaside city of Santander before beginning your adventure; stocking up on local honey or Quesuco de Liebana, the delicious Cantabrian cheese, and checking out the fascinating museums of the capital of Cantabria.
Once you hit the road, you can take your pick of a variety of hiking trails into the Picos de Europa, a 20km stretch of epic mountainous beauty that forms part of the Cantabrian range. Despite the Picos’ rugged appearance, you’ll be able to find walks for all abilities, including relaxing strolls to serene mountain lakes and multi-day treks that take in some of the charming villages in the range. Nature lovers will want to keep binoculars close to hand for the chance to spot golden eagles, black kites and even mountain bears - keep an eye on your honey!
If you want to stay overnight in this beautiful region (and who wouldn’t) Camping La Viorna in the attractive village of Potes is a great choice. With expansive views over the Picos and the choice of two swimming pools, it’s the ideal accommodation to soak up this beautiful region.
2. Best Spanish road trip for history buffs
Madrid to Salamanca
Drive time: Allow at least two days to take in the whole experience (not including some additional time in Madrid, if possible).
Spain has more than its fair share of gorgeous mediaeval-era castles and churches. If you want to experience some of this historical splendour, the journey from Madrid to Salamanca is a fabulous choice. Whether you’re new to Madrid or a first-time visitor, this enchanting capital city is always worth a day or two’s stopover before you begin your road trip.
Coasting over hypnotic plateaus with the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range providing a humbling backdrop, you can take in a variety of historical attractions as you head northwest. There’s the mediaeval Alcázar palace and world-famous aqueduct in Segovia, an hour or so’s drive from the Spanish capital. You can also visit the perfectly-preserved mediaeval-walled city of Ávila , which boasts the most Gothic and Romanesque churches in Spain.
Both of these destinations are more than worthy of a stopover; there’s nothing like experiencing a historic settlement at night, after all. But if time is tight, reserve a day or so at your final destination. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Salamanca has plenty to offer travellers looking to experience Spanish culture. Check out the Spanish Tourist Board’s guide for a one-day visit to Salamanca.
3. Best road trip to take in Spain’s Moorish history
Malaga to Seville
Distance: Approx 472km
Travel time: Allow 5 days if possible
This glorious Andalucian road trip is by no means the most direct route between the two cities of Malaga and Seville, but it encompasses some of the finest examples of Spain’s Moorish past. It also gives motorhome holidaymakers the chance to cruise along the Costa del Sol and hours of happy driving, taking in the breathtaking Sierra Nevada mountains.
After a day or two of soaking up vitamin D in the charismatic coastal city of Malaga, head a couple of hours northwest to Granada, the last stronghold of the Spanish Moors. Here you can visit the world-famous Alhambra (we recommend booking tickets in advance) and recharge at one of the many tempting tapas bars.
The drive from Granada to Córdoba takes a couple of hours. If time allows, it's well worth stopping off at the olive oil mills at Baena, where you can try and buy some of the delicious products and see where the magic happens.
Try to take at least two days to discover the delightful city of Cordoba, which was the capital of al-Andalus (Islamic Spain) from 756 to 1031. Here you can enjoy a wealth of historic attractions like La Mezquita, a Mosque dating from 784 AD. Find out more about exploring the Cordoba of the Moors.
The next stop is Seville, another couple of hours drive southwest. From a Moorish history perspective, the main draw here is the Alcázar or ‘Reales Alcázares de Sevilla‘ in Spanish, which is considered one of the finest examples of mudéjar art (a blend of Moorish and European styles). Seville has a lot to offer travellers, no matter what time of year you visit. Strolling the streets and taking in the beautiful architecture, shady parks, and plazas will easily fill a few afternoons. When it comes to the evening entertainment, prepare to be wowed by delicious tapas and the chatter and atmosphere of numerous delightful, laid-back bars.
If you can arrange your Spanish road trip to coincide with the magnificent orange blossom season from late February to early March, you won’t be disappointed. Brought over by the Moors in the 10th century these gorgeous flowers fill the air with a rich, vibrant scent that will have you heading straight for the world-famous marmalade vendors.
4. Best Spanish road trip to explore the Basque country
Bilbao to Pamplona via San Sebastian
Distance: Approx 180km
Drive time: 1-1.5 hours between Bilbao and San Sebastian and around one hour to Pamplona.
The Basque region is a very special area of Spain. An autonomous region stretching across some 7200 square km of Northern Spain and extending into France, the Basque community has its own culture, language and traditions.
Start your trip in the capital, Bilbao, leaving a day or so to visit the excellent Guggenheim museum, wander the evocative streets of Casco Viejo, the old town, and stock up on local delicacies at La Ribera Market. Head east to San Sebastian where, if you haven’t maxed out on tapas, you’ll find some of the finest food in the region as well as txakoli, a delicious lightly sparkling white wine.
Burn off the carbs and enjoy glorious views over the city with a relatively short hike up Monte Igueldo then cool off with a swim in the Bay of Biscay. The final stop on this Northern Spain road trip is Pamplona. Famous for the terrifying/exhilarating Running of the Bulls event in July, Pamplona has plenty to offer motorhome holidaymakers, including a Gothic cathedral, elegant plazas and - you guessed it - more mouthwatering food.
We hope you now have some great ideas for your ideal campervan road trip to Spain. When booking your trip, make sure you plan for the weather. While Spain has one of the best year-round climates in Europe, it can also get incredibly hot in Summer and pretty chilly in Winter. Springtime is a wonderful time to visit. The flowers are in bloom, and the temperatures are lovely. You’ll also catch the hospitality staff before they become overloaded by the tourist masses! Autumn is another great time to visit, and you’ll get the added benefit of extending your British summer a little longer.
You’ll also want to consider what the best driving route to Spain is before you plan your ongoing itinerary. Check out this guide from the RAC for more details. Also check out everything you need to know about toll roads in Spain.
Remember, if you don’t have your own motorhome but want to enjoy the extra freedom that this travel method offers, you can take a look at the available motorhomes on Goboony. Happy planning and even happier holidays on your campervan road trip to Spain!