Spain is one of the baddest countries in the world — in a good way! It has it gloriously warm and sunny weather; fun and friendly people; elegant and sophisticated megacities heaving with sights and sounds; tiny and picturesque rustic villages; spectacular and scenic beauty; arguably the best cuisine on Earth; a wonderful array of local wines, beers and spirit; and some of the wildest party scenes in the universe! Spain is diverse and packed with fascinating surprises.

There are so many excellent places to visit in Spain, and time spent in any one destination will certainly be an extremely enjoyable experience. But the best way to truly get to know this great country is to take a little bit more time, get a car or motorbike, and hit the road exploring the nooks and crannies that make Spain such a unique remarkable.

Here is our guide to the ultimate road trip around Spain. Don’t forget to take note of the itinerary, as well as the cities and sights that appeal to you most, in your BUCKiTDREAM planner!

Start Your Trip in Style Begin your trip in dreamy and alluring Barcelona, Europe’s coolest city. Barcelona has an exceptional atmosphere that needs to be felt firsthand to be understood. It has great beaches; bizarre and beautiful architecture by its famously idiosyncratic son Gaudí; glorious parks; exquisite shopping; the world’s most famous football stadium, Camp Nou; sumptuous food and wine; and out of this world nightlife. You won’t want to leave. But you must. This is a road trip, people!!

From Barcelona, drive 3 hours and 30 minutes south to …

The Sparkling Firecracker City of Valencia Valencia is hot and wild, and it has the best paella in Spain. This large city on the Mediterranean has a fiery buzz, and the locals really love the good life. Valencia is alive and bustling practically all night long with families and groups strolling its sidewalks, eating outside its restaurants, and partying in its multitude of super-fun bars and clubs.

From Valencia, drive 2 hours south to …

The Beautiful Beaches Of Alicante After the hustle and bustle of Barcelona and Valencia, spend a few days in the small Costa Blanca city of Alicante. The beaches in this part of Spain are white, sandy and sumptuous. Alicante has a lovely urban beach and is surrounded by great resorts. There is something for everyone in Alicante, with fantastic fish restaurants, a beautiful Old Town and great nightlife scene.

From Alicante, drive 3 hours and 40 minutes southwest to …

Granada and its World-Famous Medieval Castles Granada was the capital of the Moors in Western Europe. It is renowned for its medieval architecture, castles and the exquisite Alhambra Palace. Strolling the quaint streets of this ancient city, you are provided with a never-ending feast for the eyes!

From Granada, drive 2 hours and 40 minutes west to …

Steamy, Sultry Seville, the World Capital Of Flamenco Seville is the main city in Andalusia. It has year-round sunny weather and a flamboyant, sparkling atmosphere unlike anywhere else. It is teeming with culture, fine restaurants, cafés and late-night flamenco bars. The capital of the South is a crucial stop on your trip to Spain.

From Seville, drive 4 hours and 25 minutes north to …

The Magical Sandstone City Of Salamanca Salamanca is the capital of the Salamanca Province in the Castile and León region of northwestern Spain. It is famous for its ornate sandstone architecture. Exceptionally beautiful buildings, monuments and plazas abound. The city has a major and rather ancient university, and it attracts hordes of students from not only all over Spain but also around the world. As you would expect from a major student town, the atmosphere is always vibrant, and the party scene is legendary!

From Salamanca, drive 4 hours northeast to …

The Rugged, Green Scenery and world-famous kitchens of the Basque Country The Basque Country has several large and exciting cities. San Sebastian and Bilbao in particular are certainly worth a visit. It also has a lush and wild green countryside dotted with small villages and farm towns. The produce in this part of Spain is second to none, and the local cuisine unparalleled. The Basque Country has more Michelin-starred restaurants per capita than anywhere else, and the homemade local cider can’t be missed!

From the Basque Country, drive 3 hours and 55 minutes south to …

The Jewel in the Spanish Crown, the Capital City, Madrid Madrid is the capital of Spain, and it sits proudly on the meseta central plateau smack in the center of the country. It sometimes gets overlooked by visitors to Spain who prefer to visit coastal cities such as Barcelona or the resorts of the south, but skip Madrid at your peril! Madrid is one of the world’s most awesome megacities. It has architecture and culture that rivals anywhere and a year-round vibrancy that is impossible not to fall in love with. It is baking hot in summer, and cold in winter. Each season provides a unique Madrid experience. It is slightly more relaxed and less self-consciously cool than Barcelona. It’s restaurants and bars are some of the best in Europe, and its inhabitants are super friendly and welcoming. Madrid is a big city with a big heart in the heart of Spain — and the perfect place to end your Spanish road trip!

So that was our bucket list guide to a road trip around Spain. If you enjoyed that, you may be interested in our list of the most remarkable festivals in Spain. Maybe you can even time your trip so you can catch a few!