Far from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona, the crowded beaches of the Costa Brava and the concrete coasts of Andalusia, discover Spain differently. With these 3 road trip ideas in Spain over 2 weeks, explore the most beautiful villages of the Spanish Basque Country and marvel at a road trip in Catalonia inland. Finally, let yourself be tempted by the little-known but surprising destination of Extremadura, west of Madrid and on the border with Portugal. A whole program in perspective to explore the Iberian Peninsula under a new light!
Stay in the Spanish Basque Country
What to see in the Spanish Basque Country?
This road trip takes you along the northern coast of Spain, from the French border to Bilbao. By doing it over 2 weeks, you take the time to explore the Spanish Basque Country, while enjoying the undeniable advantages of slow tourism. You can enjoy lazy days on the beach and hikes in the countryside. Here are a few must-sees during your stay:
- Fontarrabia. After crossing the border with France, marvel at this small fishing village with its colorful houses and soak up the warm atmosphere of the Basque Country;
- San Sebastian. Gastronomy and relaxation on the beach of La Concha in an idyllic setting await you. Lose yourself in the narrow streets of the city center and taste pintxos, local specialties of the Basque Country.
- Mundaka. Continue your journey along the coast and discover the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, a magnificent area preserved between lush nature and beautiful beaches suitable for surfing.
- Gaztelugatxe. This site is certainly one of the most famous places in the Basque Country. It is easy to understand why, as it is so grandiose: a small chapel perched on a rocky islet and accessible by a flight of stone steps. Access is free but remember to reserve your time in advance.
- Bilbao. This city with an industrial past is gradually reinventing itself by developing its cultural offer, notably thanks to the Guggenheim Museum, an iconic monument with astonishing architecture.
- Salto del Nervión. Looking for nature? Go inland and discover the highest waterfall of the Iberian Peninsula, surrounded by 3 Natura 2000 protected areas. A paradise and an exceptional playground for hiking enthusiasts.
Where to sleep in the Spanish Basque Country?
2 Ethik'Hotels await you for your stay in the Spanish Basque Country:
- Casa Rural Errota-Barri. Located in the province of Vizcaya, this eco-friendly hotel is the perfect base for exploring Bilbao and the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve. Stay in one of the charming rooms of this rural house surrounded by lush nature.
- Ulle Gorri. This house is located in the Spanish Basque Country, surrounded by mountains and unspoiled nature. Rent the large stone house, an old traditional farmhouse, or one of the 2 rural studios. Close to the Salto del Nervión, it is the ideal cocoon for a disconnected vacation.
For the other nights of your trip, discover all our advice to choose your eco-responsible hotel.
How to get to the Spanish Basque Country?
On the border with France, the Spanish Basque Country is easily accessible by car from the southwest of the country. It takes 5 hours by TGV to reach Hendaye from Paris-Montparnasse. Continue the rail journey to San Sebastian or rent a car to start your 2-week road trip in Spain.
Road trip in Catalonia off the beaten track
What to see in Catalonia?
Far away from Barcelona and the popular Costa Brava, rediscover Catalonia by nature with this road trip inland from Cadaqués to the Ebro Delta. Several iconic points of interest await you:
- Cadaqués. Stroll through the steep streets of this small seaside town with charming white houses.
- Besalu. Go inland and let yourself be seduced by one of the most beautiful villages of Catalonia, between medieval architecture and small paved streets.
- Rupit. This tiny village with its charming stone houses is only accessible on foot thanks to a suspension bridge. After walking through its small streets, go for a hike to the Salt de Sallent waterfall.
- Tavertet. If the city is not exceptional, it is the landscapes around that are worth the detour. Don't miss the viewpoint of the Morro de l'Abella.
- Montserrat Natural Park. Only 50 km from Barcelona, marvel at these rounded peaks and lush nature, a true hiker's paradise. Visit the monastery of Montserrat, an interesting place of pilgrimage filled with history.
- The Ebro Delta. At the very end of Catalonia, it is a privileged natural place to observe pink flamingos.
Read also: discover 25 ideas of ecological activities for your vacations.
Where to sleep in Catalonia?
During your road trip in Catalonia, stay at Avenc de Tavertet. Nature and calmness await you. Sleep in the renovated historical barn or in the new bioclimatic wing of the accommodation. Enjoy the indoor pool, a massage or a yoga session to recharge your batteries. Relax and enjoy the steep hills and lush green pastures that surround you.
How to get to Catalonia?
Count a little more than 3 hours drive from Toulouse or Montpellier to reach Cadaqués, starting point of this road trip in Catalonia.
By train, a direct TGV takes you from Paris to Barcelona in just under 7 hours.
2 weeks road trip in Spain between Madrid and Extremadura
What to see in Madrid and Extremadura?
Discover Madrid before leaving for a region full of beautiful cultural and natural surprises: Extremadura.
Allow at least 2 days to visit the lively Spanish capital with its rich cultural offerings. Discover the iconic places of the Plaza Puerta del Sol and the Plaza Mayor, before strolling through the lively streets of the Las Letras neighborhood. It's the perfect place to enjoy tapas on the terrace, sit down at a good restaurant or admire the works in the galleries. The Art Triangle is also a great place to visit museums:
- Prado, showcase of Spanish artistic heritage;
- Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, where you can admire works by famous artists such as Picasso or Dali ;
- Thyssen-Bornemisza, with an important collection of paintings dating back to the 13th century.
Leave the bustling capital and head for Extremadura. On the way, stop in Toledo, the city of the painter El Greco, classified by Unesco. Its splendid cathedral is worth a visit.
Once in the Extremadura region, several cultural and natural discoveries await you:
- Trujillo. This beautiful city with winding streets has a rich history that dates back to antiquity.
- Cáceres. Stroll through the narrow streets of the walled city and admire the architectural sights where Romanesque, Arab and Christian styles are mixed.
- Merida. A magnificent museum on Roman art and vestiges of antiquity await you there.
- Badajoz. Take time to visit the old quarter around the Alcazaba citadel, one of the largest in Europe.
- The Tajo International Natural Park. On the border with Portugal, this natural setting is a privileged place for bird watching.
Walled city of Toledo
Where to sleep in Madrid and Extremadura?
Sleep'n Atocha, an ecological and modern hotel awaits you in the heart of downtown Madrid, near the Atocha train station. Comfortable rooms and a rooftop with a bar and a breathtaking view of the city await you.
In Extremadura, Finca al-manzil enjoys a privileged location to radiate around the region. 3 houses with a harmonious and warm atmosphere await you.
How to get to Madrid?
As the capital of Spain, the city is very well served by all modes of transportation.
- It takes 9 hours by train from Paris with one change.
- By car, it is a 7 hour drive from Bordeaux and 8 hours from Toulouse.
- Finally, regular flights from Paris or Lyon allow you to reach the Spanish capital.
Which of these 3 road trips in Spain over 2 weeks tempts you the most? Tell us in comments!
Continue reading and discover 6 steps to prepare your eco-responsible road trip with peace of mind.
Article written by Anaïs Maroteaux, SEO web writer