The Iberian Peninsula: 22 Exciting Road Trips from Madrid

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If you’re trying to journey to Spain and discover the fantastic thing about this European nation (and the remainder of the Iberian Peninsula) past Madrid, we recommend getting in a automobile and hitting the open highway. 

With 22 distinctive routes, the next itineraries for highway journeys from Madrid could have you exploring every thing from historic cities and coastal landscapes to Portugal and past.

Short-Distance Road Trips From Madrid

To begin your journey, try our suggestions on the place to remain in Madrid. Choosing the precise neighborhood could make it simpler to relaxation correctly earlier than embarking on these short-distance highway journeys from Madrid.

Salamanca and Ávila

Getting to Ávila from Madrid takes simply over an hour on the A-6. Once there, you may spend just a few hours wandering across the fortified metropolis partitions and Twelfth-century Ávila Cathedral.

Then, take the A-50 northwest for about an hour to achieve Salamanca. The University of Salamanca is a good spot for people-watching, as is the Baroque-style Plaza Mayor. 

Cuenca and Alcalá de Henares

If you’re a fan of Spanish literature, take a highway journey to Alcalá de Henares, the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes. Take the M-30 out of Madrid earlier than merging onto the A-2, and also you’ll be there in not more than 40 minutes. 

Explore the native structure and cease at an area restaurant to order the world’s well-known roast lamb. After, take the E-90/A-2 and head in the direction of Guadalajara—it’s one of the best path to Cuenca to keep away from tolls. From Guadalajara, you’ll take the N-320 for about an hour and a half earlier than reaching Cuenca. Visit the hanging homes in Cuenca’s fortified Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage web site. 

Sierra de Guadarrama National Park and El Escorial

For a nature-filled escape from town, discover the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park—about an hour north of Madrid by way of the M-601. Hike by means of the granite rock formations and pine bushes to get to locations just like the Lagunas de Peñalara or Valle de La Fuenfría. 

Head again in the direction of Madrid, however take the M-614 for about 45 minutes and cease in El Escorial, residence to the El Escorial Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that when served because the Spanish royal palace.

Ávila, Segovia, and La Granja de San Ildefonso

While you would possibly end up pressed for time when you attempt to match this highway journey into simply someday, exploring these three charming pueblos from Madrid on one scenic journey is potential. 

Start by taking the AP-6 freeway northwest till you veer west onto the AP-51 in the direction of the walled metropolis of Ávila. After, get again on the AP-6 and head northeast towards Segovia by way of the N-110 for about 50 minutes. 

Explore the Roman Aqueduct and the fairytale-like Alcazar Castle in Segovia earlier than hopping again within the automobile for a fast 15-minute experience to La Granja de San Ildefonso, recognized for its opulent Royal Palace and gardens.

Burgos and Surrounding Areas

Starting in Madrid, hop on the A-1 to Burgos, a metropolis simply two and a half hours north with a must-see Gothic cathedral. Then, take the N-234 for about an hour to achieve the country village of Santo Domingo de Silos and its monastery. 

Head again to Burgos for the evening so you may get up contemporary the following morning to get pleasure from a fast 25-minute drive down the A-1 to get to Lerma for wine tastings at native vineyards. End the journey in Ribera del Duero, the place you may wander alongside the River Duero or go to one of many bodegas within the area—Bodegas Portia is without doubt one of the finest!

Toledo and Segovia

A Toledo day journey is extremely really useful while you’re in Madrid, and you’ll simply attain the medieval metropolis in about an hour by way of the A-42. Visit the Thirteenth-century Toledo Cathedral and Alcázar of Toledo earlier than getting again on the A-42 and heading north in the direction of Segovia, residence to the gorgeous Alcazar Palace and the well-known Roman Aqueduct.

Long Distance Road Trips From Madrid

If you could have every week or two to spend in Spain, the next itineraries are nice when you can dedicate about seven to 10 days to savoring Spain’s gorgeous landscapes by automobile. Don’t fear—there’s time to cease alongside the way in which!

Andalusia Road Trip

Get able to discover Andalusia by way of the A-5 and A-66, which carry you to Seville in just below 5 hours. Take your self on a strolling tour of town, hitting hotspots just like the Plaza de España and the Royal Alcázar of Seville, earlier than treating your self to a flamenco present.

From Seville, it’s only a two-and-a-half-hour drive on the A-92 in the direction of Granada, the place you may marvel on the Alhambra. If you like science and historical past, cease on the Parque de las Ciencias, too.

Get again on the A-92 and head south for about an hour and a half till you attain the sandy shores of Málaga. Relax on the Mediterranean seashores, go to the Alcazaba, spend time on the Museo Picasso, and take a day journey to El Caminito del Rey.

Also learn: Best day journeys from Seville

Northern Coastal Spain Road Trip

Porcia seaside, Asturias

Get able to gawk at Spain’s gorgeous seascapes on a week-long or ten-day highway journey from Madrid to the northern coast.

It’ll take you thru scenic southwest France en path to San Sebastian’s seashores. It’s a couple of four-and-a-half-hour drive alongside the A-1 and AP-1 highways.

From San Sebastian, you’ll take the AP-8 and A-8 alongside the Cantabric coast for about two hours to make it to Santander earlier than venturing off to the charming port metropolis of Gijón. Finally, you’ll arrive at Estaca de Bares, one in all Spain’s northernmost factors.

Basque Country Discovery

To traverse the picturesque Basque Country, begin in Madrid and head north on the A-1 freeway to Bilbao, the place you may go to the enduring Guggenheim Museum and indulge within the metropolis’s dynamic culinary scene. 

From there, take the A-8 freeway to San Sebastian, famend for its lovely seashores and Michelin-starred eating places. Finally, drive southwest on the N-1 freeway to Vitoria-Gasteiz, a captivating medieval city with a wealthy historical past, gorgeous structure, and beautiful environment.

Portugal Exploration

Nazare seaside and metropolis heart buildings as seen from Miradouro do Suberco

If you wish to mix two Iberian nations into one journey, take a ten-day highway journey from Madrid to Lisbon and Porto. 

Typically, heading to Porto by way of the AP-6 makes essentially the most sense. Once there, take a port wine tour with tastings, discover the Gothic structure, and revel in sundown views over the Douro River. 

Spend two to 3 days right here earlier than taking the A1 to Lisbon, the place you’ll wish to keep for a minimum of 4 or 5 days. Take a Tagus River cruise, go to close by Sintra, and wander the cobblestone streets.

Northern Spain Road Trip

On a highway journey from Madrid, you may discover Northern Spain in about six or seven days when you comply with the A-1 and A-6 highways as they reduce by means of the strikingly lovely peaks of the Cantabrian Mountains. 

Stop to admire the turquoise waters of the Bay of Biscay earlier than arriving in Santander. Order some seafood and stroll round El Sardinero Beach. Further up, Gijón awaits with scrumptious seafood markets. 

End your highway journey within the city of Oviedo, the place you may marvel at medieval structure and eat genuine Asturian delicacies. 

Pyrenees Adventure

There are few higher methods to see the Pyrenees than by admiring them alongside the horizon as you drive your means by means of the area earlier than stopping to hike, ski, or bike by means of the majestic landscapes. How do you get there?

Starting in Madrid, comply with the A-2 freeway in the direction of Zaragoza, then swap to the A-23 in the direction of Jaca. From there, take the A-138 in the direction of Aínsa, surrounded by dramatic peaks and plush forests. 

Finally, cross the border into Andorra and expertise the tiny nation’s lovely nature—it’s nice for snowboarding or snowboarding, relying on the season.

Picos de Europa Discovery 

If you like exploring the good open air, you must go to the Picos de Europa National Park—Spain’s solely inhabited nature reserve. Hit the A-6 motorway in the direction of the quaint city of Potes, nestled between the majestic Picos de Europa mountains. 

From right here, comply with the winding roads in the direction of the gorgeous Covadonga Lakes and cease for awe-inspiring views of the encircling peaks. Don’t miss the village of Cangas de Onís and its iconic Roman bridge.

Extremadura Exploration

It’s easy to set out on an exploration journey by means of Spain’s southwestern area of Extremadura. 

Take the A-5 freeway from Madrid to Cáceres, a UNESCO heritage metropolis that has preserved its medieval and Renaissance structure. Continue to Mérida and witness the Roman ruins that date again to 25BC. End the journey in Badajoz, recognized for its fortress and Gothic cathedral.

All the stops you can not miss on an Extremadura highway journey

Galician Delights

A journey to Spanish Galicia from Madrid takes roughly ten hours (of driving time—you’ll wish to plan a minimum of every week to discover all of the sights in every city), protecting over 600 km on highways A-6, AP-9, and AG-55. 

Along the way in which, snap photographs of the emerald-green forests, hovering mountains, and coastal villages. Indulge in Galicia’s famed seafood and wine, and marvel on the structure and historic landmarks, corresponding to Santiago de Compostela’s UNESCO-listed cathedral.

León and El Bierzo

While much less visited by most vacationers, the Castile-León area is effectively value your time when you love Gothic structure and distinctive mountainscapes. 

You’ll take the A-6 and AP-71 highways from Madrid to get to León, the place you may go to the majestic Gothic Cathedral, the Roman metropolis partitions, and the charming Barrio Húmedo. 

Continue to Ponferrada to see the Castillo de los Templarios. Then, drive to Las Medulas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site residence to Roman gold mines. Finally, head to Villafranca del Bierzo to expertise the peacefulness of this quaint city, surrounded by lush vineyards.

Costa da Morte and Rias Altas

Cabo Vilano Costa da Morte

A highway journey alongside the Costa da Morte is without doubt one of the finest methods to discover Galicia and its coastal cities. After taking the A-6 freeway from Madrid, you’ll attain A Coruña first, the place you may tour the Tower of Hercules and chill out at Orzan Beach. 

From there, hit the AP-9 and A-8 highways for the smoothest journey to and thru the Costa da Morte and Rias Altas, the place you’ll uncover hidden coves and small fishing villages.

Coastal Gems of Galicia

Want to discover the Galician coast? Follow the A-6 and A-52 highways from Madrid to achieve Vigo. Next, cease in Santiago de Compostela, well-known for being the ultimate cease on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. Then, proceed on the AP-9 freeway to the Rias Baixas, recognized for its world-class wine and epic landscapes.

León Mountains and Sil River Canyon

If you’re fascinated with turning your highway journey right into a mountain climbing journey, it’s value exploring the distinctive, jagged León Mountains and Sil River Canyon. To get there, drive alongside the A-6 freeway to Valdeorras, a small city residence to distinctive wines. 

Then, proceed to Ponferrada, the place you may witness the breathtaking silhouette of its medieval fort. Finally, discover historic Astorga and the Sil River Canyon as you journey again to Madrid.

Mediterranean Explorer Road Trip

What higher approach to discover Spain’s Mediterranean shoreline than with a scenic highway journey from Madrid? First, you’ll comply with the A-2 and AP-7 highways to achieve the azure blue seashores of the Costa Brava—it’s a couple of seven-hour drive, so put together accordingly. 

From there, Barcelona’s simply over an hour and a half away. Plan to spend a minimum of three or 4 days within the Catalan capital metropolis, immersing your self in the magic of Gaudí and Gothic structure.

Continue alongside the coast to discover the energetic metropolis of Valencia and its spectacular City of Arts and Sciences. Finally, head to the sunny, rugged landscapes of Cabo de Gata Natural Park for a style of unspoiled nature.

Andalusian White Villages Road Trip

Follow within the footsteps of literary greats like Hemingway and discover the white villages of Andalusia. While there are a number of to go to, our itinerary takes type by means of Ronda, Grazalema, and Arcos de la Frontera. 

To discover these picturesque pueblos, take the A-4 in the direction of Seville, adopted by the A-374 onto the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. The finest approach to benefit from the journey is to hike the paths that snake by means of the area and find out about every village’s distinctive historical past.

Pyrenees Adventure

Explore the peaks of the Pyrenees from afar by taking a highway journey from Madrid to Jaca, Aínsa, and Andorra. Follow the A-2 and A-22 highways for a scenic drive filled with towering peaks and charming cities, like Jaca, residence to a novel Eleventh-century Romanesque cathedral. 

On your approach to Aínsa, schedule a while to hike, ski, or raft within the Parque Natural de la Sierra y los Cañones de Guara earlier than having fun with some tax-free buying in Andorra.

Conclusion

In abstract, these 22 highway journeys from Madrid provide a charming journey by means of the Iberian Peninsula. From medieval cities to gorgeous coastlines, every itinerary guarantees distinctive experiences and unforgettable reminiscences. So, hop in your automobile, embrace the open highway, and let the wonders of Spain and Portugal unfold earlier than you.

Happy travels and pleased exploring!

Timon, the voice behind TravelSpain24.com, is a seasoned journey author and storyteller. As a digital nomad with a robust connection to Spain, he navigates readers by means of the nation’s landscapes, merging private anecdotes with professional journey recommendation.

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