Guest Post: Five Great Driving Routes in Spain
With its well-established road networks and vast array of landscapes, Spain provides an excellent opportunity to explore at your own pace by car and there are several driving routes that allow you to experience both the traditional culture and modernity of this eclectic country.
The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is popular with tourists and is home to several World Heritage Site landmarks, such as El Teide Volcano and San Cristóbal de La Laguna.
The route from Adeje to Vilaflor will take you past former slave markets and several peaceful and picturesque coastal resorts. The route ends with an ascent through the hillside almond groves to the popular town of Vilaflor, which is known for its spa facilities and views across the archipelago.
With over 100 plant species that are native to the island, you can expect to encounter rare and unusual flora, such as the Teide violet.
Holidays in Majorca remain popular for a great many holidaymakers. Majorca forms part of the Balearic Islands and features mountain ranges, underwater caves to explore and sheltered bays that are perfect for swimming and water sports.
Driving from Andratx, in the southwest of the island, to Esporales you will pass pine woodland, vineyards and olive groves as you make your way to the small, traditional village, where you can enjoy locally grown food and views across the Mediterranean.
Plan your arrival in Esporales to coincide with the Saturday market when all the locals turn out to shop, chat and eat. As you climb past the Majorcan villages, look out for palms, eagles, falcons and geckos.
Lanzarote is a great choice for holidaymakers and a haven for drivers as its road networks are well-maintained and there’s very little traffic outside of the capital.
Take the LZ1 north from Sands Beach Resort to Tahiche and you will pass several attractions, including Cactus Garden, which is home to 1420 species and a carefully restored windmill.
You can also visit the underground lake at Jameos del Agua and the underground caves formed as a result of La Corona volcano erupting 5000 years ago. The Eleanora Falcon only nests in this area and as your drive along the coast, you may spot Osprey nests and vultures around the sheer Alegranza cliffs.
The region of Murcia in south east Spain is known for its Cathedral and Baroque architecture, the local cuisine and it was the home of sculptor Francisco Salzillo. From the capital, travel southeast to the biggest saltwater lake in Europe, El Mar Menor. Separated from the sea by volcanic rock, the lake is home to several islands, with three of them forming part of a nature reserve.
The reserve is home to a number of plant and animal species, including sea lilies, flamingos and seahorses. En route, you will pass several small fishing villages and colourful meadows and orchards before reaching Cabo de Palos e Islas Hormigas, a marine reserve that offers the opportunity to dive.
Known for its football team and cosmopolitan culture, Barcelona makes an excellent gateway to explore the diverse region of Catalonia. The drive from Barcelona to the famous fishing village of Cadaques, which hosted several renowned artists such as Picasso, Matisse and Man Ray, offers the opportunity to absorb the Azure coastline and pass through several quaint coastal towns.
A visit to Cap de Creus National Park, home to a variety of flora and fauna such as rock roses, ash trees, Bonelli’s eagle and the eagle owl, will offer something for everyone.
The route continues along rocky terrain to reveal a picture-perfect panorama before reaching the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Monestir de Sant Pere de Rodes, which offers an excellent viewpoint to watch the sun set across the bay.