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Epic Vuelta a España: Exciting Road Trip Around Spain and Portugal Spanning 3000km

Embarking on a road trip around Spain and Portugal that stitches together the rich tapestry of Iberian culture, history, and landscapes is a dream for many travelers. This 10-day journey spanning approximately 3000 kilometers from Barcelona to Porto and back offers an unforgettable adventure through Spain and Portugal’s most iconic cities. Here’s a day-by-day guide to making the most of this incredible route.

Day 1: Barcelona to Valencia – The Mediterranean Spark

Our road trip around Spain and Portugal, begins in Barcelona, a city famed for its architectural marvels by Antoni Gaudí, vibrant street life, and delectable cuisine. After soaking in the morning sun at the Barceloneta Beach and marveling at the Sagrada Familia, we head towards Valencia, approximately 350 km away. Valencia, known for its City of Arts and Sciences, offers a mix of futuristic architecture and historic sites, such as the Valencia Cathedral. Don’t miss trying the authentic paella, a culinary gem of this region.

Road trip around Spain and Portugal

Day 2: Valencia to Seville – Through the Heartland

Day 2 on our road trip around Spain and Portugal takes us into the heart of Andalusia, with Seville as our destination, about 650 km from Valencia. The drive offers picturesque views of Spain’s diverse landscapes. Seville enchants with its Gothic cathedral, the largest in the world, and the Real Alcázar, a stunning example of Mudéjar architecture. Spend the evening wandering through the historic Santa Cruz quarter or enjoying a flamenco show in Triana.

Day 3 & 4: Seville to Lisbon – Crossing into Portugal

Leaving Seville, we cross into Portugal towards Lisbon, covering around 460 km. Spend two days in Lisbon to fully experience its hilly, coastal charm. Explore the historic Belém district, taste the famous pastéis de nata, and take a ride on Tram 28 through the Alfama district. Lisbon’s nightlife in Bairro Alto is not to be missed, with its myriad bars and restaurants.

Barcelona road trip

Day 5: Lisbon to Fatima – A Spiritual Journey

On Day 5, we journey to Fatima, about 130 km north of Lisbon. This sacred site is known for the Marian apparitions reported by three shepherd children in 1917 and is one of the most significant Catholic pilgrimage locations in the world. Spend time visiting the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, including the Chapel of the Apparitions and the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, where pilgrims gather to reflect and pray. This marks the midpoint of our road trip around Spain and Portugal.

Day 6 & 7: Porto to Madrid – The Spanish Plateau

Heading back into Spain, our next destination is Madrid, approximately 560 km from Porto. Spend two days exploring Spain’s capital. Visit the Prado Museum, stroll through the Retiro Park, and enjoy the vibrant Plaza Mayor. Madrid’s culinary scene is a delight, offering everything from traditional tapas to avant-garde cuisine.

Lisbon road trip

Day 8: Spending a Day in Madrid – Exploring the Heart of Spain

On Day 8, immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of Madrid, Spain’s capital city. Start your day at the grand Royal Palace, and then stroll through the lush greenery of Retiro Park. Visit the world-renowned Prado Museum to view an extensive collection of European art. Don’t miss the lively atmosphere of Plaza Mayor and the bustling Gran Via for shopping and dining. End your day by indulging in local culinary delights at the Mercado de San Miguel, where you can experience the true taste of Spanish tapas. Tomorrow we head back to Barcelona through Zaragoza about 320 km away.

Day 9: Zaragoza to Barcelona – The Homeward Stretch

The final leg of our road trip around Spain and Portugal journey takes us back to Barcelona, about 300 km from Zaragoza. This drive offers one last chance to soak in the diverse Spanish countryside. Spend your last evening in Barcelona revisiting favorite spots or discovering new ones, perhaps in the vibrant neighborhoods of Gràcia or El Raval.

Day 10: Barcelona – Reflections and Departure

On the final day, reflect on the journey that has taken you through the heart of Iberian culture, history, and landscapes. Barcelona’s beachside cafes offer a serene spot for contemplation before your departure.

Tips for the Trip

  • Planning: Ensure your vehicle is well-maintained, and check local travel advisories.
  • Accommodations: Book in advance, especially in high season.
  • Cuisine: Embrace the local food in each region; it’s an integral part of the experience.
  • Flexibility: While this itinerary is a guide, allow for spontaneous detours.

This 3000 km road trip from Barcelona to Porto and back weaves through the essence of Spain and Portugal. It’s a journey through time, cultures, and breathtaking landscapes, promising memories that will last a lifetime.

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