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Road Tripping Around Northeast Spain | 1 Month Route of the Most Beautiful Towns in North East Spain

Updated: May 19, 2023

Why Take a Road Trip in Northeast Spain


Northeast Spain is a beautiful region of the country, home to some of the most spectacular scenery and unique towns in all of Europe. The locals are friendly and speak Spanish with a distinctive Catalan accent which makes for an enjoyable exploration. One month is not enough time to do everything this area has to offer, but we've put together a route that will take you through some of the most picturesque villages in North East Spain including Zaragoza, Calaceite, Salou, Tarragona, Montserrat and Barcelona!


When to visit Northeast Spain for a road trip


Spain is a great country to visit any time of year, but the best season to visit Northeast Spain specifically is during the spring or fall. The weather is mild and pleasant, and there are fewer tourists around making for a more authentic experience.


Where to stay in Northeast Spain while on your road trip

There are many hotels and hostels available in Zaragoza, Salou and Barcelona. Campsites abound throughout the region with a great selection of services such as hot showers, laundry facilities, swimming pools and WiFi access. You can also rent apartments or houses through Airbnb which is ideal if you plan on staying longer or if you're traveling with a group of friends.


Where to eat in Northeast Spain


You won't go hungry while visiting the northeast region of Spain! There are many restaurants, bars and cafes located throughout Zaragoza, Calaceite, Salou and Barcelona where you will find both Catalan cuisine as well as Spanish food.


Zaragoza, Spain


Zaragoza is the capital of the Aragon region and a great place to start your road trip through Northeast Spain. This vibrant city is home to beautiful architecture, wide streets and plenty of places to eat, drink and shop. Some top sights include the Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar, La Seo Cathedral and El Palacio de la Aljafería. One of the best things to do in Zaragoza is visit Plaza del Pilar, a picturesque square with cafes and bars on all four corners. It's also one of the top places for street photography because you'll find beautiful architecture around every corner.


El Tubo is a popular area for Spanish cities to go out for tapas, especially among Zaragoza residents. Estebanes and Libertad streets and the neighboring region are where people eat the most. Migas (a traditional dish made with breadcrumbs), mushrooms (cooked in a variety of methods), and croquettes are the most popular tapas.


Tapas are also popular in the Magdalena area, which is located in the city's ancient quarter. Every year (usually in November) Zaragoza hosts a tapas competition. A wide range of restaurants from both Zaragoza and the rest of Aragón participate, producing delectable dishes. The event is a great opportunity to try some of the region's best tapas.


Calaceite, Spain


Calaceite is located on the western side of a slope, between the Matarraña and Alga valleys. It's a lovely town with aesthetic features including La Asunción parish church (17th-18th centuries), which is baroque and has three naves and a major façade; City Hall, which is Renaissance and neoclassical; and the old stone bridge, which is from the 16th century.


There is also a little Gothic terminal cross (13th-14th centuries) with an octagonal pillar and a rudimentary base that was restored in the 15th century. Calaceite also contains several 18th-century structures.


The town of Calaceite also has a great wine tradition and its wines have been awarded with many prizes.


Salou Fun Parks - PortAventura & Ferarri Land


PortAventura is arguably one of Europe's best fun parks so young and old need to make the time to come here. The park features five theme areas based on civilizations (Mediterrània, Far West, México, China and Polynesia), and one theme area based on Sesame Street, which was opened for the 2011 season of the park. The resort includes a second theme park, Ferrari Land, since 2017 and also includes PortAventura Caribe Aquatic Park.


Tarragona, Spain


Tarragona is a port city in northeast Spain and the capital of the Tarragonès province. It's one of the most ancient cities in Spain, founded by the Romans in the year 218 BC. The old part of Tarragona is located on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are many things to see and do in Tarragona, including visiting some of its beautiful churches such as La Seu (Cathedral), Santa Maria del Mar, Sant Pau del Camp and Església de Sant Fructuós.


You can also wander around its narrow streets, go shopping or enjoy some tapas at one of the many restaurants or bars.


The food scene here is very good with some great quality seafood dishes on offer such as grilled shrimp (camaróns al ajillo), fried fish (pescado frito) with mayonnaise sauce or anchovies (boquerones en vinagre). Paella is also a popular dish in the region.


There are also some great wine options from Tarragona available and you can enjoy a glass of wine or two while taking in the stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Montserrat, Spain

Montserrat is a beautiful mountain range located in Catalonia, Spain. It's one of the most popular tourist destinations near Barcelona and it became very famous after receiving visits from Queen Sofia of Spain, King Juan Carlos I, Princess Letizia (Princess Diana's niece) and Prince Felipe de Borbón.


The monastery atop Montserrat has an interesting history dating back to medieval times when monks fled here for safety during Muslim invasions bringing with them their religious relics.

Montserrat is a popular tourist destination for its natural beauty and hiking trails, as well as the famous Black Madonna statue located in the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey. The monastery is also home to one of the best boys' choirs in Europe, the Escolania de Montserrat.

The views from atop Montserrat are stunning and you can see all of Catalonia laid out before you. It's definitely worth making the trip here if you're visiting Barcelona.



Barcelona, Spain


Barcelona is the capital and most populous city of Catalonia, an autonomous community in Spain. It's also the second most populous municipality in Spain after Madrid. Barcelona is a major cultural and economic centre in southwestern Europe and the Mediterranean region.

Over the centuries, it has become one of Europe's most popular tourist destinations due to its beautiful architecture, stunning beaches, great food scene and vibrant nightlife.


Some of the top places to visit in Barcelona include La Sagrada Familia (Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece), Park Guell, Casa Milà (La Pedrera) & Casa Batlló (Gaudi), the Gothic Quarter, Montjuïc Hill and of course, the beach.


There's also a great variety of restaurants to choose from in Barcelona with something for everyone, whether you're looking for traditional Spanish food or something more international. The nightlife here is some of the best in Europe with plenty of bars and clubs to keep you entertained until the early hours of the morning.


So if you're looking for a city break that has it all, Barcelona is definitely the place to go!

Tossa de Mar


Tossa de Mar is a small coastal town in Catalonia, northeast Spain. It's one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Costa Brava and it's easy to see why – the beaches here are beautiful, the town itself is charming and there's plenty to do and see.


The old part of Tossa de Mar is located on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are many things to see and do in Tossa de Mar, including visiting its medieval castle (Castell de Tossa), churches such as La Seu (Cathedral) and Santa Maria del Mar, wandering around its narrow streets or going for a swim or walk on one of its many beaches.


There are also a few good restaurants and bars in Tossa de Mar, as well as plenty of places to take photos – the views here are simply stunning.


If you're looking for a relaxing beach holiday in beautiful surroundings, Tossa de Mar is definitely worth considering.


Girona, Spain

Girona is a city located in Catalonia, northeast Spain. It's well known for its medieval architecture and it has been used as a filming location for TV shows such as Game of Thrones (for scenes set in King's Landing) and The Crown.


There's plenty to see and do in Girona, from wandering around its old streets and admiring the buildings to going for a hike or bike ride in the surrounding countryside. There are also some good restaurants and bars here, as well as a few museums which are worth checking out.


Girona is a great place to wander around aimlessly – you never know what you might stumble upon! Be sure to take your camera with you as there are plenty of photo opportunities here.

If you're looking for a city break in an interesting location, Girona is definitely worth considering. It's got everything you need – great food, lovely architecture, interesting history and plenty of things to do – plus it's not too touristy so you can actually enjoy yourself without having to battle through hordes of people.


Castillo Gala Dalí de Pubol - Castle of Púbol - Gala Dalí Castle House-Museum

The Castle of Púbol, also known as the Gala Dalí Castle House-Museum, is a castle located in the village of Púbol, Catalonia, northeast Spain. It was commissioned by Salvador Dalí and his wife Gala and it's now home to the largest collection of works by both artists anywhere in the world.


The castle is open to the public and it's well worth a visit if you're interested in either of their works. There's also a small museum dedicated to Gala here which is definitely worth checking out.


The views from the castle are beautiful, so be sure to take your camera with you!


Cadaqués, Spain


Cadaqués is a small village on the coast of Catalonia, northeast Spain. It's one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area and it has quite a reputation for being beautiful – and it certainly lives up to its name!


The old town (Vila Vella) here is charming with plenty of picturesque streets, fishermen's houses and whitewashed churches. It's also home to the Cadaqués Museum which is dedicated to the works of painter Salvador Dalí who was born in this village.


Cadaqués is a great place for a walk, and there are some beautiful beaches here too which make for perfect swimming and sunbathing spots.


If you're looking for a quiet, relaxing holiday then Cadaqués is definitely worth checking out. The village has a real sense of calm and it's the perfect place to go if you want to get away from everyday life for a few days.



Dalí Theatre-Museum (Teatre Museu Dalí)


The Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dalí (also known as the Dalí Theatre-Museum or The Theater Museum of Dali and his Wife, Gala) is a museum in Figueres, Catalonia, northeast Spain. It's dedicated to the works of artist Salvador Dalí and it houses more than 300 pieces from both artists.


It was originally intended as a theatre which would showcase plays starring Antoni Clavell i Noble but after World War II this idea was abandoned due to financial difficulties. Instead it became a museum with sculptures by Carlus Padrissa; paintings owned by Monserrat Farré de Saura donated in 1954 some years before her death; and the donation of Jacques Prévert in 1966.


The museum is open to the public and it's a must-visit for anyone who's interested in either Salvador Dalí or art in general. The building itself is an impressive piece of architecture and it's worth seeing even if you're not that interested in the exhibits.


Be sure to take your camera with you as there are plenty of photo opportunities here!


Besalú, Spain


Besalú is a small town in the province of Girona, Catalonia, northeast Spain. It's located on the banks of the River Fluvià and it's well known for its beautiful medieval architecture.

The old town here is charming with narrow streets, Romanesque arches and bridges, and lots of pretty buildings. The main square (Plaça Major) is a great place to visit and it's home to the Besalú Castle which dates back to around 1150 AD although today only four towers and parts of the walls remain.


Andorra


While not technically Spain, it would be a shame to miss Andorra when so close. Andorra is a small country located in the Pyrenees mountains, between France and Spain. It's well known for its ski resorts and it's a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts.


However, Andorra has much more to offer than just skiing – there are plenty of beautiful towns and villages here which make for perfect road trip destinations.


Andorra la Vella is the capital of Andorra and it's a great place to base yourself for road trips throughout the country. There are plenty of attractions here including museums, shops, restaurants and parks but be sure to take your camera with you as there are also some beautiful sights worth photographing!


Pyrenees, Spain


The Pyrenees are a mountain range which straddle the border between France and Spain. They're a popular destination for hikers and cyclists, as well as skiers in the winter months.

The views from the top of the mountains are absolutely stunning, so if you're into hiking or cycling then be sure to add this to your itinerary. There's also plenty of culture here too – villages with traditional architecture, Romanesque churches and monasteries, etc. – so it's definitely worth exploring beyond just the slopes of the mountains.


Aínsa, Spain


Aínsa is a small town in the province of Huesca, Aragon, northeast Spain. It's located on the banks of the river Ara and it's well known for its beautiful medieval architecture.


The old town here is charming with narrow streets, Romanesque arches and bridges, and lots of pretty buildings. The main square (Plaza Mayor) is a great place to visit and it's home to the Aínsa Castle which dates back to around the 11th century.


There are plenty of photo opportunities here so be sure to take your camera with you! And if you're into hiking, cycling or skiing then be sure to add this town to your itinerary.


Get Started on Road Tripping Around Northeast Spain

The road trip route above is just a suggestion and you might prefer to deviate from it. If so, please feel free to do so – there's no right or wrong way! Just have fun driving around this beautiful country and take tons of photos along the way.

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