Fancy going on a Spanish coast road trip? Land of endless sunshine, spectacular food, and lovely people, Spain is perfect — except everyone knows it.
Escape the crowds on this itinerary along Spain’s eastern coast, venturing off the beaten path to explore some lesser known but equally lovely destinations.
Beginning in Barcelona, get out of the city towards the natural paradise of the Ebro Delta. Next up, it’s Dénia with its pristine beaches and delicious prawns.
Then onwards to Cartagena for a history lesson — albeit a casual one, enjoyed with cerveza in hand. And finally, to Andalusia’s beauty pageant queen, utterly picturesque Frigiliana, where you can fill up your camera with countless photos of its glorious white-washed streets.
Venturing south from Barcelona on this Spanish coast road trip, you’ll come to a long bulge of silty land. It might not sound that appealing at first, but look closer and you’ll find a natural paradise of untamed and untouched rural beauty. This is the Ebro Delta and your first destination.
Spot pink flamingos and ibis flocking to mirror-like lagoons. Explore windswept beaches and sand dunes. And glimpse white-washed farmhouses squatting between rice paddies — yes, rice paddies!
Take a boat down to the mouth of the River Ebro to get a sense of the place. Or hire a bike and cycle the 26 km Ruta de les Lacunes. Head to the beach at Riumar for kitesurfing or stand up paddle — or go kayaking out on the river to really get up close with the flora and fauna.
This area is home to over 330 bird species so, at dusk, take your binoculars and head to L’Encanyissada or La Tancada to try and spot them.
seemingly endless sandy beach with stunning mirages
pretty fishing town near lovely Blue Flag Beaches
idyllic cove with crystal clear waters
Restaurant Novedades Casa Asmundo
known for its rice dishes
oyster and mussel farm, and restaurant
Restaurant Catedral Del VI
contemporary restaurant in a “wine cathedral”
near beach with restaurant on site
Continue your exploration of a less travelled, more authentic Spanish coast road trip with your next destination. Dénia is a laidback port town that attracts its share of tourists — but never enough to ever feel cramped and crowded, despite its four Blue Flag beaches.
It’s also somewhat of a foodie destination with heaps of critically acclaimed restaurants popping up all over. Be sure to try the Dénia prawns — they’re a delicacy here.
Explore Baix la Mar, the old fisherman’s quarter, with its colourful painted houses. Climb up to check out the views from the clifftop Castillo de Dénia, on the site of an 11th century Moorish fortress.
Relax on the sandy shores of La Marina, or head further south to the rocky coves of Les Rotes.
Go hiking in beautiful Mount Montgó Natural Park where you might spot eagles and badgers. Or take to the water - either in a sailing boat, or perhaps try your hand at windsurfing.
Cueva de Las Calaveras
the ‘cave of skulls’, leads to an underground lake
Museo del Juguete
toy museum with dolls that the town used to produce
Cabo de San Antonio
hiking with incredible views
much celebrated minimalist restaurant
El Baret de Miguel Ruiz
locally inspired using market produce
best place to try the famous Dénia prawns
Parking Avenida las Industrias, 2
free uncovered parking in the city center
Camping los Llanos
17 minute drive from Dénia
If it’s the history you’re after, you’re in luck. Cartagena’s ancient streets have been walked by everyone from Phoenician traders to Roman soldiers to Christian Reconquistas. This characterful seaside port is your next Spanish coast road trip destination and, fascinating history aside, it’s a thoroughly lovely place to spend a few days.
Visit during Easter and you’ll catch the lavish Semana Santa fiestas and get a taste of how wonderfully over-the-top Spain can be. Stroll the narrow streets of the old town, checking out the bars and restaurants.
Wander along the waterfront, imagining back to when Phoenician traders docked here. Spot the modernista buildings influenced heavily by Gaudí, such as Casa Cervantes by Beltri.
Explore the evocative Roman remains known as the Augusteum. In June, you might catch some of International Nautical Week, or, in July, part of the Mar de Músicas. Visiting in winter? In November the city hosts a jazz festival as well as the International Festival of Nautical Cinema.
check out this extravagant modernista building
Barrio del Foro Romano
the ruins of a street dating from 1st century BC
Castillo de la Concepción
castle, views, and beautiful gardens
elegant decor and great quality food
local vibe, fresh fish and fried seafood
Cerveceria La Mejillonera
traditional good value tapas bar
Area Autocaravanas Cartagena
campervan parking a bus ride from centre
Watch out. The final stop on your Spanish coast road trip really has the power to break your heart. We’re talking about one of the most beautiful towns in Andalucía.
Gorgeous Frigiliana has won countless awards for its good looks and, just like any Miss World contestant, there are crowds of people desperate to bask in its beauty. But that aside, Frigiliana, with its whitewashed houses and pots of bright red geraniums, is undeniably the definition of postcard-pretty.
Wander the ridiculously picturesque old town, following the signs that point out places of interest on the way. Venture up its winding streets, popping into boutique shops on the route, to where you’ll find spectacular views over terracotta roofs.
Relax on a shaded terrace with a tinto de verano. Or escape the crowds with a hike down south to the Cueva de Nerja, a series of caves that sometimes host concerts, or perhaps head north into the rugged Almijara Mountains.
Church of San Antonio
plain exterior reveals an extravagant interior
Playa de Burriana
gorgeous beach only a 15 minute drive from town
contemporary Mediterranean cuisine in Nerja
contemporary Mediterranean cuisine in Nerja
The Garden Restaurant
fine dining and amazing views in the old quarter
Restaurante El Mirador
imaginative menu and incredible panoramas
Free Parking Frigiliana
uncovered parking in town centre
Aula de Naturaleza, Cortijo San Miguel
12 minutes from Frigiliana