Mediterranean Coast to Andalusia (14-21 Days)Below you will find a short version of our 21-day motorhome trip via the Mediterranean coast to Andalusia and back via Toledo and southern Aragon. If you rent with OrsonRent, we will of course send you the detailed version without obligation.
ComarugaWe start our motorhome trip on the southern sandy beaches of Catalonia. Here you will not find crowds of tourists on the beautiful wide beaches. The clear sea water has medicinal properties due to the high concentrations of iodine and in the center you will find a pleasant boulevard with many terraces and a few restaurants.
Tamarit – AltafullaTamarit is one of the most beautiful villages of the Costa Dorada. The coastline of this small seaside town is dominated by a castle (private property) from the 11th century. On one side of the Castell de Tamarit is the sheltered bay of Cala Jobera, on the other side the elongated Playa Tamarit. A little further on is the historic village of Altafulla, with numerous sights, the necessary shops, cozy bars and good restaurants. This beautiful beach is surrounded by campsites. So, you can walk straight onto the beach from your camper.
El Penedes: wine pride of CataloniaThe Penedès wine region is located between the rugged coastal stretches of the Garraf southwest of the city of Barcelona. The Romans were the first to discover this region as the ideal place for viticulture. In addition to its wines, the area is world famous for its Cava, the Catalan champagne. The Penedès is a beautiful area to traverse with your motorhome and to visit a winery.
Tarragona: capital of the Roman EmpireThe Spanish city of Tarragona has a long history. In the third century BC the Romans founded the settlement ‘Tárraco’ here. Everywhere in this city you can see remains from the Roman period. Around 25 BC. it was, the de facto, capital of the Roman Empire and many new important structures such as the theater and the buildings around the forum were built locally in that period, many of which are still partially or fully extant. This earned the city of Tarragona a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000.
Port Aventura (Vila Seca)Vila Seca is located 10 km southwest of Tarragona. The theme park is 15 hectares and has been awarded the best amusement park in Europe. The park consists of an amusement park and a water park, for which you must buy two separate tickets or a combi card. You will need a day for each park.
SalouFamous seaside resort with a sheltered location on the Cabo de Salou that ensures a mild climate. The varied coast of Salou with both wide beaches (south of the cabo) and small coves between the rocks (north of the cabo) makes this place the most touristic spot of the Costa Dorado. The three-and-a-half-kilometer long beach has been nicknamed the ‘Beach of Europe’.
CambrilsA popular seaside resort with a beautiful marina, yacht club, long sandy beach with boulevard, terraces. It has a cozy atmosphere. Cambrils is the culinary capital of the Costa Dorado’ and has a number of Michelin restaurants
MorellaWe now drive away from the coast with our camper and head for the hilly hinterland of Valencia. The old, fortified town of Morella is located on top of a hill and is surrounded by fortress walls. With a visit to Morella, you get a good idea of the old Spain. The authentic town is characterized by many narrow streets and old buildings.
PeniscolaVia the orange groves we continue our motorhome trip to the Costa del Azahar. Next to it is the picturesque Peñíscola. The town has beautiful beaches, an old castle, and a pleasant center. A wonderful place on the Spanish coast to relax or to discover the beautiful surroundings. The city is surrounded by water except for a small part.
Valencia: tradition and modern hand in handValencia is of course particularly known for its oranges and Paella and is the third largest city in Spain in terms of population after Madrid and Barcelona. It is the capital of the province and autonomous region with the same name and is located on the Costa del Azahar, on the Turia River. The city was founded by the Romans. In the center of Valencia, you can reach everything on foot, but if you do not feel like walking, you can rent bicycles and there are plenty of buses and metros that can take you to your destination. Another option is the hop-on-hop-off bus, which will take you to almost all places of interest in Valencia. The main departure point is located at Plaza de la Reina. Valencia has a very varied cityscape due to the many cultures that have lived in the city. The neighborhood known as Eixample, seems like a veritable open-air museum filled with Art Nouveau architecture. The district consists of wide streets with beautiful gardens, a clear structure that cannot be found in the rest of the city. Just outside Valencia, you will find excellent motorhome pitches and campsites to spend the night with your motorhome.
XativaIn Castellano (Spanish), this town is called “Jativa” (pronounced “Gaativa”). The city of Xativa has about 30,000 inhabitants and was once, one of the most important cities during the Kingdom of Valencia. Besides the infamous Borja family, many other peoples have lived and/or kept here, such as the Romans, the Moors, the Visigoths, and the Christians. Furthermore, Xativa was burned to the ground during the War of the Succession by troops of the Bourbon Empire in 1707 in reprisal for aid to the Habsburg Empire.
GuadalestA hidden treasure, that’s the best way to describe the village of Guadalest. The unique thing about Guadalest, is that the village is beautifully integrated into the rocks. Through a hole in the mountain, you come out of a fairytale village, which has its origins in the Middle Ages. The almost thousand-year-old village is situated entirely around the castle. The castle, simply called El Castell de Guadalest, has been an important defense point for the Moors against the Spaniards for many years. Guadalest has a spacious motorhome parking area right at the foot of the village with a spectacular view at the town.
Alicante: The Mediterranean feelingAlicante is the gateway to the Costa Blanca. The city has history, culture, gastronomy, and a long boulevard. Only when you stand at the highest point of Alicante, on the 166-meter-high Monte Benacantil, you see how big the city actually is. The old city center of Alicante has two different neighborhoods, Casco Antiguo and El Barrio. Casco Antiguo is the oldest part of the city. Here you will find the Basilica of Santa Bárbara, the main square Plaza Ayuntamiento, the food market Mercado Central and the Municipal Theater. The neighborhood is characterized by small streets and squares. Casco Antiguo is located between Rambla Méndez Núñez and the mountain. The ¨El Barrio¨ district is known for its colorful houses, narrow streets and stairs. Because the neighborhood is located on the mountain and goes up, you often have a beautiful view.
MurciaMurcia is the capital of the province of the same name and has a rich history. The Moors founded the city in 825. The construction of a large network of irrigation canals allowed agriculture to flourish and Murcia became more and more prosperous. Murcia became even more prosperous due to the paper and silk industry (the first in Europe!). This industry was also booming in the 18th century, and many of Murcia’s buildings date from this time as well. What you will especially remember about Murcia are the numerous squares and the many cozy restaurants and (tapas) bars. The city has beautiful promenades, stately avenues, and beautiful shops.
Cabo de Gata: UNESCO Unique Biosphere ReserveWe are now driving into southern Spain with our camper on our way to the Cabo de Gata. An area of volcanic origin, a protected National Park, and the largest protected coastal area in Andalusia. On the coast, the rocks rise steeply from the sea. They sometimes create 100 m high, angular, and jagged cliffs, split by ravines and gullies that lead to secluded coves with white sand beaches.
Granada: el Alhambra: Catholics, Jews and MoorsGranada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains at an altitude of 738 meters. Granada’s most famous landmark is by far the Alhambra, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This palace is full of remnants of both Moorish and Catholic culture. The palaces of the Alhambra can be seen from all over the city, high against the snowy hills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The cultural wealth of Granada with influences from the Moors, Catholics and Jews makes this city in Spain an important cultural center. Granada was occupied by the Arabs for 800 years and later recaptured by the Catholic Monarchs.
La Sierra Nevada and White VillagesThe Sierra Nevada Mountain range in Andalusia has the highest mountain on the Spanish mainland; the 3,481 meter high Mulhacen. During a motorhome trip in the Sierras, you have the chance of seeing deer, wild goats, griffon vultures or maybe even snakes. Hiking in the Sierra Nevada is possible for every level of difficulty, from short walks to challenging multi-day trips to the highest peaks. On the southern flanks of the Sierra Nevada mountains are authentic white villages. This area is called the Alpujarras in Andalusian. It is a peaceful and undiscovered part of Andalusia. The white villages against the mountainsides, such as Pampaneira and Trevelez, are an ideal starting point for hiking in the Sierra Nevada. It is an absolute must to visit these villages.
Ronda: historical highlightRonda is one of the oldest cities in Spain and is located about 100 kilometers from Málaga. With a population of 36,000 people, Ronda is one of the must-see sights. The city is located on a kind of plateau with ramparts (Tajos) in a mountainous area that is 2500 meters above sea level. The River Guadalevín runs through the town dividing the mountains. Ronda has many sights, most of which are in the old part of the city. Next to the Plaza de Toros is an information point where you can get a map of Ronda and of course there are several booklets available. El Puente Nuevo (the New Bridge) is one of Ronda’s most famous landmarks. The bridge is 120 meters long and 98 meters high. The first bridge built collapsed after 6 years (1741), the current bridge was completed in 1793 after 40 years of construction. The bridge is made of stones quarried on site. The space under the arch used to be used for several purposes, such as a prison and museum. From the campsites and your RV, you can walk to the center of Ronda in 15 minutes.
Gibraltar: fish and chips, pints and duty free shoppingGibraltar was captured from Spain in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession by an Anglo-Dutch force. The area was then transferred “forever” to the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht. It was an important base for the British navy. The sovereignty of Gibraltar is a major point of contention in the Anglo-Spanish relationship as Spain lays claim to Gibraltar. The city is located on a headland in the south of Spain, but just not on the southernmost point. Gibraltar is therefore an English enclave, and you can imagine yourself in England. You can buy all kinds of English products and even see the red double-decker buses driving there. Since 1929 people just drive on the right. The inhabitants are bilingual, so you can speak both in English and Spanish. You cannot visit Gibraltar by motorhome, but there is a huge parking lot where you can park your motorhome during your visit.
Tarifa: Walhalla for surfersTarifa is a small city located at the southernmost point of Spain and (continental) Europe. This southernmost city in Spain is located on the Costa de la Luz and the Strait of Gibraltar and is only 14 kilometers from Africa. The coast at Tarifa is the most popular destination in Europe for windsurfers and kiteboarders. On a normal summer day, you can see hundreds of kiteboarders on the water. From the motorhome pitches and campsites, you can walk straight onto the beach from your motorhome.
Jerez de la Frontera: the Spanish Riding School and FlamencoJerez de la Frontera is called the sherry capital of the world but is also well known for its horsemanship and flamenco. Jerez’s exceptional geographic location means that the region produces the world’s most famous sherry. Jerez de la Frontera is called the capital of Flamenco. There are restaurants where you can enjoy a Flamenco show during your dinner or go to one of the Flamenco theater shows. “La Fundación Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre” or the “Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art” has a big name in the field of horses. Horses and riders are trained in the school and shows also take place.
Seville: most beautiful historic city of Spain and ColumbusSeville is the capital of Andalusia and the most important city in southern Spain culturally, politically, and economically. Seville also has the largest historic center of Europe, with countless sights. Not only is it according to many the most beautiful city in Spain, but Seville is also one of the hottest cities in Europe. Striking detail in the street scene of Seville are the canvases in the historic streets in the center of Seville. Seville is filled with Cristian, Arabic and Jewish influences, dating back to times long gone. Seville is also the city of tens of thousands of orange trees, the city where flamenco once originated and the city where you can enjoy delicious local cuisine in the many tapas restaurants until midnight. There are campsites in the vicinity of Seville and with your RV you can spend the night in the heart of Seville.
Córdoba: The second largest city in the world (in the 10th century)Córdoba is today an important cultural city of Spain and one of the best-preserved cities in Europe, but it was once one of the most important cities in the world. In the 10th century it was the second largest city in the world, with an unprecedented population of 500,000. Córdoba was the capital of the medieval Emirate of Córdoba, later the Caliphate of Córdoba. Numerous monuments remain from that heyday, of which the Mesquita is the most famous example. Since 1984, the historic center of the city as a whole has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
We leave Andalusia on our way to Toledo. Your motorhome now glides through the rolling countryside of olive groves and almond trees and the views are spectacular.
Consuegra: the windmills of Don Quixote de La ManchaConsuegra is famous for its windmills. These have become widely known since Don Quixote’s stories were published in the 16th century. The windmills, which have since become a symbol of Spain, were originally used to grind grain. The windmills remained in the family and were passed on from father to son. The Consuegra mills have been out of use since the 1980s.
Toledo: Old capital of Spain and Unesco highlight.Toledo was the capital of Spain until 1561 and is one of the oldest cities in Spain. The city is located on a hill on the Tagus River. Due to the many ancient sights in Toledo, the entire historic center is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The city center is one big museum. Because the Hebrew, Mohammedan and Christian cultures lived side by side for centuries, Toledo is sometimes called ‘The city of the three cultures’. The city currently has only 84,019 inhabitants (in 2012), but due to its enormous historical value and the many tourists it is still one of the best-known cities in Spain. Here you can visit the entire historic center in a day walking through narrow, bumpy streets and admire the beautiful medieval architecture and fortified city walls. You can park the motorhome at the campsite within walking distance of the city. There is also a bus that stops in front of the campsite and takes you directly to the center.
From the vast Castillo-La Mancha, we now drive back into the hilly landscape of Aragon.