A Road Trip Through Spanish History

There are few better ways to truly experience a place than to pack up a car or a van and hit the open road.  A road trip allows you freedom – to set the pace; to decide when to stop; and to reach some of the most incredible secret spots that remain largely undiscovered by the masses.
While the country is typically advertised to those seeking sun and sea with minimal hassle, there is also a different way to enjoy your cheap holidays to Spain. A unique experience in this ancient and mysterious part of the world, and it can all be seen on a shoestring.

Setting off on a Spanish road trip could lead a seasoned traveller in a big number of directions.  The country’s unique geographic location quite literally makes it a gateway – between continents, between the sea and the open ocean and between the past and the present.

Travellers in search of a fascinating historical narrative can venture out of Madrid to the nearby city of Toledo.  Noted as one of the most historically significant cities in the Iberian Peninsula, the city was founded by Romans, became the capital of Visigothic Spain in the 5th century, and then saw both Christian and Muslim cultures flourish side by side in the 8th century.   A walk through this walled town reveals a place that has been formed and transformed by different types of people for centuries.

Traveling from Toledo, visitors should be sure to visit the remarkable city of Trujillo.  While the walls protecting this ancient municipality have not been quite as well preserved as others throughout the country, they remain some of the most impressive archaeological sites in Spain thanks to their stunning location perched on a hill overlooking neighbouring provinces.

Continuing on through the western landscapes of Spain, road trippers can move along the Portuguese border taking in breath-taking scenery and contemplating the cultural boundaries of modern and ancient worlds.

In the northwest of Spain the city of Lugo – often overlooked by tourists – features one of the oldest fortification walls in Spain.  The Romans built the walls surrounding Lugo to express the power of their empire by marking its extents in the northernmost pockets of the Iberian Peninsula.  Intended to protect against barbarian attacks, the walls of Lugo managed to remain intact through centuries, enduring even the intense and violent Arab invasion.

Continuing on, the city of Ávila in the arid Spanish plains sits some 100km outside of Madrid.  Not quite as popular with tourists as nearby Segovia, Ávila is home to some of the best preserved examples of medieval architecture in Europe, dating back to the 11th century.

Any Spanish road trip is likely to depend on the traveller, but one thing is for sure: venturing off the beaten path on the road trip of a lifetime is sure to be an unforgettable experience.