We can all agree road trips are fun!

This road trip in Northern Spain was no different.

I did an awesome road trip around northern Spain with some of my friends from San Sebastian. Taking a road trip around Northern Spain was an awesome experience and definitely a great way to get to know this part of Spain even better.  This road trip gives you the opportunity to reach places, that are hard to reach with public transportation, such as Dragonstone or San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, which it is actually called.

Find other posts about Spain here.

Road trip in Spain: Itinerary for Northern Spain

Overall I will say our itinerary for the road trip around northern Spain, was an ideal way to see a lot of the coastline of in the northern regions

Experiencing the differences between the regions was really cool. They are right next to each other and part of the same country, yet they are so different. Especially the cultural differences and the differences in the landscape were quite dominant.

But that wasn’t the only thing…

Along the coast the nature is very green and hilly, but as we drove further south the landscape turned more dry and brown. Both are beautiful I think, but each in their own unique way. Definitely worth a visit!

road trip in Spain itinerary
Our route

Day 1 of the Northern Spain road trip:

San Sebastián – Guernica – San Juan de Gaztelugatxe – Burgos

Our trip started friday around midday in San Sebastián. From here we had decided to go to Guernica, which is a place you might have heard about before.

A bit of history about Guernica

Guernica is quite an interesting as well as an historical town. To put it briefly Hitler’s “Luftwaffe” bombed the town in 1937 as a support to the Spanish dictator at the time, Franco. Franco did not like Basque Country, so this was why he gave Hitler permission to test his Luftwaffe here. Consequently the attack ruined the town completely and about 15 % of its population died in the attack. A terrible part of history, I think.

Let’s get back to our road trip around northern Spain!

We parked our car as we reached Guernica and took a walk around town. We visited the copy of Picasso’s painting “Guernica”, which he painted based on the events in 1937. The real painting can be seen in Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid. In Guernica you have the opportunity to visit a couple of museum about the Basque heritage.

road trip in Spain

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is worth a visit

Later we drove to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe also known as Dragonstone from Game of Thrones.

You could easily fall in love with this view

When you get to the the view from the parking lot, you realize this could easily be an all day activity! Due to the time of the day we arrived, the sun hit the castle in the middle of the ocean, in a super beautiful way. It gave the cliff a mysterious look. Even though we could be gazing all day, we walked all 241 steps to the top of the cliff and rang the bell at the church.

The reason why you ring the bell,

is that ringing the bell three times should bring you luck for the next year. From the top of the cliff we were rewarded another amazing view of the coastline and the ocean. This is by far one of the most spectacular places in Basque Country. Why would they build a church in the middle of the ocean like this?

road trip in Spain

After our visit to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe we drove to Burgos, which we were going to explore the next day. The second we reached Burgos, we quickly realized that this city had a lot of things to see. The city is beautiful, even at night.

Day 2 of the Northern Spain road trip:

Burgos – Logroño

On Saturday morning we got up pretty early to get to see as much as possible of the Burgos,

before we had to move on for the next part of our road trip in Spain. First of all, we saw Catedral de Burgos in the middle of the city.

This piece of architecture was mesmerizing

The size of the cathedral and the details of the architecture was impressing. The cathedral is beautiful! We walked around in the cathedral for a long time, trying to take in the beauty it had to offer. I feel completely in love with the roofs, which were all very well decorated and in each part of the cathedral, the roof had had their own special features.

road trip in Spain

road trip in Spain

But is there more to see in Burgos, besides the Cathedral?

The people of Burgos celebrated “Fin de semana cidiano”

A lot of people dress up in medieval-style clothing for this festivity and walk in a big parade through the city. Everybody seemed to have a lot of fun and were truly engaged in the activities around this festivity. There was a parade with the people who had dressed up. Some of them even paraded with horses. It was a really cool thing to stumble upon. We enjoyed some churros while the parade was passing by.

But that wasn’t the only thing

On the square before the cathedral there was a rather big market, where you could buy all sorts of different things. The small tents each had different products, where they sold everything from local pastries to jewelry.

road trip in Spain

road trip in Spain

Besides of the festival, there were also a demonstration in town.

In Burgos they demonstrated for Cataluña to stay in Spain. At this point I realized that we were out of Basque Country as they have been demonstrating at home for the exact opposite back home in San Sebastian. I guess there is also a part of the Basque people, who wants to separate from Spain, why they relate a lot to Cataluña on this matter. In fact there has been a lot of Cataluñan flags hanging from balconies all over San Sebastian.

road trip in Spain
Demonstration in Burgos

Off to La Rioja!

After a quick lunch, we continued to Logroño in La Rioja. I had been looking very much forward to this part of the trip. In La Rioja we had booked a wine tasting at Bodega Viña Real. I was so excited to get to know more about the local wine and the winery, so for me this was definitely one of the highlights of our road trip in Spain!

road trip in Spain
The vineyards in Logroño

First, we went for a guided tour around the winery. On the tour, our guide gave us an really good explanation of how the winemaking process works. I found his explanation very interesting and I learned a lot of new things about winemaking, which I thought was really cool.

road trip in Spain
The wine cellar of the winery

Later it was time to taste some wine!

Our guide had noticed that some of the girls had asked questions about white wine, so he decided that we should taste a sweet and fruity white wine and a very tasteful red wine. The wines were truly amazing and fit our taste so well! You could really taste the difference in quality between the wines and how they had blended the different grapes.

But can you bring some wine home then? 

After the tasting we had the possibility to buy wines from the winery. I decided to get a bottle of the white wine to bring home as a souvenir. I am planning on sharing it with my husband for a special occasion.

road trip in Spain

A guided tour in a winery is a must-do in La Rioja

I really loved the wine tasting and the tour. It was super cool to learn more about the wines and taste the local grapes afterwards. It is probably one of the best things I have ever tried!

Later we returned to Logroño to get something to eat and a few drinks, before we went out for karaoke!

Day 3 of our Northern Spain road trip:

Logroño – Estella – San Sebastián

I spend Sunday morning visiting some of the museums in Logroño.

In Cubo de Revellín  I learned a lot about the history of Logroño. However, my favorite place was a small museum next to it, where they had an exhibition with “El Roto” drawings, which are satire drawing from the spanish newspaper El País. A lot of the drawing were really fun and I thought they were pretty cool. Some of them I didn’t fully understand though, because I don’t speak fluent spanish.

We did a quick stop, before we went home to San Sebastian

We made a stop in Estella on our way home. To begin with we took a walk around the town – it was a super cute place! The town had a lot of old buildings and narrow streets in the same way as San Sebastian and many other spanish towns. Eventually we sat down and had a nice lunch at Plaza de los Fueros.

road trip in Spain road trip in Spain

Our road trip around northern Spain was a great success and we had a lot of fun.

I think it was a really effective way to see a big part of northern Spain. I would also really love to go on a road trip in Spain another time and maybe in another part of Spain as it is a big, beautiful country with a million things to see.

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  1. Pingback: 10 things to do in Madrid. Ideas for your weekend in the city - Mrs Bosman

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