Start your trip in the lovely Tarragona, just 100km south of Barcelona. This area is synonymous with great beaches so as you would expect, they’re packed come summer. While this mini road trip guide series has concentrated on the coastal places, if you head inland in this region, you won’t be disappointed. Plan a side trip with your Spain car hire to Serra del Montsant and Poblet for some hiking and trekking. While Tarragona has long since sold out to mass tourism, you can still find smaller places with a lot of authentic Spanish character like Altafulla.
There is never a problem of finding things to do in Barcelona. If it’s your first time here there are a few major “musts” like Gaudí’s Parc Güell, his glorious Sagrada Familia, soaking up the rays at the beaches in Barceloneta, and climbing to the top of Monjuïc for the great view. While you’re there the Joan Miró Foundation is a good art stop. If you have more time to spend in Catalunya consider using this post as inspiration: Catalonia, Barcelona and beyond.[see]How to: experience Barcelona for FREE[/see]
Keep driving north beyond Barcelona, and you’ll reach Costa Brava. This place should not be missed, even if you’re tempted to end your trip in Barcelona. The name, “Wild Coast” refers to the rugged landscapes, not the waves that gently lap the shore. Consider this, clean and calm beaches. For the best, head to Calella, Tamariu and Llafranc. The small-town Spanish feel is still authentic and the beaches here are incredible. Still have time? Head to Figueres, where Salvador Dali was born and the area where he took so much of his inspiration.
Take a Spanish road trip, we’ve got guides for coastal Murcia and Andalusia as well.