My Girlfriend and I are about to do a car trip to Spain and the beginning of July. I got a flight gift so we have 2 options: start and finish in Madrid or flying to Madrid and coming back from Bilbao.
We looking for about 10 days trip, 2-3 of them in Madrid. I want to visit some pueblos, maybe driving some beautiful roads and basically enjoy the culture.
So, for the first option (Madrid-Madrid) I'm thinking: Madrid-Segovia-Avila-Salamanca-Valladolid-Burgos-Soria-Teruel-Madrid.
For the 2nd option (Madrid-Bilbao) I'm thinking: Madrid-Segovia-Avila-Salamanca-Leon-Picos de Europa-Santander-Pamplona-San Sebastian
What do you think? Which one is better? For the 2nd option this is to much for 10 days? for the 1st option its not enough for 10 days? Any other places you can recommend for the road?
Also, we prefer not to know exactly where we will be every night so is it a must to book hotels in advance or I will be able to find nice rooms one day in advance?
I would say that the second option it looks too packed. also if you want to go hiking in the Picos, this takes up time, so I would allocated a couple of days there. So with all these places you would run out of time, but that also depends on the way to travel. If you want to take time everywhere, you will need more time. For the second option
The first option also looks packed as the distances to travel a bigger. e.g. Teruel seems a bit off course, compared to the others. I don't know if there is a special reason you want to go there?
If you leave early in Madrid, you can combine Segovia and Avila into one day, and either stay in Avila, or already drive on to Salamanca. (Avila - Salamanca is about 1 hour by car.) Going to Valladolid, you can make the detour via Zamora.
I would try to combine it. The first part seems pretty fixed. So Madrid (2-3 days), Segovia, Avila (together 1 day), Salamanca (1,5 days + drive), Leon (1 day), Picos de Europa (2-3 days), Bilboa (1 day). Depending on flight times etc, you could try to work in a quick visit to Santander or San Sebastian. (the latter is quite a detour)/ So basically it is about making choices for the last part of the trip. (alternatively you can cut out Avila, Segovia and Salamanca, and make it a trip to the Picos and Basque Country.
I would book something in advance in Madrid for sure. I would also do the same for the Picos de Europa, as July is peak season there, so accomodation is limited. It also depends on where you plan to go in the Picos.
Keep in mind that you will be traveling in July so it will be quite hot in Central Spain.
Thanks for the reply.
I do not wish to hike at the Picos but to drive in the area.
Therefore, I'm considering this (I have 11 nights):
Madrid - 3 nights
Segovia, Avila - 1 night
Salamanca - 1 night
Leon or Valladolid - 1 night
Picos - Just driving there and the area and visit villages (any suggestions to stay?) - 1 night
Santander - 1 night
San Sebastian and driving the area - 2 nights
Bilbao - 1 night
What do you think? any other route you believe is better?
For the picos, you have the choice to pass them either on the north side, or on the south. Via the north would be faster and you have more choices for hotels. E.g. in Cangas de Onis. In the south you have more regional routes, but that might be what you are looking for.
My choice would be Leon, instead of Valladolid. The rest seems quite ok.