Spain is one of the greatest culinary capitals of the world and there's no better way to discover the deliciousness than with a road trip. Spain is a country full of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, ancient architecture and passionate people. For Spanish people eating is not simply an activity but an experience as food is prepared with love and every bite is savoured and enjoyed. Perhaps the best characteristic of Spanish cuisine is that it's simple and fresh, but packed with flavour. Join Auto Europe as we embark on a road trip throughout Spain to discover the hidden delights of the Spanish landscape.
Barcelona is where this delicious road trip begins, a city where few others could rival its style and flair. Collect your car hire at Barcelona Airport or any of our convenient downtown locations. As Barcelona is located on the Mediterranean coast there are many fresh seafood options available and lamb and pork are in abundance as the region is also very mountainous. Do not miss visiting the world famous Boqueria Food Market - a market known for its fresh seafood, meat and cheeses. Savour the suckling pig at Can Culleretes, one of the oldest restaurants in Barcelona.
A short 1 hour drive south from Barcelona and the next stop on our road trip is the Roman influenced town of Tarragona. In 2000, this city was named a World heritage Site by UNESCO due to its large amount of Roman archaeological remains. Perhaps the most unique attraction in Tarragona is the remains of the ancient seaside amphitheatre. Tarragona's cuisine is a reflection of its history and cultural character, as it is a Mediterranean port, seafood is featured heavily in most dishes. Visit El Serrallo, the fishermen's district, for a beautiful view and mouth-watering seafood dishes based on the catch of the day or try ArrÃ²s Negre (rice cooked in squid ink). For an excellent variety of fresh seafood Tapas and view overlooking the ocean head to the Raco de la Mora Tamarit, you won't be disappointed.
An easy two hour scenic drive through the scattered lush and rocky landscapes and it won't be long until you arrive in Valencia, Spain's third largest city. Valencia's crown jewel is the City of Arts and Sciences, a futuristic complex of museums, cinemas, theatres and more. Surrounding Valencia is the most fertile land in Spain known as La Huerta. Producing rice, vegetables, citrus fruits, grapes, and olives, La Huerta provides the city all the fresh produce it could possibly need. Valencia is known for its rice dishes with the most famous being paella. It has been said that Paella was invented in Valencia and Valencian people are proud of its heritage. Drive to La Pepica, located on the promenade of Valencia beach where Ernest Hemingway famously tried has first paella. Interestingly, the most traditional Paella does not contain seafood - it contains chicken, rabbit and snails.
After tasting all the seaside delicacies that Spain has to offer, the road trip continues approximately three hours inland from Valencia to Madrid. Madrid is the lively capital city of Spain and renowned for its museums, boulevards and manicured parks. The cuisine of Madrid is a combination of influences from various regions of Spain due to mass migration. As the city grew it merged the culinary traditions of the various surrounding cities. Make sure you visit Sobrino de Botin, the oldest running restaurant in the world and try Madrid's best Cocido (chickpea and meat based stew). Drive to Casa Lucio to try the huevos rotos, a dish of lightly fried eggs laid on top of a bed of crispy, thinly cut chips.
The final leg of the road trip is from Madrid to Zaragoza. We suggest taking the extended route through Torrelaguna, Riaza and Agreda to enjoy some of Spain's underrated landscapes. You will come across ancient Castilian villages, Romanesque churches, castles and wineries. Zaragoza is a significant university city boasting an array of museums, art galleries, theatres, boutique shops and restaurants. The cuisine here consists mostly of soups, hearty stews, casseroles and roasted or barbecued meats. Zaragoza is known for its many tapas bars where you can try a little bit of everything. We recommend visiting Taberna DoÃ±a Casta, a rustic tapas and wine restaurant or the Casco viejo for a collection of restaurants surrounded by narrow laneways.
Wherever you plan to visit on your Spanish Tapas adventure Auto Europe has your car hire covered. We offer car hire in all major Spanish cities. Peugeot leasing is available for those planning to travel through Spain and Europe for more than 21 days. Conditions apply. To book call us on 1300 656 601 or book on our online search engine today.