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Are you planning a road-trip through France, Spain and Portugal and wondering where to start from? This 10-day itinerary is the perfect quick trip through Southern Europe that hits all the hotspots and popular cities. Enjoy incredible beaches, immerse yourself in the local culture and discover the history of these beautiful places. With wine tastings and traditional foods, this road-trip itinerary takes you to all the culinary hotspots and will make you fall in love with France, Spain and Portugal. Definitely add these incredible cities to your bucket list.
When Is The Best Time For France, Spain And Portugal Road Trip?
We highly recommend doing this road-trip in summer, preferably between the months of June to September. During this time the weather will be warm and you’ll be less likely to encounter any rain. This is also the high season for tourism so expect some higher accommodation prices. Booking in advance is highly recommended.
If you want some more affordable options consider going in the shoulder season sometime around May or October. Temperatures will be cooler and you’ll encounter fewer tourist crowds. You can also go on this road-trip in winter but expect some rainy days which could impact your trip.
Are 10 Days Enough To See France, Spain And Portugal On This Road Trip?
A 10-day road-trip through France, Spain and Portugal will give you a great overview of what this area has to offer but, of course, you’ll be spending a large portion of your time driving. If you can you should definitely extend your trip a few more days or even weeks which will give you a lot more freedom to explore the cities on this itinerary.
Where To Stay On Your Road Trip?
Most of the stops on this southern Europe road-trip itinerary are larger cities so staying at a hotel or Airbnb is highly recommended. That way you can enjoy being at a central location and not having to worry about going in and out of the city every day. If you’re travelling on a budget you could also consider camping, however, you’ll most likely struggle to find campsites close to the city. Make sure you book your accommodation in advance so you get the best deals on rooms. Definitely research Airbnb apartments which can often be cheaper than hotels.
France, Spain and Portugal 10 Days Road Trip Itinerary
Day 1 – Mont-Saint Michel
Start your day off in Mont-Saint Michel, one of France’s most popular tourist destinations. This tiny island lies just 1 kilometre off the French coast and is connected to the mainland via a bridge. It’s the perfect place to see in just one day because it is so small. Try to go early in the morning to avoid the tourist crowds. If you’re not up for walking to the island you can take one of the free shuttle buses. Make sure to visit the Mont-Saint Michel abbey and explore all the small side-streets for the best hidden spots.
Day 2 – Beaches Along The Coast
The next morning drive along the French coast of the Bretagne to explore some of the best beaches in France. This is a true road trip day and the perfect opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the area. Stop in places like Brest, the Crozon Peninsula, Concarneau and the Pointe du Raz for some of the best photo opportunities. This area has incredible beaches so make sure you pack your swimsuit.
Day 3 – Bordeaux
Take a few hours to drive further down the coast of France until you reach Bordeaux. This is a really popular wine area so make sure to go to the countryside to visit a traditional château and take part in a wine tasting. Visit Saint-Émilion, a small wine village which produces the world’s best wines. You can walk through the old town and even buy tickets for a little train that will take you around the vineyards. In the evening go for dinner in Bordeaux and walk through the historic old town. This is a very beautiful city so don’t forget to pack your camera.
Day 4 – San Sebastian
The next day you’ll be crossing the border into Spain. San Sebastian is only a 3 hour drive from Bordeaux and one of Spain’s best cities. This is the perfect place for a beach day so pack your swimsuit. The water is crystal clear and perfect for water sports or swimming. Take a boat out to Santa Clara Island which lies in the bay of San Sebastian. Afterwards, go for lunch or tapas in one of the many small restaurants. San Sebastian is world-famous for its cuisine so if you’re a fan of seafood this is the place to go.
Take the funicular up to Monte Igueldo to watch the sunset over the bay. These are some of the best views you’ll find on this road trip through Spain, France and Portugal.
Day 5 – Porto
After a long day of driving, you’ll finally arrive in Porto. Use the evening to walk around the boardwalk along the Douro River and have a glass of Port wine to finish your day. Tomorrow will be a busy day of exploring so make sure you get to bed early.
Day 6 – Porto
There is plenty to see and do in Porto so get up early and have breakfast at a cafe by the riverfront. Take the cable car for some of the best views of the city and then cross the river on the Dom Luís I Bridge. Explore the old town of Porto and all its famous blue churches. After visiting the National Museum have a Francesinha for lunch which is a traditional sandwich served in beer sauce. It is a specialty that can mainly be found in Porto so the perfect way to immerse yourself in the local culture.
In the afternoon buy tickets for a boat tour to take you around the river and enjoy Porto’s beauty. Afterwards, go to one of the famous port wine cellars for a wine tasting. Enjoy the sunset by the river in the popular Vila Nova de Gaia neighbourhood with a three-course meal served with port wine.
Day 7 – Lisbon
After saying goodbye to Porto you’ll reach Lisbon today, Portugal’s capital city. Just like Porto it lies by the river but is far busier and feels more like a large city than a town. Head to the Capela de Nossa Senhora do Monte, a popular viewpoint for sunset. You’ll love the incredible views of downtown Lisbon.
To end the night go to the Barrio Alto, Lisbon’s nightlife district. This neighborhood has narrow alleyways with little bars and restaurants scattered around. Prices are cheap and the food is amazing.
Day 8 – Lisbon
Start your morning by the riverbanks and walk along the boardwalk to Time Out Market. This indoor food market is Lisbon’s best-kept secret and the perfect place for food lovers. After a quick breakfast head into town to see the Santa Just a Lift for a great view of the city. Walk past the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara another amazing viewpoint to the Botanical gardens of Lisbon to get away from the tourist crowds.
After lunch you’ll most likely be tired of walking so why not take the historic Tram Line Number 28? This route takes you to many popular tourist hotspots and you can get on and off at any time. End your day in the famous Alfama district which has incredible architecture and a great selection of little restaurants. If you’re still feeling up for it have a few drinks at one of Lisbon’s popular rooftop bars.
Day 9 – Algarve and Seville
On your way from Lisbon to Seville, you need to stop in the Algarve, Portugal’s incredible south. This area has the best beaches and beautiful scenery. Visit the Benagil Beach to admire the beautiful sea caves and white-sand beaches before you arrive in Seville in the late evening.
Day 10 – Sevilla
You’ll be spending the last day of your road-trip through France, Spain and Portugal in Sevilla. Spend your morning sightseeing and visiting places like the Seville Cathedral, La Giralda, the Plaza de España and the Real Alcázar. Explore the small alleyways of the Triana neighbourhood and have lunch in a traditional Spanish restaurant. Escape the busy city by spending the afternoon in Maria Luisa Park, Sevilla’s beautiful park.
Visit some of Sevilla’s incredible museums like the Museum of Fine Arts or the Archaeological Museum before having a traditional Paella for dinner. Enjoy your last evening by making the most of Sevilla’s famous nightlife and enjoying a traditional Flamenco show.
This Guest Post Is Contributed By Victoria Heinz Of Guide Your Travel.