Barcelona to Valencia, Three Stops on a Spanish East Coast Road Trip

Driving Spain is a great way to explore the country. The open road offers a freedom from schedule and the chance to visit lesser-known Spain.

the road sign from L'Ametlla del Mar... between Barcelona and Valencia

After time exploring the beauty of Barcelona, a city I definitely would recommend you not drive as a visitor (not sure I’d recommend driving any city actually), you can rent a car and make your way south to architectural modern marvel and birthplace of the delicious paella – Valencia.

And although you can make it there in a day on a simple drive through Spain, it makes sense to make a few stops after touring Barcelona en route to Valencia to appreciate all that Spain offers.

Sitges, Spain

the art and view of the water and cathedral in Sitges, Spain

the art along the seaside promenade

Sitges is giving San Sebastián a run for my favorite town beach town in Spain. After spending time there again last year, I fell in love with its culinary scene, it’s beachfront  promenade and the Sitges sunset. Less than an hour drive from Barcelona on the toll road (directly through mountains) it is often a weekend place for Barcelona folks.

Travel Tip:

the main for lunch at El Castell de Sitges in Sitges, Spain

a hearty main for lunch from El Castell. #StayDelicious.

Plan your day around lunch. Order the “menu mediodia.” Some of the best food for the best prices you’ll find in Spain. This was my main  from El Castell, it was 12.50 Euro (includes app, entree, postre, aqua, y vino) and well worth it.

Next Stop: L’Amettla del Mar, Spain

the fishing boats in the marina at L'Ametlla del Mar in Catalonia, Spain

fishing boats in the L'Ametlla Marina

If Sitges was too busy or even too “touristy” then definitely consider the fishing village of L’Amettla del Mar. Sure, L’Amettla has a beach, but the charm of this Catalonia coastal city is that it is far from the tourist trail. Don’t worry the food and drinks certainly do not disappoint here either.

Travel Tip:

kayak and a snorkeler at the beach in l'ametlla del mar, catalonia, spain

plenty of kayaks, but also a snorkeler

Pack your swimsuit. This are has some of the clearest water you’ll find on the coast of Spain. I noticed many water activities Kayak and Snorkeling here.

the Lladró Factory

the museum and factory of Lladro outisde of Valencia, Spain

the main museum of Lladro just outside Valencia, Spain

Essentially located in the outskirts of Valencia, it is a perfect place to visit before entering the city. Although not easy to find, you’ll need quality directions (google maps can locate it) to arrive, this is where is where you see Spain’s famous porcelain figurines. These limited produced hand crafted and hand painted pieces of art certainly impress and are highly valued across the globe.

Travel Tip:

the main doors to Lladro in Valencia, Spain

the camera needed to be put away here :-(

You’ll need to reserve a time and visit the factory and the on site museum (or store) at Lladró . They offer a tour and a course a chance to purchase items (they’ll ship for free over an amount) but no, you can’t take photos.

Well, those are three places to visit on an east coast road trip from Barcelona to Valencia. There are other places to visit and I’ll discouss more driving through Spain soon.

Stay adventurous, Craig

This post was done in conjunction with Enterprise Rental Car, but the words and opinions are as always my own.

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  • Spaceteddy

    Thanks for the travel tips. Will drive there in April. Any recommndations for a mediodia meal in L’Ametila de Mar?

    • craig zabransky

      Actually, you can’t go wrong with the food in L’Ametlla… I asked my friend as her family summers there (I visit them when I go), she said.

      ” would recommend, Restaurant Maura, at the end of the maritime walk close to Pixavaques or Restaurant Lorena from which they can have the view of the port from above. Also the restaurant at the camping at Pixavaques beach ….. is a nice place at the feet of the beach with a family that summers.”

      Hope that helps, let me know how you find the food. Also don’t skip the beach here, the water is SO clear, not sure if it will warm enough in April though….

      have a great time, stay roadtrippin’ Craig

  • Sidney Rai

    Hi! My wife and I are going to visit her cousin at the end of this month in Barcelona!! Yaay! We’re Canadians so this is a MASSIVE trip for us and we were planning on driving from Barcelona to Valencia! Anything else you would say is a “can’t miss!!” For us? We would really appreciate it!! Thanks! Sid

    • craig zabransky

      I’d recommend a visit to the wineries, especially the Cava (Champagne) in the area outside Barcelona…. they are amazing, and you will love bubbly, wines, and the views….

      And wherever you go… eat, eat and eat again… this region is filled with amazing food… have a great trip
      stay roadtripping, Craig

  • SpainDriving

    Yes, I totally agree that the best way of travelling is driving a car. You can easily get to the destination, you are not depending on schedule and you can feel a country as a local. My last trip was exactly to Spain and I can tell you that it was awesome!

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