Spain’s highways and roads connect the country’s mainland with nearby islands such as the Balearic Islands and Tenerife Island, which are a world unto their own. Uncover natural wonders, local cultures and architecture during a stay in these destinations.
The Island of Mallorca: From the Sea to the Mountains
Inland landscapes, prehistoric ruins, turquoise-blue waters—these are just some of the charms you get to see and experience during a trip to the Balearic Islands. Begin at Palma, set against the backdrop of the Sierra de Tramontana ranges. From there, travel to Puigpunyent, a lovely little town surrounded by pinewood forests and mountains that is also the source of a route that leads into the island. Sheer cliffs and coastal towns such as Banyalbufar greet visitors as they travel along the Ma-10 highway as far as Valldemossa, sheltered by peaks and decorated with flowers. Here, one can see the Real Cartuja, formerly a monastery and the residence of Polish composer Chopin who lived with the French author George Sand. The district of Andratx at the western extremity of the island is dotted with picturesque fishing villages such as Puerto de Andratx.
Continue along the Ma-10 highway running parallel to the coastline. One comes across a number of beautiful lookout points such as Sa Foradada, from where the blue horizon of the Mediterranean is clearly visible. Halt at the small town of Deià, and take in the views of the beaches, woods and olive groves. The route now veers northwards till Sóller, where one may be pleasantly surprised by the monumental parish church of Sant Bartomeu. Jump on a tram to visit the port of Sóller, another integral part of your Mallorca sojourn. Panoramic views of the inland mountains, valleys, gullies and ravines are clearly visible while travelling to Pollença, a historical port town with a distinct medieval history. A detour to Sa Calobra takes one past a most extraordinary place on the island: a spectacular cliff over a wonderful cove with a pebble beach where the Torrent de Pareis natural monument meets the sea.
In the town of Escorca, one finds the spiritual heart of Mallorca—the Monastery of Lluc. It houses the patron saint of the island, Virgen de Lluc, also known as "La Moreneta" because of her dark skin. This 89-kilometre journey finally concludes at Cabo de Formentor, the northernmost point on Mallorca, from where you can climb up to the Es Colomer lookout point or visit the Formentor lighthouse.
The Island of Tenerife and Its Natural Wonders
For lovers of nature and its many wonders, the treasures of Tenerife are priceless. Volcanic landscapes, sheer cliffs, tropical beaches and jungles all coexist in perfect harmony on this island. What more can one ask for?
The TF-21 allows one to reach the centre of the island and the Teide National Park, an enormous inactive volcano peaking at 3,718 metres, making it the highest in Spain. Other volcanoes such as Pico Viejo boast of otherworldly—the fascinating colours and shapes make it look more Mars-like than earthly. While a cable car does transport one to the top of Teide quickly, the more challenging and fulfilling adventure lies in climbing to the summit.
The opposite corner of the island is where one finds nature in all its glory. Here, the cliffs of Los Gigantes, sheer cliffs that drop into the Atlantic from between 300 metres and 600 metres, are rightfully called "Muralla del Infierno" (Wall of Hell) by the Guanches (the indigenous inhabitants of the Canary Islands). Head to nearby beaches such as the Playa de los Guíos for a dip and a fantastic view of this impressive natural feature.
The next stage takes one through the Teno Rural Park, which can be accessed via the TF-436 highway. Attractions include a volcanic peak, huge coastal cliffs and lookout points for spotting birds such as ospreys, kestrels and peregrine falcons. Thereafter, the TF-5 takes one further into the western part of the island towards San Cristóbal de La Laguna (a World Heritage City). It’s worth one’s time to explore the Anaga Rural Park here, a gem of a place with prehistoric origins, where abundant laurel forests grow around pathways. And if one climbs high enough, they will be able to see Roques de Anaga, two titan-like islets in front of the Tenerife coast.
Slow Driving Aragón. Choose an Ideal Route
These days, an increasing number of travellers are taking to slow travelling—a trend that has been noticed by tourism boards all around the world. Spain has been no exception to this. Aragón, a beautiful territory in inland Spain, is promoting slow tourism with its Slow Driving
Aragón initiative—with seven routes covering the whole region. The highlights include:
- The Castles Route: This 187-kilometre journey introduces one to the regions of Cinco Villas and La Hoya de Huesca/Plana de Uesca. While one may marvel at the churches, medieval fortresses and incredible examples of Romanesque art, the remarkable beauty of towns like Sos del Rey Católico and Uncastillo (Zaragoza) may prove to be just as profound and memorable.
- The Puertos del Silencio or Gateways of Silence Route: The 247-kilometre route is filled with delightful walled towns with castles, medieval bridges and Romanesque and Gothic churches. It passes through the El Maestrazgo region and the mountains and valleys of the Gúdar-Javalambre district.
- The Origins of the Kingdom of Aragón Route: Located amidst the green valleys of Hecho and Ansó in the heart of the Aragón Pyrenees, this 117-kilometre journey is noted for wonderful destinations such as the Monastery of San Juan de la Peña, in Jaca (Huesca) and the royal mausoleum there.
Fly and Drive to explore Spain, Know more - https://brochure.spain.info/en/fly-and-drive-the-best-road-trips/.
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