Spain is one of the world’s most popular tourist countries. It is also home to a huge expat community, which makes up over a tenth of the population. The problem is that holidaymakers have a tendency to go back to the same destinations every time they visit and expats usually stay in one location, meaning that few visitors to the nation get to experience the full extent of its beauty and diversity. Embarking upon a Spanish road trip is the perfect means of doing this. Spain is an ideal road trip destination for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual travelers, as it is an increasingly progressive nation where gay marriage has been legal since 2005. It is also home to snow-capped mountaintops, fascinating sights of historical importance and beautiful sunny beaches, making it an exciting country to explore.
Getting a Set of Wheels
If you are one of the many people who have moved to Spain in search of warmer weather then you might already have your own vehicle. If you live in the country but have not got your own set of wheels then a road trip is the perfect excuse to get one. However, if you are travelling to the country for a holiday or if you would rather not do anything as drastic as splash out on buying a car for the sake of a road trip then renting will be your best option. Spain is home to many well-known car rental companies and some Spanish ones that you won’t have heard of. It is best to go with a company that is aimed at tourists in order to ensure that the staff will speak English and no misunderstandings can arise.
One of the best routes for road trips takes you from Barcelona to Malaga over the course of a fortnight. Barcelona is the perfect place to spend the first few days of your holiday, as it contains a plethora of different gay clubs and bars, including the Axel Sky Bar, which featured in Out magazine’s fifty greatest gay bars in the world. The downside to the city is the fact that it contains a lot of pickpockets, some of which specialise in stealing from tourists in the gay clubs. As with any other large city, it is important to be on the lookout for thieves.
Madrid and Valencia
From Barcelona, you can travel southwest to the capital city of Madrid, which is home to more gay friendly nightspots, along with a number of world-class museums, historic churches and theatres. Dance enthusiasts might also want to check out a flamenco performance whilst they are there. They take place at various different restaurants, bars and clubs. Once you have had your fill of the capital, it is time to head on to Valencia, which boasts luxurious beaches, palm trees and a sea so blue that you will hardly be able to take your eyes off it. It is the perfect place to unwind after partying it up during the first few days of your vacation.
A Ninth Century Castle, an Arabic Fortress and a Gay Safe Haven
From Valencia, turn down the Costa Blanca to Alicante and spend some time marvelling at the impressive Santa Barbara Castle, which dates back to the 9th Century and towers above the city. Next follow the sea through the relatively bland resort of Torrevieja and cut inland and up through the breathtaking Sierra Nevada mountains to reach the city of Granada, where you can explore an ancient Arabic fortress called Alhambra. After gazing in awe at the ornate architecture, continue west through the Andalusian countryside to Seville, which is reputed to be the most romantic city in Spain. Spend some time soaking up the atmosphere and then carry on to gay tourist hotspot Torremolinos. This town has played an important part in Spain’s gay history, as it has acted as a safe haven for LGBT individuals ever since the 1950s. Even during Franco’s regime when gay people were brutalised and persecuted elsewhere in Spain, the fact that gay holidaymakers brought so much money into Torremolinos made it somewhere that those who did not identify themselves as heterosexual were free to be themselves without fear of attack.
The Final Destination
Finally it is time to press on to Malaga, which is a popular tourist city containing a multitude of gay establishments. Here you can spend the day sipping cocktails on the beach before embarking upon the journey back to Barcelona. Spain is hardly an unusual country to visit but the majority of people who go on a vacation there only see a fraction of what it has to offer. Going on a road trip enables you to experience everything from the excitement of the big city to the exquisite scenery of the countryside and creates an air of adventure. Alongside cruising the Spanish coasts, it is the ideal way to explore and enjoy the delights this great nation has to offer.