Roadtrip in Spain! (With rental car)

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    Here is a post that I received several requests that you want to read - our road trip in Spain where we rented a car and went around southern Spain!

    It's been over a month since we got home now and I get really warm in my heart from looking back at all the pictures. This was really SO wonderful!

    I want to go back!! :)

    Our nice rental car! ♥ I want to start by saying that there were good roads everywhere (even in the mountains, except when we went towards Gaucin). People drove calmly, not at all as hectic as in Sweden, and it was well signposted and easy to understand and find. Very good! :)

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    It struck me now that I mostly filmed short clips from all places and it's so messy to upload movies in the blog, so I hope you think the post is fun even though there will be a lot of selfies pictures instead of surroundings haha. But everyone who wanted the post has been craving a similar one trip and then the text / info is most important I think!

    Preparations & travel day
    Before we left, we booked the first four hotels (8 nights in total) via and we also booked the rental car in advance so that everything was ready with insurance. We were gone for 16 days so the last half of resan was still completely unplanned when we boarded the plane.

    Miska had also ordered a physical map of southern Spain and it was so worth it I think to plan our road trip in Spain! Even though I love technology, it was so cozy with a real map where we together planned the beginning of the trip and marked all the hotels we booked.

    Here we drink bubbly, book hotels and make markings on the map before the trip, so cozy!

    We used the rental car brand Goldcar and picked up the car directly at the airport in Malaga. Everything went very smoothly!

    Our stops on our road trip in Spain.

    Stop no. 1 - Monda
    Our first hotel was Castillo de Monda, an old fort on a high hill above the white village of Monda. So cozy hotel with good food and nice views! The village is cozy, there is not much there but it was still cute to walk around in.

    We found a lookout point with a perfect overview of the small village, and there you see our hotel on the hill!

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    Note you can drive into the hotel both from the front and the back - take the front! We tested both and it was about a millimeter that the car managed to get up the extremely steep hill up at the back. We managed to simmer up in the end but it was really on the hair, we should have filmed ourselves haha!

    Here is the view from the hotel :) Absolutely magical to arrive and have dinner in front of this view and be irritated before the trip we had in front of us ♥

    Mijas Costa, Fuengirola, Marbella & Ojén - The day after we landed, we went to Mijas Costa, Fuengirola and Marbella and strolled around these places. I have received a lot of tips about Fuengirola when I told people that we want to move to Spain in a few years, but I was not completely attached to that city actually. Too touristy and hectic for me!

    Marbella though, I liked it a lot more! That city felt a little more glorious, bigger but calmer and nicer.

    A fun stop was Ojén just above Marbella! It is in a cozy white village in a cliff and the drive up there was fascinating for me who has both fear of cars and fear of heights haha. Sharp curves and precipices straight down the sides! But the view was magical! I'm not a sweaty person otherwise but as soon as I get scared of heights I get hand sweat in a second, so it goes so fast! And when we went out to film the view, I slipped around in my sandals because my feet were so wet haha!

    What I did not know then was that mountains and cliffs would soon become everyday food and the whole trip was CBT therapy (face your fear method) and the last day we went for fun for Ojén and Monda again, a bit to get the circle closed as well :) and then I was not afraid of heights at all on Ojénvägarna! So sick!

    I at the hotel before we went 2 hours up in the country towards the next hotel :)

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    Drive through the Sierra de las Nieves - Instead of taking the fastest route there, we took the finest - through the nature reserve Sierra de las Nieves!

    For me who loves to drive, the journey between all places also becomes part of the experience! We listened to Spanish radio, sang and I never got tired of the view which was sometimes lush forest, sometimes you were at the top of a cliff and the second after you were in a valley with completely magical cliffs high above you.

    That is probably what shocked me the most during the trip, I had no idea what nature looked like in Southern Spain? Sweden feels so sad now!

    We stopped at a few places and walked around and strolled in nature only! :) MYS!

    Stop no. 2 - Júzcar
    The next two nights were spent in the blue mountain village of Júzcar where all the houses are light blue! So cute!

    juzcar roadtrip spain

    Is not it pretty? :)

    I think this is as charming as can be!


    We stayed at the Hotel Bandolero which is run by two guys, David and Ivan, and it was so extremely homely there! Or not just homely but it felt like you were guests in a real home. Creative decor with lots of things and gadgets and a cozy dog that ran around!

    My new friend Lolita ♥ She ate my breakfast egg which the chef dropped on the floor too haha. Not like any restaurant simply :)

    Here she became so grateful for all the cuddling and started licking my legs haha! Or she just liked my lotion.

    We drove a full day in the city of Ronda which I can really recommend to visit. Something I learned during the trip is to always go to the "old town" if there is one - it is always where it is nicest and cozy to stroll around if you like me are not so much for big cities :)

    Very cozy streets and old ruins you can look at (and climb on) hehe :)

    In Ronda there is a bridge in the middle of a precipice which on the other side of the bridge reminded of the hell gap in Ronja Rövardotter and on this side it is so nice!

    Another thing I learned on the trip is that it is completely unnecessary to try to photograph heights and views, it looks so clumsy in the picture compared to reality. It must be experienced! But I can tell you that this was incredibly loud! We looked down from a vantage point and saw people walking on a narrow, narrow edge on the side of the cliff. ”MISS it's PEOPLE GOING THERE !!" I exclaimed! ”It is probably a thin railing that is not visible in the distanceHe replied and I still thought they were mentally ill, I was scared of heights just by looking down on them.

    Cut to: 30 minutes later we are the ones walking on the edge down in the precipice;) There was no railing I can tell!

    "Real risk of death" yep yep! Miska was so fussy that I would fall down! He almost panicked because he did not trust my little clumsy steps :)

    ronda roadtrip spain

    On the other side there was a great restaurant where we had coffee with a view of the whole hell gap :) Wonderful!

    When we were going to the next hotel we took a small detour to go past Gaucin - just for the simple reason that I found my dream house there at Skandiamäklarna hahaha. We went past it! So fun! There the roads were worse and we had to stop for goats that crossed the road and things like that, but very cozy :)

    Stop no. 3 - Castellar
    The third hotel was another old fort 30 minutes above Gibraltar called Castillo de Castellar.

    If we had ended up in another room, I would probably have said "do not book this, not worth it" but our balcony (the only room that had it) made the whole trip a memory for life! It is so high up that you got a lid for your ears, the birds are literally flying around your head and the view is magical !!

    See for yourself:

    castle in southern spain view

    Here is our balcony and Miska sneaked up on me while I was waiting for the nail polish to dry :)

    I do not have a good picture of it because we only took movies, but it was not just small birds around the balcony but every now and then a flock of big eagles came and sailed around us! Do you understand how cool it was ?? They were around 15 and were really close! We kind of sat and drank morning coffee on the balcony and watched eagles up close, so awesome :)

    Both the breakfast and the food were really bad though and there was not much more to do. We strolled around a bit in the white village around (which had many cuddly cats anyway, me like!) But the view was really what made everything so worthwhile :)

    castle in southern spain

    Here you sit ♥

    castles in spain

    Here you see our balcony and a waving Helena!

    The day trip when we stayed here was the most touristy thing we did on the whole trip - went to Gibraltar! It is a city that belongs to the United Kingdom of all places. And so we went cable car up the mountain and looked at monkeys! :)

    gibraltar apor

    It was cozy! But neither I nor Miska are so much for being crowded with tourists so we started to crawl around on our own and suddenly we had gone down almost halfway and had to take an uneven stone staircase up a half mountain haha! We were so tired that we almost collapsed when we were finally on top again :)

    gibraltar roadtrip in spain

    "Miska I will not pass !!" :)

    Stop no. 4 & 5 & 7- Tarifa ♥
    Now we have come to the southernmost part of Spain - Tarifa where you see Africa big on the other side of the sea! You know what? This is where we want to live! We LOVED Tarifa!

    We enjoyed it so much that 2 nights became 4 nights, and after a stop in the city of Cadíz one night (stop no. 6) it was 2 more nights in Tarifa. So Tarifa became stop number 4, 5 and 7 simply, stuck in three different hotels :)

    tarifa spain

    I NOW noticed the little baby face in the window on the left! Scary haha!

    City of Tarifa - All our hotels were outside the city itself, but I loved the city too! Especially Old Town where there was good shopping (like the only city that had fun and nice shops according to my taste) and very cozy cafes and restaurants and narrow, cozy streets to stroll around. Pretty "chill" atmosphere and a lot of surf / boho style. Lovely energy simply! Both during the day and in the evening :)

    Otherwise, all the cities were either too touristy for me to want to live there, or it was completely dead, and you do not want to live either. Tarifa was perfect!

    valdevaqueros roadtrip

    Valdevaqueros Beach - The first two hotels - Hotel Tres Mares & Hotel 100% Fun was located on the beach Valdevaqueros where we hung out a lot!

    Both hotels were superb!

    valdevaqueros beach

    Incredibly many kitesurfers here! We bought a nice beach blanket too! There were a lot of rocks and waves but I do not mind it.

    We are thinking of going here again this spring and learning kitesurfing :) The hotel 100% Fun has package prices with kitesurf lessons and hotel rooms!

    valdevaqueros tarifa spain

    On the way down to the beach there are restaurants and bars with surf style, music in big speakers, happy people, pouffes and stray dogs running around and playing :) SO wonderful! We always hung out here after a day at the beach.

    valdevaqueros roadtrip in spain

    This is what it looked like when we left, on our way to dinner at the hotel or in town :)

    After a night in Cadíz, we started moving towards Malaga again and stayed two nights in a cozy bungalow at Hotel Mesón de Sancho. Also in the Tarifa area but not on the beach. Can also be recommended!

    Stop no. 6 - Cadiz and El Puerto de Santa María
    We went to the city of Cadíz later, a larger city that is completely surrounded by the sea because it is a headland type.

    However, we did not find a hotel there that had available rooms at short notice (at a reasonable price) so we took a detour to El Puerto de Santa María which is an "everyday" small town. Felt like you really jumped into the Spanish everyday life :)

    Such an unplanned trip that became a fun memory even though I do not really recommend it as a travel tip!

    I was completely eaten by mosquitoes here! But we had a lot of fun haha! :)

    So it was just a night in El Puerto de Santa María and the next day was spent in Cadíz where we ate breakfast and strolled around cozy alleys, looked at the ruins of an old fortress and went to an art exhibition.

    Me and my beautiful Miska when we just got out of the parking garage!

    Parking - I should also add that it was never difficult to find parking because even the small towns had parking garages or manned parking. It felt safest so because we had a rental car. And it was easy, you only got a ticket when you went in, which was then scanned when you went out and you paid for as long as you were there. So you never had to think about going to fill the parking lot or anything like that.

    Stop no. 8 - Estepona
    It was great weather and we continued on the sun and swimming trail and visited the city of Estepona!

    We stayed at Hotel Diana Park which was a bit above the town of Estepona itself and it was the first time we ate at the same restaurant two days today - an Indian restaurant with so cute staff, wonderful decor and we sat there and talked shit for several hours every night :)


    In the town of Estepona we first hung out by the sea and bathed a lot. Then we strolled around on such nice streets ♥ Lots of turquoise, pink and flowers everywhere! Real Helena streets!

    Stop number 9 - Torremolinos
    Last night we wanted to be close to the airport and therefore stayed in Torremolinos. We did not explore much here but just enjoyed the sea (great beach!) And ate an extra luxurious last dinner :)


    The final image must be this beauty on the beach in Torremolinos! ♥

    A good end to a wonderful road trip in Spain!

    Hope the post didn't feel too long! We have almost 2000 pictures and videos from the trip and there is much more to show and tell, but it is so hard to know a vase that is fun for just us. Other people's holiday photos are not always great fun, are they? But I wanted to tell you about all the stops and tried to keep it short but it got pretty long anyway;)

    Best trip really !! Can recommend so much and we will definitely go on a new road trip in Spain!

    If you have any questions, shout out :) Hugs, hugs!

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    Helena Amiley
    Helena Amiley
    I write mostly about beauty but also offer glimpses from the entrepreneurial life and the construction of our own camper van. Vanlife here we come!

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