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Let´s explore some stunningly beautiful places that could be easily visited on any Madrid to Valencia road trip. Both cities are must-see on every Spain Bucket List, but how about adding to your plans a few hidden Spanish gems on the go?

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Madrid to Valencia Road Trip

About this itinerary

While there are lots of ways to get from Madrid to Valencia, traveling by car is the best option for those who seek to experience Spain beyond its top cities.

On the road between Madrid and Valencia, you will find lots of unique national landmarks worth making a stop. While most travelers usually set their eyes on the region of Cuenca (and even plan a Cuenca road trip or Madrid Road Trip) there are way more Spanish gems one can explore during any Madrid to Valencia Road trip.

Over my 15+ expat years in Spain, I was able to explore the Madrid-Valencia itinerary on numerous occasions. Therefore, in this post I will be sharing with you all the places I discovered while on the go between these two Spanish capitals.

You can either pick one place as a stop or put them all together for an exciting Madrid to Valencia road trip itinerary.

Driving from Madrid to Valencia

Driving in Spain for the first time? – You might find handy this Driving in Spain Guide, with Expert Videos, 360 Driving Tours and an On-The-Go PDF.

Best places on the road from Madrid to Valencia

Aranjuez

Madrid to Valencia Road Trip – Aranjuez

The Palace of Aranjuez is one of the top Royal Sites connected to the Crown of Spain. Back in 2001, this Spanish landmark was included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Cultural Landscapes.

While Aranjuez was built back in the XVth century, during the reign of the Catholic Kings, many other Spanish monarchs tried to reform it ever since. However, the biggest splendor of Aranjuez is connected to the Spanish kings Carlos III and Carlos IV. Back then Aranjuez was a trendy vacation spot for the royalty and court.

The last time I was lucky to visit Aranjuez was in October, as one of Madrid Day Trips. With all the fall foliage the palace gardens looked truly magical.

Chinchon

chinchon madrid to valencia
Madrid to Valencia Road Trip – Chinchon

Visiting the small town of Chinchon was one of the highlights of my 2022 travels in Spain. This place is mostly known for its central square Plaza Mayor, a unique example of Castile’s traditional architecture from the Middle Ages.

Chinchón’s Plaza Mayor is considered the most unique square in the whole of Spain. It has 234 balconies, some of which date back to the XVth century.

Chinchon has been an iconic filming location for a few old classy movies with Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles, and John Wayne.

Parque Warner

Madrid to Valencia Road Trip – Parque Warner

If you are visiting Spain with kids, you would not want to miss Parque Warner.

This popular Spanish Theme park has five different areas packed with attractions, restaurants, and shops. We visited it right before having kids – so now, plan to return soon. Especially since, in May 2023, Parque Warner opened its latest ride Batman Gotham City Escape. 

You can easily get your Parque Warner Entrance in advance via GetYourGuide.

Also, Parque Warner can be a cool Madrid day trip idea, as it is located within a 20-minute drive from the Spanish capital. Another option is to get a combined ticket with a transfer from Madrid City Center.

Segobriga Archaeological Park

segobriga cuenca spain
Madrid to Valencia Road Trip – Segobriga

On the road from Madrid to Valencia, you will find one of the top Roman Ruins in SpainSegobriga Archaeological Park. It is one of the most ancient sights in the Castile La-Mancha region.

Segobriga was once a prosperous Roman city with a great strategic location, conveniently situated between Carthago Nova (present-day Cartagena) and Toletum (present-day Toledo). You can get a glimpse of this landmark via Spain virtual tours.

This place was also a source of ancient Spanish legends, including the story of Viriato, a Lusitanian leader from the Segobriga town, and Tormo Alto in the Enchanted City of Cuenca.

Monastery of Ucles

monastery ucles spain beautiful facades
Madrid to Valencia Road Trip – Ucles

Fans of secret and beautiful monasteries in Spain will definitely enjoy visiting The Monastery of Ucles.

Located near one of the top Roman Ruins in Spain – SegobrigaMonasterio de Ucles is often called el escorial of Castile-La Mancha (after the popular Spanish landmark of San Lorenzo de Escorial).

The Ucles Monastery was built on the ruins of an old castle, but the current building could be traced back to the XVth century. One of its most emblematic decorations is the main doorway, created by Pedro de Ribera.

The Castle of Garcimuñoz

garcimuñoz on the road from Madrid to Valencia
Madrid to Valencia Road Trip – The Castle of Garcimuñoz

One of the lesser-known stops on the road from Madrid to Valencia is The Castle of Garcimuñoz.

It is a unique building with Gothic elements and modern futuristic walkways. The first owner of Garcimuñoz was a knight who accompanied King Alfonso VIII in his conquest of Cuenca in the XIIth century. Then it was owned by the prince Don Juan Manuel in the XIVth century. Afterward, in the XVth century, the owner of Garcimuñoz was Juan Pacheco, the famous Spanish nobleman (whom you might know as Marquess of Villena from the Spanish TV Show Isabel).

In the XIIIth century the church of Saint John the Baptist was constructed inside the Garcimuñoz Castle (and they also began to use it as a cemetery – very much like it happened in the secret museum of Mummies in Quinto).

To access the castle, you need to book your entrance in advance.

Cuenca

cuenca hanging houses spain madrid to valencia
Madrid to Valencia Road Trip – The Hanging Houses of Cuenca

One of the most common stops on any Valencia to Madrid road trip is the city of Cuenca.

It is mostly known for one of the top Spanish landmarks – the Hanging Houses of Cuenca. Nevertheless, The Cathedral of Cuenca is one of the most beautiful religious sites in Spain, with its museum housing one of the iconic El Greco paintings.

You can read more about Cuenca in my posts: 5 Must-see in Cuenca and Cuenca Road Trip.

If you are visiting Spain with kids, set your eyes on the Science Museum of Castile-La Manca and the Enchanted city of Cuenca.

Alarcon

Alarcón Cuenca Spain beautiful small towns
Madrid to Valencia Road Trip – Alarcon

Alarcon is one of the most beautiful secret villages in Spain. It is known for some of the most impressive medieval walls and an epic storybook hilltop location. No wonder, Alarcon ended up on my list of 2022 favorites in Spain.

You can check my IG Reels on Alarcon for the views.

The Castle of Alarcon houses a beautiful hotel, Parador de Alarcon. Therefore, you can kill two birds with one shot and spend a night inside an ancient Spanish castle during your Madrid to Valencia road trip.

Requena

caves of requena valencia spain
Madrid to Valencia Road Trip – Requena

Another unique stop on the road from Madrid to Valencia is the small town of Requena, known for its ancient caves.

Cuevas de la Villa is a complex of 22 caves from the times of the Arab presence in Spain. The caves used to serve as storage for wheat and cereals, due to the natural stable temperatures inside. By sealing the wheat inside of the amphoras with the help of fire, the locals were reaching the effect of a modern vacuum package.

Nevertheless, the caves were abandoned in the XVIIIth century and rediscovered only in the 70s of the XX century.

Nearby, you can also visit Casa del Arte Mayor de la Seda (one of the secret Spanish museums) and Cornudilla (one of the most haunted places in Spain).

Manises

edificio el arte manises valencia
Madrid to Valencia Road Trip – Manises

The fans of Spanish ceramic pottery will enjoy a visit to Manises, a small town near Valencia, known as a UNESCO creative city.

For more than 700 years Manises has been a creative hub for traditional ceramic crafts in Europe. This small town is particularly famous for its golden and blue pottery pieces of the XIVth and XVth centuries, as well as polychromatic earthenware and tiles of the XIXth and XXth centuries.

Manises is a popular Valencia day trip and even during my recent solo weekend in Paris, I spotted the ceramic objects from Manises at the Cluny Museum.

Need a longer itinerary? – You can also check out my Ultimate 7-day Valencia Road Trip and an Epic 7-day Madrid road Trip to combine both with your Madrid to Valencia road trip.

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