Cover Spain Road trip

We're heading into the tail end of winter and the roads are finally clearing of snow. For some adventurers, this means one thing: road trip season. And if you've been itching to take a long epic drive through the temperate coasts of Spain, Auto Europe has just revealed the top three Spanish destinations to get off the beaten path for this coming year.

Malaga

Based on car rental stats and global travel data, the Andalusian beauty of Malaga is expected to lead the list. The city saw a huge growth spurt in popularity in 2016, and for good reason: the vibrant port on the southern Costa del Sol is a winning combination of history, fine art, nightlife and nature, boasting yellow-sand beaches, Moorish citadels and the Picasso Museum.

San Sebastian

San Sebastian is another paradise making waves in recent years, especially as an undiscovered foodie destination after being crowned Europe's Capital of Culture. A standout in the heart of Basque Country, Playa de la Concha and Playa de Ondarreta make for perfect beach days, while the cobblestoned town of Parte Vieja provide pinxto bars galore.

Merida

If undiscovered, under-the-radar travels are more your style, then the relative obscurity of Merida is your winner. The surrounding region of Extremadura is a lush collage of mountains, forests, lakes and reserves, while the city itself is known for its famous Roman ruins. Add that to the fact that you will have to fight zero crowds, and you have a perfect getaway for history buffs and outdoor explorers alike.