Spain is a spectacular country. With a wide array of stunning vistas, coastal roads that take your breath away, and amazing villages that seemingly cling to the top of a cliff, you always have something to do.
However, to fully absorb what it has to offer, I don’t recommend flying or even driving everywhere. After all, Spaniards do enjoy driving fast and you may fight to keep up with them. Instead, I’m recommending another very Spanish approach, the scooter.
The idea of travelling around on a Vespa with the sun on your back and a deep blue sea by your side is exhilarating. That being said, you need to know a few things before you dive head first into this particular journey.
Getting A Scooter
There are a multitude of hire companies that you can contact for getting a scooter. They will have a number of inferior makes and models but you do want a Vespa wherever possible.
When hiring, the company will provide a helmet but they aren’t any better than average. While they can do the job, you may wish to invest in a better quality helmet along with any other protective gear.
Do shop around as hire charges vary. It also depends on your starting point as to what you will pay.
Preparation Is Key
As with any journey, being prepared is important. The Vespa is the quint-essential Spanish scooter, so if you want to do things right, then book your scooter in advance to avoid disappointment. Simply turning up and hoping that one is free might not work out too well.
Also, plan your route and stick to it. Avoid the autostradas – which are the Spanish main roads – as you will miss so much of the countryside. Then again, it’s also dangerous on them when on a scooter, so that’s another good reason.
You should also look at the distances between your stops. This is not about trying to get from A to B in the shortest time possible. This is like a lazy walk on a sunny Sunday afternoon with no stress and no pressure. You want short distances to cover each day to provide ample time for detours or to soak up your surroundings.
Prepare well, and you will love the experience.
Watch Out For The Drivers
I must point out that the roads in Spain are good, but the drivers on those roads are not the best. You must pay attention and expect the unexpected to happen. Also, keep to the very right side of the road because people will scream past you at any opportunity.
Other things to watch out for is that people rarely indicate when turning. That means you must stay alert as people will cut you off and think nothing of it. People also love speed, and it is insane at times. Don’t feel pressured into keeping up as that’s madness. Finally, watch out for scooter owners weaving around almost anything to get to their destination as they will weave around you.
When you rent a scooter, you should check for insurance. With the way that the Spaniards drive, you might find yourself in a few precarious situations. Also, check your medical insurance will cover you for accidents as it’s best being safe.
The final thing to check on is whether you require an international license. This can vary and the police will be quite happy to stop you and ask for papers. You must carry your documents at all times to make life easier for you.
I’d also recommend having an Spanish Sim card for your phone. This allows you to access Google Maps, which is always useful and it should mean you avoid getting lost.
The Best Routes To Take
The best route depends on your own individual tastes. Whether you love beaches and the Med, or the Alps or vineyard country there is something for you.
I’m not here to advise you on the best routes. There are so many to choose from that it’s impossible to discuss them in any detail. For me, the freedom that the scooter offers you is the important part. All I would recommend is staying off those main roads, and do remember to stop all of the time.
Going around Spain on a scooter is certainly an experience, and one you won’t forget. You will have a new appreciation for the country and can see different sights that you would have missed in a car. Also, you are doing it more like a local, and that in itself is extremely cool.
All you have to do is to get to your starting point, book that scooter in advance and then enjoy the ride. You are guaranteed to have an experience that you will never forget.
Mike Basich's name has long been synonymous with innovation in snowboarding. Way back in the early '90s, when Basich was a pro snowboarder moonlighting as a world-renowned photographer, he helped innovate the first-person style of photography that is all-too-common in the action sports world. RELATED: This ain't #vanlife: Austin Smith does life on the road his way Basich was eons ahead of the current trends of tiny home living/van life that dominate social media feeds today, building
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