Hitchhiking in Spain

In this section, we are going to tell you a few important points about travelling hitchhiking in Spain in a short and technical way.

If you are planning to travel hitchhiking in Spain or you wonder if it is possible and you want to know if you can, here we leave you some important points.

About hitchhiking in Spain we have enough to say.
You probably know that Spain has a reputation,(sometimes well deserved) of being a complicated country for hitchhiking.

We believe that it is not at all the favorite of the hitchhikers. Along with northern Italy and some German region. These are the places about which we have heard most critics. But as we always say, everything is based on personal experiences.

Here’s ours, one more. So with each one you can make your own conclusions..

Hitchhiking in Spain. Steps along the map. Travelling by finger in Spain
Sanja looking for someone to take us to Madrid

Why?

Is it too difficult to travel hitchhiking in Spain? Why hitchhiking in Spain has that bad reputation?

To tell you the truth, we don’t know why. We do not know if it is because the Spanish people like to be traditionalists and not change their way of thinking or because people like to believe what they hear. But we know that almost all Spanish people think it is forbidden to hitchhike. Or that’s not in use anymore and it’s dangerous.

Almost everyone says it is illegal and depending on the region they may be more suspicious or even more friendly.

Immigrants

A detail that will help us to hitchhike in Spain are immigrants. There are many of them. Many truck drivers are Moroccan or Romanian. In their own words, they always felt displaced and have had a hard time adapting. That’s why they’re the first ones that will try to lend a hand when you need help.
If you are sitting at a service station, they will always approach you, at least to ask where you are going.

Our hitchhiking experience in Spain

We hitchhiked in autumn and in summer. It must be said that between these two variants there are big differences. We are not discovering anything new by saying that in Spain, mostly in the south, the temperatures get really high and the thing you need to think about is the heat.

Autumn, travelling alone

I went from Badajoz to Sevilla and Malaga.

In Andalusia, I went through the white villages. El Chorro, Burgos, Ronda, Castellar. I went to Gibraltar and also to Granada.

From Granada to Madrid.

From Madrid to Zaragoza, Barcelona. And from Barcelona to France.

All these sections were in the fall. The trip started, the weather was good and although it was not very easy, there were no major waits or surprises.

The hardest step was always to get out of the big cities, but someone always showed up.

Hitchhiking in Spain. Hitchhiking in Europe. Steps around the map
Trying to get to Barcelona

Travelling in two and in summer

We went through France to Barcelona and went along the coast to Malaga. An idea that was not so well thought out.

Every day was more than 40 degrees.

It is easy to assume how difficult it was for us to go in that climate and without any shade. We had to survive.

We went hitchhiking from Malaga to Marbella and Sevilla again.

To Granada again and from there to Madrid.

From Madrid we arrived in San Sebastián and again to France.

Impossible?

We don’t think Spain is an impossible one. We also do not like to convince ourselves otherwise, just because we did well.

Looking ahead without thinking about the hours of wait, often influences us. These stories that we heard from others are coming to our mind, too. Listening that people waited 3 days for someone to pick them up, makes us think that we will never get out of there and that plays against our chances to move fast.

But we have plenty of patience and we almost never have specific destination to go, so we can wait.

Hitchhiking in Spain wild cammping
Improvising a lunch in Sevilla

Most common problems

Here we are not going to talk about the legality or the police, so be calm.

According to our statistics, the biggest problems are coming from getting in or going out of a big city.

Being stranded in the middle of the highway with several more exits, can be more than a problem.

Therefore, the best and most advisable is to take a suburban train and start to hitchhike outside of the city.
Even to a town further away, if it is possible.

Hitchhiking in Spain, fingered in Europe.
Leaving Ronda in Andalusia

Service stations, yes or no?

I do not know if in Spain the best point for hitchhiking are the service stations, that’s very individual, so it depends on each person. Unlike other countries, service stations in Spain do not have such good conditions and in general they are half hidden.

The good part is that there is a lot of international truck traffic connecting the main cities and also other cars that go long distances. So maybe if we find some of them on the road or on an industrial polygon (park), it’s a good idea to come and ask to take us towards our destination.
It must be said that, in general, the truck drivers of other countries are more sympathetic than those of Spain.

In our case we don’t like to ask, so we wait directly on the route.

A sign, is it necessary?

A fundamental element in the backpacker’s life, many ask whether it is appropriate or not.

Although it is known that it is always advisable, as it quickly alerts our driver to where we want to go. We felt that in Spain was not that useful.

The sign for us was only succesful once in a service station. We left it next to our backpacks and some people came to ask where we were going. But we tought the succes was just because they were foreigners.

If you go from Madrid to Barcelona for example, it is proven that 101% of people will think it’s only useful to get you directly there. So if they go 1 km from Barcelona, they will not stop and tell you to cross a few miles with them or leave you in the next village. 

Our average time of wait in Spain

We have been more than two months in total traveling in Spain and the waiting times have varied a lot. From very long to very short.

But they’ve always been between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Seldom less than that and probably several times it was more than two hours.

The worst, from 8 am to 3:00 pm to get out of Granada.
If we see the good side, that same day we arrived in Madrid.

As always, you can look at Hitchwiki and compare opinions. We from here add ours.

Ending this, we only have to say that we have had very good experiences and known incredible people while hitchhiking in Spain.

We’ve eaten tortillas and olives. And we also drank a lot of beer.
We had no police altercation and whenever we talked or asked the police we were treated in a good way.

It is true that it is not the easiest destination and that people can be closed. But the only way to change that is trying.

After all, who says that in Spain you can not hitchhike?

Down here we left the map of the route we followed. If you click on the arrow of “next” you will be moving along the route. 

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