N340 – The Longest Road in Spain!

Let’s go back in time. About 30 seconds ago (before you read the N340 title of this post). Back then, if I had asked you what the longest major road in Spain is, what would you have said? You might have thought about the big autovias (freeways) in Spain like the A-7. After all, it starts close to the border with France and ends near Algeciras. let’s go back to the future. Now that we’re back where we started, you know that the N-340 is the Longest road in Spain. N340 - The Longest Road in Spain! This natinoal highway is over 1200 kilometers of road, mostly along the coast, from Barcelona to Cádiz. Read more on WagonersAbroad.com

If you are looking for a long scenic drive (think Spain’s version of Route-66), the N-340 has a lot to offer.

At various points, it joins and separates from the A-7, and branches into the N-340a. Incredibly, at one point the N-340 and N-340a run parallel to each other before joining again. Crazy, right?! While generally a coastal Mediterranean road, there are stretches where you’ll only see land in the form of desert-like conditions interspersed with mountains (very similar to what you’d see on Route-66), and a bunch of city views as well.

In a lot of these cities, the N-340 is referred to as “Red Basica“, or Basic Network.  This means that road is part of the main network of roads within Spain or that region.  For example, in Málaga, it is on the main road through the city center.  This is part of the main network of the N-340 road within Spain, which runs through Málaga and other cities.

N340 - The Longest Road in Spain!Wikipedia Photo By kalh – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Where Does The N-340 Start?

It’s starting point begins in Barcelona at Plaça d’Espanya.  It is one of the largest and most important squares in all of Barcelona.  As a major junction for a number of roads, it is a beautiful place to start a journey.  It heads directly west out of the city, skirts the Serra de Collserola Natural Park, hangs a left, and then makes its way to the coast. Plaça d'Espanya barcelona n340

The next big stop is Valencia.  On the outskirts of one of our favorite Spanish cities, the N-340 merges with the A-7.  The N-340 can’t seem to make up its mind whether it wants to be big or small. Segway tour Valencia to old towers and gate to the city

It doesn’t separate from the A-7 until it reaches Murcia.  This whole join, separate, and re-join thing is making me dizzy.  From here on out, I’ll just point out the highlights.

So Where Are We Now?

We’ve passed through Murcia, on toward the city of Almería.  We’ve been through it a few times, and even visited the Alcazaba that overlooks the city.  Cool bit of trivia, it’s a Game of Thrones film site!
Almeria Alcazaba Game of Thrones film site

We make our way west towards home, and this is where the N-340 starts to hug the coast, and you get to see and smell the Mediterranean.Playa la Rijana Costa Tropical east of motril

After a bit, we’re beginning to see some very familiar territory in Motril and Salobreña.  We’re almost home!  A bit further, and we’ve finally reached home…Almuñécar

N340 almunecar to nerja

The N-340 passes right through our town on towards the city of Málaga (another one of our favorites).  The road gets very windy, and there’s a lot of elevation changes.  It’s very popular with the motorcycle crowd (for going fast), and the road-biking crowds that use this particular stretch to train.  I’m in with the Go-Fast crowd!

Before we actually get to Málaga, we’ll pass through Nerja, and a bunch of small, sleepy beach towns, all the while enjoying the expanse of the Med.  malaga N340 red basica road

Once through Málaga, we keep hugging the coast until we hit the ritzy city of Marbella.  Continuing on, after a bit, we’ll pass through the port town Algeciras, where you can spot the rock of Gibraltar.  And on a clear day, you can see Africa in the distance!View of Gibraltar from a city in Spain

Are We There Yet?

Yes…we’re almost at the end.  The N-340 merges with the E-5 and finally comes to an unceremonious end in the outskirts of Chiclana de la Frontera, which itself is outside of Cádiz.  Whew!  We made it! Chiclana de la Frontera, Cádiz n340

So after roughly 1300 kilometers, we’ve gone from Barcelona on the Mediterranean, passing through the lovely town of Almuñécar (I may be a bit biased), all the way to Cádiz on the Atlantic. Things to do in Spain by region.

What Have We Learned?

The N-340 is long!  Real long!  It’s also confusing the way it merges and separates with other larger roads. It is the only national highway that doesn’t go through Madrid.  Here is a reference about the roads in Spain radiating from Madrid.

But in the end, we’ve learned that the N-340 is not only the longest road in Spain, but it also goes through some very important cities and towns and has a special place in the hearts of many a traveler.

What’s your favorite road in Spain, and why?

Driving in Spain

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