Admittedly, there are a few options available to you if you’re keen on a Mediterranean road-trip up Spain’s south coast right up the north-east, one of which is driving from anywhere in Andalucía to Figueres. Unless the Mediterranean makes for just one leg of a much more extensive continental road-trip though and you’re passing through in your own car, taking a more pragmatic itinerary will have you getting a whole lot more out of the time you spend in Spain. So it’s perhaps best to do the Seville-to-Barcelona route. This way you won’t be limiting yourself only to the coast as there are some hidden inland gems to discover and complement your coastal foray with.
You can essentially do it in either direction, whether from Seville to Barcelona or the other way around, but since it’s all about the Mediterranean coastline, Seville is a great starting point. Seville is also a good starting-point since your departing international flight will likely be from Barcelona’s airport (Barcelona-El Prat Airport), if you did indeed rent your car locally. Most car rental service providers have multiple return depots in all major tourist hubs, so it is indeed possible to drop your rented car off in a different location to where you picked it up. Make sure you fully understand the specific terms of service though. You’ll also get some great breakdown insurance cover deals since this is indeed a popular tourist route, both for international tourists and locals alike.
Pick up some road-food while you’re still in Seville (a good variety of cured meats from the Puente De Isabel II markets is available), which you’ll probably want to explore more on foot before hitting the road towards Barcelona. Puente de Isabel II offers some majestic river views as well and if you’re up for it, hit the Isla M’gica Theme Park.
From Seville towards Barcelona the not-so-open road awaits, but with so many sights to see along the way, you’ll definitely want to drive slowly anyways. There’s no rush. Ronda has way more than Ronda Bridge to offer, so you might want to head inland a bit, otherwise every town you pass through along the way has something unique which you can take away with you. Things are a bit expensive in Marbella, the playground of the rich, but it’s worth catching sight of if only for the experience. Otherwise the south coast (Costa del Sol) has a lot more to offer, such as the sights within the town of Nerja and its cliffs, where a nice surprise awaits you if you’re a war buff.
Granada’s old town might prove to have too much of a pulling-force for you to just coast through, but that’s only one of many charming destinations awaiting you along your way to Barcelona, so don’t hesitate to park the car and jump out for a stroll about town.
The Oceanarium in Valencia (Oceanografic) makes for some good ocean-life spotting fun, but its modern architecture makes for a nice contrast to some of the equally charming old styled buildings.
Have fun and take lots of pictures – there’s plenty for you to see and explore en route to Barcelona.