A road trip around Europe allows you to view the continent at a slower pace. The following itineraries can be readily merged, shortened, or altered to fit your wayfaring tastes, from the bright coastlines of Portugal to the dungeons of Dracula’s castle in Transylvania. Here are nine of Europe’s best road trips.
First, a Few Expert Tips for European Road Trips
Road excursions are a fantastic opportunity to see the world at your leisure! However, if this is your first time driving in Europe, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Don’t forget to get insurance! We believe that travel insurance is a vital way to protect all travels, but certain additional coverages are available for road trips. We’ll assist you in finding the best strategy for your trip.
- It’s a good idea to have an International Driving Permit with you whenever you drive outside of your own country.
Now, on to Europe’s best road trip spots!
1. North England’s Lake District
Cumbria’s famous Lake District, a National Park, contains some of England’s most beautiful scenery. The picturesque landscape, which attracts over 23 million day visitors each year, is dotted with charming villages, quiet, blue lakes, and productive farms.
Plan a picnic, ride your bike, or take a stroll through the charming villages of Keswick, Windermere, and Ambleside.
2. Italy’s Amalfi Coast
The craggy coastline of Campania’s legendary Amalfi Coast, with its medieval cliff-side fishing villages, lemon gardens, and agriturismos, has made it one of the world’s most famous road journeys. With two-lane winding mountain roads and various blind curves, the drive has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its beautiful Mediterranean vistas.
Begin at Salerno and make your way to Sorrento via Ravello, Amalfi, Positano, Minori&Maiori, and the island of Capri.
3. Germany’s Autobahn
Every year, vehicle enthusiasts and speed freaks flock to some of the world’s fastest highways to put the pedal to the metal. The Autobahn in Germany is a nationwide controlled-access highway system that stretches almost 13,000 kilometers, making it one of the worlds longest.
Over half of the network is devoid of speed limits, with only a proposed limit of 130 kilometers per hour indicated. So rent the latest BMW and keep an eye out for the luxury automobile parade, as the Autobahn serves as a reminder that you don’t always need a destination.
4. Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast
As the Dinaric Alps give way to olive fields, secret coves, and endless lovely inlets of glistening Adriatic blue, it becomes clear that this is Europe’s most gorgeous stretch of coastline. Thousands of islands and islets dot the horizon, some of which are ready to ferry your car over.
Throughout, there are attractive rental options for all budgets, as well as some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches. National parks, beautiful lakes, and quaint old villages are all well represented here, with none of the summer crowds that most of coastal Europe experiences. Dubrovnik’s walled city is a must-see!
5. Southern France’s Provence.
The most visited and enjoyed areas of France are known for their sweeping lavender fields, timeless hilltop villages, and some of the world’s most cherished vineyards. From Montpellier to Arles, Avignon, and Salon-de-Provence, sip your way around the region, stopping wherever your heart desires.
Marseille’s bouillabaisse is a must-try, as are its souk-style markets for other regional specialties. Admire the Camargue’s wild horses and pink flamingos, or walk-in Van Gogh’s and Cezanne’s footsteps, drooling over the Cyprus-lined landscapes that made them famous. SalutET bon appetit!
6. Northern Spain’s Basque Circuit
Northern Spain’s gastro-eccentric Basque country is pure gourmet bliss, easily rivaling the best of France and Italy. But, as delicious as the food is, there’s also art, surfing, a film festival, and one of the best city beaches in the world.
Begin in Bilbao, where you may see the Guggenheim Museum’s cutting-edge design. Head west along the Bay of Biscayne (near Santander) for some significant surf breaks, or east to San Sebastian, with its magnificent crescent-shaped beach, yearly International Film Festival, and to-die-for pintxos (tapas).
7. Germany’s Romantic Road
This historic trade route across Bavaria in south-central Germany, first traveled by the Romans 2,000 years ago, is a story-book walk back in time. With Baroque churches, traditional wineries, fairy-tale castles, and old cobblestone alleyways, red-roofed villages break up the otherwise beautiful green environment. The magnificent 355-kilometer journey can be broken up with many breaks to savor hearty German meals, fantastic local beer, and, of course, those captivating countryside scenery.
8. Norway’s Atlantic Highway
Norway’s breathtaking mountain ranges, pristine forests, 10,000-year-old fjords, and towering waterfalls that cascade into crystal clear lakes are featured in this jaw-dropping experience. Up here, the air is unearthly fresh, and the brief summer season is unbeatable.
In Bergen, rent a car and drive north. You’ll pass through the world’s most giant road tunnel, as well as fast-flowing white-water rivers and old glaciers, on your way to Trondheim. Norwegian legislation allows you to camp in any public location, so go wherever you like. Pitch your tent and relax!
9. Scotland’s North Coast 500
The North Coast 500 may like a stock car race, but you’ll want to take it slow and enjoy the scenery as you travel through the Highlands on this freshly built highway. Forming a loop around the whole northern edge of the country, snake your way between huge hills of weather-beaten grasses, past dunes and lonely beaches, deep freshwater lochs, and some of the most magnificent Scottish wildness.
This is the journey for you if you enjoy the eerie ruins of ancient villages, grand castles, and grazing Shetland ponies.
10. Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route
As you omit the hustle and bustle of Belfast on this ultra-scenic 315-kilometer drive, you’ll be surrounded by authentic Irish charm. With every appealing stop, discover striking sandstone towers, cliffs teeming with seabirds, magnificent castles and multi-green glens (valleys), and, of course, excellent Irish hospitality.
In Bushmills, sample the fruits of the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery and be amazed by the UNESCO World Heritage Site and iconic symbol of the region, the Giant’s Causeway.
From the rolling meadows of Tuscany to the soaring mountains of the Sierra Nevada and the luxurious lifestyle in the South of France, Europe is ideal for an epic road trip. Whether you have a year, a month, a week, our Europe road trip itinerary ideas will provide you with plenty of motivation to hit the road.