Road trip in the splurging continent of Europe can turn out to be an ultimate fun experience of life. Freedom that the travelholics crave for? The freedom to cross countries and cover major parts without restrictions.
Road journeys have the potent to spun tales and release all the tensions at the same time. You may get numerous considerable options to reach the destination but why wait to reach the destination when the journey can be at par enjoyable too. So, when in Europe don’t miss the opportunity to please your vision with omnifarious scenes which is inconceivable without its road travelling. Here are some of the best road trips Europe you can put on your bucket list.
Wish to see the best of Austria? Ditch Vienna or Innsbruck for a road trip to Salzburg. The Apline region of the beautiful town reserves some of the most sumptuous views – the best you could ever imagine. Or you could club a road trip to Vienna and Salzburg to experience the best of Austria. The best is Salzburg sits on the German border and is sure to give you all the major feels!
The best time to plan your road trip to Salzburg or Austria in general is from September to October. Also, Make sure you take accommodation in the Alpine region.
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A road trip from Kotor to Zabljak will show you some of the best of Montenegro. The distance point to point is only 165 kilometres but there are many great detours along the way.
The best time to go is in Spring or Fall when the weather is still warm, the crowds have left and the heat isn’t overpowering. It would be possible to explore this section of Montenegro in 3 days, but we think a week gives you much more time to explore and enjoy.
Start your Montenegro road trip at one of the pretty towns surrounding the Bay of Kotor. The UNESCO heritage listed town of Kotor is the highlight, but the tiny town of Perast is equally enchanting. If you have time take a day trip to Budva and Sveti Stefan. The coastline is stunning and you will find yourself stopping frequently to admire the view.
From Kotor make your way to Zabljak, a small town nestled at the base of Durmitor National Park. On the way it is an easy detour to see the impressive Ostrog Monastery near Niksic. Once you arrive in Zabljak it is time to soak up the mountain air and enjoy the outdoors.
Visit Black Lake and hike one of the many trails in Durmitor National Park. Take a trip to see Djurdjevica Tara Bridge, one of the prettiest bridges in Europe. If you are adventurous you can bungee jump or go rafting down the Tara River, which passes through Tara Canyon, the largest in Europe and the second largest in the world.
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One of the most beautiful places in the world to go on a road trip is the Dolomites of Trentino, in Northern Italy. Leaving the highway A22 a bit after Rovereto, and taking SS48, it’s possible to drive around Val di Fiemme and Val di Fassa to explore the beautiful quaint, small villages such as Castello di Fiemme, Cavalese, Canazei or Moena; to admire the gorgeous valleys and, more than anything else, be constantly mesmerized by the stunning mountain views that open up at every turn.
The overall distance isn’t much – no more than 150 km. It is recommended that you take your time (a week is recommended) to explore all the villages, stop to take photos and go on hikes too.
The best time of year to do it is the summer, when the weather is nice (but the altitude keeps the temperatures down), the days long and it is possible to fully enjoy activities such as hiking and biking.
While at it, don’t forget to enjoy the earthy local food (pork is typically a must, as well as polenta, and the local sweet is apple strudel) and the good wines produced in the region.
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As the largest Greek island, Crete is almost the perfect size for a road trip. During two weeks, you can combine history, culture, and great beaches as you drive around, still leaving plenty to see and do for your next trip.
A suggested road trip itinerary in Crete could include The Palace of Knossos in Heraklion, the archaeological sites of Gortyna and Phaestos, the Dikteon Cave and Lasithi plateau, and Matala Caves. Don’t forget the beaches either! A road trip around Crete is not complete without visiting the famous beaches such as Triopetra Beach and of course the pink sands of Elafonisi Beach.
Road conditions in Crete are generally good, although they twist considerably due to the mountain terrain. On the south part of the island, you may have to drive along dirt tracks to reach more isolated beaches. 2 weeks is ideal for a road trip in Crete, during which time you could drive anywhere between 1000 kms and 2000 kms. This will still leave time to enjoy each place, and soak up the Greek sun on the beach!
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One of the most unknown road trips one can do in Germany is on the island of Usedom at the Baltic Sea in Northern Germany. The island is separated from the neighbouring island of Wolin to the east by the Strait of Świna, that is the main route connecting Szczecin Bay with the Pomeranian Bay, a part of the Baltic Sea.
The probably most scenic route even takes you from Germany in the West over to the polish part of the island in the East. Our idea: To start in the romatic town of Zinnowitz at the coast and drive east. Then stop at the “Kaiserbäder”, the old port cities along the coast until you cross the border and finally reach the largest town on the island of Usedom: Świnoujście in Poland (german: Swinemünde). As driving and renting a car in German is a very easy thing to do, you could do it easily as a day trip.
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A road trip through Cornwall should be a the top of your list of must-do European road trips. Cornwall is one of the most beautiful parts of the UK.
What’s so special about it? Well how about miles and miles of rugged coastline dropping down to gorgeous sandy beaches and coves, cute chocolate-box villages, and lots of dramatic landscapes in between.
Sounds pretty perfect for a road trip right? It is.
Get off the main roads and spend your time meandering from village to village, stopping off for a few dips in the sea, or a hearty Cornish pasty along the way.
I’d recommend spending at least a week on your road trip, which will allow you to see some of the larger towns like Newquay, and St Ives as well as smaller villages like St Just or St Mawes. However long you have, you’ll find plenty to entertain yourself.
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The Greek mainland has so many mind-blowing sights and seriously epic views all over the country. Here, you can go from bustling arty city to 1000-year-old ruins sunken in the sea within a few hours. From monasteries perched atop perilous cliffs to laid-back islands, easily accessible from the mainland by bridge.
We came to Greece intending to visit a handful of the best Greek islands, but after visiting two islands we just weren’t really feeling it. You can go back to Athens, hire a car to check out the mainland instead. I am so glad we did this because it was my absolute favourite part of Europe adventures.
You can do a 3 weeks hire-car adventure from Athens across several Greek states spanning over 1, 500 kilometres. Here is a possible route.
Visit some incredible sights like The Ancient Ruins of Delphi, seeing the place where Sparta fell, The Meteora Monasteries “suspended in air”, the beautiful Island of Lefkada with its sheer white cliff edges, visited olive groves and incredible waterfalls in Kalamata, shipwrecks on the shore of Githio, snorkelling the ancient sunken city of Pavlopetri, exploring the tightly woven medieval streets of Monemvasia and falling head-first into Greek culture in Athens.
Hiring a car in Greece is pretty cheap (much cheaper than the ferries you’d take to the islands). You will also find that car hire, hotels and sometimes even attractions are much cheaper in low season (mid-October to mid-April).
If you are heading to Greece in the off-season, then rather than heading to one of the deserted islands, consider a mainland road trip instead. It will be amazing – promise.
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The winding tarmac road snakes across the wild rugged landscape of the North Yorkshire Moors. There are not many cars up here. There are many white sheep grazing quietly. As you scan the horizon there is purple heather as far as the eye can see. Yet it is not all wild up here.
Start your North Yorkshire Moors road trip in the lovely seaside town of Filey. Nicknamed the Yorkshire riviera, the sandy beaches and quaint whitewashed cottages make this a perfect place to stop for a while.
Carry on up the coastline to Scarborough. The spa town boasts an impressive castle and fun arcades for the many tourists.
Continue north, making a short stop in the smuggler’s cove of Robin Hood’s Bay. Head down the cobbled streets to the picturesque harbour and imagine pirate ships!
Finally, end in the Gothic town of Whitby. See if you can find Count Dracula up on the cliff top by epic Whitby Abbey.
This 50km road trip is a great way to see the beautiful coastline and moorland of the East Yorkshire coast. Pack a tent in the boot and enjoy the freedom of the open Yorkshire road!
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The Grand Tour! What sounds amazing, actually is amazing. Switzerland´s scenery is one of a kind, and to see unique places you should go on a road trip to discover some of the most beautiful places.
Favorite thing of the Grand Tour is from the Rhine Falls, close to the German border in the north, to Zurich, to Lucerne and then to Interlaken. Driving along the lakes is like a dream – especially driving along Lake Thun in Interlaken.
If you have more time, head to the Italian-speaking part afterwards, but it is recommended to travel more slowly to enjoy places to the fullest.
You will find so much beauty and tranquility along your way. There are even some extra stops and vantage points, so visitors can soak in all the gorgeousness.
If you rent a car, it will have a toll sticker on it, if you come to Switzerland with your own car, you need to buy an annual toll sticker (costs $35 for a month) but it is worth each cent. Our tip is to do a road trip between March-October – it probably also looks amazing during the winter time, but driving the mountains in the snow could be a bit more challenging.
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Driving through the Val d’ Orcia is one of the most scenic drives you can do in Tuscany. The UNESCO World Heritage countryside really brings home the essence of Tuscany.
Drive south from Siena through Asciano. You will see the famous Crete Senesi, the gray clays of Tuscany, as you drive, along with the classic rows of cypresses and the rolling hills characteristic of Tuscany. Then drive to the pretty hill town of Montalcino, famous for its Brunello wine.
Your next destination is the small town of San Quirico d’Orcia, with its pretty Horti Leonini gardens. Then it’s on to Pienza, the jewel of the Orcia Valley. On the road to Pienza, don’t forget to stop at the famous Vitaleta Chapel. Spend some time wandering around Pienza, viewing the impressive architecture and taking in the magnificent views, before heading back to Siena.
If you have the time, worthwhile detours are Monte Oliveto Maggiore, an impressive Tuscan abbey near Montalcino, and Bagno Vignoni, another small town near Pienza.
This drive can range between 70-100km, and will take you pretty much one day if you drive from Siena and back. Tuscany is stunning any time of the year, but both spring and fall are especially beautiful.
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For an epic road trip in Southern Europe, grab a car in Lisbon and drive north towards Porto. Technically you can drive the distance of 300 km in 3 hours, but it’s worth setting aside a few days to make stops along the way. When you leave Lisbon, make sure to stop in Obidos to explore its medieval city walls and try some local cherry liqueur (in moderation, of course). Then, before you head to the university town of Coimbra, you will pass several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Alcobaca and Batalha Monasteries.
A good stop to make between Coimbra and Porto is Aveiro with its picturesque canals and Costa Nova with its candy-striped beach houses. Driving in Portugal gives you the opportunity to explore off the beaten path and allows you to visit smaller villages along the way you might otherwise not see. There is also plenty of day trips that can be done from Porto, including the famous Douro Valley and the city of Braga.
Driving in Portugal is relatively easy as infrastructure is well developed. Portuguese do tend to drive fast, though! The road trip from Lisbon to Porto can be done any time of the year but is probably most pleasant in the off-season when you can avoid the tourist crowds.
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The Alsace Wine Route in France is the perfect road trip for wine lovers. The winding country roads take you through tiny Alsatian villages, across vast vineyards, and up and down the rolling hills of the countryside. Although it’s located in France, Alsace borders Germany and Switzerland, too, and you can feel the influence from all three countries as you travel down the wine route. Visiting in December means that there will be Christmas markets galore along the way; however, I imagine it is also beautiful in the autumn around harvest time.
Start in Strasbourg and work your way towards Mulhouse. Be sure to stop in some of the bigger towns, like Colmar and Obernai, to see why people love Alsace so much. Colmar’s fairytale village houses are a site to be seen and they are lovely towns to walk around. However, the smaller towns also cannot be missed. Some personal favorites include Kayersburg and Keintzheim.
Wine tasting is an absolute must when traveling down Alsace’s wine route (Domaine Paul Blanck is incredible!), but if you are looking for something a bit different, consider a detour to Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg, a cool fortress with stunning views over the reason.
If you ever need to skip ahead from one Alsatian city to another, you can easily jump on the main road (A35); however, the beauty of the Alsace Wine Route lies in the winding, country roads and I recommend doing at least a large stretch of your trip that way!
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One of the best European road trips can be done around the region of Alentejo, which covers South-Eastern Portugal between Lisbon and the Algarve.
You can start from the inland area of the region covering it in a week, driving from Faro airport to Évora, the region’s capital, moving on from there after two days. Cover around 750 km (466 miles) from Faro to the A2 motorway back to the Algarve. It is most recommended to visit in spring, which is the best time of year to do the trip, when the countryside and many cork groves are full of wildflowers.
Évora is a great base, a beautiful old city that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We moved on from there to Marvao, a bit of a detour to the north, to a stunning castle and mountain village overlooking the Spanish border. We drove south from there via the historic towns of Estremoz and Elvas to the remote hilltop village of Monsaraz. It’s like a film set, two long medieval streets and a castle with outstanding views of the Alqueva lakes over the border in Spain.
It’s a region full of wonderful, untouched historic towns like Mourao, Moura and Mertola, all way off the beaten path. We could have easily doubled the time taken on the trip and still not seen everything we would have liked. Then there’s the Alentejo coast, which has some fantastic beaches and scenery, which is probably another trip in itself.
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Slovenia. Small in population yet idyllic surroundings will make you fall in love with this country. There are beautiful places to visit in Slovenia, read this article and you will discover some of them. And for some offbeat countryside Slovenian experience you can plan a visit to Big Berry.
The best way to experience a beauty of Slovenia is a road trip. The total distance of 96 km will take you from the Karst region (Lake Cerknica) to the Mediterranean coast (Piran). The best moment to take this trip is a rainy season (because of the water level of the lake).
Start your trip in one of the largest intermittent lakes in Europe, Lake Cerknica, where is a home to numerous endangered animals and many species of flowers. Explore the lake by renting a boat, taking a guided tour or choosing a panoramic ride on a horse.
Your next stop is Postojna Cave, the most visited cave in Europe and important attraction in the country. The unique tourist train will take you to the halls of the cave. Close to the cave, there is Predjama castle, also worth visiting. Animal lovers will definitely find worth visiting one of the oldest stud farms in the world, Lipica. There you can watch the shows and horse training or you can go riding. Your road trip finishes in Piran, a charming and picturesque walled town with a church and a central square. Visit the Maritime Museum and an aquarium.
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Transylvannia is an exciting part of the world to drive in. It’s stunningly beautiful and home to attractions like Bran Castle and beautiful small cities like Sighisoara.
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