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.
Salzburg Countryside, Austria
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.
Kotor to Zabljak, Montenegro
(Recommended by: Adventure and Sunshine)
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.
Dolomites, Northern Italy
(Recommended by: My Adventures across the World)
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.
Greek Island of Crete
(Recommended by: Daves Travel Pages)
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!
Usedom Island, Germany
(Recommended by: Travellers Archive)
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.
Cornwall, United Kingdom
(Recommended by: The Discoveries Of)
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.
Greek Mainland Road Trip
(Recommended by: Castaway with Crystal)
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.
North Yorkshire Moors Coastal Road Trip
(Recommended by: My Travel Scrapbook)
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!
Switzerland Grand Tour
Val d’ Orcia Tuscany
(Recommended by: Not About the Miles)
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.
Lisbon to Porto
(Recommended by: Nomad Epicureans)
Alsace Wine Route
(Recommended by: A Pair of Passports)
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!
(Recommended by: The World Pursuit)
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.
(Recommended by: Safari Nomad)
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.
(Recommended by: This Travel Guide)
(Recommended by: Travels with Talek)
Causeway Coast (Northern Ireland)
(Recommended by: Live Less Ordinary)
No visit to Northern Ireland would be complete without a road trip along the Causeway Coast – a coastline well-known for its rugged landscapes, sandy beaches, and the iconic Giant’s Causeway. It is also relatively easy to reach from Belfast airports (roughly 1 hour) where the best entry would likely be the Dark Hedges, which is a famed filming location from the ‘Game of Thrones’ franchise.
This goes the same for many attractions along this roughly 2-hour long coastal route, including the cosy harbour of Port Ballintoy which features regularly as the setting for the “Iron Isles’. Then there are just scenic stops along the way, like the cliff-side ruins of ‘Dunluce Castle’, which look like they could be straight out of the fantasy franchise.
While the Causeway Coast is only around 50 miles in length, there are seemingly countless attractions along the way, to fill a day or two. Personally, I would also recommend an overnight stay at the halfway-ish point in Bushmills with a tour of the world-renowned Bushmills Whiskey distillery.
(Recommended by: Swedish Nomad)
“Driving around in Croatia is fantastic, and enough to keep you going for a couple of weeks. Renting a car is easy and cheap, and the roads are highly developed. The most scenic routes can be found along the Adriatic coast, all the way from the north to south Croatia. Indeed one of the best road trips in Europe.
If you have time and feel adventurous drive the whole coast for 2-3 weeks. Start with Rovinj and Pula, and continue towards Rijeka. If you want to make a detour in the north, I suggest Krk island and the famous cheese island – Pag.
If not, continue along the coast to Zadar and Sibenik. Make a detour and overnight here to visit the famous Krka National Park. After 1-3 days, continue to Trogir and Split. Here you need to choose if you want to visit the islands, or continue southwards to Makarska, Omis, and Dubrovnik.
You can also go for a daytrip or overnighter in Mostar, Bosnia & Hercegovinha, it’s just a few hours away from Makarska.
The best time to do a road trip along the Adriatic coast is either in May/June or September when the crowds are gone, but the weather is still nice. The prices are also cheaper then for accommodation and the best restaurants aren’t fully booked either.
If you travel on the main highway E71 and E65, it’s just 7.5 hours driving from Rovinj to Dubrovnik. So, in 2-3 weeks, you’ll have plenty of time to discover hidden gems and charming villages along the Adriatic Coast.
Jurassic Coast Road Trip, England
The Jurassic Coast in England is a world heritage site consists of a variety towns and sites along the South Coast of England. Starting from Bournemouth you will drive 95 miles all the way to Exmouth along the coast, or vice versa.
The reason this area is called the Jurassic Coast is because coastal erosion has exposed rock formations from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceoous periods. You can find plenty of fossils here thanks to the abundance of fossil shops or you can even dig up your own!
The official route takes you from Exmouth to Sidmouth, Beer, Seaton, Charmouth, Lyme Regis, Golden Cap, West Bay, Abbotsbury, Chesil Beach, Portland, Weymouth, Dorchester, Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, Kimmeridge, Swanage and Old Harry Rocks. You can either visit the main highlights (Lyme Regis, Durdle Door, Lulworth Cover and Old Harry Rocks) all in one day.
Though, I recommend you take your time and enjoy the scenery. There are plenty cute English bed and breakfast stays to rest your head and adorable cafes to enjoy a tea and scones.
Horgabost Beach, Isle of Harris
(Recommended by: From Real People)
The Outer Hebrides are a chain of islands in North West Scotland. They run from the Isle of Barra in the South right up to the Isle of Lewis in the North. The total distance is around 150 miles (240 km) from Castlebay on Barra up to Stornoway on Lewis. To get to Barra and the start point you have to take the Caledonian Macbraynes ferry from Oban, which is around an hour North of Glasgow.
After enjoying the stunning beaches and scenery of Barra, take the next ferry to the island of Eriskay. From there you can take the causeway to South Uist and the quaint village of Lochboisdale. The landscape becomes more rugged as you head North towards Benbecula and into South Uist.
Having taken the causeway to Berneray you then take the ferry to Leverburgh on the Isle of Harris. This is an island famous for its fabulous sandy beaches that look more like the Carribean than Scotland. Finally, you reach the connected Isle of Lewis famous for the ancient standing stones at Callanish and the lookout post at Carloway Broch.
Finally, get back to the town of Stornoway and take the ferry back to Ullapool. To do it justice and see all the sights along the route, you should really allow at least a week. The route is available from Cal Mac ferries as a hopscotch ticket, but you should book the ferries well in advance.
Ring of Kerry
(Recommended by: Two Traveling Texans)
The Ring of Kerry is a scenic circular 111-mile drive in Southwest Ireland. Start your road trip in the small town of Killarney. Take it slow, the roads are narrow in places and you will want to make stops along the way. Some of the attractions on the Ring of Kerry are the Gap of Dunloe, Valentia Island, the Kerry Cliffs, and Killarney National Park. It’s also worth exploring some of the cute towns you will pass through on the way including Waterville, Sneem, and Kenmare.
You will want to allocate some time to visit Killarney National Park, where you will find the lovely Muckross House, the ruins of Ross Castle and Muckross Abbey, and the Torc waterfall. Another great detour is Skellig Michael, an island that was featured in Star Wars. You will need to book ahead and hope the tide and weather cooperate. If you are able to go, you can climb the 600 steps to visit the abandoned monastery.
England, Sussex Coastal Road
(Recommended by: Sussex Bloggers)
Starting in Rye, one of the prettiest towns in England, Sussex coastal road takes you by many lovely seaside towns including Hastings, Eastbourne, and Brighton. From here head inland to the historic village of Arundel and the Roman town of Chichester before heading back to the coast and the sweeping sand dunes of West Wittering beach.
This 150 kilometre route takes you by many famous not-to-be-missed landmarks including Eastbourne Pier, Beachy Head and the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters at the Birling Gap. At Friston there’s a wonderful view of the Cuckmere River as it meanders down to the sea through the Seven Sisters Country Park. Further along the coast at Brighton enjoy an ice cream and a stroll down the lovely Victorian pier. Next stop, Arundel, and a visit to the castle or perhaps you’d prefer to browse the many antique shops that fill its pretty cobbled streets.
The A27 then by passes Chichester but it’s another lovely town to stop at, with the remains of an old roman wall surrounding much of this cathedral city and an interesting shopping centre full of quirky independent stores, centred around the old market cross. From Chichester, it’s just a few miles to the end of this route at West Wittering. At the car park drive to the furthest point from the entrance and then walk north along the sand dunes for lovely views of Chichester Harbour and a dip in the sea when the weather permits.
Benidorm, Marbella and Seville
(Recommended by: The Globetrotter Guys)
Spain has something for everyone and one of the best road trips Europe can be planned whilst covering Benidorm, Marbella and Seville.
Benidorm is known for some cheap fun in the sun. You have the new (party) town and the old town which is quite underrated. If you spend time here, make sure you go and eat at Amigos Bistro. It’ll be one of your best meals on the entire trip – nobody would really expect this in Benidorm!
Moving on to Marbella, it is a 6-7 hour drive. It is recommended that you stop at the local towns along the way to refresh with a drink.
Once in Marbella, you will see that this is quite a young trendy place. It has its harbour with million dollar yachts and then also its beautiful old town where you can wander the cobbled streets and get some fresh orange juice from ‘The Orange Square’.
Next on the list is Seville. This is a beautiful city and gets the most sunny days in all of Europe. Here you should do some tours of the city, eat out at beautiful restaurants and take a flamenco lesson!
The entire road trip took 783km and 8 hours of driving. May to September is the best time overall.
Northern Italian Lakes
(Recommended by: Untold Morsels)
Southern Algarve, Portugal
One of the best things to do in Portugal is drive along the southern coast and hit all the best beaches in the Algarve. The Algarve Coast is an amazing combination of Mediterranean deep blue seas, tall limestone cliffs, and beautiful golden sand beaches. There are countless beaches along the coast you would need at least a week to get the most out of the trip.
A few of my favorite cities to stop in are Faro, Lagos, and Albufeira. While my favorite beaches to visit are Praia da Figueira, Praia do Zavial, and Praia da Marinha. However every beach is amazing and has something unique about it.
Personally we based ourselves at an Airbnb in Lagos and ventured out a road trip every day from there. It’s also possible to stay at different accommodations along the coast. The best part about this trip is it can be done anytime of year. Portugal has some of the best year-round weather in Europe!
If you love the idea of staying in an Airbnb, you’d definitely like these unique recommendations.