Jun
29

31 Bucket-List Worthy European Road Trips

American road trips are iconic in every sense, but European road trips are no less. The best part about road trips in Europe is that they allow easy cross border travel, meaning you can explore many countries in just one road trip.

Over the past few years, we have explored a great part of Europe by car and absolutely loved it. From astonishing coastlines to the breathtaking Alps to famous vineyards to charming villages – a Europe road trip has it all.

I get queries from readers asking how to explore Europe – train or car? And I answer – both! It’s good to have a mix of both. Isn’t it? We are greedy travelers and want the best of both worlds 🙂

We have enjoyed the scenic train journeys in Europe (like this scenic Oslo to Bergen train journey) as well as scenic road trips in Europe (one of our favorites is this road trip in Norway).

Europe has an excellent rail network and it makes complete sense to experience Europe by train. The best countries in Europe that you should experience by train are Switzerland, Italy, Spain, France, and Germany.

Road-tripping across Europe has its own perks – it gives freedom to stop anywhere and take off the beaten track to explore the charming countryside. Plus, it allows you to travel at your own pace. Also, It turns out to be cheaper than train travel! The best countries for road trips in Europe are Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Croatia, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Portugal…oh, forget it – It’s all 44 countries!

Epic European Road Trips

Since we are yet to tick all the epic European road trips off our list, we asked fellow travel bloggers about the best places to do a road trip in Europe according to them to fill in the gaps. And, here’s the result – we have the best Europe road trip ideas to inspire your next European road trip.

#1 Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria

Editor’s Pick

Start: Bruck an der Großglocknerstraße in Salzburg

End: Heiligenblut in Carinthia

Distance: 48 km

Duration: 2 to 3 hours

Best Time to Go: early May until late October

Best Stops: There are tons of information points, museums, expositions, themed playgrounds, and panoramic hikes that make great stop-offs.

Not to be Missed:

Edelweißspitze (Biker’s Point)

Where to Stay:

Where to Eat:

  • Restaurant Fuschertoerl
  • Gasthof Fuscherlacke Mankeiwirt
  • Alpincenter Glocknerhaus
  • Panoramarestaurant

Pro-Tip: Start early in the morning and check the weather forecast on the official website of Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse before planning a road trip.

Grossglockner High Alpine Road is one epic European road trip that should be on your list if you are a road trip junkie. A round-up of the best road trips in Europe is incomplete without mentioning the Grossglockner.

One of the highest alpine roads in Europe gives you an ultimate high as it climbs to 3,000 feet, whizzing around 36 challenging hairpin bends through the oldest national park in Europe, Hohe Tauren National Park, and treats you with the panoramic views over mighty Grossglockner mountain.

From pine-clad mountains, lush meadows, deep valleys, and dramatic rock cliffs to clear lakes, glaciers, and the highest peaks in Austria Alps – Grossglockner is one of the best places to visit in Austria.

You can check our epic 10-day Austria Itinerary that includes a road trip in Grossglockner for some inspiration.

grossglockner high alpine road austria

#2 Portugal Road Trip

Recommended by Stephanie Craig from History Fangirl

Start: Porto

End: Lisbon

Distance: 310 km

Duration: 10 Days

Best Time to Go: Spring and Autumn

Best Stops:

  • Douro Valley
  • Coimbra
  • Tomar
  • Fatima

Where to Stay:

Where to Eat: Local Portuguese restaurants

Pro-Tip: Load up on road trip snacks, as the only fast food option is McDonalds.

A road trip around Portugal, starting in the north and heading south, is a great way to be introduced to this marvelous country. Start a few days early and see Porto, the colorful and delicious port city (pun intended!)

From Porto, pick your car up and head inland to experience the marvels of the Douro Valley. This region is gorgeous to drive through, as you’ll see rolling hills covered in vineyards and high bridges connecting the different hilltops. Next head south, and see the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Batalha, Alcobaca, and Tomar. These three monasteries are fantastic examples of Portuguese Catholic monasteries.

If you’re interested in modern Catholicism in Portugal, check out the pilgrimage site of Fatima. Harry Potter fans should add a stop in Coimbra to see the university that inspired the robes in Harry Potter, as well as the fabulous university library.

Your last stop before Lisbon is a visit to Sintra to see the beautiful palaces here, including the world-famous Pena Palace. Once you get to Lisbon, drop your car off and enjoy the city. Set aside at least two days to see Portugal’s capital. Highlights include the neighborhoods of Belem and Rossio.

portugal road trip best european road trips
© Stephanie Craig

#3 Mainland Greece – from North to South

Recommended by Melissa Douglas from High Heels and a Backpack

Start: Thessaloniki

End: Athens

Distance: 501 km

Duration: 10-14 days – flexible depending on your preference 

Best Time to Go: Autumn (September and October)

Best Stops:

  • Vergina
  • Mount Olympus
  • The Meteora Monasteries
  • Trikala
  • Karpenisi
  • Delphi

Where to Stay

Where to Eat

  • ΜαÎčτρ & ÎœÎ±ÏÎłÎ±ÏÎŻÏ„Î± is one of the best restaurants in Thessaloniki. They serve high-quality Mediterranean food paired with local wines. The menu changes seasonally
  • Extravaganza is another great Thessaloniki restaurant that is known for blending strange ingredients together.
  • Taverna Mesostrati in Karpenisi serves foods that are native to the Evritania region of Central Greece
  • Karamanlidika in Athens serves wonderful charcuterie boards where cold cuts and cheeses are paired with wines and sauces. 

Pro-Tips

  • Be sure to carry some cash with you at all times. You will pass through several toll booths along the road from Thessaloniki to Athens. The total overall cost of tolls for the entire trip will be around 50 euros.
  • Try to reserve your rental car before arriving in Greece, especially if you are traveling during the summer months
  • It is possible to do this journey in reverse and travel from Athens to Thessaloniki 

One of the most rewarding road trips that you can take in Southern Europe is to embark on a cross-country adventure through mainland Greece. Starting from Thessaloniki in the north, you will venture through some of the country’s least-explored regions and finish your journey in the Greek capital of Athens.

The great thing about this adventure?

It takes you to parts of Greece that most international tourists don’t even know about. Thessaloniki is Greece’s second-largest city. However, it has more of a laid-back small-town vibe about it. Spend a few days exploring the colorful Ottoman houses of Ano Poli, uncovering the city’s various archaeological ruins, and sipping iced coffee by the waterfront before continuing on to Vergina and Mount Olympus.

You only need to dedicate a day to explore Vergina. This place is a history buff’s dream and the area contains the remnants of the lost city of Aigai. This was once the first Kingdom of Macedonia. The underground Royal tombs are especially interesting and eerie.

In Greek mythology, Mount Olympus was the place where the 12 Olympian Gods would meet and discuss the fates of humans. This is also Greece’s tallest mountain and a wonderful place for hiking. Even if your physical fitness is not perfect, there are many short trails that lead to hidden waterfalls and natural springs.

From Mount Olympus, spend a day in the idyllic town of Trikala, before continuing on to Kalambaka and the Meteora monasteries. Meteora means “suspended in the air” – a perfect name for monasteries that are perched on cliffs hundreds of miles above the ground. From Kalambaka, head to Karpenisi.

Spend a few days here visiting the quaint stone villages and the clifftop monasteries before continuing south to Delphi – one of the earliest cities built in Ancient Greece. Finally, end your Greece road trip in the capital city of Athens. Here, you can follow in the footsteps of Plato and Socrates as you visit world-famous sites such as the Acropolis and the Roman Agora.

Karpenisi European road trips mainland Greece north to south
©  Melissa Douglas | Karpenisi

#4 Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Recommended by Emily Lush from Wander Lush

Start: Tivat

End: Herceg Novi

Distance: 55 km

Duration: 5-7 days (1 hour 10 mins total drive time)

Best Time to Go: Spring or fall

Best Stops:

  • Kotor
  • Budva
  • Sveti Stefan
  • Perast
  • Lovcen National Park

Where to Stay

Apartments Jovanovic (Perast)

Where to Eat

  • Konoba Skolji in Perast
  • Restaurant Galion in Kotor

Montenegro is one of the best places in the Balkans for a road trip – especially the iconic Bay of Kotor.

The country’s Adriatic coastline boasts natural harbors, sandy beaches, and a string of historic Venetian-built cities. The most famous is of course Kotor, with its enclosed UNESCO Old Town. Budget at least 2 full days for Kotor, leaving your car at your accommodation and exploring the cobbled streets by foot.

Smaller towns including Perast (known for its old churches and Venetian architecture), Sveti Stefan (with its private island), and Risan (home to some incredible Roman mosaics) are also worthy of your time. If you need a break from the coast, you can make a detour for the mountains that tower above the bay for some fresh air and a reprieve from the crowds.

Visit Lovcen National Park via the spectacular Kotor Serpentine, a winding mountain road that offers breathtaking views of the entire bay at every turn. One of the best things about road tripping around the Bay of Kotor is the short distances.

Even traveling at a slow pace, you can see the entire area and its many charming towns, monasteries, and vineyards in as little as 5 days. Avoid traveling during the peak summer period when cruise ships dock – the whole area is usually very busy.

European road trip Bay of Kotor Montenegro
© Emily Lush | Bay of Kotor

#5 Dalmatian Coast Road Trip

Start: Zagreb

End: Zagreb

Distance: 1281 km

Duration: 10 – 12 days

Best Time to Go: Spring or Fall

Best Stops:

  • Zagreb
  • Plitvice Lakes
  • Ć ibenik
  • PrimoĆĄten
  • Trogir
  • Split
  • Vis Island
  • Dubrovnik
  • Zadar

Where to Stay:

Where to Eat: Dine out at local restaurants to relish the Croatian cuisine.

Pro-Tip: Croatian cities are packed like sardines in a tin during summer months so better avoid that time. Plus, the weather is too hot and dry to explore.

Dalmatian Coast road trip is one hell of an eastern European road trip. On the shores of the shimmering Adriatic Sea in Croatia, Dalmatian Coast stretches from Zadar to Dubrovnik and is sprinkled with soaring limestone cliffs, stunning offshore islands, whimsical caves, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

On this iconic road trip through Croatia’s Dalmatian Coastline, you’ll explore some of the best places to visit in CroatiaZagreb, Ć ibenik, PrimoĆĄten, Trogir, Split, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Plitvice Lakes National Park, unique islands, and some amazing beaches of the Adriatic Coast.

This Europe road trip packs nature, history, and culture – all in the right doses. You start in the inland capital of Croatia – Zagreb, and drive-through the coastline, stopping by at little villages, towns, and natural wonders along the way. There are quite a few amazing islands you can visit from Split – Hvar, Brač, Ć olta, and Vis. You can take a 5 islands day tour from Split to explore most of them, though I’d recommend spending a day or two on an island to enjoy the Adriatic coast.

We stayed on Vis island for 2 days, and it turned out to be the most enthralling experience in Croatia. Visiting the Blue Cave in BiĆĄevo is once in a lifetime experience. Montenegro is just a day trip away from Dubrovnik and is worth adding an extra day or two to your Europe itinerary.

dubrovnik dalmatian coast road trip

#6 Faroe Islands

Recommended by Megan Starr from Meganstarr

Start: Vagar

End: Torshavn

Duration: 7-10 days

Best Time to Go: Spring, Summer

Best Stops:

  • Vagar
  • Torshavn
  • Island of Streymoy
  • Island of Kalsoy

One of the best road trips in Europe is most definitely the Faroe Islands, a group of 18 islands in the North Atlantic that offer some of the most stunning scenery in the world.  A fantastic thing about road-tripping around the Faroes is there is no starting point or endpoint- you can draw up your itinerary based on what suits you best.

My recommended road trip would start in Vagar, the island that is home to the international airport and Mulafossur Waterfall and Sorvagsvatn.  Once you leave Vagar, head to Torshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands, and a charming city of around 12,000 people on the island of Streymoy.  It is the best place to base yourself if you’re road-tripping the islands.  

The Faroe Islands was made for road trips as the tourism department even has marked roads across the islands for their viewpoints and scenic drives.  These are called Buttercup routes.  Plan your trip accordingly and you will be mesmerized by your findings!

A worthwhile road trip from Torshavn is the long and narrow island of Kalsoy, soon to be featured in the upcoming James Bond film.  This dramatic island is home to one of the most famous views in the Faroes, a hike to the Kallur Lighthouse in the village of TrĂžllanes.  If you’re looking for an epic road trip, be sure to head to the Faroe Islands.  

faroe islands road trip
© Megan Starr

#7 Lapland Road Trip

Recommended by Katalin from Our Life Our Travel

Start: Rovaniemi

End: Inari

Distance: About 350 km

Duration: 3 days (6 hours of driving time)

Best Time to Go:  Winter (January-March)

Best Stops:

  • Santa Claus Village
  • Luosto Amethyst Mine
  • PyhĂ€ Luosto National Park
  • KiilopÀÀ
  • Kakslauttanen
  • Inari

Where to Stay:

Where to Eat: Every bigger settlement has restaurants.

Pro-Tip: Watch out for reindeer on the way!

Lapland is magical in wintertime, and for those who want to see it in a nutshell without demanding winter hikes, a road trip is a perfect solution. You can easily add it to your Finland road trip as well.

We recommend you start your drive from Rovaniemi after you already visited the Santa Claus Village and met with Santa, reindeer, and huskies. On the first day, you drive from Rovaniemi to the east to the PyhĂ€ Luosto National Park, where you can walk between the snow-covered trees or even take a short hike to the top of the fell. Make sure you use the daylight hours for outdoor activities. 

The next day you can visit the Amethyst Mine in Luosto before heading to the north. If you want to see fantastic nature again, KiilopÀÀ is a must. In the evening, you sleep in the first glass igloos of Finland in Kakslauttanen.

On the third day of your trip, you drive to Inari near the huge frozen lake with the same name and indulge in the Sami culture. The Siida Museum is a must, and you can participate in every kind of winter programs, including reindeer sleds or northern light hunt in the evening.

finnish lapland road trip luosto best european road trips
© Katalin

#8 North Cost 500, Scotland

Recommended by Graham Grieve from My Voyage Scotland

Start: Inverness Castle

End: Inverness Castle

Distance: 516 miles (830 km)

Duration: 7-10 days

Best Time to Go: May-August

Best Stops:

  • Ullapool
  • Thurso
  • Applecross
  • Clachtoll
  • Achmelvie Beach
  • Cape Wrath
  • Smoo Cave
  • John O’Groats
  • Dunrobin Castle

Where to Stay:

Where to Eat: Most places offer traditional Scottish food and everywhere is excellent! One truly stands out though. Travelers should make a special point to visit the Seafood Shack in Ullapool for fresh (like caught that day fresh), local seafood.

Pro-Tips: The North Cost 500 road trip is very well documented. However, every guidebook misses out a very special sight – the Wailing Widow Waterfall. This waterfall flows from Loch Na Gainmhich and is easily missed. Travelers should look out for the mountain Quinag (it’s not hard to miss) when driving through Sutherland. When passing Quinaig, the car park is on the opposite side. To reach the waterfall, travelers need to follow the gorge to the end to find the waterfall.

The North Coast 500 features one of Europe’s last great frontiers taking in the virtually unspoiled landscape of Sutherland, the wild ruggedness of Wester Ross, and the imposing peaks of fair Torridon. This iconic road trip has been named as Scotland’s answer to America’s Route 66 and was voted the best road trip in the world by the Sunday Times Travel magazine’s VFM Awards 2018.

Driving North Cost 500 is a tranquil experience. There are long stretches of road that are unspoiled. However, it’s not all about the wilderness and nature. Quaint Scottish villages and towns make up most of the day tips. Ullapool is the heart of the northern Highlands.

There are plenty of things to do in Ullapool such as boat trips and nearby walks. The best thing to do in Ullapool,
however, is to spend time exploring the pubs and whiskey bars. Scotland is famous for Single Malt whiskey, with the famous Highland, Island and Speyside Whisky Distilleries all close at hand.

Thurso is also an excellent stopping point, perfect for a picnic and Achmelvich Beach is an amazing pit stop to break up the journey from Durness to Ullapool. Throughout the journey from Inverness to Ullapool, travelers are in the part of Scotland famous for seeing the Northern Lights. With very low light pollution, the aurora borealis can be seen regularly from September through to March, with the trade-off being longer nights and colder weather.

European road trips North coast 500 Scotland Achmelvich Beach
©  Graham Grieve | Achmelvich Beach

#9 Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

Recommended by Emer and Nils from Let’s Go Ireland

Start: Kinsale, County Cork

End: Malin Head, County Donegal

Distance: 2600 km (1600 miles)

Duration: Ideally 3 Weeks (minimum 2 weeks)

Best Time to Go: May – September

Best Stops:

  • Cliffs of Moher
  • The Burren
  • Mizen Head
  • Dingle Peninsula
  • Slieve League
  • Galway City
  • Kinsale

Where to Stay: Loop Head Lightkeeper’s Cottage 

Where to Eat: Bastion in Kinsale, County Cork

Pro-Tip: On some parts of the route, the roads are narrow so choose the size of your rental car wisely!

On the edge of Europe, where the west coast of Ireland meets the Atlantic Ocean, lies the Wild Atlantic Way driving route. At 2600 km (1600 miles), it is one of the longest coastal driving routes in the world and is packed with breathtaking sights and superb activities.

The route weaves its way through the epic scenery of headlands, cliffs, beaches, and charming towns. It is possible to either drive the route in a north-south or south-north direction, but by driving from south to north, you will be on the coastal side of the road, making it easier to take plenty of stunning photos (In Ireland you drive on the left.)

If you are tight on time, then select one of the six sections, such as the Northern Headlands Coast, Surf Coast, or Haven Coast, and explore the area in depth. If time allows, plan day trip excursions to the Skellig Islands (UNESCO World Heritage Site and Star Wars filming location) or the Aran Islands, where you will be immersed in the Irish language.

wild atlantic way ireland best european road trips
© FĂĄilte Ireland via Ireland’s Content Pool

#10 Snaefellsness Peninsula, Iceland 

Recommended by Lora Pope from Explore with Lora

Iceland is one of the best places in Europe to go on a road trip. While most people drive the ring road around the island, the Snaefellsness peninsula is a perfect alternative if you’re short on time.  It’s nicknamed “mini Iceland” because it has all of the natural attractions you can find throughout the rest of the country including waterfalls, black sand beaches, glaciers, and hot springs.

The start of the Snaefellsness Peninsula is about an hour outside of Reykavik. While the peninsula is just 90 km one-way and possible to drive in a day, there’s so much to see here that you could easily extend this road trip into two or three days.

Some highlights that you don’t want to miss while driving on the peninsula are the Landbrotalaug hot pools, little black church, SnĂŠfellsjökull glacier, and the famous Kirkjufell waterfall.

Iceland is notoriously expensive for eating out, so it’s a good idea to stock up on road trip snacks at the supermarket in Bogarnes before starting this road trip. The best time to go on this road trip is during the summer season (June to September) when Iceland has the nicest weather, although it’s never a guarantee there.

Snaefellsness Peninsula
© Lora Pope

#11 Atlantic Road, Norway

Recommended by Suzanne from Meandering Wild

Start: Trondheim

End: Molde

Distance: 286 km

Duration: 2 days (5 hours driving time)

Best Time to Go:  Year round but weather in winter makes driving difficult

Best Stops: The bridges are the highlight of the drive but the Romsdal Museum in Molde and the Shipbuilding Museum in Kristiansund are worth a visit. At the bridges, there are walkways and small beaches to explore.

Where to Stay:  The Hustadvika Guesthouse is just a short distance from the last of the bridges and has a hotel and family-friendly wooden chalets to stay in.

Where to Eat: This part of Norway has limited options for eating even in the summer months. It is recommended that you bring your own food and stay in self-catering accommodation.

Pro-Tip: Make sure you check the ferry times as these may alter the driving time and if you are traveling in the low seasons make sure you stock up with provisions.

The Atlantic Road is a short 8 km stretch of road that joins a number of islands south of Kristiansund in Norway.  The bridges are a work of engineering achievement and are stunning against the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.

The drive from Trondheim has everything from small churches to long tunnels that kids find great fun.  The bridges are massive and feel like a roller coaster ride. There are a number of parking places along the road so the bridges can be driven as many times as you want.

There are also small beaches for exploring and rock pooling.  This road trip combines stunning scenery with wild coastal weather and amazing bridges.

atlantic road norway best european road trips
© Suzanne

#12 Bergen to Oslo Road Trip

Start: Bergen

End: Oslo

Distance: 464 km

Duration: 2 to 3 days (7 hours driving time)

Best Time to Go: Spring (May and June) or Fall (September and October) or Summer (July and August)

Best Stops: There are 3 to 4 different routes and stops depends upon the route you choose to drive. Check out the routes and stops along the way in our guide to driving from Bergen to Oslo.

Where to Stay: It’s best to stay at off-beat and less touristy places to enjoy the rugged nature minus crowds.

Where to Eat: The options along the route are limited except for a few basic cafes and restaurants. It’s better to stock up on road trip snacks at one of the cheap supermarkets like REMA 1000 before starting the trip.

Pro-Tip: Don’t rush! Not everyday do you get a chance to drive such scenic roads.

It has to be one of the most beautiful drives in Europe. No matter whatever route you take, each one is more beautiful than the other. You can explore attractions on all the routes if you dedicate enough days between Bergen to Oslo drive. We based ourselves in Flam and explored all the routes and their highlights before taking the Hardangervidda route to Oslo. This route takes you through Hardangervidda National Park and features some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Norway – Steinsdalsfossen Waterfall and VĂžringsfossen Waterfall.

Most of the travelers follow the route E16 that passes through the towns of Gudvangen, Flam, and Borgund. This route gives you a chance to explore Norway’s most famous fjords – Sognefjord, NĂŠrĂžyfjord, and Aurlandsfjord.

The fairy-tale village of Undredal located in Aurlandsfjord is another out-of-this-world experience on this route.

Borgund Stave Church in LĂŠrdal, the best-preserved medieval stave church in Norway is well worth a stop.

bergen to oslo road trip a lovely turf roof house near geilo norway

#13 Southern Sweden Road Trip

Recommended by Madeline Robson from Madeline Rae Away

Start: Malmö, Sweden

End: Simrishamn, Sweden

Distance: 120 km

Duration: 5 days

Best Time: Summer (June-August)

Best Stops:

  • Old Town, Malmö
  • Falsterbo-Skanör Beach
  • Sandhammaren Beach (beautiful white sand beach in SkĂ„ne)
  • Österlenkryddor (lavender farm and local small-batch spice factory) – especially during the lavender season in June and July
  • Stenshuved National Park (coastal national park with beautiful hikes)
  • Kivik Musteri (a popular apple orchard)
  • Ale’s Stones (believed to be an ancient Viking shipwreck)

Where to Stay:

Where to Eat:

  • Dinner in Malmö: Swedish meatballs at Spoonery
  • Lunch/Dinner in Österlen: GrĂ€ndens mat in Ystad
  • For the best pastries in Österlen: Olof Viktors
  • Homemade pasta in Österlen: Pastafabriken
  • Icecream is Österlen: Award-winning lavender ice cream at Ă–sterlenkryddor

The southern SkĂ„ne, Sweden countryside is the perfect summer road trip destination if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path road trip. Surrounded by beautiful beaches, and littered with farm shops and fabulous restaurants, southern Sweden is a true hidden gem and easily one of the most charming places in Europe.

Start your trip off by spending a day in Malmö, and visit popular spots including the Old Town. The best way to see Malmö is by the water, so rent a boat (BookABoat) and enjoy a picnic on the water.

Next, head down to Falsterbo-Skanör to enjoy the beautiful beaches lined with colorful beach houses. From there, head out to SkĂ„ne’s most beautiful region, Österlen, and check into a B&B for a couple of days. From here, you can drive without a plan and visit some of the region’s many farms and antique shops.

If you’re looking for another beach day, you can’t miss the white sands of Sandhammaren Beach. Next, head to Simrishamn, another coastal beach town on the east of SkĂ„ne. This town is beautiful and provides the perfect home base to visit Stenshuvud National Park and Kivik Musteri. If you have some extra time, the beach in Simrishamn is beautiful and home to unique orange sand.

European road trips Southern Sweden road trip
© Madeline Robson

#14 A Road Trip through the Villages of Provence, France

Recommended by Supriya from Fun Travelog

Start: Marseille 

End: Avignon

Distance: 270 km

Duration: 5 hours + more for stops

Best Time to Go: Summer or fall

Best Stops:

  • Senanque Abbey
  • Lavender fields
  • Farmers markets
  • Small cafes and bakeries
  • Farm stands
  • Antique stores
  • Artisanal ice cream
  • MusĂ©e du Lavande (Lavender Museum)
  • Scenic drives

Where to Stay: There are several Bed & Breakfasts, Boutique Hotels in the villages

Pro-Tip: Some of the best villages to see include St. Remy, Gordes, Lourmarin, Roussilon, Aix-en-Provence      

Choosing a region to visit in Europe can often cause travelers a serious case of a dilemma as most of these regions get especially busy in summer. The southern region of Provence in France though has somewhat managed to preserve its charm and authenticity away from bustling cities.

In the summers, when the sun is shining and temperatures tend to rise, rows of lavender and sunflower fields provide a welcoming view to road trippers as they make their way from one small village to another. The region is also especially fertile, allowing local farmers to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables.

This has given birth to many farm-to-table restaurants, some of which are Michelin starred. No visit to the region would be complete without seeing the towns and villages, many of which are perched on low mountains. Most villages host their own farmer’s markets on different days of the week.

An entire week can be spent hopping from one farmer’s market to another. The markets sell everything from antiques, curios, local crafts, specialty cheese, food items, chocolates, to fresh produce. The flower fields, coupled with a delicious picnic spread from local markets and bakeries, and the appeal of historic villages in a fairytale setting makes Provence one of the most alluring road trip destinations in Europe. 

road trip through provence france best european road trips

#15 Western Corsica Road Trip, France

Recommended by Simon Falvo from Wild About Travel

Start: Ajaccio

End: Ajaccio

This circular road trip starts and ends in Ajaccio, which you can easily reach via ferry, driving your own car, RV, and flight. In case you rent a car, the advantage of a circular itinerary is that you won’t have to pay a surcharge for a different drop-off.

Distance: 450-500 km

Duration: 7 days (but you can make it in 4 or 5 days if you have limited time)

Best Time to Go: May to September

Best Stops:

  • SartĂšne
  • Corte
  • Restonica Valley
  • Calanches de Piana

Where to Stay: Since the distances are short, you don’t really need to move to another hotel every night. Good places to stay are SartĂšne, Corte, Porto, and Piana.

Where to Eat: Le 24 in Corte is well known for its traditional cuisine and excellent wine list. Restaurant A Pignata, in between SartĂšne and Zonza, is another good address to taste local dishes while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

During this Corsica road trip, you’ll discover some of the most beautiful places on the French island. You’ll be surprised by how much diversity you can find within a short distance: lovely towns, breathtaking landscapes, and ever-changing scenery.

In Corsica, a road trip is not about driving long distances, but taking the time to savor an island that offers something stunning every few kilometers.

Take your time and enjoy the winding roads where you’re likely to meet wild boars. Get ready for beautiful beaches, a dip in crystal clear creeks, jagged mountains, and charming towns. There are few places where you can have so many different experiences in such a small area. Once you make your first road trip in Corsica, you’ll want to get back!

western corsica road trip best european road trips

#16 Romantic Road, Germany | Romantische Straße

Recommended by Cosette from KarsTravels

Start: WĂŒrzburg

End: FĂŒssen

Distance: 385 km

Duration: It can be driven at once in about 4 hours, but better is to plan in 3 days or more. So that all the beauty along the way can be enjoyed.

Best Time to Go: In Summer the Romantic Road can be pretty crowded since it’s popular with Germans as well as tourists. In Winter most attractions and restaurants are closed. The best time for a visit is during Spring or Fall when crowds are less.

Where to Stay and Eat: Hotel Geiger in Hopfen am See is a family-friendly place to stay and eat. Other good places to stay would be in WĂŒrzburg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

Best Stops: The must-see attractions along the road are the well preserved medieval towns of Dinkelsbuhl, Augsburg (the oldest city of Germany), and Rothenburg ob der Tauber (the most gorgeous of all). The castles of Harburg, Hohenschwangau, and the cherry on top: Neuschwanstein (the Disney-castle).

The Romantic Road is also called the Fairytale Route for the feeling people get when driving through the medieval towns, seeing Neuschwanstein and the nature surrounding the road. The road is one of the most famous and oldest vacation routes in Germany. Having said that, you ought to have this Euro road trip on your list.

Romantic Road Romantische Straße Germany
© Cosette

#17 Upper Middle Rhine Valley, Germany

Recommended by Ruth Rieckehoff from Tanama Tales

Start: Frankfurt

End: Frankfurt

Distance: 300 km (185 miles)

Duration: 2-3 days, add days if there is a desire to explore Frankfurt, historic towns near Frankfurt, or the Moselle River region.

Best Time to Go: May to September

Best Stops:

  • Rudesheim
  • Marksburg
  • Koblenz
  • Bacharach
  • Mainz

Where to Stay:

Where to Eat:

  • Cafe Rosenberger (Rudesheim)
  • Liesers Bistro (Koblenz)
  • Pizzeria Schnuggel-Elsje (Boppard)

Pro-Tips: There are no bridges crossing this part of the Rhine River.  This is the reason why the itinerary explores one bank of the river and then the other one.  Several businesses close during the low season.

The Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002, extends for 65 km (40 miles) from Bingen to Koblenz.  This section of the Rhine River is known for its high concentration of castles, adorable villages, striking vistas, and cultural heritage.

It is recommended to make Rudesheim the first stop on a road trip around the area. On a walk around town, visitors can discover half-timbered structures, the Museum of Medieval Torture, and Siegfried’s Mechanical Museum.  Great views wait for those who ride the cable car, walk to the Niederwald Temple, or take a boat ride to Lorch.

The Loreley Promontory area and Sankt Goarshausen are rewarding stops before taking a guided tour of Marksburg, a medieval castle that was never destroyed.

In Koblenz, walking around the Old Town, stopping by the German Corner (the point where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers converge) and ascending to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress are good ways to spend the day.  When leaving the city, visiting the Stolzenfels Castle is an option.

The towns of the Boppard, Sankt Goar, and Bacharach are full of charming buildings, hiking trails, and restaurants serving regional food.

Before heading to Frankfurt, stop in Mainz to admire its pink cathedral and the Gutenberg Museum.

Braubach Upper Middle Rhine Valley Germany best european road trips
© Ruth Rieckehoff

#18 Great Dolomites Road, Italy

Recommended by Kathryn Bird from Wandering Bird

Start: Bolzano

End: Sella Pass (Ortisei)

Distance: approx. 80 km

Driving Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Duration: 5-6 hours

Best Time: Fall

Best Stops:

  • Lake Carezza (Karersee)
  • Karerpass (Passo di Costalunga)
  • Vigo di Fassa
  • Canazei
  • Sella Pass

If you’re looking for an epic road trip, look no further than the Dolomites in northern Italy. And if you’re going to drive in the Dolomites, you have to drive the Great Dolomites road

There are several variations of this route, so you can extend it as much as you wish, but if you’re short on time the quickest option is around 80 km and takes about 2 hours (not including stops. And you are going to want to stop!)
Start at Bolzano and head east, towards Lake Carezza.

We recommend getting here as early as possible- before the tour busses arrive in their millions. There are a cafe and facilities here, so it makes a great place for breakfast if you’re really early.

Then move on to the rest of the road. The views are breathtaking and there are plenty of lay-bys to take photos, enjoy the views, and later stop for a picnic if you bought one.

Eventually, you’ll turn onto Sella pass towards Ortisei (where the road ends)- and the views on Sella pass are even more spectacular- if that’s possible! I dare you not to say wow at least 100 times.

great dolomites road trip italy best european road trips
©  Kathryn Bird

#19 Amalfi Coast, Italy | Costiera Amalfitana

Recommended by Darek from Darekandgosia

Start: Punta Campanella

End: Vietri sul Mare

Distance: 60 km

Duration: 2 to 3 hours

Best Time to Go: Spring or early Autumn

Best Stops:

  • Sorrento
  • Positano
  • Praiano
  • Amalfi
  • Capri

Where to Stay: Grand Hotel Tritone

Where to Eat: Taverna Buonvicino

Pro-Tip: Leave early every day as parking is short!

A fragment of the Sorrento Peninsula called Amalfi is considered one of the most beautiful places in Europe and the route leading the entire length of the Amalfi Coast is the most picturesque in Italy.

When visiting the Amalfi Coast in Italy, you must know that just traveling on the roads of this amazing area will be a real attraction! Figuratively and literally it’s riding on the edge, lots of bends, narrow streets, and tiny bridges.

Still looking for the best roads to drive in Europe? The colorful towns of the Amalfi Coast, picturesque beaches hidden in small bays, and the famous Amalfitana, one of the most panoramic roads in Europe, mercilessly crowded in the season, almost empty and longing for visitors from autumn to spring.

It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a motorbike, smaller passenger car or motorhome. Amalfi Coast is a real gem that every driver should travel at least once in his life!

amalfi coast best european rod trips
© Darek

#20 Sicily, Italy

Recommended by Alexandrina Nikolova from Earthosea

Start: Catania

End: Agrigento

Distance: 300 km (4/5 hours of driving)

Duration: 3 days

Best Time to Go: March, April, September, and October

Best Stops: Valley of the Temples & Syracuse amphitheater

Where to Stay: Panoramica dei Templi B&B

Where to Eat: Al Cavalier Roxy in Catania

Pro-Tip: Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen. The weather in Sicily can be quite humid and extremely hot.

The road trip in Sicily will for sure take you back in time. It is going through one of the most prominent and well-preserved ancient Greek cities dating back to the 6th century BC. This for sure makes it one of the best European road trips!

The road trip starts in the Sicilian city, Catania, a charming city that sits at the foot of Mount Etna. Some of the highlights of the city are the Roman Theatre of Catania that dates back to the 3rd century BC, the Ursino Castle and the Cathedral of Saint Agatha, who is the protector of the city.

Next on your list should be the city of Syracuse. Located in the south part of Sicily, Syracuse is one of the most beautiful cities on the island of Sicily. It offers breathtaking views over the Mediterranean Sea and streets full of ancient ruins dating back to the 6th century BC.

Some of the landmarks that are worth the visit id the Neapolis Archaeological Park, which comprises of the Roman Amphitheater and the Teatro Greco, some of the oldest theaters that stood to this day. Then, head to the island of Ortigia to find the temple of Apollo and the fountain of Arethusa and learn more about the city’s history.

Finally, head to the city of Agrigento that is located in the southwest part of the island. It is overlooking the continent of Africa and is home to some of the most well-preserved Greek temples in the whole world. The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento is an incredible archaeological site housing some of the biggest and still standing Greek temples dating back to the 6th century BC. Along with that, there is a museum where one can educate himself more on the ancient world. 

Sicily Agrigento Italy best european road trips
© Alexandrina Nikolova

#21 Tuscan Road Trip

Recommended by Jessica from Jessica Pascoe

Start: You can start a road trip through Tuscany wherever you fancy, but we started in Florence.

End: Florence

Distance: 340 km roughly

Duration: 6 hours, spread across 9-10 days

Best Time to Go: September – still beautiful weather but the crowds have calmed down

Best Stops: Volpaia, numerous vineyards in Chianti, Volturi, Florence, Lucca, Siena, Pisa and don’t overlook the coast at Castiglioncello

Where to Stay: Hotel Locanda Dei Guelfi â€“ Localita Livernano, Radda for a beautiful vineyard stay, Villa Parisi Grand Hotel in Castiglioncello for old-fashioned elegance, and the charming CDH Hotel â€“ B&B Villa Anna in Lucca for a friendly, well-located option.

Where to Eat: 4Leoni, Florence, Ristorante La Perla Del Palazzo, Radda, Osteria Bernardo, Pisa (fantastic savory olive oil ice cream, and a welcome change from the touristy options near the tower), Ristorante Giglio, Lucca for Florentine T-bone steak.

Pro-Tip: Whilst driving in Tuscany is such an enjoyable experience, some of the cities have strict driving rules that can result in fines, so do your homework on where to park and enter the cities correctly.

There is nothing more iconic than driving through the Tuscan landscape, full of Cypress trees and winding roads, in a Fiat 500. Tuscany’s countryside is breathtakingly beautiful, offering scenic driving routes between historical, buzzing cities and quiet tiny villages.

A Tuscan road trip is also a gourmet dream; you’ll have the opportunity to sample arguably some of the best Italian cuisine and wine. One key highlight of this road trip includes the Tuscan capital city of Florence, where you can seek out some of the most famous masterpieces of the Renaissance. Make sure you visit Michelangelo’s David sculpture and visit the Duomo cathedral, before heading to 4Leoni to try a Florentine T-bone steak.

Other highlights include grabbing lunch at the tiny hamlet of Volpaia with its delicious Chianti and stunning vistas; exploring some of the lesser-known areas of Pisa including the experimental Osteria Bernado restaurant; the walled city of Lucca and the lesser-known coastal town of Castiglioncello, where you can enjoy fresh seafood and the ‘dolce vita’ along the rocky Tuscan coastline.

tuscany road trip italy
© Jessica

#22 A Ride with Sea Breezes in Istria – Trieste, Italy to Piran, Slovenia

Recommended by Kawamura from 8Framboyantjunkies8

Start: Trieste, Italy

End: Piran, Slovenia

Distance: 38 km

Duration: 40 minutes to 1 hour

Best Time to Go: Summer

Best Stops:

  • Piazza dell’unitĂ  d’italia in Trieste
  • Teatro Romano in Trieste
  • Piran’s beach area

Where to Stay: I strongly recommend Airbnb in Trieste to enjoy the life of locals.

Where to Eat: Trattoria Mala in Trieste

Pro-Tip: Adriatic is known for rocky beaches, not the sandy ones. If you want to get into the water, be careful of sharp rocks in order not to hurt your foot. 

The scenic ocean route from Trieste, Italy to Piran, Slovenia is one of the best road trips in Europe. No other European coastal areas offer such a unique cultural, sunny and unforgettable experience. This route of the northern Adriatic coast is in Capodistria, a historical region spread from Trieste to Pula in Croatia.

Trieste has a maritime flair with hospitable people and inviting streets. Don’t leave the city without visiting the Piazza dell’unitĂ  d’italia square facing the Adriatic. It’s a witness to Italy’s turbulent 19th century, especially around the times of Italian Reunification.

From the Piazza, walk eastwards to access the adjacent restaurant arcades. About a 1-hour drive away from Trieste, Piran is now a Slovenian territory but had been an Italian city until the early 20th century. You’ll find a trace of Italy all over Piran, such as multilingual signage in Italian and Slovenian and shady and narrow alleys that you might have seen in Trieste as well.

This time the must-see in Piran is its vast beach which is a perfect place for a family to dine and play in the crystal clear water. On a balmy day, y’all have the time of life there.

Piazza dell'unitĂ  d'italia Trieste Italy
© Kawamura 

#23 Zurich to Grindewald Road Trip

Recommended by Nisha Dalal from Nerdy Footsteps

Start: Zurich

End: Grindewald, but you can take a gondola ride all the way up to the First and then have a short hike to Bachalpsee

Distance: 137 km

Duration: 2 hours

Best Time to Go: May to September

Best Stops:

  • Lucerne
  • Lake Lucerne
  • Brienzerlake Interlaken
  • Grindewald old town

Where to Stay: Since it is a small road trip, you do not need any accommodation on the way.

Where to Eat: Lucerne is famous for its chĂŒgelipastete which is the Swiss puff pastry, stuffed with veal and mushrooms. Another alternative could be to eat at the restaurant on top of First, Grindelwald

Pro-Tip: Take a  layer with you, even if it is summer, it can colder on the mountain top.

The road trip from Zurich to Grindelwald shows the best of Switzerland, From pristine alpine lakes, swiss cows grazing freely in green meadows, alps, waterfalls, and traditional wooden Swiss houses.

Although the drive itself is just two hours one way, you can spend one whole day during this trip. You can stop by Lucerne to see the majestic chapel bridge from medieval times. The transport museum is perfect for kids and families.

You can stop by Interlaken and explore the beautiful lake by boat. You can also take a funicular to Harder Klum, the mountain peaking above Interlaken.

The drive from Interlaken to Grindewald is the best part of the trip. With every turn in the road, you will witness a pretty creek flowing or some waterfalls roaring down, making this the most memorable part of Switzerland.

After reaching Grindelwald, feel free to walk around the old town, all the way up to the gondola ride up to First mountain summit, and then hike to the most stunning alpine lake, Bachalpsee. Grindelwald, First, and Bachalpsee will be one of the best highlights of this road trip. There are many adventure sports in the area, from canyoning, white water rafting, paragliding, quad biking, and a lot more.  

Zurich to Grindewald Road Trip European Road Trips
© Nisha Dalal

#24 Road trip in Transylvania

Recommended by Corina Preda from Another Milestone

Start: Sibiu

End: Brasov

Distance: 500 km

Duration: 6 days

Best Time to Go: May or September

Best Stops:

  • Corvin castle
  • Turda salt mine
  • Viscri village

Where to Stay:

Where to Eat: Local restaurants

The classic tour of Transylvania includes the big cities of the region, some traditional villages, important natural attractions, and landscapes that will amaze your eyes. Six days are enough to explore it.

Start your trip in Sibiu with a long walk in the old town. The next day, go to Cluj Napoca, the largest city in Transylvania. On the way take a detour to visit Corvin Castle, a beautiful medieval jewel and stop also in Alba Iulia, the white citadel.

You can dedicate your third day to Cluj Napoca for its old town, modern restaurants, and a great botanical garden. If you like horror stories, just a few kilometers outside Cluj Napoca you can get lost in one of the most haunted places in the world: Hoia Baciu forest.

On the fourth day, it’s time to head towards Targu Mures and discover its less known attractions. On the way, you must stop in Turda to enjoy a salt mine like an amusement park, Turda salt mine. Your fifth day will take you to a UNESCO heritage site: Sighisoara citadel, where you can enjoy colorful buildings and narrow streets.

On your last day of the road trip, you can stop in Viscri, a traditional village connected with Charles, Prince of Wales. The main attraction in this village is the white fortified church. End your Transylvanian tour in Brasov, one of the most visited cities in Transylvania. 

European road trips Transylvania Brasov
© Corina Preda | Brasov

#25 Bratislava to High Tatras, Slovakia

Recommended by Slavka from On 2 Continents

Start: Bratislava

End: High Tetras

Distance: 350 km

Driving Time: 4 hours

Recommended Duration: 2 days

Best Time: May or September

Best Stops:

  • Trencin
  • Beckov Castle
  • Zilina
  • Besenova
  • Poprad
  • Vazec

The road trip from Bratislava to the High Tatras can be done under 4 hours but I recommend you reserve 2 days for this road trip. It’s only 350 km long but there are too many wonderful attractions along the way you must see.

As you leave Bratislava, drive along the highway A1 to Trencin. In Trencin, walk around the historic downtown and hike up the castle for a guided tour. The views are fantastic and castle legends intriguing. If you like castles and hiking, there is another gem nearby – Beckov Castle. The castle ruin sits on top of the hill and offers amazing views. 

Continue to the city of Zilina. Zilina is a busy place with lovely downtown and two castles nearby – the  Budatinsky Castle and the Lietava castle. You can stay overnight in Zilina.

From Zilina, drive to Besenova where you can stay in the thermal pool complex and aquapark. It’s a great facility that will be a favorite with kids.

Then continue east toward Poprad. As you reach the village of Vazec, stop there and visit the Vazec cave. From there you can already see the massive mountains of the High Tatras. The last stop is in Poprad which is the start point for mountain adventures.

bratislava to high tatras slovakia best european road trips

#26 Bilbao, Spain to Bordeaux, France

Recommended by Ruma Dey Baidya from The Holiday Story

Start: Bilbao

End: Bordeaux

Distance: approx. 334

Driving Time: 3 hours

Recommended Duration: 1 day

Best Time: May or September

Best Stops:

  • PaĂ­s Vasco
  • San Sebastian
  • Biarritz
  • Castets
  • Parentis-en-Born
  • Dune Du Pyla

Where to Stay: Palika Lodge or House La Poterie in Castets, France

Where to Eat:

  • Parte Vieja in San Sebastian for the best pintxos in the city
  • Mugaritz in Errenteria
  • Gipuzkoa

Bilbao to Bordeaux is one of the best road trips in Europe with amazing food and sightseeing. The road distance between them is 333.8 km which takes around 3-hour approx. Start at 9:00 am from Bilbao. Drive for 40 minutes to reach PaĂ­s Vasco ( Basque country).

Due to its location beside the coast, it is famous for its seafood and wine. Enjoy the magnificent views of the mountain, seas. Hiking could also be done in Guernica River. Stay here for 1 hour and leave for San Sebastian which is 1 hour away.

Visit the Paseo de la Concha in Concha Bay to have the view of the mountain, beaches from here. Don’t miss seeing the aquarium which impresses the visitors since 1928.

The next destination is Biarritz which is 50 minutes away, the best beach destination with Grande Plage, Plage du Miramar. Don’t miss the Biarritz Lighthouse which is on the coastline of the Cape Hainsart. 1 hour could easily spend here and then start for Castets. This place is beautiful where the visitors come to explore its charm. Church of St. Bartholomew and St. Roch of Castets are two famous places here.

Parentis-en-Born or the oil town, the next destination which is popular for blueberry crops. Stay here for 30 minutes and start for Dune Du Pyla which takes around  1 hour. To see the tallest sand dune don’t miss this place. To reach Bordeaux from here it will take 5 minutes where it comes to the end of this road trip.

European road trips Bilbao to Bordeoaux Biarritz

#27 Andalucia Road Trip, Spain

Recommended by Chrysoula Manika from Travel Passionate

Start: Seville

End: Cordoba

Distance: approx. 334

Driving Time: 3 hours

Recommended Duration: 1 day

Best Time to Go: Spring

Best Stops:

  • Jerez de la Frontera
  • Cadiz
  • White Villages of Andalucia
  • Ronda
  • Granada

The region of Andalucia is one of the most beautiful in Spain which is why it makes such an incredible destination for a road trip. The rolling countryside, iconic architecture and the sheer range of rich, varied culture makes an Andalusian road trip perfect for all types of travelers.

Whether you want to discover the Moorish history of the area, take a foodie tour of the region’s best restaurants, or want to uncover the local way of life in unique destinations such as the ‘Pueblos Blancos’ in the hills of Andalucia, a road trip here will not disappoint!

The ideal Andalusian road trip starts in Seville, soaking up the city’s character and culture with visits to the Royal Alcazar, the Seville Cathedral, and much more before catching a flamenco show with a delicious drink in hand. From here you’ll move on to Jerez de la Frontera and Cadiz sipping sherry, exploring sites and museums, and catching a spectacular sunset on the coast.

You’ll then travel onwards to the White Villages of Andalucia as well as Ronda and Granada before rounding your trip off in Cordoba.

There really is so much to see and do on this road trip through Andalucia that you’ll be wishing you bought more postcards to write home about it all!

White Villages of Andalucia European Road Trips
Frigiliana – Stunning White Village of Andalucia

#28 Puglia, Southern Italy

Recommended by Maria & Katerina from It’s All Trip to Me

Start: Bari

End: Bari

Distance: 828 km

Duration: 2 weeks

Best Time: May, June, and September

Best Stops:

  • Bari Old Town
  • Polignano a Mare
  • Monopoli
  • Castellana Caves
  • Locorotondo
  • Alberobello
  • Martina Franca
  • Cisternino
  • Ostuni
  • Lecce
  • Greek-speaking towns of Salento
  • Otranto
  • Grotta della Poesia
  • Bauxite Lake
  • Punta Palascia Lighthouse
  • Ciolo Bridge
  • Santa Maria di Leuca
  • Gallipoli
  • Matera
  • Castel del Monte
  • Trani

Where to Stay:

Where to Eat:

  • Pizzeria Di Cossimo in Bari
  • Masseria Il Frantoio in Ostuni
  • Pizza & Co in Lecce
  • La Porta Antica in Sternatia
  • Al Covo Delle Chiacchiere in Trani

Pro-Tip:

Follow a circular route so as to save time.

A road trip across the stunning region of Puglia in Southern Italy is one of the best driving experiences you can enjoy in Europe. This laid-back region in Italy’s heel is one of the most authentic parts of the country.

With its gorgeous countryside, picturesque towns, and with a uniquely relaxed way of living, Puglia is the ideal destination for a road trip that will help you immerse yourself in the local culture in the best possible way. 
There are not many top-rated attractions in Puglia.

The best things to do there include wandering around the most gorgeous historic centers, enjoying the dolce vita among locals, and making the most of the stunning outdoors. This sun-kissed region in Italy’s South is ideal for long walks among century-old olive groves and vineyards, cycling in rural narrow streets, eating traditional food based on locally grown, top-quality products, and soaking in the sun in pristine beaches.

There’s no better way to feel the real vibes of Puglia than driving across its breathtaking scenery and visiting one quaint town after the other without being stressed over bus or train schedules. Puglia really does feel that it’s made for a road trip.

puglia road trip italy best european road trips
© Katerina Xirouchaki

#29 Galician Gems

Recommended by Inma from A World to Travel

Start: Coruña

End: Vigo

Distance: Around 200 km

Duration: 5 days

Best Time: If you don’t mind the rain, all year long. Temperatures usually aren’t that extreme

Best Stops:

  • Coruña
  • Ferrol
  • Santiago de Compostela
  • Pontevedra
  • Vigo

Where to Stay:

There are many hotels and hostels to choose from. The possibilities are endless and, unless there is a big event or the highest season, rooms are available.

Where to Eat:

In any of the restaurants, you find near the center of the recommended cities. Probably if you want to have lunch in the most central terrace, the menu is going to be pricier but a couple of streets away, you will be able to have a starter, main and dessert for less than 15€ as a rule of thumb.

Pro-Tip:

Except for Coruña and Vigo, the rest are really walkable so bring some comfy shoes and get ready to explore them on foot.

The most iconic thing to do in Galicia since the Middle Ages is to walk the Camino towards Santiago de Compostela. Other than that, check the following article if you are wondering what to see in Galicia beyond these highlights.

Santiago de Compostela Galicia road trip

#30 The New Forest Road Trip

Recommended by Josh and Lieze from Glitter Rebel

Start: Lyndhurst

End: Ringwood

Distance: 63 km

Duration: 1 day

Best Time to Go: June to September. June because there are loads of foals around and August and September as the Heather blooms turn the hills purple.

Best Stops:

  • Beaulieu
  • Sway Tower
  • Brockenhurst

Where to Stay:

Overnight stays are quite expensive in the Forest as it is a tourist hotspot. I would recommend The Mill if you are looking for medium-priced hotels within the area or the Crown Manor if you want to pamper yourself. You can also stay in Southampton and Bournemouth (I would recommend Bournemouth over Southampton) if you would like cheaper accommodation. If you travel with your dog, check out the dog-friendly hotels in the New Forest.

Where to Eat:

  • Albero in Brockenhurst for great pasta.
  • The Pig in Brockenhurst is a great gastropub
  • The King’s Head Inn in Lymington has great food and is dog-friendly
  • The Sunday Roast at The White Buck in Burley is really nice too

Pro-Tip:

  • Please don’t feed or touch the ponies. Also make sure you always take your litter with you as ponies, horses, and donkeys are known to eat the litter and get really sick. Don’t speed because horses can come from anywhere and don’t park on the verges as birds might be nesting there.
  • There are loads of amazing car parks to choose from. They are free and offer amazing opportunities to walk into the forest. If you are looking to have a picnic I would recommend going away from the road as it will be nicer.
  • I would recommend stopping off at Picket Post (Mc Donald’s close by for the kids) on your way back just to marvel at the view. You can go on a deer safari in Burley. If you want to do a multi-day road trip, you can take the ferry to the Isle of Wight from Lymington to go and explore the Isle of Wight.

The New Forest is known for its purple rolling hills, its beautiful free-roaming horses grazing on the lawns, and the many honey pot villages tucked away in its valleys. The amazing woodlands, culture, history, and the fact that The New Forest is close to some of the United Kingdom’s most beautiful beaches, makes it one of Britain’s favorite holiday spots.

When heading down to The New Forest you can marvel at the Sway Tower, a Victorian Folly that is the world’s tallest non-reinforced concrete structure. Drive down to Beaulieu – a picturesque little village by the lake housing Europe’s best and biggest car museum. And go for a walk at the Lymington Key.

There is so much to do and explore in The New Forest. It is one of the most unique ecosystems in the United Kingdom. Its history of witchcraft and the many intact historical villages make it a perfect road trip to undertake in the South of England – maybe even Europe!

If you are looking to experience the real British countryside – forget the boring Cotswolds! The New Forest is the place to be!

new forest road trip england best european road trips
© Josh and Lieze

#31 South Wales Road trip

Recommended by Paulina Vergent from Beeloved City

Start: Cardiff

End: Cardiff. This road trip is a loop. It will take you from Cardiff to Pembrokeshire Coastal National Park and the Brecon Beacons. You can end it in Cardiff if you choose to complete the loop or in the Brecon Beacons if you wish to stop a bit before.

Distance: 270 miles

Duration: Between 4 and 8 days depending on how much you want time you want to spend in each place.

Best Time to Go: May to September. Wales can get very rainy and cold so it’s always better to go in summer to maximize your chances of catching good and sunny weather.

Best Stops:

  • Pembrokeshire Coastal National Park
  • St Davids
  • Freshwater West Beach
  • Brecon Beacons National Park

Where to Stay:

If you want to make the best of the experience, you can opt for a campsite in the national parks. You will also find a lot of pretty Bed and Breakfasts along the way.

Where to Eat:

Pembrokeshire Coastal National Park is one of the best places in the UK to grab fish and chips. You can go to any local chippie and have a picnic on the beach. In the Beacons, you will get the most authentic food in local pubs!

Pro-Tip:

Even in summer, it will get quite cold in the evening. Make sure to take at least one warm jumper and a rain jacket. You will also walk quite a lot so comfortable shoes will be needed.

First thing first, you will want to visit Cardiff. The capital of Wales has plenty to offer. You can stroll around the city center and visit the Millenium Stadium. Once you hit the road, your first stop will be Pembrokeshire Coastal National Park. You can go to the beach, for a walk on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and finally visit St Davids, the smallest city in the UK.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, you will want to stop at Freshwater West Beach, it’s the only Harry Potter filming location in Wales!

Your next stop will be the Brecon Beacons National Park. This beautiful range of mountains is home to some of the best hikes in the UK. Pen-Y-Fan is a must-do but you can also visit the town of Brecon and some of the castles in the area.

brecon beacons southwales road trip
© Paulina Vergent
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