Europe Road Trip – 24 Incredible Routes

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The Best Road Trips in Europe

Europe is perfect for an epic road trip! From the rolling fields of Tuscany and the soaring mountains of the Sierra Nevada to the beaches of the South of France and the mighty Alps, you can find a European road trip route to suit your taste and travel style.

Whether you’re road tripping in Europe for a week, a month, or a year, our top eighteen best Europe road trip itinerary ideas will give you plenty of inspiration to get on the road.

We have lived on the road in Europe for four years, and in our Europe trip planner, we share our top routes and itineraries, ideas about what do to and see, and accommodation recommendations. If you’ve got wheels there’s a European road trip here for you!

Europe road trip

Europe Road Trip Planner

We have traveled every single one of these European roads in and on a variety of vehicles! Whether you ride a motorbike, drive Europe by car or you’re traveling in a motorhome or RV, you’ll find some of the best Europe road trip ideas here.

If you’re on a flying visit and or want a 3 month Europe road trip, we have the best Europe road trip itineraries for you. Our road trip planner Europe includes specific road trip routes, amazing hotel recommendations, and insider travel tips to help you plan a driving holiday in Europe.

RELATED POST: Why We Think These Are the Best Driving Roads in Europe

Are you planning to rent a car in Europe? As one of the largest car hire aggregator companies in the world, we recommend Rentalcars.com because they have massive purchasing power which enables them to secure the best rental prices, which benefits you when you’re planning a road trip through Europe.

For a real adventure, hire a motorhome or campervan in France. We recommend Auto Europe for their large range of fully equipped vehicles, competitive pricing, and great customer service. Use the Park4Night app to find overnight spots and campsites, and sleep on a high mountain pass, next to a beautiful lake, or in a wildflower meadow.

Europe Road Trip Map

Europe road trips map

Make sure you have travel insurance you can trust when visiting Europe. We recommend True Traveller for their 5-star TrustPilot reviews, variety of cover options, best activities cover as standard, great prices, and excellent service.

Austria

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Vienna to Innsbruck Road Trip

Vienna – Graz – Hallstatt – Salzburg – Zell am See – Mayrhofen – Innsbruck

  • 615km
  • 10-14 days
  • 9 hours
  • May-October

We recommend starting your two week Austrian road trip in Vienna and concluding the itinerary in Innsbruck.

As you leave Vienna, beautiful and quaint Austrian towns and villages will greet you as you travel south toward the foodie city of Graz, the next major stop on your Austrian itinerary. From here, it’s north to Hallstatt, a small, alpine village situated on the western shores of Hallstätter See, also known as Hallstatt Lake, that offers iconic views and outdoor experiences. 

Next up is Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We recommend leaving enough time in your itinerary to explore the Baroque architecture of the city and visit the Salzburg Fortress for stunning panoramic views. From Salzburg, head to Zell am See, a charming mountain town surrounded by the unforgettable mountain peaks of the Alps. 

Zell am See is the perfect spot from which to drive the spectacular Glossglockner high alpine pass, a mountain road that twists and bends itself along the Alps mountains, providing panoramic scenery and an unforgettable experience.

Your journey will continue on to Mayrhofen, a popular skiing destination known for its vibrant nightlife, unrivaled winter sports, and stunning alpine scenery. 

Finally, finish your Austria road trip in Innsbruck, the capital of the Tyrol region. This Austrian city is surrounded by breathtaking mountains and is home to several impressive landmarks. Innsbruck is the perfect place to end your road trip and reflect on the stunning beauty of Austria.

Highlights

  • Driving the gorgeous mountain roads, when you feel like you’re on top of the world!
  • Listening to Mozart in Salzburg, his birthplace and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Walking out 1,48 feet onto the Hallstatt World Heritage Skywalk for breathtaking views of the Hallstätter See.

Where to Stay

Vienna ⇒ Jaz in the City Vienna for its city center location, modern interior, and funky bar.

Salzburg ⇒ Altstadthotel Wolf-Dietrich for its old town setting, luxury spa, and fantastic breakfast.

Innsbruck ⇒ Hotel Grauer Bär for its perfect downtown location, light and stylish rooms, and excellent customer service.

snow capped mountains with wooden huts and green pastures in the foreground
Traditional Tyrolean cabins near Kitzbuhel

France

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Loire Valley Road Trip

Orleans – Blois – Tours – Angers – Nantes

  • 350km
  • 1 week
  • 6 hours
  • year-round

Centre-Val de Loire is a landlocked region, located to the southwest of the French capital Paris. As the name suggests this region is all about the magnificent river Loire. Just four to five hours from Calais to the capital of Orleans, and three from Paris, this region is a popular holiday region and makes an ideal destination for a road trip.

This is a real France bucket list trip. Fine historical cities and towns, many of which stand on the banks of the Loire, offer superb Renaissance religious buildings and architecture and of course, the fabulous and extravagant chateaux the region is best known for.

Follow this Loire Valley road trip between famous cities and marvel at the natural wonders, opulent architecture, charming towns, and breathtaking castles of one of France’s best-loved regions.

You’ll visit the many chateaux on the route, including the famous Chateau de Chambord and Chateau de Villandry, and explore the Loire’s historic towns, learning about French history, architecture, and culture and you go.

Discover Joan of Arc’s legacy in Orleans and take a ride on a giant machine elephant in Nantes as you take in the beautiful Loire landscape.

Highlights

  • Taking a vineyard tour to taste the delicious white wines, like Vouvray, Pouilly-Fume, and Sancerre, which are produced here.
  • Visiting the world-famous Chateau Chenonceau, the only castle on the Loire built by women.
  • Watching the iconic steampunk elephant strutt its stuff at Machines de L’Ile on the Ile de Nantes, an urban island in the Loire river.

Where to Stay

Orléans ⇒  Empreinte Hotel & Spa for its riverbank location, beautiful bathrooms, and private spa.

Tours ⇒ Château Belmont for its wonderful grounds, stylish bedrooms, and excellent restaurant.

Nantes ⇒ Okko Hotels Nantes Château for its city center location, cool decor, and private parking.

Fine French chateau with turretssurrounded by lush grass and foliage
Chateau of Chombard

Pyrenees Road Trip

Lourdes – Cauterets – Gavarnie – Arreau – Bagnares-de-Luchon

  • 1095km
  • 1 week
  • 3 hours
  • May-September

This is a Pyrenees road trip and hiking tour all in one. With four easy-to-moderate classic Hautes-Pyrenees hikes en route plus an extra in Spain just over the border and some of the most spectacular mountains on the map of Europe at your feet, this is an amazing route. 

One of our go-to happy places, get our detailed seven day Pyrenees hiking tour guide, including an interactive map of hikes and the suggested route.

Highlights

  • Taking a dip in the crystal clear waters of the beautiful Lac de Gaube on a hot summer’s day.
  • Braving the nail-biting drive up the Pic du Midi and the incredible views from the Col du Tourmalet.
  • Standing at the top of Pic de la Pahule with the entire Pyrenees mountain range at your feet.

Where to Stay

Lourdes ⇒ Villa L’Orante for its commanding views, beautiful bathrooms, and delicious homemade breakfasts.

Gavarnie ⇒ Hotel Le Taillon for its location, views, and hearty mountain food.

Bagnares-de-Luchon ⇒ Le Castel d’Alti for its elegant decor, heated jacuzzi and pool, and live music in the bar.

Pyrenees mountains in spring time
The stunning Cirque de Gavarnie in springtime

South of France Road Trip

Lyon – St Croix du Verdon – Aups – Cassis Aix-en-Provence – Bezier – Carcassonne – Toulouse

  • 1030km
  • 2-3 weeks
  • 15 hours
  • avoid July & August

A road trip in France is one of the best ways to see this beautiful country, and because France is so accessible, this is an easy 2 week Europe road trip from UK and the rest of Europe

Start in the foodie city of Lyon, a five hour drive south of Paris, before using the historic Route Napoleon to travel south. It’s one of the best drives in Europe, free and incredibly scenic.

Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is a gorgeous little town and worth a stop before you take a jaunt around the stunning Gorge du Verdon.

Try some wild swimming in the Lac de Sainte-Croix here before making your way to Aups for their authentic farmers market and Provencal vibe.

Stop at Cassis to explore the Calanques, huge gashes in the coastal cliffs, often only accessible by boat. Take a day trip out for a picnic and an idyllic afternoon of soaking up the sun and snorkeling.

Head north to the vibrant and pretty French city of Aix-en-Provence and spend an evening strolling through the charming squares and winding alleys of this elegant and cultured city.

Next up is the drive east across the hauntingly beautiful and off-the-beaten-track Camargue, before arriving at Bezier, famous for the nine locks of the Midi Canal.

Move on to Carcassonne, dipping into the Pyrenees en route to see the incredible Peyrepertuse Castle, before spending a few days marveling at La Cite, the Disneyesque medieval citadel of Carcassonne. 

The pink city of Toulouse is your last stop and what a road trip destination it is! Head into the old town for great food, live music, and a typically Occitan atmosphere of noise, heat, and fun. 

Highlights

  • Walking through the fragrant iconic lavender fields of Valensole in Provence (June is the best month).
  • Kayaking to hiffen beaches in the stunning Calanques National Park from Cassis.
  • Discovering the atmospheric UNESCO World Heritage site of the medieval citadel in Carcassonne.

Where to Stay

Lyon ⇒ Mob Hotel Lyon for stylish design, contemporary dining, and live DJ sets.

Aix-en-Provence ⇒ Le Pigonnet for its beautiful location and luxury with a touch of glamour.

Carcassonne ⇒ Hotel de la Cite for the Citadel location, traditional character, and spa.

Getty images - Colourful houses and yachts in front of pine covered hills
The colorful harbor of Cassis

Make sure you have travel insurance you can trust when visiting Europe. We recommend True Traveller for their 5-star TrustPilot reviews, variety of cover options, best activities cover as standard, great prices, and excellent service.

Germany

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The Fairy Tale Road

Frankfurt – Steinau – Marburg – Kassel – Gottingen – Hamelin – Bremen

  • 660km
  • 7 days
  • 10 hours
  • year-round

This central to north Germany road trip from Frankfurt does not technically start in the city, but Frankfurt is the perfect place to fly into and pick up a rental car. If you’re spending the night, make sure you visit the South Bank, where you’ll find an eclectic selection of restaurants, bars, and clubs.

The Fairy Tale route, or Deutsche Märchenstraße, offers travelers a series of charming towns, half-timbered buildings, castles, beautiful parks, and museums, most of which reference one fairy tale or another from the story collection of the Brothers Grimm.   

The starting town of Steinau an der Strasse is straight out of their fairy tales, complete with typical half-timbered houses, twisting cobbled alleys, and the turreted Schloss Steinau which overlooks the whole town. Visit the Brüder Grimm Haus and Museum Steinau, both of which showcase the works of the brothers.

Take the back roads to Marburg and enjoy the gorgeous landscapes and slower pace for a few hours. Marburg’s altstadt is full of medieval houses and the hilltop Landgrafenschloss, a dramatic castle holding exhibits on sacred art and local history.

From Marburg, head to Kassel, where the Brothers Grimm spent their teenage years whilst working as librarians for the King of Westphalia, Jerome Bonaparte, the younger brother of the infamous Napoléon. Make sure to visit the Brüder Grimm Museum, and the Schloss und Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, a tranquil green space and the largest hill park in all of Europe.

Gottingen is home to the University of Gottingen, where the Grimm Brothers once served as professors. Make for the traditional and atmospheric central market square, where the statue of Ganseliesel, the little goose girl of German lore, is one of the most kissed statues anywhere in the world. It is said that the kisser is rewarded with good luck, but maybe post-virus this practice will change!

Hameln (or Hamelin) is next up and one of the most famous fairy tale destinations in Europe. Hameln is the home of the Pied Piper, or Rattenfänger, who rid the town of rats in 1284, only to be cheated out of his payment.

The Pied Piper returned to Hameln a year later and lured away all the children. The story is re-enacted in the town center every Sunday between May and October and is a fantastic spectacle. The Weser Renaissance architecture of the Rattenfängerhaus and the Hochzeitshaus makes a fitting historic backdrop for the streets which are thronged with locals dressed the part, stalls selling food, and live music playing. 

Finally, on to the Hanseatic city of Bremen, your final stop. Good places to visit in Bremen include the traditional Marktplatz, which is located in the city’s charming altstadt, the 600-year-old Rathaus or town hall, the Roselius-Haus Museum, and the stunning St. Petri Dom, the 11th century gothic cathedral.

Another landmark can be found in the city’s central town square – a statue of the Bremen musicians and heroes of the Brothers Grimm story, ‘The Town Musicians of Bremen’.

Highlights

  • Watching the lively re-enactment of Hameln’s Pied Piper luring away visiting children.
  • Exploring the altstads of towns en-route, where half-timbered houses and cobbled streets are common.
  • Indulging in northern Germany’s hearty and tasty cuisine, like wurst, Germany’s delicious sausages, Bremer klaben, a yeasty cake of candied fruit and nuts, and kluten, a delicious dumpling.

Where to Stay

Frankfurt ⇒ Kempinski Hotel Frankfurt Gravenbruch for its proximity to the airport and city center, fantastic spa, and beautiful surroundings.

Marburg ⇒ The Vila Vita Rosenpark for its central location, excellent regional restaurant, and stylish bedrooms.

Bremen ⇒ Atlantic Grand Hotel for its perfect riverside location, bike rental from reception, and ultra-stylish bathrooms.

Tradtional German altstadt with colourful houses and a castle perched on a rocky crag
The historic town and castle of Marburg

Southern Germany Road Trip

Wurzburg – Rothenburg – Ludwigsburg – Burg Hohenzollern – Fussen – Oberammergau – Linderhof – Munich – Chiemsee

  • 790km
  • 10-14 days
  • 11 hours
  • year-round

This route follows parts of southern Germany’s famous Romantic Road and the Deutsche Alpenstrasse and has a good mix of Alpine views, historic schloss and castles, and typical Bavarian towns and villages.

As you head south, enjoy the views of the magnificent Alps ahead.

You could rush around in a week but we think ten to fourteen days gives you enough time to visit a few other places of interest when you’re all castled out!

Visiting in the summer will provide you with sunshine and clear skies but if you can do this route in winter, then you’ll be rewarded with some of the best Christmas markets in the world, fairytale snowy landscapes, and schloss decorated for the festive season.

More of a palace than a castle, the Wurzburg Residence is a huge Baroque palace. Beautiful inside, the real draw here is the gardens, laid out in a typically formal French style.

From here, head to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a fairytale Bavaria town packed with medieval architecture, half-timbered houses, and cobblestone streets.

Next up is Ludwigsburg Residential Palace one of the largest Baroque palaces in Germany. Its sumptuous interiors, with gold leaf and painted ceilings, are on a similar scale to Versaille, and the Palace Theatre is pretty impressive. 

Schloss Lichtenstein is a pretty little Neo-Gothic castle built in the romantic style. It may not have the scale of other castles but it’s charming and quirky, with amazing views.

Hohenzollern Castle does have the scale, along with grandeur, Rapunzel towers, and a long royal history. It’s one of the most magical castles to visit in Germany

Hohenzollern Palace (also known as Sigmaringen Castle) sits 50km to the southeast, can be seen on the horizon for miles around, and is a real hidden gem in Germany.

Our next stop is the daddy of German castles, Neuschwanstein. Just outside Fussen, in the village of Schwangau, Neuschwanstein is a truly stunning Cinderella-esque schloss built by the fascinating historical figure of King Ludwig II, who ruled Bavaria in the 19th century.

If you have time when visiting Neuschwanstein Castle, take a walk out to Marienbrucke bridge where you can take the perfect images of the castle, the earlier the better! This castle gets very busy every day through the year, so make sure you book tickets online before arriving.

Next up, take in Oberammergau, home of the famous once-in-a-decade Passion Play. There is also a fantastic public spa here, which may be just the thing after a few days of driving. The Germans know how to do a spa and this is one of the best we’ve visited.  

If you’ve time to spare, visit the Zugspitze, you’re only an hour away from Germany’s highest mountain in the northern Alps. This natural wonder is easy to summit, with the help of the cogwheel train and cable car; it is absolutely worth the detour, and the views are stunning. 

The next stop is Linderhof Palace, our favorite of the German schloss. This beautifully symmetrical and elegant palace is arguably King Ludwig’s finest creation. Check out the grottos in the landscaped grounds; they’re pretty special!

Finally, drive on to Munich for the Nymphenburg Palace, one of the premier royal palaces in Europe with magnificent interiors and gardens. Spend a day discovering Munich and if you’re road tripping in autumn, you could also take in Oktoberfest, Munich’s famous beer festival. 

Herrenchiemsee Palace is the last stop on this Bavaria road trip. Known as the ‘Bavarian Versaille’, this palace is in a beautiful location on Herreninsel, the largest island on the Chiemsee lake.

Highlights

  • Discovering the pretty medieval houses and architecture of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
  • Admiring King Ludwig’s before-their-time building innovations at his fairytale castles.
  • Taking fantastic images of Neuschwanstein from Marienbruck at dawn, when the light is perfect and you’ll have the bridge to yourself. 

Where to Stay

Rothenburg ob der Tauber ⇒ Hotel Reichs-Kuchenmeister for its altstadt location, traditional Bavarian decor, and fabulous breakfast!

Oberammergau ⇒ Mammhofer Suites for their family-run hospitality, central location, and kitchen access for self-catering.

Munich ⇒ Roomers Munich for stylish design, superb customer service, and an excellent restaurant.

fairytale castle in mountains of Bavaria
The incomparable Neuschwanstein Castle

Looking for the best SIM card deals in Europe for your trip? Check out our guide to the best data SIMs in Europe and get the best deal for your trip to France.

Greece

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Mainland Greece Road Trip

Athens – Delphi – Galaxidi – Nafpaktos – Parga – Meteora – Mount Olympus – Thessaloniki

  • 947km
  • 2 weeks
  • 13 hours
  • year-round

The beautiful landscape of mainland Greece is dotted with ancient Greek monuments and temples, UNESCO World Heritage sites, hot springs, roadside churches, lemon trees overhanging the roads, and traditional tavernas where you’ll be welcomed with open arms.

This trip hits all the big highlights of Greece, taking you from the modern yet historic capital city to the most charming coastal towns before exploring the mountainous interior, all on one road trip.

You’ll visit the most important archaeological site in Greece, Ancient Delphi, and be in awe of the gravity-defying monasteries in Meteora, before making your pilgrimage to the most mythical of all sites in Greece, Mount Olympus.

Highlights

  • Looking across the magnificent landscape of Meteora, to capture that once-in-a-lifetime iconic image.
  • Sipping a carafe of chilled Greek rose on the harbourside in Parga.
  • Taking the hike up to the Acropolis in Athens in the early morning, before the crowds arrive.

Where to Stay

Ancient Delphi ⇒ Fedriades Delphi Hotel, for its perfect location and fantastic Greek breakfast.

Parga ⇒ Villa Coralli apartments for its perfect location overlooking Krioneri Beach and 200m from the center of town.

Thessaloniki ⇒ Plaza Hotel in Ladadika, for its beachside location close to all the major attractions.

Turquoise sea by small Greek coastal town
The beautiful Greek town of Parg

Peloponnese Road Trip

Athens – Corinth – Kalavryta – Olympia – Kalamata – The Mani – Sparta – Nafplio – Mycenae – Athens

  • 818km
  • 2 weeks
  • 13 hours
  • year-round

This two week Peloponnese itinerary and road trip starts in the capital city of Athens. Spend a day or two in this incredible city, which is both ancient and edgy.

As you head west from Athens towards Ancient Corinth, you’ll cross the Corinth Canal, which splits the Corinth Isthmus, the narrow strip of land between mainland Greece and the Peloponnese, and joins the Aegean and Ionian Seas, it’s worth making a stop to see what was a major feat of engineering back in the day.

Home to the legendary Jason of the Argonauts, of Golden Fleece fame, Ancient Corinth was one of the largest and most important cities of Greece, with a population of 90,000 in 400 BCE. The Romans demolished Corinth in 146 BCE before building a new city in its place in 44 BCE, which became the provincial capital of Greece.

Next up, head to Kalavryta, known officially as the place where the Greek War of Independence started when Greece revolted against the Turks in 1821, and where 500 souls were massacred by the Nazis in World War Two. The latter event is depicted in the Museum of the Kalavryta Holocaust, a moving tribute to those residents and the story of the struggle between Greek partisans and the occupying forces.

The Diakofto-Kalavryta Railway is a vintage rack and pinion railway between the two towns. The route is incredibly scenic, passes through seven tunnels, and twists along the dramatic Vouraikos Gorge, clinging to its narrow ledge over the churning rapids below – make sure to fit this into your visit before moving on to Ancient Olympia.

The birthplace of the Olympic Games, Ancient Olympia is where the Games took place every four years, for over 1100 years! The Olympic Flame is still lit here for the modern Games. This beautiful, shady archaeological site is incredibly evocative – wandering through the ruins, it’s easy to imagine the ripped athletes and excited spectators of its heyday, amongst the magnificent temples and athletic facilities.

Our route has two options at this point – head inland for spectacular scenery and mountain passes, or take the coastal route around the middle peninsula of the Peloponnese through the wild and rugged Messinian Mani, with picture-perfect Kardamyli and the colorful harbor of pretty Gythio awaiting.

Your final stop is Nafplio, often called the most romantic city in Greece, and blessed with pretty streets, elegant neoclassical architecture, and interesting independent shops, bars, and tavernas.

Highlights

  • Hiking the incredible Vouraikos Gorge from Kalavryta to Diakofto, and admiring the limestone formations along the route.
  • Driving the 59km Langada Pass across the Taygetos Mountains from Kalamata to gory Sparta and the Byzantine capital of Mystras.
  • Walking along the Cave of the Lakes boardwalk to view the incredible rock formations and thirteen crystal clear subterranean pools formed by millennia of mineral deposits.

Where to Stay

Athens ⇒ The Athens Gate Hotel for its central location, Acropolis view, and stylish decor.

Kalamata ⇒ Messinian Icon Hotel & Suites for its spa and pools, sea views, and large, bright rooms.

Nafplio ⇒ Amymone and Adiandi for its perfect location, gorgeous decor, and homemade Greek breakfast.

Busy beach with sun shades and mountains behind
The pretty Greek town of Kardamyli

Don’t forget your road trip essentials! Our free road trip checklists help you remember everything, including road trip snacks, podcasts, and road trip songs for the journey!

Iceland

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The Golden Circle Road Trip

Reykjavik – Thingvellir National Park – Geysers of Haukadalur Valley – Gullfoss Waterfall – Reykjavik

  • 226km
  • 1 day
  • 4 hours
  • June-September

Close to Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik, the Golden Circle is easily the most touristy thing to do in the land of fire and ice, and traditionally the first stop on Iceland’s Ring Road, so it can get very busy, especially in peak season.

Start early if you can, and hop onto the Iceland ring road (route 1), which takes you first past the Reykjavik waterfront, and then out to the three stops on the Golden Circle. It’s a short drive away from Reykjavik, and should only take about 40 minutes to get to the first stop, Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Located right in Þingvellir (or Thingvellir) National Park, you can walk through the middle of the large area where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates have been splitting apart over the course of the centuries. This is one of the coolest things to do while you’re visiting the Golden Circle.

Don’t miss the other attractions in the national park where the Continental Divide is located. It’s home to Iceland’s first Parliament, where chieftains formed the first laws and court proceedings at what is known as the Lögberg, and has lots of trails and beautiful nature to explore if you have the time. You can even go snorkeling at Silfra, and see the divide in the tectonic plates underwater!

The next stop, about 60 kilometers from Þingvellir, is the two geysers at Haukadalur. These geysers are easy to visit because they erupt very regularly, so you’ll definitely see at least one eruption while you’re there. Strokkur is the larger of the two, but don’t get too close as the water really is boiling hot!

The last stop on the Golden Circle is the Gullfoss waterfall, just one of Iceland’s incredible waterfalls, of which there are 10,000!  The waterfall, located at the end of the Hvítá River, is absolutely gigantic and produces beautiful rainbows and light prisms from every angle.

There are viewing places galore here. A concrete path makes it easy to see the waterfall at various points, though there are clearly marked signs and ropes warning you where you should stop, as it can be very windy and slippery the closer you get to the edge.

After you’ve finished seeing Gullfoss, it’s about an hour and a half drive back to Reykjavik to complete the circle. There are add on’s which aren’t traditional Golden Circle stops, but you may want to take a lovely warm bath at the Blue Lagoon just outside the city, enjoy a slightly more natural thermal experience at the Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River, or head to the Kerid Crater if you’re in an off-road vehicle.

Highlights

 Spending an hour lounging in the Reykjadalur Hot Springs whilst taking in the incredible scenery.
Standing at the continental divide where Europe becomes North America, and being in awe of Iceland’s geology.
 Doing the Golden Circle in reverse and getting to Gullfoss before the crowds arrive.

Where to Stay

Reykjavik ⇒ Sand Hotel for its city center location and Icelandic character and design.

Iceland's Gullfoss waterfall in autumn
The majestic Gullfoss Waterfall

Ireland

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Wild Atlantic Way Road Trip

Co. Donegal – Co. Sligo – Co. Mayo – Co. Galway – Co. Clare – Co. Limerick – Co. Kerry – Co. Cork

  • 2600km
  • 2-3 weeks
  • 37 hours
  • June-September

From Co. Donegal to Co. Cork and passing through counties Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Limerick, and Kerry, the Wild Atlantic Way winds down the intricate coast of western Ireland and the edge of Europe.

Taking in the must-sees of Malin Head, the Killarney National Park, the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry, and the Dingle Peninsula, this is a truly epic Ireland road trip covering many of the Emerald Isle’s most beautiful spots.

This huge trip from the north to the south of Ireland is best done with time on your side. Three weeks is just about enough, four weeks or longer will give you time to explore more and perhaps participate in some activities along the way.  

If this is too long for you, then pick out one of the six regions that appeal the most and take a couple of weeks to cover that specific area. You can find out more about these from the official Wild Atlantic Way website.  

The Bay Coast stretches south from Erris to Galway Bay and takes in the wild beauty of Connemara, the incredible 365 islets of Clew Bay, pretty Georgian Westport, dramatic Downpatrick Head, and medieval Galway, our favorite city in Ireland.

There’s plenty of things to see and do in Ireland if you love wide open spaces, wilderness, and raw nature, one of the reasons we adore this bit of the Wild Atlantic Way.

A great alternative is to road trip from Dublin to Galway, traveling the southern half of the Wild Atlantic Way in a huge circle, and visiting Waterford, Dingle, and Cork on the way.

Dublin is a great place to start your road trip with an easily accessible international airport and lots of car rental choices.  

Highlights

  • Watching the rollers crashing from the savage beauty of Malin Head in Co. Donegal.
  • Tapping your foot, sipping a pint of Guinness, and enjoying a hooley (live traditional Irish folk music) in Galway.
  • Taking the steep and winding road to Dunquin Pier on the Dingle Peninsula for a memorable photo opportunity.

Where to Stay

Westport Co. Mayo ⇒ Knockeranny House Hotel and Spa for sublime Clew Bay views, Irish hospitality, and elegant dining.

Rossnowlagh Co. Donegal ⇒ The Sandhouse Hotel and Marina Spa for its stunning beachfront location, contemporary decor, and excellent spa.

Glengarriff Co. Cork ⇒ Eccles Hotel and Spa for its snug and traditional decor, a superb restaurant specializing in local seafood, and proximity to the pretty village and harbor.

grass topped cliffs in front of steel grey sea and cloudy sky
The breathtaking Cliffs of Moher

Italy

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Amalfi Coast Road Trip

Sorrento – Positano – Amalfi – Ravello – Salerno

  • 70km
  • 2-3 days
  • 2-3 hours
  • avoid July-August

The Amalfi Coast road, the SS163, is a 50km spectacular stretch of tarmac, hugging the cliffs and coves of the Tyrrhenian Sea, and is surely one of the best driving roads in Europe.  

Like the roads around Portofino and the Cinque Terre, this is a car route only and the road is permanently closed to motorhomes and RVs.

In a car or on a bike, it is best driven early in the morning in the months of April, May, October, and November due to the monstrously high amount of traffic in the peak months.

You can do the entire road in a day and stop in Ravello for lunch, but two or three days will give you longer to enjoy the glorious views and pretty towns en route.

Start from easily accessible Sorrento and head south across the peninsula until you get to the coast at San Pietro. Your first view of the glistening sea and this epic road are pretty special, prepare to be wowed.

Stop at Positano, the quintessential coast road town and the image on a thousand travel magazine covers. Take a wander through the maze of steep streets, pastel-painted stacked houses, and steps to find charming hotels and restaurants alongside chic independent boutiques. 

Next up is Amalfi itself. This hugely popular holiday resort is the largest town along the coast road. The pretty seafront, with its cafes and glamorous boutiques, gives this town a great vibe.

Head west on foot to Spiaggia del Fornillo from Amalfi, a long stretch of soft sandy beach perfect for an afternoon’s relaxing.

Ravello has to be one of the most romantic villages in Italy and is right up there on our list of favorite places in Europe. Perched high above the sea and overlooking immaculate terraced slopes full of vines, Ravello is home to lush Mediterranean planting and charming sun-dappled squares, and has to be one of the best spots in Southern Italy.

The 20km round-trip detour to Ravello from the main coast road is so worth taking. Visit Villa Rufolo, host to beautifully landscaped and dramatic gardens with superb sea views.

On to Salerno and the end of the Amalfi Coast road, or turn around and drive it again! 

Highlights

  • The glorious coastal views from the gardens of Villa Rufolo in Ravello.
  • Taking a Limoncello tour and tasting this delicious local liquor where it’s made.
  • Watching the fiery sun sink into the Tyrrhenian Sea at the end of a perfect day.

Where to Stay

Positano ⇒ Hotel Marincanto for its stunning cliff-hugging position, beautifully decorated rooms, and hands-on owners.

Ravello ⇒ Hotel Villa Maria for its romantic dining terrace, old-world Italian charm, and fabulous breakfasts.

Vietri sul Mare ⇒ Palazzo Suriano for its fragrance-filled terraced gardens, excellent homemade breakfasts on the terrace, and gorgeous decor.

the Amalfi coast road with a small town in front and the turquoise sea to the right
The gorgeous Amalfi coast road

Puglia Road Trip

Taranto – Gallipoli – Santa Maria di Leuca – Lecce – Ostuni – Alberobello – Bari

  • 465km
  • 7 days
  • 7 hours
  • year-round

Puglia, the heel of Italy’s boot, is a beautiful place for a 7 day road trip in Europe. With Trulli houses, a fabulous sandy coastline, and whitewashed villages, there is a lot to see and do here.

The abundance of fresh, local produce means you will eat and drink well on this road trip! We spent an amazing seven days exploring beautiful Puglia and fell in love with the region.

Highlights

  • Visiting the UNESCO Trulli houses at Alberobello for an other-world experience.
  • Discovering Gallipoli’s atmospheric, oh-so-Italian old town and castle.
  • Finding a salumeria (deli) and enjoy the local specialties over a lazy lunch.

Where to Stay

Gallipoli ⇒ Palazzo Presta for its fabulous old town location, eclectic design, and excellent service.

Lecce ⇒ La Fiermontina Urban Resort for its contemporary art and sculpture, outdoor pool set in an olive grove and gorgeous rooms.

Alberobello ⇒ Tipico Resort for its superb location, fabulous breakfast and for being a Trulli!

A large castle built jutting out into the sea
The impressive Castello di Gallipoli at sunset

Sicily Road Trip

Catania – Syracuse – Ragusa – Agrigento – Marsala – Palermo – Cefalu – Taormina

  • 840km
  • 2 weeks
  • 12 hours
  • year-round

A coastal road trip around Sicily can take a few weeks or a few months, there is so much to see. From ancient, immaculately preserved temples to modern and vibrant cities like Palermo, via jaw-dropping natural wonders, this rich and diverse island is a world away from anywhere you’ve ever been before. 

Read our detailed guide to road-tripping eclectic Sicily, which includes an itinerary along the island’s coastal ring road, and start planning your trip!

Highlights

  • Taking a hike above the clouds to the summit of Mount Etna and look deep into the rumbling magma below. 
  • Being awed by the ancient Valley of the Temples in Agrigento.
  • Wandering the charming historic back streets of Ortigia, the old town of Syracuse.

Where to Stay

Syracuse ⇒ Hotel Gutkowski for lovingly crafted and unique interiors, beachcomber chic, and a cool roof terrace.

Palermo ⇒ BB22 for its perfect piazza location, a cozy home-from-home feel, and palazzo style.

Taormina ⇒ Hotel Villa Ducale for spectacular views, a relaxed vibe, and legendary cocktails!

an Italian hilltop town with houses stacked together
The historic hilltop town of Ragusa

Tuscany & Umbria Road Trip

Pisa – Lucca – Florence – San Gimignano – Siena – Arezzo – Cortona – Pienza – Montepulciano – Assisi – Spoleto

  • 500km
  • 2 weeks
  • 7 hours
  • avoid August

Italy is a gorgeous country for a road trip, no area more so than Tuscany and Umbria, which are easily accessible by car from the UK and Europe. The rolling fields of vines and golden wheat, studded with tall cypress trees and creamy stone villas are iconic.

This is a truly epic journey packed full of culture, great food, wine, and fantastic roads. There is much to see and lots of interesting places to stop between the main route destinations, make sure to do your research before leaving home!

Pisa in northern Italy is a great place to start this road trip. The leaning tower is a bit cliched but has to be seen. Lucca is perfect to explore on foot, with narrow lanes opening onto charming piazzas lined with historic buildings.

Florence is the jewel in Tuscany’s crown. A surprisingly compact city with the imposing Duomo at the center, a must-see. Book well in advance for anything to do with the Duomo, it’s strictly ticketed and you won’t be able to buy a ticket on the day.

You’ll probably want at least two days in Florence to see everything at a manageable pace, although you can see Florence in a day if you plan well. Leaving Florence is the time to set your sat nav to ‘no autostrada’ and get off the beaten track in the Tuscan countryside …yes, it may take a little longer but it will be worth it!

San Gimignano, famous for its thirteen towers, sits high on a hill south of Florence. Between April and September, this thriving hill village is busy with tourists visiting the churches, palazzos, independent shops, and restaurants.

Onwards to Arezzo and then Cortona, one of the oldest and most scenic hill towns in Tuscany. Pienza is a delightful village and has perfect, interesting streets for wandering and admiring the 15th century architecture.

The drive through the Val d’Orcia from Pienza to Montepulciano on the SP146 is like driving through a film set! Sweeping curves, rolling vineyards, and photo opportunities at every bend; this is quintessential Tuscany.

From Montepulciano, follow the road around the tranquil Lake Trasimeno to Assisi, our favorite Umbrian destination. The imposing Basilica of St Francis can be seen hugging the hillside for miles around. Your last stop is the gorgeous hill town of Spoleto, stuffed with monuments, churches, and other historic buildings.

For us, this has got to be one of the best European road trips we have taken; for the fabulous ride (we did it on a motorbike, highly recommended!), the stunning landscapes, and the beautiful Italian hospitality.

Highlights

  • Taking the breathtaking drive through the Val d’Orcia to Montepulciano with photo opportunities galore and a glass of local red waiting for you!
  • Discovering Siena’s perfectly laid out, beautiful fan-shaped Piazza del Campo.
  • Climbing the dome of the Duomo in Florence for spectacular views, inside and out!

Where to Stay

Florence ⇒ AdAstra Suites for their stunning location, classy and interesting decor, and magnificent terrace.

Montepulciano ⇒ Palazzo Carletti for attention to detail, gorgeous frescoed interiors, and central location.

Assisi ⇒ Nun Assisi Relais and Spa – for its lavender-filled gardens, incredible Roman spa, and fabulous restaurant.

road lined with Italian Cypress trees winding through green fields with an orange sunset sky
The iconic Val d’Orcia

Norway

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West Coast of Norway Road Trip

Bergen – Loen – Geiranger – Trollstigen – Kristiansund – Trondheim – Jektvik – Bodo – Tromso

  • 2120km
  • 2-3 weeks
  • 30 hours
  • June-September

Taking in the iconic sights of Norway‘s west coast, this route will take you through tunnels, over fjords, along the Atlantic Ocean Road, and the infamous Trollstigen Mountain Road.

This is a route for those that love the journey more than the destination; it’s all about the road – even getting to Norway is a road trip in itself!

Start in beautiful Bergen, the city surrounded by seven fjords and seven hills. There are lots of things to do here, including visiting the lively Vagen harbor in Bergen’s old quarter, Bryggen.

From Bergen, take the E39 motorway north to Loen where you’ll find the awesome new Loen Skylift which takes you to the top of Mount Hoven for spectacular views of the white-blue Jostedalsbreen glacier.

If you prefer to get to the top under your own steam, then take the via Ferrata up and the zip-line down! Is sea-level activity more your thing? Then head for glacial Lake Lovatnet where you can swim and kayak.

At Hellesylt, you’ll take the ferry through Geirangerfjorden to Geiranger itself before picking up the RV63, the Trollstigen Mountain Road. Incredibly beautiful, this road was opened in 1936 and includes eleven hairpin bends and a 9% incline. Stop at the Ornesvingen viewing point for incredible vistas and again at the top to admire the Stigfossen waterfall.

Once you reach Andalsnes, head west and then drive north on the E39 to Vevang, and the start of the Atlantic Ocean Road, which runs across seven bridges and follows the islands between them like a silver ribbon. If you want to visit picture-perfect Alesund on the way, take a slight detour and head south on the E39 instead of north – if you have a few extra days, you won’t regret it!

Next up is Trondheim, Norway’s original capital city before you head to Jektvik. You can either take the E6 Arctic Highway all the way or around 80km north of Trondheim, and just after Steinkjer, pick up the FV17 and take in the glorious landscape and coastal views from the magnificent Kystriksveien Coastal Route.

This Atlantic road route will add a fair few kilometers, two days, and six fjord ferries to your journey, but the detour will be worth it if you have the time. You’ll cross into the Arctic Circle at 66 degrees, on the ferry between Kilborghavn and Jektvik.

At Bodo, you can get a ferry out to the Lofoten Islands if you are making this a longer trip. Perfect for hikers and nature lovers, Lofoten has become Norway’s go-to place for adventure – you can even swim with Orca whales here! 

Mount Romvik, outside Bodo and with minimal light pollution, is a good place to see the Northern Lights.

Otherwise, keep on trucking to Tromso, Norway’s party city. From here, you can head on to Nordkapp where the sun never drops below the horizon from mid-May to the end of July.

Hauntingly beautiful but incredibly busy, you may prefer the true northernmost point of continental Europe at Knivskjelodden, an 18km hike away and inaccessible to vehicles.

You could also take a ferry to Svalbard and visit the polar bears, catch the Hurtigruten ferry back to Bergen or Oslo, or get on a flight to pretty much anywhere in the world. Wherever you end up, it will take you a while to forget what is surely one of the best road trips in Europe.

Highlights

  • Driving the thrilling and impressive Trollstigen Road from Geiranger to Andalasnes
  • Crossing the Arctic Circle into the land of the midnight sun and Northern Lights.
  • Following the Kystriksveien Coastal Route and see the real coastal Norway of fishing villages and subsistence agriculture.

Where to Stay

Bergen ⇒ Det Hanseatiske Hotel for its harbourside location, dining options, and cozy decor.

Narvik ⇒ Narvik Mountain Lodge for its truly spectacular location, traditional log cabin style, and amazing coastal views.

Tromso ⇒ Scandic Ishavshotel for its harbor location, fabulous breakfasts, and excellent customer service.

red and green shed by the edge of lake surrounded by mountains
Glacial Lovatnet Lake near Stryn in Loen

Western Fjords Road Trip

Stavanger – Preikestolen – Kjeragbolten – Trolltunga – Flam – Bergen

  • 687km
  • 7-10 days
  • 14 hours
  • June-September

This is an outdoor enthusiasts’ adventurous road trip! If you’ve ever looked at those amazing images of people perched on tongues of rock, sheer cliffs, or precipitously balanced boulders whilst gazing out over stunning blue fjords, then this is the road trip for you. We did this Norway route by campervan, and it’s got to be one of our favorite travel experiences!

You’ll start in the pretty and typically Norwegian city of Stavanger before heading off to hike to Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) which is 4km and can be done in half a day with an early start.

Next up is the Kjeragbolten hike, the site of a giant boulder wedged in a crevasse 1084m above Lysefjorden, where you can also base jump. This is a longer hike at 10km and you will need a full day to complete it.

Both hikes can get busy and you may have to wait if you want the obligatory photo, so allow plenty of time. If you’re not a confident hiker, consider taking a guided hike, you’ll learn lots on the way.

Everywhere you drive in Norway, you are surrounded by mountains, fjords, and waterfalls. The scenery is simply spectacular, with new thrills around each bend in the road. Route 13 from Stavanger to Odda is known as the Ryfylke National Scenic Route, one of Norway’s eighteen official touring routes designated for their stunning scenery and tourist-friendly infrastructure.

As you drive through Norway you will motor through tunnels and need to get a ferry to cross a fjord. Allow several hours drive time longer than Google Maps suggests; this is a full day drive and you should start early.

Your next stop is Odda, for the infamous Trolltunga (literally Troll’s Tongue) one of the best hikes in the world. The most challenging of the three, this hike is 20km distance across mainly flat terrain but can be tricky underfoot with changeable weather. Hiking Trolltunga is not for the faint-hearted or unprepared but is an absolute must-do on your Norway road trip.

Take a few day’s downtime in Flam, a small village right at the top of the beautiful Aurlandsfjord. Surrounded by mountains, waterfalls, and water this is a playground for hikers, water sports enthusiasts, and mountain bikers.

From Flam, you can drive to Bergen or take the spectacular Flamsbana railway there, considered one of the most spectacular train rides in the world.

Highlights

  • Taking the incredible Flam Railway to Myrdal and cycle the Rallar Road.
  • Standing on the edge of the Troll’s Tongue with the world at your feet.
  • Discovering the imposing and dramatic Lysefjorden by boat.

Where to Stay

Stavanger ⇒ Sola Strand Hotel for the breathtaking beachfront location and a modern spa.

Odda ⇒ Vikinghaug Apartments for their amazing fjord views and the post-Trolltunga bath!

Flam ⇒ Flåmsbrygga Hotel for its superb central position, cozy traditional decor, and micro-brewery.

A small black clapboard church by a gree and white river
The picturesque Flåm Church by the Flåmselvi Moldåni river

Portugal

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Atlantic Coast Road Trip

Porto – Coimbra – Nazare – Sintra – Lisbon

  • 400km
  • 5-7 days
  • 6 hours
  • year-round

Portugal is a tiny country but it packs one hell of a punch. This Portugal road trip itinerary can be managed in five days, but seven gives you the opportunity to revel in the cities of Porto and Lisbon and enjoy a beach stop en route.  

You could easily drive from Lisbon to Porto as a 7 day road trip in Europe from UK if you fly into Porto and out of Lisbon, or vice versa. One-way car rental is possible from either airport.

Porto is a lively and fun city, intimate and friendly. There’s a lot to do in Porto but walking over the mighty Douro river on the iconic Luis I Bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia and the historic port lodges, has to be top of the list.

Head south from here to the less-traveled city of Coimbra, Portugal’s ancient capital. Stacked on the banks of the river Mondego, the Moorish old town is dramatic and atmospheric. This is a great place to stop at a bar for authentic live fado or Portuguese guitar music.

Halfway between Coimbra and Lisbon, take a short detour to Nazare on Portugal’s Silver Coast. Known for its monster waves and daredevil surfers, this is a great place if you like huge beaches and dramatic landscapes.

Heading south, Sintra, in the mountains of the same name, is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of place. Home to Portuguese royalty for centuries, the lush landscape is dotted with pastel-colored palaces, villas, and houses.

You can also take a day trip to Sintra from Lisbon if you’d prefer to base yourself in the city. Visit and decide for yourself!

Finally to wonderful Lisbon for picture-postcard panoramas and fabulous food!  This most Portuguese of cities serves up fantastic bacalhau, pastel de nana, and port from the Douro Valley. Head for the exotic Tropical Botanical Gardens and stroll amongst giant banana plants before visiting the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, a haven of peace amongst the bustling city.

If you want to stretch your week in Portugal, you’ll find the beautiful Algarve region just three hours south of Lisbon. This stunning part of Portugal is famous for its incredible beaches and perfect climate. Make for the charming town of Lagos and stay at Vivenda Miranda, a beautifully restored boutique hotel.

Highlights

  • Taking a port wine tour and tasting in one of Porto’s historic port wine lodges.
  • Heading to a fado bar to hear the traditional and haunting music of Portugal played live.
  • Tasting hundreds of delicious foods at the Mercado de Ribeira, Lisbon’s buzzy food hall.

Where to Stay

Porto ⇒ Flores Village Hotel and Spa for its central location, roof-top bar views, and stylish design.

Coimbra ⇒ Sapientia Boutique Hotel for the perfect location, stylish design, and warm hospitality.

Lisbon ⇒ Valverde Hotel for its gorgeous interiors, walkable location, and courtyard pool.

red roofed colourful houses and domed topped church in front of sea and cloudy sky
The red rooftops of Lisbon

Spain

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Andalucia Road Trip

Marbella – Ronda – Cadiz – Jerez de la Frontera – Seville – Cordoba – Granada

  • 600km
  • 7-10 days
  • 9 hours
  • avoid July-August

Andalucia epitomizes Spain for most visitors; vibrant, colorful, and passionate. This itinerary will take you to the major cities of Andalucia, bringing Spain alive.

If you’re looking for a longer holiday, it’s perfect for a 3 week European road trip itinerary with a bit of beach time thrown in, even if you visit in winter.

This is a perfect road trip to start and finish in Malaga. Fly in, hire a car, and within a few hours, you can be on the beaches of the Costa del Sol, enjoying year-round sunshine.

In Marbella, spend a day soaking up the sun and visiting the charming old town. Make for Taberna Casa Curro Marbella where you’ll find great tapas and fruity Spanish wine.

Head north to Ronda and the stunning mountains of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. If you have a few extra days, now is the time to visit the atmospheric cities of Cadiz and Jerez de la Frontera.

Your next stop is Seville, a city almost too good to be true, and everything you ever through Seville would be.

Cordoba is home to the breathtaking Mezquita, or mosque-cathedral, started by the Moors and finished by the Spanish conquistadors in the sixteenth century. Seeing this alone would make a visit to Cordoba worthwhile.

Pass through Antequera and learn the local legend of the Lovers Rock before making your way high into the Sierra Nevada to Granada and the famous Alhambra. Make sure you book your priority tickets online at least three months in advance, this ancient palace of kings sells out quickly.

Highlights

  • Visiting the beautiful La Casa del Rey Moro in Ronda for unrivaled views of the Puenta Nuevo.
  • Watching steamy live flamenco in Seville’s atmospheric Barrio Santa Cruz.
  • Being wowed by the incredible Moorish architecture of the Mezquita in Cordoba.

Where to Stay

Marbella ⇒ Amare Beach Hotel for its fun adults-only vibe and glamorous beach club. 

Seville ⇒ Casa del Poeta for the beautifully renovated interiors, Barrio Santa Cruz location, and roof-top views to die for.

Granada ⇒ Hotel Santa Isabel la Real for cozy rooms, spectacular Alhambra views, and a really special cooked breakfast.

creamy coloured palace with snow capped mountains behind
The Alhambra of Granada

Northern Spain Road Trip

San Sabastian – Bilbao – Comillas – Oviedo – Ribadeo – A Coruna – Santiago de Compostela

  • 775km
  • 7-10 days
  • 11 hours
  • April-October

This Spanish road trip will take you through the beautiful and lush, aptly named Green Spain, hugging the north coast along the Bay of Biscay.

From the border with France and through the regions of the Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias, and Galicia, you’ll see some of the most picturesque landscapes in Spain, enjoy amazing food, and crisscross the famous Camino de Santiago.

Start in San Sabastian, a sophisticated city with a renowned restaurant scene, famous for seafood and pintxos (pronounced pinchos), which are similar to tapas.

Take a gastronomic tour for the best experience. Eat your fill and head west to Bilbao, home of the incredible Guggenheim museum. The building itself is a work of art, with beautifully curved and sweeping architecture.

Head west, making sure to stop at the cave of El Castillo to see the 35,000-year-old drawings there.

Continue along the coast to the stunning Santillana del Mar, known as the town of the three lies; not holy (santi), flat (llana) or by the sea (del mar).

This medieval town is beautifully preserved and worth a wander before you make your way to Comillas, further along the coast. Traditionally low-rise, you’ll find a pretty beach, a tiny fishing port, and a charming cobbled old center here.

Don’t miss El Caprichio, a Gaudi-designed villa.  If you have a few extra days, head into the Picos de Europa, the small but perfectly formed mountain range.

Oviedo is the next stop and the starting point of the lesser-known Camino Primitivo (the oldest Camino). This compact and elegant city is another foodie delight, with a lively gastronomic scene.

Home to Spanish cider (who knew?), you’ll find traditional sidrerias along Calle Gascona, known as cider boulevard. Visit in September for Fiestas de San Mateo, a live theatre and music spectacular. If you go in October, you’ll be in the middle of the Asturias apple harvest.

A Coruna is up next, passing by the spectacular Playa de Las Catedrales en route. There is so much to do in A Coruna, a dynamic city that is home to a busy modern port, a relaxed beachfront resort, and an atmospheric old town.

The seafood here is some of the freshest and finest in Spain, with seafood tapas being a specialty. Take a walk out to the Tower of Hercules, the least-looking lighthouse we have ever seen!

Finally, you’ll reach Santiago de Compostela, the end point of the famous Camino de Santiago, and your last stop. As you enter the town, you’ll see pilgrims covering the final few miles into one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, proudly displaying their vieira, the scallop shell badge that you’ll have seen along your route. 

Twisting alleys, dramatic squares, and historic religious buildings make up this labyrinth of a city, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are too many must-sees to list so consider a walking tour with a local to make the most of the time you have in this gorgeous city.

Highlights

  • Eating delicious pintxos straight from the bar in the Basque Country. 
  • Walking along the boardwalks at Playa de Las Catedrales and marvel at the extraordinary natural arches.
  • Exploring the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela and make the climb to Las Cubiertas, the cathedral roof, for incredible views of the city and landscape beyond.

Where to Stay

San Sebastian ⇒ Lasala Plaza Hotel for a big dose of glamour, sea views, and a cool rooftop pool.

Oviedo ⇒ Barcelo Oviedo Cervantes for its laid-back vibe, modern decor, and smooth service.

Santiago de Compostela ⇒ Parador De Santiago de Compostela for its history, traditional decor, and HUGE breakfast buffet.

Large and ornate Roccoco cathedral in Spain
The imposing Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

Switzerland

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Road Trip to the Alps

Zurich – Bern – Lausanne – Geneva – Montreux – Nendaz – Zermatt – Interlaken – Lauterbrunnen – Grindelwald – Furka Pass – Lucerne – Zurich

  • 991km
  • 10-14 days
  • 17 hours
  • May-September

This two week Switzerland summer road trip will take you on a spectacular, circular drive through Switzerland’s iconic landscapes covering roughly 1000km south across western Switzerland to Geneva before heading east towards Zermatt and eventually back north to Zurich.

Starting in Zurich, your first stop will be Bern, found within the curves of the Aare river. Bern is the capital city of Switzerland and is known for its 12th century architecture that forms the old town or Alstadt. Your visit to Bern would be incomplete without exploring Lake Brienz, just north of the Alps, which offers breathtaking mountain views and is considered one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland.

After your trip to Bern, begin traveling south to Lausanne, Geneva, and Montreux, visiting Lac Léman en route. 

The following stretch of your trip will provide unrivaled views of Les Diablerets as you head towards Zermatt where you will be met with the iconic Matterhorn, a mountain in the Swiss Alps.

At this point, your road trip starts the route east taking you to Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, and Grindelwald where hiking, mountain views, waterfalls and plenty of exciting adventures await.

As you leave Grindelwald, make sure you save time for the Furka Pass as you head to Lucerne. Our Swiss road trip itinerary will continue north to our initial starting point, the city of Zurich.

Highlights

  • Driving the incredible Alps passes of Furka and Susten, high in the picturesque Bernese Highlands.
  • Taking one of the many cog-wheeled trains or cable cars into the big mountains that Switzerland is famous for.
  • Exploring the incredible Jungfraujoch from Lauterbrunnen, an absolutely epic day trip!

Where to Stay

Zurich ⇒ Placid Hotel Design & Lifestyle for its very cool interiors, accessible location, and free bikes to help you explore the city.

Geneva ⇒ Hotel Mon Repos for its excellent location, beautifully decorated rooms, and comfy beds.

Lauterbrunnen ⇒ Hotel Schützen Lauterbrunnen for its Swiss chalet style, cozy restaurant and terrace, and friendly service.

The incredible Furka pass
The incredible Furka Pass

United Kingdom

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Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland

Derry-Londonderry – Port Rush – Bushmills – Cushendun – Carrickfergus – Belfast

  • 185km
  • 5-7 days
  • 3 hours
  • May-September

The wild and unspoiled Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland is made for a road trip. Peppered with fascinating places to see and exciting things to do, this route will appeal to outdoor adventurers.

If you are a Game of Thrones fan, there are lots of places along this route which featured in the show or book a tour to find them all.

Start in the walled city of Derry-Londonderry, one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe and the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland. The walls, which are around 1.5km in circumference, form a walkway around the inner city and provide a unique promenade to view the layout of the original town.

From here head north on the coast road, past the magnificent and unmistakable mountain of Binevenagh, and stop at Benone beach for a bracing walk along the sands. Don’t miss the Mussenden Temple perched on the cliff edge at the easternmost point of the beach.

Make your way to the pretty seaside town of Port Rush for a local ice cream and local craft shopping before meandering along the coast to Bushmills, home of the whiskey distillery. This is the perfect starting point for the gloriously breathtaking Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland’s first UNESCO site.

As you head west, make sure to stop at the picture-perfect harbor of Ballintoy and test yourself at the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge.

Take in the conservation village of Cushendun, steeped in character and folklore before heading on to Carrickfergus Castle. This imposing Norman castle stands on the northern shore of Belfast Lough and is one of the best-preserved medieval structures on the island of Ireland.

Belfast is your final stop; don’t miss the fantastic Titanic Quarter, historic Crumlin Road Gaol, and the buzzing nightlife of the Cathedral Quarter. Check out this detailed post for more things to do in Belfast.

If you have longer, start in Belfast and head in the opposite direction. From Derry-Londonderry head across the border into raw and wild Co. Donegal and pick up the Wild Atlantic Way. This makes for a great island of Ireland 2 week road trip in Europe.

Highlights

  • Discovering the Giant’s Causeway, a truly spectacular natural wonder.
  • Crossing the iconic Peace Bridge in Derry-Londonderry and then walking the ancient city walls.
  • Taking a black cab mural tour in Belfast for a unique cabbie’s take on local politics and the troubles.

Where to Stay

Londonderry ⇒ Bishop’s Gate Hotel for its perfect location, fascinating history, and tasteful decor.

Bushmills ⇒ The Bushmills Inn Hotel for its homely peat fires, great Irish breakfast, and proximity to the Giant’s Causeway.

Belfast ⇒ Ten Square Hotel for its superb central location, fantastic grill restaurant, and contemporary decor.

narrow road running by sea with green hills on the other side
The coastal A2 Road in County Antrim

Norfolk Road Trip, England

Norwich – Wroxham – Winterton – Cromer – Hunstanton – Sandringham – King’s Lynn

  • Distance 175km
  • Duration 5-7 days
  • Drive Time 3 hours
  • year-round

This delightful coastal road trip will take you through the county of Norfolk to the Norfolk Broads, old-fashioned English seaside resorts, and onto the beautiful and unspoiled North Norfolk Coast.

Summer road trips in the UK are best if you want sunshine, but visit the UK in winter for more cost-effective travel and you’ll enjoy incredible beaches, big skies, and perfect solitude, especially when you road trip in Norfolk, England.

From the historic and pretty city of Norwich, head east towards Wroxham, the self-styled capital of the Broads. The dramatic landscapes and raw natural beauty of the Norfolk Broads were created when peat digs flooded in the 14th century.

This area is now a national park and a haven for wildlife and birds. Take a Broads cruise, hire a boat, or head off for a long walk along towpaths and through fields, where seeing flapping sails in the river is an everyday occurrence.

Nearby is the loud and bright town of Great Yarmouth, a traditional bucket and spade destination, with great nearby beaches and lots to do – you certainly won’t get bored here!

From the Broads, head east to explore the pretty towns and incredible beaches of the Norfolk coast. Winterton-on-Sea is a perfect place to see seal pups in the winter. Further north is the popular seaside town of Cromer, renowned for its lively pier.

From Cromer make a short detour south to the stunning Jacobean Blickling Hall, home of Anne Boleyn.

Continue along the coast road to Blakeney and practice your crabbing skills from the harbor. Make a stop at the beautiful and huge Holkham Beach, where the ending of ‘Shakespeare in Love’ was filmed.

Onwards from here to Hunstanton, another bucket and spade destination, which is close to the medieval and Hanseatic port town of King’s Lynn

From here it’s a short drive to Sandringham, home of the Queen. There are lots of things to do here, including visiting the house, gardens and country park.

If you have time, head to 12th century Castle Rising before making your way to the Hanseatic town of Kings Lynn. The town’s heritage is reflected in the fine merchants’ houses which stretch down to the river between cobbled lanes and the elegant Custom House that overlooks the harbor.

Highlights

  • Walking on Holkham Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in the country.
  • Traditional, delicious and fresh fish and chips from No 1 Cromer.
  • Discover the stunning historic estates of Blickling Hall and Holkham Hall.

Where to Stay

Norwich ⇒ The Georgian Townhouse for its informal vibe, lively bar and restaurant, and contemporary decor.

Thornham ⇒ The Lifeboat Inn for its romantic retreat-style location, open fires, and really seriously good pub grub.

King’s Lynn ⇒ Bank House for its prime location, Grade II exterior, and go-to, lively brasserie.

red and white stiped lighthouse in a field of ripe rapeseed
The iconic Happisburgh Lighthouse

North Coast 500 Road Trip, Scotland

Inverness – Wick – John o’Groats – Durness – Lochinver – Ullapool – Applecross

  • Distance 830km
  • Duration 2-3 weeks
  • Drive Time 12 hours
  • May-October

A favorite of motorhomers and campervanners, this iconic Scottish road trip is a 516 mile route that wends its way around the spectacular north coast of Scotland, starting and ending in Inverness. 

Passing through the remote and wild landscapes of the Scottish Highlands and the spectacular west coast, the North Coast 500 route delivers dramatic roads with spectacular views and is one of the must-do road trips in the United Kingdom.

Highlights

  • Hiking to beautiful Sandwood Bay Beach, for the incredible sight of the Am Buachaille sea stack, a remnant of when the Highlands and North America were connected, millions of years ago.
  • Whale watching from Gairloch, where you might also see porpoise, dolphins, and sharks, as well as seals, otters, puffins, and maybe white-tailed eagles. 
  • Driving Bealach na Ba, the legendary Applecross Pass, and one of the best (but also most dangerous) roads in the UK.

Where to Stay

Inverness ⇒ Kingsmills Hotel for its traditional Scottish decor, lively bar, and spa.

Wick ⇒ Mackays Hotel for its award-winning service, great restaurant, and ideal location.

Gairloch ⇒ Shieldaig Lodge Hotel for its wonderful lochside location, traditional hunting lodge style, and seriously good breakfast.

Scottish loch with a small bothy beside in in fall
Loch Ossian

Snowdonia to the Brecon Beacons, Wales

Snowdonia – Portmeirion – Barmouth – New Quay – Pembrokeshire – Gower Peninsula – Mumbles – Brecon Beacons

  • Distance 256km
  • Duration 5-7 days
  • Drive Time 7 hours
  • May-October

Small but perfectly formed, the glorious country of Wales is a road tripper’s dream. With soaring mountains and valleys, miles of golden sands, craggy headlands, and some incredible roads, head to Wales for an adventurous and eclectic road trip.

Start your road trip itinerary in the spectacular Snowdonia National Park, or Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri in Welsh, in north Wales for drama, huge skies, and plenty of outdoor adventures. Perfect as a base for a few days, Betws-y-Coed is a typical mountain town in a beautiful valley, full of companies offering outdoor adventures, shops selling outdoor gear, and pubs and restaurants full of hikers talking about the day’s activities.

Your next stop is Portmeirion, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful places in Wales. Portmeirion is best known for Portmeirion Pottery (now made in Stoke-on-Trent) and its role in the 1960’s cult TV show The Prisoner. Look beyond the obvious though and enjoy local walks, tropical gardens, and interesting architecture.

Families with love Barmouth and its location on the west coast has to be one of the most beautiful in Wales. Steeped in a history rich with connections to the shipping and slate industries, this is a good old-fashioned seaside resort with a west facing beach ideal for sea swimming and watersports. 

Head south through coastal mid-wales to the vibrant seaside town of New Quay, following the Coastal Way along the length of Ceredigion Bay. Popular with tourists for its picturesque harbor and sandy beach, New Quay is an ideal base for water sports like sailing, stand-up paddle, kayaking, and canoeing – you’ll find lots to pack in for a couple of days.

Next up is Pembrokeshire, famous for its rough cliffs, huge beaches, and remote islands. The coast of Pembrokeshire offers limitless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and is one of the most stunning places in the UK. 

Pembrokeshire boasts that it invented coasteering, and it’s an activity you must try. The sport of jumping from land to sea, cliff scrambling, and swimming between rocks will stretch you mentally and physically but give you hours of fun. There is also lots of opportunity for swimming, paddling and generally messing about on the water.

Your next stop is the spectacular Gower Peninsula in south Wales, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty famous for its breathtaking coastline, 30 or so unspoiled beaches and coves, and coastal walking, including the gorgeous Rhossili Beach and the dramatic Worm’s Head, whose long ridged back rises straight from the sea.

Stop at Mumbles, a traditional seaside town, and walk along the bustling prom, where rollerbladers weave between pedestrians, and ice-cream parlors tempt.

Make a detour to the infamous Top Gear road, the Black Mountain Pass, as you head into the Brecon Beacons, or Bannau Brycheiniog in Welsh, for more fantastic hiking, especially if you tackle Pen y Fan, and incredible views.

Highlights

  • Driving the Black Mountain Pass and the Gospel Pass through the Brecon Beacons.
  • Paddleboarding at the Blue Lagoon at Abereiddy in Pembrokeshire.
  • Visiting the puffins and wildlife of Skomer Island.

Where to Stay

Snowdonia ⇒ Ty Gwyn Hotel in Betws-y-Coed for its great location, friendly welcome, and traditional decor.

New Quay ⇒ Rooms @ The Dolau Inn for its location close to the beach, cozy rooms, and Welsh hospitality.

Pembrokeshire ⇒  Heywood Spa Hotel in Tenby for its luxury facilities, comfortable rooms, and great location.

brightly painted houses and a beach with small fishing boats
Colorful Tenby harbour in Pembrokeshire

European Road Trip Resources

Here are the websites and services we personally use and recommend for planning a European road trip.

  • Search for affordable flights to Europe with Skyscanner
  • Search for availability and book hotels and accommodation in Europe with Booking.com
  • Find and book the best campsites in Europe with Eurocampings
  • Book the cheapest and most reliable hire cars in Europe with Rentalcars.com
  • Best for ferries around Europe are Ferryhopper
  • Find and hire your perfect motorhome or campervan with Indie Campers
  • Get highly rated, reliable, and trustworthy travel insurance with True Traveller
  • Check if you need a visa and arrange your documents with Visagov

Information About Driving in Europe

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  • You must have at least three months remaining on your passport (issued in the past ten years) at your intended date of departure from Europe. If you’re traveling to Ireland, your passport must remain valid for the duration of your stay (UK citizens do not need a passport to visit Ireland, which is in the Common Travel Area).
  • You must have at least 3rd party insurance for your vehicle.
  • Citizens of non-EU third countries may require an International Driving Permit for driving in Europe. You can check whether you need an IDP here.
  • Most of Europe drives on the right, except the United Kingdom which drives on the left.
  • Most European countries, especially those with mountains, have rules about snow tires and snow chains. Make sure you check these rules if you’re taking a road trip to Europe in colder weather.
  • You may want to consider carrying an electronic toll pass for the duration of your European road trip itinerary. These devices deduct the toll fees from a credit card automatically, meaning you don’t have to stop at a booth or barrier.
  • Many cities across Europe have low emissions zones, which can be easy to stray into accidentally. The Urban Access Regulation in Europe website has information on a country and city-by-city basis, to help you plan your trip. They also share links for purchasing LEZ and ULEZ stickers online.
  • Make sure you’re aware of the specific rules for each European country that you intend to visit. Some have obscure rules about driving in flip-flops or eating road trip snacks at the wheel! You can find more information about the rules of the road and what to carry in your vehicle here.
  • Although it is strongly advised, you are not required to have breakdown cover. UK registered vehicles may be able to add this to an existing policy or take out a policy for the duration of the trip. If you’re hiring a car to road trip around Europe, make sure to check breakdown arrangements with the car rental company.

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