Most Scenic Road Trips in Europe | Travel Bucket List
In the Post-Pandemic World, Road Trips are going to be the trend and definitely going to take prominence over other kind of trips, specially in Europe. Not only does it give you more control of who you are getting in contact with, road trips give you plenty of freedom to experience any destination at your own pace.
Now that Europe has started to open its borders, it only makes sense to pick up your car, or rent one and go on an epic road trip. This post is a curation of 20 of the Most Scenic Road Trips in Europe, including road trips in the Scottish highlands, Western Fjords, Faroe Islands, along the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland, the Golden Circle in Iceland, among others, that have been recommended by travellers and road trippers themselves.
These European Road Trips have been listed on the basis of the total distance they cover, with the least distance of only 30 odd kms to as much as 2500 odd kms. That’s the beauty of road tripping in Europe. Some are short distances involving only a few hours drive, while other are spanning over a couple of days but cover a lot of amazing pit stops, while driving only few hours a day.
Just to warn you, it’s a long post, so if you are a bit short on time at the moment, make sure to Pin this post, and Bookmark it for a leisure and detailed read.
20 Best and Most Scenic Road Trips in Europe
The Alsace Road Trip | France
Distance: 30 kms / 19 miles
Duration: 5 Days
Starting point: Colmar
The Alsace is home to the best vineyards in France and fairytale-like Beauty and the Beast villages. Two perfect ingredients for one of the most scenic road trips in Europe! As this trip only covers about 30 kilometers, you could already explore the area in two days. But I’d recommend planning at least five to a week for your Alsace road trip.
Start your road trip in Colmar, one of the bigger cities in the area with charming timbered houses. Spend at least a day exploring town.
Head north to the village of Kaysersberg, located in a valley between the Voges mountains. One of the best photo spots in the picturesque town is the small bridge in the town center. Another highlight is walking around the vineyards and the old castle. The castle tower is still intact and you can climb up for splendid views.
Your next stop is small Riquewihr, a famous tourist magnet despite its size. Arrive early to avoid the crowds and walk around the cute streets with timbered houses, imagining yourself in either a Beauty and the Beast film set or the Middle Ages.
Continue your Alsace road trip to Ribeauvillé and spend at least a day to enjoy the old town and hike in the area. The town itself is charming and very picturesque with its traditional timbered houses, cobbled streets and flower baskets at every bridge and street lamp. One of the highlights though is a hike to the three castle ruins on the hill next to Ribeauvillé, offering beautiful views of the historic town and the surrounding vineyards.
Recommended by Maartje & Sebastiaan from The Orange Backpack
Wine Route | Germany
Distance: 85 kms / 53 miles
Duration: 1 Day
Starting point: Bockenheim
The wine route in Germany is one of the most beautiful road trips that one can take when traveling through Europe.
# It is the oldest tourist route in Germany.
# The route covers 53 miles (85km), and is nearly 100 years old.
# While it can easily be done in 1 day, it is best to spend 1 week on the route.
To get the most out of the wine route that showcases stunning scenery, amazing wines and countryside and some seriously wonderful cities to stay in along the way, it is best to spend at least a week exploring the route. The route begins in Bockenheim and ends in Schweigen-Rechtenbach, right on the French border.
Some of the things to see on the route include Neustadt’s half timbered houses as well as Hambach Castle, the castle in Wachenheim, the wine gate in Schweigen-Rechtenbach and Bad Durkheim. When taking this route in the spring, summer or fall, there will be dozens of festivals and events in the towns and villages along the wine route as the warmer months are a popular time for wine and other festivals. On the route, tourists will see plenty of vineyards and over 100 wine communities, many of which will have unique and local wines for non-locals to try.
The best part? Wines are cheap and plentiful, making the wine route one of the best road trips in Europe.
Recommended by Diana from Travels In Poland
Croatia to Montenegro Road Trip
Distance: 100 km / 62 miles
Duration: 2-3 hours
Starting point: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Destination: Kotor, Montenegro
There are lots of amazing road trips to take in Europe, from the highlands of Scotland to the scenic Peso da Regua in Portugal, but travellers should not miss out on a drive from Dubrovnik in Croatia down south to Kotor in Montenegro.
Dubrovnik is no stranger to many, being one of the filming locations of the worldwide hit Game of Thrones. It is here that you can set foot in a medieval walled city. Be sure to take the time to walk on its walls, and get amazing views out to the Adriatic Sea.
Starting off your road trip from here, it takes just under 2 hours to reach one of the best cities of Montenegro, Kotor. The overall driving distance is less than 100km, making for a smooth and pleasant drive.
The driving experience affords you multiple viewpoints, each unique on its own. This journey takes you along the coastline and passes through beautiful mountainscapes.
Less than 30 minutes into your drive, you will hit the border control where you enter Montenegro.
Tip: Ask a local about the best time to cross the border. As this is a popular day trip, traffic can build up quickly. Also make sure that your car rental company provides you with the ‘green card’, which is needed to enter Montenegro.
The typical route for this trip is to circumnavigate the Bay of Kotor and reach Kotor through the small town of Perast but go against the grain by hopping on to a vehicle ferry to cross the body of water instead. Kotor is an amazing destination that sits at the water’s edge. Enjoy the most stunning views of Bay of Kotor by climbing to a high point, and be sure to enjoy a fresh seafood dinner back in the Old Town.
Recommended by Shang from Zip Up And Go
Isle of Wight Coastal Road | England
Distance: 113 kms / 70 miles
Duration: Around 1 hour
Starting point: Chale
Europe is an amazing continent to explore by car. With so many amazing scenic roads it’s not easy to find the most beautiful one. If you are visiting London or the south of England, you have to drive to the Isle of Wight. It is home to one of the most spectacular roads in Europe.
The A3055, known as Military Road, is a 10 miles long road on the south-western part of the island. It only takes 20 minutes to drive from Chale to Freshwater, but it will take you much longer with a few stops for short walks. The Military road is part of the Isle of Wight coastal road – a 70 miles loop around the island.
With a few amazing beaches like Ryde beach and unusual places like visiting the Garlic Farm and the Needles, there is so much to see while driving around the Isle of Wight.
It is recommended to book 2-3 days for the whole trip (depending on where you start your journey from). Book a hotel in Yarmouth in the western part of the island or Ryde on the east coast.
Recommended by Darek from Darek and Gosia
Road Trip in the Faroe Islands
Distance: 120 kms / 75 miles
Duration: 3 – 5 Days
Starting point: Vagar Island
One of the best road trips to take in Europe is throughout the wondrous Faroe Islands. The Faroes are made up of 18 islands in between Iceland and Norway (north of Scotland) and the scenic opportunities will astound you.
A road trip throughout the Faroes is unlike anywhere else in that you will circle back and forth throughout the archipelago. There is even a ‘Buttercup’ road that is marked that showcases the highlights of the highway.
Before starting your road trip, you will want to be sure to have an account on Airbnb as that is the best way to find accommodation in villages in the Faroe Islands. There are many Airbnbs in the Faroe Islands that will offer you a diverse trip and a chance to stay in places that don’t have a hotel or alternative options.
It is best to start your road trip on Vagar island, home to Mulafossur and Sorvagsvatn (and the airport!). Depending on when you land, it is easiest just to grab a rental car and start exploring that island right away or you’ll have to pay a toll to cross back over.
From Vagar, head to the capital city of Torshavn where you will find many great places to stay. On the same island, you’ll have Fossa (the largest waterfall), Tjornuvik, Kirkjubour, Vestmanna, and Saksun, all worth exploring.
After a day or two on Streymoy, the best option is to head to Kalsoy island up north. This narrow island is only accessible by a ferry and you can drive from the port to Trollanes village, home of the Kallur Lighthouse. It is so remarkably beautiful that even the upcoming James Bond movie has scenes shot there!
When you’re done with Kalsoy, you can explore the northern islands of Kunoy, Vidoy, and Bordoy before heading to Eysturoy. On Eysturoy, you will find the most charming village in the Faroe Islands, Gjogv.
While this is the standard Faroe Islands road trip, there are many chances to deviate and create your own. The southern islands of Suduroy and Sandoy are fantastic off-the-path options. Nevertheless, a Faroe Islands road trip is outstanding and something everyone should experience!
Recommended by Megan C. Starr
Azores Road Trip | Portugal
Distance: 150 kms / 93 miles
Duration: 3 Days
Starting point: Ponta Delgada
The road trip in the Azores can be done on pretty much any island, but Sao Miguel offers a lot more to see than the rest. While on the road trip you will see lots of natural landmarks like lakes, hot springs, waterfalls, mesmerizing vistas and wild animals.
On the first day of your road trip, you can start by exploring the capital of the Azores – Ponta Delgada. It was one of the first cities inhabited on the islands, which makes it historically important. In particular, it is famous for its ancient buildings and fortresses, vast marinas and beautiful colourful streets. Then, in the early afternoon, you can head to the village of Sete Cidades. There you can climb to Boca do Inferno and enjoy a heavenly sunset of Lagoa Azul, Lagoa Verde and the Atlantic Ocean.
The next day you can continue your road trip to Lagoa do Fogo, or the Fire lake as the locals know it. It is set in the middle of the island just 20 minutes driving from the city of Lagoa. Lagoa do Fogo is the most beautiful lake on the islands but is usually covered in fog, thus it is best to check the forecast for the day before going there. After checking the beaches of Lagoa do Fogo you can head to the city of Villa Franca do Campo and climb up to its famous chapel – Our Lady of Peace. From there you can have the most incredible view over the islet of Vila Franca do Campo.
On the last day, continue to the city of Furnas known for its unique cuisine and hot geysers. There you can visit the lake of Furnas and it’s hot springs, where locals cook cozido – buckets of meat and veggies cooked in the hot ground. While in Furnas you can take a dip into the hot springs either at Terra Nostra or Dona Benija. Eventually, if you have some time left, head down to the Hot waterfall of Ribeira and explore Sao Miguel’s deepest tropical forests and the only hot waterfall!
If you plan to stay in Furnas some more, I would recommend checking Furnas Boutique Hotel which will make your wildest dreams come true!
Recommended by Alex from EarthOSea
Transfagarasan Highway | Romania
Distance: 160 km / 100 miles
Duration: 4-6 hours
Starting point: Bucharest
When in Romania, opt for travelling by road between Bucharest and Sibiu, since part of the route takes you on the Transfagarasan Highway, one of the most scenic roads in the world even dubbed so by Jeremy Clark of Top Gear.
It’s where a road crosses a major mountain pass to get through the Fagaras Mountain Range. You can expect plenty of hairpin turns winding like a large snake and revealing stunning views below. Small waterfalls and often streaks of snow accompany the serpentines, even in summer months.
On the highest point of the road, at the height of 2042 m, you’ll find a beautiful glacial lake called Balea. A chalet right by the lake provides accommodation too.
The whole distance between Bucharest and Sibiu takes 4 hours of driving time, but you’ll want to spend at least an hour taking breaks along the Transfagarasan Highway, which is open only from June till October. The 160km long distance can be traveled faster only when flying. Of the 160 km, 90 km is along the Transfagarasan Road.
Both Bucharest, the capital of Romania, and Sibiu, a cultural gem with Germanic influences, are well worth visiting. Spend at least two days in each city! I can recommend e.g. Continental Forum Hotel in Sibiu.
Recommended by Veronika Primm from Travel Geekery
Drive from Glasgow to Fort William | Scotland
Distance: 169 kms / 105 miles
Duration: 2-3 hours
Starting point: Glasgow
Destination: Fort William
The journey from Glasgow to Fort William boasts some of the Scottish Highlands most beautiful views and is the perfect road trip for nature lovers. While the drive only takes about 2.5 hours to cover the 105 miles between, it is worth taking longer to admire the sights along the way.
The drive from Glasgow to Fort Williams,not only is one of the most scenic road trips in Europe, but also makes for an amazing add on experience to this 7 Day Scotland Travel Itinerary.
The first stop is about 40 minutes outside Glasgow at Luss. A stroll down their beautiful pier will provide you with views of Loch Lomond and the Ben Lomond Mountain.
Continuing north on the A82 for another half hour to Inverarnan, the Drover’s Inn provides an excellent stop for lunch. This pub and hotel has been around for nearly 300 years and is supposedly home to several ghosts.
Just around the corner, the Falls of Falloch provide a short opportunity to walk off lunch and enjoy views of the 10m falls before continuing your journey.
Keep an eye out for the iconic Buachaille Etive Mor Mountain out your window as you pass through Glen Coe. There are numerous spots to pull over and take photos as you drive through the highland nature.
Just about 20 minutes from your final destination, you’ll reach Loch Linnhe, which provides scenic views across the water. Finally, you’ll reach Fort William, which is known as the gateway to Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest peak.
Nature is best experienced outdoors and Scotland allows wild camping, so bringing a tent and staying a night outside is highly recommended. If you’re expecting the classic Scottish rain or sleeping in the great outdoors isn’t your cup of tea, a glamping pod might be the perfect option for you – there are some near Loch Lomond, Glen Coe, and Loch Linnhe.
Recommended by Graham Grieve from My Voyage Scotland
Slovenia to Italy Road Trip
Distance: 195 km / 121 miles
Duration : 1 day
Starting point: Most na Soči, Slovenia
Destination: Laghi di Fusine, Italy
This road trip may easily become an adventure that lasts an entire day. The route is filled with stunning viewpoints, noteworthy stops, and jaw-dropping panoramas of the mountains.
The journey starts in Slovenia’s Most na Soči – a small and cozy town in Triglav National Park. From here, the route heads deeper into the mountains, and accompanying it for the first half of the mileage is the Soča river.
There are quite a few great stops worth making along the way: Tolmin Gorges with an easy and memorable hiking trail, Slap (waterfall) Kozak, and the highest waterfall in Slovenia, Boka.
A small town Bovec high in the mountains may be a good stop for lunch and some stretching. This town is also a gateway to many mountain activities, including canyoning, kayaking, hiking, and paragliding.
The second part of the road will be a bit more demanding as it runs through the Vrsič Pass. Built by the Russian POW, it is known for its 50 breathtaking hairpin turns. All of them are numbered. Hairpin #8 is famous for a lovely Russian Chapel. Hairpin #49 is the starting point of the great Triglav National Park hike to the top of the mountain.
Right after the pass, the route runs through Kranjska Gora, another lovely town perfect as the base for many adventures in the Triglav National Park, and finally leads to the stunning Laghi di Fusine in Tarvisio, Italy. These are two glacial lakes, Superiore and Inferiore, connected via an easy hiking trail and surrounded by the majestic mountain peaks.
Parking by the laghi is free, and next to the smaller lake, there is a cozy cafe Belvedere. From here, some other road trip suggestions are either back to Slovenia via the Mangart Saddle, or to Venice in Italy via route A23.
Recommended by Inessa and Natalie of Through a Travel Lens
The Golden Circle | Iceland
Distance: 305 kms / 190 miles
Duration: Day Trip
Starting point: Reykjavik
The Golden Circle in Iceland is the best day trip you can take from Reykjavik and one of the best sightseeing trips as well. This is an iconic Iceland itinerary and one of the most popular routes tourists take to experience the beauty of Iceland. The total distance covered is only 190 miles but believe me you will want to take a lot of stops along the way.
You can explore the Golden Circle in summer or winter and this popular driving route will take you through the southern portion of the island. On this route you will experience such iconic natural wonders of Iceland. You will go as far south as Selfoss and then you will head east all the way to Gullfoss before heading back west to Reykjavik with a few stops along the way.
- Gullfoss Waterfall,
- Geysir Geothermal Field,
- Thingvellir National Park
- See Icelandic Ponies
This is an easy drive and does not require a 4×4. Just remember to charge your camera the night before because there are so many photogenic stops along the Golden Circle.
Recommended by Nicole LaBarge
Causeway Coastal Route | Ireland
Distance: 322 kms / 200 miles
Duration: 2-3 days
Starting point: Belfast
Destination: Derry / Londonderry
Running along the north coast of Northern Ireland the Causeway Coastal Route is considered one of Europe’s best road trips. It showcases some of Northern Ireland’s most magnificent scenery and there is a huge variety to see and do along the route.
The Causeway Coastal Route’s most famous sight is the Giant’s Causeway where 40,000 interlocking columns are surrounded by ocean and basalt cliffs. Crossing the nearby Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is an adrenaline inducing experience with only a rugged rope bridge connecting the mainland to a tiny island.
Game of Thrones is one of the huge draws to the Causeway Coast and many filming locations are dotted throughout the area. Fans can visit the Dark Hedges, Ballintoy Harbour and Downhill strand to relive scenes from the iconic HBO series.
Other incredible sights include the medieval ruins of Dunluce Castle perched on the edge of jutting coastal cliffs and Rathlin Island, an untouched island with only 100 residents. A walk along the Fairhead Cliffs offers incredible views across the ocean while local cows sunbathing on the White Park Bay beach is an amusing sight. The famous Bushmills Whiskey distillery is another popular stop.
The entire Causeway Coastal Route covers less than 200 miles and can easily be explored in a weekend. The Roe Park Resort hotel or the Causeway Hotel are both great accommodation options for exploring the Causeway Coast.
Recommended by David from Your Ireland Vacation
Drive from Porto to Lisbon | Portugal
Distance: 322 kms / 200 miles
Duration: 4-5 hours
Starting point: Porto
One of the most beautiful road trips you can take in Europe is the drive from Porto to Lisbon. There are multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites to be seen along the way, from the Douro Valley to Coimbra to the Convent of Christ Tomar. In addition, you can visit the modern-day pilgrimage in Fatima, see a bit of the Camino Portuguese, and appreciate the beauty of both Porto and Lisbon.
You can enjoy this road trip in three or four days, but ideally, you should take a week to ten days to get out and see everything. The longer you have, the more cities you will get to enjoy. If you just have four days, make sure to spend at least a half-day in Porto, the Douro Valley, Coimbra, Sintra, and Lisbon – recommended to be one of the best destinations in the world for Solo Travellers. However, if you have a week, you can add in Fatima and a handful of UNESCO sites in central Portugal.
If you were to just drive the route straight, it would only take three hours to cover the three hundred and twenty kilometers that separate the two cities. However, if you give yourself time to see more you will cover more distance because many of the best sites are a bit further inland.
Recommended by Stephanie Craig from History Fangirl
Romantic Road | Germany
Distance: 350 kms / 218 miles
Duration: 3 Days
Starting point: Würzburg
Known as the old Roman trade route, the romantic road in Southern Germany leads over 350 kilometers (218 mi) from Würzburg to Füssen via the city of Munich and magnificent chocolate-box towns such as Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Augsburg, Landsberg, and Nördlingen. The name ‘Romantic Road’ or “Romantische Strasse” is deducted from the beautiful sights of charming Bavarian villages along the way and the postcard-worthy Neuschwanstein Castle, which most probably every seasoned traveler has seen in a tourist brochure of Germany at least once.
Based loosely on the old Roman route between a range of picturesque German towns from Würzburg to Füssen, Germany’s Romantic Road really does live up to its name. Taking you to the foothills of the majestic Bavarian Alps, it is particularly pretty in winter, with a dusting of snow bringing out the sheer beauty of the landscape. In addition, if you visit during winter, you will see very few other tourists.
The road is studded with plenty of worthy spots to stop at on your way down to Munich, revealing a wealth of European history, art, and culture. Arguably the main reason to drive the Romantic Road is Neuschwanstein Castle, the dream-like castle of Bavarian King Ludwig II that sits atop its rocky crest and forms a fitting marker for the end of one of the most scenic road trips in Europe.
For the average tourist, it is suggested to set aside at least 3 days for the Romantic Road. It’s just enough time to see all the highlights on the route. However, you can always extend the trip by a couple of days if you’d like to explore more villages on the way.
Recommended by Ivan from Mind The Travel
Andalucia Road Trip | Spain
Distance: 350 kms / 218 miles
Duration: 3 – 5 Days
Starting point: Seville
The road trip between the sultry Spanish cities of Seville, Cordoba and Granada, will take you through some of Spain’s most dramatic and picturesque landscapes. From wild mountains, to perfectly manicured grove upon grove of olive trees, a road trip in Andalucia is one of the best road trips in Spain.
This 350km trip will take 3 to 5 days, depending how much time you want in each city.
Visit Seville for the romantic ambiance and beautiful royal gardens, Cordoba for the magnificent Mezquita and Granada for the sublime Alhambra Palace.
In Seville, head for the Barrio Santa Cruz, the lively and central old Jewish quarter, where you’ll find a great street scene and delicious tapas. You’re close to the cathedral, Giralda tower, Royal Alcazar and Plaza de Espana here, the four must sees in Seville.
In Cordoba, head for the Mezquita (mosque-cathedral), one of the most dramatic in the world. The mix of Moorish and Renaissance architecture is sublime, the history fascinating and the warren of alleys surrounding it perfect for a lazy afternoon’s meandering.
In Granada, it’s all about the Alhambra Palace, a fabulous and fitting monument to Moorish architecture, and love. You will be enchanted by this beautiful palace with gorgeous gardens, which has been carefully restored over the centuries. Book well in advance though, it gets very busy in the summer with up to 6000 visitors a day.
For a true Spanish experience, stay in one of the many atmospheric Parador’s; hotels which were monasteries, palaces and castles before being converted. You’ll find historic settings and artefacts blended with contemporary extensions to suit the setting. Immersing yourself in the history of Spain has never been so easy!
Recommended by Izzy and Phil from The Gap Decaders
Ancient East Road Trip | Ireland
Distance: 400 kms / 249 miles
Duration: 5 days
Starting point: Cobh, County Cork
The east coast of Ireland is home to many historical treasures, mythical ruins not to mention some of Ireland’s most stunning, if somewhat underrated, scenery. Regardless of when you travel to Ireland, this is an ideal area to explore if you want to be flexible with your road trip and visit lots of interesting sights along the way.
One very scenic route along this trail is the coastal route from Cobh in County Cork to Bray, just south of Dublin. It is best to plan at least five days for the 400 km route to ensure that you have enough time to take in all of the best sights.
One of these must visit locations is Spike Island. This 18th century prison fort was once one of the biggest prisons in the world and shipped a large number of convicts to the colonies. Don’t forget to walk around the star-shaped fort to get some unrivalled views of the harbour and the picturesque maritime town of Cobh. The short boat trip to the island is also highly enjoyable!
The Copper Coast UNESCO Geopark is also part of the route and it is worth taking the time to explore this very scenic, historical copper mining area. There are several great short walking routes which allow you to explore the unusual geology, rugged beaches, dolmens, promontory forts and ruins, including Dunhill Castle. It is an ideal location to explore by bike as well, with several recommended cycling routes.
As you follow your way up the east coast, another destination that should definitely be added to your itinerary is Hook Head Lighthouse, one of the oldest functioning lighthouses in the world.
If you fancy visiting some of the filming locations used in Brooklyn and Saving Private Ryan, check out the fabulous beaches of Ballinesker and Curracloe in Wexford.
Recommended by Emer and Nils from Let’s Go Ireland
Tuscany Road Trip | Italy
Distance: 400 kms / 249 miles
Duration: 10 days
Starting point: Florence
It’s hard to beat Tuscany in scenery and the region is perfect for a road trip. There are so many cute towns in Tuscany yet you find remote wine tasting opportunities in the middle of nowhere nestled between green hills far from the next village.
Start your 10 day trip in Florence. You should at least spend a day or two in the astounding capital of Tuscany. Make sure you cover at least the cathedral and don’t forget to climb to the top for spectacular views, Ponte Vecchio, and Piazzale Michelangelo for the best city views.
Continue the road trip to Pisa for the Pisa tower, stopping by the charming town of Lucca on the way. Stay the night in Pisa before you continue past Pontedera and then stay a night in Volterra. On the way to San Gimignano it’s perfect to stop by a wine farm. You can even stay a night or two so you can indulge in sweet, local wine before you explore the medieval towers of San Gimignano, Tuscany’s Manhattan.
Further, Monteriggioni is a perfect place for a stopover but if you want something bigger for the next nights, continue to Siena for the night where you can spend a couple of days drinking wine at the Piazza del Campo and wander through the old medieval city eating pizza and take pictures.
Before you return to Florence, make sure you stop by Arezzo, also a perfect place to spend the night. Once one of the most important Etruscan cities, rich in history and art, Arezzo easily captures one’s heart. Once back in Florence, splurge in ice cream and walk through the busy streets. If you have the time, check out more sights in this lovely, old city.
Recommended by Linn Haglund from Brainy Backpackers
London to Paris by Road
Distance: 482 kms / 300 miles
Duration: 6-7 hours
Starting point: London
We started our trip from London, heading towards the ferry crossing from Dover to Calais, and ended in Paris. You should give yourself approximately 6 hours of travel time, with the total trip being 300 miles. There are two great times to take the trip, the weeks leading up to Christmas and at the start of summer. Christmas is great because the streets of Paris are buzzing with beautiful lights and there’s lots of street markets happening. But wrap up because it can get very cold!
As you head out of London towards Dover, you must take a few moments to catch some pictures of the Dover White Cliffs. They are a famous UK landmark with a beautiful gleaming white reflecting off the chalk cliffs. Once you get to Calais port, you can drive non-stop to Paris, however you will pass through stunning fields of flowers on route if you take the slightly longer route. This is highly recommended as the white cliffs and these fields of flowers are the reason this road trip is stunning and one of the best and most scenic road trips in Europe, connecting two amazing cities which are world renowned for their culture.
There are many chic hotels around the Eiffel Tower, which are great for families who want to be able to walk to the landmark and enjoy the beautiful park and greenery that surrounds it.
Recommended by Manpreet Kaur from Hello Manpreet
Transylvania Classic Road Trip | Romania
Distance: 500 km / 310 miles
Duration: 6 Days
Starting point: Sibiu
The classic road trip in Transylvania includes some traditional villages, the best known cities of the region 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 head to Cluj Napoca, the largest city in Transylvania. On the way take a detour to visit one of Iconic Landmarks of Romania – 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 an UNESCO heritage site: the medieval citadel – Sighișoara, 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 Prince Charles, Prince of Wales. The main attraction in this village is the white fortified church.
End your Transylvanian trip in Brasov, one of the most visited cities in Transylvania. The total tour is around 500 kilometers, but it is enough to fall in love with this region.
Recommended by Corina and Florin of Another Milestone
The Albania Road Trip
Distance: 500 kms / 310 miles
Duration: 7-10 Days
Starting point: Tirana
Albania is still a relatively offbeat destination, but nonetheless offers some of the most scenic road trip routes in Europe. Car rental is affordable, distances are short, and as long as you learn to manage the traffic, self-driving in Albania is perfectly safe.
This Balkan nation is incredibly varied, from the Accursed mountains in the north to the Albanian Riviera along the Adriatic Coast and the rugged interior. In as little as 7-10 days you can see a good cross-section of the country. An ideal route is a loop starting and finishing in the capital, Tirana, taking in the centre of the country and the coast. This involves roughly 500km (or a total of 8 hours) of driving.
Start by soaking up modern-day Albanian culture and history in Tirana. Visit Bunk’Art (a museum housed in an old communist bunker) and go café-hopping in the colourful Blloku neighbourhood. From Tirana, head south to Berat and Gjirokaster, two historic cities in the interior, both with impressive castles and UNESCO World Heritage-Listed Old Towns. The famous Blue Eye, a scenic swimming hole, is a short drive from Gjirokaster.
From there, you can continue to Saranda on the coast. Himara to the north offers some of the country’s finest beaches and is less-touristy than the bigger coastal cities. Drive up the coast to finish in Tirana, perhaps with a quick detour to Kruje, another historic city, on the way. You can easily extend your road trip by continuing north to Shkoder and Theth, where you’ll find incredible alpine trekking.
Beautiful scenery at every turn paired with a fascinating history, good food and wine, and old-fashioned hospitality – a road trip in Albania is hard to beat.
Recommended by Emily from Wander-Lush
NC500 | Scotland
Distance: 830 kms / 516 miles
Duration: 7 Days
Starting point: Inverness
If you’re looking for a spectacular road trip in Europe, look no further than the NC500 in Scotland.
This road is one of the most scenic road trips in Scotland– and for good reason. The scenery is some of the prettiest in the UK and you’ll discover all sorts of incredible places you never knew existed!
The NC500 begins in Inverness, although you can join and leave it anywhere. From Inverness, most people go clockwise, head through the Highlands, aiming (eventually) for Britain’s most northerly town- John O’Groats, (where you can take a day trip to Orkney) before heading south again to Inverness.
The route is fairly well signposted, although some of it is single track and very narrow. Be careful where you stop- you don’t want to block the road!
Highlights of the NC 500 include:
- Inverness- the most northerly city in the UK
- Smoo Cave
- Clachtoll Beach
- Kylesku Bridge
- John o’Groats
The route is 516 miles, but the road is slow. Expect to stop often for vehicles coming the other way or for stray highland cows! We recommend at least a 7-day trip to really make the most of it. There are plenty of B & Bs and hotels on the route to enjoy as you stay.
Recommended by Kat from Wandering Bird
Road Trip from Rome to Venice | Italy
Distance: 985 kms / 612 miles
Duration: 9 days
Starting point: Rome
Highlights of this road trip are the beautiful regions of Umbria and Tuscany and many of central and northern Italy’s major cities and sights.
After leaving Rome, a recommended first stop is Villa D’Este, famous for its fountain-filled gardens. The route then heads north and enters the lovely province of Umbria, with medieval hill towns, olive groves and vineyards. Spoleto, which has a famous aqueduct, is a good place to spend a night.
After leaving Spoleto the route continues past more hills topped with tiny medieval towns. One worth visiting is Spello. The next part of the trip turns off the main roads and dips through the hills and valleys of the Montefalco region, past farmlands and vineyards. This is the perfect area to visit a winery; many of them, such as Scacciadiavoli, have tours and tastings. Other highlights include Assisi, where the founder of the Franciscan order is buried, and an overnight stop in Perugia.
From Perugia, the route continues northeast through the Tuscan hills to Florence. Siena is a great place to break this leg of the trip. The town’s famous sloping scallop-shaped main square and Duomo are both worth visiting.
After spending several nights in Florence (AQA Palace is a recommended hotel), the road trip continues north to Verona. This part of the trip is mostly on major highways, but Parma makes a fascinating side trip. There are several small cheese-makers that are open for visitors to see Parmesan cheese being made. From there, the road passes through more farmland to Verona. A well-preserved Roman amphitheater is still used and summer performances of the opera Aida are an annual event.
It is then just a short jump to Venice, where highlights include St Mark’s Square and the duomo, taking a gondola ride and even learning to row a gondola.
Recommended by James Ian from Travel Collecting
Road Trip in the Western Fjords | Norway
Distance: 1000 kms / 622 miles
Duration: 5-14 days
Starting point: Stavanger
Western Norway is home to over 200 fjords created by a succession of Ice Ages. Its stunning coastline is interspersed with deep blue fjords, lush landscape and mighty glaciers.
Some of the most beautiful fjords include Lysefjord, Geirangerfjord Hardangerfjord, Nærøyfjord and Sognefjord. Due to their exceptional natural beauty both Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord make up the West Norwegian Fjords listing on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Hiking is also popular and the region has some amazing trails: Pulpit Rock, Flørli 4444, Kjerag, Trolltunga and the Romsdalseggen ridge are considered among some of Europe’s best hikes.
Other popular sites include Trollstigen, the UNESCO designated Urnes Stave Church, the Jostedalsbreen Glacier, Lake Loen and the Atlantic Road. Trollstigen, a winding road comprising hairpin bends, is known as the Troll Road due to the legend of trolls roaming in the mountains while the Atlantic Road, snaking over the Atlantic Ocean, is considered an exceptional engineering feat, and rightly one of the most epic road trips in Europe.
With most international visitors arriving via Oslo, it takes at least one day to make the drive south west to Stavanger or north west to Geirangerfjord to access the fjords.
A 2 week Norway itinerary will allow a meandering pace through the 1,000 kilometres of Norway’s western fjords covering Stavenger to Kristaiansund. For visitors with less time to explore it is still possible to see a variety of the highlights in 5 days although.
Recommended by Elaine from The Whole World is a Playground
The Wild Atlantic Way | Ireland
Distance: 2500 kms / 1554 miles
Duration: 7 days
Starting point: Derry
The Wild Atlantic Way is a 2,500 kilometre route along the west coast of Ireland. It is actually the longest defined coastal route in the world. Not bad for such a tiny country. The drive takes you along rugged cliffs, past beautiful beaches and through quaint little towns full of friendly locals. To make the most of this road trip it is recommended to take at least 1 week and you can easily spend a lot longer on this trip.
The route starts just outside of Derry and takes you up to Malin Head, the northernmost tip of the island before it winds its way West and South all the way to Kinsale on the South coast of Ireland. While most of the journey takes you through the emerald green countryside you will pass through Galway, one of the most popular and vibrant cities in the country.
The highlights of the trip include the sea cliffs at Sliabh Liag (Slieve League) and the Cliffs of Moher, Galway city and Mizen Head. There are also so many awesome hidden gems scattered throughout this road trip as well and the more time you are able to spend completing this road trip the more you will discover.
When deciding where to stay there are some main stops such as Sligo and Galway but the best places to stay for the rest of the route are generally in the smaller towns and villages. This will give you a chance to experience the real local culture and most importantly you will find plenty of authentic Irish pubs to enjoy a pint of Guinness.
Recommended by Luke from The Coastal Campaign
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