15 of the best road trips in Europe

May 13, 2024 • 13 min read

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Hit the road in Europe with these top driving routes © Miemo Penttinen - miemo.net / Getty Images

Be inspired to explore Europe by car this summer on one, or more, of these themed driving routes.

This summer, dodge airport disruption and enjoy the unique freedom a road trip allows while exploring Europe's wondrous landscapes, delicious regional food and drink and fascinating local culture and history.

These driving routes, grouped by theme – ancient sites, lakes, Mediterranean islands, vineyards, and breweries – were gathered from Lonely Planet contributors around the world as part of the Epic Road Trips of Europe   book.

So strap in and prepare to hit the road. Here are some of the top driving experiences across Europe.

A rocky monastery built into the side of a cliff

Europe's best road trips through ancient history

Explore the archaeological sites of the peloponnese, greece.

Start: Ancient Corinth End: Nemea Distance: 395 miles (635km)

History and legend collide on this mountainous peninsula where you’ll find classical temples, Mycenaean palaces, Byzantine cities and Venetian fortresses. Combined with dramatic peaks and deep gorges that give way to turquoise seas and deserted beaches, it makes a glorious spot for a road trip.

In the northeast corner of the peninsula sits Ancient Corinth , a mostly Roman city, home to Jason of the Argonauts, stealer of the Golden Fleece. From here, you can take a route that combines historic, fortified cities with beaches and some of Greece’s most interesting wineries. Head for the sanctuary of Zeus at Nemea , hilltop Mycenae or coastal Epidavros with its 4th-century-BCE theater, one of the best preserved ancient Greek structures in the country. Then loop by the mountaintop Byzantine city of Mystras , Ancient Olympia , home to the original games, and the Lousios Gorge where you’ll find the cliffside Prodromou Monastery .

First time visiting Greece? Plan your trip with these top tips

See northeast Spain on this loop through the Costa Brava

Start: Girona End: Girona Distance: 118 miles (190km)

Mixing Greek and Roman ruins with medieval towns, the eccentricities of Salvador Dalí and a wild and rugged coast, Spain’s Costa Brava makes a fascinating, eclectic destination for a road trip.

Begin   by exploring Girona’s hilly medieval core with its web of alleys and Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque churches. From here it’s an easy trip to Besalú, its strikingly well-preserved medieval streets fanning out around the handsome 11th-century Pont Fortificat (Fortified Bridge). Heading east to Figueres things get decidedly more bizarre at the Teatre-Museu Dalí , a fittingly trippy tribute to the local hero and Surrealist artist. Dalí spent his later life nearby in Port Lligat near Cadaqués , a whitewashed village with a pretty harbor and bohemian vibe. South along the coast are the extensive ruins of the Greek city Empúries and its later Roman neighbor, while inland is Castell de Púbol, a 14th-century castle that was Dalí’s gift to his wife and muse, Gala.

Looking for more driving routes in Spain? Give these a try

Drive backcountry roads on the Croatian island of Hvar

Start: Hvar Town End: Jelsa Distance: 22 miles (35km)

Fought over by the Illyrians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Venetians, Hvar has long been a sought-after destination. Medieval walls topped by an imposing Spanish fortress enclose the Old Town, whose marble streets are lined with elaborate Gothic and Renaissance palaces. In high summer, Hvar attracts a party-hard international jet set, but outside the peak it’s a magical place that acts as the perfect gateway to crystalline waters and quiet villages.

Head for Stari Grad  on the north coast, a quieter town set on a horseshoe bay, to visit Stari Grad Plain, a UNESCO Cultural Landscape whose stone walls and terraces of olives and grapes were laid out by the ancient Greeks. Drive backcountry roads through a patchwork of lavender and rosemary to discover isolated beaches and hidden coves, colorful former fishing villages such as Vrboska or Jelsa, and some of Croatia’s best wineries.

Traveling in Croatia as a family?   Here's what you need to know about visiting with kids

A small stone church on the edge of a lake at sunset

The best lakeside driving routes in Europe 

Follow switchbacks between lakes ohrid and prespa, north macedonia.

Start: Ohrid End: Oteshevo Distance: 34 miles (55km)

Lake Ohrid is one of the oldest and deepest lakes in the world, straddling the border between North Macedonia and Albania . Despite its UNESCO status and being home to a multitude of endemic species, it remains remarkably unvisited.

Begin in the ancient, picturesque city of Ohrid, continuously occupied since Neolithic times. Its Grecian theater, rediscovered in the 1980s and restored, hosts an arts festival each summer. As you drive south you pass fortresses and monasteries, teetering dramatically above the water. Leave Lake Ohrid on a series of switchbacks climbing up through Galičica National Park, where at the road’s highest point a trail leading farther up offers a view across both lakes. Descend to the tranquil Lake Prespa in time for dinner, stopping at one of the many small restaurants in Oteshevo that serve fish landed straight from the lake.

Travel around Lake Annecy, France

Start: Annecy End: Annecy Distance: 25 miles (40km)

Lake Annecy found fame in Paul Cézanne’s Le Lac d’Annecy painting, a post-Impressionist masterpiece that captures all the beauty, grandeur and violence of the landscape here. But nothing beats seeking out that drama yourself.

It takes just a lazy day’s driving to travel its circumference, along glimmering blue water with snowcapped Alps behind. Base yourself   in Annecy and explore the gorgeous Old Town and lively markets before setting off. Impressive Château Menthon is well worth visiting and has guided tours throughout the summer months. Stop at Talloires for lunch – it has a fine selection of restaurants and good swimming beaches – and then,   if you’ve still got the energy, hike one of the many trails that wind up to the peaks that surround the lake. Finish back in Annecy for a sunset drink with panoramic views across the water at the Hotel Belvédère.

Don't want to drive? Ride a bike around Lake Annecy instead

Take a dip into Finnish Lakeland

Start: Varkaus End: Anttola Distance: 86 miles (138km)

A quarter of the Finnish Lakeland region is water – there are at least 55,000 lakes here, making it the largest lake district in Europe. To drive in this area is to lose all distinction between the water and the road. From Varkaus, it’s less than an hour’s drive to the Järvisydän spa , offering every type of soaking and sweating you can imagine. It’s not all about relaxing though – as you drive across this watery landscape there is ample opportunity for swimming and canoeing, fishing and boat trips, or, in winter, skating and snowshoeing. Finland’s  "Right to Roam" means that camping is permitted just about anywhere, but the hotels might still tempt you. The Ollinmäki Wine Farm , just outside Anttola, has villas, fabulous food, homemade wine and nearby lakes for a final road trip dip.

Experience the best of Finland with this guide to the country's top experiences

An orange-sand bay on the edge of turquoise ocean

The best drives around Mediterranean islands

Marvel at the incredible scenery of gozo's north coast.

Start: Ramla Bay End: Dwejra Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Gozo is the second-billed island in the Maltese archipelago, but for scenic appeal it easily rivals Malta proper. A drive along Gozo’s north coast reveals one of the country’s least built-up corners. Begin with a dip at Ramla Bay , a wide and largely wild beach not to be confused with the resort of the same name on the main island. Once you’ve brushed off its characteristic orange sand, take a coastal drive through the small harbor of Marsalforn, beyond which the route passes a surreal landscape of seaside salt pans. The road gets gravelly after it ducks round the inlet of Wied il-Għasri , but stick with it if you can along the clifftops to reach Wied il-Mielaħ, a natural sea arch to replace the famous Azure Window that collapsed in 2017. The location of the latter still makes a fitting trip finale, with sunset views beside the Dwejra Inland Sea.

Want to see more beaches? Here are Malta and Gozo's best

Summit Mount Pantokrator in Corfu, Greece

Start: Pyrgi End: Pyrgi Distance: 41 miles (66km)

Mt Pantokrator is the highest point in Corfu (2972 ft/906m), and a lap of its flanks brings generous mountain and coastal views as you round the northeast corner of the island. Start in Pyrgi village and proceed north and clockwise if you want to get the climbing done early. From Pyrgi the road zigzags up past olive groves through the villages of Spartylas and Strinylas. Here you can drive east on a road up to the summit of Pantokrator itself (a car with a nimble turning circle is an advantage) where there’s a small but richly decorated monastery under a rather unfortunate communications mast. Return to the coast at the resort town of Acharavi, and head east as the road snakes round lushly wooded bays and charming villages such as Kalami, with views towards Albania just two miles across   the water.

Plan your time on the Greek islands with this guide to how long you need there

Loop around the Italian island of Lipari 

Start: Lipari Town End: San Salvatore Distance: 17 miles (28km)

Lipari is the middlemost of the Aeolian Islands , and as you drive the encircling main road, each of the other volcanic islands puts in an appearance on the horizon. Lipari Town is reached by car ferries and faster hydrofoils from Sicily , and heading out north the route is a palm-lined corniche running along a yacht-filled bay. From the road skirting the shingle beach at Canneto, you’ll have views towards the islands of Panarea and – half-concealed behind it – the ever-smoking cone of Stromboli.

Past the pumice quarries at Lipari’s northeast corner, twin-peaked Salina lumbers into view, and after that, more distant Filicudi and Alicudi, if summer haze doesn’t obscure them. Last to appear as you turn the southwest corner is Vulcano. It’s visible from the main road, but for a close-up, end your drive at the viewpoint beside the Geophysical Observatory in San Salvatore, at Lipari’s southern tip.

First time in Italy? Here's what you need to know

A road passes through hillsides covered with vines

The top driving routes through European wine regions

Linger for a drink in portugal's douro valley.

Start: Porto End: Miranda do Douro Distance: 222 miles (358km)

Portugal kept this one up its sleeve for a long time, but oenophiles have finally clocked on to the romance – and increasingly outstanding wines – of the Douro Valley . The world’s oldest demarcated wine region (in 1756, for the record) is a real beauty, with mile after mile of twisting, terraced vineyards that rise sharply from the Douro River.

Its true heart is the Alto Douro (Upper Douro), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The drive kicks off in the grand port lodges of Porto , gradually inching east to the Spanish border. En route expect to find an abundance of historic wine estates – Quinta Nova and Quinta do Crasto are names to remember. And you’ll want to linger at the Casal de Loivos lookout, where the gasp-eliciting view over the vines is the Douro reduced to postcard format. Allow five days to a week to do the drive justice.

Don't miss Portugal's other great food and drink experiences

Pause for wine tasting in the vineyards of the Lavaux, Switzerland

Start: Lausanne End: Château de Chillon Distance: 25 miles (40km)

Easily doable in a day trip from Geneva , this short but sublime drive takes in the UNESCO World Heritage-protected Lavaux vineyards , which stagger up from the northern shores of Lake Geneva in a series of sheer, stone-walled terraces that beggar belief. The road trip along Rte 9 begins in the higgledy-piggledy French-speaking city of Lausanne and takes in pretty lakeside towns like Vevey before swinging southeast to Montreux (of summer jazz festival fame) and Château   de Chillon , an extraordinary 13th-century fortress, brought to world attention in 1816 in Lord Byron’s poem "The Prisoner of Chillon". Painters William Turner and Gustave Courbet subsequently immortalized the castle on canvas. In the vineyards, pause at a cave to taste beautiful Chasselas white wines that are crisp, minerally and usually only produced on a small, artisanal scale. Lavaux Vinorama in lakeside Rivaz whisks you through the region’s 300 wines and offers insightful tastings.

Want to see more of Switzerland?  Follow these other spectacular road trips

Cruise this classic route through Chianti country, Italy

Start: Florence End: Siena Distance: 44 miles (71km)

Toscana simply doesn’t get more bella than this classic drive on the SR222 through Chianti country. Linking two great medieval cities, the road meanders languorously through gently rolling countryside striped with cypress trees, olive groves and vines. After an art and architectural feast in Florence , it’s time to head south to Siena , crowned by its magnificent cathedral   and 12th-century Piazza del Campo . In between are honey-colored hill towns, where life revolves around the town square, and is punctuated by the chiming of the campanile. Stop by enotecas (wine shops), open for tastings of the region’s revered red wines, including Chianti Classico, a sangiovese-dominated drop. The road   is technically drivable year-round but is perhaps at its most photogenic during the late springtime eruption of poppies and other wildflowers.

Here's how to experience the best of Tuscany

Crowds of people at a beer festival on a sunny day

Europe's best driving routes for beer lovers

Drive the german beer loop.

Start: Cologne End: Düsseldorf Distance: 1130 miles (1818km)

Beer has been brewed in Germany for three millennia. It’s a major part of the country’s culture, with many regional styles. Begin with a delicate straw-colored kölsch in the shadow of Cologne Cathedral before heading southeast to Bamberg , home of interesting rauchbiers made with smoked malt. South, near the border with Austria , Munich is famous for its golden Helles lagers and the annual Oktoberfest beer festival, while to the north, in former East Germany, the traditional beer style of Leipzig is gose , a tart beer flavored with salt and coriander. Nearby, Berlin is famous for Berliner Weisse beers, refreshingly low in alcohol, and often spiked with berry syrup. To the southwest, via Hanover and Saxony , Düsseldorf is the heartland of copper-colored altbiers – the name translates to "old beer", as this is one of Germany’s most historic brews.

Not ready to stop exploring?   Here are some other great driving routes in Germany

Visit breweries serving Trappist beers in Belgium 

Start: Westmalle End: Vleteren Distance: 347 miles (558km)

Explore Belgium while tasting beers from Trappist breweries, where monks have been creating flavorful beers for centuries before the contemporary focus on craft beer. Begin northeast of Antwerp at Café Trappisten , where Westmalle beers are matched with cheeses also made by monks from the adjacent Westmalle Abbey . Heading south through Brussels , beers from the Rochefort Brewery are partnered at local cafes with venison from the nearby Ardennes region. It’s then a 50 mile (80km) drive further south to Orval for their bottle-conditioned beer, a favorite of many craft brewers around the world.

To the northwest, a quick spin of the wheels through France brings you to Scourmont Abbey , the base for Chimay. At the Poteaupré Inn at the Espace Chimay visitor center, try the Chimay 150, originally brewed in 2012 to celebrate the brewery’s 150-year anniversary. From here, it’s then a two-hour drive north to Vleteren, to end the trip with some excellent beers from Westvleteren.

Spending more time in Belgium?   Here are the best places to visit

Taste the suds of southeast Ireland

Start: Dublin End: Cork Distance: 236 miles (380km)

Guinness in Dublin and Murphy’s in Cork are two of Ireland’s most renowned breweries, and linking these heavyweights is this itinerary visiting up-and-coming craft breweries in between. After touring Guinness’ historic St James’s Gate brewery, continue south for a hoppy Wildfire red ale from Wicklow Wolf Brewery , before making the 20-minute drive along the Irish Sea to the Wicklow Brewery. Sunday roast for lunch is always a good time to visit the brewery’s Mickey Finn’s pub. Continue through a patchwork of farmland to YellowBelly Beer in County Wexford . YellowBelly’s seasonal brews include unusual sours and farmhouse ales, while the Gallow’s Hill barley wine, found west at the Dungarvan Brewing Company , is ideal in cooler months. Complete a hop-fuelled Irish journey with a pint of Murphy’s stout at the Shandon Arms in Cork.

Here's how to find traditional pubs loved by locals in Dublin

This article was first published Sep 13, 2022 and updated May 13, 2024.

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Epic Europe road trip across 47 countries

Europe road trip feature

Have you ever wondered what is the most efficient way to visit all the countries in Europe by road? The answer is this epic European road trip that takes you to 47 countries in geographical Europe , and almost all of the European Union, whoa! 

Unfortunately, it skips the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Iceland which you can easily do on a roadtrip either on a group tour , or independently.

If you were to drive this amazing road trip across Europe in one go, without stopping and without sleeping, it would take about 364 hours or 16 days to cover the route, and you would drive almost 27,000 kilometers.

But you wouldn’t go on this once in a lifetime European road trip and just drive through, you would want to stop, probably several times every day, to explore some of the most beautiful, heritage-rich, fascinating and delicious parts of the continent. You may even consider hiring a motorhome for your journey so that you can really take your time. 

Realistically, we would recommend completing this epic European road trip in probably a year, but 6 months would be enough to do justice to most of the key highlights.

We planned this road trip with a very cool and addictive app (yep, we stayed up till 2am playing with it!) called Roadtrippers which not only lets you plan a road trip but also shows you all the points of interest, accommodation & restaurants, photo spots, attractions, and more on the map. Use our bonus coupon code BTR5QTP for $5 off. Check out this list of gifts for road trippers to get all the gadgets you need.

Epic European road trip by the numbers

travel routes in europe

  • Almost 27,000km of roads.
  • Approximately 364h of driving time without stops.
  • Over $1,600 in fuel spent.
  • 47 countries, including 25 European Union members, Kosovo (which we count as an independent country despite the lack of recognition by the UN), the 3 countries in the Caucasus, Turkey and Russia, both of which are partially in Europe and mostly in Asia. Only 3 island countries would be missing, Malta, Cyprus and Iceland.
  • More than 200 UNESCO sites would be within 50km of the itinerary.

In this unforgettable European road trip you will explore well-known but no less amazing cities such as Barcelona , Prague, London and Rome , and other up and coming ones such as Ljubljana, Bruges, Girona , Kiev, Tirana or Tbilisi. 

Of the 400 UNESCO listed sites in Europe , this road trip will get you within 50km to more than half of the continent’s most fascinating heritage, from Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia to Switzerland’s stunning mountain train journeys such as the Glacier Express or lesser known spots in tiny countries such as Andorra .

More standouts include medieval Kotor , Salzburg and Dubrovnik, the Vatican City, Santiago de Compostela’s Cathedral, Brussels’ Grand Place, Budapest Castle, Mostar Old City, Casa Batllo , Lake Ohrid, and many more.

You could add about 100 more UNESCO sites if you take a detour to explore southern Italy and Sicily , central Spain or Germany , a country that is only bordered on this itinerary. 

It is also a great road trip for foodie lovers with stops in San Sebastian for pinchos and tapas, in Bologna for parmesan cheese and mortadella, in Lyon for refined French food, Copenhagen for forward-looking Nordic food and in Porto for seafood and codfish.

The route does not just cover mainstream destinations but will also take you to the lesser known parts of the continent such as the tiny country of Liechtenstein (one of the least visited countries in the world despite being located in the middle of Europe), Croatia’s Istria, Romania’s Transilvannia, and historical sites such as Chernobyl. 

European road trip essentials 1. Roadtrippers : Create the itinerary and navigate with points of interest marked along the way with Roadtrippers , such a cool app. Get it, it’s a no brainer. 2. Visas : We highly recommend iVisa , they are prompt and professional and offer lots of services. A Schengen visa gives you access to 25 countries, others have their own system, Russia will be the trickiest. 3. Car rental : Our choice is Rentalcars.com which aggregates car rental companies across the world. Make sure you can take the car across the border and check additional insurance and permits. Or buy a car and sell it at the end. 4. Travel insurance : Do not leave the house without, really, don’t. We recommend World Nomads or SafetyWing who include coverage for COVID-19 since August 2020. 5. Accommodation : Use Booking.com they offer free cancellation charge if your plans change. 6. Tours : An efficient way to see cities in a short period of time is to get a day tour. We love and use Getyourguide which allows you to cancel tours up to 24h in advance.

So where does this incredible road trip across all of Europe and the Caucasus take you? Let’s explore the main stops.

1. Dublin, Ireland

travel routes in europe

Your journey starts in the capital of Ireland, beautiful Dublin. Being the birthplace of Guinness beer, you’ll definitely need to taste the dark stout in one of Dublin’s 1,000 pubs like Temple Bar or The Brazen Head , Ireland’s oldest pub. 

If you plan on driving after your visit, just go to the Guinness Storehouse where you can dive into the 250+ year history and have a bite to eat. Jameson Whiskey also has its home in Dublin. 

Peer into Ireland’s Emigration history at World Travel Awards winner EPIC to see what it means to be Irish beyond the border. If you have some time left over pop into Dublin Castle which dates back to 1204 and has guided tours.  Ireland is also home to many great thinkers such as Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker and Samuel Beckett and is even one of UNESCO’s Cities of Literature . Visit Trinity College where they all got their start.

2. London, United Kingdom

travel routes in europe

Next on your European road trip is the capital of the UK, London! With a rich history and loads of activities to take part in, you can experience art at museums like the Tate Modern or The National Gallery , have fun on the London Eye , learn something new at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park , have a pub lunch overlooking the river Thames, or try and see the Queen at Buckingham Palace . 

If you aren’t for visiting tourist sites like Big Ben , the Tower of London , Westminster Abbey or the bohemian Soho district, you can always try something a little different and experience one of these unique things to do in London like eating jellied eel or take a somber stroll around Highgate Cemetery. Make sure to make a stop at Borough Market for a super good vibe with loads of fresh produce and delicious meals!

3. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Streets and canals of Amsterdam

Leaving the island and riding north-east, you’ll soon get to friendly Amsterdan in the Netherlands. This bustling city is so much more than hash brownies, tulips and windmills as you’ll experience on a bike after parking your car. 

Cruise along the canals at your own pace and visit the best tourist attractions in Amsterdam like Rijksmuseum , Van Gogh Museum , the artsy district of Jordaan, or dine way up high at A’dam Lookout .

A must-visit is Ann Frank’s House , where you will learn how this brave soul lived through a treacherous time. Apart from the multitude of historic sights, Amsterdam is also home to hip and up-and-coming neighbourhoods like gentrified Westergas and creative Zaandam’s Hembrugterrein. Walk the cobbled streets of De Negen Straatjes (‘The Nine Streets’) for some boutique retail therapy. 

4. Brussels, Belgium

Grand Place in Brussels

As the administerial centre of the EU, Belgium’s capital can be viewed as quite a stringent place. Yet when you pass the iconic little boy peeing into the fountain at the Manneken Pis, you get a sense for the city’s lightheartedness. It’s this mix that makes it a fascinating place for all types of tourists. 

There is spectacular architecture like the Grand Place , Notre Dame Du Sablon , or the Instagrammable Atomium . See arts and culture at the Musee des Beaux-Arts d’Ixelles or Musee Constantin Meunier and gorgeous nature at Park Malou, Parc Georges Henri or Parc Du Cinquantenaire. 

But you cannot leave Brussels without going on a beer tasting tour while diving mouth-first into their famous fries and mussels. 

5. Luxembourg

Vianden Castle in Luxembourg

Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in the world and most of the top places to visit in Luxembourg are all concentrated in the city center. This makes it a great day stop for your European road trip. Start slow by perusing the Old Quarter in Luxembourg City which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site , as the night nears, take in a show at the legendary Philharmonic of Luxembourg .

Then make your way to any of the multitude of castles in the country (there are 130 in total) from Luxembourg Fortress to Vianden Castle . The castles you choose to explore will depend on the amount of time you have and whether you’d like to include a bit of nature on your visit or not. 

For nature we suggest the Mullerthal region where you’ll find Schiessentümpel Waterfall. You can even camp there for the night along the river Sûre in your car or spa at Mondorf-les-Bains if that’s more your style.

6. Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein

While an unlikely candidate, Liechtenstein is actually one of the least visited countries in the world . The main reason is because it’s a landlocked country, sandwiched between Switzerland and Austria, without an airport. This means it’s perfectly reachable by car, great for your European road trip!

A fun fact about Liechtenstein is that it hasn’t had a murder since 2014 and is therefore one of the safest countries in the world. As it’s so small, you can see the entire country in a day from castles like Vaduz , Burg Gutenberg or Obere Burg to jaw-dropping nature (400km network of hiking trails!) and even eat at a Michelin-awarded traditional Restaurant Torkel . This is a popular winter Europe road trip pit stop for ski fanatics.

7. Bern, Switzerland

Old Town Bern

The city where Einstein started dabbling in physics and the older enclave being awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1983, Bern is a thriving city with a deep history and stunning sites. In fact you can visit Einstein’s former residence or the museum constructed in his name . 

If you’re a fan of treasure hunts, you could try to find all 11 Renaissance fountains in the centre of Old Bern. Saunter around the Rosengarten , take in the views at Gurten mountain, or see the symbol of Bern (and Toblerone ) at Bärengraben (Bear Pit) or BärenPark (Bear Park). 

With a rich culture, Bern has loads of great artsy festivals to take part in year round from the Summer and Winter Jazz Festivals to the Buskers Festival to July’s Gurtenfestival . If you miss the festivals, don’t worry, there’s more art at the Kunstmuseum (Museum of Art) which contains 51,000 pieces! The fascinating Zytglogge , a medieval clock tower with moving puppets, is always a fun stop over. 

If you’d like to go beyond the capital and are a fan of skiing or being pampered, I would suggest making a stop at either Andermatt or St. Moritz (stay for the night at Chedi, Andermatt ). Or change your mode of transportation and hop on the Glacier Express which connects St. Moritz with Zermatt and is a truly once in a lifetime experience.  

8. Central France

Evening Bordeaux France

Traveling south from Switzerland (with a possible stop in Geneva before crossing the border), you’ll be cruising the central part of France passing by two exquisite regions: Lyon and Bordeaux. 

Lyon is steeped in a 2,000 year history and is the capital of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It is also considered the foodie capital of France so you should make sure to eat your way around the city. 

Witness the Roman Amphithéâtre des Trois Gaules and venture into Vieux (Old) Lyon with the largest renaissance old quarters in Europe. But don’t miss the modern Confluence district on the Presqu’île peninsula with its elegant bistros and upscale apartments.

There are museums of all kinds from fine art at Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon to the Institut Lumière , an ode to the famed brothers who spearheaded the modern cinema. The architecture will leave your jaw agape, so be sure to pass by the Fourvière Basilica and Lyon Cathedral. 

Making your way toward the Bay of Biscay you’ll end up in one of the most praised wine regions in the world, Bordeaux. Wine enthusiasts better get a designated driver, because this stretch of your Europe road trip is bound to be the most fueled by alcohol. 

La Cité du Vin

The choices of wineries to visit can be a bit overwhelming, so it’s best to first visit the spectacular ode to wine, La Cité du Vin. This is a mammoth 3,000sqm building with a 55m tower that looks like a giant decanter. It has around 10 hours of audiovisual info all about the history and future of the grape. You’ll also be able to get help picking which wineries to visit. 

Beyond wine, there are open spaces (Quais de Bordeaux, Jardin Public), shopping streets (Rue Sainte-Catherine), ancient architecture (La Grosse Cloche, Porte Cailhau, Bordeaux Cathedral) and so much more!

Those wanting to stop by Paris should do so after Luxembourg, as this is the quickest route to the capital and you will only be venturing further south from here. Read our Parisian articles to get more insight about the City of Love:

  • Best Paris Bistros
  • Autumn In Paris, A Perfect Weekend For Two
  • Rooftop Bars In Paris With The Ultimate Best Views Of The City
  • 5 Markets In Paris To Bargain-hunt
  • Adorable Places For A Beautiful Picnic In Paris From Rivers To Gardens
  • Secret Gardens In Paris To Find Romance And Nature

9. Northern Spain

Playa de la Concha, San Sebastian

Reaching the Bay of Biscay with a possible hangover, you’ll surely just want to take it easy on the beach. This is where San Sebastián comes in. Also known as Donostia, San Sebastián is a resort town hidden in Spain’s mountainous Basque Country and is known for Playa de la Concha and Playa de Ondarreta. 

Playa means beach, and beach is what you will get, although not the kind of warm beach you find on the Mediteranean! Bring a sweater, even in the summer months San Sebastian can be pretty chilly.

Not only will you find beautifully soft sand, but also picturesque bayfront promenades, cobblestone roads of old town (Parte Vieja), upscale shopping, vibrant pintxo bars and world-class restaurants. 

San Sebastian is one of Spain’s foodie capitals along with Barcelona and Madrid and the Basque Country where it is located, has more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other part of the country.

Think three-starred Arzak and Akelarre , one-starred Kokotxa and Mirador de Ulía or famous Nerua in the Guggenheim Bilbao. Or just have a picnic at Miramar Royal Palace ( Palacio de Miramar ) if your wallet is feeling a bit light. 

Santiago de Compostela

Taking the most epic coastal drive, you’ll enter one of Spain’s most spiritual centres at Santiago de Compostela. This is the end of the famed Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route as well as the capital of northwest Spain’s Galicia region. Legend has it that the apostle St. James was buried in what is today the UNESCO-listed old town. 

Even if you aren’t religious, you’ll find a spiritual resonance in the idyllic Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque buildings, particularly the remarkable Pórtico de la Gloria . The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela , Praza do Obradoiro and Monastery of San Martiño Pinario are all epic and within walking distance. 

10. Coastal Portugal

Sintra in Coastal Portugal

Grab your surfboards because you are entering a country with some of the best waves in the world. Even if you don’t know how, Portugal is a great place to learn how to surf. It’s also a burgeoning place for digital nomads so you’re sure to bump into other European road trippers here on your journey. 

The three standout places you’re going to pass on the coastal route are Porto in the north, Coimbra in the center and Lisbon at the south. Porto is known for its dessert wine which you will know as Port. But beyond the sweet aperitif Porto offers stately bridges, the medieval Ribeira (riverside) district with cobbled streets and cafes, and grand designs from baroque São Francisco Church to the palatial Palácio de Bolsa .

Travel down to the coast and you’ll end up at the riverfront city of Coimbra. It is famous for its historic University of Coimbra that houses a baroque library, the Biblioteca Joanina with a gorgeous 18th-century bell tower. You can set foot around the city’s old town to take in the calm atmosphere and visit the 12th-century Romanesque cathedral Sé Velha.

Lisbon’s colorful streets

Drive south from the old capital (Coimbra) to the new one, Lisbon. This hilly coastal city has some spectacularly romantic views, particularly at sunset from São Jorge Castle where the pastel-colored buildings blend with the pink and purple hues of the setting sun. 

Nature blends seamlessly with historic buildings in Lisbon, so make sure to pass along the Torre de Belém , the Golden Gate-like Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge, and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos . Try to take a day trip to the protected Tagus Estuary. You can ride trams throughout the city and then relax on the beaches of Cascais, Costa da Caparica, or Estoril. 

11. Southern Spain

La Alhambra at night

Now it’s back into Spain where you’ll witness a very different vibe and even peer over into Africa. The south of Spain is spectacular as you travel through Seville, Gibraltar, Granada, Valencia and finishing in Barcelona.

Seville is the capital of Andalusia and has a rich Moorish heritage which is evident in the colourful tiles, the lobed arches and the iconic Giralda tower . 

This is the place to experience the stereotypically Spanish cultural activities – flamenco, tapas and toros (although we strongly oppose bullfighting and you should too). Spring is a particularly festive time to visit with Semana Santa (Holy Week) and the lively Feria de Abril ( Seville Fair ). Or just to stroll along the banks of the Guadalquivir. 

Before you leave the area, consider a day trip to Morocco which you can take from Tarifa . Go on a guided tour which is usually cheaper than buying a ferry ticket, and add a new continent, just for the day. 

Gibraltar

Gibraltar may be geographically located in Spain, but it was actually ceded to Britain in 1713 and remains a British Overseas Territory. This means that while Euros are accepted, the main currency is the British Sterling. 

Moorish architecture and the Rock of Gibraltar are the two most famous sites. Europa Point at the most southern tip of Gibraltar is where you can glance into Morocco, an entirely different continent. Try not to visit on a Sunday as most places on Main Street will be closed. 

Laying at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains is Granada, best known for its pristine examples of medieval architecture, particularly the Alhambra from the Nasrid dynasty . UNESCO-listed La Alhambra is massive and needs a full day to explore properly, especially to see the Generalife gardens . 

Valencia

From past to future, you’ll then venture forth to Valencia, known for its City of Arts and Sciences . This futuristic structure, reminiscent of Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan or Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul , Contains a planetarium, oceanarium and interactive museum. 

As Valencia is a coastal city, you can also set your towel down in one of its beaches including those in the Albufera Park, which is actually a wetlands reserve with a lake and walking trails. This is also a fantastic place to try out authentic paella. 

Your last stop over in Spain will be the capital of Catalunya, Barcelona. There is too much to do in Barcelona and we have written about it extensively as it is our Editor-in-Chief’s home. 

If you’re looking for things to do in Barcelona on this leg of your European road trip, here is a massive list of articles you can save, from the best of Gaudi to the top wineries to some brilliant ideas for day trips…

The stunning views from Bunkers del Carmel

Barcelona guides:

  • A local’s guide to one day in Barcelona
  • Barcelona itinerary – Where a Barcelonian would take you in 4 days
  • Epic and fabulous, the best things to do in Barcelona
  • The most unusual things to do in Barcelona – unique activities to cool places
  • Where to stay in Barcelona – Best areas and luxury boutique hotels
  • The Best Rooftop Terraces in Barcelona to watch the sunset
  • Gaudi Barcelona most incredible sights
  • Guide with Sagrada Familia tickets, sights, history and other info
  • A local’s guide to seeing Casa Batlló inside and out
  • A local’s guide to La Casa de les Punxes
  • Tips to Prepare for your Camp Nou Tour
  • A local’s tips for visiting Barcelona Bunkers del Carmel

Wineries near Barcelona & Food:

  • Weekend wine escape from Barcelona – includes full itinerary
  • Top wineries near Barcelona to visit – Best wine and cava tours
  • Poblet Monastery in Conca de Barbera: How the church brought back wine
  • How to make the most of your Familia Torres Winery visit
  • Visiting Cava Codorniu Spain’s oldest family-run business
  • Albet i Noya – the pioneer in organic winemaking in Spain
  • A day out of Barcelona taking the Cava Llopart 1887 Gran Reserva Tour
  • Learning about Kosher wines at Celler de Capcanes
  • Disfrutar Restaurant, elBulli’s legacy freshly carried on
  • Review of Lasarte, Barcelona’s first 3 Michelin star restaurant
  • Review of ABaC Restaurant Barcelona
  • Gaig Restaurant Barcelona: Traditional Catalan fine-dining since 1869
  • The Proximity Food Movement in Barcelona – Beyond Organic 

Day trips from Barcelona:

  • Perfect day trips from Barcelona for everyone as told by a local
  • Things to do in Sitges where to eat and best beaches
  • How to get from Barcelona Airport to Sitges? (and from Sitges to Barcelona Airport)
  • Guide to Siurana, a legendary village on Priorat’s mountains
  • Day trip to Montserrat from Barcelona by a local
  • Things to do in Girona + 1 day itinerary

12. Andorra

Andorra La Vella

Just like Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, Andorra is another one of the smallest countries on the planet. Landlocked between Spain and France, it’s a hidden secret that will add some spice to your Europe road trip. The “country in the Pyrenees mountains” is all about beautiful nature in any season. 

There are ski slopes to hit in winter, gorgeous hiking trails in summer and a variety of activities for everything in between. Topping the list is the Caldea spa complex that leverages the natural hot springs in the area to provide an entertainment destination with hydrotherapy and wellness in mind. 

We have written a complete guide to Andorra where you can explore all of the best things to do from savoring rustic food to a list of all the museums to the best places to go shopping and the top hotels to stay at. 

13. Southern France

Canal du Midi Toulouse

Crossing the border, you’ll again venture into France, this time exploring the coastal cities along the Gulf of Lion from Languedoc to Provence all the way into Italy. 

Start at Montpellier, an underrated city with a rich history, beautiful architecture and bustling boutiques and sidewalk cafés among magnificent squares. It even has its own Arc de Triomphe . 

Montpellier’s lively vibe is attributed to some 60,000 students that call it home. Sip some Languedoc-Roussillon wines with delicious Mediterranean-inspired cuisine or climb the 658m Pic Saint-Loup. You may want to explore Toulouse, known as “The Pink City” due to its terra-cotta bricks, as it is another lively and gorgeous destination for a European road trip. 

After Montpellier, you can choose to explore the more popular port city of Marseille and Nice along the French Riviera, both in the Provence region, if you like more touristy and cosmopolitan destinations. The former is hailed for the epic Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde and the latter pays homage to native artists Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall . 

Monaco Blue Hour

It’s time to join the rich and famous in another one of the smallest countries in the world, Monaco. In fact, Monaco is the second smallest country after the Vatican and is only 2sqkm. Like Andorra and Liechtenstein, Monaco is a principality, meaning that a monarchy governs, currently ruled by Prince Albert II of the Grimaldi family.

The most well-known area in Monaco is its capital city, Monte-Carlo, synonymous with James Bond, Casinos, F1 and the rich and famous (because of its tax status). Expect a multitude of yachts docked at the ports along this country in the French Riviera housing all the beautiful people of the world. 

For more, check out our guide to Monaco . 

15. The Vatican

The Vatican

From the second smallest to indeed the smallest country in the world and the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church which is home to the Pope. 

Like Lesotho in South Africa , the Vatican is surrounded by the Italian capital, Rome. So if you’re visiting Rome, the Vatican is a must. Your time at the Vatican will be spent viewing ancient buildings, seeing historic art pieces and taking in the spirituality of Catholicism. 

Standouts include Michelangelo’s work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel , St. Peter’s Basilica which is the world’s largest basilica of Christianity, Renaissance art treasures at the Vatican Museums , Castel Sant’Angelo , Saint Peter’s Square and Gardens of Vatican City .

16. Rome, Italy

Rome at sunset

Buongiorno, you’ve reached the “beautiful country”! You’ve explored the Vatican and had your spiritual fix, so now it’s time to venture into the capital of Italy, Rome. While it wasn’t built in a day, you can try to see it all in 24 hours but we recommend spending much longer, Rome needs to be enjoyed not rushed. 

Ancient landmarks like the Colosseum , the Pantheon , the Roman Forum and the Arch of Constantine should all leave you speechless. 

Gaze at the famed Trevi Fountain as you pay homage to Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita or “take a little time for yourself…live dangerously” at the Spanish Steps like Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck did in Roman Holiday . Then support the local artists and street vendors at Piazza Navona. 

What next? 

Eat, eat and eat some more by exploring all the Michelin-starred restaurants of Rome (there are around 20!). 

You can then ride directly up into San Marino, which we explore next, or you have the option for going south into Naples and then Sicily to take a detour around the Italian coast and see some of the most famous parts of the country which have recently reached Instagram stardom (Amalfi Coast, Capri, etc.). 

The beaches in Favignana, off Sicily

The beaches in Favignana, off Sicily

In Sicily you can hike up an active volcano at Mount Etna , explore the best Sicilian food , visit the Godfather filming locations like Savoca , or relax in the quaint towns of Syracuse or Taormina and its Ancient Greek Theater . Here’s an extensive travel guide to Sicily for those who want to set out into the island. 

17. San Marino

San Marino

San Marino is a hilly microstate on and around Mount Titano that’s completely surrounded by north-central Italy. It’s as if time has stood still in this ancient republic, with much of its historic architecture still intact. 

The capital, sharing the same name as the microstate, is most well known for its medieval walled old town and narrow cobblestone streets. Once a year in July there’s even a Medieval Days festival which is a spectacle as the entire town dresses up and celebrates their history. 

At the top of Titano’s peaks sits The Three Towers which date back to the 11th century and are great viewpoints. If you have a drone, this would be the place to fly it! 

You may want to pop into foodie heaven Emilia-Romagna or Venice to see the iconic canals and the colorful glass island of Murano before moving onto Slovenia. 

18. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana at sunset

Well done, you’ve made it into central Europe! 

Start in Slovenia, a really beautiful country known for its mountains, ski resorts and lakes. Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana (say “loo-blee-ana”) is a university city with epic green spaces. Tivoli Park is the first of these spaces that you’ll want to explore. It’s a well manicured park where you can take a break and wander to your heart’s content. 

Cross over the iconic Tromostovje (Triple Bridge) and visit a few of the outdoor cafes that dot the Ljubljanica River. Then get cultured at one of the many museums like the National Museum of Slovenia or the Museum of Modern Art .

55km north-west from the capital is the epic Lake Bled, the iconic blue lake with Bled island at its center that houses the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary (Cerkev Marijinega vnebovzetja). This is closer to the Austrian border though, so you may want to visit it later in your journey as you’re now going down to Croatia. 

19. Zagreb & Split, Croatia

Zagreb Croatia

While Croatia is quite large, you’ll be sticking to the south-west so that you can easily make it into Bosnia & Herzegovina and then Montenegro. This area is also the most well-catered for tourists due to its gorgeous beaches. 

Starting in the capital of Zagreb, you’ll get to stretch your feet as you explore the quaint Tkalčićeva Street with its outdoor cafes and car-free Jelačić Square in Lower Town which also has museums, shops and parks. Upper Town is more focused on Austro-Hungarian architecture like Zagreb Cathedral and St. Mark’s Church.

Quirkier travelers can visit the Museum of Broken Relationships which is dedicated to breakups. Make sure to get a licitar, a traditional honey dough cookie in the shape of a heart and is Zagreb’s symbol. There’s no real to-do in Zagreb so let your feet guide you.

Split

Moving onto the more touristy sites, you’ll venture on down to the coastal cities of Zadar and Split. Zadar, on the Dalmatian coast, is most well known for its Roman and Venetian ruins such as St. Anastasia’s Cathedral and the Church of St. Donatus. 

Split on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea has some really beautiful beaches that get super packed in summer. The entire city center is like visiting a giant Roman palace, still going strong after 1700 years with additions and restorations. Game of Thrones fans will know all about Diocletian’s Palace, which is also UNESCO listed . 

20. Mostar & Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Mostar Bosnia & Herzegovina

Moving onto your next country in the Balkans, Bosnia & Herzegovina came into the public eye in the 90s due to the Bosnian War. Today it’s a lively off-the-beaten track destination that is safe for visitors to soak in the diverse culture. 

Unlike tourist-heavy Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina is yet to have a tourist boom and therefore makes for a great destination for those who like a more intimate experience. 

You can start your journey in Mostar before heading into the capital of Sarajevo. Mostar is a quaint city that’s known for its iconic UNESCO-listed Stari Most (Old Bridge) surrounded by mountains and greenery. Explore the alleyways on foot and find some hidden gems before walking up the hills for some panoramic views. 

Sarajevo Bosnia & Herzegovina

Previously war-torn Sarajevo is now completely restored to its former glory where east meets west – think Vienna paired up with Istanbul. While not too touristy, it still caters for foreigners with information booths and guides to the many churches, mosques, museums, amazing cafes and vibrant nightlife. 

Stroll through the cobbled streets of Baščaršija and look out for the 100 “Sarajevo Roses” which commemorate those who lost their lives in the war. A walking tour is a must! And you should definitely educate yourself on the Bosnian War before heading into the country. Read up more about it here . 

21. Kotor, Montenegro

The view on the way up to Kotor fortress

Back to the coast, you’ll head to the south of gorgeous Montenegro . This is the best place to go in the Balkans for sun, sand and sea as it’s way less packed than neighbouring Croatia. 

The quaint UNESCO-listed fortified city of Kotor is a great place to have a moment of respite as you wander through the cobblestone roads or perhaps walk up to St. George Fortress for a spectacular view of the idyllic bay below.

Sveti Stefan

You could also choose to explore some of the many picture perfect beaches of Montenegro , take a day trip to the uber luxurious and iconic Aman Sveti Stefan , or make your way to the humble oceanside towns of Rose, Perast or Ulcinj. Montenegro also has a very unique local cuisine which is always fresh and super delicious.

22. Tirana, Albania

Skanderbeg Square in Tirana

Similar to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania has a difficult and tumultuous past. After the fall of long term and extremely paranoid dictator, Enver Hoxha, the country has tried to rebuild itself as a center for arts and the freedom of expression. 

You’ll see graffiti all around the country, particularly in the capital of Tirana, where it is encouraged to turn the dreary blocklike buildings into a sign of hope for the future. 

The Bunk’Art museums in Tirana are a perfect example of this change, where underground bunkers built by the Hoxha regime were converted into exhibition and learning spaces. 

Beyond the beautiful Tirana, there is so much to see in Albania, from idyllic Albanian beaches to gorgeous castles (look for Rozafa, Prezë and Kruje Castles), or ancient architecture in Berat , Durres and the Greek ruins at Archeological Park of Apollonia – a UNESCO heritage site .

The other end of Mirror Beach in Albania

Need some more help? I have written articles on fun facts about Albania , the best food in Albania , as well as a complete travel guide to Albania and things to do in Tirana . 

23. Ohrid, North Macedonia

St. John the Theologian Church on Lake Ohrid

Before venturing into the Land of the Gods, you’ll be making a stop at the sleepy resort city of Ohrid, Macedonia. You’ll come back to the capital of Macedonia, Skopje, a bit later in the journey. 

This is your chance to completely relax from the frantic sightseeing and driving – wine glass in hand, platter of cheese and cold cuts in front of you, while gazing deep into the vast expanse of UNESCO-listed Lake Ohrid . 

If you can get off the view, take a stroll in Old Town, a boat tour around the lake or walk along the ancient Somoil’s Fortress and picturesque St. John the Theologian Church for more epic views. 

24. Thessaloniki, Greece

Thessaloniki Ekklisia Agios Pavlos Church

Cruising into Greece, you’re going to stay in the north, stopping halfway at Thessaloniki. This port city, straddling the Thermaic Gulf of the Aegean Sea, is a glimpse into the country’s past. 

You can see Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman remains, particularly if you venture into the upper town of Ano Poli . While parts of the city were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1917 , some ruins remain like Roman Emperor Galerius’ 4th-century palace. Munch on local street food koulouri Thessalonikis and pop open a local wine from the nearby Naousa appellation .

25.  Istanbul & Ankara, Turkey

Istanbul and Hagia Sophia at sunset

You’re now on one of the longest stretches on your trip which is from Greece through Turkey and onto Georgia. You can space out your long drive by stopping first at energetic Istanbul and then in Ankara, the cosmopolitan capital. 

Istanbul is the confluence of East meets West, of Europe and Asia, all in one. The fantastically fascinating Old City will give you a glimpse into the past. 

Explore the Sultanahmet district which houses the Roman-era Hippodrome (think chariot races), Egyptian obelisks, the epic Blue Mosque and the jaw-droppingly beautiful Byzantine Hagia Sophia . Don’t miss the Grand Bazar for some local delights. 

Ankara is more about the present and has a thriving performing arts scene. This is your chance to dress up and go to the Opera, Ballet or see a show at the Presidential Symphony Orchestra . Before the show make sure to visit the grand Anıtkabir , the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first President of the Republic of Turkey.

26. Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi

After a very long drive through the Turkish countryside, you’ll finally cross the border to Georgia, which was once part of the Soviet republic. Today, due to providing 365-day visas on arrival, Georgia has become a digital nomad hotspot if you need to get some work done or meet like-minded travelers. 

Georgia is famous for its black sand beaches, the quaint Caucasus Mountain villages and Vardzia, a sprawling cave monastery dating to the 12th century. 

Yet you’ll be stopping in the capital landlocked city of Tbilisi where you can wander through the maze-like cobblestoned roads of old town or hike up the scenic Narikala Fortress to see the blend of art nouveau buildings, Soviet Modernist structures and Eastern Orthodox churches. 

27. Sheki & Baku, Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, known as the Land of Fire and the birthplace of crude oil, is a place where East meets West, where Asia and Europe are both present but do not dominate, at once modern and a well-preserved history. 

Shirvan Shahs

Make a culinary pitstop in Sheki, a small but gorgeous historic town on the ancient Silk Road route. You can taste some of the best local Azerbaijani food like piti and halva in a Caravanserai before moving onto the capital. 

In Baku you will experience some of the most luxurious hotels in Azerbaijan like the Fairmont Baku Flame Towers , modern architecture like Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Center , and ancient natural wonders like the volcanoes. 

Little known fact about Azerbaijan , it has 45% of the world’s mud volcanoes! For a closer look, read my article on the top things to do in Baku and Azerbaijan . 

28. Yerevan, Armenia

Yerevan at sunset

Yerevan, Armenia’s capital, is your next stop on this epic European road trip. The imposing Soviet-era architecture will astound you and its history will amaze. Make a stop at the Matenadaran library , where you will find thousands of ancient Greek and Armenian manuscripts. 

Then head over to the vibrant Republic Square to watch the musical water fountains. Learn a bit more about Armenia’s past at the History Museum of Armenia with artefacts dating back to 3500 BC.

Note on feasibility : The itinerary considers that you return to Georgia from Armenia and then enter Russia by crossing the disputed territory of Abkhazia, however, at the time of writing, that is not possible. Instead, you should leave Georgia to the north at Kazbegi and enter Russia at Vladikavkaz and then retake the route. Thank you to Alastair Gill for pointing this out.

29. Sochi, Russia

Sochi Port

As you may know, Russia is absolutely massive. In fact, at 17 million sqkm it’s the largest country in the world , by far. 

To put it in perspective, the 2nd largest country, Canada, stands at just under 10 million sqkm. In order to fit Russia into your road trip of Europe, you can travel to Sochi, along the Black Sea and far from the capital Moscow . Sochi is around the same distance between Armenia and the Ukraine. 

You may know Sochi best as the home to the 2014 Winter Olympics, but in summer it’s also a popular beach resort destination. The 1,937sqkm Forested Sochi National Park is a must for nature lovers. Interested in ditching the car and catching the train? I’d definitely recommend either the Golden Eagle on a once in a lifetime trans-Siberian journey .  

Note on safety and feasibility of this portion : At the time of writing, the itinerary passes through the disputed territory of Crimea. Entering Crimea from Russia is possible but, if you plan to continue driving into Ukraine, as shown in this itinerary, you would be entering Ukraine illegally. Likewise, crossing from Russia into Ukraine is currently difficult given the security situation. The safest and easiest way to drive from Russia into Ukraine involves driving farther north on the border between the two, possibly near Kharkiv or Sunny and then driving down to Odessa to continue with the itinerary. Thank you to Alastair Gill, Igor Gakalo and Justin Golden for share their experience.

30. Odessa & Kiev, Ukraine

Saint Andrew's Church Kiev

Traveling along the Black Sea, you’ll cross the border over into the port city of Odessa. You’ll get to relax on one of the many beaches or watch a performance at the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater. 

Film fanatics will tick an activity off their bucket list as they climb the iconic Potemkin Stairs, immortalized in The Battleship Potemkin . Saunter along Primorsky Boulevard with monuments and mansions.

Next up is Kiev, an important industrial, scientific, educational and cultural center of Eastern Europe. It’s a pedestrian-friendly city with amazing public transport and a metro. So you can visit all the most beautiful monuments quite easily. 

Marvel at Eastern Orthodox Christianity’s most important landmark Pechersk Lavra , which is a complex of churches, bell towers and subterranean caves and contains a host of UNESCO heritage sites . Look up to see notable monuments like Maidan Nezalezhnosti or The Motherland Monument and then finish with a stroll in Hryshko National Botanical Garden .

Chernobyl

Before crossing the border to Minsk, you should make a stop in Chernobyl, an historical destination where you can learn about humanity’s flaws, particularly the nuclear power plant accident from 1986 . 

You will need to go on a tour of the abandoned city in a hazmat suit, but it is safe due to stringent precautions. It is a sobering experience and definitely one that will stay with you. Learn more about Chernobyl from the recent HBO docuseries.  

31. Chișinău, Moldova

Chisinau

Adding Moldova to your European road trip will have you taking a bit of a detour. Instead of going straight from Odessa in the south to Kiev up north, you can make a pit stop in Chișinău between the two. 

The capital of Moldova is an up and coming destination, but still one of the least visited in Europe . It’s a pedestrian-friendly city where you can soak up the local culture at Piata Centrala, Stephan the Great Central Park or Valea Morilor Park. There are also a few landmarks to spot like the neoclassical Nativity Cathedral or the dome-topped Chișinău’s Cathedral Park.

32. Minsk, Belarus

Minsk

Belarus is definitely not one of the most sought after European road trip destinations, but it surely has its own charm. At first it may seem like there is not much to do in the capital city of Minsk, but the attractions could keep you busy for about 2-3 days. 

Like most post Soviet Union countries, one of the top things to do in Minsk is to admire the Soviet architecture, particularly walking along Independence Avenue. 

Main structures include the Central Post Office , Palace of the Republic , Nyamiha Shopping Center, the National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre and even an incredible Soviet bas-relief above a KFC. 

There’s also a quaint Old Town, shopping at a GUM (department) store, visiting Mir and Nesvizh Castles , and checking out the hip cafes and street art near trendy Kastrychnitskaya street. 

33. Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius, Lithuania

Another city where you can find astounding architecture is Lithuania’s capital Vilnius , a UNESCO heritage center . Architectural styles from all periods can be found here. And did you know you can go on a hot air balloon ride over the city? Amazing.

Strolling along the cobblestoned streets of Old Town you’ll come across the beautiful baroque Gate of Dawn and Basilian Monastery, neoclassical Vilnius Cathedral and Gothic St. Anne’s Church (and so so much more!). 

Get your green fix at Bernardine Park , open air museum Europos Parkas or atop the Hill of Three Crosses for panoramic views. Shop local at Hall Market and explore the multitude of museums.

34. Riga, Latvia

Riga at night

From one capital to the next, this time you’ll be visiting Latvia’s Riga, the largest city in the three Baltic states. 

You may be a bit tired of perusing all the amazing buildings of Vilnius, and Riga is just the right place as it’s a youthful city with a pumping nightlife, hipster eateries and thriving alternative scene. Maybe you’ll take home a bottle of Riga Black Balsam , a bitter but slightly sweet liqueur made in oak barrels.

Before partying it up, take in the old centre of Vecrīga, with its maze-like streets filled with restaurants, museums and nightspots, Medieval churches and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site . 

But of course, there is more than enough architecture too to keep you happy from the vibrant House of the Blackheads to the world’s largest collection of Art Nouveau buildings, particularly those by “Riga’s Gaudí”, Mikhail Eisenstein . 

35. Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

Your final Baltic State before crossing over to Northern Europe is another cultural hub right on the Black Sea. Tallinn is for creatives. 

Starting at Telliskivi Loomelinnak (Creative City) where you’ll find Fotografiska (home to fine-art photography), venture onto PROTO Invention Factory for a look into the history of inventions and then end off at Kumu Art Museum which won European Museum of the Year in 2008. 

Cafe hop as you pass ancient monuments like Kiek in de Kök , Gothic-structured Town Hall or 13th-century St. Nicholas Church.

36. Helsinki & Rovaniemi, Finland 

Helsinki

Take the 2 hour ferry ride across the Gulf of Finland where you’ll end up in its capital, Helsinki. You can continue your cultural adventure by taking a walk along the Mannerheimintie, with its multitude of institutions like the National Museum , grand Parliament House and Kiasma contemporary art museum. 

Temppeliaukio Church is out of this world (think Auroville in Pondicherry or Iglesia El Rosario in El Salvador ) and Suomenlinna , a giant maritime fortress spread across seven islands, is man-made marvel. Red-bricked Uspenski Cathedral is also stunning.

In Helsinki, take the option of a ferry ride to St. Petersburg and avail of the 3 day free visa option to explore Russia’s grandest city. 

You wouldn’t want to leave Finland without making a trip to Rovaniemi. Why? Because it’s the official home of Santa Claus! 

Lapland Northern Lights

That’s right, the capital of Lapland is also home to one of the most beloved figures. There’s Santa Claus Village , SantaPark , Santa Claus Office and even Santa Claus Reindeer where you can meet the friendly helpers. Beyond all things Santa there is also lots to do from Arktikum Science Museum , Rovaniemi Art Museum , and of course Angry Birds Park !

Rovaniemi is also your chance to experience an authentic Finnish sauna, munch of some pulla (Finnish cardamom bread), and glimpse the Northern Lights. 

37. Stockholm, Sweden

Royal Palace Stockholm

Journey down the coast of Sweden along the Gulf of Bothnia all the way down to the Baltic Sea where you’ll find the capital, Stockholm. What many travelers to Stockholm might not know is that the capital city actually encompasses 14 islands with over 50 bridges. So the best way to see it all is to hop on the various ferries or sightseeing boats between the islands. 

Like most large European cities, Stockholm has its own old town called Gamla Stan which stands out for its cobblestone streets and ochre-colored buildings. 

Notable sites here include the 13th-century Storkyrkan Cathedral (make sure to go inside), the Swedish monarch abode Kungliga Slottet Royal Palace and the Nobel Museum (about the history of the Nobel Prize ). 

Get your Mama Mia on at the ABBA Museum , learn about all things nautical at the acclaimed Vasa Museum , or be more contemporary at Moderna Museet . Fashionista’s shouldn’t miss a visit to Södermalm (home to Greta Garbo) for “fika” (Swedish coffee break), boutique shopping, and massive photography gallery, Fotografiska . 

38. Oslo, Norway

Oslo

Take in the gorgeous scenic landscapes of Swedish as you travel across the country into Norway. Shortly after crossing the border, you’ll arrive at the capital of Oslo. 

Here you’ll find vast green spaces and plenty of museums to explore. Nature is a key part of life in Oslo, so this is a great chance to get out and moving as you won’t want to miss the epic scenery of the forests, walking trails and mountains – all easily accessible by public transport if you want to take a break from driving. 

Take a coastal stroll on the Bygdøy Peninsula which has, apart from astounding natural scenery, 5 national museums including the Viking Museum . Saunter around Frogner Park which has some 212 sculptures from artist Gustav Vigeland (as well as an eponymous museum ). 

Another major artist with a dedicated museum is Edvard Munch . Learn all about sliding down snow at the Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Tower or see a show at Oslo Opera House . Make your journey complete with a tranquil trip around the Oslofjord.

We would also recommend you add 3 more weeks to your trip and explore the rest of Norway. Check out this website with 18 scenic routes in Norway .

39. Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen canals

Your epic European road trip continues back into Sweden with an extensive leg of the journey down into Malmö (where you should try their famed kebabs), crossing the epic Øresund Bridge and ending up in Denmark’s capital of Copenhagen. One glimpse at this beautiful city and you’ll see where famed fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen got his inspiration. 

Copenhagen has something for literally anyone from amusement parks ( Tivoli Gardens ) to trendy pedestrian streets (Strøget) to Michelin-starred cuisine (23 stars to 16 restaurants in 2020) to arts and culture galore. A short 10km ride to Lyngby-Taarbæk Kommune you’ll find the oldest amusement park in the world called Dyrehavsbakken (“The Deer Pasture’s Hill”), also known as Bakken (“The Hill”).

Rent a bike and do as locals do, explore different areas from Christiania, an old commune, the historic waterfront of Nyhavn and of course the Little Mermaid statue. 

If you can, leave your car in Copenhagen and traverse the waters into the tiny island territory of the Faroe Islands – where the roofs are covered in grass , the sheep outnumber the people and the views are epic. This might inspire you to take a trip…

40. North and East Germany

Berlin

Catch another ferry from Lolland in Denmark to Fehmarn in Germany. The Fehmarn Belt connecting these two destinations through an 18km underwater tunnel has also been approved , so keep on the lookout for its opening. 

You will be traveling the North of Germany through such cities as Hamberg, Bremen, Münster, Dortmund, down to the tip of the Rhine, then onward through several states from Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg which encompasses the capital of Berlin.

Here is where startup owners mingle with vegans, artists and hipsters, Berlin is the center of art and creativity in Germany and well worth a couple of days. 

While we only border Germany, you can feel free to venture into the country and explore as much or as little as you would like. Cruise straight through as fast as you can on the Autobahn blaring Kraftwerk ,enjoy sausages and beer and just take it all in.

41. Warsaw & Wrocław, Poland

Warsaw Poland

After speeding on the Autobahn and living it up in hedonistic Berlin, it’s time to take it a bit slow as you enter Poland’s capital of Warsaw. 

Warsaw is a city to reflect on the atrocities of the Nazi invasion and the aftermath of World War II by visiting the many monuments dedicated to the mass destruction of the city and the people in it. Yet, like a flower through the cracks, the city has been restored to its former glory – a far cry from the rubble of the 1940s. 

Old Town and Łazienki Park are particularly beautiful and the many museums will keep you intrigued, like POLIN , Warsaw Uprising Museum or the Copernicus Science Centre (Poland is the birthplace of the famed mathematician who found the sun to be the centre of our universe). Make a pit stop at Wrocław on the Oder River, particularly the Market Square for some more culture, art and elegant architecture.

42. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague’s famous Charles Bridge

Crossing over to the center of the Czech Republic, Prague is a beautiful city to go around on foot while exploring the unique baroque buildings, Gothic churches and the stunning medieval Astronomical Clock. 

It’s a place where art and creativity is thriving from puppetry to jazz, and was also home to writer Franz Kafka (he used to live in Golden Lane) and father of modern psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud . There’s even a statue of him hanging from a pole in Old Town.  

Sip some world famous Czech pivo (beer) while gazing at the Vltava river or go the full nine yards by taking a tour of the Czech Beer Museum Tour where you can bottle your own beer. Don’t forget to taste some pork knuckle and pickled cheese before exploring the thriving nightlife. 

43. Salzburg & Vienna, Austria

Salzburg

Cross yet another border and you’ll be in the birthplace of Mozart , Salzburg. It is known for having the best-preserved baroque architecture in the old town centre in Europe, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site . If you have time visit The Eagles Nest in nearby Berchtesgaden, Germany for an amazing hike and epic views of the Bavarian Alps. 

Vienna is the next stop on your epic road trip of Europe, home to the United Nations and the cultural, economic and political center of Austria. It’s known as one of the most livable cities in the world and has a rich history of artists, intellectuals, culture and music. So there will be more than enough to keep you busy for a few days.  

44. Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava

Right on the border of both Austria and Hungary is Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava. So it’s an easy choice to stop here between the two countries. 

Get your hiking shoes because this beautiful city has many nature trails on offer through vineyards, the Little Carpathian mountains, and overlooking the breathtaking Danube river. From fairytale castles ( Bratislava & Devin) to sky blue cathedrals to the revitalised Eurovea district , there is surprisingly a lot to take in when visiting Bratislava. 

45. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest Castle

Roll along the north of Hungary until you reach the Danube, which bisects Hungary’s capital Budapest. Interesting fact about Budapest is that it’s actually not one, but rather 3 unified cities. 

They are Buda and Óbuda on the west bank of the Danube and Pest on the east bank. Many consider Budapest to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and will be a surprising standout of your Europe road trip. 

If you don’t know where to start in this gem, try the UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue. Peruse the gorgeous Parliament Building along the banks of the Danube, or Heroes’ Square and St. Stephen’s Basilica before descending into the infamous Faust Wine Cellars under Buda Castle. Then relax your muscles with a dip in the Széchenyi Thermal Baths or the Gellért Baths . 

46. Transylvania and Bucharest, Romania

Bram Stoker Castle

While Transylvania is usually associated with Dracula, Gothic fortresses and churches and baroque buildings, it’s not as spooky as Bram Stoker makes it out to be. 

Most of your Transylvania itinerary will be centred around the castles like Bran , Peleș and Corvin , the UNESCO World Heritage Site of colorful Sighișoara and exploring the Turda Salt Mine are equally impressive. 

But it is a rather large region of around 102,834 sqkm, so there’s a lot to cover. Hop over to the trendy student area of Cluj-Napoca for a taste of Romanian cool, explore the medieval walls and towers of Sibiu on foot or ski at Poiană Brașov.

Keep going south-east until you reach the capital of Bucharest. Once home to Vlad the Impaler and communist despot Nicolae Ceaușescu , it’s now in a boom with highrise towers and sleek glass facades. 

There is still a glimpse of the past among the newer lofty towers. Bucharest has the world’s biggest parliamentary building Palace of Parliament standing at 365,000 sqm and 1,100 rooms. Take a romantic stroll at Cișmigiu Gardens, the cobblestone streets of Lipscani (Old Town) and glimpse a replica of Paris’s Arcul de Triumf, an ode to its former nickname “Paris of the East”. 

47. Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

Walking through the capital of the Balkan nation of Bulgaria is like taking a time machine back to almost 2,000 years ago. 

Witness Sofia’s history of outside occupation through the Greek, Roman, Ottoman and Soviet landmarks. The city’s history is deep and complicated where mosques have been converted into churches and monolithic soviet structures overshadow newly formed boulevards. 

While you can’t dip in, the Central Mineral Baths is a very photogenic spot with an informative museum. Adventurous travelers can ascend the 2,200m Vitosha Mountain. 

48. Skopje, North Macedonia

Skopje North Macedonia

Coming back into North Macedonia, this time you’ll be visiting Skopje, the country’s capital and largest city. 

While being the center of politics, culture, economics, and academics, it is an ancient city dating back to 4000 BC with Neolithic remains at the old Kale Fortress. Probably the best thing to do in Skopje is to stroll along the Vardar river and do some quirky architecture and statue spotting (trust us there is a lot of that!). 

After all the walking, get some fuel at the old bazaar where you can also delve more into the culture of Skopje and visit the fort at the top of the hill. Then continue on to find some really quirky brutalist architecture and sip some thick coffee at the hipster Debar Maalo area. 

49. Pristina, Kosovo

National Library of Kosovo Wiki Arben Llapashtica (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Pristina might not be the most popular or well-known city in Europe, but once you start strategizing a trip here, you’ll notice that there is indeed a lot to do. 

One unique fact about Albania concerns Kosovo where 92.9% of the population is actually ethnic Albanian and Muslim. 

This ethnic differentiation between Muslim Kosovar people and the rest of Orthodox Serbia, the official UN country Kosovo belongs to has been the focus of tension for decades and tragically ended in the terrible Kosovo War . 

Sadly, because Kosovo has not been recognised as an independent country by the UN, these tensions continue and mean that parts of the country are under the supervision of the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces . But fret not, traveling in Kosovo is very safe and attacks are rare.

Back to pristina, many of the things to do in the capital are interlinked with Albanian culture.  For example, you can taste some Albanian Rakia , see sculptures of Skanderbeg like the ones in Tirana , and pay homage to the devout spiritual leader at the Cathedral of Saint Mother Teresa (who was ethnically Albanian). 

You can socialise over a thick Turkish coffee, witness the medieval UNESCO Site in Gračanica or see one of the world’s ugliest buildings – the Kosovo National Library . 

To truly enjoy the most beautiful parts of Kosovo, take a detour to Peje and Prizren, two beautiful mountain villages where traditional architecture and rich Ottoman heritage have been preserved, they are real gems.

50. Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade in winter

You’ve been around the continent and visited almost every country and your final epic European road trip destination is Serbia’s capital, Belgrade. 

Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe and has a tumultuous past of war and upheaval. It’s possibly this turbulent past that’s created it’s free-spirited present, particularly on the Bohemian avenue of Skardarlija and in the frequent splavovi (party boats) along the Danube and Sava.  You can end your monumental road trip of Europe with a bang in Belgrade by partying the night away. After sobering up, take in your final views from the Beogradska Tvrđava fortress , stroll around in deep thought at what you’ve accomplished at Kalemegdan Park and then jump into the water at Ada Ciganlija island.

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Soller Mallorca from above, with sailboats parked in the brightly covered bay. Mallorca is one of the best road trips in Europe!

55 Epic Road Trips in Europe (Itinerary Ideas + Tips!)

Whether you’re looking for coastal views, mountain villages, castles, wine country, or all of the above, one thing is for sure: there is absolutely no shortage of epic road trips in Europe.

Over the past several years, we have absolutely fallen in love with sampling the best road trips in Europe, and have explored parts of more than a dozen European countries by car, including driving from Portugal to Italy and back a few times!

Driving in Europe provides the freedom to find uncrowded corners and offbeat delights, while also ensuring you have a chance to hit up some of the biggest bucket list destinations on the continent.

In the beginning stages of planning a European road trip and not sure where you want to go?

With the help of many other travel bloggers, we have you covered–more than 50 times over!–in this giant guide to the best road trips in Europe.

Table of Contents

Once You Pick Your Perfect European Road Trip…

Tips for for planning to take a road trip in europe, best northern europe road trips, best southern europe road trips, best road trips in the balkans, best western european road trips, best central and eastern european road trips.

kate storm and jeremy storm posing in front of a rental car iceland ring road trip

Some links in this post may be affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please see our disclosure policy for more detail.

… We’d love to help you plan your trip in more detail!

Here on Our Escape Clause, we’ve written detailed, step-by-step road trip guides for many of the destinations covered in this giant bucket list, based on our personal travels around the continent.

We’ll link them where relevant below, but to see them in one place, you can scroll through all of our road trip guides here .

We also have hundreds of travel guides on specific European destinations on our website.

To peruse by country, you can use our  destinations page  or the search bar on the top right of the page (on desktop) or at the top of the pop-out menu (on mobile) to find what we’ve written about the places you’re most interested in!

kate storm jeremy storm and ranger storm on a balcony overlooking matera on a southern italy itinerary

This travel guide to the best European road trips is already giant, so I’ll keep these brief, but here are a few essential tips for planning a European road trip!

Shop around for your rental car.

The best company to rent a car for your road trip in Europe from will likely vary dramatically depending on where and when you’re traveling.

Sometimes large international carriers offer the best prices, sometimes local outfits. Sometimes one company has an excellent base price, but terrible rental requirements.

The best way to find your rental car is to search through Discover Cars , which will sift through dozens of companies to find the best combination of low prices and reasonable rental terms for your European road trip.

Browse rental cars for your European road trip today!

Jeremy standing to the right of a country road during our road trip in France. He's standing in front of a black rental car with the rear hatch open, and he's wearing a black jacket.

Read the rental requirements carefully.

Especially make sure you know how many kilometers you’ve been allotted (or ideally, if they’re unlimited)!

You’ll also want to note whether you need to return the car empty or full of fuel, what to do if the car breaks down, and what damages you’re liable for in the event of an accident.

ranger storm sitting on a ledge overlooking the puglia countryside in locorotondo

Manuals are cheaper and easier to rent than automatics.

Ideally, you’ll want to know how to drive a manual before taking any road trips in Europe.

While most companies carry a few automatic cars for non-European visitors, manuals are standard on the continent and are both far cheaper and much less likely to sell out.

Don’t focus on big cities.

Generally speaking, Europe’s legendary trains , plus plentiful bus and flight routes, can get you between major cities easier than a rental car.

Plan your European road trips around small towns, natural highlights, and countryside beauty instead.

Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm standing in front of a waterfall when visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park Croatia

Plan ahead if you want to rent a car in a competitive area.

Want to road trip Iceland in the height of summer?

If so, be sure to plan ahead: rental cars have been known to sell out!

Booking your rental car in advance is most important in places at a crossroads of extreme popularity and limited availability–like islands, for example.

kate storm at jokusarlon lagoon iceland in a yellow jacket

Lofoten Islands, Norway

From Michele of The Intrepid Guide

Located in Northern Northern, the Lofoten Islands are a quiet and almost untouched corner of Norway.

Connected to mainland Norway in the north by road, this beautiful archipelago extends out into the Norwegian Sea.

The long highway connects most of the islands by bridges or ferries, making it super easy to get around.

There are countless things to do in Lofoten which range from easy roadside stops to hiking the mountain tops for stunning panoramic views.

Lofoten highlights include seeing the brave arctic surfers ride the waves at Unstad Beach, seeing the bright yellow Fisherman cabins at Nusfjord, watching the Northern Lights reflect in the wet sand at Skagsanden Beach, and seeing the iconic red cabins and cod drying racks on Hamnøy Island. 

If you only do one hike, make the Reinebringen Trail.

view of Reinebringen trail in lofoten islands norway, one of the best places to plan a road trip europe

This popular hike leads you to some of the best views you’ll ever see and the elevation will make you feel like you’re on top of the world.

Start your trip in Svolvær, the region’s capital, and work your way down to Å – the most southerly town connected by road.

For the ultimate Lofoten experience, be sure to stay in a traditional fishermen’s cabin ( rorbuer ) and get hygge (Norwegian for ‘cozy’).

Recommended Road Trip Length

Allow at least 5 days to gently explore Lofoten and take it all in. This is not a place you want to rush!

From Svolvær to Å, it’s just 80 miles (129km), so you’ll be able to cover a lot of ground during your road trip.

Snowy beach in Lofoten Norway as seen during a northern Europe road trip, with a small red building in the center of the photo

Westfjords, Iceland

From James of Where You’re Between

Home to some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes, Iceland, in general, is one of the best countries for road trips in Europe.

Iceland’s second city of Akureyri is a fairly easy drive from Reykjavik, though one way to stretch out the journey is to take a multi-day detour through the Westfjords . 

Being one of the most remote areas in Iceland means that the Westfjords is also one of the least visited.

Despite this, the Westfjords is one of the most dramatic and spectacular corners of Iceland.

As an added bonus, a detour via the Westfjords also passes through the equally beautiful regions of Western Iceland and Northern Iceland.  

Before reaching the Westfjords take a further detour to Snæfellsjökull National Park, wherein true Icelandic style a glacier sits on top of a volcano.

There are countless waterfalls all along the route, including Kirkjufellsfoss, underneath the jagged shard of Kirkjufell Mountain.

Sunset over waterfalls in Iceland, one of the best places to visit in Europe in summer

Just inside the Westfjords region is Dynjandi, the largest in the whole region at over 100 meters tall. 

Much of the Westfjords is made up of mile after mile of sensational landscapes.

The roads often cling to the craggy mountainsides as they peak and trough around the jutting fjords.

Dotted throughout the Westfjord’s dramatic landscape are a number of beautiful idyllic towns, such as Flateyri and Ísafjörður.

Sat beneath the sloping mountains and facing the fjords these picturesque towns feel as though they’re a million miles away from anywhere.

Iceland’s second city of Akureyri also sits on the rim of a huge fjord in the far north of the country.

The nearby town of Husavik is one of the best places in Iceland to go whale-watching, and don’t miss the other-worldly landscapes of Dimmuborgir lava fields before you make your way back to Reykjavik.

3-5 days will give you a great introduction to the Westfjords.

From there, you can either explore the region more deeply or combine it with time in the rest of Iceland!

Dynjandi waterfall in the westfjords of Iceland, one of the best offbeat road trips in Europe

Algarve, Portugal

From Nina of Where in the World is Nina

We’re not sure what the best part of road-tripping Portugal’s Algarve is… the beauty, the cheap car rentals, or the ease of getting everywhere.

Perhaps it’s all three that make it one of the best European road trips!

If you fly into Lisbon or Faro, get your rental car booked ahead of time.

If you visit in the off-season, you can get a steal of a price for your car rental and lodging.

On your Algarve road trip, you can work from east to west or vice versa.

An ideal route would start in Lisbon, drive south, and then end in Faro.

You may pay just a bit more to drop the car off in another city but it’s well worth not having to backtrack.

The Algarve is known for its incredible beaches, cliffs, coves, and surf.

View of small beach on Algarve Coast in Portugal with a sailboat in the distance and rocky cliffs jutting out to sea

Some highlights you must check out include the sleepy surf town of Sagres featuring three nearby beaches (Amado is the furthest but best for beginner surfers).

Just thirty minutes east is Lagos , known for its headland views, watchtowers, and perhaps the prettiest view you’ll lay your eyes on at Ponta da Piedade.

Take a boat tour to Benagil Cave, or anywhere along the coast, exploring its sandy rock towers that sprinkle the shores.

There are also numerous coastal hikes that are really easy and provide great views. A favorite coastal hike is the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail.

One of the best parts of this Europe road trip is that you don’t have to pack up every day!

There’s no reason why you can’t choose where to stay in the Algarve once, and then not worry about it again since everything is pretty close and you’ll have a car.

Suggested Road Trip Length

Your trip should be nothing under three days, otherwise, it would be too rushed!

Five days is a good number and a week would be extremely ideal and you’d probably get to see everything you want and more without being too busy.

praia da marinha from above, one of the most beautiful beaches algarve portugal

Andalucia, Spain

From Tom of The Travelling Tom

A road trip around Andalucia is the best way to see this beautiful part of Spain.

There is no shortage of beautiful places to stop, such as popular Seville , Granada, and Malaga, and lesser-known spots such as Cadiz and Ronda .

Andalucia is full of history and interesting sights. From the towering Puente Nuevo in Ronda to the Moorish palace La Alhambra, the region is arguably the most interesting part of Spain to visit.

History is everywhere you look. Buildings from the Moorish rule of Spain, to Roman baths and amphitheaters. Andalucia is the place to visit if you’re a culture vulture!

You will also find loads of activities along the way. One of these is the Caminito del Rey outside of Malaga. It once had the reputation of being the world’s most dangerous hike.

court of the lions in nasrid palaces alhambra spain

However, the hike on boardwalks overlooking a gorge is a lot safer than it used to be.

Now, you can admire the views instead of worrying whether you’ll fall off or not!

Starting from Malaga and passing through Seville, Granada, Cordoba , and Huelva is one of the best routes to take. A detour to Gibraltar is possible as well.

This road trip in Spain can be done in 7 to 10 days depending on how fast you want to go.

whitewashed town of tarifa spain with africa visible beyond the water

Amalfi Coast, Italy

From Chrysoula of Travel Passionate

Italy’s stunning Amalfi Coast is a memorable destination for a road trip as the colorful coastal towns are linked together with wonderful winding roads that meander along the hillside with spectacular sea views along the way.

Not only this, but the beaches, restaurants, markets, and museums en route make the Amalfi Coast ideal for travelers of any age.

Keep in mind, though, that driving on the Amalfi Coast in summer is not for the faint of heart: only undertake this road trip if you’re a confident driver!

The whole of the Amalfi Coast has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site which just goes to show what an incredible destination it is.

Start your  Amalfi Coast road trip from Sorrento or Salerno, and work your way down the coast to towns like Ravello, Positano, and Praiano.

The panoramic views you witness as you drive along these coastal roads are absolutely breathtaking so make sure you pull over to take in the views on regular occasions throughout the drive!

While the joy of taking a road trip along the Amalfi Coast is that each journey can be totally unique as you have complete flexibility, there are certain stops that you’ll probably want to add to the list to ensure you see some of the highlights.

View of the Amalfi Coast with the sea to the right and a village on the left. The beautiful Amalfi Coast is one of the best places to visit in Italy.

These include Positano (the official starting point of the Amalfi Coast), Furore (the only fjord in Italy), the quaint village of Atrani, and, of course, the port of Amalfi itself.

The Amalfi Coast runs as far as Vietri sul Mare and you can take in as many or as few towns and villages as you wish.

The larger, more northern towns are the busiest and therefore most expensive, so if you’d prefer something a little more relaxing head to one of the smaller villages further down the coast.

You could spend absolutely anywhere from a few days to a few months exploring the Amalfi Coast, but the sweet spot is probably somewhere between one and two weeks.

If you have longer to spend in southern Italy, consider visiting Sorrento, Pompeii , and Capri too as these all have tons of character, culture, and history to explore.

Positano and Positano Beach from above along the Amalfi Coast, one of the best road trips in Europe

From Rai of A Rai of Light

There are plenty of places to visit in Malta and a road trip sure is one of the best ways of doing so.

The island is perfectly made to get into your car and head for the open roads (as long as you’re confident–the driving on Malta is intense).

However, Malta is small enough to ensure getting lost is not a regular occurrence, while large enough to hold many distinguished features and scenic routes.

From the start point in Sliema don’t miss a stop at the Birgu Waterfront for great views of Valletta, before moving on to the picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk.

This laid-back village will make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.

kate storm wearing a pink dress on a side street in valletta malta

Most of the scenic drives in Malta will have the sea featuring in one way or another.

After a stop in Golden Bay, the drive down from Mellieħa to Għadira comes with many good stops along the way, including Għadira Bay and The Red Tower.

On the way back to Valetta, a stop in St. Julian’s is recommended.

Malta is just so compact that you really can fit in most of the island on a day-long road trip.

However, it is recommended to increase this to two to four days if you’re really keen to take your time and see all that this island has got to offer.

Things to Do in Malta: Marsaxlokk

Costa Brava, Spain

From Justine Ancheta of Latitude 41

Translated as “the rugged coast”, the Costa Brava blesses northeastern Spain with sandy beaches, medieval villages, and the eccentricities of artist Salvador Dalí.

From Barcelona , head north to Tossa de Mar, a small town where you can get a view of towering medieval walls while basking on Platja Gran, the main beach.

Then spend a day or two exploring the best thin gs to do in Girona, including the 12th-century Arab baths, the well-preserved Jewish Quarter, and the imposing Girona Cathedral.

From there, visit the charming former fishing village of Cadaqués.

tossa de mar, costa brava, from above, with castle in the foreground and water in the background, one of the best beach towns in spain

A warning to the driver: the last few kilometers of the road leading up there are narrow and winding, but not dangerous.

However, the journey is worth the scenic beach coves, whitewashed residences, and cobbled streets wrapped up in a sophisticated ambiance.

It’s also where artist Salvador Dalí spent his summers and home to the famous Casa-Museo de Salvador Dali.

Next up is Figueres, the birth town of Dalí and home to the quirky Dali Theatre-Museum.

Some of his avant-garde works lie here like his holographic art, stereographs, and the Mae West installation. Also, the artist himself is buried in the crypt.

This European road trip is ideal if you’re seeking the warm Mediterranean sun while discovering local Catalan and Spanish art and culture.

Carve in at least seven days to see the magnificent Costa Brava!

coastline of Costa Brava Spain as seen from across with water, with a village visible in the distance. Spain's Costa Brava is one of the best European road trip routes!

Sardinia, Italy

From Hayley Lewis of A Lovely Planet

The stunning Italian island of Sardinia is a fantastic road trip destination, with stunning beaches, incredible scenery, and delicious Italian food.

Start your Sardinia road trip in Cagliari, the island’s largest city, and head southwest to Isola di Sant’Antioco, accessed by a mile-long causeway.

This is one of the oldest parts of Sardinia, and is not as frequented by tourists.

Next, drive to Bosa on the east coast. The coastline is incredibly scenic along the way, with rugged hills and sandy beaches.

Bosa is a hillside town filled with quaint colorful houses, and a castle at the center – a must-visit – especially for great views of the town.

aerial view of the colorful buildings of bosa sardinia surrounded by mountains, one of the best seaside towns in italy

Continue north to Alghero, a town with a strong Spanish influence and striking coastal walls.

North of the town you’ll find some of Sardinia’s most beautiful beaches – perfect for a few days of relaxing.

Make your way across the island to the west coast, and the town of Cala Gonone, the gateway to Golfo di Orosei – a stretch of incredible coastline accessed by boat or by hiking.

The water here is clear and a striking aquamarine color and the coast is dotted with great little beaches including the famed Cala Goloritze – one of Sardinia’s most prized beaches.

There is also an extensive cave network, which you can visit part of, via boat at Bue Marino Grotto, which is filled with striking stalactites and stalagmites.

Before you make your way back to Cagliari for your flight home, be sure to stop at Cala Sinzias, a white sand beach reminiscent of the Caribbean or French Polynesia.

Ideally, it’s best to have at least a week to explore all that a Sardinia road trip has to offer.

overview of a beach near cagliari sardinia

Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal

From Megan of MeganStarr.com

In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean where the European plates meet the American ones sits the Azorean Archipelago, a group of volcanic islands that are an autonomous region of Portugal. 

The largest of the islands is Sao Miguel and you’ll find the main airport there, as well as a copious number of things to do.

Sao Miguel is the perfect place to start your Azores itinerary as there is a network of well-taken care of roads that wind around the island allowing visitors to see all of the viewpoints.

This Azorean island is the perfect place for a road trip, and exploring Sao Miguel in-depth by car should take around 3-4 days.

The best place to embark on this road trip is in the capital city of Ponta Delgada.

After visiting the colonial city brimming with architecture constructed with a touch of black, volcanic stones, you should head west where you will have the opportunity to look down into craters of old volcanoes and lakes that now fill them.

Sete Cidades is the most famous and the landscape will blow one’s mind.

As you cruise around Sao Miguel by car, you’ll have the chance to drive by some attractive black sand beaches and small villages, such as Capelas along the north coast.

view of cliffside hiking trail in azores lined with hydrangeas. the azores are a europe bucket list destination

There are several natural pools along this route that you’ll want to be sure to tote along a bathing suit and beach towel.

The next place worth tackling on Sao Miguel is the eastern part of the island, where you’ll find many hot springs, botanical gardens, and relaxing parks such as Terra Nostra where you can spend time rejuvenating yourself in natural pools heated by geothermal energy.

Another can’t-miss thing to do in Sao Miguel is to find a restaurant near Furnas that specializes in ‘Cozido das Furnas’, a famous Azorean dish that has been slowly stewed by the Earth’s underground heat.

There is plenty to do in the Azores and Sao Miguel is an ideal starting point. 

Whether you stay there for three or four days, which is the minimum number I recommend, or more, you will definitely be glad you got to experience one of the best road trips in Europe.

lake filling ancient volcano in azores portugal

Eastern Sicily, Italy

From Annabel of Smudged Postcard

Sicily is a big island so to do it justice it’s worth concentrating on just part of it. Eastern Sicily lends itself particularly well to a road trip.

Fly into Catania and start your Eastern Sicily road trip, starting with a few days spent exploring the beautiful coastal city of Syracuse with its stunning cathedral and fascinating ancient history.

Next up is the Val di Noto where a huge earthquake resulted in many of the cities being rebuilt in an elaborate Baroque style in the 17th century.

Noto and Ragusa are particularly impressive although fans of chocolate might prefer Modica and its interesting chocolate history.

Drive into Sicily’s interior for a morning exploring Caltagirone with its incredible ceramic staircase before heading on to Enna.

Kate Storm in a blue skirt overlooking Ragusa Ilba from Ragusa Superiore, one of the best views on this 10 days in Sicily itinerary

In the center of Sicily, Enna is a hilltop city like none other with awe-inspiring views across the wheat plains.

Also not to be missed near Enna are the Roman mosaics at Piazza Armerina, which are said to be some of the best-preserved in the world.

From Enna, you’ll pass smoldering Mt. Etna before ending the trip in pretty Taormina with its Greek amphitheater and the lovely beaches at Isola Bella below.

This trip will take around 10 to 14 days if you’d like to explore Sicily at a leisurely pace.

The road trip is best undertaken outside of the scorching summer months: the ancient sites are best visited during the milder weather of spring or autumn.

kate storm sitting on a garden wall in taormina sicily overlooking the ionian sea, one of the best places to visit in italy summer

Southern Italy From Puglia to Rome

From Marta Correale of Learning Escapes

The south of Italy is one of the most beautiful areas of the Italian peninsula and a wonderful destination for a European road trip.

Blessed with beautiful weather almost all year round, this is a land of many wonders and rewards the adventurous visitor with stunning coastlines, charming whitewashed villages, and important cultural sites.

This southern Italy itinerary travels from Puglia to Rome, via the little-known region of Basilicata.

Start your trip from the small city of Trani, marvel at its stunning waterside cathedral, and make your first overnight stop in Alberobello.

Famous for its hobbit-like dwellings of UNESCO fame, this is a pretty town with flower-filled alleys and fairy-tale architecture, perfect for slow travelers and photography lovers.

kate storm sitting on the edge of a balcony on matera in summer--visiting matera in july can be considered a bit of an italy travel mistake

Make unique Matera your second stop and spend a few days taking in the incredible sight that is this city, entirely carved out of rock ( sassi ).

Explore its rupestrian churches and get pleasantly lost among its labyrinthine city center, beautiful views, and restaurants!

If you book in advance, you may also be able to find accommodation in one of the  sassi : these have now been restored and are a unique and romantic place to call home for a few days!

From Matera, drive towards Rome but before diving into the dream that is the Eternal City, make sure you visit the archaeological site of Paestum along the way.

Famous for beautiful Greek temples abandoned among vast green fields, it is one of the most scenic Unesco sites in Italy and one not many visitors know about yet! 

This road trip is ideally spread over a week to 10 days and it is particularly suited to those travelers who enjoy cultural sites and getting off the beaten track.

Temple of Athena as seen in Paestum Italy shot dead-on, as seen during a fun Europe road trip itinerary

Tenerife, Spain

From Paulina of Paulina on the Road

Some may think of Tenerife as a plain beach and sun destination, but it’s much more than that.

There are plenty of things to see and do on this Spanish gem once you get away from the shore.

The best to explore Tenerife is by going on a road trip, which will help you understand how diverse this island is: rocky volcano mountains in the north and golden, sandy beaches in the south.

I recommend starting in Adeje, one of the best places to stay in Tenerife , from here you can make your way up north to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, famous for its Auditorium and carnival.

white village perched on a dramatic cliff in tenerife, one of the best winter sun destinations in europe

From here, continue to La Laguna, a gem of historic architecture.

This is already the highest point you can get in Tenerife.

From here, drive all the way southwards passing along La Orotava and Los Gigantes. 

The island may seem small in size, however, you should at least calculate 2-3 days if you want to explore all its attractions with a road trip.

Mountain view of the jagged peaks and dense forests of Tenerife, one of the best islands for a road trip in Europe

Terceira Island, Azores, Portugal

From Sylvia of Wapiti Travel

Terceira Island is probably the most spectacular island in the Azores archipelago. 

It can be visited as part of a broader Azores itinerary . This European road trip is a versatile vacation that is sure to please hikers and nature lovers.

Since none of the islands is really large, most tourists visit multiple islands in one trip. Island hopping, either by boat or by plane, is part of the charm of a trip to the Azores.

The island was the third to be discovered, hence its name, and it is also the third-largest island of the group. 

A few hours is all you need to drive the entire loop, but by just driving around the island you would miss the majority of the impressive sights that are located in the center of the island.

view of  from Alto da Memoria, Terceira from above in azores with ocean in the background

The island is home to two impressive caves. You can visit both in one afternoon leaving ample space to hike the Mistérios Negros trail that starts at the entrance of Gruto do Natal. 

The next day you can visit the Furnas do Enxofre, a fairytale-like landscape at the heart of the island.

The island has numerous impressive viewpoints and if you plan your visit in summer you can dive into the countless natural swimming pools to cool off.

Three days is all you need to see all of the highlights of Terceira, which will allow you time to leisurely road trip the island and enjoy all the beauty it has to offer.

Cave on Terceira Island in the Azores with light shnging in an opening at the top and a trail visible on the right.

From Linn of Brainy Backpackers

A  road trip across the Tramuntana mountain range in Mallorca is a must if you visit the small Spanish island.

Starting in Palma de Mallorca, drive straight to Cap de Formentor for breathtaking cliff views.

You should not miss Cap de Formentor’s viewpoint, but even more spectacular are the views from an old abandoned building and watchtower up the hill next to the viewpoint.

You can either walk for 30 minutes or you can drive up the narrow road.

The reward is the most mesmerizing view of the entirety of Cap Formentor and Menorca in the distance.

famous Cap de Formentor viewpoint on mallorca with road to the left and sea to the right

Continue through the picturesque villages of Pollensa, Fortnalutx, Soller, Deia, Valldemossa, and Port Valdemossa.

In Soller, you should leave the car and take the old-fashioned tram down to Port de Soller. This town is a great place to stay the night during your Mallorca road trip.

 Recommended Road Trip Route

The route can be done in a day, but it is recommended to spend at least 2-3 days to get the most out of it.

With more time, you can add additional island destinations to sightsee, enjoy the beaches, and go snorkeling in Mallorca !

electric tram running along the beach in mallorca spain

Lisbon to Porto, Portugal

From Or of My Path in the World

Full of incredible stops along the way,   a road trip from Lisbon to Porto   is a great and easy way to explore multiple regions in Portugal.

This wonderful route includes quite a few unique landmarks, so it should be on any Europe lover’s bucket list.

The first one that shouldn’t be missed is Cabo da Roca, Europe’s westernmost point.

It provides the most scenic views of the Atlantic coast, and it’s the starting point of several hikes alongside it.

There’s also a nice bonus of getting a personalized certificate confirming the visit to this unique place.

view of coast from cabo da roca, a fun stop during an itinerary for portugal in 10 days

Another must-see on this road trip is Sintra. It’s home to the iconic, colorful, and Insta-famous Pena Palace, but there’s a lot more to this town.

Other historical landmarks to visit here include the Castle of the Moors, the Palace of Sintra, and the palace of Quinta da Regaleira.

The fairytale town of Obidos is also worth a visit: be sure to walk the town walls!

And, Portugal’s incredible UNESCO-recognized monasteries of Alcobaça, Batalha, and Tomar lie between Lisbon and Porto.

Your road trip isn’t complete without a stop at at least one of them!

Not including a few days in Lisbon and Porto, this route can take about 3-4 days.

Pena Palace in Sintra, an excellent day trip from Lisbon Portugal

Northern Spain Road Trip (Bilboa to Santiago de Compostela)

From Jessica of My Feet Will Lead Me

One of the most underrated areas of Europe may just be Northern Spain.

The diverse landscape from San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela makes for multiple mini destinations in one road trip.

From tiny surf towns to mountain villages, to medieval cities, this region of Spain is an absolute gem.

And because it typically gets overshadowed by Barcelona, Madrid , and Andalucia , there won’t be swarms of tourists and prices are very reasonable.

Starting with the autonomous community of Basque Country, this culturally distinct region of Spain is known for its amazing cuisine and especially seafood.

Here, you’ll want to get your fix of “pintxos” or bar finger food.

For a lesser-known but incredible sight, visit the little surf town of Bakio and see the Game of Thrones filming location for the Dragonstone castle, known as Gaztelugatxe.

Continuing west to the Principality of Asturias, the Picos de Europa National Park is a dramatic and stunning area of snowcapped peaks, turquoise rivers, tiny traditional villages, and cliffside roads with views that will make your jaw drop.

Spain Picos de Europa Puente la Jaya stone bridge over a bright blue river

Head back to the ocean in the Asturias region where seaside villages cling to the dramatic coastline.

There are sandy beaches, rocky and rugged beaches, and jade-colored water.

Visit the capital of Oviedo for architecture and history and if small seaside villages intrigue you more, wind your way down the coast stopping for tapas and drinks in towns like Ribadasella, Lastres, and Cudillero.

Finally come to Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia.

It also is the culmination of the iconic Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, so you’ll see many backpackers with trekking gear.

This is a fairly small city with a stunning medieval old town and cathedral. It’s a perfect place to spend a couple of days sampling tapas and sightseeing.

Northern Spain is perfect for mountain and beach-loving adventurers alike.

You’ll need at least a week to adequately cover the small towns, and longer if you want to spend time in the cities of San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander, Oviedo, or Santiago de Compostela.

panoramic view of san sebastian spain from above

Barcelona to Andorra

From Mar of Once in a Lifetime Journey

Most people drive from Barcelona to  Andorra  without any stops, arriving at Andorra la Vella in about 2.5 hours.

However, you can also make it a day trip and visit a few of the interesting villages along the way.

Start with a morning stop at Montserrat Mountain. This famous landmark outside of Barcelona is a holy mountain for Catalans and contains the black Virgin of Montserrat.

There is a museum that holds paintings from famous artists such as Caravaggio and Picasso as well as the church which can be visited. 

After Montserrat, the next stop should be Manresa. This modern city has a Medieval core that contains a beautiful church, bridges over the River Cardoner and other places worth a visit.

Visit La Seu, the 14th-century basilica that took almost two centuries to build and is a gem of the Catalan Gothic style. 

Have lunch in Manresa, the more local a place looks, the better. Most restaurants will have lunch menus for less than 15 Euro, including coffee and usually a glass of wine.

view of cathedral of manresa spain from above, a fun stop when planning a european road trip from spain to andorra

With a full stomach, continue towards Berga, famous for La Patum, a fire festival that takes place every year during mid-June and which sees an explosion of fire, dancing, and drums.

If La Patum is not on, you can learn more at its small museum, and explore this small Medieval village with its entry gate called Portal de la Magdalena. 

After Berga, continue to La Seu d’Urgell, the capital of the county of La Cerdanya and the last territory before reaching Andorra.

In la Seu, as the name indicates, you can see a fabulous Romanesque Catedral de Santa Maria, which is one of the most important in Catalonia and has been well preserved.

There is an adjacent museum with Romanesque art pieces and a cloister.

You can comfortably complete this short European road trip in a day.

stone village in the hills of andorra, visible on a france road trip itinerary from toulouse to andorra

From Stephanie of Sofia Adventures

Slovenia is a stunning country, and some of the   best places to visit in Slovenia  are best reached by car.

While many tourists know to see Ljubljana and Lake Bled, gems like the UNESCO World Heritage site of Idrija, Lake Jansa, and Triglav National Park are can’t-miss spots that are slightly more remote. 

Start with a day or two in Ljubljana before you pick up a rental since Ljubljana is famously walkable and compact. When you’re ready to hit the road, you truly can go in any direction!

Head southwest to Predjama Castle, Skogjan Caves, and the seaside town of Piran , or you can head west to Idrija and the Julian Alps. 

Or go northwest to the waterfall-laden paradise of Triglav National Park.

Soca River in Slovenia with trees on either side and a mountain visible in the background, as seen during a Slovenia road trip

If you’re itching to go east, set your GPS to Maribor and enjoy this gorgeous and quiet Slovenian city that too many tourists skip over. 

If you’re going to be in the country in the wintertime and intend to drive through the mountains or do any skiing, make sure you pick a rental car that can handle the driving terrain!

The mountain roads in the west can be a bit tricky.

You can cover a lot of the country in one week, but give yourself two weeks to enjoy a lazy circuit around this tiny but packed country. 

Slovenia Travel Budget: Vintgar Gorge

Bay of Kotor

From Emily of Wander-Lush

Petite, affordable, and with only one toll road to its name, Montenegro is a terrific place for a European road trip.

While you can reasonably cover the entire country from mountains to sea in 7 to 10 days, for a slower-paced  road trip around Montenegro , I highly recommend honing in on the Bay of Kotor.

Montenegro’s crowning jewel, the Boka winds its way along the northern part of the country’s Adriatic coast, carving deep coves into its stony mountains.

Eighty kilometers of well-maintained highway hug the shoreline, meaning it takes just over 2 hours to drive around the entire bay.

Along the way, there are plenty of small towns and national parks to stop off at.

Highlights include the town of Kotor , with its UNESCO-listed Old Town, Budva, Sveti Stefan, and Herceg Novi, and Perast, a tiny Venetian town sandwiched between a pretty blue-water bay and towering hills. 

One of the best things about this road trip is that because of the short distance, you’ll never have to do more than an hour or so worth of driving in a single day.

view of our lady of the rocks from across the bay in montenegro

You can easily break up the journey with longer stays in the more laid-back towns (Perast is perfect for this – mainly because it’s free from cruise ships).

If you want a change of scenery, it’s only a quick detour up the steep hills above the bay to reach Lovcen National Park.

If you’re feeling brave, take the Kotor Serpentine, a notorious road that involves 16 hairpin bends.

The views get more and more spectacular with every turn, and there are plenty of places to pull over for a photo once you reach the top.

I recommend setting aside at least 5 full days to do this route, and the towns along the way, justice.

Girl in pink shirt climbing San Giovanni Fortress: Best Things to Do in Kotor Montenegro

Hvar, Croatia

From Martina of The Global Curious

The island of Hvar, in Croatia, is known for being a stunning, party island lying on the crystal clear depths of the Adriatic Sea.

Some head there to spend a few wild days, and others would visit for a couple of hours as a day trip from Split .

But travelers keen to unwind and truly enjoy Hvar could easily spend from 4 to 7 days road-tripping and discovering some of the island’s gems. 

Hvar’s most famous spots can be found in the Old Town and its surroundings, from the cathedral to the Spanish Fortress and a Franciscan Monastery.

If visiting over the summer, the lavender fields up on the hills around Velo Grablje and Brusje are a must, even if you are just passing by!

Camping and off-the-beaten-path enthusiasts can stay in Milna, a tiny villa by the sea with beautiful sunsets and great seafood.

If planning a visit to Croatia’s most famous beach, Zlatni Rat on the island of Brac, Jelsa is also a cute little town with a campsite where you can park and set camp. 

famous Zlatni Rat beach in brac croatia as seen from above via a drone

The best of road-tripping is the chance to get to more ‘secret’ places.

Pitve is definitely one of those! It’s a tiny ghost town up in the hills with a population of 69 people.

Getting there is quite fun as you must cross an old narrow tunnel before reaching a settlement full of abandoned stone houses left to nature’s will.

Dubovica is also another very scenic beach in Hvar. 

Another great idea is not just touring the island but visiting the Paklinski Islands, especially Marinkovac and Jerolim. 

Small boats parked near a rocky shore on the Pakleni Islands, one of the best things to do in Hvar

To kick start your road trip, catch the ferry in Split, arrive in Stari Grad, and tour the western half of the island. It’s also possible to rent a car once you arrive there! 

To complete the experience, drive across the island to the East and catch the ferry from Sucuraj to Drvenik.

Once in Croatia’s mainland, if you still have time on your hands, drive south for 2 hours and reach Dubrovnik !

Ideally, travelers would spend 5 or 6 nights in Hvar to really explore the island and its surroundings.

The roads are well maintained and although it can get crowded, as soon as you leave the main town, you’ll find peace and quiet.

View of Hvar Town from Spanish Fort with Pakleni Islands in the distance, one of the best things to do in Hvar Croatia

Southern Albania

From Rick of The Road is Life

Albania isn’t the first country that comes to mind when planning a European road trip, but if you give it a chance it will prove to be an amazing adventure.

This is a country with both great natural beauty and interesting history.

Towering mountains plummet precipitously into the crystal clear and stunning Mediterranean waters that span the entire west coast and further inland there is no shortage of beautiful UNESCO-listed sites and old towns to explore.

This southern Albania road trip will start you off in the port city of Saranda before visiting the stunning coastal town of Ksamil, with striking azure waters and nearby UNESCO-listed Roman ruins.

Then, head inland, passing by the beautiful “blue eye” lake before heading to the ancient town of Gjirokaster, with its traditional stone-roofed buildings and market.

Hike up to the ancient hilltop fortress for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys .

Continuing north you can spend the night in a 13th-century citadel situated high above the UNESCO world heritage town of Berat , eating in beautiful local restaurants as you take in sweeping views of mountains and sunset.

Albanian Riviera as seen from above with a winding mountain road in the foreground and the bright sea in the background

Explore the unique town and architecture before getting back on the road for one of the most stunning drives in the world.

After leaving Berat you’ll head back to the coast via a winding and amazing mountain road, offering jaw-dropping views out across the Albanian riviera; keeping your eyes on the road is no easy task!

You can have lunch at a mountain-top restaurant overlooking the ocean before heading back down to have your choice of beaches to stay on. 

Spend as many days on the Albania Riviera as you please, feasting on fresh seafood (at amazing prices) and enjoying the pleasant lack of crowds compared to mainstream European beachside destinations.

There are multiple ferry trips between Corfu, Greece, and Saranda per day so fly into Corfu to save money.

Cars can be rented at Saranda port, consider paying a little extra for a well-known company to avoid scams.

This road trip in Europe can be done comfortably in a week but can be extended for as long as you can handle the sun-drenched beaches, cheap beer, and delicious seafood. 

Beach chairs and umbrellas facing toward the bright sea on the Albanian Riviera, as seen as part of a Europe road trip itinerary

Bosnia and Herzegovina

From Arzo of Arzo Travels

One of the best road trips to take in Europe is through Bosnia-Herzegovina.

This beautiful but definitely underrated country surprises its visitors who venture to enjoy a Bosnia road trip .

Many travelers drive over from Croatia: if so and you come from Dubrovnik or Split , start from Kravica Waterfalls, Pocitelj, and Blagaj.

You can visit all three beautiful places in one day before driving to Mostar which is just a few kilometers from Blagaj.

After spending a day in Mostar it is time to drive to Sarajevo , which makes for a scenic ride .

stari most bridge as seen from across the river, one of the best things to do in mostar bosnia and herzegovina

Pass the Neretva River, Lake Jablanica, and Konjic and spend a full day on the road with many breaks.

Sarajevo is a wonderful city where you can spend a day or two before ending your day trip.

For this European road trip itinerary, I would plan in about 5 days.

If you have more time (6 or 7 days), consider driving the M 18 toward Montenegro.

You will get to Bosnia´s longest and deepest canyon – Rakitnica Canyon – where you can do some water sports. 

sunset from the yellow fortress, one of the best things to do sarajevo bosnia

Eastern Crete

From Una of Wandernity

Crete is the largest island in Greece, and it takes several days to visit all of the must-see places on the island.

Renting a car and going on a road trip will make it possible to reach as many points of interest as possible, making Crete a fantastic option when planning a road trip in Europe.

Malia is a great choice for the apartment on the Eastern Crete. It’s known as a party location and has a lot of hotels, beaches, and attractions.

A perfect day-trip from Malia is going to   Spinalonga Island, Agios Nikolas town, and Richtis Gorge .

Spinalonga island is uninhabited, and tourists can reach the Venetian fortress and ruins of a former leper colony by boat.

You have to be there early to secure a place on a boat, as during the high season there might be queues.

Agios Nikolas is a coastal town with beautiful houses and streets leading from a hill to the seaside.

There is an old harbor surrounded by charming cafes and very photogenic architecture.

Agios Nikolaos in Crete as seen from above

Richtis Gorge is a green and lush hiking path ending at the seaside. The hike is around 4 kilometers long one-way.

It has a waterfall in the middle for a refreshing swim before going back up the gorge.

Another day-trip you can make from Malia is to the cave of Zeus, Knossos, and Heraklion.

Knossos is a place famous due to the well-known myth of the Minotaur. Half-man and half-bull, the Minotaur is said to have lived there in a labyrinth, and the ruins which exist today actually look like the labyrinth.

Knossos is a ceremonial and political center of the Minoan civilization and culture, which might be the oldest city in Europe.

Finally, Heraklion has an impressive Koules Fortress built by Venetians. It’s a perfect place to go for a walk and see the city from a long breakwater. 

Try to spend at least a few days dedicated to Eastern Crete if possible!

As the island is quite big, one way to save time on road trips is to rent an apartment on one side of the island for a few days, and then change the base to the other side.

boats in the old port of heraklion, a fun stop on a road trip crete

Transylvania, Romania

From Rachelle of Adventure is Never Far Away

With fortress-dotted hills strewn across valleys, quaint medieval towns, and narrow highways slicing through dense forest, road tripping through the countryside of Transylvania is like something out of a fairytale, not a feature that many other corners of the world can boast. 

Starting in Brasov, head north towards the vibrantly colorful town of Sighișoara and wander through the maze of cobblestoned streets.

Get lost in the old town city center, which also happens to double as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Continue northwest to Cluj-Napoca, the unofficial capital of Transylvania, and immerse yourself in the hopping local college nightlife scene.

Travel southwest to the charming town of Hunedoara and visit Corvin Castle, which resembles a real-life version of Hogwarts.

Wander through one of the largest castles in Europe and one of the Seven Wonders of Romania.

Then, start heading east to the city of Sibiu, home to some of the most dramatic houses in all of Europe: the old city center houses have eyes!

cityscape of sibiu romania from above, a unique place to visit on a road trip through europe

Catch a side-eye stare from the homes as you try your luck walking across the Bridge of Lies.

Finish your road trip through Transylvania by heading east back to Brasov, nestled snugly amongst the mighty Carpathian Mountains. 

Transylvania is one of those places that you should visit now before it explodes with tourism.

Prices are cheap, the countryside is beautiful (as you will discover on your road trip through Transylvania!), and it’s fairly easy to navigate! 

Road trippers should allow themselves about 5 days to make the journey, as many of Romania’s country roads have slower speed limits and cut through endless villages along the way. 

Corvin Castle in Transylvania with a bridge to the right side. Transylvania is one of the best road trips in Europe

From Julie & Zach of Ruhls of the Road

A road trip through Croatia is basically a gauntlet of adventure and absolutely stunning sites!

Start in bustling Zagreb and head through Plitvice Lakes National Park to Split, and finish in the walled city of Dubrovnik.

This adventure is full of unique sites and experiences that you can’t find in any other country on Earth!

Start your road trip in Zagreb and get your fill of Croatian city life. Head to a local restaurant and pub to get some fuel and prepare yourself for a once-in-a-lifetime Croatian adventure.

The first stop on the road is Plitvice Lakes National Park, which is about as close to the Garden of Eden as you can get.

Explore this paradise for a few days until you are ready to move on. Once you tear yourself away from Plitvice, head to the Croatian coast to Split. 

Postcard view of Plitvice Lakes Croatia showing lake and waterfalls seen from above in a vertical image

Split is a wonderful coastal town that gives you a truly Croatian experience.

Don’t miss wandering through Diocletian’s Palace, sampling the fresh seafood, or admiring the views from the promenade.

Relax and recharge in Split before making your drive down the coast to Dubrovnik, Croatia’s premier tourist destination.

Dubrovnik’s Old Town, used in Game of Thrones as King’s Landing, is an ancient walled city that makes for a unique adventure.

You can walk the entire wall, experiencing a city that has been home to so much of Europe’s history, and has still never been conquered!

Dubrovnik will be the perfect end to the perfect Croatian road trip.

Plan your trip for one week at least, with a few days in each place, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!

Fun Things to Do in Dubrovnik Croatia: view of Old Town from Minceta Fortress

Korçë to Përmet, Albania

From Anita of Travelling Balkans

One of the lesser-known drives within Albania and the Balkans is the road trip from Korçë to Përmet. 

Korçë is a lively city with the biggest cathedral in Albania as well as the best beer and Qofte (a sort of meatball).  There are many great things to do in Korce , so it makes a great starting point!

The road starting here and leading to Përmet, which is a small town known for its slow food movement and being close to the incredible nature spot Bënjë, is one not to be missed.

It winds through forests, small villages, and natural hot pools, and the road sits parallel to the border of Greece. 

thrift store selling various goods in korce albania

There are also many old bridges along the way which are perfect photo opportunities too. Just beware that you cannot cross safely due to half of the boards missing!

Make sure you stop off at Bënjë which is around 20 minutes from Përmet.

Here you can relax in many hot pools as well as marvel at the Old Ottoman bridge which is a true feature of this area. There is also a canyon and waterfall if you walk directly up the river.  

This road trip takes about 4 hours but do allow a couple of hours at Bënjë to relax in the hot pools as well as the various other stops along the way!

Stone footbridge built over a bright blue river, as seen on an Albanian road trip

Transfăgărășan Road, Romania

From Dominika of Sunday in Wonderland

If you aim to check all the best European road trips from your bucket list, you should definitely visit Transfăgărășan road in Romania.

This picturesque path among the Transylvanian mountains is one of the two most famous roads in the country (just next to Transalpina).

It was called the absolute best road trip in Europe by the Top Gear team, but even without this honor, it has a lot of stories to tell on its own.

The road was built by the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu.

Although there were many easiest ways to travel through the Făgăraș Mountains peaks, he decided to build the Transfăgărășan road to show the power of Romanian technology.

The must-visit place during the Transylvania road trip is the Poenari Citadel.

aerial view of Poenari Castle romania with mountains in the background at golden hour

The ruins of the ancient fortress are situated on a high peak which you can reach by climbing ~1500 steps. The castle was the citadel of Vlad The Impaler.

He was the archetype of the famous character of a vampire from Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”.

There are many more  interesting facts about the Transfăgărășan road  that you should know like Bâlea Lake or Vidraru Dam. But this trip is something you simply must try on your own.

You can drive the Transfăgărășan road in a day, but be prepared! You’ll need to pay extremely good attention when driving, as this is far from the easiest driving in Europe.

Transfăgărășan road winding through the mountains of Romania on a cloudy day--definitely not the easiest road trip in Europe as far as driving goes!

Eastern Scotland

From Gemma of Two Scots Abroad

There’s no denying that Scotland’s most popular road trip is the North Coast 500 but there are other routes which are lesser-known, and have historic castles, cute villages, and fewer midges!

Starting in Scotland’s capital, collect your car from Edinburgh Airport to avoid the stress of city driving or brave the roads and catch the highlights of the city.

Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile, Dean Village, Calton Hill, and of course all the Harry Potter attractions should make your list.

Leaving Edinburgh drive over the Queensferry Crossing to the Kingdom of Fife. Park up at North Queensferry for views of the Forth Bridge which is a UNESCO Heritage Site.

Drive to Culross and walk back in time. Outlander fans might recognize Culross Palace.

Next, head to the ancient capital of Scotland, Dunfermline, and spend the afternoon at the Heritage Quarter and the Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries. 

historic stone bridge in a glen with church in the background in east scotland

The following morning, enjoy breakfast in Aberdour. Take a stroll along the beach then drive to the East Neuk stopping at Ellie and Anstruther for fishing village feels.

If you like to hike, consider staying in this area of Fife to do part of the Fife Coastal Path or head to St. Andrew’s for the night before moving on to Dundee.

From Dundee, head north to the city of Aberdeen stopping at Braemar and Ballater in the Cairngorms National Park.

At Stonehaven, visit Dunnottar Castle, you can’t miss it, literally! Arrive in Aberdeen and wander the streets discovering the Nuart street art mural trail all over the city. 

On the final day, head up to Slains Castle and on to Bullers of Buchan.

From here, you can turn back to Aberdeen for the night or drive to the gateway of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness.

It’s best to set aside a minimum of a week and a half for this road trip, but two weeks is even better.

Gemma Armit wearing tartan and looking out over a cliff on the east coast of Scotland

French Riviera

From Victoria of Bridges and Balloons

Experience the glitz and charm of the world-renowned French Riviera on this road trip along one of Europe’s most exciting coastlines.

Though not technically part of France, kick off your French Riviera road trip in Monaco, the fanciest of all the Riviera destinations where you’ll be among mega yachts, Lamborghinis, and diamonds aplenty.

For something more quaint, head to the hills and the village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, a picturesque enclave famous for its art and the great artists who stayed there in the past.

Cannes is your next stop on this France road trip for some time by the beach and, if you time it right, the famous film festival.

St. Tropez is another popular spot for yachts and as such has the glitz that goes with that, but somehow also retains its charm with pretty streets and a laid-back vibe.

harbor of st tropez in the south of france road trip itinerary

Before your final stop in Marseille, stop at the breathtaking Calanques National Park, one of France’s most stunning sights with turquoise water and hidden coves.

And finally, in Marseille, enjoy the vibrant, multicultural port city with all its gastronomic and cultural delights.

Seven days is ideal for this road trip and I recommend going in the springtime before the crowds hit in the summer.

If you want to extend this road trip into more of the best places to visit in the south of France , consider turning inland to the Luberon Valley after visiting Marseille.

Buildings in front of harbor of Cassis France, their reflections are on the water in the bottom half of the photo.

Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

From Allan of It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor

Probably one of the most iconic road trips in Europe is the Wild Atlantic Way, a 1,553-mile coastal road trip following the west coast along the Atlantic Sea.

It is also a route that connects many of Ireland’s more famous tourist attractions which include the Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher , Connemara, and of course the cobbled streets of Galway.

The route itself can start in either the north in County Donegal or the very south in County Cork which will likely depend on the vantage point of arrival.

For example, from Dublin (2h 50mins) or Shannon Airport (1h 45mins), it may be best to start in the south at Cork, although a more convenient start would be from  Belfast in Northern Ireland  which is just over an hour from the borders of Donegal.

Kate Storm in a cream cardigan near Inch Beach Ireland at sunset--this is an incredibly romantic place to visit on your Ireland honeymoon!

The overall time it then takes really depends on interests along the way!

With enough time, detours to places like the Slieve League Cliffs and Slea Head Drive are well worth your time.

While it is only an 8-9 hour drive direct from the most Northern Point at Malin Head, Donegal to the most Southern point of Mizen Head in Cork, this time would be at least triple when following the scenic coastal routes.

I would give at least 3 full days for any Wild Atlantic Way road trip, and, for a more leisurely drive visiting the various attractions along the way, I would give a week or so.  

Rocky coastline along Slea Head Drive, Dingle Peninsula drive Ireland

Alsace, France

From Elisa of World in Paris

Alsace is one of the best regions in France and there’s no better way to explore Alsace than on a road trip.

Alsace is best known for Strasbourg, the capital, and its picturesque villages.

It is also one of the most important  French wine regions and there are also beautiful natural sites and impressive châteaux to visit.

Start your trip in Strasbourg , Alsace’s capital, to visit Strasbourg’s amazing Gothic cathedral and the streets of La Petite France, in the Old Town, with beautiful architecture surrounded by canals.

Head to the south to visit Colmar , the most famous town in Alsace.

Colmar is a great place to taste some of Alsace’s typical dishes in one of its traditional restaurants (winstubs).

La Petite Venise in Colmar on a summer day. Visiting La Petite Venise is one of the best things to do in colmar france.

Spend the third day exploring a couple of picturesque towns like Kaysersberg, Riquewihr, or Eguisheim. This may sound like too much but they are really small towns.

Don’t leave Alsace without tasting its wines, especially the whites.

If you don’t know what to choose, let yourself be guided by the winegrowers and you will be fine.

If you want to hit the road to explore Alsace, a minimum of 3 days is recommended.

This will give you time to visit Strasbourg well (we recommend one full day) plus explore some of the region’s picturesque villages and do a couple of wine tastings.

If you are interested in hiking in the Vosges, then a minimum of 4 days will be necessary.

Kate Storm in a brown coat in the Alsace village of Riquewihr with a clock tower in the background

From Ben Holbrook of Driftwood Journals

The open road, cozy country pubs, and wild horses galore… Wales really is made for those who love road trips in Europe.

Many a visitor to the UK makes the mistake of only visiting Cardiff in their bid to “tick Wales off” their bucket list. Needless to say, they’re missing out in a big way. 

Instead, what they should really do is hop in a rental car and head straight to the glorious Brecon Beacons National Park.

Located less than an hour away from the English border (via the newly free-to-cross Prince of Wales Bridge), this is a land of endless rolling hills and unspoiled natural beauty. 

If you have time then be sure to make a pitstop in the charming town of Abergavenny on your way, aka the Gateway to Wales, followed by a quick stomp up Sugar Loaf Mountain. 

white castle in Abergavenny wales on a sunny day when road tripping europe

Once in the Brecon Beacons National Park itself, simply let the winding, pine-fringed backroads guide you and stop for photos and picnics at secluded spots along the way, such as the Talybont Reservoir and Usk Reservoir.

Then it’s time to wind the windows down, shift into top gear and cruise the inspiring Black Mountain Pass, named one of the greatest driving roads in the UK (made famous by none other than motoring icon Jeremy Clarkson). 

From the Brecon Beacons, you can continue west to the rugged Gower Peninsula and/or Pembrokeshire Coast National Park for some of the best surfing and camping in the UK.

And all of this beauty can be reached within just 2 or 3 hours from the English border! 

Ideally, set aside at least a few days to explore all that Brecon Beacons National Park and Wales as a whole have to offer.

Three horses grazing on a hill in Brecon Beacons National Park Wales, with rolling green hills and a small villages visible in the distance. Wales is one of the best underrrated road trips in Europe.

Brittany, France

From Shelley of Lifejourney4two

A Brittany road trip will introduce you to an amazing collection of destinations.

Brittany, located in the northwest corner of France, has a rich Breton culture and a mix of landscapes that makes a road trip here exciting and varied.   

Starting in the historic town of Kerhinet, you can wander through romantic thatched cottages, before moving along to the pretty seaside town of Sarzeau and its moated castle, Chateau de Suscinio, built in the middle ages.

The fabulous Bretagne coastline provides ample opportunity for beautiful coastal walks. Make sure to take time to explore the Quiberon Peninsula with its White Port Arch.

Further along, is the Pink Granite Coast and the seaside town of Perros-Guirec. In Plougrescant, you’ll come across an incredible house nestled impossibly between two rocks.

castle ruins of the coast of brittany france near saint-malo

As well as coastal and seaside experiences, this Brittany road trip will have you stepping back in time in the charming medieval town of Dinan.

Set within its old city walls, it is known for its quaint half-timbered houses, cobbled streets, and its array of historical monuments. 

Don’t forget to sample the local Brittany delicacies such as sweet crepes, savory galettes, and the butter-rich Bretagne Gateau. 

Four days will have you traveling about 500km through Brittany and will give you enough time to experience the variety of flavors Bretagne has to offer. 

Sandy beach in Brittany France as seen on a road trip Europe itinerary

Northern Ireland

From Amanda of Toddling Traveler

Northern Ireland is by far one of the best road trips in Europe.

Between the beautiful scenery and the unique outdoor activities, it’s something that needs to be experienced at least once.

The best area for a 1 week road trip in Northern Ireland is the Causeway Coast and Glens, after spending a couple of days in Belfast. 

With towns like Cushendall, Ballycastle, Ballintoy, and Bushmills, there are so many great places to stop along the way. 

From Belfast, you can make a stop at Carrickfergus for the castle and seaside restaurants.

Between the views of the ocean on one side and the sheep nestled among the cliffs on the other side, there’s so much to take in.

Cushendall is a quaint little seaside town with the friendliest people, and it’s a great location for sightseeing in Northern Ireland. 

From Cushendall, you can drive through the beautiful Glens of Antrim and make a stop at the Dark Hedges for any Game of Thrones fans.

Kate Storm in a red dress facing away from the camera at the Dark Hedges, one of the most popular locations to see on a Northern Ireland road trip itinerary

Another famous stop on the Causeway Coastal Route is the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge which takes you a few hundred feet above sea level. 

Ballintoy Harbour and Fullerton Arms are two additional stops that are popular with Game of Thrones fans. 

From Cushendall, you can change your home base to Bushmills for a change of scenery. 

Bushmills Distillery and the Giants Causeway are two sites that shouldn’t be missed in that area. For golf fans, Portrush is a popular seaside town that also boasts a world-famous golf course.

If your Northern Ireland road trip allows for more time, spending more time in Portrush or Portstewart is definitely recommended as well. 

7-10 days is ideal for a road trip through Northern Ireland, but you can easily spend more time if you’re exploring beyond Antrim County.

giants causeway in northern ireland on a sunny day looking toward the island

Loire Valley + Normandy, France

From Brianna of Curious Travel Bug

The  Loire Valley and Normandy are two of France’s most beautiful areas and combined, they make for a fantastic road trip from Paris.

This European road trip is perfect for those who enjoy the countryside, castles, and adorable villages. 

Start your trip by driving to Amboise from Paris.

Amboise is small enough to be walkable and has a scenic chateau that overlooks the town, and a great base for visiting the Loire Valley.

From Amboise, you can visit famous chateaux like Chateau Chenonceau, Chambord, Villandry, and Usse.

After exploring the Loire Valley head towards Normandy and the coast.

A great halfway point to break up the driving is Chateau d’Angers, a massive castle with huge towers.

Stay in the village of Pontorson to visit nearby Brittany, towns like Dinan and Saint-Malo are both worth a visit.

Mont St. Michel in northern France with its reflection showing in the water in the bottom half of the photo

From Pontorson you will be only 20 minutes from the incredible Mont Saint Michel.

Mont Saint Michel is what brings most people to Normandy and it is certainly impressive.

If you can, try to visit both at high and low tides as the contrast between the two is interesting to witness.

Drive further into Normandy and stay in the town of Bayeux. Bayeux is a cute medieval town made famous by both the Bayeux Tapestry and its proximity to the D-Day Beaches.

The D-Day sites are worth spending at least a day exploring.

Finish up your road trip by stopping in the port town of Honfleur to see its cute harbor.

Head back to Paris, stopping en route in Giverny to see Monet’s gardens.

Other places to include on your itinerary if you have more time are the city of Rouen and the cliffs at Etretat.

This route requires at least 6 days but you can easily spend much longer exploring both the Loire Valley and Normandy as these areas are rich with history, charming villages, and castles to explore.  

White cliffs of Etretat with bright blue water to the left side of the photo. Etretat is one of the best places to visit in France

Cotswolds Road Trip

From Laura of Travelers Universe

If you have more than 3 days in London and are ready for a quick European road trip, then a visit to the Cotswolds is a must. No other area in the UK compares to the old-fashioned charm and heritage of the Cotswolds.

When planning your road trip route I recommend you start with the 4 must-see villages in the Cotswolds: Bourton-on-the-Water, Upper Slaughter, Lower Slaughter, and Bibury.

Bourton-on-the-Water has a unique appeal to everyone. It is regularly voted as one of the prettiest villages in England and is famous for its honey-colored stone architecture and idyllic scenes.

The village is known as the Venice of the Cotswolds and it’s the perfect place for you to enjoy some relaxing time by the River Windrush.

Upper and Lower Slaughter share an interesting name that could be translated as a ‘miry place’.

Lower Slaughter has been very well conserved and walking alongside the stream seems like a trip into the past. 

english village of lower slaughter with creek and bridge in the foreground

There is no wonder the village has been used for filming productions on several occasions. 

Upper Slaughter is equally as charming. Interesting fact – it lost nobody in the First World War and that’s why these days it is considered to be a sainted village. 

If you are by car, I recommend parking in Bourton-on-the-Water and walking from there, as there is limited parking in the Slaughters. 

When it comes to Bibury, everybody will quote William Morris as he famously said that Bibury is ‘the most beautiful village in England’. 

Well, this should be convincing enough to check it out for yourself. 

Don’t miss the picturesque Arlington Row cottages, dating back to 1380. Arlington Row is one of the most photographed places in Cotswold.

Recommended Road Trip Route

Try to set aside at least a couple of days to enjoy road-tripping the main villages of the Cotswolds.

Castle Combe village in the Cotswolds with a small stone bridge in the foreground and stone houses in the background

Route des Grand Alpes, France

From Kat of Wandering Bird Adventures

One of the best road trips in Europe is the Route des Grandes Alpes, in the southeast corner of France. 

It’s possible to drive this route by car and stop along the way at one of the many beautiful towns, but a better option is to   travel the Alps by motorhome  and stop up a mountain in the middle of nowhere.

Technically, the Route des Grande Alpes starts in Lake Geneva and goes south over the highest mountain passes until you reach the French Riviera, but you can easily drive it in reverse if you wish.

Highlights include breathtaking mountain views; the Milky Way at night; going up Mont Blanc in a cable car; exploring picturesque Lake Annecy and the awe-inspiring Gorge du Fier.

Of all the places to enjoy a road trip in Europe, the French Alps are definitely one of the most awe-inspiring! 

view of the french alps from a ski resort in chamonix, one of the best european winter places to visit

This road trip can take anywhere from 3-5 days and the best time to go is late spring or early autumn, (May/ June or September/ October.) 

The reason for this is the weather (winter snow means road closures in the mountains) and also cyclists- you will not believe the number of cyclists who ride up and down these crazy roads! 

And that’s not including the Tour de France which regularly passes through this route- another reason to avoid July!

Chateau d'Annecy as seen from between blooming tulips over a canal. Annecy is one of the best small towns in France.

Dublin to Dingle (Cross-Country Ireland Road Trip)

By Jennifer P. (aka Dr. J) of Sidewalk Safari

A road trip from Dublin to Dingle is one of the longest you can undertake in Ireland.

Dingle is one of the most picturesque places in Ireland and is well-worthy of a road trip in itself. However, sometimes getting there is more than half the fun.

Take a road trip to Dingle and use the 5-hour drive to explore lesser-known parts of Ireland on the way.

Start at Birr Castle, a 19th-century house and gardens that was home to the world’s largest telescope for nearly 75 years.

Next up, drive to Adare, which is best known for quaint thatched cottages and for being one of the most beautiful small towns in Ireland .

Adare is an ideal road trip pitstop; there are cool things to see and do but not so many things that one is tempted to linger (budget 30-60 minutes).

Thatched roof cottages in Adare Ireland with white walls and a red door. Adare is one of the best small towns in Ireland

Listowel is known as the literary capital of Ireland because writers like Bryan MacMahon and John B. Keane once lived there.

Grab a coffee on the colorful square and follow in the footsteps of some of Ireland’s best-known writers.

Do not miss Foynes and the Flying Boat Museum! Fun fact: Irish coffee is believed to have been invented in Foynes.

Finally, stop at Belvedere House in Mullingar for its follies.

Follies are large-scale structures that look ancient but are actually modern.

Belvedere House also has a Jealous Wall erected in a feud between two brothers centered around alleged adultery. 

Recommended length: 2 days. Take one day en route to Dingle and a second day on the way back to Dublin to cover all the stops referenced.

Kate Storm standing on a pebble beach on Dingle Peninsula, Ireland. Minard Castle is behind her. This is a great example of what to wear in Ireland!

Montpellier to Toulouse, France

From Maura of Travel Kiwis

The region of Occitanie in southern France has spectacular scenery and diverse history.   

Start in the pedestrian-friendly and vibrant city of   Montpellier for shopping and French cuisine.

From Montpellier, allow an hour to travel the coastline dotted with pink flamingos to the fishing village of Sete, a perfect place for lunch and fabulous seafood.  

One-hour inland is Beziers, one of the oldest cities in France where high above the river Orb sits the Bezier Cathedral.

Bezier is famous for the Orb Aqueduct, which carries the Canal du Midi over the river, and the Fonserannes Locks, a staircase of nine water levels, which traverses the canal.   

Half an hour from Beziers is the old Roman town of Narbonne.

historic bridge and river in narbonne france with gothic cathedral in the background, an interesting stop on europe road trips

You can explore the Hordeum, a labyrinth of underground warehouses when Narbonne was a Roman port, and view part of the first Roman road in France, Via Domitia. 

An hour from Narbonne, overlooking the Aude river, is Carcassonne.

The spectacular UNESCO heritage site Chateau Comtal de Carcassonne is perfect for a short stay. Make sure to try the local dish Cassoulet.

The final stop is Toulouse, the capital city of Occitanie, referred to as the La Ville Rose with its pink terracotta brick buildings.

Visit the Aeroscopia museum to learn more about the Airbus A380, built-in Toulouse; it is the largest airliner in the world.

This route is 276kms taking four hours with no stops. So, take your time and plan a night or two along the way.

kate storm and ranger storm standing in front of medieval walls of carcassonne france

Scottish Highlands & Islands

From Jessica of One Girl, Whole World

Exploring deep into the Scottish Highlands and islands with one of the most stunning European road trips you can take.

A  10-day road trip itinerary  has gorgeous landscapes, interesting history, hiking options, boat trips and ferries, and few crowds.

There are infinite route combinations, but here is one that’s a great combination of landscapes, history, and activity, and avoids long stretches of driving. You can start from anywhere, but Edinburgh or Glasgow is the most common.  

Head toward the upper Highlands, covering Glen Torridon, Applecross, and (weather-permitting) driving the famous and slightly nerve-wracking Bealach na Ba pass. 

Then spend a few days on the Isle of Skye, possibly hiking the stunning Quiraing and taking a boat trip from Elgol to the misty Black Cuillin mountains.

Colorful village set along the water on the Isle of Skye in Scotland with boats parked in the harbor--Scotland is home to some of the best Europe itinerary road trip options around!

Then get further out to islands that most tourists rarely visit. 

You can take a 90-minute ferry north to the Isle of Harris & Lewis and spend a day or two driving the island and experiencing the turquoise beaches and ancient standing stones. 

Once you’re back on the mainland, consider hitting beautiful Glen Coe and the Glenfinnan Viaduct (the Hogwarts Express!) in the Highlands on your way west to the tiny Isle of Iona. 

Iona has both beauty and some of the earliest Christian history in Scotland, and also a perfect base to take a boat trip to the almost-mythical Isle of Staffa. 

Finally, spend a day or two exploring charming Edinburgh at either the beginning or end of your trip. 

The length of your visit is flexible, but to cover everything above you should plan for at least 10 days–if you can set aside two weeks, that would be even better!

jacobite steam train crossing viaduct in the scottish highlands

Northumberland Coastal Route, England

From Stuart Forster of Go Eat Do

The Northumberland Coastal Route is a scenic driving route that runs for 48 miles between Blyth and Berwick-upon-Tweed.

The marked route meanders past broad beaches and castles built when this region saw regular raids by cattle rustlers, known as border reivers, and Scottish armies.

If you choose to drive on the most direct route, the A1, the journey between Berwick and Newcastle takes just 75 minutes.

Plan at least a couple of days to pause along the way and take walks to view the castles at Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh.

It’s also worth taking a reflective stroll on the golden sand of Alnmouth Beach after popping into nearby Alnwick to shop at Barter Books, England’s biggest second-hand bookstore, and see the castle where Harry Potter movies were filmed.  

Following the Northumberland coastal route offers opportunities to pause for locally landed seafood at the Fish Shack in Amble or The Jolly Fisherman pub in Craster.

alnwick castle in england

The fishing village of Craster gives its name to traditionally smoked kippers, a local delicacy. Craster kippers pair well with Earl Grey tea, which was first mixed for consumption at Howick Hall, the 19th-century British prime minister’s estate in  England’s most northerly county .

Check the tidal table before driving to or from Lindisfarne, otherwise known as Holy Island.

Many a driver has had to abandon their vehicle in the face of rapidly advancing waters.

We suggest completing this trip in about two days.

Dunstanburgh castle england in the distance with rocky landscape in the foreground

Ring of Kerry, Ireland

From Cath of Travel Around Ireland

One of the best road trips to take in Europe is one in which you visit the Ring of Kerry in Ireland .

Encompassing the Killarney National Park and part of the epic Wild Atlantic Way, this part of Southern Ireland is filled with beauty that will leave you awe-inspired.

This is a popular tourist area of the region and it is best explored by car or motorbike.

Points of interest to stop and explore include the Gap of Dunloe, a beautiful valley snaking through the MacGillycuddy Reeks Mountains.

You cannot drive a car through it, but motorbikes, cyclists, hikers, and joggers can traverse it. There are tourist horses and carts which can take those in cars into the Gap to enjoy its beauty.

At the top of the Gap lies Kate’s Cottage, a historic coaching house, now with a restaurant, bar, and craft shop.

Not far from this is Lady’s View, affording magnificent views across the Killarney National Park.

Kate Storm in a blue long-sleeved shirt overlooking Killarney Natoinal Park--a must-see spot when planning a trip to Ireland!

You should also take a day to visit Ross Castle and Muckross House, Gardens, and Farms, both of which are steeped in history.

Got a Star Wars fan on your hands? Then a boat trip from the Ring of Kerry to Skellig Michael is a must. It featured in Star Wars VII – The Force Awakens.

Skellig Michel is famous for its 6th to 8th-century Christian monastery and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Another site to visit during your road trip around the Ring of Kerry is Torc Waterfall.

This lies only 7km from Killarney Town and is a beautiful waterfall with a height of 20 meters and a cascade of 110 meters long. 

Many of the towns that you pass through are worth stopping in for a cuppa or a meal including Kenmare, Sneem, and Killorglin.

The town with the most choice when it comes to accommodation and eating options is Killarney and should be your starting point when traveling around this stunning part of Ireland.

Killarney, the town at which you should start your visit to the Ring of Kerry, lies 300km southwest of Dublin and it will take you approximately four hours by car to reach this quaint little town.

Although you could drive the outer circuit of the Ring of Kerry in one day, you will need more than a day to visit the many places to stop around this 179km-long circular route in County Kerry.

Kate Storm in a yellow raincoat standing in front of Torc Waterfall in Killarney National Park Ireland

Germany’s Romantic Road

From Hannah & Adam Lukaszewicz of Getting Stamped

Southern Germany is home to the Romantic Road, a journey from Wurzberg to Fussen that captures both the scenic beauty and beautiful, fairytale castles Germany has to offer. 

Start out by stopping at the Wurzburg Residence, a stunning palace with extensive gardens.

Next up is the Neuschwanstein Castle which has many great viewpoints, like Mary’s Bridge. Another castle in the vicinity that’s worth a stop is the Hohenschwangau Castle.

Those are the most popular stops on this European road trip, but also make sure to stop at some of the charming Bavarian villages along the way, such as Rothenburg ob de Tauber and Würzburg. 

For the average tourist, it is suggested to have a three-day itinerary for the Romantic Road .

It’s just enough time to see all the highlights on the route.

However, it is up to you to extend the trip by a few extra days if you’d like to explore more villages on the way. 

Rothenburg ob de Tauber on Germany's Romantic Road, one of the most popular road trips in Europe. Image from Getting Stamped.

Austrian Alps

From Kati Walzl of Moon & Honey Travel

Austria is synonymous with the Alps. While Austria’s cities are easily accessible by transit, its mountains are best explored on a road trip.

If you love hiking and scenic alpine roads, follow this Vienna to Innsbruck road trip anytime between June and October.  

Start in Vienna, the capital city of Austria before driving directly to Filzmoos, a small alpine town in the Dachstein mountains.

Here, you can hike to scenic alp huts and explore the Gosaukamm, a subrange of the Dachstein.

After hiking in the Northern Limestone Alps of Salzburg, your road trip continues to the heart of Hohe Tauern National Park, which encompasses Austria’s highest mountains.

Drive the celebrated Grossglockner High Alpine Road to East Tyrol. If you want to experience the glaciers of the Vendiger Group, explore the lesser-known Virgental and Gschlösstal valleys.

Next, head west to Mayrhofen, which is the perfect base for exploring the Zillertal mountains.

woman standing in front of bright turqouise lake in the austrian alps, one of the best road trips europe

If there’s one range that epitomizes “the Alps” this is it.

After a few days in Zillertal, continue your drive to Innsbruck.

If you have more time, drive to Vorarlberg to explore the Rätikon Alps for a few days.

Tip: If you rent a car in another country, don’t forget to purchase a “Vignette” before driving on the Austrian “Autobahn” (highway). 

You’ll need 10 – 16 days to complete this route.

Person sitting on a small footbridge in Zillertal Alps in Austria, with a lake and mountain range visible in the distance

Czech Republic

From Celine of Family Can Travel

While Prague is certainly worth the visit, there’s so much more to see in the Czech Republic, and the best way to see it is by planning a Central European road trip.

Plan to make four major stops along the way: Cesky Krumlov , Karlovy Vary, Bohemian Switzerland National Park, and Bohemian Paradise.

The real charm of having a car is not only getting to each of these places but visiting some incredible sights near each of them.

Near Cesky Krumlov, explore the ruins of Hrad Divi.

After visiting the multitude of colonnades around Karlovy Vary, stretch your legs with a hike from Karlovy Vary to the charming town of Loket.

Next, leave the cities behind to enjoy the more natural side of the Czech Republic. 

colorful houses in historic Karlovy Vary in the fall, a czech town that is a great option for driving tours in europe

Hiking in Bohemian Switzerla nd National Park to see the Pravcicka Brana (the largest natural stone bridge in Europe) and then continuing on to the Wild Gorge Loop will give you a real sense of the varying landscapes you can find in the Czech Republic.

If you find yourself with some extra time in Bohemian Switzerland, the Bastei Bridge in Saxon Switzerland National Park (Germany) is only a short drive away.

The Tisa Walls are also worth a stop.

Before returning to Prague, make one final stop in Bohemian Paradise to see Trotsky Castle and the incredible rock formations on the hike from Hruba Skala to Valdstejn Castle.

This Czech Republic road trip could be done in one week, but 10 days would be better to add in a few extra places to visit along the way and truly enjoy all that the area has to offer.

Winter in Český Krumlov: View of the City

East Germany Castle & Nature Road Trip

From Annemarie Strehl of Germany on the Brain

For an East Germany road trip heavy on castles and natural beauty, start in the gorgeous state capital of Mecklemburg-Vorpommern.

It‘s one hour away from Hamburg by train (90 minutes with a car) and there are plenty of things to see in Schwerin .

Its center is simply gorgeous, with typical Baltic houses and historic buildings, and from here, it’s a short walk to the fairy tale castle of Schwerin.

It was modeled after French chateaus and has even been featured in Hollywood productions.

From Schwerin, you can easily reach Berlin, where you can stroll around Charlottenburg Palace or Friedrichsfelde Palace.

Those beautiful baroque buildings can make you almost forget you are in a big and busy metropolis.

Complete your visit in the North with a trip down to Potsdam’s extensive Sanssouci Castle estate.

aerial view of berlin tv tower at sunset, one of the most interesting european cities to visit

For Dresden alone, you can easily fill a week exploring castles inside and around the city.

Your starting point should be at the Zwinger and move on to the famous Frauenkirche, to name just two iconic attractions. For more castles, check out Pillnitz or Moritzburg.

Complete your journey in the neighboring state of Thuringia and visit charming Jena, Weimar, and Erfurt.

Weimar especially looks straight out of a history book in the best of ways.

In total, such a trip should be no shorter than seven days so you don’t have to rush through your destinations.

Driving times are between one to three hours from one place to the next, so it’s definitely doable to do one city per day.

However, for places like Berlin or Dresden you can easily schedule in multiple days.

schwerin castle in germany with lake in the foreground, modeled after french chateaux

The Italian Dolomites

From Kristen & Jeff Miller of Our Passion for Travel

Fans of jagged mountains, windy roads, and stunning landscapes will rejoice in a   Dolomites road trip .

Picking up a car in Verona and heading north, make your first stop in the hillside town of Trento. This stunning town is perfectly wedged in a valley with dramatic cliffs surrounding you.

Choose to spend a night here or head further north to the cute town of Ortisei.

Here, you can excite yourself with some of the winding passes that will take you from blazing sunshine in the middle of summer, up to near-freezing temperatures.

Admire the snow falling off the mountains in the Gardena and Sella Pass.

Later, mix it up with the majestic Lago di Carezza, one of the greenest alpine lakes you’ll ever lay your eyes on.

lake carezza italy with dolomites in the background on a sunny day when road tripping northern italy

Ortisei is also home to the highest alpine meadow, Alpe di Siusi. Spend a day up top wandering in awe as the lush green grass meets the jagged peaks and rich blue skies.

Leaving Ortisei behind, consider Cortina d’Ampezzo as your next overnight destination.

Not only is Cortina d’Ampezzo home to the future 2026 winter Olympics, but it’s well located to explore the surrounding areas.

Lago di Braies is the insta-famous lake, complete with rowboats to fill your feed with.

A short drive from Cortina, you’ll find Tre Cime di Lavaredo.

The entry of €30 to the national park may seem steep, but it’s about as picturesque as you’ll find in this region.

Those jagged peaks you’ve been admiring are so much closer here, and rip into the sky like daggers.

This road trip through the Dolomites can be done comfortably in as little as 4 days.

It is easily stretched to 2 weeks depending on your pace and how much hiking you’re contemplating. Also, be sure to allow time for good weather (it can be temperamental like all alpine regions). 

View of the Italian Dolomites on a clear day with a village visible below it.

Vienna to Budapest Road Trip

From Pashmina of The Gone Goat

Imagine traversing through stunning countryside covering charming and beautiful towns and some very obscure ones, while crossing the capitals of these three countries Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest .

Whether you want to start your road trip in Vienna and end it with a weekend in Budapest , or vice versa, a road trip in these places is often brimming with exciting stories, culture, and unique landscapes.

Although the entire trip is approximately 243km and may only take you 3 hours to drive, this trip is best done with a detour spending time in Lake Neusield, Austria, followed by Sopron, Gyor, and Esztergom in Hungary. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take the other route and pass through Slovakia and see firsthand what it is like to see a new generation of Slovakians who are eager to bring modern elements and street culture to their lives.

Tips for Airbnb Hosts: Hiking in Slovakia

You can also stop in Bratislava and casually stroll through the old town while taking in the picturesque views of the architecture.

Compared to its neighboring cities, Bratislava is unhurried and feels small and quiet, and deserves that extra time to slow down, people watch and take in what you can.

The recommended time to spend on this Central European road trip is about 4 to 5 days. 

Prague or Budapest: Budapest view of Danube

From Kate of I Live 4 Travel

The small country of Luxembourg is a great place for a European road trip. 

It is a country dominated by castles and old towns that you can walk around and some beautiful countryside to hike in. 

If you fly into Luxembourg then it is very easy to rent a car .

A trip to Luxembourg would not be complete without a visit to Luxembourg City and here you need to spend a day exploring the old town and visiting the Bock Casemates, walk the Chemin de la Corniche and visit Fort Thungen. 

After visiting Luxembourg City head north to visit the beautiful castle of Vianden, the town is worth a walk around and you can always get the chairlift slightly higher up the mountain to get a view of the town and the castle before walking down to visit the impressive castle.

It is worth stopping here for lunch in one of the many cafes in the town.

vianden castle from a distance overlooking the village in the mountains of luxembourg

Next drive to Bourscheid Castle, which is only partially restored but has amazing views down the valley.

After visiting Bourscheid head across to the little town of Esch-Sur-Sure, it is in a horseshoe shape and surrounded by a river running along the outside, it is a beautiful town and it’s worth a walk up to the ruins of the castle located on the top of the hill in the middle of the town.

If you have a third day then head across to Echternach and hike part of the Mullerthal Trail.

If you do not want a long hike, you can just drive the route and explore the highlights.

The drive through the countryside to these places is stunning and it’s recommended you take 2 or 3 days to explore the country of Luxembourg.

View of Luxembourg City from above. Luxembourg's small size makes it an ideal short European road trip itinerary

From Dhara of It’s Not About the Miles

Looking to complete one of the best road trips in Europe? Consider Poland!

In about 10 days, you can see the best of this northern European country. 

Begin your trip in Warsaw, the capital of Poland. Warsaw’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

World War II bombing destroyed quite a bit of the city, but it has been reconstructed.

Apart from Old Town, Powazki Cemetery, the monument to the heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Presidential Palace are must-visits.

From Warsaw, drive to Krakow where you can visit Market Square, St. Mary’s Church, and the famous Wawel Castle.

Old Town Krakow is gorgeous so plan on a walking tour to admire the architecture.

From Krakow, drive to Auschwitz  to tour the former concentration camp. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

View of St. Mary's Basilica in Main Market Square, a must-see destination when visiting Krakow in 2 days!

Next, travel to Wroclaw, with its beautiful Old Town. Market Square has stunning architecture.

From Wroclaw, drive to Torun, one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. Torun is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the birthplace of Nicolas Copernicus.

Next, drive to the port city of Gdansk, the birthplace of Lech Walesa’s Solidarity Movement.

Gdansk has a beautiful Old Town as well. A   walking tour of Gdansk Old Town  is the best way to experience the sights.

Also do not forget a stop at Westerplatte, where the first shots of WWII were fired.

Return to Warsaw to complete your road trip through Poland. On the way, you can stop at Malbork Castle, the largest castle in the world!

This Poland road trip is best completed in about 10 days.

View of Town Hall Tower with Cloth Hall in the foreground in Main Market Square, one of the best things to see in Krakow Poland

South Styria Wine Road, Austria

From Lori of Travlin Mad

The  South Styria Wine Road  in southern Austria is the perfect European road trip for food and wine lovers.

This 44-mile-long patchwork of woodlands, lush rolling hills, and verdant vineyards just an hour from Graz is the southern part of Styria, known as the Green Heart of Austria, and looks more Tuscan than Alpine.

This part of Austria also borders northern Slovenia so combining both as part of a multi-country road trip in Europe is a great idea.

Fall is an especially good time to visit when autumn colors begin to appear in the vineyards and the first wine is being pressed.

People gather outdoors at local wineries along Wine Road drinking stürm wine and roasting chestnuts around a crackling fire.

Through the breeze, you’ll hear the unusual clacking sound of the klapotetz windmills spinning slowly through the countryside, designed to ward off birds and other pests who tend to gobble up the grapes.

Vineyard with hundreds of grape vines planted on a rolling hill with a windmill on the foreground on the left side of the photo in Austria

Food lovers should start their tour with a visit to Vinofaktur Genussregal, the largest store in Styria featuring over 2,500 Styrian wine and culinary products from over 250 regional producers.

For lunch or dinner, local winery-owned buschenshanks are the place to go for platters of local smoked meats and cheeses.

It’s all so quintessential Styria and the perfect destination for a fall road trip through Europe.

Though you can complete this European road trip in a day, it’s best to set aside at least a couple of days if you’d like to leisurely explore what the wine route has to offer (and allow your designated driver some chances to sample the wine).

clock tower of graz austria at sunset with fall foliage in the foreground

From Inma of A World to Travel

There are a surprising number of things to do in Latvia , the beautiful Baltic Republic located in northeast Europe–and it’s possible to cross the entire country in six hours!

The road trip itinerary suggested here covers 6 of the wonders of this country, from west to east, starting in the immediate vicinity of the Lithuanian border.

From exceptional natural landscapes to charming villages and large cities, this European road trip itinerary has something for everyone!

Stop first in Liepaja, known for its beaches with dunes and its constant wind, before moving on to Kuldiga, a picturesque village in the Western part of the country.

ruins of bunkers of a beach in liepaja latvia

Be sure to make time for the unique Kemeri National Park, where it is possible to practice bog-walking with the right equipment and a guide!

Riga, the capital of Latvia and your next stop on this Europe road trip, needs no introduction. Neither does its historic center, central market, and lively nightlife.

From there, move on to visit Sigulda, a historical village that has lots to offer to lovers of active tourism.

Finally, pay a visit to Gauja National Park, located near the border with Estonia. There is no other place like this in the whole country to go hiking on its many trails. 

If possible, set aside about a week to explore this European road trip route through Latvia.

Colorful buildings of Riga Latvia as seen from above. Latvia makes a fabulous, lesser-known European road trip itinerary!

From Jo of Lost Wanders

There’s plenty to see in Lithuania other than the trendy capital Vilnius and it’s well worth having your own transportation for a road trip in this beautiful Baltic country .

The first stop is the Hill of Crosses near Siauliai to see a unique memorial dedicated to the many unknown deaths of the Lithuanian uprising against Russian rule.

The hill now holds over 100,000 crosses memorializing people from around the globe with more being added daily.

A two-hour drive west uncovers an old nuclear missile silo, one of only three left in the world, that’s been turned into a Cold War Museum.

It’s located deep within Žemaitijos National Park, down bumpy gravel roads, where you can also get a chance to spot wild animals such as Lynx.

aerial view of trakai castle, a fun stop on a lithuania road trip through europe itinerary

Another hour’s drive towards the Baltic Sea, Klaipeda is the base for heading out to the Curonian spit, a large sandbar covering Lithuania’s coastline.

The town is famous for its spas and long open beaches.

Back down towards Vilnius, Trakai Castle is a must-see.

If you do just one castle on this trip make it this one. It sits on an island out on a lake where you can pedal and paddleboard in the summer months. 

You can do this trip in a week but allow 10 days to 2 weeks to fully see everything and don’t miss a couple of days in the capital.

Summer is by far the most favorable time to do this trip, crowds aren’t as big as in Central Europe and winters can get very cold for taking northern European road trips!

[convertkit form=3127238]

4 photos of Europe: beach in Spain, Cotswolds village, Luxembourg City, and Algarve Coast. Black and red text on a white background in the center reads "50+ Bucket List Road Trips in Europe"

About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

2 thoughts on “55 Epic Road Trips in Europe (Itinerary Ideas + Tips!)”

These road trip ideas are fantastic. I’d love to do the Dublin to Dingle trip someday.

We’ve done that one ourselves, and can absolutely endorse it! It’s phenomenal.

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The Mindful Traveller

The Mindful Traveller

Eco Travel Blog & Photography

Most Scenic Road Trips in Europe: 16 Epic Routes

13 October 2023 · In: Europe , Road Trip

best europe road trips

Are you looking for the  most beautiful and scenic road trips in Europe ? Adventure lovers, you have come to the right place! This article walks you through  16 road trip ideas to add to your bucket list  for an unforgettable holiday, whether you are travelling for 7 days or 2 weeks.

Europe is a breathtaking destination  which has much to offer! From quaint villages and stunning natural landscapes to emblematic historical sites and tasty local cuisine, you will find  plenty of things to do and places to see  on a European road trip in both summer and winter.

Born near Paris and living in Manchester in the UK,  I consider Europe my home , continually exploring it and discovering something new. Each country has something exceptional to offer, and I am always surprised by their  cultural diversity . 

So, are you ready to discover the  top 16 Europe road trips that you must experience ? Let’s get started! And, of course, let me know in the comments below if you have any other suggestions 🙂

Disclosure : Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, we will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase. For more information, please  read our full affiliate disclosure .

16- Vienna to Innsbruck, Austria

Overview: 16 epic european road trips.

1- Iceland Ring Road 2- North Coast 500, Scotland 3- The Loire Valley, France 4- The Romantic Road, Germany 5- Pula to Dubrovnik, Croatia 6- The Atlantic Coast, Portugal 7- The Tuscan Countryside, Italy 8- The Atlantic Road, Norway

9- The Peloponnese region, Greece 10- Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland 11- Andalusian Escape, Spain 12- Montenegro Loop 13- London to Edinburgh, UK 14- Baltic States Route 15- Into the Wilderness, Finland 16- Vienna to Innsbruck, Austria

best europe road trips

Best Europe road trips – Map

road trips map

16 breathtaking road trip routes in Europe

Here are 16 road trips to inspire your next European adventure. Each of these routes is easily accessible by car, campervan or motorbike. But also be sure to check road conditions, especially during the winter months, and book your accommodation in advance.

Best car rental options

Looking for the best car rental deals for your road trip in Europe?

Check out Rentalcars.com to search and compare which one is best for you. From affordable to luxury, they make it easy to choose and have a great selection of rental agents.

1- Iceland Ring Road

Iceland Ring Road

⏰  Duration : 7-10 days 📆  When to go : summer (June-August) 

The Iceland Ring Road, also known as  Route 1 , is the main route  that circles the entire island  and connects most of the major towns and attractions, making it an ideal road trip route for exploring the country.

This incredible road offers one of the  most famous and scenic drives  in the world, where you will be able to experience the best of Iceland through its  breathtaking landscapes , including glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes, hot springs, black sand beaches and more!

Iceland is one of my favourite countries, and I never get tired of it. It is also the  perfect place for a road trip  due to its Ring Road forming a complete loop around the island,  accessible any time of the year , although I would be careful and focus on the South in winter.

READ MORE: 9 Perfect Days in Iceland: Ring Road Itinerary

ITINERARY 

Here is an example of a  7-day itinerary  covering the most iconic natural wonders in Iceland:

Day 1: Reykjavik

  • Start your road trip in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland.
  • Discover the main attractions and sites, including Hallgrímskirkja Church, Harpa Concert Hall and the downtown area.
  • Bathe in the  Blue Lagoon , a relaxing geothermal spa.

Day 2: Golden Circle

Explore the Golden Circle , which includes three highlights:

  • Thingvellir National Park: walk (or swim) between tectonic plates and visit Lake Thingvallavatn.
  • Geysir Geothermal Area: see the still active and erupting Strokkur Geyser and its hot springs.
  • Gullfoss Waterfall: admire the stunning waterfall.

Day 3: South Coast

Head to the south coast and visit attractions such as:

  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall: walk behind the waterfall.
  • Skogafoss Waterfall: climb to the top for panoramic views.
  • Reynisfjara Beach: discover the black sand beach and its basalt columns.
  • Vik: stop to discover this charming town.

Day 4: Vatnajökull National Park

Explore Vatnajökull National Park:

  • Skaftafell: hike to Svartifoss waterfall or take a  glacier hike  (I highly recommend it! In winter, you can also join an  ice cave tour ).
  • Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon: marvel at the floating icebergs.

Day 5: East Fjords

  • Take the day to travel through the picturesque East Fjords, stopping at fishing villages and enjoying scenic views.
  • Visit Seydisfjordur, a lovely hidden town with colourful houses.

Day 6: North Iceland

  • Visit Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe.
  • Travel north to visit places like Húsavík (known for  whale watching ) and Goðafoss Waterfall.
  • Explore the town of Akureyri, the second-largest city in Iceland.

Day 7: Northwest Iceland and back to Reykjavik

  • Explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and its dramatic landscapes.
  • Return to Reykjavik.

RING ROAD MAP

Click on the top left of the map to display the list of stops and locations.

2- North Coast 500, Scotland

North Coast 500

⏰  Duration : 5-7 days 📆  When to go : spring & summer (May-September) 

The North Coast 500 (NC500) is a scenic driving route taking you on a circular journey through some of the  most picturesque and remote parts  of the northern Scottish Highlands. It is a fantastic way to explore the  beauty and rich heritage  of the country.

This popular route covers around 500 miles (805 kilometres) of stunning scenery, rugged coastlines, historic sites and charming villages. Some of its highlights include the wild  Torridon Mountains , the fairytale-like  Dunrobin Castle  and the secluded  Cape Wrath .

This road trip itinerary is also perfect for nature lovers! You will find  many outdoor activities  possible, such as hiking, cycling and wildlife spotting. In addition, the area is known for  birdwatching and stargazing  due to its low light pollution. And in winter, you might be lucky enough to  see the Northern Lights !

Here is an example of a  7- day itinerary  covering the main highlights of the North Coast 500:

Day 1: Inverness

  • Start your road trip in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands.
  • Visit Inverness Castle and stroll along the River Ness.
  • Explore the nearby Culloden Battlefield and Clava Cairns.

Day 2: Ullapool

  • Drive to Ullapool, a picturesque fishing village.
  • Along the way, stop at the Rogie Falls and Corrieshalloch Gorge.
  • In Ullapool, enjoy fresh seafood and walk along the harbour.

Day 3: Durness

  • Head north along the coast, passing through the spectacular scenery of Assynt.
  • Stop at Ardvreck Castle and the Bone Caves.
  • Visit Smoo Cave near Durness.

Day 4: Thurso

  • Continue to drive along the north coast to Thurso.
  • Explore the stunning beaches of Balnakeil and Sandwood Bay.
  • Visit the Castle and Gardens of Mey.

Day 5: John O’Groats and Wick

  • Drive to John O’Groats, the northernmost point of mainland Britain.
  • Visit Duncansby Head and its distinctive sea stacks.
  • Head south to Wick and explore the town, including the Old Pulteney Distillery.

Day 6: Dingwall

  • Leave the north coast and head south to Dingwall.
  • Along the way, visit the Black Isle, known for its picturesque villages and dolphin-watching opportunities.
  • Explore the town of Dingwall and its surrounding areas.

Day 7: Return to Inverness

  • Drive back to Inverness and complete the North Coast 500 loop.
  • Along the way, consider visiting the historic town of Beauly and the Beauly Priory.
  • Return to Inverness, where you can spend your final evening exploring, shopping or relaxing.

3- The Loire Valley, France

Loire Valley

⏰  Duration : 5 days 📆  When to go : spring & summer (May-September) 

The Loire Valley, located in central France, is a  picturesque and historic region  known for its magnificent castles, vineyards, picturesque villages and beautiful countryside. It is the ideal place to learn more about the  rich culture and history of France .

Not only a paradise for history and architecture enthusiasts, this road trip itinerary is also a delight for food, wine and nature lovers. It offers a  perfect blend of cultural, culinary and natural experiences  that make it a popular destination for travellers from around the world.

I feel lucky to say that  I was born in the Loire Valley , more precisely in Orleans. I loved the area and its cultural landmarks. It always felt great to be in the countryside whilst still being close to major cities like Paris. I am sure you will love exploring the many castles (châteaux) – a  great location for families with children !

READ MORE: Most Scenic Road Trips in France: 12 Epic Routes

Here is an example of a  5-day itinerary  covering some of the most famous châteaux and attractions in the Loire Valley:

Day 1: Tours

  • Start your road trip in Tours, a city in the heart of the Loire Valley.
  • Explore its historic Old Town with half-timbered houses and Place Plumereau.
  • Visit the Cathédrale Saint-Gatien and the Musée des Beaux-Arts.
  • Take a walk along the banks of the Loire.

Day 2: Château de Villandry and Château d’Azay-le-Rideau

  • Drive to Château de Villandry, famous for its superb Renaissance gardens.
  • Continue to Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, a fairytale castle set on an island in the Indre River.

Day 3: Château de Chambord and Château de Cheverny

  • Visit the iconic  Château de Chambord , a masterpiece of the French Renaissance.
  • Explore its massive double-helix staircase and its vast garden.
  • Head to Château de Cheverny, famous for its elegant interiors and well-preserved furniture.
  • If you have time, you can also discover the pretty village of Cheverny and its vineyards.

Day 4: Château de Chenonceau and Amboise

  • Visit the elegant  Château de Chenonceau , spanning the Cher River.
  • Explore the stunning gardens and galleries of the castle.
  • Drive to the town of Amboise, where you can visit Château d’Amboise and Clos Lucé, the former home of Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Spend the evening exploring the quaint streets of Amboise.

Day 5: Wine tasting and back to Tours

  • Enjoy a wine-tasting experience at a local vineyard in the Vouvray or Montlouis-sur-Loire wine region.
  • Return to Tours in the afternoon.
  • Spend your last evening in Tours sampling local cuisine and wine.

LOIRE VALLEY MAP 

4- The Romantic Road, Germany 

Romantic Road

⏰  Duration : 4-5 days 📆  When to go : spring & summer (May-September) 

The Romantic Road (Romantische Straße) in Germany is one of the  most famous and scenic tourist routes , taking you through charming villages, historic towns and beautiful countryside. You will embark on a journey filled with  medieval architecture, stunning landscapes and a feeling of romance . 

The road stretches for around 350 kilometres (220 miles) through the  southern part of Germany,  near the border with Austria, and is a great way to immerse yourself in  German history and culture  as you come across many influential landmarks.

And for any  food lover  out there, you have come to the right place! The region along the Romantic Road is known for its  delicious Bavarian cuisine , including sausages, sauerkraut, schnitzels and pretzels. And do not forget to try  local beers and wines , such as Franconian wine.

READ MORE: Bavaria Road Trip: Epic 1-Week Itinerary

Here is an example of a  5-day itinerary  covering some of the most iconic stops along the Romantic Road:

Day 1: Würzburg

  • Start your road trip in Würzburg, a city known for its stunning Residenz Palace.
  • Explore the Residenz and its beautiful gardens.
  • Take a stroll through the Old Town.
  • Enjoy a glass of Franconian wine at a local wine tavern.

Day 2: Rothenburg ob der Tauber

  • Drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Germany.
  • Explore its charming streets and walk along the city walls.
  • Visit the Town Hall and St. Jacob’s Church.
  • Try a Schneeball, a local pastry speciality.

Day 3: Dinkelsbühl and Nördlingen

  • Head to Dinkelsbühl, another picturesque medieval town along the Romantic Road.
  • Explore its well-preserved city walls and the Cathedral of St. George.
  • Relax in the charming market square.
  • Continue to Nördlingen, a town located in a meteorite crater. 
  • Visit the Daniel Tower for panoramic views.

Day 4: Augsburg

  • Drive to Augsburg, one of the oldest cities in Germany.
  • Visit its historic Old Town, home to the Augsburger Dom and the Fuggerei, the oldest social housing complex.
  • Explore Maximilianstraße and its beautiful Renaissance buildings.

Day 5: Füssen and Neuschwanstein Castle

  • Head to Füssen, a pretty town located at the foot of the Bavarian Alps.
  • Visit Hohes Schloss.
  • Explore the picturesque streets of the town.
  • Do a quick detour to  Neuschwanstein Castle , the iconic fairytale castle.
  • Take a guided tour of the castle or enjoy the views from Marienbrücke (Mary’s Bridge).
  • Return to Füssen to end your road trip.

ROMANTIC ROAD MAP 

5- Pula to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Pula to Dubrovnik

⏰  Duration : 7-10 days 📆  When to go : spring (May-June) & autumn (September-October)

A road trip from Pula to Dubrovnik in Croatia is an adventure you should not miss, as it takes you  along the stunning Adriatic coast  through historic towns and beautiful landscapes. The country has become an increasingly  popular tourist destination  in recent years, and you will understand why!

The perfect  blend of natural beauty  (from the coastline to national parks),  historic monuments and vibrant culture  make Croatia a diverse and attractive destination for travellers looking to explore the Adriatic coast and immerse themselves in  European history and lifestyle .

Stretching for over 1,700 kilometres, the coastline of Croatia is  ideal for a road trip under the sun with friends , with its thousand islands, crystal-clear waters, pebble and sandy beaches and traditional coastal towns.

READ MORE: 20 Best Summer Destinations in Europe

Here is an example of a  7-day itinerary  covering the main highlights of a road trip from Pula to Dubrovnik:

Day 1: Pula

  • Start your road trip in Pula.
  • Explore its Roman heritage, including the well-preserved Pula Arena, Temple of Augustus and Arch of the Sergii.
  • Relax on one of its beautiful beaches.

Day 2: Rovinj

  • Continue south to Rovinj, one of the most charming towns of Istria.
  • Wander its cobblestone streets, visit the St. Euphemia Church and explore the Old Town.
  • Enjoy fresh seafood at a local waterfront restaurant.

Day 3: Poreč

  • Head to Poreč, known for its UNESCO-listed Euphrasian Basilica and historic Old Town.
  • Explore the basilica complex and its Roman heritage.

Day 4: Zadar

  • Leave Istria and continue your road trip south to Zadar.
  • Explore its Old Town, including the Sea Organ and the Greeting to the Sun installations.
  • Visit St. Donatus Church and the Roman Forum.

Day 5: Šibenik

  • Drive to Šibenik, a historic town known for its impressive St. James Cathedral.
  • Explore the cathedral and the charming Old Town.
  • Take a boat trip to nearby islands or Krka National Park .

Day 6: Split

  • Head to Split, the second-largest city in Croatia.
  • Explore Diocletian’s Palace , a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Stroll through the historic Old Town.
  • Enjoy the lively atmosphere along the Riva promenade.

Day 7: Dubrovnik

  • Continue your road trip south to Dubrovnik.
  • Walk on the city walls and admire panoramic views of the Old Town .
  • Visit iconic attractions like the Rector’s Palace, Sponza Palace and Onofrio’s Fountain.
  • Relax on Banje Beach.
  • Take a cable car ride to Mount Srđ for even more breathtaking views.

PULA TO DUBROVNIK MAP

6- The Atlantic Coast, Portugal

Atlantic Coast

⏰  Duration : 8-10 days 📆  When to go : spring (April-May) & autumn (September-October)

Are you ready to explore the  stunning Atlantic coast of Portugal ? A road trip from Porto to Faro will allow you to experience the  diverse landscapes ,  historic towns  and  most   beautiful beaches  of the country. 

Vibrant and culturally rich, Portugal is also known for its  delicious cuisine and warm hospitality , making it an  ideal destination for solo travellers  (by car or campervan). I experienced it alone for a few days in May and always felt safe. I mostly stayed in hostels and met many other travellers along the way.  

Whether you are discovering historic landmarks, relaxing on the beach, hiking along the coast or savouring local cuisine, Portugal has  something to offer every type of traveller . And there is no better way to experience it all than a road trip from Porto to the Algarve.

Here is an example of a  9-day itinerary  offering a great mix of cultural, historical and natural attractions as you road trip from Porto to Faro:

Day 1: Porto

  • Start your road trip in Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal.
  • Explore the historic Ribeira district along the Douro River.
  • Visit Livraria Lello, Clerigos Tower and Porto Cathedral.
  • Enjoy a wine-tasting tour in the nearby Douro Valley .

Day 2: Aveiro

  • Drive south to Aveiro, often called the “Venice of Portugal” due to its picturesque canals.
  • Take a moliceiro boat ride along the canals.
  • Explore the colourful houses of its historic centre.

Day 3: Coimbra

  • Visit the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest in Europe.
  • Explore the Joanina Library, Royal Palace and Coimbra Cathedral.
  • Stroll through the medieval streets of the city.

Day 4: Tomar

  • Drive to Tomar, home to the Convent of Christ, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Explore the Templar Castle and its intricate Manueline-style architecture.

Day 5: Óbidos and Nazaré

  • Visit the charming medieval town of Óbidos with its well-preserved city walls.
  • Enjoy a stroll through its narrow streets and visit the Óbidos Castle.
  • Drive to Nazaré, known for its impressive waves and beautiful beach.

Day 6: Batalha and Alcobaça

  • Explore the Batalha Monastery, another UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Visit the Alcobaça Monastery, known for its spectacular Gothic architecture.

Day 7: Lisbon

  • Spend a full day exploring Lisbon.
  • Visit historic neighbourhoods like Alfama, Bairro Alto and Belém.
  • See the Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries.
  • Enjoy a traditional Portuguese meal and Fado music in the evening.

Day 8: Faro

  • Drive to Faro, the capital of the Algarve region .
  • Explore its historic Old Town with its medieval walls and charming streets.
  • Visit the Faro Cathedral and stroll through Jardim Manuel Bivar.
  • Relax on the nearby beaches.

Day 9: Algarve Beaches

  • Spend this day exploring the beautiful beaches of the Algarve.
  • Consider visiting Praia da Marinha, Praia de Benagil and Praia da Rocha.
  • Enjoy water activities like swimming, snorkelling or kayaking tours.
  • Or explore traditional villages such as Carvoeiro and Ferragudo.

PORTO TO FARO MAP

7- The Tuscan Countryside, Italy

Tuscan Countryside

⏰  Duration : 5-6 days 📆  When to go : spring (April-May) & autumn (September-October)

For any Italy lover out there, you will love this itinerary! A road trip through Tuscany offers a  fantastic mix of picturesque landscapes, medieval towns and excellent cuisine . I experienced it for a few days in March and absolutely loved it. Tuscany has an incredible atmosphere that will  transport you back in time .

Located in central Italy, Tuscany is a  scenic and culturally rich region  renowned for its winding cypress-lined roads, historic villages, Renaissance art treasures, wine production and culinary delights. You guessed it, you will not run out of  things to do . 

In addition, a road trip through Tuscany will be an excellent way to immerse yourself in  Italian culture  and enjoy a blend of  artistic exploration, gastronomic pleasures and relaxation  in a stunning and peaceful setting.

READ MORE: Tuscany Road Trip Guide: Perfect 3-Day Itinerary

Here is an example of a  5-day itinerary  offering a taste of the best that Tuscany has to offer:

Day 1: Florence

  • Start your road trip in Florence , the capital of Tuscany.
  • Explore its historic centre, including the Florence Cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower and the Uffizi Gallery.
  • Tour the  Galleria dell’Accademia  to admire the sculpture of David by Michelangelo.
  • Take a walk across the Ponte Vecchio bridge.

Day 2: Siena

  • Drive to Siena, a beautiful medieval town.
  • Explore the Piazza del Campo, its main square.
  • Visit the Siena Cathedral and the Torre del Mangia.
  • Get lost in its narrow streets and alleys.

Day 3: Val d’Orcia and Montalcino

  • Explore the beautiful Val d’Orcia region, known for its rolling hills and iconic cypress trees.
  • Drive to Montalcino, famous for its  Brunello di Montalcino wine .
  • Visit vineyards for wine tasting and explore the town.

Day 4: San Gimignano and Volterra

  • Head to San Gimignano, famous for its medieval towers.
  • Explore the town and enjoy the views from the Torre Grossa.
  • Drive to Volterra, known for its Etruscan heritage and medieval architecture.
  • Visit the Volterra Cathedral and the Guarnacci Etruscan Museum.

Day 5: Pisa and Lucca

  • Drive to Pisa.
  • Visit its iconic  Leaning Tower of Pisa , Pisa Cathedral and Baptistery.
  • Continue to Lucca, a charming walled city.
  • Explore its historic centre, and walk or cycle along the city walls. 
  • Stop at its San Martino Cathedral.
  • Return to Florence.

TUSCAN COUNTRYSIDE MAP

8- The Atlantic Road, Norway

Atlantic Road

The Norwegian Atlantic Road, also known as Atlanterhavsveien, is a  breathtaking drive in Norway  taking you along the rugged coastline of the country, passing over islands and bridges  with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean . 

With many charming towns and cultural attractions along the way, it is often considered one of the  most scenic drives  in the world, offering a unique and exhilarating experience for travellers seeking to explore the  coastal beauty of Norway  and its  dramatic landscapes .

Whether you are a photo enthusiast, a nature lover or simply looking for an unforgettable (and short) road trip, the Atlantic Road is a  must-visit destination ! Hop on your car or campervan and enjoy.

READ MORE: Norwegian Fjords Cruise: Complete Winter Guide

Here is an example of a  5-day itinerary  for exploring the Norwegian Atlantic Road and the surrounding area: 

Day 1: Ålesund

  • Start your road trip in Ålesund, a picturesque coastal town known for its Art Nouveau architecture.
  • Explore its historic district and climb to Aksla Viewpoint for panoramic views.
  • Visit the Ålesund Aquarium to learn about local marine life.
  • Enjoy a seafood dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 2: Molde and Bud

  • Drive to Molde, another scenic coastal town.
  • Explore its beautiful gardens and Molde Cathedral.
  • Head to the fishing village of Bud.
  • Stop at viewpoints along the way to admire the dramatic coastline.
  • Visit Bud and discover its historic charm.

Day 3: Atlantic Road and Kristiansund

  • Drive along the Atlantic Road, a highlight of your trip, with its iconic bridges and breathtaking views.
  • Make stops at different viewpoints and islands along the way.
  • Arrive in Kristiansund, a coastal town known for its colourful houses and vibrant cultural scene.
  • Explore its city centre and visit the Kirkelandet Church.

Day 4: Geiranger via the Trollstigen

  • Drive to Geiranger, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with a detour to the famous Trollstigen mountain road.
  • Experience the hairpin bends and spectacular landscapes of Trollstigen.
  • Explore the  Geirangerfjord  and go on a boat trip.
  • Visit the Dalsnibba viewpoint.
  • Hike or take a scenic drive to see the Seven Sisters Waterfall and the Bridal Veil Waterfall.

Day 5: Return to Ålesund

  • Return to Ålesund.
  • You might have time for some last-minute shopping or a final meal before heading home.

ATLANTIC ROAD MAP

9- The Peloponnese Region, Greece

Peloponnese Region

⏰  Duration : 5-7 days 📆  When to go : spring (May-June) & autumn (September-October)

Located in southern Greece, the Peloponnese is a  historically and culturally rich region  separated from the Greek mainland by the Gulf of Corinth. It is a  fascinating peninsula  known for its ancient history, archaeological sites, beautiful coastlines and picturesque towns. 

Venturing on a road trip through the Peloponnese region offers an ideal mix of  history, culture, stunning natural landscapes and outdoor activities . It is a captivating destination if you are interested in exploring ancient ruins, enjoying coastal activities and  immersing yourself in Greek heritage .

And if you are a  food lover , you will also love tasting the culinary delights of the area! The Peloponnese is known for its  delicious Mediterranean cuisine , where you can savour local dishes like pastitsio, grilled lamb, fresh seafood, olives and feta cheese. 

If you would like to extend your trip to the Greek islands, check out this article: 15 Best Things to Do in Santorini, Greece .

Here is an example of a  7-day itinerary  covering some of the highlights of the Peloponnese region:

Day 1: Athens to Corinth

  • Start your road trip in Athens, the capital of Greece.
  • Visit the  Acropolis  and explore the historic Plaka neighbourhood.
  • Drive to Corinth, known for the ancient Corinthian Acropolis and Temple of Apollo.

Day 2: Epidaurus and Nafplio

  • Visit the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, known for its exceptional acoustics.
  • Explore the Sanctuary of Asclepius and the Epidaurus Museum.
  • Continue to Nafplio, a charming seaside town.
  • Explore its historic Old Town and visit the Palamidi Fortress.

Day 3: Mycenae and Nemea

  • Head to Mycenae, home to the famous Lion Gate and the Treasury of Atreus.
  • Explore the archaeological site and the Mycenae Museum.
  • Drive to Nemea, a wine region famous for its Agiorgitiko red wine.
  • Visit a local vineyard for a wine-tasting experience.

Day 4: Olympia

  • Drive to Olympia, the site of the ancient Olympic Games.
  • Explore its  archaeological sites , including the Temple of Zeus and the ancient stadium.
  • Visit the Olympia Archaeological Museum.

Day 5: Messene and Kalamata

  • Visit the ancient city of Messene, known for its well-preserved ruins.
  • Explore its Ancient Theatre and city walls.
  • Drive to Kalamata, a coastal town known for its olives and olive oil.

Day 6: Mani Peninsula

  • Drive to the rugged Mani Peninsula, famous for its unique stone tower houses.
  • Explore picturesque villages like Kardamyli and Areopoli.
  • Visit the Diros Caves on a boat tour through underground caverns.

Day 7: Monemvasia

  • Visit Monemvasia, a medieval fortress town on a small island.
  • Explore the narrow streets and Byzantine churches.
  • Enjoy panoramic views from the upper town.
  • Return to Athens.

PELOPONNESE REGION MAP

10- Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

Wild Atlantic Way

⏰  Duration : 7-10 days 📆  When to go : spring & summer (May-September) 

The Wild Atlantic Way is a  spectacular coastal route in Ireland , stretching along the west and northwest coasts of the country. It is renowned for its  rugged and dramatic landscapes , quaint villages, historic sites and the raw beauty of the Atlantic Ocean.

It offers a fascinating journey, allowing you to experience the  wild beauty of the west coast of Ireland . From impressive cliffs to pretty fishing towns and unique cultural experiences, a road trip on this iconic road will provide you with  unforgettable   memories ! 

Whether you are driving the entire route or exploring specific sections, exploring the Wild Atlantic Way is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in  Irish natural beauty, culture and history . 

Here is an example of a  10-day itinerary  covering some of the most spectacular parts of the Wild Atlantic Way:

Day 1: Ring of Kerry

  • Start your road trip by exploring Kerry, one of the most famous scenic routes in Ireland.
  • Drive the Ring of Kerry, stopping at viewpoints and attractions like Muckross House and Torc Waterfall.
  • Visit the town of Killarney and its national park.

Day 2: Dingle Peninsula

  • Drive to the Dingle Peninsula, known for its stunning scenery and traditional Irish culture.
  • Explore the town of Dingle and taste fresh seafood.
  • Drive the Slea Head Drive for breathtaking coastal views.

Day 3: Loop Head Peninsula and Kilkee

  • Drive to Loop Head Peninsula, a hidden gem on the Wild Atlantic Way.
  • Explore the Loop Head Lighthouse and take in the coastal views.
  • Continue to Kilkee and relax on its sandy beaches.

Day 4: The Cliffs of Moher and Burren 

  • Continue to the Cliffs of Moher, one of the most iconic natural attractions in Ireland.
  • Drive to the Burren region, famous for its unique limestone karst landscape.
  • Visit the Poulnabrone Dolmen and explore the walking trails of the Burren.

Day 5: Galway

  • Head to Galway, a bustling city on the western coast.
  • Explore its lively Latin Quarter and listen to traditional Irish music in local pubs.

Day 6: Connemara Peninsula and Clifden

  • Drive to the Connemara Peninsula, known for its spectacular landscapes.
  • Stop at the charming fishing village of Roundstone.
  • Visit Kylemore Abbey, a beautiful castle and abbey located in the Connemara wilderness.
  • Explore the stunning landscapes of Connemara National Park.
  • Continue towards Clifden.

Day 7: Explore Westport

  • Drive to Westport, a picturesque town with colourful buildings.
  • Spend a full day exploring Westport.
  • Tour Westport House and Gardens.
  • Enjoy outdoor activities like cycling the Great Western Greenway or climbing Croagh Patrick.

Day 8: Achill Island and Sligo

  • Head to Achill Island, known for its stunning beaches and dramatic cliffs.
  • Explore Keem Bay and Keel Beach, and take a scenic drive around the island.
  • Leave Achill Island and drive to Sligo to explore the town.
  • Enjoy the stunning landscapes that inspired the poet W.B. Yeats.

Day 9: Donegal

  • Continue north to Donegal.
  • Make a detour to the beautiful Glencar Waterfall.
  • Explore the wild beauty of Slieve League Cliffs, one of the highest sea cliffs in Europe.
  • Visit the charming village of Donegal.

Day 10: Derry

  • Drive to Derry (also known as Londonderry), Northern Ireland.
  • Explore the historic city walls and learn about its troubled history.
  • Take a walk along the Peace Bridge.
  • And if you have time, head to the iconic Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

WILD ATLANTIC WAY MAP

11- Andalusian Escape, Spain

Andalusian Escape

⏰  Duration : 7-10 days 📆  When to go : spring (April-May) & autumn (September-October)

Andalusia (Andalucía in Spanish) is a  vibrant and culturally rich autonomous community  located in southern Spain. It is known for its beautiful landscapes, historic towns, Moorish architecture, flamenco music and dance and rich cultural heritage.

Whether you are exploring the historic streets of  Cordoba , admiring the Alhambra in  Granada  or lounging on the beach in  Cádiz , Andalusia offers plenty of experiences  for all travellers and ages . 

The region is also perfect for a road trip thanks to its  diversity and wealth of sites and attractions , from some of the most famous cities in Spain, such as  Seville , to the wide range of landscapes and historical landmarks, including  Roman ruins, Gothic cathedrals and Renaissance palaces .

Here is an example of a  7-day itinerary  covering some of the most iconic locations and attractions in Andalusia:

Day 1: Seville

  • Start your road trip in Seville, the capital of Andalusia.
  • Explore its historic city centre.
  • Visit the Alcazar,  Seville Cathedral  and the Giralda Tower.
  • Stroll along the banks of the Guadalquivir River and watch a traditional Flamenco show.

Day 2: Cordoba

  • Drive to Cordoba, known for the beautiful Mezquita.
  • Explore the Mezquita and the historic Jewish Quarter.
  • Visit the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos and stroll along the Roman Bridge.

Day 3: Granada

  • Head to Granada and visit the  Alhambra , a stunning palace and fortress complex.
  • Explore the Generalife Gardens and the historic Albayzín neighbourhood.
  • Visit the Monastery of Saint Jerome.
  • Relax in a tapas bar and enjoy the local cuisine.

Day 4: Ronda

  • Continue towards Ronda, a picturesque town perched on the edge of a deep gorge.
  • Visit the Puente Nuevo and the Plaza de Toros.
  • Explore the charming Old Town.

Day 5: Jerez de la Frontera

  • Head to Jerez de la Frontera, known for its sherry wine.
  • Visit a sherry bodega for a wine-tasting experience.
  • Discover the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art.

Day 6: Cádiz

  • Drive to Cádiz, a historic port city.
  • Explore the Old Town and visit the Cádiz Cathedral.
  • Relax on La Caleta beach.

Day 7: Seville

  • Return to Seville.
  • Spend your last day in Seville, doing some last-minute shopping or visiting any attractions you missed.

ANDALUSIAN ESCAPE MAP

12- Montenegro Loop

Montenegro Loop

Montenegro is a small yet  incredibly picturesque country  located in southeastern Europe, in the  Balkans . It is known for its diverse landscapes, rugged mountains, pristine coastline along the Adriatic Sea and quaint historic towns.

The combination of  natural beauty, cultural heritage and outdoor adventure  of Montenegro makes it an attractive destination for road trippers looking to explore a  lesser-known corner of Europe .

Whether you are seeking relaxation on the  Adriatic coast , hiking in the  mountains  or immersing yourself in  history and culture , Montenegro has something for everyone. And if you are adventurous, try yourself at  white-water rafting or mountain biking .

Here is an example of a  7-day itinerary  covering some of the most popular destinations and attractions in Montenegro:

Day 1: Podgorica

  • Start your road trip in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro.
  • Explore its main landmarks, including Millennium Bridge and Gorica Hill.
  • Try local specialities like Njeguški pršut (smoked ham) and seafood risotto.

Day 2: Lake Skadar

  • Drive to Lake Skadar, the largest lake in the Balkans.
  • Take a  boat trip  on the lake to explore its natural beauty and birdlife.
  • Visit the picturesque village of Virpazar.

Day 3: Cetinje and Lovćen National Park

  • Head to Cetinje, the historic royal capital of Montenegro
  • Visit the Cetinje Monastery and the King Nikola Museum.
  • Continue to Lovćen National Park and hike to the Njegos Mausoleum for stunning views.

Day 4: Budva

  • Continue to Budva, known for its beautiful beaches and historic Old Town.
  • Explore its historic centre and visit the Citadel.
  • Relax on one of its sandy beaches.

Day 5: Kotor

  • Drive to Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage city.
  • Explore its Old Town and climb the city walls for panoramic views.
  • Visit the Maritime Museum to learn about local maritime history.
  • Discover the lovely Tryphon’s Cathedral.

Day 6: Durmitor National Park

  • Head to Durmitor National Park, famous for its spectacular scenery.
  • Drive along the picturesque Bay of Kotor.
  • Visit the charming coastal town of Perast and take a boat to the  Our Lady of the Rocks  islet.
  • Explore the town of Žabljak and the nearby Black Lake.
  • Consider hiking the Tara River Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in Europe.

Day 7: Return to Podgorica

  • Return to the capital city of Podgorica.

MONTENEGRO LOOP MAP

13- London to Edinburgh, UK

London to Edinburgh

A road trip from London to Edinburgh is the perfect opportunity to explore the  diverse landscapes, historic landmarks and beautiful countryside  of England. You will have the chance to uncover hidden gems and  picturesque villages  that are worth the detour. 

Whether you enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere, hiking through scenic national parks or delving into the rich history of the country, England offers a  wide range of experiences for all travellers .

And do not forget to sample  traditional English cuisine  along the way, including dishes like fish and chips, roast dinners, pies and the famous English breakfast. England is also known for its  afternoon tea tradition  and beers in  cosy pubs .

READ MORE: London to Edinburgh Drive: 20+ Best Stops

Here is an example of a  5-day itinerary  covering the best stops and detours for an unforgettable adventure through the UK:

Day 1: Cambridge

  • Start your road trip from London and drive to Cambridge.
  • Explore the historic University of Cambridge, including King’s College Chapel and the picturesque Backs.
  • Discover the city from the water by  punting on the River Cam .
  • Admire the beautiful Mathematical Bridge.

Day 2: York

  • Drive to York, a city rich in history.
  • Stop at the Peak District National Park, known for its dramatic limestone valleys.
  • Discover York Minster and walk along the medieval city walls.
  • Explore the Shambles, a picturesque shopping street.
  • Visit the York Art Gallery and the Castle Museum.

Day 3: Durham

  • Continue north to Durham.
  • Stop at the charming town of Whitby and visit its Abbey.
  • Discover Durham Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Explore the charming city centre.
  • Discover Durham Dales and walk to High Force waterfall.

Day 4: Alnwick

  • Head to the town of Alnwick. 
  • Pass through Newcastle-upon-Tyne and see its historic Tyne Bridges.
  • Visit Alnwick Castle and its beautiful gardens.
  • Explore the nearby Alnwick town centre.

Day 5: Edinburgh

  • Continue to Edinburgh, crossing the Scottish border.
  • Visit the town of North Berwick along the way.
  • Explore  Edinburgh Castle , the Royal Mile and Holyrood Palace.
  • Hike to Arthur’s Seat for panoramic views.
  • Tour the National Museum of Scotland or the Royal Yacht Britannia.

LONDON TO EDINBURGH MAP

14- Baltic States Route

Baltic States Route

The Baltic States, also known as the Baltic countries or simply the Baltics, are a  group of three countries located in Northern Europe  along the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, which include  Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania .

If they share a common history, geographic proximity and cultural ties,  each has a unique identity  and something different to offer. That is why a road trip through the Baltics is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the  rich heritage of Northern Europe .

From  stunning and well-preserved cities  such as Riga or Vilnius to  breathtaking national parks  and protected areas, the Baltics are the ideal holiday destination whether you are into culture, art or nature. 

Here is an example of a  7-day itinerary  covering many of the major attractions and cities in the Baltic States:

Day 1: Tallinn, Estonia

  • Start your road trip in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.
  • Explore its Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Visit historic landmarks like Toompea Castle and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

Day 2: Riga, Latvia

  • Cross the border into Latvia and head to Riga, the Latvian capital.
  • Explore its  Old Town , known for its Art Nouveau architecture.
  • Visit attractions like Riga Castle and St. Peter’s Church.
  • Take a relaxing walk along the Daugava River.

Day 3: Jurmala, Latvia

  • Drive to Jurmala, a seaside resort town on the Baltic Sea.
  • Relax on its sandy beaches and enjoy its pretty wooden architecture.
  • Explore Dzintari Forest Park and Majoru Promenade.

Day 4: Kaunas, Lithuania

  • Head to Kaunas, the second-largest city in Lithuania.
  • Visit the Rundale Palace, a magnificent Baroque palace en route to Kaunas.
  • If you have time, also drive to the Hill of Crosses, a unique and spiritual site with thousands of crosses.
  • Explore Kaunas Old Town, the Pazaislis Monastery and the Ninth Fort.

Day 5: Vilnius, Lithuania

  • Continue your journey to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.
  • Stop in Trakai and discover  Trakai Island Castle  on Lake Galvė.
  • Explore Vilnius Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Visit attractions like Gediminas Tower and the Cathedral of Vilnius.
  • Sample Lithuanian cuisine at a local restaurant.

Day 6: Tartu, Estonia

  • Drive back north to Tartu, the second-largest city in Estonia.
  • Visit the University of Tartu and the Estonian National Museum.
  • Explore its charming Old Town and stroll along the Emajõgi River.

Day 7: Tallinn, Estonia

  • Return to Tallinn to conclude your Baltic States road trip.
  • If time allows, explore any remaining parts of Tallinn or do some last-minute souvenir shopping.

BALTIC STATES MAP

15- Into the Wilderness, Finland

Into the Wilderness

⏰  Duration : 7-10 days 📆  When to go : spring & summer (May-September)

A road trip from Helsinki to Inari in Finland will take you through some of the  most beautiful landscapes of the country , including forests, lakes and the magical Arctic region, providing the opportunity to learn about  Sámi culture  and experience the  unique beauty of the far north .

Often referred to as the Land of a Thousand Lakes, Finland is a  haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts . Additionally, the country boasts a unique  blend of modernity and cultural traditions , making it an appealing destination for a scenic road trip.

And although it is easier to drive in Finland in spring and summer, I would also recommend doing this itinerary  in winter  to discover the best of the country and the Arctic region under a white coat, which includes  skiing, dog sledding and catching the Northern Lights . 

READ MORE: Travel Guide to Lapland, Finland in Winter

Here is an example of a  10-day itinerary  allowing you to experience a diverse range of Finnish landscapes and cultures as you make your way from Helsinki to Inari:

Day 1: Helsinki

  • Start your road trip in Helsinki , the capital of Finland.
  • Explore its top attractions, including Senate Square, Helsinki Cathedral and Suomenlinna Fortress.
  • Experience a traditional Finnish Sauna at Löyly.

Day 2: Porvoo

  • Drive to Porvoo, a charming historic town known for its well-preserved wooden houses.
  • Explore its Old Town and visit Porvoo Cathedral.
  • Stop at Café Fanny and try their cinnamon buns.

Day 3: Lahti

  • Continue your journey to Lahti, known for its beautiful lakes and outdoor activities.
  • Visit the Sibelius Hall and Lahti Harbour.
  • Explore the nearby Lake Vesijärvi.

Day 4: Jyväskylä

  • Drive to Jyväskylä, a city surrounded by lakes and forests.
  • Discover the architecture of Alvar Aalto, including the Muurame Church and the Alvar Aalto Museum.
  • Explore the Jyväskylä Harbour.

Day 5: Kuopio

  • Head to Kuopio, known for its picturesque lakeside setting.
  • Visit Puijo Tower for panoramic views and explore the Kuopio Market Square.
  • Relax by Lake Kallavesi.

Day 6: Oulu

  • Drive to Oulu, a coastal city with a vibrant cultural scene.
  • Explore the Oulu Market Square and visit the Oulu Art Museum.
  • Relax on Nallikari Beach.

Day 7: Rovaniemi

  • Continue your journey north to Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland.
  • Visit the Arctic Circle and the Santa Claus Village.
  • Explore the Arktikum Science Museum and Pilke Science Centre.

Day 8: Saariselkä

  • Drive to Saariselkä, a winter sports resort in the Lapland region.
  • Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking.
  • Explore the Urho Kekkonen National Park.

Day 9: Ivalo and Inari

  • Continue north to Ivalo and Inari, which are close to each other.
  • Visit the Siida Sami Museum in Inari and explore the beautiful surroundings.
  • Experience the unique culture and traditions of the Sámi people.

Day 10: Explore Inari 

  • Spend your last day exploring around Inari.
  • Take a boat trip on Lake Inari.
  • Drive the scenic Kaamasentie road.

HELSINKI TO INARI MAP

Vienna to Innsbruck

Austria, located in the heart of Central Europe, is known for its rich  cultural heritage , stunning  Alpine landscapes ,  picturesque towns  and a high standard of living. And that is why a road trip from Vienna to Innsbruck is an excellent way to discover everything the country offers!

With its perfect blend of  historical landmarks ,  charming historic cities  such as Salzburg and the  ideal setting of the Alps , Austria has become a popular destination for travellers seeking  outdoor adventures with a dose of cultural experiences . 

Whether you are exploring the spectacular palaces and museums, skiing in the Alps or indulging in Austrian cuisine, Austria provides a  diverse range of activities and attractions  for an unforgettable road trip.

Here is an example of a  7-day itinerary  providing a mix of cultural experiences, natural beauty and historical sites along your road trip from Vienna to Innsbruck:

Day 1: Vienna

  • Start your road trip in Vienna , the capital of Austria.
  • Explore the main attractions, including  Schönbrunn Palace , St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg Palace.
  • Stop at a traditional restaurant to sample a Wiener Schnitzel.

Day 2: Melk and Dürnstein

  • Drive to Melk and visit the magnificent Melk Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Continue to Dürnstein, a charming town located on the banks of the Danube River.
  • Explore the medieval streets of Dürnstein and enjoy the views.

Day 3: Krems and Wachau Valley

  • Head to Krems, another picturesque town along the Danube.
  • Explore its historic centre and visit the Gozzoburg Castle.
  • Drive through the Wachau Valley, known for its vineyards and pretty villages.

Day 4: Linz

  • Drive to Linz, the third-largest city in Austria.
  • Explore the Hauptplatz and visit the Ars Electronica Center.
  • Take a stroll along the banks of the Danube.

Day 5: Salzburg

  • Drive to Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and a city rich in history.
  • Explore its historic Old Town and visit Hohensalzburg Fortress.
  • Take an unforgettable  Sound of Music tour .

Day 6: Zell am See

  • Drive to Zell am See, a beautiful Alpine town located on the shores of Lake Zell.
  • Enjoy water sports, hiking or take a scenic boat ride on the lake.
  • Explore the charming town centre.

Day 7: Innsbruck

  • Drive to Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol, known for its breathtaking Alpine backdrop.
  • Explore its historic Old Town and visit the Golden Roof.
  • Take a cable car to the Nordkette mountain range.

VIENNA TO INNSBRUCK MAP

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Tips for reducing your impact on a road trip

Are you looking forward to your amazing road trip? I understand! Road trips are a fantastic way of travelling as they allow us to move freely and discover many incredible places at our own pace. However, they can also have negative environmental impacts. That is why considering our carbon footprint and adopting  eco-responsible habits  is essential.

READ MORE: How to Plan an Epic (Eco-Friendly) Road Trip

Here are some sustainable tips on making your Europe road trip more eco-friendly and having a positive impact on the places you visit:

Prepare your route in advance 

I know getting lost on a road trip can feel fun and exciting, but when trying to minimise your footprint, it is best to plan your route to avoid unnecessary travel. In addition, the shorter the distance you travel, the less fuel you will use and the less harmful emissions you will produce. Tip: Get offline maps to stay on track even if you lose signal. 

Plan your meals

Another great way to reduce your impact on the road is to plan your meals. Throughout your journey, try to find local restaurants or eco-friendly facilities. You can try the local cuisine or wander through local markets and buy fresh produce. 

Make your trip plastic-free

As you might know, plastic packaging is a significant environmental issue and causes concerns for wildlife and the preservation of natural landscapes. Therefore, avoid plastic as much as possible and bring reusable items instead. Choose eco-friendly alternatives, like reusable tote bags, cutlery, plates, etc. Tip: you can also buy  filtered water bottles  to refill your water anywhere. 

Check your car and drive smoothly

Make sure your vehicle is in the best possible condition for the road: check the engine, oil level and tyre pressure before your trip. In addition, use the available features in your car, like cruise control, to help you maintain your speed and reduce excess emissions. And even better, drive an electric vehicle if possible! (Or a bike for the most courageous).

Leave a place better than you found it

Aim to live by the principle: leave no trace. And even better, leave a place better than you found it. For example, dispose of your litter appropriately and pick up any trash you encounter. Be respectful of the land and do not drive over protected areas. And finally, stay on the marked trails when hiking, as going off can be dangerous for flora and fauna. 

Adopt a responsible attitude towards wildlife

Be mindful of your surroundings and adopt a responsible attitude towards wildlife, on land and in the sea. Do not come close to, feed or touch animals and corals. Remember that you are only a guest in their home.

Always respect the local heritage

Treat people and their surroundings with respect. Sustainable travel is not only about the environment but also about the local communities. So, always be respectful and try to learn a few local words!

More inspiration for your green vacation:

  • Best Travel Apps for Exploring Sustainably
  • 15 Travel Books to Inspire Your Next Eco-Adventure
  • Best Ecotourism Activities Around the World

Eco-friendly gear you might love:

  • 10 Best Sustainable Backpacks for Travel & Hiking
  • 10 Best Reusable & Eco-Friendly Travel Mugs
  • 8 Best Filtered Water Bottles for Travel & Hiking

Check out  this page  for more inspiration on eco-friendly products & gear.

sustainable travel checklist

Europe travel planning guide + tips

Yes, buying insurance is always valuable when travelling abroad. Enjoy your European road trip stress-free with one of my favourite providers,  Nomad Insurance .

Yes, tap water is safe to drink in most European countries. But I also recommend travelling with the  UltraPress Purifier Bottle , a filtered water bottle perfect for reducing plastic and staying hydrated.

Yes, renting a car in any European country is easy and is a great way to explore freely. I recommend booking yours with  Rentalcars.com  – they offer a variety of operators for all budgets.

The best way to book your accommodation on a Europe road trip is with  Booking.com  – my favourite platform to compare and reserve places to stay each night, from affordable hostels to luxury resorts.

I recommend booking your plane with  Skyscanner to reach any European cities. It has been my favourite platform for years, as it allows me to book the cheapest flights whilst lowering my carbon emissions.

The best road trip planner app I recommend you download on your phone is Roadtrippers . It will help you build your perfect itinerary with the top stops along the way.

best europe road trips

And you, what is your favourite road trip in Europe ? Let me know in the comments below!

With love ♡ Lucie

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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 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 over five 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.

  • Get the Travel Guides
  • Lonely Planet Austria
  • Fodor’s Vienna and the Best of Austria
  • DK Eyewitness Austria
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Vienna to Innsbruck Road Trip

Vienna – graz – hallstatt – salzburg – zell am see – mayrhofen – innsbruck.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Lonely Planet France
  • DK Eyewitness Road Trips France
  • Fodor’s Essential France
  • France Travel Guide
  • France Road Trip – 13 Amazing Itineraries
  • South of France Road Trip: Route, Highlights & Tips
  • Route Napoleon: A Historic French Road Trip
  • Normandy Road Trip: Ultimate 7 Day Itinerary
  • Motorhoming in France: Your Complete Touring Guide
  • Driving to France from UK: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
  • Route des Grandes Alpes: An Epic French Road Trip

Loire Valley Road Trip

Orleans – Blois – Tours – Angers – Nantes

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.

  • 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.

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

Pyrenees Road Trip

Lourdes – cauterets – gavarnie – arreau – bagnares-de-luchon.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

South of France Road Trip

Lyon – st croix du verdon – aups – cassis – aix-en-provence – bezier – carcassonne – toulouse.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

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

  • Lonely Planet Germany
  • The Rough Guide to Germany
  • DK Eyewitness Germany
  • Germany Travel Guide
  • Six Unmissable Germany Road Trip Routes
  • Deutsche Märchenstraße: Germany’s Fairy Tale Road
  • Romantic Road Germany: Itinerary, Map & Tips
  • Deutsche Alpenstrasse: Route, Map & Highlights
  • Motorhome Germany: Complete Touring Guide
  • Driving from UK to Germany: Best Routes, Costs & Tips

The Fairy Tale Road

Frankfurt – steinau – marburg – kassel – gottingen – hamelin – bremen.

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’.

  • 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.

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

Southern Germany Road Trip

Wurzburg – rothenburg – ludwigsburg – burg hohenzollern – fussen – oberammergau – linderhof – munich – chiemsee.

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.

  • 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. 

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

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.

  • Lonely Planet Greece
  • The Rough Guide to Greece
  • DK Eyewitness Greece: Athens and the Mainland
  • Motorhome & Campervan Greece – Complete Guide

Mainland Greece Road Trip

Athens – delphi – galaxidi – nafpaktos – parga – meteora – mount olympus – thessaloniki.

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.

  • 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.

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

Peloponnese Road Trip

Athens – corinth – kalavryta – olympia – kalamata – the mani – sparta – nafplio – mycenae – athens.

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.

  • 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.

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

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!

  • Lonely Planet Iceland
  • The Rough Guide to Iceland
  • DK Eyewitness Top 10 Iceland
  • Iceland Road Trip – 26 Epic Things to See & Do
  • One Day Reykjavik Itinerary – Map, Tips & Guide
  • South Coast Iceland: 18 of the Best Things to Do & See

The Golden Circle Road Trip

Reykjavik – thingvellir national park – geysers of haukadalur valley – gullfoss waterfall – reykjavik.

  • 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.

♥  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.

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

Iceland's Gullfoss waterfall in autumn

  • Lonely Planet Ireland
  • DK Eyewitness Ireland
  • The Rough Guide to Ireland
  • Wild Atlantic Way: Itinerary, Map & Tips
  • One Day in Dublin – Itinerary, Map, Tips & Guide
  • Motorhoming in Ireland – A Complete Guide

Wild Atlantic Way Road Trip

Co. donegal – co. sligo – co. mayo – co. galway – co. clare – co. limerick – co. kerry – co. cork.

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.  

  • 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.

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

  • Lonely Planet Italy
  • Fodor’s Essential Italy: Rome, Florence, Venice & the Top Spots in Between
  • T he Rough Guide to Italy
  • Italy Travel Guide
  • The Ultimate Bucket List Italy Road Trip
  • Northern Italy Road Trip: Itinerary, Map & Tips

Great Dolomites Road: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know!

  • Tuscan Road Trip: Itinerary, Map & Tips
  • A Bucket List Amalfi Coast Road Trip
  • Sicily Road Trip – Itinerary, Tips & Map
  • Beautiful Puglia – A Road Trip Itinerary

Dolomites Road Trip: Explore the Best of Northern Italy

  • Motorhoming in Italy: Your Complete Guide
  • Driving to Italy from UK – Routes & Tips

Amalfi Coast Road Trip

Sorrento – positano – amalfi – ravello – salerno.

  • 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 a bucket list Italy road trip experience. 

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, surely one of the best driving roads in Europe .

  • 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.

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

Puglia Road Trip

Taranto – gallipoli – santa maria di leuca – lecce – ostuni – alberobello – bari.

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.

  • 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.

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

Sicily Road Trip

Catania – syracuse – ragusa – agrigento – marsala – palermo – cefalu – taormina.

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!

  • 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.

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

Tuscany & Umbria Road Trip

Pisa – lucca – florence – san gimignano – siena – arezzo – cortona – pienza – montepulciano – assisi – spoleto.

  • 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.

  • 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!

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

  • Lonely Planet Norway
  • Fodor’s Essential Norway
  • The Rough Guide to Norway
  • Norway Road Trip – Three Unmissable Routes
  • Atlantic Road Norway: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know!
  • Driving to Norway from UK – Routes & Tips
  • One Day Oslo Itinerary – Map, Guide & Tips
  • Campervanning in Norway – Tips, Routes & Destinations
  • Flåm Norway: Visitor Guide & Tips

West Coast of Norway Road Trip

Bergen – loen – geiranger – trollstigen – kristiansund – trondheim – jektvik – bodo – tromso.

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.

  • 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.

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

Western Fjords Road Trip

Stavanger – preikestolen – kjeragbolten – trolltunga – flam – bergen.

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.

  • 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.

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

  • Lonely Planet Portugal
  • DK Eyewitness Portugal
  • The Rough Guide to Portugal
  • Road Trip Portugal – Two Incredible Itineraries
  • Driving from Lisbon to Porto: Itinerary, Route & Tips
  • Driving to Portugal from UK – Routes & Tips
  • Campervanning in Portugal: Complete Guide

Atlantic Coast Road Trip

Porto – coimbra – nazare – sintra – lisbon.

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.

  • 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.

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

  • Lonely Planet Spain
  • DK Eyewitness Road Trips Spain
  • The Rough Guide to Spain
  • Spain Travel Guide
  • Six of the Best Road Trips in Spain
  • The Perfect Andalucia Road Trip: Itinerary, Map & Tips
  • North Spain Road Trip: Itinerary, Route & Tips
  • Madrid in One Day – Itinerary, Map, Tips & Guide
  • One Day in Barcelona – Itinerary, Map, Tips & Guide
  • Driving from UK to Spain – Routes & Tips
  • Motorhoming in Spain: Your Complete Guide

Andalucia Road Trip

Marbella – ronda – cadiz – jerez de la frontera – seville – cordoba – granada.

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, two of our favorite places in Spain .

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.

  • 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.

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

Northern Spain Road Trip

San sabastian – bilbao – comillas – oviedo – ribadeo – a coruna – santiago de compostela.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

Switzerland

  • Fodor’s Essential Switzerland
  • Rough Guide to Switzerland
  • DK Eyewitness Switzerland  
  • Switzerland Road Trip: The Best Itinerary + Map & Tips
  • One Day in Zurich – Itinerary, Map, Tips & Guide

Road Trip to the Alps

Zurich – bern – lausanne – geneva – montreux – nendaz – zermatt – interlaken – lauterbrunnen – grindelwald – furka pass – lucerne – zurich.

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.

  • 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!

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

United Kingdom

  • Lonely Planet Great Britain
  • DK Eyewitness Great Britain
  • Rough Guides Make the Most of Your Time in Britain
  • United Kingdom Travel Guide
  • UK Road Trip – 18 Unmissable Routes
  • Eight Incredible Scotland Road Trips
  • North Coast 500 Route Planner + Highlights, Map & Tips
  • Road Trip England – 10 of the Best Routes
  • Wales Road Trip – A Stunning Route & Itinerary
  • A South England Road Trip to Dorset & The New Forest
  • Cornwall Road Trip: The Best Itinerary, Map & Tips
  • Causeway Coastal Route: The Best Road Trip In Ireland?
  • Belfast in A Day: Itinerary, Map & Tips
  • Atlantic Highway: An Epic Devon & Cornwall Road Trip

Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland

Derry-londonderry – port rush – bushmills – cushendun – carrickfergus – belfast.

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.

  • 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.

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

Norfolk Road Trip, England

Norwich – wroxham – winterton – cromer – hunstanton – sandringham – king’s lynn.

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

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.

  • 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.

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

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

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 .

  • 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.

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

Snowdonia to the Brecon Beacons, Wales

Snowdonia – portmeirion – barmouth – new quay – pembrokeshire – gower peninsula – mumbles – brecon beacons.

  • Distance 256km
  • Drive Time 7 hours

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.

  • 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.

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

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

  • Driving in Europe – Everything You Need to Know
  • How to Plan a Road Trip – Your Complete Guide
  • 19 Helpful Long Distance Driving Tips
  • Road Trip on a Budget: 36 Tips to Save Money in Europe
  • The Best Printable Road Trip Checklists
  • 150+ Road Trip Songs: Your Ultimate Driving Playlist
  • Podcasts for Road Trips: 26 to Keep You Entertained
  • Road Trip Snacks: 32 Ideas for Your Next Trip
  • 113 Road Trip Quotes to Inspire Your Next Trip
  • 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.

Looking for more Europe itinerary ideas? Check out these top posts…

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Road Trips in Europe: 10 Fantastic Routes

We absolutely adore road trips! And how lucky we are that Europe is brimming with incredible routes right on our doorstep. Just hop in the car, and voilà – instant road trip bliss!

Over the years, we’ve embarked on countless road trips across Europe. In this article on our travel blog, we’re excited to share our all-time favourite road trip itineraries with you.

Whether it’s the Dolce Vita in Tuscany to the breathtaking natural landscapes of Montenegro or the mountain love in Austria – get ready for a hefty dose of road trip route inspiration across Europe.

3. Emilia-Romagna

4. slovenia, 6. montenegro, 7. southern france, 8. andalusia, 9. centro de portugal, 10. austria.

Best road trips in Europe

One of our absolute favourite road trips routes in Europe takes you through stunning Tuscany . It’s hard to find another road trip destination that so perfectly combines magnificent cities, picturesque landscapes, and culinary delights like Tuscany does.

Highlights of this Road Trip

Travelling through Tuscany, you’re in for a treat with highlights non-stop! First off, there are dream cities like Florence, Siena , and Lucca – each endlessly fascinating and a must-see!

For those wanting to see the “typical Tuscan” expansive landscape with its gentle hills, Val d’Orcia is a must. This is where you’ll find quintessential Tuscan scenes straight out of a storybook – a dream for photography enthusiasts. And you definitely wouldn’t want to miss the medieval towns in Val d’Orcia, such as Montalcino, Pienza, or Montepulciano, on a road trip.

Speaking of medieval towns – one in Tuscany particularly stands out: San Gimignano. Its medieval towers create a skyline like no other. Our verdict: Tuscany might be quite touristy, but it’s rightly one of the most popular road trips in Europe.

Route for Your Tuscany Road Trip

Florence (3 nights) – Lucca (2 nights) – Pisa – Volterra – San Gimignano (2 nights) – Siena (2 nights) – Val d’Orcia (4 nights) – Florence

For more tips on this route, check out this article : Tuscany Road Trip

Facts & Info about the Tuscany Road Trip

Duration : Approx. 2 weeks Distance : Approx. 450 kilometers Best Time to Travel : Spring or Autumn (We went in October when the landscape is significantly drier than in Spring.) Perfect for : Italy enthusiasts; gourmets; those who adore unique accommodations and restaurants

Val Orcia Instagram Spots

Staying in Italy, this European road trip takes us through the gorgeous region of Puglia in the south of the country. Puglia forms the “heel” of Italy’s boot, surrounded by the sea on both sides. So, you can look forward to plenty of sea-loving experiences on this road trip.

A road trip through Puglia will lead you through numerous dreamy coastal towns . Particularly notable for its spectacular location (and hence its fame) is the small town of Polignano a Mare.

Iconic in Puglia are the so-called Trulli – those white lime-washed round houses popping out of the landscape like little pointed hats. The most famous of these is the small (and very touristy!) town of Alberobello. A visit to Alberobello is almost mandatory on an Puglia road trip.

The Salento, Puglia’s southern peninsula, impressed us greatly with its rugged east coast . Salento is also home to probably the most beautiful Baroque city in Puglia: Lecce. Another gem in Puglia is Ostuni, known as the “White City”.

A little tip: In Puglia’s neighbouring region of Basilicata lies the impressive rock city of Matera, which left us absolutely speechless. We’ve never seen a city quite like it! A detour to Matera is the perfect addition on a road trip through Puglia.

Route for Your Puglia Road Trip

Bari – Matera (2 nights, not directly in Puglia, but very worth visiting!) – Lecce (1 night) – Salento (3 nights) – Ostuni (2 nights) – Valle d’Itria/Alberobello – Putignano (2 nights) – Polignano a Mare – Monopoli – Bari

For more information, check out this article: Puglia Road Trip

Facts & Info about the Puglia Road Trip

Duration : About 8 to 10 days Distance : Approx. 600 kilometers Best Time to Travel : Spring or Autumn, better avoid August around Ferragosto (Italy’s most important holiday) Perfect for : Those who love being by the sea; Italy enthusiasts; fans of unique accommodations

Puglia Road trip

Our third Italian destination, which we’re eager to introduce to you, is more of an insider tip for road trips in Europe . This route takes you through the picturesque region of Emilia-Romagna in Northern Italy. Dream cities (Bologna!), charming mountain villages, and many more highlights off the beaten track await you on this tour.

It’s best to start your road trip in the beautiful city of Bologna. Bologna , a young, charming university city with impressive buildings – we absolutely loved it here.

The numerous picturesque mountain villages of Emilia-Romagna are definitely worth a visit. Particularly noteworthy are places like Dozza with its unusual graffiti and Verucchio, rightly considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.

Another cultural highlight awaits in Ravenna : Here, you can marvel at countless historical mosaics from Byzantine and early Christian times. We also really enjoyed the somewhat more laid-back Ferrara.

A little tip: You can perfectly combine a road trip through Emilia-Romagna with a detour to the microstate of San Marino . In our opinion, a day trip is indeed sufficient to explore one of the smallest countries in the world.

Route for Your Emilia-Romagna Road Trip

Bologna (2 nights) – Dozza – Brisighella – Santarcangelo (2 to 3 nights) – San Marino (optional) – Verucchio – San Leo – Rimini – Ravenna (1 night) – Comacchio – Ferrara (1 night) – Bologna

Find more info about this route here: Emilia-Romagna Road Trip (available soon)

Facts & Info about the Emilia-Romagna Road Trip

Duration : About a week Distance : Approx. 450 kilometers Best Time to Travel : Spring or Autumn, for a beach holiday in Rimini better in Summer (although it gets very busy) Perfect for: Gourmets (many Italian specialties originate from Emilia-Romagna); Italy enthusiasts who want to travel off the beaten path

Emilia Romagna Travel Guide

Slovenia is definitely one of our most beloved countries for a road trip in Europe. Why? The country is small, making the distances relatively short, travel is moderately priced, and last but not least: Slovenia is truly impressive. Small, but mighty – as we’d sum it up.

Slovenia is a paradise for nature lovers! One of the absolute outdoor highlights on a road trip through Slovenia is the idyllic Soča Valley . The turquoise-blue Soča River winds through a breathtakingly beautiful landscape – a region you absolutely must not miss!

Also worth seeing and one of the most important attractions in Slovenia is the famous Lake Bled. With its tiny island and striking church tower, the lake is one of the country’s most popular photo subjects .

Slovenia’s coast is unfortunately only 46 kilometers long – but it still has quite some highlights to offer, especially the picturesque coastal town of Piran . For a beach holiday, the nearby Portorož is very popular.

A detour to Slovenia’s small but very charming capital, Ljubljana , is also worth it. The picturesque old town of Ljubljana can be explored quickly – leaving plenty of time to visit the many hip cafes of the university city.

Route for Your Slovenia Road Trip

Bled (2 nights) – Škofja Loka – Ljubljana (2 nights) – Postojna (1 night) – Piran (2 nights) – Soča Valley (3 nights) – Vršič Pass

For more information, check out this travel guide: Slovenia Travel Route

Facts & Info about the Slovenia Road Trip

Duration : About a week to 10 days Distance : Approx. 400 kilometers Best Time to Travel : Spring to Autumn, with Summer being naturally busier Perfect for : Those who want to see a lot in a short time; outdoor and nature enthusiasts

Europa Roadtrip Tips

Another fantastic road trip in Europe takes you to one of the most beloved holiday destinations of German-speaking visitors: Croatia. No, Croatia is certainly no longer a hidden gem – but this elongated country on the Adriatic coast is still incredibly worth seeing.

Croatia equals love for the sea! Few European road trips evoke as many holiday feelings as a round trip through Croatia. Hence, you can look forward to a countless beautiful coastal towns and wonderful swimming bays in Croatia.

Because Croatia is so long and narrow (meaning the distances are quite far), you have several route options here: For example, you can just explore the very picturesque region of Istria in the north of the country. Here you will find stunning coastal towns, especially the picturesque (but rather touristy) Rovinj .

For those with more time, we definitely recommend driving further south to Dalmatia. Here lies one of the most beautiful beach stretches in Croatia: the Makarska Riviera . Picturesque towns are tightly nestled at the foot of the spectacular Biokovo mountain range – a unique natural backdrop.

Split is a must-see. The combination of modern coastal metropolis and ancient buildings is unparalleled. You should definitely plan a stopover here on your road trip through Croatia.

Last but not least, Croatia is home to countless islands (around 1,200 to be precise) that you can visit. Hvar is highly recommended. As you can see, Croatia is not short of highlights.

Route for your Croatia Road Trip

Istria/Rovinj (3-4 nights) – Zadar (1 night) – Krka National Park – Šibenik (1-2 nights) – Primošten – Trogir – Split (2-3 nights) – Hvar (3 nights) – Omiš – Makarska Riviera (2-3 nights) – Dubrovnik (2-3 nights

For more information and tips on the route, check out this travel guide: Croatia Road Trip

Facts & Info about the Croatia Road Trip

Duration : approx. two to three weeks (can also be shortened) Distance : approx. 900 kilometres (one way, i.e. you have to drive the route back or book an open jaw flight – e.g. Pula/Dubrovnik) Best time to travel: Spring or autumn; some places are very crowded in summer (if you are travelling in summer, you should definitely book well in advance). Perfect for: Coastal and beach fans; all those who like historic cities and crave a hefty dose of holiday flair

Croatia Travel Itinerary 2 Weeks

Another European road trip that makes it to our list of favourites is Montenegro. This small country in the Balkans offers incredible variety in a relatively small area! From the rugged highlands around the spectacular Durmitor Mountains to the breathtakingly beautiful Bay of Kotor – Montenegro is truly the perfect road trip country!

Montenegro is an absolute nature destination ! In our opinion, it is the comparatively lesser-known interior in particular that makes Montenegro so appealing.

Firstly, there is the breathtakingly beautiful Durmitor National Park. The spectacular mountain massif rises from a rugged plateau. Here you can go on great hikes or drive along the most famous road in the region, the Durmitor Ring Road.

Also incredibly worth seeing is Lake Scutari, the largest lake in the Balkans. It’s partly in Montenegro, partly in Albania. Our morning boat trip o n Lake Skutari is definitely one of our personal highlights in Montenegro.

Last but not least, the Bay of Kotor, that 30-kilometre-long sea bay framed by spectacular mountain ranges, is a must-see on this European road trip. The small town of the same name, Kotor, is an major tourist hotspot (cruise ships dock here). We personally liked Perast even better.

Route for your Montenegro Road Trip

Perast (2 nights) – Durmitor National Park (2-3 nights) – Lake Scutari (2 nights) – Kotor (2-3 nights)

For more detailed information and tips, check out this article: Montenegro travel route (available soon)

Facts & Info about the Montenegro Road Trip

Duration : About 8 to 10 days Distance : Approx. 450 kilometres Best time to travel : Spring to autumn (We went in the peak of summer and it was absolutely fine.) Perfect for : All those who want to experience a lot in a short time and get to know a relatively unknown road trip country in Europe; nature enthusiasts

Montenegro Travel Itinerary

Bonjour, la France! Southern France is a classic among road trips in Europe. The south of the country is an absolute dream destination for many, and rightly so, in our opinion. The blooming lavender fields, the picturesque mountain villages of Provence, the glamorous coastal cities – all this and much more awaits you in Southern France.

A region in Southern France you simply cannot miss is the enchanting Provence . There are several highlights located here. First off, there is the Luberon mountain range with its picturesque mountain villages such as Gordes, Bonnieux and Lourmarin.

Aix-en-Provence is probably the most beautiful major city in Provence and should definitely be on your itinerary. We absolutely loved it here!

For those who prefer to venture off the beaten track , adding the gorges of the Tarn and Jonte to the itinerary is a must. Here, we stayed completely secluded in an old stone house and were welcomed in an incredibly homely atmosphere.

Of course, a detour to the coast is also a must on a road trip through the Southern France. Cannes , a glamorous city on the Côte d’Azur, is a great choice.

Route for your South of France Road Trip

Toulouse – Carcassonne – Narbonne (2 nights) – Cévennes National Park (2 nights) – Pont du Gard – Luberon (2 nights) – Aix-en-Provence (1-2 nights) – Roquebrune-sur-Argens (2 nights) – Cannes (2 nights) – Nice

For more information and tips, check out this guide: Southern France Travel Route

Facts & Info about the Southern France Road Trip

Duration : About 2 weeks Distance : Approx. 900 kilometers Best time to travel : Between the end of June and mid-August (for lavender blossom), otherwise better in spring or autumn Perfect for : All those who like variety (coast, inland, cities, mountain villages, nature); gourmets (though vegetarian might be challenging)

Travel Itinerary South France

Oh, Andalusia! Few destinations in Europe have inspired us as much as Southern Spain. Andalusia is culturally incredibly fascinating , with the Arab influences from the Moorish era omnipresent. The combination of exciting cities, arid landscapes, and the sea really appealed to us.

Andalusia is packed with truly great cities – one more beautiful than the other. First off, there is the capital of Andalusia, Seville . Seville is a must-see. The university city is bursting with energy. Plus, there are impressive sights on every corner, especially the gigantic cathedral.

Granada is no less impressive. It is home to the world-famous Alhambra , one of Spain’s most important landmarks. Next up is Córdoba . Here stands the Mezquita , a mosque-cathedral that truly left us speechless. This architectural masterpiece is an absolute must-see.

But don’t worry: Apart from culture, there’s plenty to discover in Andalusia. For example, the arid interior around the so-called Road of the White Villages is well worth seeing. Here, in the mountainous hinterland, there are several picturesque mountain villages with white lime-washed facades, already visible from afar. Not a typical white village, but still very worth seeing, is nearby Ronda with its iconic stone bridge.

You should also not miss a detour to the sea in Andalusia Cádiz , for example, is one of the oldest cities in Europe and is absolutely worth a visit.

Route for your road trip through Andalusia

Málaga (2 nights) – Ronda (1 night) – Road of the White Villages – Cádiz (2 nights) – Sevilla (3-4 nights) – Córdoba (2 nights) – Granada (2-3 nights) – Málaga

Find more info about this route here: Andalusia Travel Route

Facts & Info about the Andalusia Road Trip

Duration : About 10 days to 2 weeks Distance : Approx. 900 kilometres Best time to travel : Definitely not in the peak of summer, as it gets far too hot. Spring and autumn are ideal. We were there at the beginning of November and were quite lucky with the weather. Perfect for : Those interested in culture (Andalusia has many special cities with really impressive landmarks); all those who long for the Southern Spanish way of life.

Andalusia Travel Itinerary

If you are looking for a road trip in Europe off the beaten path , the region of Centro de Portugal is an excellent choice. As the name suggests, you’ll be travelling through the geographical centre of Portugal , roughly the area between Lisbon and Porto. Of course, it’s a great idea to include one or both of these cities in your road trip.

Highlights of this road trip

On this European road trip, you can look forward to many hidden and lesser-known places away from the classic Portugal travel routes. The journey mainly takes you through the interior of the country , but there are also some destinations along the coast.

Definitely worth visiting is the university city of Coimbra. The town has a special charm and is beautifully situated: Coimbra lies along the Rio Mondego and stretches up a hill in terraces. Do not miss the 700-year-old University of Coimbra with its baroque library, the Biblioteca Joanina.

We also really enjoyed Aveiro , the “Venice of Portugal”, and the fishing village of Costa Nova with its colourful beach houses.

You should definitely not miss out on a detour into the interior of the country on this tour. We can recommend the small, secluded mountain village of Marialva . And last but not least: Serra da Estrela , the highest mountain range on the Portuguese mainland, should not be missing from your route.

A little tip: It is definitely worth visiting the capital, Lisbon. Strictly speaking, it is not in Centro de Portugal, but most people will probably arrive here by plane. At the end of the trip, you could stop in Porto and fly back from there.

Route for your Centro de Portugal Road Trip

Lisbon (approx. 3 nights) – Óbidos (1 night) – monasteries of Alcobaça, Batalha and Tomar – Coimbra (1 to 2 nights) – Aveiro (1 night) – Costa Nova – Marialva (1 night) – Serra da Estrela (2 nights) – Porto

For more information, check out this article: Centro de Portugal Travel Route (available soon)

Facts & Info about the Centro de Portugal Road Trip

Duration : About 7 days (without Lisbon), approx. 10 to 12 days (with Lisbon and/or Porto) Distance : Approx. 900 kilometres Best time to travel: Spring to autumn (We were there in early April and the weather was already quite pleasant) Perfect for : Those who want to travel off the beaten path and are looking for a diverse destination (coast, cities, nature)

Casas do Coro Marialva

Last but not least: Austria, a must in our list of favourite road trips in Europe. And we say this not just because it’s our home. If you love mountains , you’ll adore Austria. And, as a bonus, there are also several Austrian cities that are really worth visiting.

No road trip through Austria would be complete without visiting the beautiful capital, Vienna . Vienna’s baroque, imperial flair is truly unique. And, of course, let’s not forget the city’s delightful coffee houses, oh!

Just as charming is the second major city along the route: Salzburg . The city of Mozart is whimsically beautiful, with the imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress as a visual treat.

However, the special highlight of a road trip through Austria, besides the pretty cities, is above all the spectacular mountain scenery . So, if you enjoy the mountains, Austria is the place to be.

Stunning (and not quite as touristy as other regions) areas include East Tyrol and the Bregenz Forsest. For something different, head to Bad Gastein. Historic Belle Époque buildings nestle close together on the hillside – what a backdrop.

While there’s no sea in Austria, there are magnificent lakes . Some of the most popular swimming lakes are located in the southernmost province of Carinthia. So, if you long to cool off and refresh yourself, you’ll be well catered for here.

Route for your Austria Road Trip

Vienna (2 to 4 nights) – Wachau (optional, 1 to 2 nights) – Salzkammergut (2 to 3 nights) – Salzburg (1 to 2 nights) – Bad Gastein (2 to 3 nights) – Bregenzerwald (optional, 3 to 4 nights) – East Tyrol (3 to 4 nights) – Carinthian Lakes (3 nights) – Southern Styria (2 to 3 nights) – Graz (optional, 1 to 2 nights) – Vienna

You can find the exact travel route in this article: Austria Travel Route

Facts & Info about the Austria Road Trip

Duration : About 2 to 4 weeks Kilometres : Approx. 1,150 kilometres (shorter route), approx. 1,750 kilometres (longer route to Bregenzerwald) Best time to travel : Ideally June or September, to avoid the summer holidays and when most of the huts in the hiking regions are already/still open. Perfect for : Mountain, nature and outdoor enthusiasts; all those who love the imperial baroque charm; gourmets (Kaiserschmarrn, Topfenstrudel and co. are a delight)

Austria Road trip

Which other road trips in Europe can you recommend? Which routes have you perhaps already explored yourself or which road trips are still on your wish list? We look forward to hearing about your experiences and additional tips.

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Two Week Traveller

2 Weeks in Europe: 6 Itineraries

DISCLAIMER: This post might have links to travel services and products that we enjoy. We might make a commission from it at no extra cost to you.

Europe is a continent consisting of 44 countries with diverse languages, climates, and cultures . It has numerous world-famous landmarks preserved from years upon years of history.

Spending 2 weeks in Europe will cover plenty of amazing places. It’s not much, but a good start, especially if it’s your first time here.bulga

Another great thing about Europe is that the places are close to each other, you can reach most of them via train, buses, and driving. Land borders separate the countries. However, many of them practice free movement across borders.

This continent has peninsulas, islands, and varied landforms, as well as seas, lakes, and other bodies of water. There are infinite fascinating places to see, foods to taste, and activities to try out during your 2 weeks in Europe.

TIP : This is a long-form article, I highly recommend you check the Table of Contents below to help you navigate the page easier and faster.

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING EUROPE

4 IMAGES - colourful houses in bergen, london tower, colosseum in rome, and buildings by the sea - 2-Weeks in Europe Itinerary

Before you go book your flight and hotels, take a look at the information below first. It will help you visualise and plan your itinerary better. You can get ideas on when to go, how to travel around, and what to pack.

When is the best time to go to Europe

This depends on what you plan to do. Most people go to Europe during summer, but of course, if you want to ski, come between December and February. I personally love going in spring and summer, during autumn, it’s also very pretty but it rains a lot.

You might want to consider travelling during the off-season because this is when there are fewer travellers and the prices of accommodations and tours aren’t sky-high so you’ll be able to save quite a bit.

Getting around Europe

The best way to get around Europe is to rent a car especially if the country you’re visiting are next to each other or have an open border agreement. It’s cheaper and gives you freedom of your time.

However, if you are crossing countries and they are not next to each other, you are probably better off flying than doing a long drive. Check first if your driver’s license is valid in Europe and check what type of cars each country you are going to have.

For example, Italy, Spain, and France are known for using a stick or manual transmission. While the UK and Ireland drive on the left.

Buses and trains are quite reliable and affordable. But there are also domestic flights which are affordable as long as you don’t pack too much unless you are willing to pay extra.

Language and currency

There are over 24 official languages in Europe. You should be able to get around with English but it’s important to also learn basic words to show respect for each country’s culture and easily communicate with locals.

Luckily though, most countries in Europe use Euro, except in the UK, Nordic countries, and maybe some countries in East Europe. It’s easy to pay with credit cards but carrying cash with you for emergencies is still advisable.

Visa and COVID-19 policy

Each country has different visa rules, however, if your destination is an EU member, they have the same visa policy; 90 days visa-free for visitors with a passport from North America, some Latin America, some Southeast Asia and East Asia, and most Oceania. This also applies to non-EU countries such as Switzerland and Norway.

For visitors with a passport from the EU or a European country, you should have freedom of movement for unlimited time except for some nationalities such as the UK and countries in East Europe.

Europe is open to COVID-1 vaccinated tourists. If you are unvaccinated, best to check if your destination has extra entry requirements. Depending on the airline and destination, you might be required to submit a test before boarding.

Wearing a mask is no longer required in many places in Europe, but it’s smart to carry one just in case you get to countries that still require them. Read about the EU reopening .

What is the average cost for 2 weeks in Europe

As diverse as the European culture is, the cost also varies a lot. The budget for 14 days in Europe depends on a few things such as the countries, type of tours, accommodation, and how you plan to move around.

$800 in Eastern Europe will not work for Scandinavia. $800 is a tight budget, but it might work for more affordable countries such as Eastern Europe or the Baltics (assuming this excludes the flights to the region and back). $1,000 will be fine for southern-east Europe, and $1,500 will be decent for central Europe. While west Europe and the Nordics plan to spend around $3,000.

The accommodation will cost the most expensive, but the food can be budgeted. Then the transportation. You can either use public transport or rent a push bike when moving around the cities. Take the bus or train when travelling to the next country or ride a plane.

Travelling during the peak season will also cost a lot more. Check under each itinerary to see the average cost of a 2-week trip in Europe.

Other basic travel tips

Planning a trip can be exhausting and often overwhelming. To make it a bit easier, I use travel sites and services that have flexible cancellation policies in case I change my mind or my travel dates. Here’s a list of travel tools I use. From flight selections, affordable hotels, wide-range options for car rentals, and even affordable travel insurance.

TOP PLACES IN EUROPE (pinned map)

Click the icon on the top right to enlarge the map. Credit: map data: Google

2 WEEKS IN EUROPE ITINERARIES

I will show your six itinerary options to choose from for your 14 days in Europe. Covering multiple countries and featuring famous attractions that are historical, cultural, and outdoor activities.

Deciding where to spend your 2 weeks in Europe can be hard. Should it be in Spain or Portugal? How about both? Should you visit Rome or Paris ? When unsure, there are a few things you can do to see which places are more suitable for you.

For example, Rome would be ideal if you love historical sites such as ruins. Perhaps you like history, but in the form of art, then Paris is the one. For food lovers, don’t miss visiting France, Spain, Italy, and Greece.

Itinerary #1 South Europe: Spain and France or France and Italy

We have two sub-options in our first itinerary for your 2 weeks in Europe. This includes either Spain and France or France and Italy. Spain is well-known for its lively culture, flamenco, arts, and literature, as well as its wines, beaches, and, of course, football.

If you feel like this itinerary is a little too expensive, you can instead go to Portugal. Take a look at how to spend 2 weeks in Portuga l or even just a few days in Lisbon. Spending 14 days in Southern Europe is a good place to do your first trip to this continent.

France, on the other hand, is well-known for macarons, wine, champagne, great pastries, as well as fashion, museums, and other historical sites. You could also do many water activities in France or if you plan to come during winter, you can head to the Alps for some skiing.

Italy is loved for its opera, its art cities, unique scenery, and good food. They are also among the four fashion capitals, with luxury brands, and of course, who could forget the Vespa?

If you have never been to Italy, make sure you visit Venice, Rome, Florence, and the southwest coast, where you can visit Naples for Amalfi and Sorrento. You can also consider 2 weeks in Greece for this itinerary. Not to mention, the south is a famous region to spend honeymoon in Europe .

Spain for 7 days

2 images - sunset over cordoba, spain and dome church in venice - 2-weeks in europe

Spain is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, not only for foreign visitors but also for other European nations. With its stunning beaches, yummy food, and very welcoming culture, Spain is undeniably a must-visit when you come to Europe for 2 weeks.

Most people go to Madrid, the capital of Barcelona, a coastal city. However, if you want to get away from big crowds, head to Seville, Valencia, or even Zaragoza. For young travellers who love to dance and party, Ibiza is a top spot, while Palma, Tenerife, and Gran Canaria are awesome islands to explore and spend your vacation in.

We have a specific 2 weeks in Spain itinerary , which might help you plan a trip there if you decide to spend your trip in one European country only.

Here are some of the top-rated attractions in Spain :

  • Alhambra and Generalife in Granada
  • Palacio Real in Madrid – get your ticket in advance
  • El Escorial near Madrid
  • Aqueduct of Segovia – north of Madrid
  • Sagrada Familia and Gaudi Sites in Barcelona – check tour prices
  • Great Mosque in Cordoba, near Seville
  • Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
  • Beaches of Gran Canaria

France for 7 days

Some of the options to reach France from Spain include flying, taking a train, riding the bus, using rideshare or driving. The most recommended option is to ride a plane, but if you have plenty of time, you should consider renting a car and driving on your own. We have an article with 3 different itineraries on how to spend 2 weeks in France .

France is a country famous for many reasons. The food is great, it is rich in culture, the abundance of historical sites, and thousands of wineries to explore. France is also known for Tour de France and is a great holiday destination any time of the year. You should geat a hop-on hop-off bu s that will take you to the top attractions of Paris.

Paris is an obvious place to visit, but if you don’t like big cities or have been here before, you can consider other places. For history buffs, head to Calais, Dunkirk, and Normandy. For those who love the outdoors, check out Lyon, Marseille, Nice, and Bordeaux (aka the Basque region).

Here are some of the top attractions n France:

  • The Louvre in Paris – book a guided tour
  • Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres near Paris
  • Eiffel Tower in Paris – get your skip-the-line ticket in advance
  • Chateau de Versailles in Paris – visit with a garden access
  • Mont Saint Michel
  • Loire Valley Chateaux
  • Côte d’Azur aka French Riviera in the South
  • Provence for lavender fields
  • Chamonix-Mont-Blanc for skiing in the Alps

Italy for 7 days

To reach Italy from France, you could either take the train or fly but taking the train is preferred by most tourists and locals alike because you’ll be able to reach your destination in less than five hours anyway. There are tons of routes to choose from if you want to see some interesting scenery and plan to drive instead.

2 weeks in Europe have to include Italy. It is loved for its dishes to die for, beautiful castles, amazing hiking trails, and warm culture. Just like in Spain and France, wine in Italy is world-class and their historical sites are well preserved.

Before you book anything, decide where you want to go. Rome and Venice are the top places to visit in Italy. But if you have been there, it’s time to explore Florence, Milan, Bologna, and Genoa in the north. For the south, head to Naples, Sicily, and all the way to Palermo. Check out our 4 itineraries for 2 weeks in Italy .

Some of the top tourist attractions in Italy include :

  • Colosseum in Rome – get your ticket in advance to skip the very long queue
  • Spanish Steps in Rome
  • Trevi Fountain in Rome
  • Venice Grand Canal – don’t skip the romantic gondola ride
  • Gode Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice – explore with a tour guide and secure a ticket
  • Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Vatican City near Rome; Basilica of St. Peter, Sistine Chapel & Vatican Museums – you can visit this in one go
  • The Uffizi Gallery in Florence
  • Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence
  • Lake Como near Milan
  • Cinque Terre
  • Amalfi Coast
  • Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius in Naples – visit this and the entirety of Naples on a day trip from Rome

Travel cost

These three destinations are one of the most expensive places in Europe. Budget around $2,000 for a 2-week trip around Spain, France, and Italy not including the flights from your location and back. Accommodation will be the most expensive cost while food is quite affordable in these places.

Of course, if you want to travel with luxury, you can easily spend $3,000-$5,000 which will allow you to stay at 4-5 star hotels, dine at fancy restaurants, and take a private car with a driver anywhere.

For those on a tight budget, $1,500 is possible , however, you will likely stay at youth hostels and share a room with other people in dorm/bunk rooms or even look at Couchsurfing. You can also save more money by looking at ready-to-eat meals at grocery stores or cooking in the hostel is possible. Join a free walking tour where you will be expected to give a tip based on the tour guide and the tour itself.

Itinerary #2 Central Europe: Germany and Poland

For this next itinerary, we’ll be covering 2 weeks in Central Europe, which consists of the countries Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Czechia, Slovakia, and Hungary. However, in this itinerary, we’ll only be covering Germany and Poland.

Germany is well-known for its cathedrals, castles, palaces, and colourful architecture, as well as its sausages and beers. It has many historical sites relating to World War I and II. Berlin is loved for being vegan-friendly, but meat-eaters shouldn’t have a problem finding their way around restaurants either.

Conversely, Poland is famous for its food, stunning geography, folklore, history, and friendly locals. In Poland, you’ll find Europe’s most ancient forest, Medieval Castle, the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp, amazing museums, and more.

Apart from that, you can also visit theme parks in Poland, such as Engerylandia Theme Park, Rabkoland, and Aquapark Sopot.

2 images - bavarian houses in germany and st mary church in krakow, poland - 2-weeks in europe

Germany for 8 days

Germany has so many things to offer that it would take 8 days to satiate your curiosity, and even then, you would barely scratch the surface. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to see everything in 8 days. If you want t visit Germany only, we have these 2 weeks in Germany itineraries .

Most people will go to Berlin or Munich, but there are also other cities such as Hamburg, Frankfurt, Nuremberg and Cologne to name a few. I highly recommend you rent a car to move around easier, but taking a domestic flight or the train is also easy and affordable.

If you’re going to Berlin, the best way to see all the top attractions is by buying a hop-on hop-off bus with live a tour guide .

Here’s a list of the top attractions in Germany:

  • Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
  • Berlin Wall
  • Cruise the River Spree – book a 2.5-hour boat tour
  • Museum Island in Berlin
  • Sachsenhausen Memorial – visit with a tour guide
  • Neuschwanstein Castle near Munich
  • Linderhof Palace near Munich – book a combo tour with Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Marienplatz in Munich
  • Pay respects at Dachau Concentration Camp – join a tour from Munich
  • Kölner Dom in Cologne
  • The Black Forest, Baden-Württemberg, near Stuttgart
  • Miniatur Wunderland at Port of Hamburg
  • Bamberg and the Bürgerstadt near Nuremberg

Poland for 8 days

There are tons of modes of transportation from Germany to Poland, including boarding a plane, using rideshare cars, trains, buses, or driving. Flights between these two countries are frequent and affordable.

Poland has a dark history, but the country is more than that. It has stunning lakes, UNESCO sites, and rather interesting cuisine, and it is in the top 20 safest countries in the world – a great place to discover if you are travelling alone.

Poland also has the biggest castle in the world, and many believe that vodka originated in Poland. In winter, you can ski in Poland, which is more affordable than France, Switzerland, and even Italy.

Many foreigners get confused and think Krakow is the capital of Piland, but it’s actually Warsaw. Apart from these two cities, you can also visit Gdansk, Wroclaw, Katowice, and Lublin. Most of the cities are connected via buses and trains hence moving around during your 2 weeks in Europe shouldn’t be a problem.

>>TIP: Check out our 2 weeks in Poland post if you prefer to explore that country on a single trip. There are two itineraries to choose from.

Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Poland:

  • Wieliczka Salt Mine near Krakow
  • Auschwitz- Birkenau Camps near Krakow – book a guided tour or combine it with the Wieliczka Salt Mine tour
  • Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory in Krakow
  • Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow
  • Warsaw Old Marketplace
  • Lazienki Park in Warsaw
  • Malbork Castle near Gdansk
  • Morskie Oko Lake and Hot Bath Pools near Zakopane – check tour prices
  • Crooked Forest near Szczecin

Travel cost:

Central Europe in general can be costly, but only if you plan to visit Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Poland and Czechia are both affordable destinations compared to their neighbouring countries. $2,000 will take you a long way if you choose one expensive place to spend a week and the other one is a more affordable country (e.g Germany and Poland or Switzerland and Czechia).

You can save even more money if you focus on Poland or Czechia only or book a trip to Switzerland just for 2-3 days instead of an entire week.

$5,000 will be a great budget for a luxury trip . This is suitable for couples who are on their honeymoon or retiree travellers. For young visitors and backpackers, you can probably get away with $1,000 to $1,500 for the 2 weeks trip .

Accommodation in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria is costly but affordable in Poland and Czechia. Rely on using public transportation in all countries, such as buses and trains, instead of renting a car or flying.

Itinerary #3 Baltics: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia

The Baltics are one of the most affordable regions in Europe. Although it has its fair share of tourists, the streets and attractions don’t get too busy, even during the summer season. It’s an awesome place to spend your 2 weeks in Europe vacation without being surrounded by a big crowd.

Lithuania is famous for its natural scenery, including forests, lakes, flatlands, and other landscapes. There are also historical spots here to visit, and you must try their local ciders. I personally loved their local food, especially beetroot. If you’re a foody, check this Vilnius food guide for a list of must-try dishes.

Conversely, Latvia is known for its UNESCO World Heritage Sites and art nouveau architecture. It’s on the coast, hence if visiting during summer, don’t forget to dip your toes.

Last but definitely not least is Estonia, which is famous for its dense woods, thousands of uninhabited islands, and rich history. It experienced a boom in tourism recently since it implemented a digital nomad visa.

Estonia is among Europe’s most linguistic nations, is one of the countries with the cleanest air in the world, and half of the country is made up of forest, which probably explains the great air quality. We also have two itineraries specifically for 2 weeks in the Baltics only or 2 weeks in Eastern Europe itineraries .

2 images - aerial view of Trakai Castle and snowy tallin - 2-weeks in europe

Lithuania for 5 days

Lithuania is rich in cultural preservation, so much so that UNESCO considered their folk dance as one of the intangible cultural heritages. They also have one of the oldest languages, even older than Greek, German, and Celtic, and the oldest tree in Europe could be found here as well.

With five days in Lithuania, you can do and see a lot of things. You can cover at least two major cities; the capital city Vilnius, and the cultural art city of Kaunas. If it’s warm enough, head to the coast and visit Klaipeda.

Here is a list of the best places to see in Lithuania:

  • Gediminas Castle Tower in Vilnius
  • Vilnius Cathedral Square
  • Hot Air Balloon Flight – over Vilnius or Trakai Castle
  • Energetikos ir technikos muziejus in Vilnius
  • Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights and A.Mickiewicz Memorial Museum in Vilnius
  • MO Muziejus in Vilnius
  • Gates of Dawn in Vilnius
  • Three Crosses Monument in Vilnius – join a full-day tour from Vilnius
  • Walk around Uzupis
  • Trakai Castle near Vilnius
  • Kaunas Castle
  • Devils’ Museum in Kaunas
  • Hill of Crosses near Šiauliai

Latvia for 4 days

You can go to Latvia from Lithuania by driving, riding a bus, plane, or taking the train. The most recommended option is through riding a bus as it is the cheapest and fastest. Latvia is also a great destination during summer. You can take a swim on its sandy beaches, lakes, and rivers.

You can either spend the entire 4 days in Riga, the capital city or take day trips to see Gauja National Park and Turaida Museum Reserve for example. You can also explore Riga on a segway tour .

Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Latvia :

  • House of the Black Heads in Riga – get your ticket in advance
  • Riga Cathedral
  • Three Brothers, Latvian Museum of Architecture
  • St. Peter’s Church
  • The Freedom Monument in Riga
  • Shop souvenirs at Riga Central Market – join a food-tasting tour
  • Gauja National Park outside of Riga
  • Rundale Palace and Museum ner Jelgava

Estonia for 4 days

To reach Estonia if you’re coming from Latvia, you could board a plane, ride a bus, take the train, or drive. The most recommended option would be to ride a plane as it’s the fastest, but the cheapest option would be to take the bus.

Estonia is very unique, they have islands but are inhabited – and that makes them interesting to visit. There, you can go fishing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, and for those who love birds, birdwatching is a popular thing to do in Estonia.

Tallinn, the capital, is obviously the most popular destination. However, with 2 weeks in Europe, around the Baltics, you can also head to Parnu and Tartu – both are located in the south of Estonia. Go to Haeska, Kabili, and Matsalu for birdwatching and wildlife experiences.

Here are some of the sights to see in Estonia :

  • Tallinn’s Old Town
  • Lennusadam Seaplane Harbor in Tallinn
  • Lahemaa National Parl – sign up to a day trip
  • Patarei Prison Exhibition/Communism Prison in Tallinn
  • Parnu’s Beaches
  • Alpakafarm near Parnu
  • Estonian National Museum in Tartu
  • Tagurpidi Maja (Peapeal OÜ) / Upside Down House in Tartu
  • TYPA Letterpress and Paper Art Centre in Tartu
  • Kuressaare Castle in Saare
  • Join a 3-hour food tour

Travelling around the Baltics is one of my favourite destinations and one I recommend if you’re on a budget. You will still experience the European culture, walk through the alleys and paves with cobbled stone, and eat delicious meals.

It’s honestly possible to travel here for around $1,000 for those on a budget . You will stay in a hostel and consume street food or grocery store meals. The tours also don’t cost that much. Accommodation is around $25 to $35 a night, but transportation is cheap.

$2,000 is the average cost where you get to have a private room and try out a few local restaurants. For a luxury trip, $3,000 will get you very comfortable.

Itinerary #4 East Europe: Hungary and Croatia or Romania and Bulgaria

East Europe is a massive region. You will have to choose 2-3 countries to cover during your visit and perhaps next time, you go to new places. Right now, we’ll only cover 4 destinations for your 12-day in Europe itinerary; Hungary and Croatia or Romania and Bulgaria.

Croatia has so much to offer, but in the last few years, being the filming location of Game of Thrones, this country attracted more tourists. Aside from that, they also have stunning waterfalls and gorgeous Adriatic Islands, among other landscapes.

Hungary on the other hand is famous for its ruin bars, paprikas, and goulash. It also has sought-after outdoor and public thermal bars and great nightlife. Outside the city, Hungary has a lot of nature preserves and can be an affordable ski destination in winter.

Bulgaria is the oldest country in Europe and has tons of hot springs. It’s undeniable how affordable Bulgaria is as a travel destination. It also sits right on the Black Sea, a popular spot during summer.

Nightlife in Bulgaria is another reason tourists come here for its affordability. Speaking of cuisine, the traditional Bulgarian food is something of a must-try.

Romania is famous for its Carpathian Mountains, Salt Mines, and Medieval Fortresses. Just like Bulgaria, it’s also located on the Black Sea. One might want to visit Romania since it’s famous for being the home of Dracula.

2 images -city view of budapest and aerial view of dubrovnik, croatia - 2-weeks in europe

Hungary for 7 days

Hungary, like many other European countries, is a landlocked country. But it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy summer in Hungary. This country has over 1,000 natural springs water, hence, the popularity of its thermal baths.

Budapest is not the only city worth visiting in Hungary, you should also consider Debrecen and Szeged. While Balaton Uplands National Park is the spot to you want to go hiking, join wine tours, and be around nature.

Here are some of the top tourist attractions in this country :

  • Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest
  • Budapest’s Széchenyi Thermal Bath – book a full-day spa
  • Buda Castle
  • Buy souvenirs at Central Market Hall
  • Take a boat cruise Danube River in Budapest – check cruise prices
  • Matthias Church in Budapest
  • Esztergom Basilica
  • The Caves of Lillafured near Miskolc
  • Lavender field at Tihany

Croatia for 7 days

It is relatively easy to travel to Croatia if you’re coming from Hungary as they are neighbouring countries. You could travel by bus, by train or by driving. Any option is fine, but the cheapest option would be to ride the night bus.

As mentioned before, Croatia is now popular for being the filming location for Game of Thrones, but there are other places to see in this magnificent country. Just like its neighbouring country of Italy, Croatia is also a fantastic beach destination and so much more affordable.

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and a must-visit, then you can go to the coast. The most popular city is Split and Dubrovnik, but Zadar,  Hvar, and Pula are an equally stunning area for swimming and other water activities.

Want to spend 14 days in Croatia ? Our guide has three itineraries you can check out and see which one suits you best.

Some of the top tourist attractions in this country include :

  • Dubrovnik’s Old Town Walls – join a walking tour
  • Trsteno Arboretum, Trsteno near Dubrovnik
  • Dubrovnik’s Lovrijenac Fort
  • Visit Game of Thrones filming locations – book a tour
  • Nikola Tesla Technical Museum in Zagreb
  • Diocletian’s Palace in Split – enjoy a walking tour with a local guide
  • Blue Cave, near Split – book the 5 island boat tour
  • Krka Waterfalls, near Split – visit on a boat tour
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park near Zadar
  • Kornati National Park near Zadar
  • Euphrasian Basilica in Porec
  • Pula’s Roman Arena
  • Swim at Galebove Stijene in Pula
  • Explore Brijuni/Brioni National Park near Pula
  • Mulini Beach in Rovinj

Romania for 7 days

A massive country in East Europe, Romania has a lot to offer. From national parks, vibrant cities, historical sites, and beach access to the Black Sea. Bucharest is known for great nightlife, but apart from that, it’s also rich in cultural and historical spots.

Other than Bucharest, you have to go to the Transylvanian region, known as the home of Dracula. If it’s warm enough, head to Constanza, while Brasov and Cluj-Napoca are the areas to go to during winter for skiing and other winter activities.

Here are some of the places you could visit once you reached Romania:

  • Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest
  • Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History in Bucharest
  • National Museum of Romanian History in Bucharest
  • Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum in Bucharest
  • Vaser Valley Forestry Railway
  • Bran Castle aka Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania – book a tour combo with Peles and Brasov trip
  • Sighisoara Historic Center
  • Covered Stairway in Sighisoara
  • The Clock Tower in Sighisoara
  • The Black Church in Brasov
  • Peles Castle near Brasov – book a 2-day tour from Bucharest to visit Brasov, Sibiu, and Sighisoara
  • Bucegi Natural Park near Brasoc
  • Transylvanian Alps

Bulgaria for 7 days

Just south of Romania, you can reach Bulgaria by train, bus, or driving. The quickest option would be to drive, which would take you more or less five hours, but the cheapest option is by riding a train.

Another country with the best nightlife, Bulgaria is popular with young tourists. But it doesn’t mean non-partygoers cannot enjoy Bulgaria. This country is a great place to explore the outdoors. There are many hiking trails and to ski here, you don’t have to spend too much.

Head to the capital city, Sofia, but for winter sports, you can go to Bansko, Borovets, and Pamporovo. If you are coming during the warm months, you can still go to the Black Sea by heading toward Varna.

Some of the top spots in Bulgaria are:

  • National Palace of Culture in Sofia
  • Sofia History Museum
  • Rila Monastery – visit with combo tour to Boyana Church
  • Seven Rila Lakes – check tour price from Sofia
  • Tsarevets Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo
  • Belogradchik Rocks
  • Prohodna Cave in Karlukovo
  • Krushuna Waterfalls
  • The Rose Valley near Kazanluk
  • The Ancient Theatre of Philippopolis in Plovdiv – join a tour of Plovdiv, Asen’s Fortress, and Bachkovo Monastery
  • Pirin National Park near Plovdiv
  • Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari near Shumen

East Europe is one of the most affordable regions in Europe. The accommodation alone can range between $20-$30 while food and the use of public transportation are also very affordable.

It’s easy to travel on a budget in eastern Europe, around $800 is feasible for backpackers and young travellers. If you want to be comfortable, $1,000 will be great and get you your own private room and dine at restaurants. $2,000 can easily be a luxury trip in this region for a 2-week adventure.

Itinerary #5 Nordic: Iceland, Norway, and Denmark

The next option would be the Nordic countries, which consist of Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. However, in this itinerary, we will only cover Norway, Iceland, and Denmark.

Norway is also known as the Land of the Midnight Sun. It is famous for its fjords, lakes, and magical skies (Aurora Borealis), as well as Viking culture and folklore.

Iceland is also famous for a lot of natural wonders such as geysers, active volcanoes, and glaciers. You could also see the Northern Lights here. Iceland is relying 100% on renewable energy; hydropower, and geothermal.

Last but definitely not least is Denmark, which is well-known for its coastal towns, architecture, Royalty, and cuisine. Copenhagen is a must-visit. If you find yourself with extra time, you can hop on a train and head to Sweden.

You can also just visit Denmark, Norway, and Sweden using our 2 weeks in Scandinavia itinerary .

2 images - colourful houses in bergen, norway and northern lights in iceland - 2-weeks in europe

Iceland for 4 days

Iceland is the land of fire and ice, and you might be wondering why. They have glaciers but have volcanically heated pools at the same time, where you could swim all year round. That’s pretty fascinating.

Aside from that, it is also a literary-focused country. In fact, one out of ten Icelanders will publish a book even at least once in their lifetime.

Iceland is not a big country, but spending four days here is plenty. Most tourists love staying in Reykjavik, but you don’t have to. If you want to save money, you can stay outside the city and rent a car instead. You can easily move around in your own car, which means it doesn’t matter if your hotel is not in the city.

We have a complete guide and itinerary for 2 weeks in Iceland .

Top attractions in Iceland:

  • Drive the Golden Circle
  • Blue Lagoon – get your ticket in advance including Kerid Volcanic Crater
  • Gullfoss Falls
  • Seljalandsfoss
  • Silfra – snorkel between 2 tectonic plates between North American and Europe
  • Þingvellir National Park
  • Jökulsárlón
  • Chase the Northern Lights – join a tour to find the best spot
  • Icelandic Phallological Museum
  • National Museum of Iceland
  • Reykjanesfólkvangur
  • Whale Watching near Reykjavik – book a cruise
  • Eystri-Fellsfjara / Diamond Beach

Norway for 6 days

You will need to ride a plane to reach Norway if you’re coming from Iceland. The fastest route takes more or less 6 hours. However, the journey would be worth it because there are so many sights and sceneries once you reach Norway.

This includes the world’s longest road tunnel and the world’s most remote island, among others. This is also an amazing place to ski during winter.

Many tourists usually go to Oslo and Bergen, but you can also add Stavanger, Kristiansand, and Tromso to your itinerary of 2 weeks in Europe.

If you want to see Fjords, you have to head west; from Trondheim all the way down to Stavanger. Check our 2 weeks in Norway itinerary list if you only want to see this country.

Here is a list of some of the best places to visit in Norway:

  • Bygdoy Peninsula in Oslo 
  • Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo
  • Viking Ship Museum in Oslo
  • Naeroyfjorden
  • Akershus Fortress in Oslo
  • Oslo’s Fjords – check tour prices or a cruise to Nærøyfjorden, Flåm, and Stegastein 
  • Hanseviertel Bryggen in Bergen
  • Sognefjord near Bergen
  • Osterrjod and Mostraumen near Bergen – join a cruise
  • Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen), in Stavanger
  • Lofoten Islands
  • Geirangerfjord
  • Arctic Museum in Tromso
  • Find the Northern Lights from Tromso – book a guided tour
  • Atlantic Ocean Road

Denmark for 4 days

To reach Denmark from Norway, the best would be to take a plane. There is also a car ferry service, but with a limited time, it’s not ideal. Denmark has the oldest Monarchy in Europe.

Denmark is a small country but popular not only in Europe but around the world. For many years, it has been voted the happiest country in the world. It’s also known for being safe for tourists, the home birth of lego, and has the oldest monarchy in Europe and the oldest flag in the world.

Naturally, visitors will go to Copenhagen, but since the country (excluding Greenland and the Faroe Islands) is not that big, 4 days in Denmark is plenty

You can explore the entirety of Copenhagen and even have time to go to Odense, where the famous children’s book author Hans Christian Andersen was born. You can actually get to the city centre from Copenhagen airport in just 13 minutes – a great way to save time.

Here is a list of some of the best attractions in Denmark:

  • The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue) – explore Copenhagen in a day
  • Freetown Christiania
  • The King’s Garden
  • Amalienborg
  • Rosenborg Castle
  • Tivoli Gardens – get your ticket in advance
  • Botanical Garden
  • The Round Tower
  • Memorial Anchor
  • Copenhagen Opera House
  • Walk around Strøget
  • Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
  • Christiansborg Palace
  • Danish Architecture Centre
  • Ofelia Plads
  • Legoland in Billund
  • Hans Christian Andersen’s Childhood Home
  • H. C. Andersens House

Nordic and Scandinavia is undeniably the most expensive place to travel around Europe. Accommodation alone could run $100, and dining and consuming alcohol are costly as well. But taking the bus and train is a little bearable.

To ensure that you will enjoy your 2 weeks in Europe around this region, plan to spend about $2,000 . If you are on a budget, you can probably do it for $1,700 but no less. But for l uxury, your trip cost will really skyrocket up to $5,000 .

Itinerary #6 West Europe: The UK, Netherlands, and Belgium

The last itinerary option for your 2 weeks in Europe includes the countries the UK, Netherlands, and Belgium, also known as the west of Europe.

The UK is popular for many things, including its monarchy, culture, history, and performers. Being the home of four different countries; England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, you can easily say that it’s worth a visit. From bustling cities, amazing hiking trails, pubs to check out, and castles to explore.

There are tons of iconic places in the Netherlands despite it being a small country. The Netherlands is famous for many things . Here, you’ll be able to see windmills, cheese markets, bulb fields, and earthenware, among others. The Netherlands also have plenty of historical spots to discover including Anne Frank’s House.

The last country on our list is Belgium. They have high-quality chocolates, hence the name Belgian chocolate. This country is also well-known for waffles and beer and is the home to NATO headquarters.

2 images - tulip field with two windmills in netherlands and tower clock of london

The UK for 6 days

There are many things to see in the UK, and six days is definitely not going to be enough. But don’t panic. If this is your first time here, list the attractions you really want to see first. The world-famous Big Ben, London Eye, and River Thames can all be found here, and that’s just in London.

If you have been here before, perhaps, you can now explore less popular areas. Perhaps, you can focus on hiking instead of being in the city or just spend 14 days in England only, especially if it’s your first time.

It’s undeniable that the UK has the most famous monarchy in the world. London alone has a lot of attractions related to the British Monarchy and historical places. In order to make the most out of your trip, the recommended duration of stay is at least five days.

ALSO READ: 2 weeks in the UK , 2 weeks in England , and 2 weeks in Ireland and Northern Ireland itineraries.

List of some best places to see in the UK :

  • Tower Bridge
  • Stonehenge – book a combo tour with Windsor Castle and Bath
  • Buckingham Palace
  • The British Museum
  • Tower of London and Crown Jewels Exhibition – buy your ticket in advance
  • Kensington Palace
  • Madame Tussauds – get your skip-the-line ticket
  • Shakespeare’s Globe
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Book a Harry Potter tour – Warner Bros. Studio
  • Scotney Castle
  • Bodiam Castle
  • Warwick Castle
  • Lake District National Park
  • Dean Village
  • Edinburgh Castle – book a skip-the-line tour
  • Palace of Holyroodhouse
  • Loch Ness, Glencoe, and the Scottish Highlands – check the tour price from Edinburgh
  • Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
  • Titanic Belfast – join a guided tour
  • Crumlin Road Gaol
  • Giants Causeway – visit with a stop at Dark Hedges, Dunluce, and Belfast
  • Free Derry Corner
  • The Derry Walls

The Netherlands for 4 days

You could either ride the train or drive if you want to reach the Netherlands from the UK. Once you reach the Netherlands, you could experience the biggest ice skating tour in the world, or join a cycling tour. You can also know more about world-famous painters like Van Gogh and Rembrandt.

Four days sounds too little but you can actually do a lot while in the Netherlands. You can of course explore Amsterdam, and head to The Hague, Rotterdam, and Groningen.

Some things to see and do in The Netherlands:

  • Jordaan and Amsterdam’s Canals – book the famous canal cruise
  • Anne Frank House
  • Rijksmuseum
  • Mauritshuis
  • Van Gogh Museum – enjoy with an audio guide
  • The Windmills of Kinderdijk
  • Hoge Veluwe National Park
  • Valkenburg Castle Ruins

Belgium for 4 days

To reach Belgium, you could ride the train, ride a bus, use rideshare, or drive. The cheapest option would be to use rideshare and the most recommended option would be to ride the train. It would take you almost 3 hours to reach your destination.

The popular cities in Belgium are Brussels which is the capital, Ghent, Antwerp, and Bruges. You can take buses, trains, or rent a car to travel between cities. Don’t forget to go try different beers and waffles which are two of my favourite part of my visit.

Popular attractions in Belgium:

  • Grand Palace
  • Atomium – get your entry ticket in advance
  • Sign up for the famous Hungry Mary’s beer and chocolate tour or join chocolate making class
  • Manneken Pis
  • Day trip to Bruges and Ghent – enjoy with a tour guide
  • The Canals of Bruges
  • Battlefield in Flanders
  • Belfry of Bruges
  • Basilica of the Holy Blood
  • Bruges Beer Experience
  • Sint-Salvatorskathedraal
  • Gravensteen
  • Museum Aan de Stroom
  • The Rubens House

What I enjoy about travelling in western Europe is how it’s honestly a pricey place but it can be done on a budget. If you think you can stay on your feet for long hours and walking around is not a problem, you can easily cut costs by taking the bus or taxi. The accommodation will surely get you, but dining can be affordable.

The street food in all these countries is fun, globally diverse, and easy to find. For budget travellers, $1,700 is required for your 2-week trip and most likely requires you to stay in a youth hostel. $ 2,500 offers comfort and a bit of luxury where you can dine at nice restaurants. $4,000 means you can stay in hotels right downtown and near the top attractions, With this budget, you can even hire taxis during your entire trip.

SUMMARY OF 2 WEEKS IN EUROPE

There are so many countries to choose from if you plan to visit Europe. Fortunately, Europe has amazing transportation between cities and countries, making it easy to travel around even with limited time.

When planning your 14-day itinerary for Europe, don’t try to cram it too much. It’s better to travel a bit slower, see fewer places, but be able to enjoy and process everything you have seen and experienced. Europe is not going anywhere, you can always visit again and check out a new place.

I hope that you found these 2 weeks in Europe itineraries helpful in planning your own.

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Experience Europe affordably by exploring free attractions like Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral, strolling through Rome's Trevi Fountain, and enjoying budget-friendly street food in Barcelona. Consider staying in hostels or budget hotels. via @twoweektraveller

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20 one-week europe trip itinerary ideas.

One Week Europe Itinerary Ideas

Wondering where to spend one week in Europe? These 20 ideas for your Europe trip will help you decide how to maximize your time.

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How to Choose the Best One Week Itinerary for a Europe Trip: 20 Europe Itinerary Ideas

If you’re like most people and getting time off work or kids out of school is challenging, you may only be able to manage one week of vacation. Europe is a great destination to go for one week, simply because of the cultural diversity in such a small geographic area.

The small size, proximity, and ease of transportation between many of the countries in Europe make it a good choice for a culturally rich one week holiday. If you’ve only got one week in Europe, and really want to maximize your time, but you’re wondering where to go in Europe, here are 20 perfect one-week Europe travel itineraries.

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If you're heading to Europe and only have one week to enjoy it, try one of these 20 one week European itineraries that will help you make the most of your time. #Europe #Itinerary #Vacation

  • Before You go to Europe

Europe is an amazing destination, especially if you pick any of these awesome itineraries, but before leaving there are a few things you should consider when planning your Europe trip:

  • KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Before you go to Europe, be sure you follow my 50 travel tips for Europe. You can find those here. 

And the winter months are generally cold in most European countries, especially in the north.That doesn’t mean you should avoid those times, it just depends on your tolerance for crowds and your preference in weather.

  • WHAT TO PACK FOR EUROPE: What you pack for Europe will highly depend on what time of year you go and where you decide to go. This  packing guide for Europe will ensure you have the essentials.
  • GETTING AROUND: Getting around Europe can be a little daunting, but if you do some research before you go, you’ll be just fine. Transportation in every country in Europe is a little different. I’ve linked many of my articles with helpful advice below like   How to Survive Train Travel in Italy   and   Driving in Scotland . Some itineraries will require you to go by train, car, plane or boat. Travel around Europe doesn’t have to be scary if you learn what to do ahead of time.

If you’re renting a car, there are two companies we prefer to use: Rental Cars and Expedia Cars. We have had no issues with them and have been able to find the best prices available.

What to do in Europe for One Week: 20 European Vacation Ideas for Your Europe Trip

These are my best one week vacations in Europe. Taking a multi city European vacation can be a great way to experience several different cultures on one continent. I know that one week in Europe isn’t a lot of time, so I’ve picked cities that are either close in proximity or a quick and cheap flight between each other.

I’ve also tried to choose each Europe travel itinerary with a mix of classic sites and unique destinations. There are so many cool places to visit in Europe that are still undiscovered. Hopefully, some of these locations will be new to you and you’ll be able to discover a new European favorite!

Here's a Short Cut

1 | Amalfi Coast + Rome

2 | paris + london, 3 | ireland + iceland, 4 | heidelberg, germany + strasbourg, france, 5 | colmar, france + basel, switzerland, 6 | interlaken + lucerne, switzerland, 7 | lake como, italy + zermatt, switzerland, 8 | paris + normandy, 9 | iceland and the scottish highlands, 10 | venice and lake como, 11 | the ionian islands, greece, 12 | ireland + northern ireland, 13 | edinburgh + scottish highlands, 14 | colmar + strasbourg, 15 | loire valley + paris, 16 | london + cotswolds, 17 | cinque terre + florence, 18 | prague + vienna, 19 | budapest + bratislava, 20 | lucca + sardinia, 21 | lisbon + algarve, 22 | vienna + hallstatt + salzburg , 23 | croatia + montenegro, 24 | budapest + bratislava + vienna, practical tips for booking your trip.

Europe Itinerary- 20 Europe Trip Ideas

This is one of my very favorite European vacation destinations. There are hundreds of choices for stunning history and scenery when you visit Italy, but this Amalfi Coast and Rome itinerary gives you the best of both worlds. Rome is one of the top places to visit in Europe and offers history around every corner…literally, while on the Amalfi Coast you will be overwhelmed by breathtaking ocean views.

Spend several days in Rome, then head south to the Amalfi Coast via Naples and spend a few more relaxing on the beach and driving the coast. It’s one of the best European beach vacations you can take! Amalfi is also one of the most popular Europe vacation spots during the month of August, so you may want to take that into consideration when planning your trip.

Check out these other 5 amazing itineraries for Italy.  Italy is one of the best countries to visit in Europe due to its size and variety of landscapes, cultures, and attractions.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Rome

GETTING BETWEEN CITIES: Getting from Rome to Amalfi is easy. Take the train from Rome to Naples, from there take the bus to Sorrento. There are many tour buses that travel along the coast, or you can rent a car and do the driving yourself.

WHERE TO STAY Rome | Amalfi RESOURCES How to Spend One Day in Rome Family Guide to Rome How to Spend 2 Days in Naples How to Survive Train Travel in Italy The Best Places to Visit in Italy How to Spend 10 Days in Italy Tips for Renting a Car in Europe i Heart Italy

Europe Trip Itinerary

If you’re looking for a European vacation with a lot of history and class, this is it! I can’t even count the number of times that I have done the Paris/London combo. I’ve done it with kids, as a couple, as a girls’ trip, and as a field trip. No joke! And every time I go, it’s like completely different cities. You can follow completely different options for London and Paris itineraries and have an amazing time no matter what you choose. In my opinion, these are two of the best cities to visit in Europe as they offer a huge amount of culture, food, and entertainment bang for your buck!

When I plan our family trip to Europe each year, I make sure to always include both Paris and London. These are two of my favorite places in all of Europe. They are popular for good reason. Both Paris and London are so vast and diverse that you can have a new experience each time you visit. The best part about visiting these two cities is that they are very easy to travel between with the help of the Eurostar. It’s a quick journey from the heart of one city to the next that requires no airports, no flying, and no hassle. Note: You will need a   passport or visa   to travel between England and France and you will need to go through customs before boarding the Eurostar.

I’ve created an easy-to-use day-by-day itinerary for Paris and London so that you can show up and enjoy your trip. 

travel routes in europe

GETTING THERE: Fly into London or Paris GETTING BETWEEN CITIES: Take the Eurostar

WHERE TO STAY Paris | London

RESOURCES Paris Walking Guide Paris with Kids Foods You Must Try in Paris Paris Neighborhood Guide How to Use the Paris Bike System London Travel Guide Perfect London Itinerary London with Kids Christmas in London Paddington’s Guide to London How to Use the Paris Bike System

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

If you’re looking for a European vacation with wild nature and rural beauty, this option is a winner. While both of these spectacular islands really deserve their own week (or weeks really), a trip combining the two is possible, thanks to affordable flights between Iceland and Ireland. A good route would be Reykjavik and the Golden Circle, combined with the west of Ireland including Killarney, the Ring of Kerry, and the Cliffs of Moher. These countries are some of the best places to go in Europe if you love majestic natural beauty.

GETTING THERE:  Fly into Iceland as its one of the cheapest ways to get to Europe. GETTING BETWEN COUNTRIES:  From Iceland , take a quick flight to Ireland. Dublin , Belfast , Cork, or Shannon Airports are usually where you’ll find the best deals.

WHERE TO STAY Ireland | Iceland

RESOURCES Iceland on a Budget Bucket List Things to do in Iceland Iconic Things to do in Dublin Day Trips from Dublin What to do in Killarney Perfect Ireland Itinerary Ireland with Kids Ireland Packing List

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

This one-week European itinerary includes two of my favorite cities in Europe! Heidelberg, Germany, known for its ancient castle and walkable downtown is a perfect companion to Strasbourg, France only an hour and a half away, in the Alsace region of France, known for its impressive cathedral and half-timber houses. These towns are particularly spectacular during the Christmas season and some of the best places to spend Christmas in Europe. This will be the best Europe itinerary for those looking to spend time in provincial looking towns!

GETTING THERE:  Fly into Frankfurt, Germany GETTING BETWEEN COUNTRIES:  Drive for 1.5 hours or take the train for 1.5 hours.

WHERE TO STAY Heidelberg | Strasbourg

RESOURCES Best European Christmas Markets European Christmas Market Treats What to do in Strasbourg What to do in Heidelberg, Germany What to do in Strasbourg, France

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

If you want to spend your Europen vacation wandering charming streets and feeling like you’re in a fairytale, this is it. Basel, Switzerland holds a special place in my heart and is often an overlooked town. Only a quick 45-minute train ride from the popular and iconic Colmar, France, Basel offers a unique culture that only a town on the border of three countries can. Basel is especially fun during Herbstmesse, the local Autumn Fair when the city literally turns into a fair! Combine these two beautiful cities for a one-of-a-kind holiday.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Basel or Zurich GETTING BETWEEN CITIES:  Drive 45 minutes or Train 30 minutes

WHERE TO STAY Colmar |  Basel

RESOURCES What to do in Basel Guide to Colmar, France

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

No European vacation list would be complete without including the unimaginable beauty of the Swiss Alps. Switzerland is a wonderland of natural beauty for the outdoor enthusiast or even anyone who has a remote interest in pretty scenery! It’s one of the best countries in Europe for those who love outdoor activity and natural beauty. It’s just jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

For such a small country, there is so much to see and with two of Switzerland most breathtaking areas just a few hours from each other, it’s worth visiting both of them. These areas offer pristine lakes, ancient gorges, colossal mountains, and a vast array of cultural activities.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Zurich, Switzerland GETTING BETWEEN CITIES: Train to Lucerne, Train to Interlaken

WHERE TO STAY Interlaken | Lucerne

RESOURCES Switzerland Itinerary Swiss Food Guide Switzerland Packing List 24 Hours in Zurich What to do in Interlaken What to do in Lucerne

One Week Europe Itinerary

If you’d like your Europe trip to have a good mix of beach and mountain time, this is the perfect combination. Lake Como is probably one of my top favorite places on the planet. It is totally magical and peaceful, and I’ve written about it multiple times and helped friends and family plan trips there. Don’t skip Lake Como on your next trip to Italy. One of my favorite parts of Lake Como is its proximity to the Swiss border. You can actually hike over the borer and into Switzerland! But if you’d rather not hike, hop in the car and take a trip to Zermatt, Switzerland, home of the famous towering mountain, Matterhorn.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Milan, Italy GETTING BETWEEN CITIES: Drive 3 hours to Zermatt or take a 4 hour Train ride from Milan

WHERE TO STAY Lake Como | Zermatt

RESOURCES Guide to Lake Como Boating Lake Como Guide to Zermatt Best Places to Visit in Italy How to Spend 10 Days in Italy i Heart Italy

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

This is a European vacation full of charm, but also a healthy dose of history and reality. A Paris-Normandy itinerary of Europe combines all the glamor and romance of the city of light with the charm, history, and beauty of Northern France. Spend several days in Paris, taking several day trips, including the impressive floating Mont Saint Michel. This area is one of the best places to visit in Europe for history lovers.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Paris GETTING BETWEEN CITIES: Drive 3 hours

WHERE TO STAY Paris | Normandy

RESOURCES Paris Itinerary Paris Walking Guide Paris with Kids Foods You Must Try in Paris Paris Neighbgorhood Guide Guide to Normandy Guide to Visiting Mont Saint Michel France with Kids

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

Two naturally and culturally beautiful countries are just a short and cheap flight apart and a great combination for a one-week European itinerary, although both countries could take weeks to explore on their own.  Spend a few days in Iceland, then take a cheap hopper flight and explore the mystical highlands of Scotland.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Reykjavik GETTING BETWEEN COUNTRIES: Fly into Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, or Aberdeen

WHERE TO STAY Iceland | Scotland

RESOURCES Iceland on a Budget Scotland Itinerary What to do in Inverness What to do on the Isle of Skye Scotland Packing List

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

Some of my favorite Italian destinations, Venice and Lake Como, both built on water, are ideal locations for aquatic enthusiasts. Taking a ride on a gondola in Venice is one of the best things to do in Europe! Take the Vaporetto (water bus) in Venice, then take a short drive or train ride to Lake Como and enjoy boating and relaxing on the beach in one of the adorable villages lining the lake.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Venice or Milan GETTING BETWEEN CITIES: 3.5 hours by car or 10 hours by train

WHERE TO STAY Venice | Lake Como

RESOURCES Guide to Lake Como Boating Lake Como Surviving Train Travel in Italy Guide to Venice Best Places to Visit in Italy How to Spend 10 Days in Italy i Heart Italy

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

If you’re interested in cheap Europe trips, the gorgeous Ionian islands of Greece are one of the best-kept secrets in Europe. Naturally and culturally diverse, affordable, and downright beautiful, Kefalonia and Corfu make great choices for one week in Europe.

Explore ancient ruins, relax on pristine beaches with locals, and dine, affordably, like a Greek god. If you’re travelling Europe on a budget, this is a great option and Greece is one of the best places to visit in Europe in summer if you’re looking for gorgeous beaches at affordable prices.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Kefalonia from London on Ryanair GETTING BETWEEN ISLANDS: Take a ferry between the Ionian Islands from Greek Ferries

WHERE TO STAY Kefalonia | Corfu

RESOURCES Guide to Kefalonia Greece The Ionian Islands The Best Beaches on Corfu What to Wear in Greece Guide to Athens

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

Two countries on one island? Yep! Take a visit to Ireland AND Northern Ireland. Two countries that are very similar, but also very different. Explore the entire island with this perfect itinerary.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Dublin or any airport in Ireland GETTING BETWEEN COUNTRIES: Rent a Car. Driving in Ireland can be tricky and slow, but worth the views and the adventure.

WHERE TO STAY Ireland | Northern Ireland

RESOURCES The Best Places to Visit in Ireland Perfect Ireland Itinerary Ireland with Kids What to do in Killarney Scotland and Ireland Itinerary Ireland Packing List

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

Scotland is one country that should really be given an entire week. You could definitely say that about any destination, but for a relatively small country, but it has so much to offer that you could spend years here and not see it all.

For one week in Scotland, I recommend visiting Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands, including the Isle of Skye. Read here for an entire Scotland Itinerary, here for Edinburgh , here for Inverness and the Highlands , and here for the Isle of Skye.

GETTING THERE:  Flying into Edinburgh is usually the cheapest option. GETTING BETWEN AREAS:  It’s best to rent a car or hire a driver or tour company. Be sure to read my guide to driving in Scotland.  

WHERE TO STAY Ediburgh | Inverness | Isle of Skye

RESOURCES Perfect Scotland Itinerary What to do in Edinburgh What to do in Inverness What to do on the Isle of Skye Scotland Packing List

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

What could be more charming than a week spent in these “poor provincial towns.” Ok, so they’re definitely not poor or provincial, but you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Belle’s hometown from Beauty and the Beast .

The ancient half-timber homes built along scenic rivers provide a feast for the eyes, while the patisseries, boulangeries, shops, and restaurants provide a feast for the tongue. Split your time between these two idyllic towns and enjoy a peaceful trip back in time.

If you visit Colmar or Strasbourg during Christmas, these towns will be even more magical! Strasbourg is known as “The Capital of Christmas” and both towns have incredible Christmas markets and decorations!

GETTING THERE:  Fly into Zurich GETTING BETWEEN COUNTRIES:  30 minutes by train or 1 hour by car

WHERE TO STAY Colmar | Strasbourg

RESOURCES 24 Hours in Zurich Guide to Colmar Guide to Strasbourg The Most Magical European Christmas Markets Must-Have European Christmas Market Treats 

One Week Europe Trip Itinerary

Divide your time between the ancient and modern city of light and the historic Loire Valley , home to magnificent palaces, stunning gardens, and green pastures. This one-week itinerary is the perfect balance between city and country life and will provide you with a mix of excitement, peace, and romance. It can be hard to squeeze everything you want into one week European itineraries, but this is a must!

Be sure to map out the castles and palaces you want to see along the way. Our favorite is Chenonceau ! Don’t miss it!

GETTING THERE: Fly into Paris GETTING AROUND:  Rent a car and drive two hours to the Loire Valley

WHERE TO STAY Loire Valley | Paris

RESOURCES Walking Guide to Paris Paris with Kids Day Trips from Paris Foods You Must Try in Paris Guide to the Loire Valley 15 Affordable Castles You Can Stay In

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

This London and Cotswolds Itinerary provides the best of both British worlds, encompassing both the hustle and bustle of one of the world’s oldest and largest cities and the peace and tranquility of the quaint cottage speckled Cotswolds.

As much as I love London (it’s my favorite city), I do get tired of the crowds and the constant noise. It is so refreshing to get into the countryside and have a change of scenery during your time in London. The Cotswolds are a fairytale-like dream trip. Be sure to grab cream tea every chance you get!

GETTING THERE: Fly into one of three London Airports GETTING AROUND: Rent a car and explore the whole Cotswolds area

WHERE TO STAY London | Cotswolds

RESOURCES London Travel Guide Complete Guide to London Perfect London Itinerary London with Kids Paddington’s Guide to London Christmas in London Guide to the Cotswolds

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

I call this itinerary the best of Northern Italy. Italy is huge and has so much to offer geographically and culturally, but one of my favorite parts of Italy is the train system. The trains in Italy allow for easy access to most major sites, but it can be slightly confusing, so be sure to read this guide to train travel in Italy before you go. Getting between Florence and Cinque Terre is simple with the right knowledge.

The great thing about this itinerary is that you will get to see a big city full of culture, history, and art, and also spend time swimming at the beach and on a boat soaking up rays in in the Liguerian Sea. Read here for Florence, here for Cinque Terre, here for Trains in Italy.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Florence GETTING BETWEEN CITIES: Two hours by train

WHERE TO STAY Cinque Terre | Florence

RESOURCES Guide to Cinque Terre Guide to Florence How to Survive Train Travel in Italy Best Places to Visit in Italy How to Spend 10 Days in Italy

Europe Itinerary

I think Prague and Vienna might be some of the most underrated cities in Europe, and they are worth dedicating an entire week to. Stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, and cultural activities abound in these cities that are just a few hours apart.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Vienna or Prague GETTING BETWEEN CITIES: 3-hour drive or 4-hour train ride

WHERE TO STAY Prague | Vienna

RESOURCES One Day in Prague What to do in Vienna

One Week European Itinerary

If you’re looking for cheap European vacations, the farther east you go, the cheaper it generally gets. These are two cities that had never really been on my bucket list, and to be honest, I had never even heard of Bratislava, which is in Slovakia by the way! Both cities are charming and culturally rich. They are especially festive and beautiful around Christmas time.

Bratislava is on the way between Budapest and Vienna (you can even cycle between Budapest and Vienna ) and Budapest and Prague, so if you’re thinking of doing a combination of any of those cities, it’s a great stop.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Budapest GETTING BETWEEN CITIES: 2 hours by car, 2.5 hours by train

WHERE TO STAY Budapest | Bratislava

RESOURCES What to do in Budapest European Christmas Markets What to do in Bratislava

Europe Trip Itinerary Ideas

These incredible destinations in Italy are not well known, but that is part of the appeal. I would say they are a good option for a cheaper and less crowded alternative to the  Florence and Cinque Terre itinerary.

Lucca is a walled city in Tuscany offering stunning architecture and culture with great family fun activities such as riding bikes along the top of the medieval wall around the city. Sardinia is a heavenly island, just a ferry ride away full of breathtaking beaches, delicious food, and friendly locals. Known as one of the five blue zones in the world- places in the world where people live longer and healthier than anywhere else on earth-Sardinia will make you feel younger and more alive just by visiting.

GETTING THERE: Fly into Rome or Florence GETTING BETWEEN DESTINATIONS: Take a Ferry from Civitavecchia to Olbia

WHERE TO STAY Lucca | Sardinia

RESOURCES One Day in Rome What to do in Lucca Sardinia Best Places to Visit in Italy How to Spend 10 Days in Italy What to Wear in Italy

travel routes in europe

Portugal is a beautiful country full of diverse landscapes, amazing beaches, and cultural city centers. Lisbon is a stunning city and the Algarve region in the south of Portugal offers sunny beaches with world-famous surfing. There are some really cheap flights to Lisbon from the US right now and you can either drive, train, bus, or fly to the Algarve easily. As a southern European country, Portugal is a great choice for a winter destination. We were there last January and could still get in the water. There are many towns to choose from in the Algarve and they are all equally unique and beautiful. 

GETTING THERE: Fly into Lisbon GETTING BETWEEN DESTINATIONS: Take a plane, car, or bus to the Algarve.

The Perfect Portugal Itinerary

travel routes in europe

This one week in Europe spent in Austria is a dream. Combining the culture of Vienna and Salzburg with the picturesque feel of Hallstatt, it’s sure to satisfy any traveler. In my opinion, this is a great winter destination if you don’t mind the cold. Vienna and Salzburg have several amazing Christmas markets and Hallstatt is simply a dream to see in the snow! 

GETTING THERE: Fly into Vienna GETTING BETWEEN DESTINATIONS: Take a train to Salzburg (2.5 hours). A great way to see Hallstatt is to take a day trip from Salzburg.

Hallstatt Day Trip

European Christmas Markets

Christmas Market Treats

travel routes in europe

If you’re into coastal towns, walled cities, and breathtaking scenery, this combination is for you. The Dalmation Coast is absolutely stunning. The bordering country of Montenegro is really the hidden gem of Europe, offering the same draw as Croatia, but with far fewer tourists. I recommend going during shoulder season (April-May or September-October) to be able to enjoy warmer weather with fewer crowds. 

GETTING THERE: Fly into Dubrovnik, Croatia  GETTING BETWEEN DESTINATIONS:  Take a Day Trip to Montenegro

travel routes in europe

Two of the most underrated cities in Europe if you ask me, Budapest and Bratislava are both cities that offer an amazing array of culture and also incredible food. If you’re up for the cold weather, these cities all have incredible Christmas markets and stunning decorations around the holidays. These cities are also all connected by rail so you can easily navigate between them. 

GETTING THERE: Fly into Vienna or Budapest GETTING BETWEEN DESTINATIONS: Take the train between each city. Bratislava would be a good day trip from Vienna.

25 | Berlin + Prague

travel routes in europe

If you love history and architecture, then these two cities will captivate you! Split your time between the two, rent a car and take a road trip between them to enjoy some beautiful scenery. 

GETTING THERE: Fly into either Berlin or Prague, whichever airport is cheaper.  GETTING BETWEEN DESTINATIONS: Rent a car and take a road trip between Berlin and Prague.

Whichever Europe Itinerary you choose, you’re guaranteed to love it. You can definitely see so much of Europe in a week and you really can’t go wrong with any of these choices. Just remember to relax and enjoy and also remember that this probably won’t be the last Europe trip of your lifetime.

Not the Trip You Need?

Not exactly the trip you’re looking for? Don’t worry, I also offer custom trip planning by request for many destinations! Learn more here.

Book Your Flight s and Car Find a budget airlines by using  Skyscanner . This is my favorite way to search for flights because they crawl websites and airlines around the globe, so you always know you’re getting the best deal. Learn more tips for finding the best flight deals here. For cars, I like to use Rental Cars because they have good filters and its easy to search for multiple companies.

Book Your Accommodation My preferred way to stay around the world is VRBO . I find it usually gives you a unique local experience in any destination. If you want to stay in a hotel, use  Booking , as it consistently gives the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels. I use them both all the time.

Always Get Travel Insurance Travel insurance protects you and your family against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s peace of mind in case anything goes wrong. I never travel without it. I’ve been using World Nomads for the last few years and love how easy it is to use. I have also used Allianz . Compare rates to see which is best for the coverage you need.

Looking for ways to save money on travel? Check out my  resource page  for the companies I use for traveling! I share everything I use to save me time and money.

travel routes in europe

Wanderlust Crew

9 thoughts on “ 20 one-week europe trip itinerary ideas ”.

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Hi there, My husband and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary next March and would love to go somewhere in Europe for a week. I have only been to Italy (over 20 years ago) and he’s never been. I’m a bit overwhelmed by even trying to figure out where to go. Can you help? Thanks! Hannah

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Hi Hannah. I can definitely help! I’ve got several Italy Itinerary ideas for Italy here: https://wanderlustcrew.com/10-days-in-italy/ I also do custom trip planning, specifically for Italy, if you’re interested in that, you can find more info here: https://wanderlustcrew.com/custom-travel-planning/ Italy will be so much fun! One of my favorite places on earth! xo Vanessa

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Very helpful! Thank you. We are planning a one year stay & this helped with our itinerary tremendously.

Oh that sounds amazing! You’ll see so much!

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Great ideas! We hope we’ll be able to travel to Europe again soon!

Thanks so much! Me too! Going as soon as it’s safe!!

Pingback: Backpacking around Italy with kids - Travel Mad Mum tips

Pingback: How to Find the Best Gelato in Italy! | I Heart Italy

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Very good these tips I was even thinking about taking a vacation for a few days, thank you

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Your Eurail travel map

Start planning your Eurail adventure here. You can see the average train travel times between all the big European cities in 33 countries on the train map below. 

Train routes through 33 countries

The map below shows the bigger cities in Europe, to which cities they are connected and how long it takes to travel between them. It's an interactive map, so start clicking around and planning your trip!

Click on the train icons to see the cities of each country, and click on the routes (the lines in between 2 train icons) to see travel times.  The green lines represent trains; the blue lines are ferries.

Please note that routes may change throughout the year. This map doesn’t show any (temporary) disruptions on the rail network; find more information on disruptions here . 

Don't know where to start? Use our Trip Planner to find the best Eurail Pass for you!

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Travel times for 10 most popular routes

Check out the travel times between Europe's most popular cities. If you'd like to know more about a specific route, just visit our Popular Routes section .

Feel free to also play around with the Europe travel map above to see where else you could go with your Eurail Pass!

European itineraries

The Eurail railway map is a great resource for planning the perfect itinerary. Check out some examples of spectacular  European itineraries  you can experience with a Eurail Pass.

Follow one or more of our itineraries, or use parts of them to create your own. Planning your trip is half the fun, and with these itineraries, you get to see the very best of Europe!

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Travel Europe on a Budget

The Savvy Backpacker

City Guides .\33 a132798-3f3b-4585-954d-7e70cf863447{fill:#231f20}

Best of europe mega trip itinerary (travel time: 8-10+ weeks).

How to see the most popular cities in Europe in about two months.

Trip Planning

travel routes in europe

This is it… the Best of Europe Mega Trip itinerary that is designed to give you a taste of the best Europe has to offer. This itinerary covers 18+ cities throughout Europe and will take a minimum of 60 days but could be extended to 75+ days if you travel a little slower. I’d err on the side of traveling slower; this is a two-month trip, so there is a good chance you’ll burn out if you’re not careful.

Of course, no itinerary is perfect, and there is never enough time to see everything,  but this itinerary will give you a great foundation to pretty much see all the highlights. We tried to keep the travel distances fairly short in most cases, so you won’t be spending all your time on a plane or a train. 

Note: I used Omio to map my course and to get an idea of the travel times. Omio also shows multiple travel options (trains, planes, buses, driving, etc.) and prices. Check out my Guide To Using Rail Passes in Europe to learn more.

Ok, let’s get on with it…

Best of Europe Travel Itinerary

travel routes in europe

London – Approx. 4+ days

London is a great introduction to Europe because it’s a perfect mix of foreign and familiar — plus, London is a huge airline hub, so it’s one of the cheaper places to fly into.

London also has loads of things to see and do, so you’re guaranteed to keep busy.

Paris – Approx. 4+ days

From London, I suggest taking the Eurostar train to Paris, but book your train early because tickets get really expensive if you wait until the last minute. The train journey takes a little over 2 hours.

There are also plenty of budget flights, but then you have to deal with all the annoyance of flying. The flight takes a little over an hour, but you still have to get to/from the airports, which will add at least an extra hour.

Note: Add a few days to your time in Paris if you want to venture out of the city to experience a few of the many day trip options Paris has to offer.

Lisbon – Approx. 2-3 days

As much as we love trains, we suggest booking a cheap flight from Paris to Lisbon as it will save you a lot of time (don’t worry, you’ll use trains for most of the journey). The flight is about 2.5 hours, but you should budget about 4 hours of total travel time.

Madrid – Approx. 3 days

From Lisbon, you’ll want to take an overnight train to Madrid. The train leaves around 9:30 pm and arrives in Madrid around 8 am. Flying will take about 4 hours when you factor in all travel time.

Barcelona – Approx. 3-5 days

Take one of the nearly hourly trains from Madrid to Barcelona — the journey will take about 2.5 hours.

If you plan on partying hard in Barcelona, you may want to budget for an extra day to recover on the beach.

Nice – Approx. 2-3 days

You can either fly or take the train from Barcelona to Nice. Flights will take just under 4 hours and the train will take almost 9 hours. If you have the time, you can break up the long train ride by stopping in Montpellier, France for a day.

Cinque Terre, Italy – Approx. 2-4 days (+1 full travel day)

Take the 6-hour train ride from Nice, France to Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is a string of five centuries-old seaside villages situated on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. If you just want to see the views and do minimal hiking, you can get by staying around two nights — there’s a train that runs between all five towns.

If you want to hike from town to town at a relaxed pace, you might consider staying around three-four nights.

Florence + Tuscany – Approx. 2+2 days

Hop the train (3 hours) to Florence, which is the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region. Spend about two nights exploring the city, but be sure to spend a few days relaxing in Tuscany’s gorgeous countryside.

Rome – Approx. 3+ days

From Florence to Rome, it’s a quick 1.5-hour train ride or about a 3.5 to 4-hour bus ride. Rome is another one of those “must-see” cities that many people love. I’d spend at least three full days in Rome, but seeing it in five days might be more enjoyable.  

Venice – Approx. 2 days

The train from Rome to Venice is about 4 hours. Most people see Venice as a day trip, but it’s probably better to actually stay overnight in this beautiful city. This is because the city is absolutely jam-packed during the day — it teeters on unbearable. However, at night and in the early morning, the city is nearly empty so you’re free to explore all the little side streets in peace.  

Switzerland – Approx. 2-4 days (+1 full travel day)

From Venice, head up to Switzerland to get some fresh air and stunning mountain views. If you’re into outdoor adventure, then check out Interlaken. Lucerne is a great quintessential Swiss city. Zermatt is a good option if you want to be in the mountains. There are multiple great cities and towns in Switzerland. However, Zurich and Geneva both have a reputation for being a little boring and extra expensive.

Depending on where you go, the train will take around 7-8 hours.

Munich – Approx. 3-4 days (+1 full travel day)

Depending on where you are in Switzerland, Munich is about a 6-hour train ride—both Swiss and German trains are excellent so the ride is quite nice.

There are multiple nice day trips from Munich — like the fairytale-esque Neuschwanstein Castle and the Austrian city of Salzburg (which also makes a nice place to stay for a night or two if you’d like).

Vienna – Approx. 2-3 days

Hop aboard the train for a 4-hour ride from Munich to Vienna.

Budapest – Approx. 3-4 days

The train from Vienna to Budapest (aka, “The Paris of the East”) is around 2.5 hours. We’d recommend staying at least three nights, especially if you like to party.  

Kraków – Approx. 2-3 days

Take an overnight train from Budapest to Kraków and you’ll arrive around 8:35 am.

Prague – Approx. 3-4 days

Take another overnight train from Kraków to Prague (which arrives around 6:30 am).

Berlin – Approx. 4+ days

From Prague, Berlin is about a 5-hour train ride. You may want to add an extra day or two if you’re big into all-night dance clubs because Berlin is home to the best nightlife in the world.

Amsterdam – Approx. 2-3 days

Amsterdam is about a 4-hour flight from Berlin (or a 7-hour train ride).

If you’d like, Amsterdam is a good place to end the trip because the airport is a major international hub. If you want to see a little more of Europe, another option is to continue your trip to Dublin to spend a few days traveling around Ireland. The flight to Dublin is about 4.5 hours. Another option is to fly up to Scandinavia to visit Stockholm, Oslo, and Copenhagen.

Total Trip Length 57 days – 75+ days

Doing this itinerary in 57 days is doable, but it will feel a little rushed — you definitely shouldn’t try this particular trip in fewer than that many days. Pushing it closer to 75 days or longer will give you a little more breathing room, and it will let you spend a little extra time in major cities before moving on.

You’re also well under the 90-day limit that you can stay in the Schengen area, so you won’t have to worry about visas.

10-weeks-best-of-europe

And, of course, you can always tweak this itinerary to add/subtract destinations from your trip.

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If you've got wheels, wanderlust and a spot of time, a road trip in Europe offers the chance to see the continent at a relaxed pace. From the sunny shores of Portugal to the dungeons of Dracula's castle in Transylvania in Romania , the following itineraries can be easily combined, shortened or altered to suit your wayfaring tastes. Here are 9 of the best road trips in Europe.

1. From the glamour of Paris to the glorious grit of Berlin (France to Germany)

2. surf and sun in the basque country and beyond, 3. the arctic fjords from bergen to trondheim (norway), 4. the unexplored east: bucharest to vienna (romania to austria), 5. to portugal and beyond.

  • 6. High-altitude adventure on Germany's Alpine Road

7. Godly beaches and ancient highways in Greece

8. london to edinburgh and the highlands, 9. the secret shores of sicily and calabria, planning your european road trip, travel ideas for spain, created by local experts.

Andalucía Explored

Andalucía Explored

Discover the best of Andalucía's breathtaking palaces, churches, museums, vineyards, and more, as you travel through spectacular scenery dotted with pueblos blancos and bordered by rugged mountains and coast en route to Granada, Seville, Ronda and Jerez de la Frontera.

A culinary experience in Seville

A culinary experience in Seville

Explore the cuisine and surroundings of Seville in Andalucia. From Iberian ham over sherry wines to the production and secrets of olive oil, this tour is an ideal weekend getaway. Decide yourself if you prefer a rental car or a chauffeur-driven car to explore the beauty of Andalucia.

Spanish Honeymoon

Spanish Honeymoon

Discover Andalusia, starting with the cultural city of Seville, then on to Córdoba and Granada, home of the stunning Alhambra Palace. Next you'll visit Granada and the Albayzin Arab quarter, then enjoy a stunning hot-air balloon ride, before ending your trip with a luxury boat trip from Marbella!

Made for Madrid

Made for Madrid

Take to the Spanish capital for art, culture and a taste of life in the city, Madrileño-style. Explore age-old churches and pretty plazas, stroll through the lovely Buen Retiro Park and visit captivating Toledo. Then, come sundown, discover the city's vibrant barrios and lively nightlife.

A Madrid getaway

A Madrid getaway

Spend four days discovering the wonders of Spain's capital Madrid: from fascinating museums like El Prado and Reina Sofia over exploring unknown corners with your private guide to a day trip to the surroundings, this itinerary packs the best of Madrid.

Hidden Spain - From Barcelona to Basque Country

Hidden Spain - From Barcelona to Basque Country

Do you want to explore highlights in Spain while staying in nature at the same time? Look no further. Start your Spanish adventure in Barcelona before heading off to the mountains - drive your rental car to Andorra and further on to Basque Country. Decide between driving yourself or guided tours.

Leaving Paris , cruise through the gentle hills of Champagne and Reims to the quaint capital of Luxembourg City, and explore the small country’s many fairy-tale castles.

Trier , Germany’s oldest city, is less than an hour’s drive north-east, where ancient Roman baths and basilicas stand marvellously intact.

Spend a night in the medieval village of Bacharach in Riesling wine country, before wandering the riverside streets of Heidelberg . Onward to Nuremberg , and then to Leipzig for a strong dose of hot caffeine with your Cold War history, classical music and cake. Make sure to check out the complete guide to the UNESCO world heritage sites in Germany to visit some of the palaces and gardens , industrial heritage sites or historic town centres along the way.

Detour to Dresden , restored after the ruinous bombing in WWII, before ending in one of Europe’s coolest cities: the creative paradise of Berlin .

For a longer trip, start in London and take the ferry or channel tunnel to France , transforming this road trip into a pilgrimage between Europe’s holy trinity of artistic hubs.

  • Best for: Culture vultures looking for bragging rights.
  • How long: 1–2 weeks.
  • Insider tip: If you’re driving in France, you’ll legally need to keep safety equipment in your car (a reflective vest and hazard signal). Additionally, be prepared with a cash or credit card to pay the French road tolls on the way.

Thinking exclusively about a vacation in France? Start planning your trip by finding out how to get there .

Panoramic aerial view of Trier in a beautiful summer day, Germany © S-F/Shutterstock

Panoramic aerial view of Trier featuring the famous Trierer Dom © S-F/Shutterstock

Begin in Bilbao , where the surrounding beaches boast world-class surf, then drive along the Atlantic to San Sebastian : watersports wonderland and foodie heaven. From there venture south through the rugged wilderness of the Pyrenees to Pamplona . Climb the Roncesvalles Pass before looping back to the coast. Or continue along the Bay of Biscay to the attractive seaside resort of St-Jean-de-Luz.

Travellers with a little extra money lining their pockets will be happy to spend days lingering on boho beaches in Biarritz, while those looking for gargantuan swell can do no better than the surfer hangouts in Hossegor.

Finish the trip northward in Bordeaux – the Pearl of the Aquitaine – where café-strewn boulevards and world-class wines are your trophies at the finish line.

Bilbao to Bordeaux

  • Best for: Sun-seeking surfers and foodies.
  • How long: 1 week.
  • Insider tip: Check seasonal surf forecasts before you go, and look into coastal campsites if you're on a budget.The Basque roads beg for a convertible – or a colourful camper van with surfboards strapped to the roof.

beach-miramar-la-grande-plage-bay-biscay-atlantic-coast-biarritz-france-shutterstock_727063945

Biarritz City and its famous beach © Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock

Kick off in the city of Bergen , on Norway’s southwest coast, and make way past mighty fjords to Voss and the colossal Tvindefossen waterfall. Then check the world's longest road tunnel off your to-do list, a cavernous 24.5km route under the mountains.

Catch a quick ferry across the Sognefjord and carry on to the Fjaler valleys, a land of glaciers and snowy mountain peaks, to the waterside towns of Stryn or the mountain village Videster.

Work your way northward to the well-touristed towns of Geiranger, down the death-defying hairpin turns of Trollstigen (literally “The Troll Path”).

After the descent, ferry across the Eresfjord to Molde and Kristiansund. For the final stretch, drive the iconic Atlantic Road with its roller-coaster-style bridges, and conclude with some well-deserved downtime upon the still waters and stilted homes of Trondheim .

  • Best for: Thrill seekers and landscape junkies.
  • How long : 5–7 days.
  • Insider tip : This route is best tackled from late spring to early autumn. If you plan on road tripping during Norway’s winter months, be sure to check online ahead of time for road closures due to snow and ice.
  • Ready to explore Norway? Start preparing by finding out how to get there .

stryn-norway-shutterstock_1022510740

The idyllic surroundings of Stryn in Norway © Mikolajn/Shutterstock

Start from Bucharest , travelling northward through the Carpathian mountains to Transylvania, and make a mandatory stop at Bran Castle (claimed to be the old stomping grounds of Dracula himself).

Take the Transfagarasan mountain road, one of the most scenic routes in the world, towards the age-old cities and countless castles of Sibu, Brasov and Sighisoara. Then set course to the unexplored architectural gems of Timisoara.

Carry on towards the tranquil hot springs and hip ruin pubs of bustling Budapest, and be prepared to stay at least a few days. Depart for Bratislava – a capital full of surprises – from where it's only an hour further to the coffeehouses and eclectic architecture of Vienna .

  • Best for: Anyone looking for a break from the conventional tourism of western Europe.
  • How long: 7–12 days.
  • Insider tip: Exercise caution when driving through tunnels. Though the weather outside may be fine, tunnels are often slippery.

bran-castle-romania-shutterstock_762811789

Bran (Dracula) castle in Transylvania, Romania © Kanuman/Shutterstock

Start in Braga , before driving south to the medieval town of Guimarães , a UNESCO World Heritage site. Then it’s onward to the breathtaking "second-city" of Porto , though it's nothing less than first-rate. Check here for the best places to stay in Porto .

Drive east to the vineyards and steep valleys of Penafiel and Amarante before hitting the coastal road to the vast white beaches of Figueira da Foz - among the best beaches in Portugal . From here it’s on to Peniche, Ericeira and then Lisbon : the country's vibrant capital that's on course to beat out Berlin for Europe’s coolest city. Check out the best areas to stay in Lisbon as well as the best places to eat to match your taste.

Drive south to Sagres , Arrifana and Carrapateira. After soaking up the sun on the picturesque shores of the Algarve, wrap this road trip up in the Mediterranean dreamland otherwise known as Faro .

If you’ve still got itchy feet when you reach Faro, take the ferry from nearby Algeciras in Spain to Morocco . Imagine the satisfaction of parking your ride in the desert village of Merzouga, before exploring the Sahara – that's right, it would feel awesome.

  • Best for: Beach bums and oenophiles.
  • How long: At least 10–14 days.
  • Insider tip: As Portugal is among the more affordable destinations in Western Europe, this can be an especially great trip for travellers on a budget . 

oliveira-square-guimaraes-portugal-shutterstock_1238188549

Oliveira Square, Guimarães © Patricia Henriques Barros/Shutterstock

6. High-altitude adventure on Germany's Alpine Road

The Alpenstrasse, or Alpine Road, is your ticket to a bonafide Bavarian odyssey: a safe route through the unforgettable vistas of Germany 's high-altitude meadows, mountains, crystal-clear lakes and cosy village restaurants. Start lakeside at Lindau on the Bodensee and head to Oberstaufen for a therapeutic beauty treatment in the country’s “Capital of Wellness”.

Venture eastwards to the Breitachklamm gorge, where the river Breitach cuts through verdant cliffs and colossal boulders. Carry on to the town of Füssen – famous for its violin makers – stopping along the way at any quaint Alpine villages you please. The iconic Neuschwanstein Castle , the same structure that inspired Walt Disney to build his own version for Cinderella, isn’t far off either - one of those places even more beautiful in winter.

Speaking of winter, hit the slopes of Garmisch-Partenkirchen for some serious skiing if the season’s right. Stop at Benediktbeuern on your way to the medieval town of Bad Tölz, then up through the stunning wilderness scenes of the Chiemgau Alps before ending in the regional capital of Munich . If you’re missing the mountain roads already, carry on to Salzburg in Austria and stop in the ice caves of Werfen on the way.

Lindau to Oberstaufen

  • Best for: Outdoorsy types.
  • How long: 5–8 days.
  • Insider tip: Give your road trip an extra purpose and pack your skis or snowboard. Garmisch-Partenkirchen ski season starts early December and ends early May. In the summer months, you can go hiking or climbing instead.

church-benediktbeuern-bavaria-germany-shutterstock_1290447514

Church in Benediktbeuern © FooTToo/Shutterstock

Start in Athens and take the coastal roads south through the Athenian Riviera to Sounion, situated at the tip the Attic peninsula. Watch a sunset at the Temple of Poseidon, then drive northward through mythic mountains to the fortress of Kórinthos before posting up in the legendary city of Mycenae (home of Homeric heroes).

If you’re craving a luxurious seaside stay, look no further than the resort town of Nafplio. If not, carry onwards through the unforgiving landscapes to Mystra, the cultural and political capital of Byzantium.

Want more? Then it’s on to Olympia, sporting grounds of the ancients, and the mystic ruins of Delphi. Loop back towards Athens, approaching the city from the north.

  • Best for: Sun-worshippers,and anyone who’s ever read Homer or watched overly action-packed flicks such as Troy and 300 .
  • How long: 5–10 days, though it’s easy to trim a version of this road trip down to a long weekend.
  • Insider tip: If you’re parking in central Athens keep an eye out for coloured parking spaces – these are reserved for locals, so if you park here you’ll get a ticket.

Bourtzi port fortress in Nafplio, Greece © Shutterstock

Aerial view of Nafplio city in the summer © Olga Kot Photo/Shutterstock

Leave the hectic pace of England ’s capital London behind. Make for Oxford, home of the world’s oldest English-language university, and a place of storied pubs where the likes of J.R.R Tolkien and Lewis Carrol regularly wet their whistles.

If you’ve got the time, it’s a quick drive to the cottages of the Cotswolds - check our guide to the prettiest villages to visit . If not, cruise up to Stratford-Upon-Avon, birthplace of Shakespeare.

Take the two-and-a-half-hour drive north to Manchester for a city fix and watch a football match. Carry on north to the Lake District National Park, one of the most beautiful places in England . Drink in the scenery that inspired England’s finest romantics, then head across the Yorkshire dales to the quirky medieval lanes of York, founded by the Romans nearly 2000 years ago.

From there it's north again past tiny villages to the majestic wonders of Edinburgh . If you’re craving the rugged comforts of the highlands go to Stirling, Inverness, or the Western Isles – worth the drive indeed. And if you are going by electric car, check out this great guide to plan your electric car road trip in Britain .

London to Inverness

  • Best for: Locals that want to feel like foreigners, and foreigners that want to feel like locals.
  • How long: 5–10 days.
  • Insider tip: Destinations like Stratford-Upon-Avon and York (not to mention London) are true tourist hotspots in the summer. Plan your road trip for spring or autumn and you’ll enjoy the beautiful scenery along with fewer crowds.

skiddaw-lake-district-cumbria-england-shutterstock_273588350

Catbells  in The Lake District © Michael Conrad/Shutterstock

Hit the gas in the Sicilian capital of Palermo, the biggest historic centre in Italy after Rome and arguably the country’s most chaotic metropolis.

Adventure onwards along the Tyrrhenian coast to the golden sands of Cefalù – a great holiday spot for families, with a mellow medieval town centre to boot.

Get to the island’s heartland and the ancient city of Enna. Surrounded by cliffs on all sides, and built atop a massive hill, you'll feel as though you've walked on the set of Game of Thrones . Head southeast to the shores of the Ionian Sea and dock in Siracusa, once the most important in the western world while under ancient Greek rule with much of its historic architecture intact.

Then it’s up to Catania for a trip to molten Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano on the entire European continent.

Finish the trip in Messina, or ferry across into the Italian province of Calabria where rustic mountain villages, friendly locals and the idyllic sands of Tropea and Pizzo await – refreshingly devoid of foreigners.

  • Best for: Anyone looking for a truly authentic Italian experience, and of course, hardcore foodies.
  • How long : 6–12 days.
  • Insider tip: Remember that southern Italy can get very hot in July and August. Avoid the heat of the day with a leisurely lunch (go easy on the wine if you’re driving!) and travel in the early morning or evening instead.

Want to explore Europe even more? We have prepared the most convenient European itineraries for you to explore the continent.

cefalu-sicily-shutterstock_575598373

Cefalù on a beautiful day with clear skies © Cezary Wojtkowski/Shutterstock

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20 Most Walkable Cities in Europe – Have You Tried These Routes?

Posted: November 18, 2023 | Last updated: November 18, 2023

<p>Europe can’t be beaten for its plethora of thrilling cities. There are medieval old towns, pedestrian-friendly shopping streets and contemporary attractions to check out, but how do you best fit them all into one visit? Rather conveniently, <a href="http://www.motel-one.com/en/corporate/press/walkable-cities-study/">MotelOne</a> has compiled the most walkable cities in Europe. We've listed its top 20 destinations with a recommended walk for each; after all, going by foot can be a better on-the-ground-experience than by car or public transport. Read on to discover exactly which places made the list.</p>

Walk this way

Europe can’t be beaten for its plethora of thrilling cities. There are medieval old towns, pedestrian-friendly shopping streets and contemporary attractions to check out, but how do you best fit them all into one visit? Rather conveniently,  MotelOne  has compiled the most walkable cities in Europe. We've listed its top 20 destinations with a recommended walk for each; after all, going by foot can be a better on-the-ground-experience than by car or public transport. Read on to discover exactly which places made the list.

<p>Kicking us off at number 20 is Irish capital Dublin. From the Jameson Distillery on Bow Street, amble along the riverside, crossing at O’Connell Bridge to the National Wax Museum. Then it’s onto Dublin Castle followed by the Guinness Storehouse, which is the quintessential place to sink a pint of the good stuff. Continue onto the Teeling Whiskey Distillery before winding through St Stephen’s Park and ending at the Little Museum of Dublin for a fascinating insight into Dubliners’ lives over the past 100 years. This route takes just under an hour and a half covering 4.2 miles (6.7km) in 8,792 steps.</p>

20. Dublin, Ireland

Kicking us off at number 20 is Irish capital Dublin. From the Jameson Distillery on Bow Street, amble along the riverside, crossing at O’Connell Bridge to the National Wax Museum. Then it’s onto Dublin Castle followed by the Guinness Storehouse, which is the quintessential place to sink a pint of the good stuff. Continue onto the Teeling Whiskey Distillery before winding through St Stephen’s Park and ending at the Little Museum of Dublin for a fascinating insight into Dubliners’ lives over the past 100 years. This route takes just under an hour and a half covering 4.2 miles (6.7km) in 8,792 steps.

<p>This city stroll through Barcelona can be steep at points, but it's well worth the effort. Start at Ciutadella Park and head down the iconic La Rambla with its wide boulevards flanked by looming trees. You’ll soon reach Casa Milà, an architectural gem with its funky curved rooftop, before reaching the famous landmark that is Gaudí's La Sagrada Familia. You could stop off here but otherwise continue onto the mesmerizing Park Güell. Spread out on one of the mosaic-clad winding benches after completing this route totaling 4.10 miles (6.6km), resulting in approximately 8,661 steps.</p>  <p><strong><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/guides/107837/spains-best-rural-escapes-picos-de-europa-rias-baixas-alpujarras">Discover under-the-radar Spain</a></strong></p>

19. Barcelona, Spain

This city stroll through Barcelona can be steep at points, but it's well worth the effort. Start at Ciutadella Park and head down the iconic La Rambla with its wide boulevards flanked by looming trees. You’ll soon reach Casa Milà, an architectural gem with its funky curved rooftop, before reaching the famous landmark that is Gaudí's La Sagrada Familia. You could stop off here but otherwise continue onto the mesmerizing Park Güell. Spread out on one of the mosaic-clad winding benches after completing this route totaling 4.10 miles (6.6km), resulting in approximately 8,661 steps.

Discover under-the-radar Spain

<p>What better place to start a walk through London than at Buckingham Palace? Stroll through St James’s Park opposite, keeping an eye out for pesky pelicans and parakeets, and emerge to face Big Ben. Cross Westminster Bridge and hug the riverside passing the London Eye and Southbank Centre before crossing Blackfriars Bridge. You're not far from St Paul’s Cathedral but push onto Tower Bridge to complete this riverside route. At 4.10 miles (6.6km), this capital-city walk takes just under an hour and a half in 8,661 steps (the same as Barcelona).</p>  <p><strong><a href="http://bit.ly/3roL4wv">Love this? Follow our Facebook page for more travel inspiration</a></strong></p>

18. London, England

What better place to start a walk through London than at Buckingham Palace? Stroll through St James’s Park opposite, keeping an eye out for pesky pelicans and parakeets, and emerge to face Big Ben. Cross Westminster Bridge and hug the riverside passing the London Eye and Southbank Centre before crossing Blackfriars Bridge. You're not far from St Paul’s Cathedral but push onto Tower Bridge to complete this riverside route. At 4.10 miles (6.6km), this capital-city walk takes just under an hour and a half in 8,661 steps (the same as Barcelona).

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<p>All roads lead to Rome, but this four-mile (6.5km) walk winds through the very best parts in 8,530 steps. The superlative Sistine Chapel is your starting point and after St Peter’s Basilica pass Castel Sant’Angelo and cross St Angelo Bridge, taking in beautiful views of the River Tiber as you go. Enjoy the bustling Piazza Navona, the famed Pantheon and ogle at the Trevi Fountain. After passing more ancient gems – including none other than the Colosseum – end at the 5th-century Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore. Reward yourself for the hour-long walk by tucking into a tub of gelato.</p>

17. Rome, Italy

All roads lead to Rome, but this four-mile (6.5km) walk winds through the very best parts in 8,530 steps. The superlative Sistine Chapel is your starting point and after St Peter’s Basilica pass Castel Sant’Angelo and cross St Angelo Bridge, taking in beautiful views of the River Tiber as you go. Enjoy the bustling Piazza Navona, the famed Pantheon and ogle at the Trevi Fountain. After passing more ancient gems – including none other than the Colosseum – end at the 5th-century Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore. Reward yourself for the hour-long walk by tucking into a tub of gelato.

<p>This walk takes one hour and 20 minutes and covers nearly four miles (6.3km) in 8,268 steps. Start at the impressive Berlin Cathedral or the neighboring antiquarian Pergamonmuseum and leave the River Spree behind you as you inch closer to Brandenburg Gate and into the fringes of Großer Tiergarten. Stop off at the Reichstag, home to the German parliament, before entering the sprawling park which includes a zoo and aquarium in its southern section. Round off this route at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church for a moment of reflection amid the hustle and bustle of the city.</p>

16. Berlin, Germany

This walk takes one hour and 20 minutes and covers nearly four miles (6.3km) in 8,268 steps. Start at the impressive Berlin Cathedral or the neighboring antiquarian Pergamonmuseum and leave the River Spree behind you as you inch closer to Brandenburg Gate and into the fringes of Großer Tiergarten. Stop off at the Reichstag, home to the German parliament, before entering the sprawling park which includes a zoo and aquarium in its southern section. Round off this route at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church for a moment of reflection amid the hustle and bustle of the city.

<p>Arguably the best part of this walk is its starting point; from the Chocolate Museum, cross the canal to reach the Grand Place, easily one of Europe’s most beautiful market squares. Continue onto the Gothic-style St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral and zip through leafy Brussels Park to the Royal Palace of Brussels (head inside for a tour of the place). Finish at the landscaped 19th-century gardens of Parc du Cinquantenaire whose surrounding bakeries make for a tempting reward of this 3.8-mile (6.2km) route, covering 8,136 steps in one hour and 20 minutes.</p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/101539/inside-the-worlds-most-luxurious-palaces?page=1"><strong>Go inside more of the world's luxurious palaces here</strong></a></p>

15. Brussels, Belgium

Arguably the best part of this walk is its starting point; from the Chocolate Museum, cross the canal to reach the Grand Place, easily one of Europe’s most beautiful market squares. Continue onto the Gothic-style St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral and zip through leafy Brussels Park to the Royal Palace of Brussels (head inside for a tour of the place). Finish at the landscaped 19th-century gardens of Parc du Cinquantenaire whose surrounding bakeries make for a tempting reward of this 3.8-mile (6.2km) route, covering 8,136 steps in one hour and 20 minutes.

Go inside more of the world's luxurious palaces here

<p>Warsaw is a big city but that means there’s plenty of walking options. One of the best starts at the Multimedia Fountain Park (a lit-up spectacle at night) and stroll past the reconstructed 14th-century Royal Castle, stopping off for a guided tour if it takes your fancy. Slightly further along is the Palace of Culture and Science, fulfilling any Soviet-era curiosity, along with an awesome observation deck on the 30th floor. Finally, you’ll reach <a href="https://www.1944.pl/en">Warsaw Uprising Museum</a>, which details Poland’s battle for independence in 1944. This route covers 3.2 miles (5.2km) in 6,824 steps and should take you just over an hour.</p>  <p><strong><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/104228/breathtaking-bridges-you-can-walk-across?page=1">Walk across these breathtaking bridges</a></strong></p>

14. Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw is a big city but that means there’s plenty of walking options. One of the best starts at the Multimedia Fountain Park (a lit-up spectacle at night) and stroll past the reconstructed 14th-century Royal Castle, stopping off for a guided tour if it takes your fancy. Slightly further along is the Palace of Culture and Science, fulfilling any Soviet-era curiosity, along with an awesome observation deck on the 30th floor. Finally, you’ll reach Warsaw Uprising Museum , which details Poland’s battle for independence in 1944. This route covers 3.2 miles (5.2km) in 6,824 steps and should take you just over an hour.

Walk across these breathtaking bridges

<p>Wander through the Spanish capital and you won’t be disappointed. This one-hour-long route covers 3.2 miles (5.1km) in 6,692 steps. Admire the glimmering Palacio de Cristal as you walk through El Retiro Park and continue past the central lake and onto Puerta de Alcalá. Art lovers can break off at the Museo Nacional del Prado, otherwise continue onto Plaza Mayor, passing cathedrals, Moorish walls and lush gardens en route. End this walk at Plaza de España, where you can finally relax and watch the world go by.</p>

13. Madrid, Spain

Wander through the Spanish capital and you won’t be disappointed. This one-hour-long route covers 3.2 miles (5.1km) in 6,692 steps. Admire the glimmering Palacio de Cristal as you walk through El Retiro Park and continue past the central lake and onto Puerta de Alcalá. Art lovers can break off at the Museo Nacional del Prado, otherwise continue onto Plaza Mayor, passing cathedrals, Moorish walls and lush gardens en route. End this walk at Plaza de España, where you can finally relax and watch the world go by.

<p>Explore the best ancient Athens has to offer on this 3.10-mile (5km) route that takes just over an hour in 6,561 steps. Start from the Temple of Hephaestus in the ancient Agora and follow the path that takes you past the National Observatory – even if you don’t visit it’s worth stopping here simply to rest your calf muscles – and continue up to the mighty Acropolis. This ancient outcrop is home to the bedazzling Parthenon among smaller temples and crumbling ruins mostly dedicated to the goddess Athena, who the city is named after.</p>

12. Athens, Greece

Explore the best ancient Athens has to offer on this 3.10-mile (5km) route that takes just over an hour in 6,561 steps. Start from the Temple of Hephaestus in the ancient Agora and follow the path that takes you past the National Observatory – even if you don’t visit it’s worth stopping here simply to rest your calf muscles – and continue up to the mighty Acropolis. This ancient outcrop is home to the bedazzling Parthenon among smaller temples and crumbling ruins mostly dedicated to the goddess Athena, who the city is named after.

<p>Saunter from landmark to landmark on this 3.10-mile (5km) route that covers 6,430 steps in just over an hour. Take in the city views from Arthur’s Seat, an ancient volcano, before heading back to ground level and past the 16th-century Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in the city. Enjoy a stroll along the Royal Mile with a pit stop at the National Museum around the corner or continue onto the crowning landmark of the city, <a href="https://www.edinburghcastle.scot/">Edinburgh Castle</a>. If time permits, pay a visit to the Gothic-style Scott Monument or the wonderful National Gallery nearby.</p>

11. Edinburgh, Scotland

Saunter from landmark to landmark on this 3.10-mile (5km) route that covers 6,430 steps in just over an hour. Take in the city views from Arthur’s Seat, an ancient volcano, before heading back to ground level and past the 16th-century Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in the city. Enjoy a stroll along the Royal Mile with a pit stop at the National Museum around the corner or continue onto the crowning landmark of the city, Edinburgh Castle . If time permits, pay a visit to the Gothic-style Scott Monument or the wonderful National Gallery nearby.

<p>Nobody regrets taking their time in Prague and this is exactly what this hour-long walk demands. During the 2.9-mile (4.7km) trail, head from hilltop Petrin Tower, past the Museum of Miniatures and towards mighty Prague Castle. As you make your way downhill, stop off for hearty food before crossing the ever-captivating Charles Bridge. Cross the road and weave through the old town to the square, whose most unmissable sight is the Astronomical Clock. Make sure your final 6,168th step is on the hour when a selection of figures perform around the clock; the parade includes apostles and, erm, a skeleton. </p>

10. Prague, Czechia

Nobody regrets taking their time in Prague and this is exactly what this hour-long walk demands. During the 2.9-mile (4.7km) trail, head from hilltop Petrin Tower, past the Museum of Miniatures and towards mighty Prague Castle. As you make your way downhill, stop off for hearty food before crossing the ever-captivating Charles Bridge. Cross the road and weave through the old town to the square, whose most unmissable sight is the Astronomical Clock. Make sure your final 6,168th step is on the hour when a selection of figures perform around the clock; the parade includes apostles and, erm, a skeleton. 

<p>Put your best foot forward with this walk through Italy’s most fashionable city. Head from the Fontana di Piazza Castello through elegant Zona Magenta to the Santa Maria delle Grazie where you can take in all its beautiful brickwork. Then it’s onto the Science Museum which, dedicated to Leonardo di Vinci, is more interesting than it sounds. Classical architecture beckons you with the likes of the Duomo di Milano – be sure to carve out as much time as possible to take in the intricate details on this colossal cathedral. This route takes just under an hour, covering 2.9 miles (4.7km) in 6,168 steps.</p>  <p><strong><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/108696/italys-most-beautiful-towns-and-villages">These are Italy's most beautiful towns and villages</a></strong></p>

9. Milan, Italy

Put your best foot forward with this walk through Italy’s most fashionable city. Head from the Fontana di Piazza Castello through elegant Zona Magenta to the Santa Maria delle Grazie where you can take in all its beautiful brickwork. Then it’s onto the Science Museum which, dedicated to Leonardo di Vinci, is more interesting than it sounds. Classical architecture beckons you with the likes of the Duomo di Milano – be sure to carve out as much time as possible to take in the intricate details on this colossal cathedral. This route takes just under an hour, covering 2.9 miles (4.7km) in 6,168 steps.

These are Italy's most beautiful towns and villages

<p>Another water-inspired walk can be found in Amsterdam; this route takes 55 minutes covering 2.7 miles (4.4km) in 5,774 steps. Starting from the Anne Frank House, cross the canals to reach Oude Church, where you can marvel at the oldest building in the city. Pick through the streets and bridges, taking in the distinctive Dutch architecture as you go. Continue onto the Rembrandt House Museum and end this art-and-architecture-fueled walk at the impressive <a href="https://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en">Van Gogh Museum</a>.</p>

8. Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Another water-inspired walk can be found in Amsterdam; this route takes 55 minutes covering 2.7 miles (4.4km) in 5,774 steps. Starting from the Anne Frank House, cross the canals to reach Oude Church, where you can marvel at the oldest building in the city. Pick through the streets and bridges, taking in the distinctive Dutch architecture as you go. Continue onto the Rembrandt House Museum and end this art-and-architecture-fueled walk at the impressive Van Gogh Museum .

<p>Fall in love with the dreamy waterworld of Venice on this 2.7-mile (4.3km) walk that takes just under an hour in 5,643 steps. From the Ca’ Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art, wind along the canals and through narrow alleyways to the simplistic beauty of Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. Then loop back onto the famous Rialto Bridge but save your break for Ponte dei Bareteri, where you can watch gondolas glide beneath. Finish up at Punta della Dogana and stop for a bite to eat for flavors and views to savor alike.</p>

7. Venice, Italy

Fall in love with the dreamy waterworld of Venice on this 2.7-mile (4.3km) walk that takes just under an hour in 5,643 steps. From the Ca’ Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art, wind along the canals and through narrow alleyways to the simplistic beauty of Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. Then loop back onto the famous Rialto Bridge but save your break for Ponte dei Bareteri, where you can watch gondolas glide beneath. Finish up at Punta della Dogana and stop for a bite to eat for flavors and views to savor alike.

<p>This epic walking route should take just under an hour, covering 2.4 miles (3.9km) in 5,118 steps. The modern, French country house-style Le Corbusier House leads towards the Zürich Opera House; along the way take in sweeping views of the eponymous lake. You’ll cross Münster Bridge to reach the stained-glass beauty of Fraumünster Church and it’s around here you can either stop for a respite or charge onto the <a href="https://www.fifamuseum.com/en/">FIFA World Football Museum</a>. A little further on brings you to Rieter Park, which is a worthy place to kick back and relax.</p>

6. Zürich, Switzerland

This epic walking route should take just under an hour, covering 2.4 miles (3.9km) in 5,118 steps. The modern, French country house-style Le Corbusier House leads towards the Zürich Opera House; along the way take in sweeping views of the eponymous lake. You’ll cross Münster Bridge to reach the stained-glass beauty of Fraumünster Church and it’s around here you can either stop for a respite or charge onto the FIFA World Football Museum . A little further on brings you to Rieter Park, which is a worthy place to kick back and relax.

<p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/news/86740/a-weekend-in-leipzig-the-german-masterpiece">Leipzig</a> easily commands a place on this top 20 list. The heavily populated city has a thousand-year-old history which is certainly the theme on this recommended walking route. Start at the botanical gardens and stroll past a roster of sights including the New Town Hall, Bach Museum, Marktplatz and the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum, culminating with a visit to Leipzig Zoo. This 45-minute walk covers 2.2 miles (3.6km) in 4,724 steps, but you could set aside a full day to give the city justice.</p>

5. Leipzig, Germany

Leipzig easily commands a place on this top 20 list. The heavily populated city has a thousand-year-old history which is certainly the theme on this recommended walking route. Start at the botanical gardens and stroll past a roster of sights including the New Town Hall, Bach Museum, Marktplatz and the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum, culminating with a visit to Leipzig Zoo. This 45-minute walk covers 2.2 miles (3.6km) in 4,724 steps, but you could set aside a full day to give the city justice.

<p>Make sure you pack a sturdy pair of shoes for this bumpy route; with Dubrovnik’s steep elevations, it’s worth remembering what goes down must come up. This scenic walking route starts at the historic walls and descends to the rocky outcrop that is Danče Beach. Soak up the glittering Adriatic seaviews before seeking out more historic sights, like Pile Gate. Covering almost two miles (3.2km) in 4,199 steps, this mildly challenging walk takes roughly 43 minutes.</p>

4. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Make sure you pack a sturdy pair of shoes for this bumpy route; with Dubrovnik’s steep elevations, it’s worth remembering what goes down must come up. This scenic walking route starts at the historic walls and descends to the rocky outcrop that is Danče Beach. Soak up the glittering Adriatic seaviews before seeking out more historic sights, like Pile Gate. Covering almost two miles (3.2km) in 4,199 steps, this mildly challenging walk takes roughly 43 minutes.

<p>Stretch your legs in 3,543 steps with this 1.7-mile (2.7km) route that takes 35 minutes. Your starting point is the Städel Museum from where you’ll stroll along the River Main, cross the Iron Footbridge (and admire the views) before arriving at the well-preserved Römer buildings. After a quick stop at one of the many cafés, continue towards the Main Tower and end at the <a href="https://www.alteoper.de/en/">Alte Oper concert hall</a>, where you can rest easy at a thrilling jazz, contemporary or world music performance.</p>

3. Frankfurt, Germany

Stretch your legs in 3,543 steps with this 1.7-mile (2.7km) route that takes 35 minutes. Your starting point is the Städel Museum from where you’ll stroll along the River Main, cross the Iron Footbridge (and admire the views) before arriving at the well-preserved Römer buildings. After a quick stop at one of the many cafés, continue towards the Main Tower and end at the Alte Oper concert hall , where you can rest easy at a thrilling jazz, contemporary or world music performance.

<p>In a classic tale of north versus south, Manchester beat London as the second most walkable city in Europe. An attraction-fueled walk starts at the 15th-century Chetham’s Library, the oldest public library in the English-speaking world, and onto the National Football Museum. Continue past the river, cathedral and buzzing Corn Exchange before reaching the heart of the city. Here you’ll find the People's History Museum and the fascinating <a href="https://www.scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk/">Manchester Science and Industry Museum</a>. This attraction-clad route takes roughly half an hour and covers 1.5 miles (2.4km) in 3,149 steps.</p>

2. Manchester, England, UK

In a classic tale of north versus south, Manchester beat London as the second most walkable city in Europe. An attraction-fueled walk starts at the 15th-century Chetham’s Library, the oldest public library in the English-speaking world, and onto the National Football Museum. Continue past the river, cathedral and buzzing Corn Exchange before reaching the heart of the city. Here you’ll find the People's History Museum and the fascinating Manchester Science and Industry Museum . This attraction-clad route takes roughly half an hour and covers 1.5 miles (2.4km) in 3,149 steps.

<p>Bruges pipped Manchester to the post as Europe’s most walkable city. This medieval gem is filled with 14th-century architecture and scenic canal views. The recommended walking route starts at the cylindrical Powder Tower, through the quaint old town via Begijnhof Bridge and passing the informative Groeninge Museum along the way. Next you’ll reach the lively market square before ending at either the Choco-Story Museum or the <a href="http://frietmuseum.be/en/home-en/">Frietsmusem</a> (a museum dedicated to, yep, you guessed it, fries). This short-but-sweet route takes roughly half an hour and covers 1.4 miles (2.3km) in 3,018 steps.</p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/103704/the-worlds-most-beautiful-medieval-cities?page=1"><strong>Discover more of the world's most beautiful medieval cities</strong></a></p>

1. Bruges, Belgium

Bruges pipped Manchester to the post as Europe’s most walkable city. This medieval gem is filled with 14th-century architecture and scenic canal views. The recommended walking route starts at the cylindrical Powder Tower, through the quaint old town via Begijnhof Bridge and passing the informative Groeninge Museum along the way. Next you’ll reach the lively market square before ending at either the Choco-Story Museum or the Frietsmusem (a museum dedicated to, yep, you guessed it, fries). This short-but-sweet route takes roughly half an hour and covers 1.4 miles (2.3km) in 3,018 steps.

Discover more of the world's most beautiful medieval cities

<p>This list is by no means capped at 20 – there are plenty more European cities well worth a wander. Valletta’s more strenuous walk covers 4.7 miles (7.6km) from the National War Museum along the waterfront to Fort Manoel in 9,973 steps, or you can go for a longer five-mile (8.1km) jaunt through Stockholm from Skinnarviksberget, past the Royal Palace and to the ABBA Museum in 10,629 steps. After a cooler climate? Reykjavík (pictured) in Iceland offers a 4.2-mile (6.8km) stroll from Þúfa (the 26-foot/8m tall grassy mound) past the iconic Hallgrímskirkja church to Perlan covers 8,923 steps.</p>  <p><strong><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/76059/unexplored-capitals-underrated-european-cities?page=1">Now discover these European cities you (probably) haven't visited</a></strong></p>

And there's more...

This list is by no means capped at 20 – there are plenty more European cities well worth a wander. Valletta’s more strenuous walk covers 4.7 miles (7.6km) from the National War Museum along the waterfront to Fort Manoel in 9,973 steps, or you can go for a longer five-mile (8.1km) jaunt through Stockholm from Skinnarviksberget, past the Royal Palace and to the ABBA Museum in 10,629 steps. After a cooler climate? Reykjavík (pictured) in Iceland offers a 4.2-mile (6.8km) stroll from Þúfa (the 26-foot/8m tall grassy mound) past the iconic Hallgrímskirkja church to Perlan covers 8,923 steps.

Now discover these European cities you (probably) haven't visited

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The Top 10 Cycling Routes in Europe for Breathtaking Views

Europe offers a diverse landscape rich in cultural heritage, making it a prime destination for cyclists seeking breathtaking views. Whether you’re an experienced rider or enjoy leisurely rides, these routes promise stunning vistas and unforgettable journeys. Ready your bike and let us guide you through some of the most beautiful horizons on the continent. This is your invitation to explore Europe in the most immersive way possible—by bike.

Route des Grandes Alpes, France

Cross the French Alps from end to end on this legendary road. Starting from Lake Geneva and finishing at the Mediterranean, this 700 km journey is a formidable challenge, but the views of snowy peaks and lush valleys are unmatched. The steep climbs are more manageable on suitable road bikes . Ideal for robust touring, the road features numerous rest stops with opportunities to savor local French cuisine. Don’t forget to pause at the famous Col du Galibier for some of the most spectacular alpine views.

Passo dello Stelvio, Italy

Famed for being one of the highest paved passes in the Alps, the Stelvio Pass offers spectacular landscapes that amply reward the demanding climb. At an elevation of 2,757 meters, the panoramic views from the top encompass Italy, Switzerland, and Austria. Cyclists can enjoy 48 hairpin turns that test skill and stamina. Each bend in the road serves as a step towards an incredible visual reward at the summit. It’s a popular spot for photo opportunities, with the snow-capped peaks serving as a stunning backdrop.

The Danube Cycle Path, Germany to Hungary

Follow the path of the Danube River across multiple European countries. This well-maintained route is perfect for those who prefer a more relaxed cycling experience. The journey spans from Germany’s Black Forest to Hungary’s capital, Budapest, featuring medieval towns and the beautiful blue Danube itself. Along the way, stop to explore UNESCO World Heritage sites and indulge in the region’s rich cultural offerings. Cyclists will find plenty of cozy riverside coffees, perfect for a break and a taste of local flavors.

Atlantic Road, Norway

This short but spectacular route spans an archipelago in Norway, connecting islands with several bridges, including the stunning Storseisundet Bridge. The Atlantic Road is known for its wild nature and dramatic ocean views, making it a must-ride for any cycling enthusiast. The route is especially magical during sunset when the sky and sea blend in a palette of fiery colors. In addition, whale and seal sightings add an exciting element of wildlife watching to the ride.

La Route Verte, Switzerland

Switzerland’s Route Verte crosses the picturesque Jura Mountains. This route is part of the larger National Route 7, offering a peaceful ride through dense forests and along tranquil lakes. Each turn presents a postcard-worthy view, especially during the lush summer months or when autumn colors peak. Cyclists often encounter local wildlife and can visit traditional Swiss villages along the way. The route also offers numerous spots for picnics with breathtaking mountainous backgrounds.

Ring of Kerry, Ireland

The Ring of Kerry is a scenic loop in Ireland’s southwestern region, showcasing some of the country’s most rugged landscapes. The 179 km route offers views of Atlantic beaches, medieval ruins, and lush greenery, making it a perfect backdrop for a cycling adventure. Historical sites along the route include ancient stone forts, adding a touch of mystique to the journey. The local towns provide hearty Irish fare, ideal for refueling after a long day’s ride.

Loire Valley Cycle Route, France

Explore the garden of France by cycling through the Loire Valley. This route features the famous châteaux of the Loire and the river’s tranquil banks. The flat terrain makes this route a relaxing choice for families and casual riders alike. Each castle along the route has its unique history and architecture, inviting exploration.

Transfăgărășan Highway, Romania

Dubbed the “Road to the Sky,” Romania’s Transfăgărășan Highway climbs to 2,034 meters, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding Carpathian Mountains. The road is a challenge with its sharp turns and steep ascents, but the landscapes are spectacularly rewarding. Along the way, riders can explore glacial lakes, including the stunning Balea Lake. The road is only open from June to October, making it a rare and special journey for cyclists.

Mallorca, Spain

Mallorca is a beloved destination among cyclists for its varied terrain and scenic routes. The island features everything from flat coastal roads to challenging mountainous tracks, all with the stunning backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea. Its mild climate makes Mallorca an ideal year-round cycling destination. Local markets and seaside towns along the routes offer delightful breaks and a chance to experience Spanish island culture.

Amsterdam to Bruges, Netherlands and Belgium

This route takes you through some of the most picturesque parts of the Netherlands and Belgium. Experience the charm of Dutch windmills and the historic beauty of Bruges. The flat terrain and well-marked paths make this an ideal route for beginners and those who appreciate a more relaxed pace. The journey is enriched by the opportunity to visit renowned art museums and indulge in famous Belgian chocolates and waffles.

As you plan your next cycling adventure, consider these top European routes that combine physical challenge with the beauty of nature. Each path offers a unique way to explore the continent’s rich landscapes and cultural heritage. Gear up and set out to create lasting memories on two wheels! This list is just the beginning of what Europe has to offer the avid cyclist.

Playing it safe or switching it up: How Europe will travel in 2024

travel routes in europe

It’s that time of the year again. As you pack your suitcases and head out on your summer vacation, we spoke to over 2,400 of your fellow European travelers to find out the latest travel trends. Whether you like following the crowd or heading off the beaten track, we're here to help you prepare for everything that awaits you this summer.

The internet is abuzz with memes about how much Europeans love their summer holidays, and with almost 75% of Europeans planning on going on a summer holiday, our survey confirms this trend. When it comes to the preferred month for travel, our respondents are split evenly over June, July, August and September. It could be that deterred by extremely hot and dry to unnaturally cold and wet experiences in the summer of 2023, vacationers want to try their luck in the quieter month of September.

(Some) Europeans go local

In recent years, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of Europeans wanting to travel ‘locally’ — with almost 43% planning to stay in their own countries, and another 42% planning to venture out, but stay within Europe. In our 2022 summer survey , 58% of respondents had confessed to having a greater appreciation for destinations close to them, and that still seems to ring true. For 63% of people, this is a destination they’ve already visited before.

An infographic shows the summer travel plans of Europeans

Of course, with their great weather and abundance of exciting destinations, 62% of Spaniards plan to travel within their country this summer. At only 18% and 24%, however, their respective Dutch and German counterparts aren’t as keen on traveling within the Netherlands or Germany. We’re not surprised. Of course, with their great weather and abundance of exciting destinations, 62% of Spaniards plan to travel within their country this summer. At only 18% and 24%, however, their respective Dutch and German counterparts aren’t as keen on traveling within the Netherlands or Germany. We’re not surprised. In the same vein as wanting to stay close to home, when it comes to their summer holiday, most Europeans reject the hustle and bustle of cities for the serenity of nature. For almost 32% of respondents, forests and nature parks are their ideal holiday destinations, while 26%, 19% and 15% prefer small villages, coastal locations and mountains. At 48%, nearly half of the Dutchies we spoke to prefer the outdoors, and love camping out in the forest or a nature park. It's no wonder then that they’re also the Europeans most likely to choose a caravan or RV as their preferred mode of transport on their holiday at 28%.

Most travelers will hit the road

With 40% choosing their mode of travel based on flexibility, their choices reflect trends we’ve seen in recent years. Nearly 70% Europeans plan to drive a car on their holiday, 14% will drive an RV and 7% will embark on a motorbike adventure. Just like in our 2023 summer survey , only 8% will choose to fly.

41% of drivers like enjoying the scenery while on their road trips and 23% like stopping their cars and exploring, which isn’t always an option with other forms of transportation. Cars and RVs also win out because they’re more fun and convenient for our respondents. That's probably why only about 2% drivers have made the switch to EVs, while 7% drive hybrids, with a whopping 91% of drivers still sticking to conventional petrol and diesel cars.

An infographic shows the biggest concerns about driving EV

On being quizzed about their reasons for not going electric, 19% of drivers cite time spent on charging as their main reason. 18% also say they’re apprehensive about how reliable charging options on the road are, while 16% still blame range anxiety, or the worry that their EV will run out of steam before they make it to their destination. TomTom’s EV research has shown that 20% of charging sessions fail because of issues with charging stations such as incompatible payment options, and these responses are proof that that’s a huge deterrent for potential EV drivers.

Going green

In recent years, many travelers have incorporated more climate conscious practices into their road trips. While 52% of European travelers still cite fuel as the largest expense while traveling, a solid 43% are ready to alter their plans to reduce their carbon footprint. Our respondents have some creative ways to do this up their sleeve.

From switching to a bike or trains for part of their trip to avoiding highways and crowded roads so they can drive at consistent speeds, TomTom drivers are ready to go the extra mile for the planet. Be it choosing the ‘Eco route’ option on their TomTom device or app to drive in the most fuel-efficient manner, or checking traffic conditions beforehand so they don’t find themselves idling midway, several respondents also trust TomTom to help them make a difference.

Who’s tagging along?

When it comes to summer adventures, the destination and how you get there make a huge difference. But in the end, a lot depends on who you embark on the journey with. Unsurprisingly, partners make the most popular travel companions, with 52% choosing them. 30% of Europeans are going to travel with their families this summer, with 9% daring to take on a solo trip. The remaining 9% will vacation with their friends.

An image of a dog in a car

But it’s not just humans that are taking these summer holidays, many are bringing their animal companions too. 13% of respondents said their holiday would be incomplete without their dogs, while only 2% are bringing their cats along. But close to 3% are mixing it up and taking some rather interesting pets with them, so don’t be shocked if the beach chair next to you is taken by a cockroach, a canary, a bunny, some mice or even a horse.

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The Best Time to Book a Flight for Domestic, International, and Summer Travel

Here are our best tips for booking travel in 2024.

travel routes in europe

When to Book Flights for Domestic Travel

When to book flights for international travel, when to book flights for summer 2024 travel, when to book flights for holiday 2024 travel.

Buying plane tickets is something of an art form. Ideally, you want to secure your spot months in advance to avoid the inevitable price spike as your travel dates get closer. But sometimes the best time to book a flight also depends on the destination and whether it's domestic or abroad. The trends are always changing, but experts say the sweet spot for booking domestic flights is 28 days, or 60 days for international flights.

Flights generally open for booking about a year ahead of time, and the airfare will change often between then and takeoff. Although you can book just a couple of weeks before the departure date in some cases, prices are likely to be astronomical. In other cases, when you want to go somewhere popular or during a big travel weekend, flights could fill up faster than normal. Our advice: Track flight prices on Google Flights or Hopper as early as possible so you can keep an eye on cost fluctuations. Read on for more advice about when to book flights from the pros.

According to Expedia's 2024 Air Travel Hacks report , you should aim to book 28 days before your domestic flight. "Doing so can save travelers up to 24 percent compared to those who wait until the last minute, from zero to six days out," Expedia travel expert Christie Hudson tells Travel + Leisure.

For domestic trips, pricing is elevated when tickets are first released, about a year before the flight. Those prices will slowly creep downward, all the way to their lowest point in the prime booking window, after which you'll likely see a huge increase in cost for last-minute travel.

Meet the Expert

Christie Hudson is a travel expert at top booking site Expedia.

You're better off booking earlier rather than later for international travel, but the Expedia report says ideally no more than four months before your desired departure date. The sweet spot is around 60 days. "This is a big change from 2022 data, which showed the cheapest fares were secured when travelers booked four to six months out." Hudson says. "2023 data revealed that people who booked that far in advance actually paid more on average." The report says the least expensive day of the week to book is Sunday and the most expensive is Friday, for both domestic and international travel.

But there is some regional variance. Going , a platform that tracks flight prices and notifies members of good deals, has found the best months to book flights to Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, and Latin America, for travel about 60 days out. Here's what it says.

Africa: Book in May.

Asia: Book in August or October, followed by April or September.

Oceania: Book in November, January, or July.

Europe: Book in August, October, or November.

Latin America: Book in October.

The real trick to finding good deals on international airfare is to avoid booking your travel for peak times, which include summer and major holidays (don't forget — that includes holidays in your destination, too).

Summer is traditionally one of the most popular times of the year to travel, which means it can be tough to find a good deal on airfare. Ideally, you should book flights for summer travel as soon as possible, preferably at least six months in advance.

"The best time to book for peak season is … the opposite season," says Katy Nastro, travel expert at Going. "While most of us are scrambling to focus on our winter holiday plans, we should also keep our eyes open for some great summer fares."

She notes that the booking window for peak season ranges between three and seven months for domestic flights and four to 10 months for international trips. "And if you do book something, keep that flight alert on," says Nastro. "If it drops again, depending on your ticket type, you can call to rebook and get a refund or travel credit back with the difference."

Katy Nastro is a travel expert at Going, a website that finds flight deals to more than 900 destinations around the world.

Around the winter holidays is the priciest time to travel, Nastro says. "Your best bet is to remember the Goldilocks zones: look to book between three to seven months ahead for domestic travel and four to 10 months ahead for international travel."

Hudson advises that at the very latest, your holiday travel should be booked by mid-October. "But the biggest holiday travel savings actually come from choosing the right dates," she says. "Avoiding the busiest days like the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Friday and Saturday before Christmas will yield major savings."

Track flights and book your holiday tickets as soon as you find a decent deal, but make sure to book a fare that will give you a credit if you cancel (generally speaking, that means don't book basic economy). That way, if prices drop between the time of booking and your travel dates, you can cancel your original ticket and use the credit to book the cheaper fare. The only downside is you'll still have some remaining credit, but you can then use it to treat yourself to a future flight. Just don't let that credit expire.

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Money blog: Big supermarket wants to rival Aldi and Lidl with 400 new convenience stores

Welcome to the Money blog, your place for personal finance and consumer news and advice. Let us know your thoughts on any of the topics we're covering using the comments box below.

Wednesday 26 June 2024 22:54, UK

  • Morrisons to open hundreds more convenience stores
  • Quorn to start blending meat into some products
  • Popular energy supplier ranked worst for customer service - in big reversal from last year

Essential reads

  • Cheap Eats:  Great British Menu legend outlines his top picks in North Yorkshire
  • Women in Business : How accident in cafe and £400 turned into a genius business idea that's about to go global
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The supermarket has announced plans to open about 400 more of its Morrisons Daily convenience shops.

It is part of plans to take on discount retailers Aldi and Lidl, according to Retail Gazette . 

Morrisons said it wanted to increase its total number of smaller shops to 2,000 in 2025, although it has not yet given a list of locations. 

The supermarket has seen its like-for-like sales, excluding fuel and VAT, rise by 4.1% over the three months to 28 April. 

Chief executive Rami Baitieh said he was "pleased with the overall performance" of the business in the second quarter. 

Drivers are being warned this week's heatwave brings risks of an unexpected £180 bill. 

Car mechanics from Prestone said the hot weather could cause significant damage to windscreens - meaning you'll have to shell out for a replacement. 

"Slightly counterintuitively, it isn't the heat directly that causes damage, it is the fluctuation in temperature that could cause damage," they said. 

"When this happens to brittle materials such as glass, it can cause them to explode or crack; this is called thermal shock. To stop your windscreen from accumulating a lot of heat, avoid parking in direct sunlight. Consider parking under a tree, in a garage or other forms of shade."

Deliveroo shares have risen following reports US rival Doordash held takeover talks with the business. 

Doordash flagged an interest in taking over the UK's Deliveroo last month, but talks ended as the two sides couldn't agree on the value of the deal, according to Reuters news agency. 

The London-listed company's share price jumped by 6% to 136p this morning, although later eased to 3.7% higher. 

Deliveroo has seen its value fall by more than 50% since debuting on the stock market in March 2021. 

New details have been unveiled for Universal's first UK theme park - including plans for the attraction to be open 365 days a year.

Universal Destinations & Experiences - which is owned by Sky's parent company Comcast - has bought land near Bedford as it  plans to build  Europe's largest  theme park  with millions of visitors per year, as well as a 500-room hotel and dining area.

Read the full story here ...

The building society is the latest to slash rates, after HSBC yesterday and Barclays on Monday. 

It will be lowering two, three and five-year rates by up to 0.21% tomorrow. 

It follows a reduction in swap rates - which dictate how much it costs lenders to lend.

So what does this mean for the market more broadly? 

Here's what the experts told Newspage... 

Emma Jones, managing director at Whenthebanksaysno.co.uk: "They're falling like dominoes now. Things are suddenly looking considerably brighter for the property market as we enter the second half of the year. Enquiries are up sharply this week, which suggests the improved weather may also have lifted spirits and confidence."
David Stirling, independent financial advisor at Mint Mortgages and Protection: "We've not exactly hit the bargain basement for borrowers just yet but the competition for new business from the banks has definitely heated up this week. For some the Bank of England decision in August is very hotly anticipated and could hopefully lead to an incredibly busy autumn."
Dariusz Karpowicz, director at Albion Financial Advice: "While these minor decreases are certainly a step in the right direction, the average rate for a two or five-year fix remains high. It's good to see rates moving down, but let's not get carried away. There are still too many unknowns on the horizon. The upcoming election, fluctuating house prices and geopolitical uncertainties all add layers of complexity to the market."

No one could have failed to notice the rocketing price of olive oil over the last couple of years - and it's been just as bad in Spain, where it is an integral part of the Mediterranean diet. 

The Spanish government has now said it will temporarily ditch the sales tax on olive oil to help consumers cope. 

Spain is the world's leading producer and exporter of olive oil, and last year Spanish households consumed an average of six litres per person. 

However, the country's agriculture ministry says prices have surged by 272% since September 2020. 

The Money team wrote this piece in March about why that's happening... 

The Spanish government had already cut the sales tax on olive oil from 10% to 5% as part of an anti-inflation package.

Now they've said no sales tax will be applied from July until September, when it will be taxed at 2% until the end of the year. 

From then on, it will be taxed at 4%. 

Spanish treasury minister Maria Jesus Montero said the decision reflects "the importance of olive oil in the Mediterranean diet and a healthy lifestyle". 

The "Oscars of the aviation industry" has taken place and Qatar Airways has come out on top. 

Qatar Airways was named the overall winner, as well as first in the business class, business class lounge and Middle East categories, at Skytrax's World Airline Awards last night. 

It's the eighth time it has been awarded the best in class. 

Last year's winner, Singapore Airlines, came second, followed by Emirates, ANA All Nippon Airways and Cathay Pacific. 

British Airways was the highest-ranking UK airline in 13th place.

Europe's best airline was named as Turkish Airlines, while the continent's top low-cost airline was Spanish company Volotea. 

The rankings are based on airline passenger satisfaction surveys across more than 100 countries between September 2023 and May 2024. 

Other notable names to make the top 100 were: Ryanair (63), easyJet (66), Jet2.com (68) and Tui Airways (83).

These are the airlines that made the top 20: 

1. Qatar Airways 2. Singapore Airlines 3. Emirates 4. ANA All Nippon Airways 5. Cathay Pacific Airways 6. Japan Airlines 7. Turkish Airlines 8. EVA Air 9. Air France 10. Swiss International Air Lines 11. Korean Air 12. Hainan Airlines 13. British Airways 14. Fiji Airways 15. Iberia 16. Vistara 17. Virgin Atlantic 18. Lufthansa 19. Etihad Airways 20. Saudi Arabian Airlines. 

By James Sillars , business reporter

Two issues are dominating the behaviour of investors at the moment: US inflation and the snap parliamentary election in France.

Uncertainty over the two has been driving a topsy-turvy performance on stock markets as any scrap of evidence over the potential timing of a US interest rate cut is seized upon.

A sticky inflation picture across the pond – as we have witnessed here – has pushed back Federal Reserve and therefore market expectations for a reduction in borrowing costs.

The next big number awaited is the latest personal consumption expenditures price index, a closely watched inflation indicator at the US central bank.

A weaker than expected number could see a boost for shares globally after a volatile few weeks.

Following a 0.4% decline yesterday, the FTSE 100 opened 0.4% up at 8,285. 

Among the wider shares doing well were those of AO World, up more than 3%.

The online electricals retailer raised growth targets for its current financial year after profits over the 12 months to the end of March beat market expectations.

The pound and dollar have benefitted amid struggles for the euro over the past couple of weeks.

Much of that has been down to election speculation in France where Marine Le Pen's National Rally (RN) is leading first-round polling.

The election was called by President Emmanuel Macron after RN's strong gains in the recent European elections, sparking a renewed market focus on the French economy and the potential knock-on effects for the euro area.

France has a debt to GDP ratio of 110%, meaning its debt is more than the value of its annual output.

There is a budget deficit of 5%. EU rules allow for just 3%.

The market's worry, according to analysts, is that if the far-right RN were to win big in the first round, then voters may take a tactical turn to the left in the second.

It is a concern for France and the wider euro, they said, because a left-wing alliance influence in government would seek even greater public spending commitments than RN has made.

French government borrowing costs have soared since the election announcement.

Earlier this month, the risk premium France pays for its debt on top of Germany's neared levels last seen in 2012.

Quorn has been known for decades as a producer of meat-free alternatives - but in a new venture, it will be blending actual pork sausages with fake meat. 

The company has said it wants to reach consumers who are cutting down on their meat consumption but who are not going entirely vegetarian or vegan, according to a report in The Grocer . 

The new products include burgers and sausages, and will contain Quorn's mycoprotein blended with meat. 

They will be available by the end of the year within the NHS and from some food service operators. 

Marco Bertacca, Quorn's chief executive, told the publication that appealing to meat eaters "represents the majority of people, and so it is a massive opportunity to decarbonise part of the food system and improve public health".

"Once upon a time we were effectively competing with the meat industry – only making products that were alternatives to theirs, and encouraging people to switch," he said.

"There have been attempts in the past to make products like burgers and sausages with a blend of meat and plant-based ingredients like soya and pea protein, but the products have not delivered for consumers."

It told Sky News that it is still in the development stages of its catering partnerships but it has had "fantastic" feedback on the quality of the products and impact on sustainability targets so far. 

Livestock farming accounts for about 15% of global greenhouse emissions, according to FAO data. 

Every Wednesday we ask Michelin chefs to pick their favourite Cheap Eats where they live and when they cook at home. This week we speak to the highly celebrated Shaun Rankin from Michelin-starred Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall - who won the Great British Menu dessert course in 2009.

Hi Shaun , c an you tell us your favourite places in North Yorkshire  where you can get a meal for two for less than £40?

North Yorkshire is bountiful in its selection of brilliant places to dine and we're incredibly lucky to have so many eateries on our doorstep.

My first recommendation would be the Blue Lion , a traditional country pub nestled within the picture-perfect village of East Witton in the Yorkshire Dales. Enjoy a scenic walk through the surrounding countryside before stopping off for lunch – their light lunch menu includes personal favourites such as croque madame with a rocket salad and Black Sheep-battered fish and chips.

If you're heading in to explore the characterful charm of Ripon, a trip to Oliver's Pantry is a must. They do great coffee alongside a delicious all-day brunch, an array of sweet treats and their seasonal lunch menu packed with fresh homemade dishes.

What's your go-to cheap meal at home?

Chicken pesto pasta with mushrooms and broccoli - a delicious, easy dish to prepare and packed with nutrients.

My tip for this dish is to buy a whole chicken and roast it whole – it's so much more cost-effective than buying chicken breast or thigh, and you can enjoy several meals from just the one bird. With the leftovers I'll prepare a simple soup by making a chicken stock from the carcass, or perhaps a comforting bowl of chicken egg fried rice with the meat, so nothing is wasted. 

We've spoken to lots of top chefs and bloggers - check out their cheap eats from around the country here...

Those looking to drive to polling stations can park for free this general election.

JustPark are offering drivers 30 minutes of free parking near polling stations on 4 July.

They will need to pre-book online or via the JustPark app, however. 

"We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to vote, but know that on the day it isn't always that straightforward," Mary Corrie, managing director of Just Park UK, said.

"By offering free parking on election day, we hope to make it easier for all voters, especially those with mobility issues or who are short on time, to find a place to park near their polling station. 

"This is the second time we have offered this service, following its great success in the 2019 election, and we are confident it will help to get people to the polls once again."

EDF and Utilita have been ranked the worst suppliers for customer service, as ratings across the industry reached their lowest point, according to Citizens Advice .

One of the highest-scoring suppliers this time last year, EDF fell to the very bottom of the table after its average call waiting times jumped from just under a minute to more than five minutes.

Average customer ratings between January and March for all firms fell by 10.5% compared with the same period in 2021.

"Citizens Advice has long called for Ofgem to be given stronger powers to hold suppliers to account on customer service. That must include tackling the complaints backlog before next winter," said Citizens Advice chief executive Dame Clare Moriarty.

At the bottom of the table, both Utilita and EDF scored 2.1 out of five stars, followed closely by British Gas on 2.4.

Dale Vince's Ecotricity topped the rankings with 3.8, followed by Outfox the Market and Ovo Energy, both scoring 3.3.

Among the other big suppliers, E.ON Next scored 3.0, Scottish Power 2.9 and Octopus 2.5.

An EDF spokeswoman said: "We recognise our call answer times haven't been up to the high standards we set ourselves and we're committed to doing better."

The company has recruited and trained more people at its Sunderland, Brighton and Exeter offices, she said.

She added EDF were nearing the end of a "complex transfer of our residential customers to a new IT system, resulting in more customers getting in touch as we navigate this process".

Utilita said: "We must not underestimate how savvy consumers are today. They will realise the star rating contradicts other market-wide supplier assessments – including those of Ofgem, Trustpilot and Which? – where Utilita performs consistently well.

"As such, we look forward to ongoing dialogue to close the gap between the perception the Citizens Advice star rating gives, and the reality other rankings provide."

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    4. Nice, France. A great inclusion for an ultimate Europe itinerary, Nice gives you a chance to experience the famous French Riviera. Since Nice is a coastal city, it only makes sense to start with a good stroll along the Promenade des Anglais, which follows the city's waterfront.

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    For more detailed information and tips, check out this article: Montenegro travel route (available soon) Facts & Info about the Montenegro Road Trip. Duration: About 8 to 10 days Distance: Approx. 450 kilometres Best time to travel: Spring to autumn (We went in the peak of summer and it was absolutely fine.)

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    La Route Verte, Switzerland. Switzerland's Route Verte crosses the picturesque Jura Mountains. This route is part of the larger National Route 7, offering a peaceful ride through dense forests and along tranquil lakes. Each turn presents a postcard-worthy view, especially during the lush summer months or when autumn colors peak.

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