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22 Best Road Trips in Europe To Take in 2021

22 Best Road Trips in Europe To Take in 2021

Looking for ideas for a European road trip? Here you’ll find the best 22 road trips in Europe recommended by travel bloggers. You’ll find some for all tastes and preferred duration (from 2 days to 3 weeks and more). Check them out!

I know, this hasn’t been the easiest year, and maybe you got your travel plans disrupted. Maybe you’re looking for new ideas, and the thought of a road trip became even more appealing (less stress for sure). When you travel Europe by car, you have the chance to really savor the landscapes and the culture – I personally think it’s one of the best way to visit Europe!

Together with some fellow travel bloggers, I put together this list of the best European road trips to take in 2020. It includes some of the classics as road trips in Italy, South of France, Ireland and Spain, and others a little bit more off the beaten path. What about a road trip through the Nordics, or one around Georgia?

This list is an incredible source of inspiration – there are road trips for all tastes and preferred duration (from 2 days to 3 weeks and more). Check them all out!

Classic Italy Road Trip

A road trip through Italy is at the top of many people’s bucket list, and it’s not difficult to understand why. Italy offers everything from charming cities, a long history, delicious food, and natural wonders. This not-too-packed two weeks in Italy itinerary will show you all the highlights.

Highlights of the trip:
• Go back to the gladiators’ era in Rome.
• Get your art fill at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
• Visit the charming villages by the sea at Cinque Terre.
• Discover the fashion capital of Italy, Milan.
• Explore the canals of Venice by boat.

Start your two weeks in Italy itinerary in Rome, where you’ll spend day 1 to 3. Now, Rome doesn’t really need an introduction, right? 3 days in Rome is enough time to check out all the major attractions such as the Colosseum, the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel, and the Trevi Fountain.

On your fourth day, transfer from Rome to Florence and wander around the beautiful city center. Don’t rush it, you’ll have another two full days in Florence.

A few of the things you can’t miss in Florence are visiting the incredible Duomo and climbing up the Dome, and walking down Ponte Vecchio. Art lovers can’t miss the Uffizi Gallery and the David of Michelangelo. For the best sunset views, head to Piazzale Michelangelo.

Are you ready to explore more of Tuscany? That’s what’s up on day 7. Take a day trip to Pisa, Siena, or San Gimignano, or even better opt for a full-day tour that’ll show you the best of Tuscany in one day.

The next day, wake up bright and early for another day trip, this time to Bologna. On your one day in Bologna, wander around its medieval porticoes-filled city center, climb up the Asinelli tower for great views, check out the world’s first university, and, of course attend a cooking class. Bologna is the food capital of Italy!

You’ll spend most of day 9 transferring from Florence to Cinque Terre but no worries, you’ll then have a full day to visit Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is famous for its series of centuries-old seaside villages perched on the sea. Spend the day wandering around the villages and having way too much food.

On day 11, get back to the road and head to Milan, the fashion capital of Italy (and the world?). One of my favorite things to do here is climbing up to the Duomo roof, and then maybe head to the Navigli neighborhood for aperitivo.

The next day, it’s time to move to Venice. You’ll have two full days in Venice, so you can spend the morning visiting more of Milan – maybe buy your tickets in advance to see “The Last Supper” by Michelangelo.

Your two final days in Venice will be the perfect end to this 2-week European road trip itinerary through Italy. Get lost in its alleyways, go on a gondola ride, and visit by ferry the two charming islands of Murano and Burano.

Recommended length: 2 weeks.

Bavaria Road Trip, Germany

by Rose, Where Goes Roes

A road trip through beautiful Bavaria is a must for your bucket list. This region in southern Germany bordering Austria is known for its traditional villages, forests, lakes and hearty German cuisine.

Highlights of the trip:
• Visit the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle
• Visit Nuremberg and learn about its tragic history
• Check out the fortress at Wurzburg
• Wonder around cute Regensburg and Rothenburg Ob Tour

Munich is at the heart of Bavaria so it’s a good place to hire a car and begin your adventures. Begin at Neuschwanstein Castle which receives over a million visits a year due to its resemblance to the Disney castle!

Must-see places in Bavaria include quaint Nuremberg with its timber-framed houses, traditional market squares and many cathedrals. As well as learning about heartbreaking but important history at the Nazi Party Rally Grounds, you can hire a pedalo and explore Grosser Dutzendteich lake.

Next on your itinerary should be charming Wurzburg with its 16th-century fortress, then equally pretty towns, Regensburg and Rothenburg Ob Tour, the location of many famous Instagram shots.

Don’t miss trying the best German food during your road trip. Popular dishes include currywurst, bratwurst, schnitzel and käsespätzle, a glorified mac and cheese with crispy bacon. 

Traditional Bavaria hasn’t changed much for decades if not centuries which is part of its charm. You can rarely pay on card so have plenty of Euros handy. Remember everything apart from restaurants will be closed on Sundays!

Recommended length: 4-7 days.

Porto to Lisbon Road Trip, Portugal

Portugal is an underrated country. I first fell in love with Portugal in 2014, and saw it becoming increasingly more popular over the year. And why wouldn’t it? It has great food, amazing castles and palaces, wine regions, beautiful beaches and charming cities.

This one-week road trip from Lisbon to Porto will show you some of the best that Portugal has to offer. You can do this road trip by car, or by using public transportation.

Highlights of the trip:
• Wander around the Alfama neighborhood in Lisbon.fbf4ee
• Check out the quirky castles and palaces in Sintra.
• Visit the University of Coimbra, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
• Check out the spots in Porto that inspired the Harry Potter books.
• Go on a boat tour and taste Porto wine in the Douro Valley.

Start your itinerary in Lisbon where you’ll spend the first 2 days. There are plenty of things to do in Lisbon, but two days is enough time to wander around the Alfama neighborhood and visit St. George’s Castle, ride the famous Tram 28, and check out the Belem area with the Belem Tower and the pasteis de nata which are delicious. Party in Bairro Alto and check out the bridge that resembles San Francisco’s Golden Gate.

On day 3, take a day trip to Sintra, located just 30 minutes away. This picturesque town is best known for its ancient castles and magnificent palaces such as the quirky Pena Palace.  

Get back on the road and drive to Coimbra, a charming and historic college town. Definitely visit the University of Coimbra, the oldest university in Portugal and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Spend day 5 and 6 in Porto. This city is known for Porto wine and the bridges over the Douro river, but architecture and art lovers, foodies, and Harry Potter fans will find plenty to do here as well.

Explore the riverside area, have a Porto wine tasting in one of the Vila Nova de Gaia’s wineries, and check out the library that inspired the Harry Potter books. Go and chase the best azulejos in Porto as well.

On your last day in Portugal, take a day trip to the Douro Valley. Go on a boat tour on the river and visit some of the famous wine estates in the area. Tons of wine and delicious food are guaranteed.

Recommended length: One week, although you can make it longer.

READ MORE:
The Ideal One Week in Portugal Itinerary
7 Epic Road Trips in Portugal

Scottish Highlands Road Trip

by Kathi, Watch Me See

Imagine driving down winding roads framed by majestic mountain peaks, views opening up to reveal magnificent lochs (lakes) and coastal scenery, and stop in bustling villages and small towns along the way. Welcome to Scotland! There is no better way to experience the Scottish Highlands, than on a road trip! Plus, it’s definitely one of the easiest European road trips from UK.

Highlights of the trip:
• Drive through the stunning valley of Glencoe.
• Visit the Isle of Skye and hike to the Old Man of Storr.
• Hunt for the monster of Loch Ness.
• Explore the Scottish whisky regions.
• Discover Scotland’s thriving cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

While a week is not enough to see everything Scotland has to offer, it is certainly a good amount of time to get an overview. This 8-day Scotland road trip allows you to see a little bit of everything.

Start in Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, and explore its fascinating history. Follow the dazzling street art trail, join a history walking tour and meet friendly locals in the pub.

Then, spend five days (day 2 to 6) to discover the Highlands. Go on a boat ride along the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond and hike below the dramatic backdrop of the Glencoe mountains. Stop in Glenfinnan to witness the Jacobite Steam Train cross over the famous viaduct – Harry Potter, anyone?

Set sail on the ferry to the Isle of Skye and enjoy its natural beauty. The island is a highlight on many Scotland itineraries and deserves at least one full day (2 nights).

Back on the mainland, try to spot the Loch Ness monster and taste one of Scotland’s best products, single malt whisky, at a distillery in the Speyside or Perthshire.

Finally, spend a full day (day 7) in Edinburgh to visit the castle, wander down medieval lanes and poke your head down hidden closes and gardens. Before you know it, your last day in Scotland has come and you can either continue exploring or fly home with a bag full of unforgettable memories.

Recommended length: 8 days.

Georgia Road Trip

Some people consider Georgia part of Europe, some say it’s Asia. After having lived in georgia for a few months, I think its culture is a lot closer to European ones, which is why I included it on this list of Europe road trips ideas.

A road trip through Georgia will bring your through mountains, old churches, and cities that mix new and old. Plus, it’s one of the cheapest road trips here.

Highlights of the trip:
• Explore the mix of ancient and modern that Tbilisi offers.
• Have as much Khachapuri and Khinkali as you can. Georgian food is top!
• Be amazed by the landscape in Ushguli – it looks like a painting.
• Have a wine tasting at Baia’s Wine.
• Go chasing waterfalls in Mestia.

Start your road trip in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. There are plenty of things to do in Tbilisi but with limited time, check out the Old Town and Narikala Fortress, the Sameba Cathedral, and go for a traditional bathhouse experience. The next day, go for a day trip to Mtshketa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to see the Javi monastery.

On day 3, after a stop in Chiatura, a ghost town also called the city of cable cars, visit a winery. Georgi produce some excellent wines all over the country, but I suggest stopping at Baia’s Wine where you can stay for a supra, a traditional Georgian feast where you basically eat too much delicious food and drink way too much wine. Delicious.

Mestia is your next destination. Located at 1500 meters above sea level, this is a typical mountain town with wooden cottages and people dressed in hiking attire. Take the Hatsvali cable car all the way to the upper station for some beautiful views.

On day 5, Ushguli will take your breath away.A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this village set atop the Enguri valley and it’s made unique by its many medieval stone towers, that date back to as far as the 9th century. You’ll need a 4×4 to get here, or hire a car with a driver for this part of the route.

The next day you’ll go back to Mestia, where you’ll have time to hike or explore more in town, while the last day it’s going to be a long drive back to Tbilisi. On the way, stop at Martvili Canyon, a true natural wonder.

Because of the harsh weather in Ushguli, the best time for this road trip is during the summer.

Recommended length: one week (or more).

READ MORE: The Perfect One Week in Georgia Itinerary

Athens to Thessaloniki Road Trip, Greece

by Chrysoula, Athens and Beyond

If you’re spending a decent amount of time in Greece, you may want to take a road trip from Athens to Thessaloniki, travelling overland so that you are able to visit some hotspots along the way.

The journey from the capital to the coast allows you to see a variety of landscapes and sights en route, soaking up different parts of Greek culture (and cuisine!) and visiting some destinations that the usual fly-in, fly-out traveller may miss.

Highlights of the trip:
• Feel like you’ve stepped back in time in Athens.
• Visit the ancient site of Delphi.
• Enjoy some time at the sea in Galaxidi.
• Visit Meteora, truly a magical site.
• Explore bustling and modern Thessaloniki.

After spending 3 days exploring Athens, you’ll head north to the ancient site of Delphi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is a must for history lovers and those fascinated by Greek mythology. Road trippers will want to stay overnight, either in Delphi or in the nearby town of Arachova (the ski capital of Greece). This allows you to spend longer at the site starting your visit before the day-tripper crowds arrive from Athens.

From Delphi, a lovely diversion is to head half an hour south-west to explore the seaside town of Galaxidi, a destination that features a picturesque port and beautiful clear waters in which to take a dip!

The next drive will take you from Galaxidi back inland towards the town of Kalabaka, the gateway to the magical site of Meteora, a collection of Eastern Orthodox monasteries that have been built on top of towering limestone pillars. They are a truly magnificent sight to behold and an overnight stay in Meteora is a must on your road trip itinerary!

From Meteora, you will move on to the archaeological site of Vergina which lies around two hours north-east of Kalabaka. This site is home to the ruins of the first capital of the Kingdom of Macedonia including a palace with mosaics and stuccoes and a burial ground with tombs that date back as far as the 11th century B.C.

Lastly, you’ll continue on to your final stop, Thessaloniki (around one hour from Vergina). This is a bustling, young city that is home to some excellent sites, activities, museums, bars and restaurants and you’ll want to spend at least two days here to fully enjoy it.

Recommended length: All in all, you’ll want to give yourself 8 to 10 days to enjoy this road trip properly, allowing yourself space between driving days and time to enjoy the coast too!

Southern Spain Road Trip (Andalusia)

The South of Spain is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful areas in the country (in my opinion, the most beautiful), and a one week road trip is the best way to discover it. It’s one of the best places to drive in Europe too.

READ ALSO: 10 Best Road Trips in Spain

Highlights of the trip:
• Visit the Alhambra, a palace that looks  from 1001 Arabian Nights
• Wander around the super instagrammable pueblo of Frigiliana
• Enjoy some incredible views in Ronda
• Go for Tapas & Flamenco in Seville
• Visit the Mosque-Cathedral in Cordoba, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Fly into Malaga and discover the mix of ancient and modern that make this coastal city so pretty. Get some beach time and don’t forget to walk down Calle Larios, which is one of the most beautiful in Spain.

The next day, head to Frigiliana, which was named one of the most picturesque little towns in Spain, with its Moorish all-white buildings. Keep going to your next destination: Granada. 

Take a day and a half to wander around El Albaicin, the traditional neighborhood in Granada and of course don’t miss the jewel of Andalusia, the Alhambra palace. 

On day 4, it’s all about charming pueblos (small towns). Setenil de las Bodegas is one of the strangest towns I’ve ever visited, with its houses built into the rock. Ronda is commonly known as the most beautiful small cities in Andalusia because of its old town built on top of a gorge. If you have kids, make time to visit Juzcar: they won’t believe the smurfs’ city is real. Sleep in Ronda and the next day, on your way to Seville, make a quick stop in Zahara de la Sierra and enjoy the magnificent view of the green lake from the top of the castle. 

Seville is a beautiful city (although super hot if you visit in the summer!) which offers a ton of things to do. Go for some gourmet tapas at one for the best tapas places in the city, or enjoy a Flamenco show – did you know that Seville is the birthplace of Flamenco? And of course check out Plaza Espana and the Royal Alcazar, where Game of Thrones was filmed.

On your last day, check out the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba and wander around the old town and San Basilio neighborhood. Make also quick stop in Almodovar del Rio to visit the castle (another filming location of Game of Thrones).

Recommended length: one week.

Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

by Stephanie, History Fangirl

An Ireland road trip is the perfect introduction to driving in Europe, and the views of the Emerald Isle that you see from the car are just stunning! 
Ireland has many different scenic drives to choose from, but I would start with the Wild Atlantic Way.

Highlights of the trip:
• Visit the charming waterside Kylemore Abbey.
• See the dazzling Cliffs of Mohr and pause to spend a day on the Aran Islands.
• Enjoy a day touring Slea Head Drive for incredible sea views.
• Explore Irish traditions in the colorful town of Dingle.

Fly into Shannon Airport, pick up a car, and drive north to Connemara. As you wind your way south down the coast, you’ll get to see many of Ireland’s highlights all the way south to Dingle.

Some of my favorite spots on the drive include Kylemore Abbey, the Cliffs of Mohr, the Burren, and Slea Head Drive on the Dingle Peninsula. However, its the breathtaking scenery you see along the way (one of the most beautiful roads in Europe) that are some of my favorite memories. From stopping for sheep running down the road to pulling over to take a photo of Ireland’s famous rainbows, this is just one of the most beautiful places in the world to go on a road trip!

If you choose to finish with a few days in the south before heading back, you will be delighted with the lovely town of Dingle, which is charming and colorful. Here you can go on a distillery tour, see the famous Dingle dolphin and enjoy some trad music before you continue on your way. 

Recommended length: 5 days to 3 weeks.

South of France Road Trip

A road trip through South France will bring you through beautiful beaches, glamorous towns, perched villages, and lavender fields. Travelling through France by car is a great way to explore the country, and this is one of the best summer road trips on this list.

Highlights of the trip:
• Explore the glitzy French Riviera in Cannes, Saint Tropez and Montecarlo
• Be charmed by the beautiful villages in Provence
• Take super instagrammable photos at the lavender fields in Valensole
• Explore the ancient history of Avignon
• Go rafting, canyoning, or kayaking at the biggest canyon in France

Start your trip in Nice and spend the first few days exploring the French Riviera. Saint-Tropez, Cannes, and Montecarlo which is well, technically not France are where you want to go to see what life is like for the rich and famous. But on top of the yachts and luxury shops, these towns all have charming city centers and cobbled streets, and some really good restaurants.

Then it’s time to visit some of the most beautiful villages in Provence. Saint Paul de Vence and Eze are some of my favorites- you will find yourself lost amidst cobbled streets, narrow alleyways, art shops, and galleries. Moustiers-Sainte-Marie,  Gordes, and Les Beaux de Provence are equally picture perfect, and it won’t be easy to decide which one is the most beautiful).

Nature lovers will love kayaking or canyoning at Gorges du Verdon, the largest canyon in France, as well as the lavender fields in Valensole which you’ve probably seen hundreds of times on Instagram.

Proceed then to Avignon, the City of Poes, where history buffs will love visiting multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Another stop worth doing is Arles, the city of Van Gogh.

End your trip by visiting the pink lakes of Aigues Mortes and Parc National de Calanque, which can only be reached by boat. Postcard-ready Cassis and Marseille make for two great final stops.

Recommended length: 10 days.

READ MORE:
The Perfect South of France Road Trip Itinerary
9 Incredible Road Trips in France

➤ If you have more time, you could make this into an even more epic road trip through Europe by attaching to it the Northern Italy itinerary or the Costa Brava + Barcelona itinerary.

Austria Road Trip, from Vorarlberg to Vienna

by Inma, A World To Travel

Uncover some of the most known hotspots as well as some Austria hidden gems in this road trip from West to East just shy of 700km.

Whether you decide to go by train (less than 7h total) or by car; you will have to pass through the Southern Germany region of Bayern right before reaching Salzburg but that should not be a problem if you have European citizenship or the needed documents for foreigners. 

Highlights of the trip:
• Explore the Easternmost part of the Bodensee lake, known to have a Summer opera on the lake.
• Hike and practice winter sports in Innsbruck surrounding mountains.
• Learning about the history of classical music in Salzburg.
• Taste the world-famous Sachertorte in Vienna.

This itinerary will take you from the capital of the Vorarlberg region, Bregenz, to Vienna passing through Tyrol, Salzburg, Upper Austria, and Lower Austria.

On this road trip you’ll get to experience some of the most famous destinations and attractions in Austria. You’ll taste the world-famous Sachertorte in Vienna and you’ll hike or enjoy winter sports in Innsbruck surrounding mountains. You’ll also explore the Easternmost part of the Bodensee lake, known to have a Summer opera on the lake. You’ll learn about the history of classical music in Salzburg, and admire the city from above by going up the Fortress Hohensalzburg.

Some other highlights you could soon be experiencing if you decide to give it a go will be falling for Bregenz modern architecture buildings by the lake, taking the Karrenseilbahn cable car in the outskirts of Dornbirn for a lunch with a view, and getting lost in the medieval city of Feldkirch.

Recommended length: one week to 10 days.

Cotswolds Road Trip, UK

There are few places in the world more picture perfect than the Cotswolds. Fairytale villages, rolling hills and honey-hued cottages are what you’ll find here. The Cotswolds, just a couple of hours from London, are the perfect place for a road trip. 

Highlights of the trip:
• Have tea at the Lygon Arms in Broadway.
• Visit Bibury, one of the most beautiful villages in England.
• Enjoy the breathtaking views from the Broadway Tower.
• Take some incredible photos at the Cotswold Lavender Farm.

Start your Cotswolds itinerary (one of the best road trips in the UK, in my opinion) by exploring the Southern Cotswolds. Castle Combe, a fairy tale village from the 17th century, will make you feel like you stepped back in time. Then head to Bibury, maybe the most beautiful village in all England. Wander around Arlington Row, then drive to the rural village of Burford and have tea at the Swan Inn. End the day by admiring the sunset from Painswick Beacon, or visit Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its eclectic style.

Start your second day by visiting Bourton-on-the-water, also known as “The Venice of the Cotswolds” because it’s located on the picturesque River Windrush. From the romantic village of Bourton-on-the-water, you can take a stroll to the Lower and Upper Slaughter. Visit next the small market town of Stow-on-the-wold, before stopping at  Daylesford Organic Farm which is all about sustainability. 

On your 3rd and last day, after visiting the town of Chipping Camden, go up the Broadway Tower for incredible views. After a short stop in Snowshill, go and take your Instagram shots at the Cotswold Lavender Farm (June to August). Stanton is another lovely village to visit, then finish your trip with a visit to Sudeley Castle.

To make the most out of the itinerary, visit between June and August (the lavender fields will be in bloom).

Recommended length: 3 days.

READ MORE: The Ultimate Guide to the Cotswolds, England

Slovenia Road Trip through Triglav National Park

by Heather, Conversant Traveller

The Julian Alps in Slovenia make for one of Europe’s most dramatic and scenic road trips. Starting in the popular tourist town of Bled, the driving route enters the Triglav National Park as it winds up the stunning Vršič Pass before descending into lush valleys punctuated with plunging turquoise rivers.

Highlights of the trip:
• Enjoy the beautiful Bled Lake and castle.
• Relax by Lake Jasna.
• Drive up the Vršič Pass.
• Canoe in the emerald waters of Soča Valley.
• Enjoy a train journey on the Bohinjska Road train.

This circular road trip can be done at a leisurely place so you can really appreciate the views, with plenty of overnight options to choose from in Bovec and Kobarid.

Here are some of the highlights:

Bled – explore the castle perched up on the cliffs, row a boat out to the island, and eat cream cakes

Lake Jasna – enjoy a picnic beside this colourful lake and take selfies with the famous chamois statue before tackling the mountain pass

Vršič Pass – keep your wits about you as you negotiate the hairpins whilst driving up the Vršič Pass, and take a break at the unusual wooden chapel built by Russian prisoners during the First World War

Soča Valley – canoe through rocky ravines along the emerald waters or hike to the source of the river

Bohinjska Road Train – use the quaint car train which takes you through the mountains and back towards Bled for an unusual twist to your journey

Despite being a mountainous route, the driving isn’t that difficult, and it can be done in any standard rental car.

Recommended length: 2 days (although you can extend your overnight stop if you want to explore more of the area, and of course you’ll want to spend time in Bled before or after your trip).

➤ If you have more time, you can also try glamping in Slovenia and explore Bela Krajina, an undiscovered region in the heart of Slovenia.

Northern Italy Road Trip

Once you’ve already checked off your bucket list some of the more famous destinations in Italy such as Florence and Rome, an idea is to focus on Northern Italy. This Northern Italy road trip will bring you through charming towns, breathtaking mountain landscapes, and more.

Highlights of the trip:
• Climb up the top of the Duomo in Milan.
• Take a boat trip around Lake Como and Lake Garda.
• Visit the house of Romeo and Juliet in Verona.
• Be charmed by unique-in-the-world Venice.
• Enjoy some breathtaking views in the Dolomites.

Start off your road trip in Milan, one of the fashion capitals in the world. Climb up the Duomo for some great views, or visit “The Last Supper” by Leonardo (tickets need to be reserved in advance).

The next day head to not-far-away Lake Como – take a boat tour, admire the mansions of the rich and famous, and wander around Bellagio.

Head then to Verona, a quintessentially romantic city. Check out the house from Romeo and Juliet and wander around the city center. Maybe you can even catch an opera show ate the world-famous arena.

On day 4 take a day trip to Lake Garda, a beautiful lake close to Verona. You can visit a few of the villages that surround the lake such as Sirmione and Limone by taking the ferry that crosses the lake.

The next 2 days it’s Venice time. Even if you’ve visited the city already, there’s always something to do in this unique city. Gondola rides and a boat trip to the islands of Murano and Burano are a must-do.

Hiking lovers will love spending the next 3 days in the Dolomites, but don’t worry. There’s plenty to do even for non hikers. I suggest basing yourself in Alpe di Siusi or Cortina d’Ampezzo. On top of skiing or hiking, depending on the season, you can go paragliding, indulge in spa sessions, stay in a mountain hut or take a cableway up the mountains for a traditional meal with some breathtaking views.

The next day is sadly your last day. Head back to Milan and if you have time visit more of the city.

Recommended length: 10 days.

READ ALSO: The Ultimate 10 Days in Northern Italy itinerary

Eastern Europe Road Trip Through the Baltics

by Michael, The World Was Here First

One of the best road trips to take in Europe is a trip across the Baltic states visiting the countries of Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania. Going on a Europe trip by car through the Baltics will bring you through incredible nature, interesting cities and some beautiful, untouched coastline.

Highlights of the trip:
• Wander around the Old Town in Tallinn.
• Discover the Art Nouveau architecture in Riga.
• Explore the Curonian Spit, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• Check out the traditional wooden houses in Kaunas.

Start your trip in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, exploring the charming Old Town as well as the alternative areas surrounding the city. From Tallinn, head to Tartu – a thriving university city – before crossing the border to Latvia and its capital of Riga. Riga is one of the highlights of any trip in the Baltics with its UNESCO-listed Old Town and stunning Art Nouveau architecture in the city centre.

From Riga, it’s worth driving to the coast and enjoying some of the fine white sand beaches of Liepaja before moving onto Lithuania and visiting the Curonian Spit and the port city of Klaipeda.

Finally, spend the last few days of your Eastern Europe road trip itinerary through the Baltics in Vilnius – Lithuania’s capital city – and its second-largest city of Kaunas, located only about an hour away from Vilnius and can also be visited as a day trip.

Recommended length: If you only intend to visit the capital cities of the Baltics, I’d suggest allocating around 10 days to this road trip however around 3 weeks is ideal if you want to explore some of the lesser-visited cities and towns.

Transylvania Road Trip, Romania

You probably know about the region of Transylvania from “Dracula”, am I right? But if you look it up, you’ll find that Transylvania offers a lot more than just vampires. Beautiful natural landscapes, castles, charming towns, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites: this is what Transylvania is all about. This is definitely one of the best Balkan road trips.

Highlights of the trip:
• Visit Peles and Bran castles.
• Be charmed by the narrow streets of Sighisoara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• Wander around the fortified citadel of Sibiu.
• Get into the art and food scene in Bucharest.

Start your 7-day road trip in Europe from Bucharest, the capital city of Romania. Many people skip it, but Bucharest is actually an interesting city with a long history, a big art scene, and a bustling nightlife.

The next day, it’s all about castles. Stop at Peles Castle, that really looks out of a fairytale, and Bran Castle,  the fabled castle of none other than Count Dracula. Next on your Europe road trip itinerary through Romania is the city of Brasov, where you’ll find medieval churches and communist buildings. I recommend taking a food tour (Romanian food is really good!) or an historical tour through the city.

Day 4 will be mostly spent traveling to Sibiu. Spend the rest of the day and the following day walking through this charming town, which is also one of the seven fortified citadels constructed in the Medieval Ages by the Transylvanian Saxon. There are tons of nice restaurants, a pedestrian street, and in the summer tons of festivals too.

Next take a day trip to Sighisoara, hometown of Vlad “Dracula”. Sighisoara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also considered as one of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities. On day 7 it’s back to Bucharest, where your trip will come to an end – but if you have some extra time, I 100% recommend visiting more of the city. 

Recommended length: one week.

READ ALSO: 8 Epic Balkan Road Trips to Take this Summer

Belgium Road Trip

by Paulina, Paulina on the Road

If you are looking to visit a less known travel destination, I absolutely recommend Belgium! The country is incredibly diverse which makes it the perfect place to go on a road trip. 

Highlights of the trip:
• Visit the Atomium of Brussels.
• Wander around the canals of Bruges.
Explore the romantic town center of Gent.
• Check out the fashion scene and medieval market of Antwerp.
• Walk around the medieval town center of Mechelen.
• Visit the citadel of Namur.
• Learn about the birthplace of the saxophone in Dinant.

The here proposed itinerary takes you from Brussel to Gent, Bruges, Antwerp, Mechelen, Namur, Dinant and Liege, if you still have time left. These towns are a selection of the best towns in the Dutch and French-speaking parts of Belgium.

Make sure to indulge in Belgian food which is some of the best in Europe. Chocolate, fries or waffles… the Belgians are simply masters in those 3 dishes.

Don’t forget either to always inquire about the town’s central square. They vary a lot from town to town and make gorgeous photo motives. It’s here where people gather and where some of the best Christmas Markets in Belgium are held.

Recommended length: The good thing about roaming Belgium is that the country is relatively small, thus you can easily visit the mentioned places in 5 days or less.

READ ALSO: The Perfect One Day in Antwerp Itinerary

Poland Road Trip

by Dhara, It’s Not About the Miles

Poland is a great place in Europe for a whole-country road trip. For a great itinerary that covers most of the major sights in the country, fly into Warsaw, Poland’s capital.

Explore Warsaw, then travel south to Krakow via Czestochowa, followed by Auschwitz. From Auschwitz, go on to Wroclaw, and then on to Torun. Finally, arrive at Gdansk and tour Gdansk before returning to Warsaw with a stop at Malbork Castle, the largest castle in the world.

Highlights of the trip:
• Explore Warsow’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
• Wander around Krakow, a super charming city.
• Visit the concentration camp of Auschwitz.
• Be enchanted by the Old Town of Gdansk.
• Check out Malbork Castle, the largest castle in the world.

On this Central Europe road trip, you will so have many interesting sights to enjoy and appreciate! Be captivated by Warsaw’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. World War II bombing left much of Warsaw in ruins, but the city has since been rebuilt, using contemporary architectural styles. Must-see sights in the Old Town include the Royal Castle, Market Square, and the Barbican. 

In Krakow, be enthralled by the huge Market Square, St. Mary’s Church, and Wawel Castle. The beautiful architecture in Old Town Krakow is very Instagram-worthy, and you will enjoy strolling the largest medieval square in Europe.

In Auschwitz, take the time to pay your respects at the former concentration camp, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Be charmed by Wroclaw’s beautiful Old Town. Market Square features stunning architecture. A walking tour to take in all the sights of Old Town is a must. 

Admire Torun, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautifully preserved medieval towns in Europe. Torun is where the astronomer Copernicus was born.

Be enchanted by the beautiful Old Town in Gdansk, rebuilt after it was almost totally destroyed by bombing in World War II. A walking tour of Old Town Gdansk is the best way to experience the sights.

Recommended length: Ten days would be a good amount of time to complete this itinerary without rushing too much.

Catalunya & Costa Brava Road Trip from Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is an incredible destination, but the nearby region of Costa Brava isn’t bad at all either! Going on a Costa Brava road trip from Barcelona is a great way to discover the area – beaches, villages, and beautiful landscapes.

The great part is that this road trip can be adapted to the number of days you have available. This whole itinerary would take you 7-10 days, but you could easily make it into a shorter weekend trip by choosing just a few destinations.

Highlights of the trip:
• Discover why Barcelona is such a popular destination.
• Visit the Dalì Museum in Figueres.
• Hike to the lighthouse in Cap de Creus.
• Get lost in the alleyways of fairytale Begur.
• Relax on the beach in Tossa de Mar and Lloret de Mar.

Start your road trip in Barcelona. 3 days in Barcelona would be ideal, but depending on how much time you have at your disposal you could see the highlights in 2 or even one day in Barcelona. A few unmissable attractions are of course  the one-of-a-kind Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllò, a walk down Las Ramblas, the Gothic Quarter and the traditional Boqueria Market. 

If you have more time, you can also consider a few unusual things to do in Barcelona such as a cool flea market, going to the Bunkers del Carmel for some incredible views, or check out the hipster Gracia neighborhood.

Time to get on the road. Wake up bright and early and head to Vic, that’s a super charming town in central Catalunya. If you visit on Tuesday or Saturday, you’ll find a farmers’ market with all kinds of traditional food. Head then to Girona. Some people say it has a resemblance to Florence, and I can see why. Wander around the old town and by the river and discover some filming locations for Game of Thrones.

Next day, your first stop will be Besalù, one of the most picturesque medieval towns in Spain. After wandering around this town, head to Figueres. Figueres is mostly famous for being the birthplace of Salvador Dalì, so visit the rather quirky Dali Museum.

Now that you’ve had your fill of history and art, spend the next day between Cadaques, a beautiful whitewashed village, and Cap de Creus Natural Park, a peninsula that features incredible landscapes.

Then, Begur will be your first stop of the day. Begur is a fairytale town with an 11th century castle and tons of colorful buildings and alleys – super charming. Keep going to Calella de Palafrugell which is pretty perfect with its whitewashed buildings, fishing boats, and a beautiful bay.

Spend the next day in Tossa de Mar, one of the most famous locations in Costa Brava. You’ll find here nice sandy beaches and an historical, 12th century walled town with great clifftop view. 

On your last day of this road trip, head to Lloret de Mar. While Tossa de Mar is pretty sophisticated, Lloret de Mar caters more to a younger crowd and to young families. If you’re feeling like partying, this is the perfect place, but its pretty coves and very nice beaches will cater to anyone. If you still have time, stop on your way back to Barcelona in Blanes, which also offers great beaches but with less crowds.

Recommended length: 7 to 10 days for the whole itinerary. However, if you have less time it won’t be difficult to make the itinerary shorter.

Europe in the Arctic Circle Road Trip

by Alexander, Engineer on Tour

Europe in the Arctic circle is, in many ways, a unique place. Northern nature is drastically different. Trees are tiny, and you can see every feature of the landscape, every small waterfall, and river. The Arctic circle in Europe has territory in four countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia, which are also pretty distinct. It makes for a very unusual road trip in Europe.

Highlights of the trip:
• Sail across the fjords in Norway.
• Visit villages and rent snowmobiles in Finnish Lapland.
• See how Murmansk in Russia is a combination of USSR-style cities and Northern nature.

World-famous fjords and marine culture are the things Norway is famous for. In Norway, you will drive along beautiful coastal roads and put your car on a ferry to go across fjords. You will find scenic, traditional fishing villages and get fresh seafood. Important thing is – regular fjords are as beautiful as well-known.  Don’t be afraid to take long routes.

In Finland, the north is mainly associated with tourism. Finnish Lapland is a well-known travel destination. Unlike Norway, there are no mountains or sea. In winter, it is an endless white paradise. You will find hundreds of small holiday villages. You can rent snowmobiles, go on a husky safari and even have a trip on an ice-breaker.

Most of the work on the far North is organized as fly-in-fly-out. But USSR took a different approach. They constructed massive cities. 4 out of the 5 largest cities in the Arctic Circle are in Russia. The largest city is Murmansk with the population around 300 000. USSR-style cities and Northern nature are a very usual combination.

Consider building a Northern Europe road trip through these cities: Tromso (Norway), Levi and Inari (Finland), Murmansk (Russia), Kirkenes (Norway). There is no direct road connection between Tromso and Kirkenes, but you can put your car on a ferry.

Recommended length: 2 weeks at least.

➤ If you have more time for your road trip around Europe, you can visit more of Sweden and Finland. I absolutely loved my time in Finland, it was a Nordic dream com true!

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
10 Dreamy Things to Do in the Turku Archipelago
Wellness and Nordic Design in the Åland Islands

Zurich to Grindelwald Road Trip, Switzerland

by Nisha, Nerdy Footsteps

If you want to see the best of Switzerland in one road trip, it has to be from Zurich to Grindelwald, via Interlaken.

Highlights of the trip:
• Enjoy some adventure activities in Interlaken.
• Cruise along the Brienzersee Lake.
• Visit the cute little village of Grindewald.
• Take a gondola to First and find your way to the beautiful Bachalpsee Lake.

The journey itself from Zurich to Interlaken to Grindelwald is around 2 hours but a road trip isn’t really a road trip if you don’t stop to appreciate your journey. The highlights of the road trip are:

Interlaken: a beautiful small Swiss city that is a tourist magnet. You will find lots of adventure activities in and around Interlaken. If you have more time, take a funicular to Harder Klum for the best views of the city.

Brienzersee: The pristine lake near Interlaken will give you ample opportunity to hop on a ferry/boat and see the small villages along the lake.

Grindewald: the cute little village that is the embodiment of a quintessential Swiss village with classic wooden houses.

First and Bachalpsee: the most epic thing on the trip. When in Grindelwald, take a gondola to First and find your way to the beautiful Bachalpsee lake. Use this detailed guide to plan your visit to Grindelwald, First, and Bachalpsee.

Since Switzerland is such a small country, you can easily manage this road trip in one day, but it would be great if you have more time. This will help you stay longer at each of the highlights, take everything in, visit the local museums, and stay one night around each highlight.

Recommended length: 4-5 days.

The D-Day Landing Beaches Road Trip in Normandy, France

by Elisa, France Bucket List

The D-Day Landing Beaches road trip in Normandy is one of the best road trips in France. It explores the allies’ landing sites on the coast of Normandy plus the museums related to this important chapter in the history of France and Western Europe.

Highlights of the trip:
• Learn about WW2 at the Caen Memorial Museum.
• Explore Omaha Beach, one of the beaches stormed by the American troops.
• Visit La Pointe du Hoc, one of the key German fortified sites along the Normandy coast.
• Be moved at the World War II Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.
• Explore Juno Beach and Juno Beach Center.

The itinerary for this road trip depends on what people want to see. There are the landing beaches stormed by Canadians, British, and Americans so some people decide to visit only the sites related to their home country. However,  it is recommended starting with the Caen Memorial Museum because it is a good historical introduction to WW2 and the landing sites.

The list of highlights of this Normandy road trip includes:

Learn about WW2 and the D-Day Landing sites at the Caen Memorial Museum.

Explore Omaha Beach, one of the beaches stormed by the American troops and where the Americans suffered the most.

Be amazed by the beauty of La Pointe du Hoc, one of the key German fortified sites along the Normandy coast.

Be moved at the World War II Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, definitely the most impressive site of this D-Day Landing tour.

Explore Juno Beach, and Juno Beach Center, one of the beaches stormed by the Canadians.

This road trip could be done in just one day if you decide to do just the main highlights. However, it is a good idea to spend at least 2 days for the landing sites and perhaps 1 full day in Caen and 1 full day in Bayeux.

Recommended length: Four days touring the Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches is the perfect duration for this fantastic road trip.

READ ALSO: These Are the 9 Best France Road Trips

The Ultimate Balkans Road Trip

The Balkans are such a diverse region. You’ll find incredible natural landscapes, charming old towns, modern cities, beautiful beaches and islands, and everything in between.

In fact, I recommend not trying to see everything in one or two weeks, but to divide it in a few trips. If you have a little bit extra time, though, this ultimate 3-weeks Balkans road trip will show you the highlights of the region (minus the beaches). If possible, I recommend doing this road trip in Europe by car, as it’ll save you a lot of hassle, trust me.

Highlights of the trip:
• Learn about the tragic history of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
• Visit the walled towns around Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
• Fall in love with the charming old town in Prizren, Kosovo.
• Enjoy the lovely city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
• Visit the Blue Mosque and shop at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.

This Europe road trip through the Balkans starts in Sarajevo, my favorite city in the Balkans. Sarajevo is really charming, but memories of the war are very much present. Reserve one day for visiting the Tunnel of Hope and the Gallery 11/07/95 – Srebrenica exhibition to learn more about Sarajevo’s tragic history and stop for Bosnian coffee in the Bascarsija Old Town.

Proceed then to Mostar. Visit the Mostar Brodge, wander around the Old Town, and visit the walled towns around the city. If you’re a history buff, don’t miss the once-secret underground bunker of Marshal Tito in Konjic.

Spend a couple of days in Belgrade, Serbia, a lively city where you can find a mix of design eateries and traditional restaurants.

It’s time to visit Kosovo. While you shouldn’t spend too much time in Pristina, the capital, definitely plan to stop a few days in Prizren, which is a charming city that features UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a wonderful documentary festival if you visit in August.

Head to Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia. This is a quirky city full of weird statues everywhere. Visit the Old Bazaar and climb up the Kale Fortress.

Travel to Sofia, Bulgaria, and spend one day here wandering around the old town (obviously you can’t miss visiting St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world.

Proceed then to Plovdiv, which was the 2019 European Capital of Culture. Here you’ll find plenty of things to do: colorful, Instagrammable buildings, Roman historical sites, hipster cafès, great food, and even a beautiful wine estate not too far away.

Now you’ve got two options: you can head straight to Turkey, or make a little detour to spend a couple days soaking up the sun on the Black Sea in Sozopol or Sunny Beach (perfect for those who are into the party scene).

Your road trip ends in Istanbul, the Turkish capital. Visiting the Blue Mosque and shopping at the Grand Bazaar are just a few of the million things to do in Istanbul. A great end to this ultimate road trip.

Recommended length: 3 weeks. This road trip can be completed in less time by cutting some destinations, but 3 weeks is the time I recommend to really enjoy it. 

READ MORE: The Ultimate Balkans Road Trip Itinerary

Uff! It wasn’t easy to choose only 22 European road trip routes – there are hundreds more that can be enjoyed but that would mean writing a whole book. This summer will be the summer of awesome road trips, and hopefully you’ll have found a couple of ideas by reading this list of the best Europe road trips.

PIN THEM FOR LATER

Have any other European road trip ideas? Let me know in the comments below!

OH WAIT, HERE’S MORE ROAD TRIP INSPO!

9 Best Road Trips in France To Take This Year
8 Balkan Road Trips for your Bucket List
7 Scenic Road Trips in Portugal
10 Epic Road Trips in Spain To Go On ASAP


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  1. Stuart Fahy

    26 June

    These are some great recommendations. I’ve never had the chance to do much road-tripping through Europe so some nice ideas here for the future. I’ve seen much of the main cities in Andalucia but I really want to explore the White Villages. A road trip through there would be amazing. Thanks for sharing!

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