When you think of a road trip, do you think of driving out west in the US or up the coast? These longing destinations are probably on almost every bucket list. We have done those many times and have enjoyed them all. Driving 7000 miles pulling our travel trailer driving through 20 US states was incredible. We love all of our road-trips, long or short. But there are also really great destinations for a road trip in Europe. And the great thing is that you don’t need a lot of preparation here. The best thing to do is just get in your car, van or motorhome and drive off. Exciting adventures and unforgettable experiences arise naturally along the way.
Are you planning your next holiday, and would you like to make a round trip somewhere in Europe? Then here is a list of some of the best road trips for you.
Road trip Italy
After holidays on the North and Baltic Seas, Italy is the most popular vacation destination for many Europeans. And this country of pizza, pasta and dolce vita is also ideal for a road trip. If you have enough time, you can explore the whole country from north to south in a few weeks. Otherwise, the north of Italy is ideal for a road trip. You can even make a semi-spontaneous detour towards the Dolomites or Lake Garda. And whether culture and history in Venice or Milan, the coastal villages of the Cinque Terre or Tuscany – northern Italy has several highlights in store. The nice thing: You can either only go through South Tyrol for a few days, for example, tour or discover many highlights in three weeks. And if you have enough time, just continue south. Bella Italia still has a lot to offer as far as Sicily.
We have recently drove from Rome to the Amalfi Coast down to Calabria. From there we drove and took the car ferry to Sicily and it was amazing. We are already planning on returning.
Road trip France
The road trip through France is at least as popular as Italy. If you want to explore the whole country, you should have a few weeks. Our neighbouring country offers numerous routes, whether in the north, south, west, east or in middle, which are also worthwhile for shorter round trips. The longed-for destination in southern France with the Côte d’Azur and Provence, which can be explored in a week. In the west, you can drive along the Atlantic and get to know the coast from rough Brittany to the wine region around Bordeaux. You should plan at least ten days for this. In the north, Normandy and Brittany are perfect for a round trip. A few days for a road trip along the wine route in Alsace are not only worthwhile for wine lovers. Of course, France also has real pearls inland. There are a lot of cultures, for example, along the Loire with its castles and historic towns.
Road trip Norway
For many, Norway is at the top of the list of the most beautiful road trips in Europe. Nature lovers, in particular, will get their money’s worth here. It has spectacular fjords, breathtaking rock formations, countless lakes and, of course, the Atlantic coast. The most popular means of transport for a road trip through Norway is a motorhome or van. You can stay overnight almost anywhere as long as you keep a distance of 150 meters from the next building. Of course, you can also explore the country by car, but then you just have to plan a little more budget for overnight stays. With cities like Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim or Stavangar, there is also a lot of culture and history. Those who only have two weeks can explore the south of Norway and the fjords to Trondheim. In three weeks, you can at least make it to Lofoten. But no matter how long you’re away, you’ll want to come back.
Road trip Croatia
Summer, sun, beach and sea offer you a road trip through Croatia from spring to autumn. Still, an insider tip on the Adriatic 15 years ago, the country has now made it into the top ten most popular travel destinations – and not without reason. Croatia offers a great mix of exciting nature, for example, around the Plitvice Lakes, history and culture in Zagreb, Split or Dubrovnik, beautiful islands – and between the Adriatic Sea. If you only have a week, explore Istria in the north with destinations such as the port city of Rovinj or the hinterland with its small artist villages and truffle kitchen. Within two to three weeks, you can make it along the coast to Dubrovnik, and in between, you can also explore some islands.
Road trip Portugal
Summer temperatures also await you on a road trip through Portugal. The country in the very west of Europe is, therefore, also ideal for a round trip in spring and until late autumn. If you have at least two weeks’ vacation, you can start north of Porto and drive down to the Algarve via Coimbra, Nazaré, Peniche, Sintra, Cascais and Lisbon. If you have less time, you can go on a discovery tour around Lisbon in a week with a mix of city, beach and history. And the Algarve, with its spectacular coast, is also ideal for a shorter road trip. No matter what you decide: In Portugal, in addition to beautiful beaches, numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites, cities worth seeing and a quiet hinterland for hiking and cycling await you.
By the way, many times we fly Tap Portugal to get to Europe from Miami. A good low-cost airline. Tap flies direct to Lisbon which is a great jumping off point to drive into Spain, France, Germany and Italy.
Road trip Denmark
Denmark is also ideal for a road trip. In terms of size, it is perfect for exploring the most important places and beautiful sights in two to three weeks and being able to take a day at the beach in between. The classic is the route along the North Sea coast via Ribe, Esberg, Hvide Sande, Blokhus, Lokken and Hirtshals to Skagen. On the way there are meter-high dunes, huge sandy beaches, lighthouses and fishing villages to discover. Then it’s on to the island of Fyn and the capital Copenhagen, with stops in Aalborg and Aarhus via the islands of Møn, Falster and Lolland. If you like relaxed people, lots of nature and cute little places in between, you will find happiness on a road trip through Denmark – after all, the country ranks second in the World Happiness Report.
Our Final Word
Road trips in Europe offer a whole different flavor than in the US. Renting a vehicle is easy and we recommend getting full-insurance. Whether you are driving through Norway which is a dream or Italy (great panini’s at the gas stations), you will never forget your time on the road, seeing the sights and meeting the people. A road trip really does meet the definition of exploring. It is the trip, not the destination.
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