Nothing like a road trip to remember how beautiful our world can be, is there? Being out on the open road, with no strict itinerary and the freedom to stop off wherever you like is an incredible feeling.
With 44 countries in Europe and probably a million roads to choose from, you’ll never get to do them all, but here are a few ideas for some of the best European road trips that’ll impress even the most cynical of travellers.
1. Dubrovnik to Montenegro
We hired a soft top car in Dubrovnik and drove it across the mountains to Montenegro. We dropped in to Kotor, Podgorica and Budva via the coastal roads and mountain passes. We stayed in a random little homestay in the middle of the National Park, and stayed with a lady who was fascinated by our soft top, and seemed determined to ply me with alcohol until I passed out (I wasn’t driving the next morning).
I took a few pics of my Croatia > Montenegro road trip with my new camera at the time, the Lumix GX80. Check them out here. We spent three days exploring, which was enough for me, but depends how into castles and Montenegro history and culture you are.
2. Route One, Iceland
I’ve done a bit of this one, when I visited Iceland back in 2013. Unfortunately the weather was so cold and crazy when we were there we didn’t get very far and were actually told to turn back at one point, by some other drivers, because of the snow and snow drifts.
So, I need to go again. A lot of travel bloggers and photographers go to Iceland, it’s just such an incredible looking place. The volcanoes, lava fields, ash deserts, waterfalls, hot springs and geysers make for a beautiful background no matter what kind of photography you’re into.
The Route One road circumnavigates the entire island through the rocky vistas of the south and round to the beautifully bleak north, via many stunning waterfalls and hot springs. The whole route is 800 miles, and should take a week to 10 days to complete.
READ MORE: 5 Tips for an Iceland Road Trip in January
3. Paris to Riberac
I actually cycled this trip, through France, but it’d make for a beautiful trip in the car. We passed chateaus that you could pull in to, fields of sunflowers, and tiny villages that if you didn’t hit between 12 and 1, you’d miss out on food for the rest of the day.
We passed lush countryside, vineyards, turrets and gables, up and down hills and just enjoying the scenery as we passed through the centre of France.
You could do this journey in a day in the car, but take two and enjoy yourself, and tag another one on the end to make it to Toulouse too.
READ MORE: Exploring France With a Motorhome
4. Norway’s Trollstigen
I’ve been to Norway twice but still, I want to see more. I’d love to go super north, to the Arctic Circle, I’d love to take a cruise around the fjords, and I’d love to explore more by car.
The crazy hair pin road Trollstigen (The Troll Path) is here, and you can drive it between Trondheim and Bergen, and include the world’s longest road tunnel in your travel plans too. Along the way you’ll see the stunning Tvindefossen Waterfall, the Fjaler Valleys, and across the incredible bridges of the iconic Atlantic Road.
Take a week to explore the stunning scenery by car, and cross some of the fjords by ferry too.
Reeeeally want to go to Sicily, and now that I’m looking up road trips there, even more so.
The best one I’ve found starts in the capital Palermo, before travelling on along the Tryyhenian Coast to the golden sands of Cefalu, with its mellow medieval town centre. From there head towards the ancient city of Enna, built on top of a massive hill and surround by cliffs on all sides. Drive south east, along the Ionian Sea and stop in Siracusa for a few days to check out the ancient architecture.
From there you can travel up to Catania to explore the molten Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in all of Europe.
Sounds good hey? Expect it to take a week, give or take a few days depending on how much you like to get out of the car
More amazing road trip destinations
6. Autobahn in Germany – no speed limits in the non urban regions!
7. Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland – beautiful coastal road, and find out more about the best road trips in Ireland here.
8. Drive the Amalfi Coast – stunning coast line in Italy with lots of pretty places to stop off.
9. Estoril Coast Drive – I just want to see more of Portugal, desperately, and this route takes in some of the best cities.
10. Military Road, Isle of Wight – who knew that one of the best road trips in Europe is just over the water from me in Southsea, on the Isle of Wight? I feel a road trip coming on for sure.
11. And, if you’re in England, check out the Jurassic Coast for a road trip. You’ll see Durdle Door, the New Forest, swanky Sandbanks, Christchurch and Bournemouth too. Swanage and Studland were pretty beaut too.
How to prepare your car for Europe
1. If you’re renting a car, always check where the lights, wipers, indicators are before you start the engine. Their position might seem like common sense, and that most cars are very similar, but you don’t want to find that it’s not when you’re on the motorway in the dark going 60mph in the rain.
2. If you’re driving your own car take it to a reputable company to check the tyres before you leave.
3. Have your Spotify playlists ready but make some time to listen to the local radio too.
4. Double check you have the appropriate vehicle for the road trip. For example, Route One in Iceland needs a four wheel drive, nothing less.
5. Know exactly what kind of cover your travel insurance offers you to avoid paying twice, and whether it’s worth taking out the zero excess cover when you rent the car. It can be very confusing so make sure you read up on the process before you commit.
6. Whether you’ve hired a car or you’re in your own, familiarise yourself with the local driving laws and regulations.
7. Always know your fuel type – putting the wrong one in will cost a ridiculous amount to sort out.
8. Check the car over, whether it’s yours or not, and look closely at the tread on the tyres, for any scratches and the overall wellbeing of the vehicle. Best to address any issues at the start than when you’re on the road!
Which one would you most like to do?
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