Top 10 Road Trips in Europe
We have asked our customers to vote for their favourite road trips in Europe, and we are pretty pleased with the response we got. We have compiled the top road trip destinations across the European continent in this concise list. We hope that one of the items in this list will be your road trip of choice the next time the travel bug starts to act up again.
1. Norway: Bergen to Oslo
Norway is a truly wonderful destination—with unique landscapes that stand strong against the almost brutish natural forces. One of the more popular (especially among hardcore motoring enthusiasts that are searching for more challenging routes) motoring destinations in Norway is the Atlantic Road, but going from Bergen to Oslo is also as exciting. You can start at the airport or ferry port at Bergen, and drive through Alvik to get to the Oslo road located in Eidfjord.
When taking this route, make sure to bring a Michelin road atlas with you to not miss a scenic highlight (marked in green)—but it would be hard to miss the breathtaking scenery especially with the whole Bergen-Oslo route highlighted green on the atlas. Be prepared to run out of memory card space as you snap photos of the Norwegian scenery.
2. France and Spain: The Basque Circuit
Boasting of impressive connections to two major Spanish cities (Madrid in three hours and Barcelona in six hours), the port of Bilbao in Santurtzi is a great starting point in your Basque Circuit road trip. Drive down south to Bilbao and then to Vitoria-Gasteiz—through a scenic mountain pass—and turn east to Pamplona for an unforgettable motoring adventure.
There are plenty of small mountain roads with amazing views through the Sierra de Urbasa if you are not in a big hurry to complete the drive. You can go through the Pyrenees Mountains into France, but make sure not to take your eyes off the road (and there will be plenty of times that you will be tempted to, thanks to the wonderful scenery) as the corners are a bit challenging.
3. France: Pas de Calais
Start your French road trip at the Eurotunnel terminal or the Calais ferry for the 160-mile route of Pas de Calais. Along the way, you will find plenty of delightful scenery in rural France, including sandy beaches, trees that dapple the golden sunlight, cobbled squares and streets, fishing ports, and one of the largest aquariums in Europe, the Nausicaa. Stop over at Le Touquet for a trip back to the 1920’s—opulent vacation homes, old-fashioned restaurants, and quaint boutiques are just some of the gems that you will find.
Taking the N43 northwest will bring you back to Calais, where you can have your fill of the famous beer of St Omer and the renowned local rhubarb wine.
4. Greece: The Peloponnesus
Located in the southern part of Greece, the Peloponnesus is a mountainous region that boasts of some of the most exciting drives in the continent. Motoring enthusiasts will definitely enjoy the rich history of the region, which seems to cram the different hues of prehistory to the Middle Ages in its charming ruins. The long and winding roads bring you to the mountains and olive grove-covered valleys as you drive from Athens to Argolis.
Make sure to stop over at Nauplia, the Mycenaean ruins, Sparta, and Mistra. The last one is home to the Perivleptos Monastery and the Pantanassa Convent, which are dazzling specimens of late Byzantine aesthetics.
5. The Alpine Road, Germany
The Alpine Road in the southern foothills of the Bavarian Alps has been long considered as one of the best drives in the European continent.
Aside from the fairy tale scenery peppered with breathtaking palaces, castles, and abbeys, the Alpine Road also boasts of winding roads that are a delight to drive through—especially if you are driving one of those wonderful precision driving machines that the country is known for. Take the twisting roads to the charming villages of Bad Tolz, Ettal, Germisch, Oberammergau, and Oberstaufen.
6. Hungary: Western Transdanubia
For a bounty of small charming towns, wonderful thermal lakes, and picturesque Gothic landmarks, make sure to go on a road trip through the Western Transdanubia in Hungary. Touring by train is available to visitors, but by forgoing the drive you will be limited to industrial zones that are no different from any other gloomy post-war towns in the continent.
Driving a car through the region will let you explore the country roads. Make sure to forego the highway for the path less traveled in the northwest part of the region to get to Veszprem from Budapest.
7. United Kingdom: The Scottish Highlands
Immortalized in film and literature as one of the most scenic locations in the British Isles, the Scottish Highlands is also a great road trip destination for motoring enthusiasts. A four-day road trip through this destination will reward you with amazing views filled with ancient castles, breathtaking beaches, and lush meadows and gardens.
You can start your Scottish Highlands adventure in Glenelg, which is conveniently located between the major cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Make sure to stop by the local restaurants for a truly Scottish delicacy, the haggis.
8. France: The Auvergne
There is more to France than Paris, and most enthusiastic motorists will tell you that the true treasures of this European country can be discovered through a drive in its countryside. From Paris, you can drive to Aurillac and back for just a total of 703 miles. Along the way, you will encounter plenty of opportunities to try the famously robust cuisine of the region, such as Rhone wines, Cantal cheeses, and Puy lentils. You can also feast your eyes on the wonderful scenery peppered with charming châteaux here and there.
And do not forget to indulge your sensual faculties with a visit to the region’s renowned spas.
9. Switzerland, France, and Italy
If you are up for a longer European road trip adventure with plenty of scenery, then why not hit up three countries in one drive. You can start at the Lake Leman in Geneva and head south to go to France. You will definitely pass by the famed Mont-Blanc tunnel, around seven miles long and directly under the highest peak of the Alps.
There will be plenty of dramatic mountain views right outside your window. Plus, you will be tempted to go on plenty of breaks from your journey to enjoy the wonders of those charming Italian villages.
10. Belgium: The Art Trail
If you want a bit of culture infused in your European road trip adventure, then make sure to explore one of the meccas of European art: Belgium. You can start from the capital city of Brussels, followed by Antwerp, Bruges, and Ghent. Belgian art is renowned all over the world, with many Old World maestros hailing from this country.
In Brussels, you will find your Brueghels (a room dedicated to Brueghel is found in Brussles’ Museum of Ancient Art); Antwerp offers Rubens, Ghent is Jan van Eyck’s stronghold, and finally, Hans Memling is Bruges’ gem.