When travelling in Europe, it can easy to follow the herd and explore along the typical tourist routes on your road trip. But if you dare to venture off the beaten track, you will be thoroughly rewarded.
Europe is full of hidden gems that are both beautiful and historical. Small towns, ever-changing vistas and dramatic landscape are just a few of the amazing things that you will experience during a road trip in Europe.
If you are setting out on a European-style road trip, be prepared to come across rolling roads and a variety of weather conditions. You also may be driving on the opposite side of the road than you are used to, which most people find is really no problem at all once they get the hang of it!
The key to an enjoyable road trip in Europe is to take your time. Plan your trip so that you can explore at your own speed and spend a bit more time in the places that you like the most. Try to remember: it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.
Best road trips in Europe
Route 1, Iceland
Route 1 is also called the Ring Road and just like its name suggests, it meanders its way around the entirety of Iceland. For this trip, you could complete it in under 20 hours, but we recommend giving yourself 1-2 weeks to truly enjoy the beautiful journey.
All throughout this route, you will be able to view world-famous landscape including waterfalls, hot springs, geysers, lava fields, deserts and extraordinary vistas. Route 1 is most known for its diversity of landscape. Around every corner, there is a new kind of sight that seems worlds apart from those that surround it. If you are planning to travel this route in the winter, you will be thrilled by the snowglobe scenery; however, allow extra time for road closures and snowfalls.
This is an ideal road trip for photographers – just remember to bring lots of extra photo storage! Check out some of the beautiful Iceland: Route 1 scenery here.
Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
The Jungfrau Region is snug in the Alps. If you are an avid hiker or outdoor enthusiast, this would be your dream trip, as the entire region is surrounded by adventure opportunities.
For alpine fun, head to Jungfraujoch where you can experience top scenery in combination with ice caves, museums and quaint mountain towns. After Jungfraujoch, head down into InterLaken and explore some of the hiking trails that circle Brienzersee and Thunersee Lakes.
There are so many options to explore around this part of Europe that it is hard to provide a time estimate for the amount of time that you will need. However, many people find that about a week should be adequate.
Romantic Road, Germany
Europe attracts many couples in celebration of romantic milestones. If that’s you, then this will be the road trip that you want to complete during your road trip in Europe!
Romantic Road is a historical route through Southern Germany. It winds through beautiful castles and magical countryside. You will also be able to experience some noted villages along the way including Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber, Augsburg, Landsberg and Dinkelsbuhl.
Enjoy at least a week of history, architecture and of course local wine throughout this romantic journey.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
If coastlines and Mediterranean landscape are more your thing, then the Amalfi coastline is a dream itinerary for your vacation to Italy.
The Amalfi Coast has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997 due to its diverse beauty and unique cultural value.
The coastline route is on the southern side of Italy, running from Vesuvius to Paestum. You can also take a small detour about halfway through the trip from Sorrento to the Isle of Capri for some relaxation time, on island time. Positano, Amalfi Coast’s shining gem, is an incredible place to spend a couple of nights – read Jenn Explores’ Complete Guide to Positano.
If you choose the Amalfi Coast, you will not find yourself short of rugged coastline and small picturesque beaches. The coastline is 50 km long; however, the speed at which you choose to explore it is up to you.
Normandy Coast, France
If you are exploring Europe, chances are that history interests you. If this is the case, the Normandy Coast is a must.
The entire coastline is spotted with historical sites. Along the way, be sure to stop at Pegasus Bridge, Juno Beach, Arromanches, Omaha beach, Ponte Du Hoc and Utah Beach.
The Normandy Coastline consists of about 550 km of road. You can pick and choose where you want to go and explore the pieces of it that interest you the most, as well as add-on detours inland.
Whichever way you go, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to soak up (and read up!) on the sites that you are visiting.
What kind of road trip in Europe is suited for you?
Europe is vast in offerings and truly has something for everyone. Road trips are a great way to see the sights that you want, and skip the things that you don’t. It is the ultimate freedom.
If you are not sure how to start planning your road trip or next vacation, contact one of our experienced Travel Specialists. We have many agents who specialize in Europe travel and have been to, or are very familiar with, just about every route possible. Find a TierOne Travel Specialist Now!
“Once a year, go someplace you have never been before” – Dalai Lama