The 20 most beautiful road trips in Europe

We love road trips. Driving through impressive landscapes and spontaneous stops in the most beautiful places, make up for the ultimate travel experience. We are lucky enough to live in Europe, one of the best parts of the world for the most scenic road trips. To uncover the most beautiful road trips on our continent, we’ve asked the some of the world’s leading travel bloggers to help create the the ultimate European road trip bucketlist.

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The 20 best road trips in Europe

#1 Exploring Croatia

by Maggie from The World Was Here First

One of the best road trips you can take in the entirety of Europe is a drive from Zagreb to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Taking you through some of the most iconic highlights of Croatia, it is particularly good to do this in your own vehicle as it allows you to be a lot more flexible while also making it easier to get slightly off the beaten path.

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Some of the highlights of this road trip include stopping at the incredible Plitvice Lakes National Park, sampling award-winning cheese on Pag Island, strolling along the seaside promenade and listening to the sea organ in Zadar and taking in the incredible Diocletian’s Palace in Split. 

The drive from Croatia’s capital city to Dubrovnik takes you through incredibly diverse landscapes and can allow you to detour to numerous islands or nature parks, as well. If you really want to be able to experience all you can on this road trip, then planning to spend about a week (or more) can be a fantastic idea. 

Leaving Zagreb, plan to spend at least one night near Plitvice Lakes, another night or two near Zadar, and a couple of nights in Split before finally ending up in beautiful Dubrovnik. If you want to go for longer, you could optionally add on a detour to Istria from Zagreb or hop from island to island after visiting Split.

All in all, driving from Zagreb to Dubrovnik is one of the best ways to experience some of the highlights of Croatia and is an excellent way to see this incredible country.

Roadtrip Europe Croatia

#2 The Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland

by Cath from Travel Around Ireland

Following the west coast of Ireland, the Wild Atlantic Way is a 2500km touring route and is one of the best road trips in Europe to take. Whether you start at Malin Head in County Donegal in the North, or at the Old Head of Kinsale in County Cork in the South, you will see some of the most rugged and beautiful landscape Ireland has to offer.

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To try and enjoy as much of the Wild Atlantic Way, it is advisable to take a minimum of 7 days if you want to cover the entire 2500km. Or you could spend more time on one section. There are over 160 official discovery points along the route, and it would be impossible to see them all in one week.

Along the route, from north to south, places you should stop at include Slieve League in Donegal, spectacular cliffs that rival their more famous southern counterparts. In the Sligo section it is worth visiting Glencar waterfall and viewing Benbulbin, with its unmistakable flat summit.

In Mayo, a visit to Achill Island is a must and Keem Bay to see if you can spot any basking sharks from up high. County Galway is all about the wilds of Connemara before you should visit one of the natural wonders of Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher in Mayo.

In Kerry, a visit to Dingle followed by a drive along part of the Ring of Kerry are unmissable before completing the trip at Kinsale. Towns to stay in would include Donegal, Westport, Galway, Tralee, Kenmare and Kinsale.

Roadtrip Europe Altantic Coast Ring of Kerry travel-around-ireland

#3 Lake Geneva in Switzerland

by Paul from The Two That Do

Lake Geneva, the largest lake in central Europe is one of the continent’s most luxurious regions. Overlooked by the peaks of the Alps to the south this has long been a favoured destination for health retreats and recuperation. The deep blue waters of the lake under summer sun the perfect environment to renergise.

200 km of roads hugging the majestic lake on one side, snow topped Alps and lush hillsides the other therefore make for an ideal road trip.

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Starting in Geneva this is a city that itself makes for a perfect weekend destination. Where the charming old town and artisan suburb of Carouge meet the modernity of CERN.

Just an hour east from Geneva lies the delightful city of Lausanne. Home to the International Olympic Committee and its own old town region an overnight stay at one of its many chic hotels or guesthouses is a must. A visit to the Olympic Museum perched proudly on the lake shore also warrants at least an afternoon of your time.

Continuing east through vineyards lies Montreux, home to the world famous jazz festival and the glorious, floral lined promenade to the fairy tale medieval Chillon Castle.

Our next stop is Évian, in the south of the Lake. Part of the Haute-Savoie region of France this town offers tantalising cheeses and wines as well as the famous spa waters. Understated compared to its Swiss cousins Évian is one of Lake Geneva’s smaller gems.

From Evian the return drive to Geneva and end to your 5 days in the stunning Lake Geneva region is just one hour. You will no doubt return with a warm glow and healthier complexion.

Roadtrip Europe Lake Geneva Switzerland (1)

#4 The North Coast 500 of Scotland

by Kathi from Watch Me See

The North Coast 500 is one of the most popular places to visit in Scotland – and for good reason! This 500-mile loop road trip around the far northwestern Highlands takes in dramatic mountain scenery, pristine coastline, sandy beaches and rich local history. 

Starting and finishing in Inverness, most people take between 5 and 8 days to follow the entire NC500 route. Any shorter, and I recommend focussing on one area of the region because there is a lot to discover. 

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The route begins with a beautiful journey from Inverness to Strathcarron by the sea and onwards over the thrilling Bealach na Ba mountain pass to Applecross – not a road for first-time drivers or campervans! From there, the NC500 hugs the coastline and leads through the beautiful areas like the Torridon mountains or Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve and through scenic villages like Shieldaig and Gairloch. 

From Ullapool, the route continues through the mountain scenery of Wester Ross and offers frequent stops at scenic beaches like Achmelvich, Oldshoremore and Sango Sands near Durness. The road trip leads around the northern most tip of mainland Britain (Dunnet Head and John O’Groats) before turning back south towards the Black Isle and Inverness.

Along the way, there are ample opportunities to visit Scottish Castles (Ardvreck and Dunrobin to name just two), stop for activities like boat trips, kayaking, hiking or canyoning, and indulge in local seafood.

It’s a perfect road trip to see the best of Scotland in one week.

Europe Road Trip Scotland Mountains near Tongue - Photo by Kathi Kamleitner, Watch Me See

#5 The Italian Amalfi Coast

by Chrysoula from Travel Passionate

The Amalfi Coast offers travelers one of the best road trip experiences in the world, with the winding coastal routes passing by azure Italian waters, with colorful, quaint towns teetering below. While the zig-zagging roads and sheer cliff drops are not for the faint of heart, the panoramic vistas, and charming villages more than make up for the somewhat nerve-wracking routes!

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Ideally, you’ll want to spend around one to two weeks exploring the Amalfi Coast, so you are able to give yourself plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere of each destination en route and can split up the driving with lots of photo opportunities.

The Amalfi Coast spans from Positano in the west all the way to Vietri sul Mare in the east, with towns such as Ravello, Praiano, and, of course, Amalfi along the way. While you don’t have to stay overnight in each of these towns, I would recommend stopping at each one to compare and contrast it to the last if nothing else! Each town and village is truly picture-perfect so you’ll never be disappointed that you made a stop.

While much of the joy of the Amalfi Coast is driving the picturesque route and soaking up the scenery, enjoying Italian cuisine, reclining on warm beaches, swimming in harbors, and taking short hikes out of the villages are all a great idea too!

I recommend planning to stay in Positano, Amalfi and Vietri sul Mare at the very least and perhaps also adding in stops at Sorrento, Pompeii, and Naples too if you have time.

Road trip Europe Amalfi Coast

#6 Southern Spain

by Emily from Wander-Lush

With well-kept highways, affordable rentals and fuel, and relatively short drive times, Spain is the perfect location for a European road trip. If you’re looking for a good mix of culture, history and nature, I highly recommend focusing on Spain’s southern Andalusia region.

You can see a good chunk of the area in as little as 10 days. Add a few extra days if you want to go hiking in The Alpujarra or kick back on the Costa del Sol.

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Andalusia is an autonomous region that’s quite culturally distinct from the rest of the country. Ruled by the Moors from the 8th to the 15th centuries, it boasts incredible architecture and a brilliant food scene. The region also holds some of Spain’s most beautiful natural landscapes within its boundaries, including the southern coastline and the stunning central Sierra Nevada mountains.

It’s Andalusia’s history-soaked cities that are its real claim to fame. Granada, home to The Alhambra, and Cordoba, with its Mezquita, are must-visits. The region’s biggest city and capital, Seville, is another highlight. Set aside at least two full days to see the Alcazar and Plaza de España, watch a Flamenco performance, and eat your body weight in Secreto Iberico. Smaller cities including Cadiz and Jerez de la Frontera, and Spanish villages such as Ronda, with its incredible gorge and stone bridge, should also feature on your itinerary.

Narrow lanes are common throughout Spain and can be a challenge to navigate, plus street parking in the bigger cities can be an issue. For these reasons, I highly recommend hiring the smallest car available.

Road trip Europe Southern Spain

#7 From the UK to the island of Corsica

by Annabel from Smudged Postcard

If you have a good chunk of annual leave, a road trip from the UK to Corsica takes in some really incredible parts of Europe.

From the UK, hop on the overnight ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland. A good overnight stop is Luxembourg: either the rural Ardennes or perhaps the capital, depending on your preference.

It’s a five hour drive from Luxembourg to Switzerland where there are wonderful mountain and lakeside stops to distract weary drivers for a few days. If wine is your thing, cross the border into northern Italy and spend a few days exploring the vineyards of Piedmont, home to the delicious Barolo, among many others.  If you fancy a city break without tourist crowds, a day trip to Turin is great fun.

There are overnight ferries to Corsica from the Ligurian port of Savona. If time allows, stop at charming Noli for a swim before dinner. The next day, you’re in Corsica: enjoy swimming in rivers and visiting beaches. Ensure you head inland to the mountains, there are some stunning mountain drives.

From Corsica, take an overnight ferry back to Italy: perhaps to Livorno if you fancy visiting Pisa and Florence. From there, head north to the Italian lake district before heading over the Alps into Austria and then north to Germany. Highlights on route might include Innsbruck and Munich. Serious drivers will relish taking to the autobahns in Germany. Back into the Netherlands, Rotterdam is a great place to enjoy dinner before hopping back on the ferry to the UK.

Allow a month to do this route justice.

Road trip Europe UK to Corsica

#8 From Lisboa to Porto in Portugal

by Marie from A Life Without Borders

aking in the main highlights of central Portugal, a ten day Lisbon to Porto road trip explores the two largest cities of Lisbon and Porto, plus 9 epic stops in between.  Discover UNESCO World Heritage sites, traditional whitewashed villages, majestic forests and seaside towns as you travel through some of the country’s most beautiful scenery.

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Starting in the capital of Lisbon, experience incredible azulejo-clad architecture, breathtaking viewpoints, lively nightspots and fantastic cuisine before heading northwest to the colourful town of Sintra.  With its fairy-tale castles and the mysterious underground tunnels and wells, you’ll soon see why this UNESCO site is so popular with visitors.

Next up is the medieval town of Obidos, where you’ll walk the ancient city walls.  Further north, visit Alcobaca and Batalha for their magnificent, historic monasteries, before making a quick stop for the caves of Grutas de Mira de Aire.

Head back to the coast, to spend a day or two getting to know the traditional fishing village of Nazare.  Home to giant waves, white sandy beaches, and fantastic seafood, don’t miss a ride on the historic funicular for spectacular views.

Explore the Bucaco Forest, a beautiful spot to immerse yourself in nature, before continuing on to the seaside towns of Costa Nova and Aveiro.  Known as the “Venice of Portugal,” don’t miss a ride on a traditional painted boat on Aveiro’s famed canals.

End your trip in Porto to get a taste for the country’s artistic side, including its epic museums and street art – and of course, drink port at one of the city’s many cellars.

Road trip Europe buildings-of-porto-portugal

#9 Italian Apulia

by Anda from Travel For A While

One of my favorite regions in Italy and an ideal one for a road trip is Apulia. Prepare to discover white cities hanging above the sea, fairy-tale houses, and endless olive groves. I suggest spending a week on the road, but of course, you can adapt the itinerary to fit your time frame.

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My itinerary to explore Apulia starts in Bari. You can rent a car right at the airport and head south to Polignano a mare, our first stop. The town is built on a spectacular cliff. Have your swimsuit ready or, if you’re not a swimmer, try a boat tour of the grottoes beneath the city. Next stop, Monopoli, a 15 minutes drive south, a white city by the sea. Visit the castle and admire the beautiful churches and piazzas. Carpe Diem is a great B&B to spend the night.

Day two will take you to fairy-tale town, Alberobello, famous for the conic-roof buildings called ‘trullo’- a Unesco World Heritage site. If you’re on a family trip, you might want to visit the Zoo Safari in Fasano on your way to Alberobello. For a complete experience, spend the night in a restored trullo, like Romantic Trulli.

On day three, make your way to Locorotondo for a couple of hours, then to the elegant Martina Franca, a beautiful baroque city.

Next stop, Ostuni, a white town on a hill in the middle of the olive groves. Spend the night at Masseria Moroseta, a beautifully restored old farm.

Discover Lecce, another baroque city and one of the most spectacular Italian cities I ever saw. If time allows, make your way to Gallipoli-an island town in the Ionian Sea.

As you head back, plan to spend one night in Bari and explore the Old City.

Roadtrip Europe Apulia Polignano a mare

#10 Lapland in Northern Finland

by Alexander from Engineer On Tour

How about a road trip to the far north of Finland? Many know that Lapland is an outstanding place for tourism. Many limit themselves only to Rovaniemi, the region’s capital, which is a bit unfortunate. As people of Lapland say, you haven’t seen it, if you haven’t been to the very north.

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Yes, you can do all the tourist activities in Rovaniemi, but there are crowds of tourists. In my opinion, smaller towns and villages are more authentic and provide better value. But to see those in one trip – you have to drive. Public transportation isn’t well-developed in Lapland. Here is a proposed itinerary for winter.

Start in Rovaniemi. You may rent your car there, but you can also move it on a train from Helsinki. A unique thing to do in Rovaniemi its Santa Claus Village. Santa could work as a comedian, he entertains you well and will set you in the mood for further trip.

Next, take a car and go to Levi. It is one of the best places for snowmobiles. You will see all the postcard-like frozen trees on the hills. We also found some of the best restaurants that specialize in reindeer cuisine.

Next, go up north and visit Hetta. It has one of the best husky farms. They will take you for long husky safari and show hundreds of dogs. Also, it is far in the north and you have way a better chance to see the northern lights.

The next spot is Inari. It is one of the major Saami towns and the center of their culture. Make sure you visit their museum and reindeer farm. And as usual, check night for aurora.

After this, you may go down to Kemijärvi. It is a chill and quiet place, with beautiful nature. Good for a day’s rest. It is the last station at the Finnish railroad. There you can put your car back to train (or drive to Rovaniemi)

The whole trip should take around 5 days. 

Snowy Lapland Finland Europe

#11 Calais to the Spanish Pyrenees

by Jenny from Peak District Kids

For those of us in the UK, Calais is an obvious starting point for a European road trip as it’s a short crossing from Dover. No need to hire a car, just bring your own! From Calais, the possibilities are endless across Europe, but last summer we drove from Calais down to the Spanish Pyrenees and back again. It was an incredible trip.

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As it was summer, we wanted to steer away from tourist crowds and find hidden gems off the beaten track. Our route, which is detailed in our France road trip itinerary, included the lush forests of Vaubarlet, the Mediterrean coast of Languedoc-Roussillon with it’s distinct Catalan vibe, the craggy peaks of the Spanish Pyreness, the glitzy Biarritz Region, the windswept sandy beaches of Ile d’Oléron, and the chateaux and tree-lined avenues of the Loire. Each destination notably distinct from the other, providing a true cross section of cultures and landscapes across France.

We stayed either four or five days at each location, and the trip took us thirty days in total. It was about a four to five hour drive between each location and we used the toll roads (which can add up, but they are very efficient).

We camped along the way, bringing our camping gear from home, and self catered. The French campsites in particular are exceptional, with bakeries, restaurants and swimming pools on site; just ensure you book in advance, especially in the high season. 

Europe Road Trip Calais to the Spanish Pyrenees Pyrenees

#12 Transylvania in Romania

by Maria & Katerina of It’s All Trip To Me  

One of the best road trips you can enjoy in Europe is definitely a scenic drive across the stunning Transylvania region in Romania. With gorgeous countryside, countless castles and the most picture-perfect medieval towns, Transylvania is every road-trip lover’s dream come true. 

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For the optimal experience, a road trip across Transylvania should last at least seven to ten full days. This way, there’ll be plenty of time to enjoy a full itinerary that includes all major points of interest in the region while taking it quite slow and making time to get acquainted with local culture, savour authentic food and stop to marvel at nature’s wonders along the way. 

Speaking of itineraries, you will most probably start your road trip from Bucharest, Romania’s vibrant capital and then follow a circular route that includes stops at Transylvania’s quaintest towns and must-see attractions. A sample itinerary should look like this: Bucharest – Brasov – Viscri – Sighisoara – Biertan – Sibiu – Bucharest with in between stops at world renowned castles, UNESCO listed towns and, of course, the scenic Transfagarasan Highway.

The most impressive castles to visit in Transylvania include Bran Castle, Rasnov Fortress, Rupea Fortress, Corvin Castle as well as the fortified churches in Viscri and Biertan. As far as picturesque towns are concerned, Sighisoara, Brasov and Sibiu are absolutely unmissable. Yet, the ultimate highlight of any road trip across Romania is taking in the beauty of the Transfagarasan Road, a thrilling mountain pass that has been awarded the title of the best road in the world by no other than Top Gear. 

Europe Road Trip viscri-romania-itsalltriptome

#13 The island of Cyprus

by Stephanie from History Fangirl

Many people just come to Cyprus to stay in Paphos, but there are so many great things to do in Cyprus that you really do need to get out and explore. A great way to see Cyprus is by car, and a Cypriot road trip is a perfect antidote to just experiencing Cyprus as a fly-and-flop.

Check the current prices for a rental car in Cyprus.

I would suggest spending one to two weeks on your trip. Start by flying into Larnaca and picking up your car. Enjoy a half-day in the city, seeing the best of Larnaca before moving onto Nicosia, Cyprus’s divided capital. Dedicate at least a day here (but there’s enough to do for far more than that!), including a trip over the border into North Nicosia / Lefkosia.

From Nicosia, head to Agia Napa for a day lounging on Nissi Beach and exploring the town. This is a resort area of the country and a perfect introduction to Cyprus’s beaches. After Agia Napa, spend a day or two driving through the Troodos mountains and seeing the UNESCO World Heritage protected churches. Many of these are by appointment only or open only on certain days, so plan your itinerary for your visits carefully!

After the mountains, head to Limassol to see ancient ruins and Richard the Lionheart’s Cyprus legacy. This is also a great place to see ancient Greek sites. Additional stops include a day at Aphrodite’s beach and at least two days in Paphos, one to see the UNESCO Site and other important archeological sites and another day to relax at Paphos’s beaches and beach bars. Fly out of Paphos relaxed and enriched!

Road trip Europe Cyprus

#14 A 7 day road trip in Montenegro

by Cassie from Cassie The Hag

From coastal roads to mountainside tracks including a jaw-dropping stretch of 25 hairpin bends, Montenegro is a great place to go for a roadtrip. From a 4 day drive along the coast to a 2-week trip appreciating the great outdoors of the five Montenegrin National Parks, there are many options.

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On a 7 day Montenegro road trip itinerary, you have time to see many of the best and varied places in the region. Begin at the capital Podgorica, where you can pick up a car, and drive to Lake Skadar. At Lake Skadar, the Bend Lake viewpoint (named ‘Pavlova Strana’) is a must-see. Next, drive to Durmitor National Park and spend at least two days driving around the mountains. In this area, must-sees include the Black Lake, Tara Bridge and Tara Canyon. If you have time, you could also go hiking – Bobotuv Kok is the tallest mountain the region – or check out turquoise Piva Lake. 

The winding dirt roads from Mt Lovcen via Cetinje make for another beautiful drive. Lovcen National Park is home to amazing views over the Bay of Kotor and the beautiful Mausoleum of Petar Njegos. The final stretch of road from Lovcen back to Kotor is certainly the most impressive – each of the 25 hairpin bends has breathtaking, panoramic views over the bay.

Finally, you can relax in historical Kotor! In Summer, you can go swimming or head further along the coast for the beautiful beaches. Any time of the year it is lovely to explore the Old Town.

Road trip Europe bucketlist Montenegro

#15 The Golden Circle in Iceland

by Nicole from Nicole LaBarge Travel Blog

If you’re visiting Iceland for the first time, then going on a Golden Circle day trip is a must since this route is the best way to experience the stunning and dynamic natural landscape of Iceland. Going on the Golden Circle will show you the geothermal activity of Iceland, the beautiful waterfalls in Iceland and the beauty of the National Parks.  Add on the Blue Lagoon and you have a perfect itinerary for Iceland.

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Not to be confused with the Ring Road which goes all the way around Iceland, the Golden Circle is a day trip to some of the most popular spots near Reykjavik.  The Ring Road drive takes a good 6 days to drive around Iceland and stop along the way.  Some people even take longer on this drive whereas the Golden Circle is a day trip from Reykjavik and there are several tour companies that offer a tour of the Golden Circle as well.

You can explore the Golden Circle of Iceland in winter or summer, this popular driving route will take you through the southern portion of the island, where you will experience such iconic natural wonders as Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir Geothermal Field, and Thingvellir National Park.

The Golden Circle is 237 kilometers long and can be driven in as little as three and a half hours.  Most people take the entire day to complete this drive because you will want to pull over constantly and take photos!

Rondreis IJsland | Roadtrip Iceland | The Orange Backpack

#16 Western Norway

by Radka from Real Camp Life

Western Norway will surprise you by its incredible scenery. On this 5 to 7 days road trip, you will drive along deep fjords, cross high mountains and mountain plateau, admire majestic waterfalls and taste the most delicious apple cider from local Norwegian farmers. 

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The best place to start the trip is in Bergen, where you should reserve at least a day for exploring the traditional wooden houses of Bryggen and taking the funicular to Mount Fløyen to enjoy the views over the city.

From Bergen drive west to the villages of Gudvangen and Flåm, where you should jump on a boat to explore the UNESCO-protected Nærøyfjord.

The next day continues via Geilo to Eidfjord. On this stretch, you will drive the scenic route through the Hardangervidda mountain plateau. The highlight of the day is the hike to the foot of the 182 meters tall Vøringsfossen waterfall. 

If you want to, you can spend the next day hiking to Trolltunga, the most famous rock cliff in Norway. Beware, it is not an easy hike, but the views to the Ringedalsvatnet lake thousand meters below you are definitely worth the sweat.

Take it easy the following day, as you will probably be sore in your legs. There is a beautiful stretch of the National scenic route Hardanger lying ahead of you. You will drive on a small narrow road through beautiful orchards and picturesque villages along the Sørfjorden. Spend a night in a historic hotel in Utne and reward yourself with tasty apple most and cider from the local farmers before you drive back to Bergen.

Europe Road Trip Norway Hardangerfjord_Norway_Realcamplife

#17 Alsace Wine Route Road Trip

by Elisa from France Bucket List

Alsace is a historical region in eastern France, in the French region of Grand Est. Alsace is a great area to explore, world-famous for its wines and picturesque towns, and also with a beautiful nature and interesting history. During the last centuries, Alsace was disputed by France and Germany and the region changed of hands many times. This is why visitors can see many German influences in Alsace, especially in its architecture and gastronomy.

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One of Alsace’s tourist attractions is the Wine Route of Alsace which explores its wines but also the cutest villages in Alsace. One could be drinking wine and sightseeing in the area forever but we recommend at least 3 days, dedicating one full day for Strasbourg.

The trip starts in Strasbourg, where the car is not necessary. The capital of Alsace and Grand Est is an interesting city to explore, with beautiful sights like La Petite France or the cathedral. Apart from an excellent gateway to the Alsatian countryside, it is a great introduction to Alsace’s culture and traditional food.

Day 2 takes us to Colmar (75km, 45 minutes), the prettiest town in Alsace but also the most crowded with. You can use half-day for exploring the town and its canals and book a wine tasting tour in the afternoon. In the evening, be sure to taste the local cuisine paired with some Alsatian wines.

Day 3 can be used to explore two more small villages or just one village plus a wine tasting tour. If you prefer more sightseeing than wine, we recommend Kaysesberg and Eighisheim, both located at less than 20 km from Colmar.

Extend your Alsace Wine Tour as you please, perhaps with more Alsatian villages or a hike in the Vosges.

Europe Road Trip Alsace France Colmar

#18 Western France: Paris, Loire Valley and Mont St Michel

by Anne from Pretraveller

The road trip from Paris to the Loire Valley via Versailles Palace, the Normandy landing beaches from World War II and Mont St Michel is an amazing way to spend a week during your time in France.  Ideally you should plan at least 7 days to explore along this route, you can easily also shorten or lengthen this time to suit your interests.

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Day 1 is to drive to Versailles Palace and spend the whole day exploring – you will need it!  Then stay in either Versailles or Giverny for the night.  Day 2 you will explore Monet’s Garden, then drive on to Rouen to explore and visit the Joan of Arc Museum.  Then drive onto Honfleur, your overnight seaside stop.

Day 3 is for exploring the World War II Normandy Landing Beaches, which stretch 80 miles / 130km from Honfleur to Cherbourg.  Day 4 is a shorter day to visit the World War 2 Museum in Caen, as well as to see the Bayeaux Tapestry before driving on the world famous Mont St Michel and staying overnight in the area.

Day 5 is for an early visit to Mont St Michel before the tourist buses arrive, then to drive to the Loire Valley.  Head to Angers and from there you have a multitude of chateaux to visit – so choose wisely!  There are also many markets, shopping and other activities readily available in the Loire Valley, so plan to spend at least two full days to explore.

From there on Day 7 you can either drive back to Paris via the spectacular Chartres Cathedral, or alternatively drop your car off in Tours and catch the TGV train to your next destination.

Mont St Michel, Normandy

#19 Roadtrip in the Netherlands

by Nichola from Globalmouse Travels

The Netherlands is one of our favourite countries to visit as a family, it has it all, some great child-friendly activities, wonderful food and a fantastic welcome. Our trip takes in two weeks in the Netherlands which could easily be lengthened or shortened depending on how much time you have available to you.

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Start in busy Amsterdam with its canal side walks and interactive museums including the NEMO, Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. Pause for thought at the Anne Frank house, enjoy pancakes everywhere and shop in some of the unique artisanal shops that line the streets. After this head out of the capital for time in the countryside at one of the lovely Landal Parks which can be found throughout the country. These are perfect to get in some time cycling, breathing the fresh Dutch air and really relaxing. If you’re visiting the Netherlands with kids these are ideal for some real quality family time.

When you’re ready to head on, vibrant Utrecht is a wonderful next stop. This is my favourite of the Dutch cities as it’s so picturesque but not as touristy as Amsterdam can sometimes feel. Spend time here rowing along the canal, visiting the simply wonderful Speelklok Museum and stopping for frites.

On your way to Rotterdam stop off at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kinderdijk where a selection of beautiful, old windmills creak proudly in the wind and give an insight in to another world. Spend a few days in quirky Rotterdam with its modern art, creative buildings and fun restaurants.

Finally head to the beach on the north coast at Scheveningen to watch the waves crash. Take in the beautiful setting at one of the beachside restaurants here and reflect on how much more there is to see in the Netherlands and how a return trip will be essential.

Kinderdijk, Rotterdam | Nederland, Netherlands | The Orange Backpack

#20 A castle road trip in Germany

by us

Last year we had our (in law) parents’ dog at Easter and the three of us made an incredible road trip through Germany. We started in Maastricht, the most southern Dutch city and close to the German border. We explored picturesque villages nearby and had a tour in the Dutch cave system where famous art works were stored in a secret safe during the Second World War.

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After this first stop in the Netherlands we continued our road trip in Germany, all the way to the southern border with Austria. Because our white dog friend was with us, we decided to make many hikes in the scenic German forests. Big highlights were Schloss Neuschwanstein near the Austrian border with beautiful mountain views, the picturesque Burg Eltz and Hohenzollern high up a hill.

Our road trip took around 5 days, but you can easily spend much longer in this area, exploring the Black Forest, picturesque villages and even more castles. It was definitely a trip to remember. Especially because our dog friend passed away not long after and this road trip were some amazing last memories together.

Roadtrip Germany castles