The most beautiful road trips in Europe
Engine on, world off.
April 2, 2021
In order to enjoy Road trips With countless exciting stops along the way, you don't necessarily have to drive along Route 66 in the USA. Europe also has some routes that are worth driving by car, motorcycle or camper. Road trips have some advantages: you can be completely spontaneous, explore the different areas in their full glory and enjoy your freedom.
Here are five unforgettable routes through Europe.
Highlands of Scotland
Length: approx. 580 km
Edinburgh - Stirling - Glencoe - Isle of Skye - Loch Ness - Cairngorms National Park - Aviemore
The beautiful country in the north of Europe is perfect for a road trip. The cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh are suitable as a starting point, as both have a large airport. Car hire is a great way to explore the country at a reasonable price. If you are adventurous, you can also borrow a camper, because in Scotland wild camping is still allowed in the most beautiful places in nature. But beware of the left-hand traffic! You have to get used to it. If you start your route in Edinburgh, you should definitely plan enough time to explore the mystical capital of Scotland. Numerous winding alleys, cosy pubs and historical sights await you.
From there you will head towards Stirling, home to an ancient castle that is well worth seeing. Then you are already in the breathtaking Highlands, a spectacular hilly landscape that runs through Scotland. There you will also find the village of Glencoe, which is perfect for walking and whose hills offer brilliant views. From there you will reach the Isle of Skye, a dreamlike island with imposing rock formations, old castles, historic bridges and a breathtakingly beautiful natural landscape. Then the journey continues towards Loch Ness, passing Ben Navis, the highest mountain in the whole of Great Britain. At the famous loch you can take a boat trip to explore the whole area. Next stop: Cairngorms National Park, which is a dream destination for all hiking lovers. Next stop: Aviemore, a small town with some lakes, mountains and a fantastic nature. From there you can enjoy the breathtaking landscape of Scotland once again before you arrive back at the starting point in Edinburgh.
- Arthur's Seat, the historic local mountain in Edinburgh
- Ben Navis, the highest mountain in Great Britain
- Loch Ness, the mystical lake in the middle of the Highlands
Amalfi Coast in Italy
Length: 70 km
Salerno - Ravello - Amalfi - Positano - Sorrento
The route along the Amalfi Coast is considered one of the most beautiful road trips in the world. Most start their journey in Naples, a city with an airport. From there you can reach the starting point Salerno in under an hour. A smaller car is recommended, as most of the streets and alleys are very narrow. Those who decide for a road trip at the Italian Amalfi Coast will be rewarded with a dreamlike view to the open sea, colourful villages and a breathtakingly beautiful nature consisting of olive groves, pine trees and citrus trees. The unforgettable adventure starts in the port city of Salerno. There alone there are countless sights, such as impressive churches, cathedrals and museums. But also the promenade and the port are worth a visit.
We continue to Ravello, a beautiful town at an altitude of 350 meters, known for its parks, gardens and oases of peace. Then Amalfi is already waiting to be explored. This seaside town boasts an imposing cathedral, built in the Arabic-Sicilian style and restored in the 18th century during the Baroque period. Continue on to Positano, a beautiful fishing town that gained worldwide fame through stars like Leonardo DiCaprio. This idyllic luxury town has beautiful bays, picturesque buildings and great restaurants. The route continues west, past steep cliffs, green mountains and the sea always in view, whichever way you turn. The destination of the road trip is Sorrento, a town on the Gulf of Naples known for its citrus fruits. If you have plenty of time, you can also visit the gorgeous island of Capri. In a little more than an hour, you will be back in Naples.
- "Path of the Gods", a hike of about two hours above Amalfi to Positano.
- The lemon groves in Sorrento, from which the famous Limoncello is made
- Villa Cimbrone, a wonderful viewpoint in Ravello.
Riviera in France
Length: 297 kilometres
Marseille - St. Tropez - Fréjus - Cannes - Nice - Monaco
If you want to feel like Grace Kelly and Cary Grant for once, then start a road trip on the Côte D'Azur. Start in the artistic port city of Marseille, where you should spend at least one day to immerse yourself in the vibrant life. From there, head to St. Tropez, one of the most famous spots for the rich and beautiful. But don't be deceived by the glow of the countless yachts and luxury gates. Because hidden in the middle of the town is an idyllic little old town with winding streets and a hill on top of which is a citadel that offers a breathtakingly beautiful view of the open sea.
The next fantastic city is already waiting for you: Fréjus. The Provençal town delights with a perfect mix of seaside holiday and culture. Even the Romans once settled there. The next stop on the French Riviera is something for film enthusiasts. Cannes is on the agenda. What must not be missed there: a walk along La Croisette. Always along the sea, the coastal road leads you past Antibes (the St. Tropez for the really wealthy), to Nice. Take your time to soak up the sun on the Promenade Des Anglais or discover the real treasures of the city, such as the museums where works by Matisse and Chagall are exhibited. The last part of your trip will take you along the Grand Corniche, an elevated road built by Napoleon, to Monaco. This city impresses not only with the principality, but also with the impressive Formula 1 circuit.
- The Notre Dame de la Garde, a basilica in Marseille, which offers a brilliant view over the city
- The old gendarmerie of St. Tropez, which is now a museum and was once the setting for the cult films of Louis de Funès.
- The Casino Monte Carlo, where not infrequently world stars stay
Trollstigen in Norway
Length: 106 km
Isterdal - Stigfossen - Geiranger
Norway hides numerous natural treasures that make for an unforgettable experience. For example, the Trollstigen Route, also known as the "Troll Trail". This is located very close to Åndalsnes, in the west of the country. The route is not for the faint-hearted, as the road on the 106 kilometres winds its way up a mountain, becomes very, very narrow from time to time and requires the utmost concentration. But in return, you are rewarded with a spectacular view of a landscape dotted with waterfalls, fjords and lakes. By the way, the trail is only passable between May and October - weather permitting.
The route starts in Isterdal. From there it goes up a mountain in serpentines. The road runs along an imposing mountain wall on one side and sloping rocks on the other. In some places it is clearly visible that the road has been cut into the rock, in other areas you can see the impressive stone walls that surround the road. In the middle of the route the impressive waterfall Stigfossen is waiting, which you have to cross by means of a natural stone bridge. Then the highest point of the Trollstigen is waiting for the visitors. There, one can stop and enjoy the spectacular view. Moreover, there is a restaurant there where one can strengthen oneself after the turbulent but still very impressive trip. From there, it's on to the stunning Geiranger - an area with a breathtakingly beautiful fjord and great hiking opportunities.
- The roaring waterfall Stigfossen is a natural spectacle beyond compare.
- A viewing platform, 200 meters above the road offers a breathtaking panoramic view.
- The road museum at the crest of the trail.
Gorges and lakes in Slovenia
Length: 300 km
Ljubljana - Libica - Soča Valley - Lake Bled
Slovenia, the small country in Eastern Europe is often underestimated. Yet countless adventurous excursions, hikes and natural phenomena await you there. Slovenia is a paradise of gorgeous gorges, impressive waterfalls, beautiful mountains and crystal clear lakes. Start your road trip best in Ljubljana, the capital of the country. There are plenty of parks to relax in, as well as modern shops and eateries. From there, continue on to Lipica, 90 kilometres away. Horse lovers can visit the Lipica stud farm, where the beautiful Lipizzaner breed is bred. For 60 euros you can also ride out with the animals.
From Lipica it is just under 100 kilometres until you reach the famous Soča Valley. Particularly impressive is the 140-kilometre-long river of the same name, the Soča, which accompanies you almost the entire way with its beautifully shimmering turquoise water. Adventurous people go on a wild kayak tour on the Soča and enjoy the fantastic view. If you want to cool off a bit, the best place to stop is south of the town of Tolmin. In the Idrijca, a tributary, the water temperature is warmer and there are idyllic swimming spots in the area. Another must-see is the town of Bovec, located directly on the Soča River. Bordering the impressive Triglav National Park, this is the perfect starting point for trips into nature and to the most beautiful canyon in Slovenia. A waterfall with an impressive height of 50 metres is also hidden in the national park. The next stage of the road trip is a bit more relaxed, as it takes you to Lake Bled. In the lake, nestled in a beautiful mountain landscape, there is a small island with a church on it. And the town of Bled itself is also worth a visit before the trip ends back at the starting point in the Slovenian capital.
- Stand-up paddling in Lake Bled with a view of the small island.
- Hiking in the impressive Soča valley.
- The impressive natural spectacle in the Soča gorges.
Picture Credits: Valerii Iavtushenko / Pixabay, Melanie Erhard on Pixabay, Walkerssk / Pixabay, Thomas Ulrich / Pixabay, kirkandmimi / Pixabay, David Mark / Pixabay, Frank Winkler / Pixabay, Patrik Houštecký / Pixabay, Louise Krause / Unsplash, Benjamin Punzalan / Unsplash, Peter Cordes / Unsplash