European road trips let you travel and experience the continent at a more relaxed pace. A road trip across the beautiful continent gives you diverse options to plan your itineraries based on your unique wayfaring tastes – be it a morning walk on a French beach or a sunset beside an Italian lake. An epic European trip would be on the top bucket list of every travel enthusiast. From mountains to coasts and medieval villages, Europe offers experiences that suit everyone’s taste and make you appreciate its diversity. We have partnered with lots of experienced travelers to create an ultimate European road trip guide for you. We have included some of the most popular road trips and some lesser-known yet special road trip options.
The Salento Peninsula better known as “the heel of Italy’s boot” is the rawest among the many legendary drives in Italy. The olive groves, cliff-jumping kids and unfussy Cucina Povera of Puglia’s dry Salento region make it the Italian answer to Cornwall. The Salento Peninsula is also known for its amazing beaches, delicious street food, famous wines, Ancient Greek history, and traditional farmhouse homestays. Salento Peninsula is the perfect Mediterranean getaway for its picturesque beaches and the translucent waters where the Ionian and Adriatic seas meet. In the heart of Salento in Lecce which has many gargoyles and limestone amphitheaters that fill out your trip with all kinds of cultural activities.
Atlantic Drive, Ireland
One of the most preferred European road trips, the Wild Atlantic Way featured along the Irish west coast from the Inishowen Peninsula to the scenic town of Kinsale, County Cork is one of the longest defined coastal routes in the world. The Atlantic Drive lets you explore the fascinating imprint of the ocean across the west coast of Ireland. With epic landscapes, enchanting villages and historic monuments across the diverse countryside, a new delight awaits you behind every bend of this magical coastal drive. The coastal touring route covers nearly 1,600 miles and offers authentic food experiences, spectacular landscape, rich culture and friendly people.
Gotthard and Oberalp passes, Switzerland
A great road trip experience awaits you in Switzerland, with two of its most spectacular high passes, Gotthard pass and Oberalp pass that meet at the ski town of Andermatt. Gotthard Pass is one of the most important alpine passes that connect the most important North-South connection through the Alps. Oberalp pass which connects the cantons of Uri and Graubünden is known for the shuttle trains that operate throughout the winter season between Andermatt and Sedrun. The ride on the famous Tremola road that climbs narrow turns towards the Gotthard Pass gives you a picturesque view over the surrounding Alps, especially on the Southern-facing side. The Gotthard Pass which is close to the artificial lake and the Lucendro Dam will make for a very enjoyable stop on your European road trip.
Labeled as the “road to the sky” , Transfagarasan is Romania’s most spectacular road and one of the country’s most ppular tourist destinations. One of the most ethereal European road trips you can possibly be on, it offers a 56 miles long strategic route across the Fagaras mountains with breathtaking landscapes, highway hairpins, Balea Lake and Balea Waterfall, and the Vidraru dam. The road climbs steadily from the Albestii de Arges village and offers scenic views once you reach Capatenii Pamantului. The road is well-known for the forested valleys and gothic castles in Transylvania but the cities along the route have a lot more experiences to offer.
Arctic Coast Way, Iceland
The Arctic Coast Way takes you to experience the Arctic circle and Iceland’s less explored paths. The 900-kilometer panoramic tourist route opened in 2019 circumnavigates the whole country and encompasses the North-Icelandic coastline, six peninsulas, and six islands. The coast way offers you a great opportunity to experience Iceland’s best whale watching experience with different varieties of species. You can also soak in the Icelandic culture with a number of geothermal pools and beer baths while exploring huge landscapes and geological reveries across the Arctic Coast Way.
Barcelona to Montpellier
The 343 kilometers long coastal route from Barcelona to Montpellier on Spain’s AP-7 motorway and France’s A9 autoroute lets you drive peacefully through country roads and immerse in the local cultures. The night view of the Magic Fountain of Montjuic in Barcelona, Roman ruins in Tarragona and Salvador Dali’s path in Catalan are some of the highlights that you shouldn’t miss out on this trip. The route also has to offer you some of the best culinary experiences including the best of Lyon’s cuisine and Tapas in Barcelona.
Bordeaux to Bilbao
A road trip across the Atlantic coastline from the vineyards of Bordeaux through the countryside and seaside glamor of Biarritz to the contemporary art of Bilbao will give you a memorable experience. San Sebastian – Donostia, Vitoria-Gasteiz, La Teste-de-Buch, Arcachon, Bayonne, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Hendaye, Santa Maria Katedrala, Gaztelugatxe and Gasteizko Gudua omentzeko monuments are some of the great places that you should stop by in this road trip. You should not miss to taste the vintage wines of Bordeaux and explore the food of inland Basque country.
The Lofoten archipelago, Norway
A coastal drive to the Lofoten archipelago is the best way to explore the most beautiful landscape of Norway. The coastal route that starts at Harstad/Narvik airport makes you feel like discovering a lost secret with its joyous island-hop of craggy peaks, model-railway villages and wooden fish-drying racks. The best part about summer in Lofoten is that you can have fun 24 hours a day under the midnight sun. The activities include surfing at Unstad Arctic Surf, a glacial valley with a curving surf beach and surf camp or wildlife safari along the coast.
From Italy and Switzerland to Ireland and Norway, we’ve covered some of the most famous as well as lesser-known European road trips. All of these routes are uniquely perfect to make your European road trip more epic.
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