There is so much to discover when travelling Europe, and what better way to do this than with a roadtrip? Whether you want to delve into the countryside views of Romania, or join the tourists on the sunny Dalmatian Coast, a roadtrip will give you the best experience to discover everything that these destinations have to offer. Here are 6 of the best European roadtrips that will give you an unforgettable travel experience.
1. Amalfi Coast, Italy
The Amalfi Coast is Italy’s most iconic holiday region; its clear waters and warm sunshine making it the perfect summer travel destination, and one of the most famous European roadtrips. There are lots of towns worth visiting on this Italian coastline and travelling by car is a great way to see them all.
To begin this roadtrip, you can set off from either Naples or Rome, which both have international airports and easy car-hire options. The most popular towns to visit on this route are Positano, Ravello, Amalfi, Capri and Praiano – all set against the incredible backdrop of the Salerno Gulf and Tyrrhenian Sea.
For those wanting to include some sightseeing into this trip, spend a few days in Naples before you begin your drive to see the Lungomare, Fotanelle Cemetery and Piazza de Plebiscito (and of course eat some pizza). Then head South down to Sorrento where you can visit Pompeii and Herculaneum before you make your way through the smaller coastal towns.
The Amalfi Coast is the perfect place to relax, unwind and get a taste of the Italian charm that all these small towns are filled with. The Amalfi Coast is a mediterranean paradise that you cannot miss out on.
2. Transfagarasan Highway, Romania
Romania’s countryside offers one of the best roadtrip routes in Europe, and the Transfagarasan Highway is by far its most scenic route. Wind your way through the hills and the greenery of Romania on this roadtrip, and you’ll never want to leave. This route is not only incredibly beautiful, but it is rich in history, being Ceausescu’s route to ensure a passage through the mountains in the case of Soviet invasion. In 2009, Top Gear claimed this to be the best road in the world.
This roadtrip is really more about the road itself rather than the destinations that you are travelling between, but there are many attractions along the way that deserve a visit. Stop at the Balea Waterfall, Balea Lake, Capra Tunnel and Poenari Citadel on your way to discover some more of Romania’s hidden beauty.
The road begins in Cartisoara and ends in Bascov, covering a total length of about 150km, and is only about a seven hour drive in duration. The most popular part of the route is found in the first 120km between Cartisoara and Curtea de Arges.
This is a trip to be taken in summer, as a large stretch of the road is closed November through to June due to severe weather conditions. Also, be aware of the fog on this road, as it can get thick enough to obstruct your view quite extremely. However, the road is well maintained and there are plenty of spots to pull over if necessary. This can be quite a challenging road to drive, but it is worth it for the countryside views that will accompany your journey.
3. The Highlands, Scotland
Don’t let the notorious Scottish weather deter you from discovering the Highlands. The natural scenery is the biggest draw to this trip, but this region is also rich in history and culture. A Scottish roadtrip allows you to fully immerse yourself into all of this, and enjoy the best of the beauty of the Highlands.
Begin your roadtrip in either Edinburgh or Glasgow, which both have international airports that you can fly into, and many options to rent a car from. Or, get the train to Inverness where you can also rent a car, and start your trip there.
Inverness is one of Scotland’s major cities, so this is a great place to start, visiting Inverness Castle and Cathedral, and the famous Leakey’s Bookshop. Your next stop is Loch Ness, where you can visit the ruins of Urquhart Castle and see the famous lake before you head deeper into the Western Highlands. There are so many different stops you can make and routes you can take through the Highlands, so you can easily tailor this trip to suit what you are most interested in seeing. Possible destinations include Fort William, Isle of Skye, Ben Nevis mountain and Glencoe Valley. Every part of this route is engulfed in impressive scenery and rich culture, so a Scottish Highlands roadtrip is an essential journey to take.
4. The Fjords, Norway
The perfect Norwegian roadtrip will take you through several Fjords as well as some of Norway’s major cities. The best time to take this trip is between May and October to avoid any severe weather. The snowy views are enticing in their surreal beauty, but a winter roadtrip is really only safe for very experienced winter drivers.
The best place to begin is in Oslo, where you can visit all of the tourist spots, like Damstredet, Blå and the Royal Palace before you head north Åndalsnes along the winding roads of the Rauma Valley. This will give you your first taste of the unbelievable scenery of the Fjords, taking you past Europe’s tallest vertical rock face and Rauma river, outlined in Norway’s jagged mountains.
Continue your trip towards Geiranger, and visit the summit of the Dalsnibba mountain at 1500 meters to get a birds eye view of Geiranger. You can take a cruise around Geirangerfjord to appreciate the waterfalls and clifftop farms before Balestrand.
Other stops to make on this trip include Nigardsbreen Glacier, Sogndal and Flåm, before completing your roadtrip with a day or two in Bergen.
5. The Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast is filled with culture and history, perched on the edge of the Adriatic Sea. There are multiple routes that you can take to see the Dalmatian Coast, but the best is the road that hugs the edge of the coast to get the panoramic views out onto the sea.
Start in Dubrovnik, where you can spend a few days sightseeing as well as enjoying the beaches just outside of the main city. The main attraction of Dubrovnik is the Old City Walls, which you can walk along the top of to get a view of the whole city and the clear waters that border it. From Dubrovnik, head north up to Makarska – a small seaside town between Dubrovnik and Zadar, set against a backdrop of mountain scenery. This is a great place to stop and relax in between the more major cities.
From Makarska, drive to Zadar, where you can visit the Plitvice National Park in a day trip, before making your way to Split, the second largest city in Croatia. Other destinations on this trip can include Korčula, Cavtat or Hvar – Croatia’s smaller islands.
6. The Peloponnese, Greece
The most popular way to travel Greece is usually island hopping by boat, but another way to explore this country is by car with a roadtrip through the Peloponnese. Kalamata is the heart of the Peloponnese, so this is a good place to start, but it is usually easier to fly into Athens and drive from there. Once you’re out of busy streets of Athens, the roads are easy to drive, so head towards Villa Vager, stooping off in Mycenae – an archaeological site.
Your next destination is Eumelia Agroturismo, which is only a short drive, so you can make a stop at Mystras in between if you have time. Continue your trip into the Mani Peninsula, where you will discover the most picturesque Greek towns, made up of cobbled streets and quiet lanes.
Your next destination is Costa Navarino, which is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the sunshine before heading back to Athens. This is one of the more leisurely routes of the European roadtrips, so perfect if you’re looking for some slower paced travelling.