When you think of a road trip, do you think of driving west to the US or the coast? These coveted destinations are probably on almost everyone’s list. We have done this many times and enjoyed them all. Driving 7,000 miles pulling our travel trailer through 20 US states was incredible. We love all our trips, long or short. But there are also some really great travel destinations in Europe. And the most important thing is that you don’t need a lot of preparation here. The best thing to do is just get in your car, van or garage and get out. Along the way, exciting adventures and unforgettable experiences naturally arise.
Are you planning your next vacation and would like to tour Europe? Then here is a list of the best road trips for you.
Road trip to Italy
After holidays in the North and Baltic Seas, Italy is the most popular holiday destination for many Europeans. And this land of pizza, pasta and dolce vita is also ideal for travel. If you have enough time, you can explore the entire country from north to south in a few weeks. Otherwise, northern Italy is ideal for a road trip. You can even take a semi-spontaneous detour to the Dolomites or Lake Garda. And whether the culture and history is in Venice or Milan, the Cinque Terre or the coastal villages of Tuscany, northern Italy has some highlights. Nice thing. You can go through South Tyrol for just a few days, for example on a tour, or discover many highlights in three weeks. And if you have enough time, just continue south. Bella Italia still has a lot to offer as far as Sicily.
We recently drove from Rome to the Amalfi Coast, going down to Calabria. From there we drove and took a car ferry to Sicily and it was amazing. We are already planning to go back.
Road trip to France
Road tripping through France is at least as popular as Italy. If you want to explore the whole country, you should have a few weeks. Our neighboring country offers many routes, whether north, south, west, east or in the middle, that are also worthwhile for shorter circular routes. A coveted Southern France destination with the Côte d’Azur and Provence to explore in a week. In the west, you can drive along the Atlantic Ocean and explore the coast from rugged Brittany to the wine region around Bordeaux. You should plan at least ten days for this. In the north, Normandy and Brittany are perfect for a round trip. A few days for a trip along the wine route in Alsace are worthwhile not only for wine lovers. Of course, France also has real pearls within the country. There are many cultures, for example along the Loire with its castles and historic towns.
Road trip to Norway
For many, Norway is at the top of the list of the most beautiful travel destinations in Europe. Especially nature lovers will get their money’s worth here. It has spectacular fjords, stunning rock formations, countless lakes and of course the Atlantic coast. The most popular means of transport for traveling through Norway is by car or van. You can spend the night almost anywhere as long as you keep 150 meters from the next building. Of course, you can also explore the country by car, but then you just need to budget a little more for overnight stays. Cities like Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim or Stavanger also have a lot of culture and history. Those with just two weeks can explore southern Norway and the fjords all the way to Trondheim. In three weeks you can at least reach Lofoten. But no matter how long you’re gone, you’ll want to come back.
Road trip to Croatia
Summer, sun, beach and sea offer you a trip through Croatia from spring to autumn. Still, an insider’s tip on the Adriatic 15 years ago has now included the country in the top ten most popular travel destinations, and for good reason. Croatia offers a great mix of interesting nature, for example around the Plitvice Lakes, history and culture in Zagreb, Split or Dubrovnik, beautiful islands and the Adriatic Sea. If you only have a week, explore northern Istria with destinations such as the port town of Rovinj or the hinterland with its tiny artists’ villages and truffle cuisine. You can coast to Dubrovnik in two to three weeks and explore some of the islands in between.
Road trip to Portugal
Summer temperatures also await you when traveling through Portugal. The country in the very west of Europe is therefore also ideal for a tour in spring and until late autumn. If you have at least two weeks off, you can start north of Porto and work your way down to the Algarve via Coimbra, Nazaré, Peniche, Sintra, Cascais and Lisbon. If you have less time, you can go on a discovery tour of Lisbon in a week with a mix of city, beach and history. And the Algarve, with its spectacular coastline, is also ideal for a shorter trip. No matter what you decide. In Portugal, in addition to beautiful beaches, you will find many UNESCO World Heritage sites, cities worth seeing, and a quiet countryside for hiking and cycling.
By the way, we often fly with Tap Portugal to get from Miami to Europe. Good low cost airline. The jet flies direct to Lisbon, which is a great landing spot for driving to Spain, France, Germany and Italy.
Road trip to Denmark
Denmark is also ideal for travel. In terms of size, it’s perfect for two to three weeks of exploring the highlights and beautiful sights, with a day at the beach in between. A classic is the route along the North Sea coast via Ribe, Essberg, Hvide Sande, Blochus, Lokken and Hirtshals to Skagen. Along the way there are metre-high sand dunes, huge sandy beaches, lighthouses and fishing villages to discover. Then it’s on to the island of Finn and the capital Copenhagen, with stops in Aalborg and Aarhus via the islands of Møn, Falster and Lolland. If you like laid-back people, lots of nature, and cute little places in between, you’ll find happiness when traveling through Denmark, after all, the country ranks second in the World Happiness Report.
Our Final Word
Road trips in Europe offer a completely different flavor than in the US. Renting a car is easy and we recommend getting full insurance. Whether you’re driving through dreamlike Norway or Italy (great paninis at gas stations), you’ll never forget your time on the road, seeing the sights and meeting the people. A road trip does fit the definition of a study. It’s the journey, not the destination.