5 Great European Road Trip Ideas

Planning a trip to Europe this summer? Ditch the beach and hire a car instead with these 5 great European road trip ideas.

5 Best European Road Trip Ideas

1. Norway’s Atlantic Road

European Road Trip. Atlantic Road
Atlantic Road by Jørgen Vik / CC BY-SA 2.0

In less than thirty years, this road has won the heart of a nation as well as the many thousands of visitors who drive it. A marvellous example of engineering, the Atlantic Road takes you right to the water’s edge linking Bud and Kristiansund by way of eight bridges. The scenery has as much of the wow factor as the built environment and fortunately there are plenty of designated stopping places for you to appreciate the view.

2. Scotland’s North Coast 500

Bealach na Bà. European Road Trip,scotland
Bealach na Bà by Stefan Krause, FAL via Wikimedia Commons

You’ll need at least a week to do Scotland’s 500 North Coast justice. Dubbed by some as Scotland’s Route 66, this route hugs the shoreline of the Scottish Highlands taking you past some of the finest coastal scenery in the UK. Skirting lochs, fairytale castles and pretty beaches, much of it via single track country lanes, this isn’t a road for a learner driver. But even if you’re an experienced motorist, don’t expect to get to grips with the road signs. With names like Bealach na Bà, Inchnadamph and Achmelvich, you’re best leaving the locals to tell you where you are and where you’re headed next on your European road trip.

3. Germany’s Romantic Road

European Road Trip, Rothenburg ob der Tauber,germany
Rothenburg ob der Tauber

If you want to see the best of southern Germany, then driving the Romantic Road is a must. From Würzburg down to Füssen, there are so many delightful towns and villages along the way. You’ll need a lot of willpower to complete this within your allotted vacation time. Wherever you decide to stop, don’t miss the pretty walled town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber and quaint Neuschwanstein Castle.

4. Austria’s Großglocknerstraße

European Road Trip, Grossglocknerstrasse, Austria
Grossglocknerstrasse by Otberg / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Don’t leave it too late in the season to visit Austria’s most dramatic stretch of road – the Großglocknerstraße is closed in winter. Begin your Alpine adventure in Heiligenblut am Großglockner from where you’ll tackle a seemingly endless succession of hairpin bends which take you up the pass. At the top, park up and look for marmots and golden eagles before descending past the impressive Pasterze glacier to Kaprun.

5. Romania’s Transfăgărășan Road

European Road Trip, Northern Transfagarasan,romania
Northern Transfagarasan by Horia Varlan / CC BY 2.0

When it was featured on Top Gear almost a decade ago, presenting trio Clarkson, May and Hammond dubbed this the world’s greatest driving road. Nothing’s changed since so who are we to argue? This incredible route traverses the Făgăraș Mountains from Bascov to Cartisoara. It was built in the early 1970’s as a strategic military highway by the then leader Ceausescu to safeguard against the threat of a Soviet invasion. Build in plenty of time for stops and don’t expect to hurry. Though you’re unlikely to be stuck in traffic, this road’s also used by local shepherds to move their flocks.

So why not hire a car and immerse yourself in the majestic beauty of nature and have yourself a trip of a life time!

About JuliaHammond

Website: http://www.juliahammond.co.uk

Julia Hammond is a Geography teacher turned travel writer with a passion for places. Winning Mail Travel's Deep South competition was the catalyst to write for a diverse range of publications including Bradt's Bus Pass Britain Rides Again. She’s written Kindle guides to Cape Town, Peru and London for Unanchor and advice on Savannah for Wanderlust. When not travelling, she can be found at home in Essex planning her next trip, her two golden retrievers curled up at her feet.

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