The Best Road Trips in Europe
Backpacking through Europe is the quintessential adventure every twenty-something should experience. Getting around has always been a part of the fun whether you’re running to catch a train, using local transport, hiking mountains, walking across countries, or any other way to see Europe. As much fun as it is to ride the rails and explore the beautiful countries of Western & Eastern Europe, road tripping has to be one of the most jaw-dropping, eye-opening ways to see the countries in this part of the world. Whether you have one week or one year, seeing coastlines, mountains, winding rivers and everything in between by car is a must-do when visiting Europe. These trips take you out of the big cities and out to rugged, hilly, flat and mountainous terrains only found on two or four wheels. If you’re looking to plan your next European adventure and want to get out on the open road, check out the list below of the best road trips to see and be seen!
You’ll want to charge your phone, camera and GoPro’s batteries for this drive. Filled with surreal landscapes, deep fiords and picturesque seaside towns, the Fiordland region in Norway has recently become the ‘it’ spot for budding photographers and explorers, all sharing their jaw-dropping photos on social media-making everyone and their dog researching the next flight to Scandinavia. Popular spots include the seaside town of Bergen and a stop-off for a few days to hike the infamous Trolltunga trail. Head north to Trollstigen to whip around the crazy hairpin turns for a view like no other. There’s plenty of photo spots to stop and gaze in awe at the unbelievable natural landscape in front of you.
Spain’s Basque Region
Bilbao to San Sebastian is a great road trip filled with culture, wine, food and a beautiful coastline. The road’s landscape isn’t bad itself either. Enjoy culture and history in the Guggenheim before heading to the ocean for a bit of surf. You can continue along the ocean to the uber glamorous San Sebastian for some tapas, wine and beautiful people watching. The city also boasts one of the most beautiful seaside beaches in Spain. Here you will find a great variety of water activities including taking a jet-ski out on the turquoise sea.
Wine lovers and back country enthusiasts will rejoice in the Bordeaux region of France. Enjoy picture-perfect cobblestone streets, little villages, rolling hills, and vineyards as far as the eye can see. Stop in for a wine tasting, sample the local bakery and run off to the nearest picnic spot with your goodies. Baguettes, cheese, wine and views for days are just some of the highlights you can look forward to on your lunch stop. Popular spots like the World Heritage Site of Saint Emilion is just 30 minutes outside of the city and is the center for wine production in the region. It also helps that it’s an adorable village too!
Keeping along the lines of wine and rolling hills, Tuscany cannot be missed. Used in many films, the tree-lined hills take you on a journey through small villages with thousands of years of wine making history. Stop in at 1,000 year-old castles and sample their homemade olive oils, eat lunch on the verandas of the stunning villas overlooking the region, and bask in the sun. Life is but a dream in this popular Italian destination.
The Ring Road, Iceland
Chasing the Northern Lights on Iceland’s Ring Road is something out of a dream. If you have 10 days or more, take this epic loop around the entire country to experience the ultimate experiences at the top of your Bucket List. Wild horses roam the fields, glaciers loom in the distance, while waterfalls take your breath away. Did I mention the colors? Not only do you have the Northern Lights dancing their way across the sky, you have the deep greens of the earth glowing back at you on the ground. Iceland is paradise on earth, and seeing it on your own time and own pace is something you’ll never forget.
Fairytale castles, high-alpine villages, and crystal-clear lakes await you on this epic drive through Germany’s Bavarian region. The famous Alpinestrasse (Alpine Road) is filled with traditional German villages and even better views. Outside of Fussen is the iconic Neuschwanstein Castle, known as the inspiration behind Walt Disney’s Cinderella castle. Continue on to medieval villages like Bad Tolz and through the German Alps before hitting up the entertaining Bavarian capital of Munich. But don’t stop there! Cheat a little and continue on to Austria to explore more of the mountains, stunning scenery and quaint villages.
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