Few places have more to offer than Europe when it comes to scenic road trips. There are stunning cities, quiet rural byways, coastal highways beside the glittering Mediterranean Sea, and precipitous climbs to places such as Andorra la Vella in the Pyrenees, Munich in the Bavarian Alps and Bern in the Swiss Alps.
The most important thing to consider when planning a European road trip is to choose a vehicle that is suitable for your journey. Will you be traveling with more than six other people? Fit all your passengers in one vehicle when you book a van rental in Europe with us, among many of our other family car rental options! A trendy convertible can enhance any coastal route if you are taking a road trip in the summer. You will certainly enjoy the wind in your hair and can take some great photographs of the passing sights from the car. A convertible will also allow you to experience the sounds and smells of every passing highlight.On the other hand, if you plan to journey through rugged Alpine scenery and remote passes with barely a passing motorist, you need a reliable 4x4 vehicle. The high driving position of an SUV also provides great views over walls and other obstacles, adding to the scenic pleasure of your road trip through Europe.
Once you have organized the car rental, you need to do some serious route planning to ensure you don't miss any must-see highlights along the way. However, being organized should not stop you from making unplanned detours on impulse to investigate an interesting looking village, castle or viewpoint. That's the joy of planning a European road trip in a relaxed and flexible manner! Here are a few inspirational ideas for your next road trip in Europe, so fasten your seatbelt - we're off!
The Amalfi Coast is one of the most famous drives in Europe although the twisting scenic journey from Sorrento to Salerno is only about 35 miles long.This route is known as a 'corniche', which means 'a road on a ledge'. The Amalfi road trip hugs the coastline on a ledge literally cut into the cliff. It provides stunning sea views as well as tight hairpin pens and some scary drops. The driver will need to keep their eyes firmly on the road, but the passengers will enjoy stunning scenery. Plan to stop and swim at some of the sandy coves and eat, sleep and explore the cobbled streets of small towns such as Positano, Praiano and Ravello as part of your journey. If this has whetted your appetite for more road trips in Italy, checkout our Campania road trip or see a totally different side to Italy with a road trip through the scenic Tyrol and zig-zagging Stelvio Pass (9,045 feet) in northern Italy, visiting Bolzano, Stelvio, Bormio and Livigno along the way.
While in Italy, why not consider a grand tour of the neighboring country of Switzerland or even France? Remember, each country in Europe is really just like a different state in the USA when it comes to distance. Plan your route along the shores of stunning Lake Geneva, stopping at various waterfront towns for meals, sightseeing and accommodation. Once through the Mont Blanc Tunnel, you can enjoy a totally different type of scenery as you journey along Italy's Aosta Valley to the Mediterranean coast at Savona. From La Spezia follow the minor roads up through the Apennines to Abetone. You will want to make a detour to see the glorious Renaissance attractions in Florence before heading north through the city of Bologna with its wonderful family-run trattorias to reach your final destination in chic Milan.
Wine drinkers may also enjoy a road trip through the Champagne region of northeast France, sampling bubbly and Pinot Noir wines at local vineyards along the way - although do remember those strict drink driving laws in France and carry a self-breathalyzer kit (available at gas stations and supermarkets) to comply with proposed French driving laws. Shorter road trips in Europe can be enjoyed around Tuscany, scenic Lake Garda or along the French Riviera, taking in Monte Carlo, Nice, Freyjus and St Tropez. These areas can be crowded and expensive in summer, so consider planning your road trip through Europe in the shoulder seasons of May/June and September/October if possible.
If you want to experience snowy mountain peaks, alpine meadows, fairytale castles and wooden chalets decorated with window boxes of scarlet geraniums, then this is the European road trip for you! Start at Wurzburg and head south to FÃ¼ssen enjoying historic cities, medieval walled towns, the romantic Neuschwanstein Castle and stunning Alpine scenery. Plan your European road trip in Germany in late summer and you will experience countless wine festivals at small villages throughout southern Germany.