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7 of the very best road trips around Europe

Dreaming of faraway lands and beautiful adventures? Then read on for the best inspiration.

By Natasha Heard  |  October 22, 2021
View of the Amalfi coast town, palm trees and road

There’s nothing quite as exhilarating and freeing as hopping in your treasured vehicle and taking it out for a spin on the open road. And what better way to elevate the experience than to turn your delightful drive into an epic road trip?

Promising adventure, freedom and some stunning scenery along the way, Europe offers a variety of out of this world drives that will have you wanting to take in every inch of the journey, from winding mountain-side routes to scenic sea-hugging roads. 

Providing you’re well-equipped with your international driver’s permit from the International Drivers Association, your vehicle is sound, and you have packed everything you need to for such a trip, the only thing that is left to do is to choose where to go. Take a look at our top seven picks of the finest roads trips you can take around Europe below. Where will you head to first?

Amalfi coast and beyond, Italy

Scenic view of Positano in sunny day, Amalfi Coast (Province of Salerno), Campania, Italy.
Positano is a colourful Italian town in the Campania region, near Naples

The perfectly picturesque Amalfi Coast in Italy is a top pick for its stunning seaside fishing villages and towns perched precariously upon the cliff-side. Take a trip along the winding roads from Salerno to Sorrento to take in the best of this area – including Positano – and head up past Pompei and Mount Vesuvius before exploring Naples for an all-encompassing trip.

The South of France

monaco
Monaco is a playground for tourists and a haven for the wealthy. Image credit: Eugene Sergeev/Bigstock.com

Little says luxury like the French Riviera with its upscale beach resorts and glamorous towns and villages. From Cannes to Saint-Tropez and Marseille to Monaco, there is plenty to see and do in this resplendent area, so start your trip in the independent state of Monaco and wind your way around the coast through Nice, Sainte-Maxime and Toulon before stopping in Marseille.

Bordeaux to Bilbao 

Visit Bilbao
Enjoy the culinary scene in Bilbao before heading to Biarritz for the perfect finishing stop

If you’re looking for a trip that takes in some of the finest foods and wines in Europe, then you can’t go wrong with a road trip from Bordeaux to Bilbao with a lengthy stay in San Sebastian to sample some of the finest cuisine as rated by Michelin. With Biarritz en route as well as a national park and plenty of coastal views, this trip is a great all-rounder.

North coast 500, Scotland

Inverness Castle with Floar MacDonald statue on a top of the hill in cloudy summer day
Head to Scotland to take in some of the finest scenery via the North Coast 500, a 516-mile route beginning and ending at Inverness Castle. Image credit: Mino/Bigstock.com

Head to Scotland to take in some of the finest scenery via the North Coast 500, a 516-mile route beginning and ending at Inverness Castle. The route, which was launched in 2015, takes you around the north coast of the country and showcases some breath-taking vistas and locations including Applecross Peninsula, Ullapool, Durness and of course, Inverness itself. 

Romantic Road, Germany 

Würzburg
Würzburg is a Baroque city offering southern German flair and Franconian hospitality

Anyone who has travelled among the waterways or roads of Germany will know just how beautiful the landscape of this expansive country can be, so it’s no surprise that there’s a dedicated route to showcase some of the finest elements. The 220-mile route, from Wurzburg in northern Bavaria to Fussen near the Austrian border and at the foot of The Alps, takes in a selection of picturesque scenes including fairy-tale castles, forests, mountains, and medieval walled towns.

Lisbon to Porto, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is the stunning capital city of Portugal, and is one of the most charismatic and vibrant cities in Europe

Can’t decide which of Portugal’s principal cities to visit? Why not hop in the car and head to both Porto and the country’s capital of Lisbon for a taste of both? Tuck into fanciful fare and take in the culture-filled capital before winding your way around the coast with the imposing Atlantic Ocean to the west before landing in Porto to continue your food and fun-filled adventure

Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

Visit Ireland
Take a trip to the beautiful Classiebawn Castle in Mullaghmore county. Image credit: shawnwilliams4433/Bigstock.com

Dramatic landscapes are promised in Ireland and there’s no better way to take in such scenery as via the Wild Atlantic Way. 1,600 miles in length, it is one of the longest defined coastal routes in the world and runs along the west coast from the Inishowen Peninsula to the pretty town of Kinsale in County Cork. From villages and towns to ancient monuments and wondrous natural beauty, expect this trip to exceed all expectations.