A road trip may have been an American concept but it’s grown and evolved far and wide. For what’s better than an escape with one bag, few friends and four wheels? If you’ve got wheels, wanderlust and the will, a road trip can be the most fun-filled, adventurous and enlightening experiences of your life.
Europe is a magical continent of diversity, colors, culture and so much to explore! You can go absolutely fancy or you could go earthly and basic by taking control in your hands (along with a bag) and explore the by-lanes, nooks and corners of Europe like never before.
PC: Katie Bond
Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind when going road-tripping:
- familiarise yourself with the driving laws of the country
- prepare your car for a long road trip well
- find out if you need an international driving permit
- remember to keep your essential paperwork in one place
- stock up on your car tool-box
- plan your route
I see the last one is the most tricky of all. Here are a couple of routes to help you get your travel itinerary and route sorted.
1. From Paris to Berlin
PC: Rear View Mirror
The trip from Paris to Berlin is about 1050 kms (more than 650 miles). If you encounter no traffic and prefer to not stop, the trip will take you around 10 hours. The combined cost of tolls and tax along the way will come out to be about 110 Euros.
There’s an array of beautiful places that you can see enroute the trip. It could easily stretch to a 2 week journey. There’s more than seven cities that you encounter on your way, along the journey. There’s the vibe of historical ancient cities. Strong Roman influences and monuments to commemorate the same. There’s German villages with medieval architecture. Beautiful Christmas Markets and pretty cafes to soothe your nerves.
And voila! You round over to Berlin! It’s a dynamic magnificent city, where something's brewing up all the time. It’s flamboyant in it’s aura and pristine in its exterior.
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2. From London to Edinburgh
The trip from London to Edinburgh is about 400 miles. Depending on the traffic, it takes about 2 hours for you to drive through.
Here’s Great Britain’s two most distinctive cities. This tour would be both historical, classic and fun in nature. There’s immense eccentricity that exalts your sense besides the asphalt. You never know which turn would transport you back to the 18th century! There’s leafy lanes and lush green scenery on the way. Once you escape the city you are left in amazement and awe of the World’s oldest English Language College, The Oxford. There’s breathtaking pubs and views to consummate your wanderlust.
3. From Donegal to Cork
The trip flaunts the world’s longest touring route of 2,500 km. It’s laced with coastal routes, hence, you will take your own sweet time to drive through.
Donegal and Cork are two distinct Irish cities, which have preserved their cultures and traditions, owing to their geographic isolation. The Wild Atlantic Way of Ireland is stunning with beautiful scenery, iconic drives, dramatic coastlines and more than 150 landmarks. There’s ancient castles and abbeys and pretty fishing harbors. You could visit a real Hell’s Hole, a steep rocky service and a spectacular view of the ocean from the top of Loop Head Lighthouse.
4. From Trollstigen to The Atlantic Road
PC: SECRET EARTH
This trip will be a meagre two hour drive through pure bliss. It is approximately 124 km, by the longest route.
There’s fjords, villages, coastal roads and landscape of Fjord Norway to explore and make memories as you go by. With the right route and energy levels, you can make the most of Norway’s quiet roads. There’s such diverese landscape in the region, that you get to explore various means to commune like, ferries and tunnels. Ferries will give you a much needed natural relaxation. The 24.5 km Laerdal Tunnel, which is the longest road tunnel in the world, is a tourist attraction in itself.
This road trip will be an experience of its own.
5. From Bormio to Stelvio Pass
This trip will cover 20 km and promise to be the most scenic and cool (quite literally) journey.
This trip gives you the thrill with its extremely tight corners and popular spots where you can stop to take pictures. The Stelvio Pass was once hailed as the pinnacle of motoring perfection. This pass runs from the mountains in Eastern Italy in the Eastern Alps. There’s snow covered peaks for stunning views and heights that’d make you feel like you are on top of the world! Your senses will be exalted with the view of the curves from the top. With several old tunnels to pass through and ice at the altitude, it will make the heart of anyone seeking adventure and thrill sing. The Stelvio Pass is an excellent work of engineering.
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6. From Bolzano to Cortina d’Ampezzo
PC: Armelle Solelhac
This trip will expand to an area of 132 kms. On a regular smooth day, it will take approximately 3 hours.
It is a classic journey to visit some of the most scenic parts of the typical Dolomite peaks. There’s important through routes that you cross, along with popular mountain roads. It provides for the bustle of the city, at the same time, the beautiful surroundings provide for excellent base from which to explore the region. You will encounter beautiful waterfalls and valleys enroute. There’s the Carezza Lake which can be covered in a walk of around 20 minutes. You will encounter beautiful 15th century Parish Churches with Fresco paintings and cable ways escorting people.
Finally when you enter the picturesque destination, it will appear as if it came straight out of a crystal ball.
7. Central Swiss Alps to Hospental
This trip is literally going to be a ride and journey! The exact distance that you cover totally depends on the route you take!
All you thrill seekers must already be aware that Furka Pass which is enroute this road was immortalised by the car chase in James Bond’s Goldfinger. It’s a stunning 5 star pass in the Central Swiss Alps. The road leads you to a few hundred kilometers to the Rhone glacier. You’ll see the natural beauty of the rock face of the valley. As you move forward, the road gets steeper and hence, exciting. It’s an absolutely breathtaking road journey, with an amazing combination of sweepers, tight switchbacks, dramatic views and a drag straight at the end.
8. From Moulinet to La Bollne-Vésubie
PC: Smarty India
This road trip covers the scenic Col de Turini Pass, which is at a height of 1607 metres.
Located in the white of the pristine Alps, it's one of the most scenic drives in the world! The road offers helter skelter counters and changing weather conditions, hence, a joy-ride for all the adrenaline junkies. Decked with a lot of hairpin turns, the steep roads and the exotic greenery on the sides make for the perfect journey. If you applaud yourself on your driving skills, then this is the route to test it at. The pass is traversed by the scenic Route des grandes Alpes. Featuring in one of the most dangerous routes of Monte Carlo rally, jaw-dropping scenery, this route is undoubtedly the coolest place to road-trip in Europe.
Cherry on the cake is the two villages which grace its two ends. Untouched by fancy modernities, they are little french villages with the world to explore!
9. From Transylvania to Wallachia
This trip escalates to a total of 113 km and a approximately 3 hours if you drive through.
You encounter DN7C or the Transfăgărășan, which is a paved mountain road, weaved across the southern section of the Carpathian mountains in Romania. It is routinely ranked as one of the world’s best drives. The road is filled with gorgeous architecture of an ancient era. It is the second highest paved road of the country and was initially built as a military route. This is one pure fun-filled ride with meandering ways and overlooking sea!
10. From Wurzburg to Füssen
This road-trip will take you through the beautiful "Romantic Road”, covering a distance of 368 km, in total time of approximately 4 hours.
The highlight of this road-trip is the fairyland like Romantic Road, that paves the way through it. The starting location itself reveals a lot through its self-guided walking tours. You’d encounter healing mineral waters on the road, to quench your thirst and prep you for the journey ahead. There’s beautiful castles and museums, along with half timbered wooden houses on the way. You’ll come across exquisite renaissance style palaces and theatres, along with beautiful churches. The towns enroute are preserved in their culture and ethnicity and an absolute treat to the eyes!
The Romantic Road ends at Füssen, which is a small German village, famous for its voilin industry. Your love affair with this place is sure to spark.
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11. Edinbane to Dornoch
This road trip will cover an area of 336 km and approximately 6 hours to travel.
This journey covers the bealach-na-ba which boasts of the most curvy mountainous road. It is the third highest road in Scotland and is one of the most scenic drives in the world. The road resembles the mountain passes in the Alps. It’s got tight hairpin bends, with criss-cross hillside. The road is a narrow one with sharp bends. There are snow gates at either end of the road. It also boasts of the greatest ascent of any road climb in UK at Applecross!
12. From Salerno to Sorrento
PC: One Foot Abroad
This is a colorful 50 km long stretch along the coast. You cannot estimate the time taken to cover this stretch because you are sure to get distracted with its pastel beauty!
The road that follows it is in Southern Italy, with the gleaming coastline, making it a popular holiday destination. You will spot sheer cliffs and a rugged shoreline which is studded with small beaches. It’s beauty is magnified with pretty fishing villages. There’s grand villas, terraced vineyards and cliffside lemon groves, all of which are a treat to the eyes. It portrays itself as an outstanding example of Mediterranean landscape. There’s picturesque towns and lush green forests, great beauty and gripping drama.
This road-trip packs in itself a vacation of its own!
13. From Kenmare to Sneem
PC: Thousand Wonders
This short road trip covers only a distance of 26.3 km. This could well pan out to be a round trip.
People call it "Doing The Ring” in hipster circles. It covers around 12 places enroute. Here’s a beautiful coming together of modern luxuries and natural scenic beauty. There’s wide hinterland, encompassing the Reek Mountains. There’s a town overlooking a river, which is famous for its delicious trout fish. There’s beautiful villages at the foot of a wooded mountain. There’s picturesque sea side locations to give you soul food. There’s World Famous Golf Links and museums enroute.
The "Ring of Kerry” makes for the perfect road, to travel and rejoice.
14. From Lisbon to Cabo da Roca
This epic journey will cover a distance of approximately 41 km. Do not go by the short distance of it. You could take one whole day to explore what lies in its folds.
This road trip will take you to one of the most cosmopolitan and touristic places in Portugal. There’s beautiful villa and mansions, along with mild climate to greet you. You will follow through the amazing waterfront road. There’s enormous forts, one right in the middle of watermouth, reminding you of the war-times. You will fall under the spell of it, exploring fantastic palaces and parks. There’s romantic palaces, beautiful resorts and a magnificent golf course. There is a traditional sea-side village too!
Finally when you arrive, you are greeted by a sleepy village, with fine mansions and wine.
15. From Nice to Monaco
This road trip will be a classic picturesque one, covering a distance of 20.5 km. There are three roads running between the two cities. They are loved by both car-hires and boy-bikers alike.
Studded with the pine forested Alps, which precipice into the sea, here is a dramatic view with a one of its kind journey to explore. Cherry on the cake is that the roads are carved into the mountain side. On one side, you’ll see the horizon, where the Mediterranean meets the sky. While on the other side are the rustic villas, pines and cactuses. The roads could get a tad-bit foggy, adding to the mysterious ambience of it. If you are in the mood to stroll, there’s a pedestrian only, fortified medieval village.
When you happen to finally round up to the top, take a moment to soak in your destination. There’s complimenting views of the coast in front of you and the mighty maritime Alps behind you.
There’s various websites which offer you the exact information on the routes to take, the total time of journey along with total distance that you will cover. All you need to do is enter the address of the starting point of your journey and your final destination. Also, you need to change your side of the road and may have to ride on the "wrong side” of the road at times.
You’d be tired at the end, but smiling for sure. The road trip can change your life in ways you wouldn’t have thought. You would have slept under the stars by now, lounged in not so comfortable foliages with bon-fire the only thing keeping you warm. But most of all you’d have memories that will last a lifetime.
After reading this blog you might be thinking how to plan a vacation to these amazing european road trips? Visit TripHobo road trip planner. Get those wheels ready, it’s time to go!
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