Best Road Trip Ideas

Best Road Trip Ideas - Bruges

Europe has a lot to offer if you like the right mix of scenic routes, gorgeous landscapes, rich history, world-famous art pieces, spellbinding architecture, and fine restaurants. And one of the excellent ways to enjoy all these would be to take a road trip. In this post, we look into some of the best road trip ideas for a perfect European holiday.

If you love to drive, enjoy scenic routes, believe in taking in all the little details in person, and get yourself immersed in the local culture and experience along the way, with your partner as a small group of family or friends, then a road trip is perfect for you. Road trips will not only allow you to achieve all these but also you will end up saving a little more this way. So why not plan a road trip across Europe and explore one of the ideas below?

Amsterdam to Bruges

After enjoying the canals and cafes of Amsterdam, you can then start your road trip towards Bruges, the capital of Flanders in North Belgium. From Amsterdam, you can drive towards the city located on the North Sea, The Hague. Otherwise known as Den Haag in Dutch, the Hague has numerous museums and famous landmarks, the Dutch Parliament, and the 16th-century Noordeinde Palace, the king’s workplace. The city is also home to the United Nations International Court of Justice, headquartered in the Peace Palace, and the International Criminal Court.

From the Hague, you will come across the city of Middelburg that was discovered in the 9th century and was a crucial trading port at one point. It is an exciting city to visit with its alleys, beautiful canal houses, and a city hall of late-Gothic architecture. Finally, from Middelburg, you can be on your way and reach Bruges. Spend a couple of days there amidst its rich historical background as it is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the northern part of Europe.

Around Tuscany

Tuscany is a unique region that offers food and wine-lovers a special treat. Driving around this romantic region of Italy is the ideal way to explore the bistros, eateries, cafes, and vineyards the area is known for. It enables you to take in the iconic Tuscan countryside at an unhurried pace and offers stunning pastoral vistas almost throughout the region. Check out an earlier post about our experience when we last visited this region.

It is also one of the least expensive ways to travel and enjoy Tuscany – you can see and do a great deal without breaking the bank while enjoying an unforgettable road trip experience. You will typically start and end in Florence. Your round-trip driving itinerary through Arrezzo, Sienna, Pisa, San Gimignano, among others, and you will get a peek into the unique communities which make up the heart of this renowned region.

Athens to Delphi

Everyone knows Athens, the birthplace of democracy. It is one of the best cities to visit in Greece, both for its ancient treasures and its modern offerings.

Best Road Trip Ideas - Athens

From there, you can drive out on your way to Delphi, an essential religious sanctuary in ancient Greece, as it served as the home to the famous oracle of Apollo.  On your way to Delphi, you can go south first through the coastal roads and head towards Sounion located at the Attic peninsula. While at Sounion, do not miss the Temple of Poseidon’s gorgeous sunset before driving north towards Mycenae, an archaeological site near Mykines in Argolis and known in Greek mythology as the city of Agamemnon.

If a calming seaside view is what you are aiming for, a great option will be staying at Náfplio, and Italian-looking town, which was the first capital of modern Greece. Otherwise, you can just keep driving until you reach Mystra, an archaeological site and Byzantine city in the Peloponnese in modern Greece. From there, you will cross Olympia, and you will then reach Delphi, where you can take in its beauty.

Barcelona to Malaga

After enjoying the beautiful Catalan city of Barcelona, its art, architecture, cuisine, and so much more, a road trip down the Mediterranean coast to the region of Andalusia and end up in the beautiful city of Malaga, the birthplace of famous Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. Moving south along the coast and enjoying the Mediterranean views, you will reach Tarragona, a city famed for the Roman ruins it contains. You can visit the Amphitheater and the tombs while you are there, and explore the medieval town and its beaches while trying out some of its restaurants.

From Tarragona, you continue with your drive, passing through the coastal town of Peñíscola, also known for its beaches and its historic old town. From there, you then head towards Valencia, also known for its City of Arts and Sciences, with futuristic structures. You can decide to stay and explore this city or head out with your journey and finally reach Malaga.

Best Road Trip Ideas - Malaga

Edinburgh to Inverness

Edinburgh is the hilly capital of Scotland. It is a city full of rich history, culture, art, and architecture, and is especially well-known for the Edinburgh International Book Festival and other festivals. After immersing in the past and culture of the city, you can start driving across the gorgeous mountains in the Scottish Highlands.

As you head northwest, you will be introduced to beautiful streams, scenic hills, and lush greenery until you reach Fort William, a town in the western Scottish Highlands, on the shores of Loch Linnhe. Before reaching Fort William, you will witness Kelpies and Helix Park, where you can feast your eyes on the most significant horse sculptures ever. You will also be able to see the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. From here, you can head straight for Inverness, a city in the Scottish Highlands that attracts visitors from all over because of its natural landscapes, quaint towns, medieval ruins, and prehistoric sites.

Paris to Berlin

Paris, as the world’s most visited capital, boasts its many monuments – from the iconic Eiffel Tower to the lofty Notre-Dame cathedral and the majestic Arc de Triomphe. After feasting yourself on this enchanting city, you can head out and explore the hills of Reims and Champagne and go to the little country of Luxembourg.

After seeing Luxembourg’s castles and other interesting sights, you can move on to the oldest city in Germany, Trier, and see ancient Roman architecture. You can also stop at the wine country of Riesling and then move through Heidelberg and Nuremberg before going to Leipzig. Leipzig will give you a healthy dose of cake and classical music, and you will also be able to learn about the Cold War. From there, head to Dresden, after which you will reach Berlin.

Portugal (Braga to Lisbon), thenMorocco

You can start this road trip from Braga, a city in the far north of Portugal, northeast of Porto. It is a city known for its religious heritage and events. A couple of attractions you can explore here are Bom Jesus do Monte (one of the most beautiful monuments of Northern Portugal) and Guimarães Castle (which also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage site).

Heading east from Braga, the valleys and vineyards of Penafiel and Amarante will crop up before you go ahead to witness Figueira da Foz’s stunning white beaches. On your way, you will stumble upon Lisbon, the bustling capital of Portugal. If you want to proceed to Morocco from Lisbon, the most feasible option would be to fly there, unless you want to head to Spain for driving/ferry options.

Vienna to Graz

Vienna is Austria’s capital and is along the Danube River. Its legacy has been shaped by its famous residents which including Mozart, Beethoven, and Sigmund Freud. Being the capital, Vienna has plenty of activities for you to indulge in, such as art, music, food and wine, concerts, and much more. Meanwhile, Graz is the second-largest city of Austria and is one of the best-preserved historic towns in Europe.

Not only is Vienna to Graz an alluring road trip, but it also takes barely three hours to cover the distance. On your way to Graz, you can see the peaceful countryside, and within a short time, you will find yourself at your destination. Graz allows you to explore further beautiful palaces, castles, hills, and vineyards.

Final Thoughts

During these times of COVID-19 restrictions, everyone has all started to get a case of ‘cabin fever.’ As limits begin to ease and counties/cities start to re-open, planning for our on-hold vacations can now commence.

While taking a flight or the train might be a faster way to travel, a lot of people are still wary of these modes of transport. As such, touring Europe by car as a couple or with a small group of family and friends an excellent way to enjoy this storied continent.

If you got the time to spare, then you need to look up these picturesque European road trips. From cafes and quaint markets to quiet mountains and colorful sunsets, there are a plethora of visuals for you to enjoy. To be able to enjoy these (and other European road trip itineraries), check out our recommended resource below and find the best rates for your road trip plans.


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If you have any experience or insight in any of the European road trips and would like to share them, kindly leave your comments below.


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(14) Comments

  1. coralie

    Wow what a wonderful post.  I would love to be travelling right now. You are so right, that we all have a ton of cabin fever building up.

    I love reading your Amsterdam to Bruges, as I have actually done that trip.. I will say I didn’t stay long enough unfortunately as I was with my family.  I have always said I want to go back, as Europe is so beautiful and so different then where I live.  The history is I think the best part of all of these amazing locations you have covered here.  Great job.

    Have you done one of these road trips, and if so, which was your favourite.

    1. JRandZen

      Hello Coralie,

      Thank you for your comments.  Great to know that you have actually done the Amsterdam to Bruges trip.  We have been to Amsterdam and would likewise love to do the trip to Bruges next time.  One of our friends have been there and their experience was so beautiful.  We have been around Tuscany and that region stole our hearts.  Last year, we were hooked on the TV series “Outlander” and would like to drive around the Scottish Highlands.  

      We are aiming to be able to do these trips one day.  Which ones interest you for your next trip?

  2. Mojisola Kupolati (Debbie)

    Your article got my interest. I was in Rome two years ago and stumbled on this idea. We were actually to get on a scheduled road trip along with a group of tourist to see notable places in the beautiful city of Rome. Unfortunately, our flight was too close and we missed the opportunity. However, with the information you shared here I see that road trip across Europe will be an amazing experience. I am going to plan towards this in my next family holidays. Do you know if this trip could be arranged by an agent that we may contact to make the arrangement for us?

    1. JRandZen

      Hi Debbie,

      Thank you for your comments and for sharing your experience.  Yes, a road trip across Europe is an amazing experience.  Your travel agent can surely make the necessary arrangements.  However, if you are up for the challenge and would like to explore it yourself, here is a link to European Road Trip Planners that you may find useful.

      Good luck!

  3. Iheanacho David

    I love this articcle. I now feel like i should be travelling a bit more these days and not only during vacations cos there are lot of places out there to be visited. It is shocking how i have not been to Paris. I hosnestly dont know why but reading through Paris to Berlin i figured i have actually been missing a lot. I am definitely going there.

    1. JRandZen

      Hello,

      Thank you for your comments. Yes, a road trip will be a convenient way to see these places.

      1. LJ Kudos

        Hi,

        What a wonderful post. I have been to a few of the destinations you mentioned.
        We did a lot of wine tasting in the Tuscan hills at a few vineyards, it was breath taking at how beautiful it was.

        Amsterdam is one of my favourites. Been a few times and always have a great time when there. I love the cosmopolitan vibe and the people there are great too.

        We were off to Budapest in august but the flights been cancelled…fingers crossed we get another flight.

        See you around.

        1. JRandZen

          Thank you for your comments and for sharing your experience. Looks like you have been enjoying moving around Europe. It is a wonderful place and we hope to also be back once all the restrictions are lifted. Yes, last time we were there, Tuscany stole our hearts. We published earlier a full post on that wonderful experience.

          Incidentally, have you taken the road trip from Amsterdam to Bruges? We would love to hear your perspective if you have done so.

  4. edahnewton1

    Hey nice article you have there, your thoughts are indeed invaluable. Thanks for this timely information. A visit to Barcelona and Malaga has been my goal this summer, having stumbled into a concise article about a perfect description to explore this two cities from a single trip, I am delighted. This means so much to me as a tourist, thanks for the insight. Warm Regards

    1. JRandZen

      Hello Edah,

      Glad to note that a Barcelona to Malaga trip is a goal for you this summer.  A road trip would afford you that unique experience and ability to soak into the local vibe of the towns and cities along the way.

      Thank you for your comments and kind words.  Good luck on your trip.

  5. Ivan

    I think I’ll take all these trips in the near future. Europe is small, but there’s a lot of amazing routes, cities, and entire counties to visit. Being a small continent with so much content is actually an awesome thing! Athens to Delphi could be my top choice. Thanks a lot for sharing this!

    1. JRandZen

      Hi Ivan,

      Thank you for your comments. Yes, Europe offers a lot of routes and destinations for amazing road trips. We are history buffs as well and love the Athens-to-Delphi route. To help you in planning your road trip, you may wish to one of our resource pages providing European Road Trip Planners.

  6. C.N.

    Thank you so much for this highly informative article! I’ve always wanted to visit Europe, Paris and Barcelona in particular. I’ve always been fascinated by the architecture, food, people, and overall culture. God-willing, I’d like to travel to every country in the world, spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ and becoming better acquainted with different cultures. We live in a huge, highly diverse, and highly fascinating world. You all have given me a great vacation idea! Great read! God bless you!

    1. JRandZen

      Hello CN,
      Thank you for your comments. Glad to know that our article has provided you great vacation ideas. We look forward to hearing back when you have done so. All the best.

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