7 Road Trips in Europe to Add to Your Bucket List
Sightseeing in Europe may be for everyone, but if the route is your destination and the open road is calling out to you, you’re probably a road trip and landscape junkie. Sunglasses, playlist and great company aside, tyres are the most important part of a road trip, so if yours are in top shape, let’s make that next automobile adventure happen. We’ve put together a list of the best road trips in Europe just for you.
- The Transfagarasan, Romania
One of Romania’s top attractions, also called ‘the Road to the Sky’, and the best road in the world according to Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson, the Transfagarasan connects the south of Romania with Transylvania. Built in the early 1970s by the Romanian communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu for military purposes, the 71-mile-long route is an extraordinary engineering achievement. It traverses the majestic Fagaras Mountains through five tunnels, 27 viaducts and 831 small bridges. This road is not for the fainthearted. The breath-taking mountain views contain numerous sharp hairpin bends and periodic narrow stretches. Check your brakes before you set off on your trip! Begin your journey at the Curtea de Arges, go via the iconic glacial lake Balea to end the trip at Cartisoara.
Travel tip: The best time to visit is between July and November. This route will take you a day but you can combine Transfagarasan and Transalpina for a memorable weekend road trip.
- Route One, Iceland
No list of Europe road trips can be complete without including Route One, an 800-mile loop of the entire island of Iceland. In theory, it is possible to finish the trip in 15-16 hours, but that would be a mistake. Also called the Golden circle, it offers the most spectacular views of the island – famed volcanoes, lava fields, ash deserts, waterfalls and hot springs – so you might even want to spend a week driving off the ring road to take in the stunning sights along the way including the Snæfellsnes peninsula or the rural Westfjords. The route starts at the capital city of Reykjavic.
Travel tip: The best way to explore the Icelandic highlands is with a 4 wheel drive car to endure all types of terrain. The highlands are only accessible from late June until September so always check the road conditions before you set off.
- Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria
A favourite of adventure road trip enthusiasts for its hairpin bends and tight corners, the most famous alpine road in the Eastern Alps winds up to a height of over 2000 metres. It may only be approximately 30 miles in length, but the route snakes its way through the heart of the Hohe Tauern National Park towards the highest peak in Austria, the Grossglockner. One the way, road travellers can expect to see nothing but stunning vistas of the range of 37 mountains, negotiate the 36 tyre squealing hairpin bends and gaze at the stunning views of the Pasterze, Austria’s largest glacier. Start your adventure in the Fuscher Valley in the Pinzgau District, wind your way uphill into the high mountains and downhill again toward Carinthia.
Travel tip: This is a very popular tourist destination, so start early if you want to avoid the droves of camera wielding tourists.
- Wild Atlantic Way / Ring of Kerry, Ireland
The Wild Atlantic Way combines the best of stunning natural beauty and some incredibly rugged, off-the-beaten track touring routes which run from north to south along the west coast of Ireland. From the remote Donegal headlands in the North, down to the picturesque peninsulas of Kerry and Cork, the route runs for 1500 spectacular miles and is the longest defined coastal route in the world. You can choose to drive through all of it or some of it, but no matter what corner you turn, you will find yourself stopping to take in the views.
Travel tip: Take the trip from South to North to be on the ocean side of the road, as Ireland drives on the left side of the road.
- Black Forest High Ridgeway, Germany
Located in the country’s south-western part the Black Forest is a bit of a misnomer as it is brimming with lush greenery. And what better way to explore Germany’s most legendry forest than with a drive through the forest roads? The beautiful stretches of elevated highway and scenic views on either side are a dream come true for any landscape road trip junkie. Also known as the Schwarzwaldhochstrasse or Route B500, this picturesque route starts in Baden-Baden and drives all the way to Freudenstadt. There are a few fairly dense patches of forest, but the road is always wide, smooth and sweeping.
Travel tip: Rent a good car that can navigate the serpentine roads the forest region is known for.
- Via de la Plata, Spain
The Via de la Plata is Spain’s second longest motorway and extends along the west coast of the country. Starting from Seville in the South and running northwards through to the end in Gijon in the North, it is the perfect way to see the best of Spain. Historically, it was one of the main roads that formed the backbone of communication during ancient Roman times. This route traverses the peninsula over 497 miles, and offers not only outstanding views of rolling hills, but also churches and symbols of Roman architecture. It also provides a chance to visit some of the major Roman cities like Mérida and Caparra.
Travel Tip: Make sure to visit the city of Salamanca, a sandstone city and UNESCO world heritage site. Stay for the sunset to witness the entire city turn a shade of golden.
- The Arctic Fjords Trip, Norway
Take this trip and you’ll witness Norway’s stunning landscapes where Vikings once roamed and sailed the Arctic fjords. Start in the city of Bergen, on Norway’s southwest coast, and make your way past the majestic fjords to Voss and the colossal Tvindefossen waterfall. This route takes you through the world’s longest road tunnel, a 15-mile route under the mountains, before ending in the Northern city of Trondheim. This 500-mile trip may well be for landscape enthusiasts, but speed junkies beware – every turn is a sight to behold.
Travel tip: If you plan on making this trip during Norway’s winter months, check ahead of time for road closures.
- https://www.grossglock ner.at/gg/en/thehighalpineroad/thehighalpineroad