Skip to content

Road Trips in Europe: 10 Fantastic Routes

We absolutely adore road trips! And how lucky we are that Europe is brimming with incredible routes right on our doorstep. Just hop in the car, and voilà – instant road trip bliss!

Over the years, we’ve embarked on countless road trips across Europe. In this article on our travel blog, we’re excited to share our all-time favourite road trip itineraries with you.

Whether it’s the Dolce Vita in Tuscany to the breathtaking natural landscapes of Montenegro or the mountain love in Austria – get ready for a hefty dose of road trip route inspiration across Europe.

Best road trips in Europe

1. Tuscany

One of our absolute favourite road trips routes in Europe takes you through stunning Tuscany. It’s hard to find another road trip destination that so perfectly combines magnificent cities, picturesque landscapes, and culinary delights like Tuscany does.

Highlights of this Road Trip

Travelling through Tuscany, you’re in for a treat with highlights non-stop! First off, there are dream cities like Florence, Siena, and Lucca – each endlessly fascinating and a must-see!

For those wanting to see the “typical Tuscan” expansive landscape with its gentle hills, Val d’Orcia is a must. This is where you’ll find quintessential Tuscan scenes straight out of a storybook – a dream for photography enthusiasts. And you definitely wouldn’t want to miss the medieval towns in Val d’Orcia, such as Montalcino, Pienza, or Montepulciano, on a road trip.

Speaking of medieval towns – one in Tuscany particularly stands out: San Gimignano. Its medieval towers create a skyline like no other. Our verdict: Tuscany might be quite touristy, but it’s rightly one of the most popular road trips in Europe.

Route for Your Tuscany Road Trip

Florence (3 nights) – Lucca (2 nights) – Pisa – Volterra – San Gimignano (2 nights) – Siena (2 nights) – Val d’Orcia (4 nights) – Florence

For more tips on this route, check out this article: Tuscany Road Trip

Facts & Info about the Tuscany Road Trip

Duration: Approx. 2 weeks
Distance: Approx. 450 kilometers
Best Time to Travel: Spring or Autumn (We went in October when the landscape is significantly drier than in Spring.)
Perfect for: Italy enthusiasts; gourmets; those who adore unique accommodations and restaurants

Tuscany Road trip

2. Puglia

Staying in Italy, this European road trip takes us through the gorgeous region of Puglia in the south of the country. Puglia forms the “heel” of Italy’s boot, surrounded by the sea on both sides. So, you can look forward to plenty of sea-loving experiences on this road trip.

Highlights of this Road Trip

A road trip through Puglia will lead you through numerous dreamy coastal towns. Particularly notable for its spectacular location (and hence its fame) is the small town of Polignano a Mare.

Iconic in Puglia are the so-called Trulli – those white lime-washed round houses popping out of the landscape like little pointed hats. The most famous of these is the small (and very touristy!) town of Alberobello. A visit to Alberobello is almost mandatory on an Puglia road trip.

The Salento, Puglia’s southern peninsula, impressed us greatly with its rugged east coast. Salento is also home to probably the most beautiful Baroque city in Puglia: Lecce. Another gem in Puglia is Ostuni, known as the “White City”.

A little tip: In Puglia’s neighbouring region of Basilicata lies the impressive rock city of Matera, which left us absolutely speechless. We’ve never seen a city quite like it! A detour to Matera is the perfect addition on a road trip through Puglia.

Route for Your Puglia Road Trip

Bari – Matera (2 nights, not directly in Puglia, but very worth visiting!) – Lecce (1 night) – Salento (3 nights) – Ostuni (2 nights) – Valle d’Itria/Alberobello – Putignano (2 nights) – Polignano a Mare – Monopoli – Bari

For more information, check out this article: Puglia Road Trip

Facts & Info about the Puglia Road Trip

Duration: About 8 to 10 days
Distance: Approx. 600 kilometers
Best Time to Travel: Spring or Autumn, better avoid August around Ferragosto (Italy’s most important holiday)
Perfect for: Those who love being by the sea; Italy enthusiasts; fans of unique accommodations

Puglia Road trip

3. Emilia-Romagna

Our third Italian destination, which we’re eager to introduce to you, is more of an insider tip for road trips in Europe. This route takes you through the picturesque region of Emilia-Romagna in Northern Italy. Dream cities (Bologna!), charming mountain villages, and many more highlights off the beaten track await you on this tour.

Highlights of this Road Trip

It’s best to start your road trip in the beautiful city of Bologna. Bologna, a young, charming university city with impressive buildings – we absolutely loved it here.

The numerous picturesque mountain villages of Emilia-Romagna are definitely worth a visit. Particularly noteworthy are places like Dozza with its unusual graffiti and Verucchio, rightly considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.

Another cultural highlight awaits in Ravenna: Here, you can marvel at countless historical mosaics from Byzantine and early Christian times. We also really enjoyed the somewhat more laid-back Ferrara.

A little tip: You can perfectly combine a road trip through Emilia-Romagna with a detour to the microstate of San Marino. In our opinion, a day trip is indeed sufficient to explore one of the smallest countries in the world.

Route for Your Emilia-Romagna Road Trip

Bologna (2 nights) – Dozza – Brisighella – Santarcangelo (2 to 3 nights) – San Marino (optional) – Verucchio – San Leo – Rimini – Ravenna (1 night) – Comacchio – Ferrara (1 night) – Bologna

Find more info about this route here: Emilia-Romagna Road Trip (available soon)

Facts & Info about the Emilia-Romagna Road Trip

Duration: About a week
Distance: Approx. 450 kilometers
Best Time to Travel: Spring or Autumn, for a beach holiday in Rimini better in Summer (although it gets very busy)
Perfect for: Gourmets (many Italian specialties originate from Emilia-Romagna); Italy enthusiasts who want to travel off the beaten path

Emilia Romagna Travel Guide

4. Slovenia

Slovenia is definitely one of our most beloved countries for a road trip in Europe. Why? The country is small, making the distances relatively short, travel is moderately priced, and last but not least: Slovenia is truly impressive. Small, but mighty – as we’d sum it up.

Highlights of this Road Trip

Slovenia is a paradise for nature lovers! One of the absolute outdoor highlights on a road trip through Slovenia is the idyllic Soča Valley. The turquoise-blue Soča River winds through a breathtakingly beautiful landscape – a region you absolutely must not miss!

Also worth seeing and one of the most important attractions in Slovenia is the famous Lake Bled. With its tiny island and striking church tower, the lake is one of the country’s most popular photo subjects.

Slovenia’s coast is unfortunately only 46 kilometers long – but it still has quite some highlights to offer, especially the picturesque coastal town of Piran. For a beach holiday, the nearby Portorož is very popular.

A detour to Slovenia’s small but very charming capital, Ljubljana, is also worth it. The picturesque old town of Ljubljana can be explored quickly – leaving plenty of time to visit the many hip cafes of the university city.

Route for Your Slovenia Road Trip

Bled (2 nights) – Škofja Loka – Ljubljana (2 nights) – Postojna (1 night) – Piran (2 nights) – Soča Valley (3 nights) – Vršič Pass

For more information, check out this travel guide: Slovenia Travel Route

Facts & Info about the Slovenia Road Trip

Duration: About a week to 10 days
Distance: Approx. 400 kilometers
Best Time to Travel: Spring to Autumn, with Summer being naturally busier
Perfect for: Those who want to see a lot in a short time; outdoor and nature enthusiasts

Europa Roadtrip Tips

5. Croatia

Another fantastic road trip in Europe takes you to one of the most beloved holiday destinations of German-speaking visitors: Croatia. No, Croatia is certainly no longer a hidden gem – but this elongated country on the Adriatic coast is still incredibly worth seeing.

Highlights of this Road Trip

Croatia equals love for the sea! Few European road trips evoke as many holiday feelings as a round trip through Croatia. Hence, you can look forward to a countless beautiful coastal towns and wonderful swimming bays in Croatia.

Because Croatia is so long and narrow (meaning the distances are quite far), you have several route options here: For example, you can just explore the very picturesque region of Istria in the north of the country. Here you will find stunning coastal towns, especially the picturesque (but rather touristy) Rovinj.

For those with more time, we definitely recommend driving further south to Dalmatia. Here lies one of the most beautiful beach stretches in Croatia: the Makarska Riviera. Picturesque towns are tightly nestled at the foot of the spectacular Biokovo mountain range – a unique natural backdrop.

Split is a must-see. The combination of modern coastal metropolis and ancient buildings is unparalleled. You should definitely plan a stopover here on your road trip through Croatia.

Last but not least, Croatia is home to countless islands (around 1,200 to be precise) that you can visit. Hvar is highly recommended. As you can see, Croatia is not short of highlights.

Route for your Croatia Road Trip

Istria/Rovinj (3-4 nights) – Zadar (1 night) – Krka National Park – Šibenik (1-2 nights) – Primošten – Trogir – Split (2-3 nights) – Hvar (3 nights) – Omiš – Makarska Riviera (2-3 nights) – Dubrovnik (2-3 nights

For more information and tips on the route, check out this travel guide: Croatia Road Trip

Facts & Info about the Croatia Road Trip

Duration: approx. two to three weeks (can also be shortened)
Distance: approx. 900 kilometres (one way, i.e. you have to drive the route back or book an open jaw flight – e.g. Pula/Dubrovnik)
Best time to travel: Spring or autumn; some places are very crowded in summer (if you are travelling in summer, you should definitely book well in advance).
Perfect for: Coastal and beach fans; all those who like historic cities and crave a hefty dose of holiday flair

Croatia Travel Itinerary 2 Weeks

6. Montenegro

Another European road trip that makes it to our list of favourites is Montenegro. This small country in the Balkans offers incredible variety in a relatively small area! From the rugged highlands around the spectacular Durmitor Mountains to the breathtakingly beautiful Bay of Kotor – Montenegro is truly the perfect road trip country!

Highlights of this Road Trip

Montenegro is an absolute nature destination! In our opinion, it is the comparatively lesser-known interior in particular that makes Montenegro so appealing.

Firstly, there is the breathtakingly beautiful Durmitor National Park. The spectacular mountain massif rises from a rugged plateau. Here you can go on great hikes or drive along the most famous road in the region, the Durmitor Ring Road.

Also incredibly worth seeing is Lake Scutari, the largest lake in the Balkans. It’s partly in Montenegro, partly in Albania. Our morning boat trip on Lake Skutari is definitely one of our personal highlights in Montenegro.

Last but not least, the Bay of Kotor, that 30-kilometre-long sea bay framed by spectacular mountain ranges, is a must-see on this European road trip. The small town of the same name, Kotor, is an major tourist hotspot (cruise ships dock here). We personally liked Perast even better.

Route for your Montenegro Road Trip

Perast (2 nights) – Durmitor National Park (2-3 nights) – Lake Scutari (2 nights) – Kotor (2-3 nights)

For more detailed information and tips, check out this article: Montenegro travel route (available soon)

Facts & Info about the Montenegro Road Trip

Duration: About 8 to 10 days Distance: Approx. 450 kilometres
Best time to travel: Spring to autumn (We went in the peak of summer and it was absolutely fine.)
Perfect for: All those who want to experience a lot in a short time and get to know a relatively unknown road trip country in Europe; nature enthusiasts

Montenegro Travel Itinerary

7. Southern France

Bonjour, la France! Southern France is a classic among road trips in Europe. The south of the country is an absolute dream destination for many, and rightly so, in our opinion. The blooming lavender fields, the picturesque mountain villages of Provence, the glamorous coastal cities – all this and much more awaits you in Southern France.

Highlights of this Road Trip

A region in Southern France you simply cannot miss is the enchanting Provence. There are several highlights located here. First off, there is the Luberon mountain range with its picturesque mountain villages such as Gordes, Bonnieux and Lourmarin.

Aix-en-Provence is probably the most beautiful major city in Provence and should definitely be on your itinerary. We absolutely loved it here!

For those who prefer to venture off the beaten track, adding the gorges of the Tarn and Jonte to the itinerary is a must. Here, we stayed completely secluded in an old stone house and were welcomed in an incredibly homely atmosphere.

Of course, a detour to the coast is also a must on a road trip through the Southern France. Cannes, a glamorous city on the Côte d’Azur, is a great choice.

Route for your South of France Road Trip

Toulouse – Carcassonne – Narbonne (2 nights) – Cévennes National Park (2 nights) – Pont du Gard – Luberon (2 nights) – Aix-en-Provence (1-2 nights) – Roquebrune-sur-Argens (2 nights) – Cannes (2 nights) – Nice

For more information and tips, check out this guide: Southern France Travel Route

Facts & Info about the Southern France Road Trip

Duration: About 2 weeks Distance: Approx. 900 kilometers
Best time to travel: Between the end of June and mid-August (for lavender blossom), otherwise better in spring or autumn
Perfect for: All those who like variety (coast, inland, cities, mountain villages, nature); gourmets (though vegetarian might be challenging)

Travel Itinerary South France

8. Andalusia

Oh, Andalusia! Few destinations in Europe have inspired us as much as Southern Spain. Andalusia is culturally incredibly fascinating, with the Arab influences from the Moorish era omnipresent. The combination of exciting cities, arid landscapes, and the sea really appealed to us.

Highlights of this Road Trip

Andalusia is packed with truly great cities – one more beautiful than the other. First off, there is the capital of Andalusia, Seville. Seville is a must-see. The university city is bursting with energy. Plus, there are impressive sights on every corner, especially the gigantic cathedral.

Granada is no less impressive. It is home to the world-famous Alhambra, one of Spain’s most important landmarks. Next up is Córdoba. Here stands the Mezquita, a mosque-cathedral that truly left us speechless. This architectural masterpiece is an absolute must-see.

But don’t worry: Apart from culture, there’s plenty to discover in Andalusia. For example, the arid interior around the so-called Road of the White Villages is well worth seeing. Here, in the mountainous hinterland, there are several picturesque mountain villages with white lime-washed facades, already visible from afar. Not a typical white village, but still very worth seeing, is nearby Ronda with its iconic stone bridge.

You should also not miss a detour to the sea in Andalusia Cádiz, for example, is one of the oldest cities in Europe and is absolutely worth a visit.

Route for your road trip through Andalusia

Málaga (2 nights) – Ronda (1 night) – Road of the White Villages – Cádiz (2 nights) – Sevilla (3-4 nights) – Córdoba (2 nights) – Granada (2-3 nights) – Málaga

Find more info about this route here: Andalusia Travel Route

Facts & Info about the Andalusia Road Trip

Duration: About 10 days to 2 weeks Distance: Approx. 900 kilometres
Best time to travel: Definitely not in the peak of summer, as it gets far too hot. Spring and autumn are ideal. We were there at the beginning of November and were quite lucky with the weather.
Perfect for: Those interested in culture (Andalusia has many special cities with really impressive landmarks); all those who long for the Southern Spanish way of life.

Andalusia Travel Itinerary

9. Centro de Portugal

If you are looking for a road trip in Europe off the beaten path, the region of Centro de Portugal is an excellent choice. As the name suggests, you’ll be travelling through the geographical centre of Portugal, roughly the area between Lisbon and Porto. Of course, it’s a great idea to include one or both of these cities in your road trip.

Highlights of this road trip

On this European road trip, you can look forward to many hidden and lesser-known places away from the classic Portugal travel routes. The journey mainly takes you through the interior of the country, but there are also some destinations along the coast.

Definitely worth visiting is the university city of Coimbra. The town has a special charm and is beautifully situated: Coimbra lies along the Rio Mondego and stretches up a hill in terraces. Do not miss the 700-year-old University of Coimbra with its baroque library, the Biblioteca Joanina.

We also really enjoyed Aveiro, the “Venice of Portugal”, and the fishing village of Costa Nova with its colourful beach houses.

You should definitely not miss out on a detour into the interior of the country on this tour. We can recommend the small, secluded mountain village of Marialva. And last but not least: Serra da Estrela, the highest mountain range on the Portuguese mainland, should not be missing from your route.

A little tip: It is definitely worth visiting the capital, Lisbon. Strictly speaking, it is not in Centro de Portugal, but most people will probably arrive here by plane. At the end of the trip, you could stop in Porto and fly back from there.

Route for your Centro de Portugal Road Trip

Lisbon (approx. 3 nights) – Óbidos (1 night) – monasteries of Alcobaça, Batalha and Tomar – Coimbra (1 to 2 nights) – Aveiro (1 night) – Costa Nova – Marialva (1 night) – Serra da Estrela (2 nights) – Porto

For more information, check out this article: Centro de Portugal Travel Route (available soon)

Facts & Info about the Centro de Portugal Road Trip

Duration: About 7 days (without Lisbon), approx. 10 to 12 days (with Lisbon and/or Porto)
Distance: Approx. 900 kilometres
Best time to travel: Spring to autumn (We were there in early April and the weather was already quite pleasant)
Perfect for: Those who want to travel off the beaten path and are looking for a diverse destination (coast, cities, nature)

Casas do Coro Marialva

10. Austria

Last but not least: Austria, a must in our list of favourite road trips in Europe. And we say this not just because it’s our home. If you love mountains, you’ll adore Austria. And, as a bonus, there are also several Austrian cities that are really worth visiting.

Highlights of this road trip

No road trip through Austria would be complete without visiting the beautiful capital, Vienna. Vienna’s baroque, imperial flair is truly unique. And, of course, let’s not forget the city’s delightful coffee houses, oh!

Just as charming is the second major city along the route: Salzburg. The city of Mozart is whimsically beautiful, with the imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress as a visual treat.

However, the special highlight of a road trip through Austria, besides the pretty cities, is above all the spectacular mountain scenery. So, if you enjoy the mountains, Austria is the place to be.

Stunning (and not quite as touristy as other regions) areas include East Tyrol and the Bregenz Forsest. For something different, head to Bad Gastein. Historic Belle Époque buildings nestle close together on the hillside – what a backdrop.

While there’s no sea in Austria, there are magnificent lakes. Some of the most popular swimming lakes are located in the southernmost province of Carinthia. So, if you long to cool off and refresh yourself, you’ll be well catered for here.

Route for your Austria Road Trip

Vienna (2 to 4 nights) – Wachau (optional, 1 to 2 nights) – Salzkammergut (2 to 3 nights) – Salzburg (1 to 2 nights) – Bad Gastein (2 to 3 nights) – Bregenzerwald (optional, 3 to 4 nights) – East Tyrol (3 to 4 nights) – Carinthian Lakes (3 nights) – Southern Styria (2 to 3 nights) – Graz (optional, 1 to 2 nights) – Vienna

You can find the exact travel route in this article: Austria Travel Route

Facts & Info about the Austria Road Trip

Duration: About 2 to 4 weeks Kilometres: Approx. 1,150 kilometres (shorter route), approx. 1,750 kilometres (longer route to Bregenzerwald)
Best time to travel: Ideally June or September, to avoid the summer holidays and when most of the huts in the hiking regions are already/still open.
Perfect for: Mountain, nature and outdoor enthusiasts; all those who love the imperial baroque charm; gourmets (Kaiserschmarrn, Topfenstrudel and co. are a delight)

Austria Road trip

Which other road trips in Europe can you recommend? Which routes have you perhaps already explored yourself or which road trips are still on your wish list? We look forward to hearing about your experiences and additional tips.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner