Europe's Best Road Trips
Europe - a melting pot of cultures, languages and peoples. A festival of cuisines, traditions and history. This stunning continent offers up some of the most spectacular and inspiring landscapes in the world. Here we take a look at the ten greatest European road trips in which to immerse your senses and lose yourself.
CABO DE GATA TO GRANADA - SPAIN
Cabo de Gata to Granada is a road trip unlike any other. This sun-drenched route in southern Spain winds its passengers through some of the most fascinating and diverse landscapes in Europe. Picture the sun playfully reflecting off the Mediterranean’s deep blue waters as you travel along the coast of southern Spain.
Cabo de Gata is home to a stunning collection of imposing volcanic ridges and glistening beaches. This idyllic adventure will take you through fishing villages, farmlands, olive groves, the Tabernas Desert and much more before arriving in the Sierra Nevadas and the medieval city of Granada. Viva España!
THE AMALFI COAST ROAD - ITALY
This road of stunning coastal beauty begins in the bustling city of Naples and stretches south via Sorrento and Amalfi to Salerno. Leaving behind the anarchy of Naples and sweeping round the bay, you'll soon pass Sorrento, the Isle of Capri, and glide through Positano, Ravello and Amalfi itself. The breath taking route of twists and turns, dives and climbs ("The Road of a Thousand Bends") is one for the bucket list. It’s a coastal drive with sheer cliffs and a rugged shoreline dotted with small beaches and pastel-colored fishing villages. The coastal road between the port city of Salerno and clifftop Sorrento winds past grand villas, terraced vineyards and lemon groves.
SOUTH COAST OF ENGLAND, PORTSMOUTH TO DOVER
This stunning route along the south coast of England takes in some of Britain's greatest coastal views. Leaving from Portsmouth and passing through Bognor Regis, Brighton and Hastings the road arrives at the iconic White Cliffs of Dover. This magnificent coastal drive overlooks the English Channel and takes in some of England's greatest beaches. The views from the White Cliffs of Dover themselves are perpetually changing. When it is sunny the sea can be as calm and smooth as a sheet of glass and on the clearest of days you may even be able to catch a glimpse of northern France.
COL DE TURINI - FRANCE
Col de Turini is a stretch of mountain road that carves and winds its way through the French Alps in the region of Alpes-Maritimes. It lies near Sospel, between the communes of Moulinet and La Bollène-Vésubie. The Col de Turini is a high mountain pass that is famous for a stage of the Monte Carlo Rally which is held on the tight road with its many hairpin turns.
The Col de Turini has also featured three times in the Tour de France (1948, '50 and '75). Offering up spectacular views of the French Alps the pass has also featured in Top Gear where Clarkson and Co. went in search of the greatest driving road in the world.
FERN PASS - AUSTRIA
The Fern Pass is a mountain pass in the Tyrolean Alps in Austria. It is located between the Lechtal Alps on the west and the Mieming Mountains on the east. The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system in Europe. The pass was created when a huge mountain collapsed and filled part of the valley and distributed rubble up to 16 km away. The Fern Pass is a gateway to the stunning and rugged beauty of the Austrian Alps. Plan ahead, as sometimes the Fern Pass closes due to severe weather conditions.
THE CAUSEWAY COAST - NORTHERN IRELAND
The Causeway Coast stretches along the northern coast of Ireland running from Belfast in the north east to Londonderry in the north west and covering approximately 314km. Nestled between the wildness of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the rugged lush green landscape on the other lies one of Europe's finest coastal drives. The trip will take you through landmarks of historic interest and beauty such as Carrickfergus, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and the Giant's Causeway. This road trip eloquently combines old world charm, friendly locals and rugged wild beauty. It's worth planning to spend some time in the vibrant and welcoming Londonderry as you conclude your journey.
SANTORINI FIRA TO OIA - GREECE
Santorini is an idyllic and visually stunning Greek island. Beginning in the dreamlike village of Oia, this is a short but breathtaking 12km route around the rim of the famous caldera to the island’s capital town of Fira. Although short, this route serves up truly stunning views of the Aegean Sea. Santorini is what remains after an enormous volcanic explosion around 1600 BC which destroyed the earliest settlements on what was formerly a single island. From Oia, you can gaze along the wall of the caldera and marvel at the towns and settlements clinging to the side of this breathtaking island. Can't be safe. Looks great though.
ROUTE ONE - ICELAND
No landscape in Europe can lay a hand on Iceland for spectacular extremes of volcanoes, lava fields, ash deserts, hot springs and geysers. And Route One is your gateway to this extraordinary world. Route One is a national road in Iceland that runs around the island and connects most of the inhabited parts of the country. The total length of the road soars to over 1,300 km. Highlights include the open road skirting alongside the rocky vistas of the south coast, the extraordinary bleak, yet beautiful, passing of the north-east ash fields, the hot springs at Myvatn, and the awe inspiring whale-watching at Husavik on the north coast. Give Iceland a chance, and she will take your breath away.
BERGEN TO TRONDHEIM - NORWAY
The road from Bergen to Trondheim offers up some of Norway's most popular tourist areas with amazing attractions and sights along the way. Beginning in the city of Bergen on the southwest coast travel by the mighty fjords to Voss and the colossal waterfall of Tvindefossen. Continue through the mountains via the world’s longest road tunnel - 24.5km. Take the ferry across the Sognefjord and make your way to the land of glaciers and grand imposing mountain peaks. The final leg takes you along the iconic Atlantic Road with its roller coaster style bridges and finally arrives at the enchanting town of Trondheim.
GROSSGLOCKNEW TO HOCHALPENSTRASSE - AUSTRIA
Austria again! This route is a haven for sports car and motorcycle enthusiasts. It is a High Alpine road which passes through the Hohe Tauern National Park. The scenery is amazing and tourists and motor fans come here in their droves. It’s not just the dazzling and seemingly limitless views over mountain ranges which cover a 50km stretch but also a challenging series of 36 hair-raising hairpin bends. The fact that the road climbs to over 2,500 metres and provides unprecedented views of the Austrian Alps helps.