Never-ending verdant hills with snowy mountains peaking in between. Glacier lakes and fairy-tale castles atop rugged cliffs. Rose-colored villages perched on hills along an emerald coast and vineyards as far as your eyes can see. Pack some wanderlust, start that engine, and get ready for the best ride of your life. Here are some of the best and most breathtaking road trips in Europe.
Trollstigen National Tourist Route, Norway
No visit to Europe will ever be as breathtaking without having a sight of the famous fjords in Norway. And the best way to see and get up close these elongated seas with majestic steep cliffs is to do a road trip along the scenic Trollstigen National Tourist Route. Between Valldalen and Andalsnes in Norway, a drive along this road also known as the Troll Route will spoil you with lush valleys, snow-covered mountains, waterfalls such as the Seven Sisters, and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Geirangerfjord, which is the world’s most renowned fjord.
Consider a quick visit and hike to Dovrefjell-Sundalsfjella National Park, an alpine area where you can see wild animals such as reindeers, golden eagle, and mountain fox and a diverse species of mountain flora.
Transfagarasan Highway, Romania
Also known as Romania’s National Road 7C, Transfagarasan Highway has been named the world’s best road trip by Top Gear. Running about 90 kms, this drive will take you through the Fagaras mountains, the Carpathian range, and the Transylvanian Alps. Twisty curves and sharp hairpin turns afford you to only run at 25 miles per hour. But that also means you can fully bask in the glorious views of glacier lakes, dense pine forests, and majestic mountain ranges.
Your Romanian holiday will also take you across viaducts, through tunnels, and along the Arges River gorge. Towards the end of your epic road trip is the village of Capataneni where a sign leads you to Poenari Castle, property of Vlad the Impaler who is known to inspire the character of Dracula. His fortress is 1480 steps up but the view at the top is beyond spectacular.
Alpine Road, Germany
280 miles of breathtaking curves, twisting roads, and hairpins with views of snow-covered peaks, mountain lakes, romantic valleys, and Alpine meadows from left to right. Add in majestic palaces and fairy-tale castles. If this doesn’t make you jump in a car and take this journey down the Alpine Road in Germany, then we don’t know what will. Also known as Alpenstrasse, this road at the edge of the Bavarian Alps extending between Lindau and Berchtesgaden are characterized by expansive roads and generous speed limits.
As if the views Alpine Road affords you are not comforting and breathtaking enough, make a relaxing stop at Oberstaufen, a town full of almost a hundred spas and home to Germany’s only Schroth spa. And to top it all off, stop over at Neuschwanstein, a castle atop a rugged hill built by King Ludwig, dubbed as the “Fairytale King.”
A road trip that will take you around scenic Spanish towns and to neighboring France, Basque simply cannot be missed when in Europe. From rocky coastlines to gorgeous mountains, vineyards to fishing villages, and museums and Michelin-star restaurants in between, this road trip is a feast to the eyes and to the mouth.
Drive from Madrid or Barcelona and head down south to Bilbao where you can see the Guggenheim Museum and the majestic Basilica of Begoña. Turn east for a pass at Pamplona, a dreamy town which is also the capital of the Kingdom of Navarre. Pass through the Pyrenees Mountains into France and be ready for those jaw-dropping sceneries leading you to Biarritz, a French surf town dotted with elegant promenades and luxurious hotels.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
No “best road trips in Europe” will ever be complete without this Italian dream gracing the list. Winding through a coastline stretch blessed with gorgeous pastel-colored villages perfectly terraced into hills, exuberant gardens, and scenic panoramas overlooking cerulean seas, one can only gasp in amazement with the beauty of Italy’s Amalfi Coast. No wonder this Mediterranean jewel made it to the UNESCO World Heritage site --- its natural features are perfectly complemented by man-made structures providing unparalleled beauty and charm.
Your journey through Amalfi Coast starts in Salerno, a busy port town and home to the oldest medical school in modern civilization, the Schola Medica Salernitana. Wind down through scenic roads to Ravelo, continue towards Amalfi, and head down to the coastal village of Positano. Wine breaks over majestic sea views during the trip are highly encouraged, by the way.