Are you looking for awesome European Road Trip ideas? Lucky you- that means an epic adventure is COMING YOUR WAY! 🙂
I’ve put together this European Road Trip planner for you- it’s full of fantastic road trip itinerary ideas– just choose how long you want to travel for and start planning where to go!
List of Contents
Europe Road Trip ideas and Itineraries- how to use this planner.
All the road trip itineraries are organised in length of driving from the UK. Of course, if you really put your foot down and drove non-stop, you could reach Greece in a few days- we drove home from Norway in 4!!
But these itineraries are created to allow more leisurely travel and to really see some of the places you visit.
There are soooo many incredible places in Europe that it was impossible to include them all in this guide. Instead, we’ve selected a few of our favourite places and tried to include some options for people motorhoming, roadtripping and some for people looking for more of a challenge!
I hope you find these European road trip itinerary ideas useful- let me know where you end up!
European Road Trip Ideas for one week
All of these European road trip itineraries are easily managed during one week. Just beware of travelling during school holidays (especially August in UK) – things get crazy busy!
Things are far less busy on the continent- maybe because there is so much more room!
A place easily dismissed by anyone UK based- we grow up hearing the news stories about 8-hour tailbacks and impossible visitor levels… but visit out of high season and this really is a magical part of the world.
Tiny coves on secluded beaches, beautiful towns, friendly and welcoming locals- even after a summer of tourists! I admit, free motorhome parking is getting harder and harder to find, which is a great shame, but there are still loads of campsites around and some overnight stops.
We visited Cornwall during the October half term holidays. The weather was still mild, there was plenty of space in motorhome approved areas and we saw so many beautiful places. We will definitely be going back!
We’ve been lucky enough to visit Germany twice in the past year- and we’re already planning a return! This country is PERFECT for road trips- stunning scenery, beautiful towns and places to visit, history, culture, FOOOOOOOD and they encourage motorhomes, vanlife and all other types of road trips.
It’s easy for beginners to reach and explore, but exciting enough to keep you coming back year after year.
If you’re based in the UK, Scotland is either a dream destination or somewhere you completely forget about as you rush towards Europe. I should know- I was one of those people who was never that ‘bothered’ about Scotland.
Until we went.
And then I wondered why I’d waited so long!
There are many jokes about the appalling weather- and they’re not wrong. It really does rain a lot. But the scenery more than makes up for it- and Scotland makes it a heck of a lot easier for motorhomes to wild camp than England does.
You can stay in some spectacular locations, either for free or a small nominal fee, or you can choose to stay in one of hundreds of beautiful campsites. Just look at the one above!
It’s EASY to drive and travel here, which is why we picked it as our first ever destination for wild camping in our Motorhome. If you’re a little unsure, we highly recommend you do the same- you won’t regret it!
Some useful posts for planning a Road Trip to Scotland:
We visited Iceland for 4 days right after that HUGE volcanic eruption several years ago… hey, it was cheap!
It’s a beautiful country, more rugged than Scotland, but if you’re travelling Europe in Winter you have to dig a little deeper to see the landscapes. Much of the country is frozen/ covered in snow.
Having said that, we went to Iceland PURELY to see the Northern Lights– and we were not disappointed.
We spent 4 days exploring the South Coast of Iceland and were treated to a display of the lights EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. We couldn’t believe how lucky we were!
We’d like to go back one day and see a bit more of that incredible country- maybe in the summer when the waterfalls aren’t all frozen solid!!
European Road Trip Planner & Itinerary ideas for 2 weeks
Two weeks is a brilliant time to road trip Europe and explore a little further afield. Obviously, there are FAR too many incredible destinations for us to include, so we’ve picked a few different ones to whet your appetite.
Or, do what we often do and visit several countries at once! You can learn to create an AWESOME road trip itinerary using Google Maps here
West Sweden is one of the rare areas of Europe that isn’t easily accessible by train. The rugged coast is home to some of the most picturesque fishing villages and scenic coastlines.
But to experience this unique area of Europe, you’ll have to drive (unless you’re going in Winter to see the Northern Lights! Then fly or train is best.)
There are so many fascinating stops for those who decide to take a West Sweden road trip. Start your drive in Gothenburg, which is Sweden’s second largest city.
Although home to nearly 600,000 people, the city has a relaxed vibe and is the perfect place to slow down and take part in a Swedish fika, a daily afternoon break usually enjoyed with coffee and something sweet.
From there head north to the beautiful fishing village of Smögen. A stroll along its famous boardwalk lined with rows of colorful fishing houses is a must!
Those looking to truly unwind and experience nature and a bit of solitude will love the small town of Fjallbacka, where you’ll find a short yet stunning hike that takes you between two cliffs with large boulders wedged overhead. In Fjallbacka, you can also take a boat road over to the Weather Islands.
The archipelago is mainly uninhabited, which makes exploring these rocky islands truly serene.
West Sweden is easily reached from the UK- the drive takes about 3 days of solid driving. Be prepared for big tolls over the bridge- but that’s still cheaper and faster than taking the ferry!
ITALY- AMALFI COAST
The road trip on the Amalfi Coast in the South of Italy is one of the most amazing ever!
The SS163 is a narrow, windy road that goes from Positano to Vietri sul Mare. This area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, while it can be also experienced using public transport, driving it is the best way to really enjoy your trip.
Using a rented car or a Vespa is definitely better than renting a big motorhome. The reason is pretty simple: the road is narrow and while there are quite a few viewpoints, the parking space is enough only for 1-2 cars.
If you use a bigger vehicle, chances are that you won’t be able to stop to enjoy the view.
This spectacular road trip is not for the faint of heart, but for the most advanced drivers. On one side there’s a rock wall, and on the other a cliff with a view on the Italian sea.
Make sure you stop to explore at least a few of the little coastal towns. From the world-famous Positano to Atrani, Minori, and Amalfi: don’t drink too much limoncello (the local liquor) if you’re driving!
If the Amalfi coast is too far south, consider Cinque Terre– although don’t try and drive into it in your motorhome! You can also extend your trip to include Florence and Venice for the ultimate 10-days in Italy itinerary.
Planning a Road Trip?? These posts might help:
ITALY- ITALIAN LAKES
The Italian lakes should be on every Italy bucket list. We visited them over about 8-9 days in July and it was magical. Such a beautiful part of the world.
You can also park your motorhome across the lake from Venice, and take a water taxi in- how’s that for a way to spend a couple of days!!
Just remember, wild camping is forbidden in Italy- but there are so many Sostas (cheap campsites) around that it doesn’t matter too much. Also, DON’T SWIM IN THE LAKES! The E-coli levels are through the roof!!
Another part of Italy we love to explore are the Dolomites (mountains in North East Italy.) These incredible mountains are the perfect place to visit in the summer, where you can enjoy the nice weather and fantastic views without all the people!
(There are also a few places up here where wild camping is… tolerated. This is how we find these places. Ssshhhh)
If you do visit, be sure to try out some day hikes in the Dolomites– you will not regret it or forgot the views! Just be sure to take adequate gear and water with you.
“We loved our road trip to Portugal. It was nice to be able to stop in some of the smaller cities that would have been difficult to reach by public transportation (like Fatima). The roads were in good condition and we didn’t have to deal with much traffic except for in the larger cities.
Even though neither of us speaks Portuguese, we didn’t have any issues understanding the road signs. My one regret is that we only had 8 days for our trip. I would have liked to be able to stay longer and see more.”
If you have a little longer for your travels, here’s a great 10-day Portugal road trip itinerary to enjoy either by motorhome, car or bike!
If you’re anywhere near Lisbon, you must take the time to enjoy one of these beautiful day trips from Lisbon. Beaches, beer, sunset and books- the area around Lisbon has everything you need.
We have crossed briefly from France to Spain for lunch… mainly so we could add the country to our map on the back of our van (sad, but true!) We’ve also visited Valencia for 2 days, which is beautiful.
I asked another road tripper for their favourite itineraries- here’s Lotte from Phenomenal Globe Travel Blog
“10 years ago, I studied in Barcelona for 5 months and developed a deep love for Spain. I love the language, the warm weather, the beautiful music, historic cities and varied landscapes. There are some fantastic places to stay in Barcelona for every budget.
Since my time there, I have made three road trips to Spain; on each one I visited different highlights. My first loop included Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo.
For the second loop, I went further south and visited Granada, Sevilla and Tarifa. On a third road trip, I went south again and explored more of Andalusia. During this loop, I visited smaller towns like Ronda, El Bosque and Arcos de la Frontera and the impressive Sierra de Grazalema.
Spain is a great road trip destination, for both beginners as well as experienced road trippers; roads are generally well maintained. Be aware most Autopistas (AP) are toll roads. The free Autovias (A) are a bit slower but often more scenic.
If you are in a large motorhome, take care when driving around small villages. Streets can be very narrow with low overhanging balconies. If you are unsure if you can pass with your motorhome, explore a place on foot first to avoid getting stuck in a dead-end street. ¡Buen viaje!
Europe Road Trip Ideas for 3 weeks or longer
Ahhhh- now things start to get REALLY fun. With three weeks or more, you can really get going and enjoy some of the quieter, less well-traveled parts of Europe.
Again, we’ve only selected a few- otherwise, you’d be here until summer just reading all the ideas!! 🙂
The most epicest of all epic European road trip ideas (ssshhh- it’s a word…) The scenery is like nothing I’ve ever seen before, the people are so friendly, they ALL speak unbelievable English and you can camp for free all over the place, often right by the most breathtaking view you’ve ever seen in your life!
Yes, it rains a lot (more than Scotland!) and yes, many of the activities involve being outdoors, but if you are ever lucky enough to get longer than 2 weeks to enjoy a road trip from the UK, I HIGHLY suggest road tripping to Norway.
Our favourite Norway Road Trip posts:
We haven’t travelled much to the Eastern end of Europe (yet!) so lovely Florence from yogawinetravel.com kindly gave us her overly-ambitious (her words!) 6-day tour of Greece. You COULD squeeze this trip into two weeks, but I think you’ll agree that 3 weeks or even longer would be much more relaxing!!
There are a million magical Greece itineraries and places to explore by boat and road- if only it wasn’t so far away!
Fancy somewhere a bit more remote? How about the Faroe Islands? They can only be reached by ferry (if you’re taking your own vehicle) or fly and hire a vehicle for your road trip. Megan Starr gives us her perfect Faroe Islands Itinerary
“The Faroe Islands are perhaps one of the best places in the world to take a road trip through and easily one of Europe’s best.
There are eighteen islands that make up the Faroes and they are situated in the middle of the Atlantic a short flight away from Scotland or Iceland. You can even take a ferry with your own car or motorhome from mainland Europe!
The Faroe Islands are not a road trip destination for the timid or beginner driver. There are tiny, dim one-lane tunnels on several islands that are easy to collide with (been there, done that!)
The roads are small, windy, and you often have to pull over to let others through… but if you can manage to drive there, you will see the world as few people see it. The scenery is truly magnificent.
The islands are connected by undersea tunnels, bridges, ferries, and helicopters. You can take your car to many of the islands and you can be assured that if you end up on certain ones, like Suduroy or Vidoy, you may be one of the very few tourists there.
I definitely suggest adventurers and road trip lovers take a break in the magnificent Faroe Islands and to see the islands.”
Another one on our bucket list, we were so inspired by Katy’s road trip itinerary for Sicily. Doesn’t it look amazing!?!
After the AMAZING Trollstigen Road in Norway, we were looking for another awesome road to explore. Patti from Luggageandlipstick suggested this:
“Called “the best road in the world” by Top Gear, Romania’s Transfăgărășan winds through the Carpathian Mountains via a series of white-knuckle hairpin turns and sharp descents. The 56-mile passage climbs to an altitude of 6,699 feet and takes around four hours. Along the way, you’ll pass a number of stunning photographic sites and overlooks:
- Poenari Castle. The 13th-century cliff-top ruins are the “real” castle of Vlad the Impaler, the Romanian ruler on which Bram Stoker loosely based his fictional character, Dracula.
- Vidaru Dam. When completed in 1966, it ranked 5th largest in Europe and 9th in the world. You can walk along the side of the 545 feet high curved wall.
- Vidaru Lake. The man-made reservoir was created in 1965 by the construction of the Vidraru Dam on the Argeș River. Thick forests and mountains surround the sandy shores of the shimmering aquamarine lake.
- Balea Lake. At the summit, this glacial lake has icy mirror-like water surrounded by craggy mountains and cloaked in a thick fog for most of the year.
The road can be driven by anyone, as there are speed limits, and it closes from late October through late June because of snow. If you’re heading to Romania, you have to look at things to do in Transylvania. The castles alone are worth the trip!
Planning a European Road Trip? You might enjoy these:
Now you’ve got some ideas, here are some posts to help you plan your trip in more details. Let me know where you end up!
Enjoyed this post? We’d love it if you took a second to share it on Social Media. Thanks so much.
The post 12 Unmissable European Road Trip ideas for every itinerary appeared first on Wandering Bird.