Top destinations to visit on a European road trip

Simon Blish

One of the most exciting parts of meandering your way through Europe on holiday is the abundant choices on offer.

There really is a wealth of options, depending on whether you want to explore rugged coastlines, climb mountain roads, wander through cities, motor your way through open spaces, take in historic monuments or weave through vast woodlands.

European roads are a mixed bag for sure. Not everyone in your vehicle will appreciate the same things to see, visit and experience. Of course, European capitals and major cities are popular destinations, but it’s great to be creative too.

Make it an adventure

One thing road trips in Europe should never be about is simply getting from A to B as quickly as possible. The joy of a European road trip is often to be found in leaving as much time as possible for each leg, and allowing room for some spontaneity.

However, that’s not to say you don’t need to do research and preparation. It is the careful pre holiday planning – ironically – that can make your vacation days more leisurely and impulsive.

This includes equipping yourself with road maps, website addresses, local guides, and all your travel documents including your European Health Insurance Card from You can renew your EHIC online.

The internet offers abundant chances to gather intel on your routes and great places to stop off and visit. Make lots of lists to take with you. Apart from the usual European sights and tourist attractions, you might want to consider some of these popular destinations for European road trips too:


A highly popular 240 mile route in Germany draws millions of tourists each year – the charmingly named Romantic Road (Romantische Strasse). Part of its draw is that it takes travellers through many of the German features that make it a favoured holiday destination, including magnificent countryside, vineyards, medieval towns such as Rothenburg ob der Tauber, fortified villages, the breathtaking alpine scenery, and even a palace (Wurzburg) and Neuschwanstein Castle (near Fussen).

What more could you ask for?


A road trip to Austria has to be about the mountains. The most popular destination for holidaymakers is the High Alpine Road (Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse). This spectacular (and nerve jangling) route passed through the Hohe Tauern National Park and gives you the chance to view no less than 37 mountains.

France to Spain

Another big draw for European road trips is the route from Bordeaux, France that takes travellers to Bilbao in Spain. This is particularly popular for culinary adventures, as approximately 200 miles of road take you past or near many Michelin-starred restaurants. In fact, some of the world’s best restaurants are found here.

As you would expect, there are also vineyards to visit, but you can also stop off at Biarritz, famous for its amazing beaches and 19th century architecture.

The Troll Road in Norway

For something completely different, Trollstigen National Tourist Route in Norway (nicknamed the Troll’s Route) is officially one of the country’s national tourist routes. It provides your European road trip with incredible scenery, including mountains, fjord farms and waterfalls (such as the Seven Sister). It also includes Geirangerfjord, an UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. As you explore this 65 mile route, it is worth stopping off at Dovrefjell-Sundalsfjella National Park.

The choice is yours, and there truly is something to suit all tastes and interests along Europe’s seemingly endless roads. Just don’t forget that vital paperwork, access to a GPS or a good map!

About Simon Blish

Writing, drawing, editing - Simon loves it all.