The Best European Road Trips

European Road Trips From the Amalfi Coast to the Scottish Highlands

Are you searching for a romantic getaway or family adventure? A road trip through Europe is the ideal way to see all that Europe has to offer. Not only will you savor regional food and drinks, but also take in captivating culture and stunning landscapes.

Check out Lonely Planet’s Epic Road Trips of Europe book for inspiring road trip routes across Europe. Featuring UNESCO World Heritage Sites and captivating castles, this is the ideal travel companion!

1. Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s most captivating regions and a must-visit for art and culture enthusiasts alike. This idyllic landscape, filled with white-washed villages, fragrant lemon groves and sparkling azure waters, creates the perfect setting for an idyllic vacation or romantic getaway.

The region boasts so many stunning beaches that you could easily spend a week lazing in the sun and swimming in crystal-clear waters. Whether you want to unwind on a quiet cove or treat yourself to an indulgent day trip to Capri or Ischia, there’s something for everyone in this region.

For an unbeatably picturesque hotel experience, Amalfi’s Hotel Santa Caterina is your best bet. With 66 rooms and suites cut into the cliffside, guests are treated to breathtaking views that cannot be beat.

This luxurious resort also provides private beaches, citrus gardens and restaurants on a cliffside. It’s the ideal spot for you to unwind after an exciting day exploring the coast.

Praiano, Italy is another must-visit destination with its picturesque beach and stunning church. Once a bustling silk production centre, Praiano is now a popular resort town offering delightful cafes and restaurants to enjoy.

Agerola may be a little further away from the Amalfi Coast’s main towns, but it’s an idyllic alpine-style resort just above Amalfi and Furore. It’s an idyllic spot to take a relaxing vacation in the mountains, plus its central location makes getting there easy – whether on foot or by boat – for some unforgettable Amalfi Coast road or boat trips!

Cetara is an unassuming fishing village renowned for its famous anchovies. Situated along a small cove, it’s one of the last places before Salerno and features a sheltered beach lined with white-washed houses and fragrant citrus groves.

The Amalfi Coast is an idyllic destination that should not be missed. Spend at least a few days exploring each charming town and take time for some leisure activities. Our travel designers can assist you in planning the ideal Amalfi Coast holiday – from peaceful getaways to luxury retreats or romantic escapes!

2. Cinque Terre

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Cinque Terre is an unmissable destination for those who appreciate breathtaking coastlines and picturesque stone villages. This Italian region features five charming villages perched atop steep, dramatic cliffs – it’s impossible not to be charmed by this incredible place.

Hiking is an excellent way to explore the area, though you should check trail conditions and closures before beginning. The rugged coastal paths may not be easy to navigate, and with landslides and rockfall becoming increasingly frequent in recent years, pay attention to local weather reports for guidance.

The Blue Trail (Sentiero Azzuro) is a popular but challenging hike that showcases the stunning topography and views of this area. It connects three villages (Riomaggiore, Manarola and Corniglia) together along a winding path through terraced vineyards.

At peak times, it can get quite crowded and the hike may be hot and dusty. So it’s wise to have plenty of water on hand and take breaks whenever you feel too exhausted to keep going. If planning a longer trek, consider hiring a guide or getting a map before beginning the trek.

Enjoy the stunning sea that surrounds these five villages for swimming or kayaking. The Cinque Terre Express ferry service takes you to all five villages, and boats can be rented.

There are various hiking trails throughout the region, each leading to a different town. The Blue Trail is perhaps the most popular, but other paths connect each village to sanctuaries located higher up in the hills.

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try hiking the High Trail – it may be more challenging than the Blue Trail and not well marked, but it offers stunning scenery at each leg. Plus, don’t forget to summit San Cristoforo Hill for breathtaking panoramic views across the entire coast.

3. Iceland

Iceland’s breathtaking geological features and captivating climate combine to make for an enthralling destination. From glittering glaciers and geothermal hot springs, to the offshore Gulf Stream, this island nation offers visitors a feast of contrasts.

Iceland’s geological features are created through volcanic, tectonic and ice-related processes. Much of the terrain consists of large lava fields. Icelandic soils consist of both mineral and organic materials.

This makes them ideal for growing crops, though it is essential to plant seedlings and weed regularly to avoid disease-causing pests from taking hold. A number of plants thrive in this climate, such as strawberries, rhubarb and potatoes.

In October, the Highlands come alive with vibrant autumn hues of gold and amber. It’s a truly captivating time of year to visit these breathtaking mountains as roaring stags fill the landscape and majestic autumnal vistas sparkle under the sun.

Getting There:

In order to access some of the more remote parts of the Highlands, you’ll need either a guided tour or hire a car. For best results, do this during June or September when temperatures are still pleasant enough for exploration.

Hiking trails abound, particularly in the High Mountains. One of the most captivating activities to do in these Highlands is taking a hike through Silfra Valley – formed by an earthquake between two continents.

One popular activity in the Highlands is visiting Landmannalaugar, a volcano standing over 500 metres tall and famous for its hot springs. After a long day exploring, why not relax by its stunning views?

Swim in the lake at the base of the waterfalls or take a hike around Stutur Volcanic Crater for breathtaking views. It’s so picturesque that it’s hard to believe there’s even a volcano there! Plus, you’ll be in prime viewing distance for watching the Northern Lights!

4. Salerno Gulf

Salerno is an idyllic city in Southern Italy that invites visitors to experience its captivating blend of modernity and antiquity. From here, one can easily explore both the Amalfi Coast and surrounding countryside.

Traveling through this part of the world is best done on a road trip, where you can take in the breathtaking scenery and have complete freedom in your own car. This allows for driving at your leisure, without any time constraints.

One of the top attractions in Salerno is the Medieval Aqueduct, an impressive structure that brings water from the hills to the city center. Originally built to supply water to San Benedetto monastery, it now serves for events and ceremonies.

Another excellent place to visit is Villa Comunale, a botanical garden featuring rare plants. It also makes for an idyllic space to relax with terraced paths leading up the hillside where the gardens are situated.

You can also take a stroll down the many restaurants that line the streets of Milan. Popular eateries include Il Vicolo della Neve, Donna Margherita and Il Brigante.

For seafood fans, try the Scialatielli Ai Frutti Di Mare pasta dish featuring mussels and clams. It’s an easy dish that will leave you feeling full and satisfied.

For pizza fans, Donna Margherita is a must-visit. This classic and affordable restaurant offers high quality dishes at reasonable prices. Don’t forget about their polpo dish made with squid, shrimp and fish; it’s sure to become one of your go-tos!

Finally, do not miss the Minerva Garden, Europe’s first botanical garden. Here you’ll enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Gulf of Salerno.

The Amalfi Coast is an idyllic destination, boasting stunning beaches and views that are best enjoyed in late spring or early summer when temperatures are comfortable enough for swimming and the sea is calm. As summers can get quite hot in July and August, it is recommended to visit during cooler months of the year.