Scenic drives in Europe not to miss

We have to admit that we are quite picky about where and when we would like to go on a journey. Photography is an important part of our life and we try to choose best possible sights on our routes – if possible with as less tourists as possible. 🙂 The best way to explore a country is in our opinion by car (maybe also by bike but till now we didn’t try it yet). You travel by your own pace, you are totally free and well, its just 100% better than by public transportation. Before our kid arrived we traveled only by public transport because of the limited budget. And when I look back it was always so frustrating to watch amazing landscape going by through the bus window and to know that you can not stop and feel it by your own senses.

In recent years we made some amazing road trips around Europe. We criss-crossed Scandinavian countries, we made a road trip around Spain, Portugal, southern France, last year we traveled around Scotland. And because we live in Slovenia we made several trips to neighbouring countries as well.

We decided to share our opinion about most scenic road trips around Europe – we could without problem add some more and of course there are others that we didn’t make and are still on our wish list. But if you find yourself in countries we listed below, try to find time to include in your itinerary also these trips. You will not regret it.

 

1 – NORWAY

Andenes to Ă… – Lofoten island – cca. 350km

Lofoten islands in the north of Norway are a truly spectacular place. Whole Scandinavia is amazing but when you compare it to Lofoten – well, Lofoten wins. 🙂 A trip from Andenes to Ă… is a trip that shows you everything that Lofoten offer to visitors. In Andenes you can go on a trip to visit spectacular sperm whales. On the way to the south you can enjoy in splendid views on your right and left. You can stop and have a picnic on carribean-like beaches or stop for a cup of coffee in fairytale villages by the road.

Our favorite beaches were:

Vestvågøya: Unstad Beach, Utakleiv Beach, Haukland Beach
Gimsøya: Gimsøya
Flakstadøya: Skagsanden Beach

If you are full of energy you can climb to the top of steep mountains or if you are more for relaxed things maybe visit true viking museum. Lofoten islands have just everything that travelers want.

 

2 – SCOTLAND

Tyndrum to Neist Point lighthouse via Quirang and Old Man of Storr – cca. 360km

Now we know why Glencoe and island of Skye get so many visitors every year. That landscape is simply breathtaking. On this road trip you will see the best Scotland has to offer to visitors. Glencoe is full of amazing places and while travelling to the island of Skye you can stop on almost every corner. But according to us you should not miss Glen Etive, Loch Tulla and Kilchurn Castle. On Skye island you simply HAVE to make two hikes – one is to the Old Man of Storr and the second one to Quiraing. After that and before Neist Point you can stop and enjoy some fresh sea food at the remarkable The Oyster Shed, Talisker. You can take a look at our Scotland itinerary here.

 

3 – PORTUGAL

Faro to Lisbon coastal road – cca. 400 km

Algarve region in southern Portugal is a beach heaven. There you can find so many spectacular beaches that you become quite spoiled when you return back home. Some of them were regularly chosen as the best beaches in Europe. Its hard to choose the best one but you should not miss Praia da Marinha, Praia do Amado and Praia da Bordeira (more about them here). On the way to Lisbon you have to stop and have a look at the Benagil cave, the mysterious fort Sao Vincente and watch local fishermen coming back from the sea with boats filled with fish. And the best way to end this voyage is to sit down at the end of the day beside the longest bridge in Portugal – Vasco da Gama – and continue the night life in Lisbon afterwards.

 

4 – ITALY: Tuscany

San Gimingano to Parco Naturale della Maremma – cca. 450 km

(Siena, La Crete, Pienza, Bagni di San Filippo, Pitigliano, Terme Saturnia)

We just love coming back to this part of Italy because it’s hard to find so many interesting and different things and places at so small area elsewhere. You should start your journey in San Gimignano and explore those medieval skyscrapers. After that it’s time for majestic Siena. Couple of ten km south from it you find amazing landscape called La Crete. It’s just one of those places where you could spend days. Pienza, high on the hill in the middle of rolling hills is your next stop. When you will drive south through the Val d’Orcia you can stop at Bagni di San Filippo and have a dip in wild hot spring in the forest. Pitigliano is next destination on the way to the sea. But just before you reach Maremma national park you can dip once more in wild hot springs in Terme Saturnia. Read more about some of these places here.

 

5 – FRANCE: Corsica

Ajaccio to Ile Rousse – cca. 200 km

(Bonifacio, Iles Sanguinaires, Piana, Plage d’Arone, Les Calanques de Piana, Calvi)

Corsica is a perfect family destination. It’s not too big, there are so many beautiful small campsites and the landscape is just amazing. We like the most the western coast but the road from Ajaccio to the north is really special – especially Les Calanques de Piana and Plage d’Arone nearby.

 

6 – ITALY: Dolomites

Tre Cime to Carezza – cca. 150km

(Cortina, Passo Giau, Passo Rolle, Predazzo, Carezza)

Dolomites offer great trips for everyone. Families with small kids or older ones that are already full of energy, those who need a nice cold beer or a coffee at the end, or those who want to feel the adrenaline on the ferratas. There are many amazing spots, from beautiful lakes as Lago di Carezza to nice hikes like the one to Tre Cime and on your way you can enjoy in very scenic views at the mountain passess where you can take a stroll or go on some serious hikes.

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  • March 16, 2017 - 8:56 pm

    Trees Rotteveel - Oh stunning photos and all countries looks nice to visit! What kind of camera do you use? Your son must be lucky to visit so many countries at a young age!ReplyCancel

    • March 20, 2017 - 1:32 pm

      Ana - Yes, they are, Trees! Isn’t it great that Europe is so diverse? We love discovering it step by step. 🙂 We use Canon 5D. Traveling makes very good impact on our son. When visiting a new place and meeting local people we try to make him see that things should not be taken for granted. And till now he seems to understand and appreciate it.ReplyCancel

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