Oh, the joys of the open road. To dictate your own itinerary while drinking in the view. To make every scenic pit stop and choose to go on a detour “just because”. Seeing Western Europe behind the wheel is to get to know its essential sights, small towns, and the country drives in between. Allow us to ride shotgun and give you the directions for an unforgettable itinerary for each country, paired with experiences at each destination that will rival the journey itself.
Enchanting England by Motorway
We’re starting our English road trip in scholarly Oxford. Here, you’ll be marveling at the Radcliffe Camera and other architectural marvels of the UK’s oldest university city. Give your feet a rest aboard an afternoon tea cruise along the University Regatta course. Your road trip heads due southwest through the Cotswolds to Bath. Soak in the settings that inspired Jane Austen including its UNESCO World Heritage buildings and spas. Then, catch the A36 towards Salisbury before turning off for Stonehenge. Reserve your timed entry ticket beforehand to be sure you get the ideal lighting for your photo souvenirs.
Fairy tale Germany by Autobahn
Thrill-seeking motorists won’t be able to turn down the chance to see Germany by Autobahn. Start one of Europe’s best road trips outside of Munich at the striking Neuschwanstein Castle with its fairy tale architecture and striking hilltop seat. Your Bavarian odyssey continues in Nuremberg with a private tour of the Franconian old town. Stop by two of the city’s storied biergartens and learn about the long history of this fortified city. The third and final stop is in Dresden with its painstakingly restored Baroque-era buildings on the River Elbe.
Sun-soaked Andalucia by Autopista
Replete with Moorish wonders, Andalucia is where Spain and North Africa fuse seamlessly into one. Your road trip starts in spellbinding Seville with a guided bicycle tour of the city’s neighborhoods. Clear your memory card for Cordoba where you’ll be snapping away at the 8th-century Mesquita, the Roman Bridge, and narrow medieval alleys. Granada’s Alhambra palaces are a world unto themselves and you could easily spend two days exploring the grounds and gardens. Take it slow and don’t pass up the chance to try out Hammam Al Ándalus. Settle into the thermal waters and steam rooms after a day of exploration.
Southern Italy by Autostrada
Pick up your rental in Naples and in no time, you’ll be on the Amalfi Coast. To see Italy’s celebrated coast from its best angles, you’ll need to get on the water. Try out a small boat tour from Sorrento that will bring you into hard-to-reach coves for swimming, snorkeling, and enjoying the cliffside villages from below. Head east while making a detour to Craco, a spooky abandoned town. Used as a film set for The Passion of the Christ, Craco has a surprisingly beautiful side within its ruins. Spend the night in a cavernous hotel in Matera, a former European Capital of Culture. While you’re in the area, a guided trip to Alberobello and its conical Trulli houses is a must.
The Loire Valley by Autoroute
Kick start your trip through the Loire Valley and its castles with the first stop at Fontainebleau. Equally striking from the outside as the inside, you’ll be walking in the footsteps of Marie Antoinette and Napoleon. As one of France’s largest royal castles, you’ll waste no time with a priority entrance ticket. More humble but in no way less interesting is Da Vinci’s Clos Lucé in Amboise. Your admission ticket here includes access to Da Vinci’s workshop and models of his inventions, all set in a handsome castle and park. Continue south to Saint-Benoît-du-Sault, awarded as one of the most beautiful villages in France. This settlement dating back to the Middle Ages is surrounded by double ramparts, hiding restaurants serving regional specialties.
Along the Spine of the Netherlands by Autosnelweg
Compact and punctuated with towns big and small, visitors often forget that the Netherlands is more than just Holland. Begin your road trip in The Hague, where you can play with optics at the Escher in The Palace Museum. Make a stop at the Kinderdijk windmills before checking into Den Bosch. Its medieval center and canals are quintessentially Dutch, with picturesque squares to grab a bite. In no time, you’ll already be at the country’s most southern point in Maastricht. This quaint university town is best explored by foot or bike along the river, with stops at the city’s cathedrals.