Article The 9 most beautiful itineraries in Europe
Do you have one of those places which you have long wished to visit? When renting a camper, you can visit multiple beautiful locations and create a real “Roadtrip”. Imagine driving along fantastically beautiful beaches, past steep cliffs or through an eerie moorland. There is so much to discover. And along with these amazing locations, there are also incredible routes. With this in mind, we have put together a collection of Europe’s most beautiful routes for you.
Germany, Burgenstraße (The Castle Route)
We begin in Germany, a country possessing many amazing holiday routes. For example, the Märchenstraße (Fairytale route), the Deutsche Weinstraße (German wine route) and the old German alpine route. Instead, today, we present you with the Burgenstraße (Castle Route).
The Burgenstraße begins in Mannheim and ends in “the city of gold” in the Czech Republic. Along this approximate 1,200km long route you will discover over 90 palaces and castles. Your tour begins at Mannheim Palace and travels towards the town of Schwetzingen, where you will discover Schwetzingen Palace with its astounding gardens. Then, on to Heidelberg with its landmark palace (which is also one of Germany’s most famous ruins).
From here your path takes you towards Bavaria, where you naturally find a large number of castles and palaces, along with many other locations worthy of a visit. For example, Bad Wimpfen, with its countless monuments, Nürnberg with its medieval castle, the cathedral at Bamberg, Castle Plassenburg in Kulmbach and Pilsen in the Czech Republic. The absolute highlight of the tour is naturally the final destination: Prague itself. There, you can stroll over the Karlsbrücke bridge or visit Prague Castle on the hill high above the city.
Or, would you rather discover Germany’s natural world? If so, the Schwarzwaldhochstraße (Black Forest High Route) is the perfect option. The Black Forest is one of the most beautiful regions in Germany, with the route beginning in Baden-Baden and ending approximately 60km away, in Freudenstadt. Along the way, you will pass by sweet Fachwerkhäusern (hall-timbered houses) and through dense woods. At the highest point of this route, Hornigsrinde, you will come across many opportunities to stop and enjoy the region’s views.
The Netherlands, Bloemen Route (Flower Route)
The Netherlands are famous for their tulips, which is reason enough for choosing the Bloemen Route (Flower Route) as your option for travelling through this country. Along this route, of approximately 40km, you will come across hyacinths, daffodils and many other flower varieties. A more colourful route elsewhere would be hard to find.
Your tour begins in Haarlem, approximately 20 km from Amsterdam. From there, you travel towards Liess. A visit to the Dutch gardens of Keukenhof is an absolute must. Subsequently, you can visit the historical botanical gardens in Leiden, before ending your journey in Naaldwijk, with its huge flower market.
Our tip: This route is at its best in April or May, when the blossoms are at their most impressive. Also, we would encourage you to avoid taking this route on a weekend.
France, Alsatian Wine Route
France possesses one of the most famous tourist routes in Europe. The Alsatian Wine Route is especially well known for …. well …. its wine! You can drive for 170 km through the vineyards of Alsace but don’t just view it as an opportunity for wine-tasting, see it as a chance to take in the beauty of this region. Always have your camera on hand for taking in the sights of the panoramic valleys, canals and the quaint villages with their half-timbered houses. Finally, we would also recommend you taking a tour through one of the many local wineries.
Our tip: the European autumn is the high season of viticultural activity. However, between April and November you can also visit one of the many wine festivals.
Or, if you are more drawn to coastal settings, you could always travel along the French Riviera, from Marseilles to Monaco. This route is almost 300 km long and we recommend that you give yourself at least a week so you have the chance to truly savour the beauty of the area. You will travel along serpentine mountain roads, through small mountain villages and, also, through impressive towns like St Tropez and Nice on the Côte d'Azur.
Italy, The Amalfi Coast
The 70 km between Sorrento and Salerno, in Italy’s south west, is one of Europe’s most romantic routes. As you drive along the Amalfi Coast, you will come across many colourful towns perched on steep cliff tops in this Mediterranean landscape of green hills and lemon trees - simply breathtaking.
The roads are often narrow and winding, but the views certainly make up for it. If you need a break, you could always visit the towns of Ravello or Postiano. Ravello is very popular with tourists due to its incredible view across the Amalfi Coast and the local vineyards. The Villa Rufolo, which is positioned on a clifftop, is particularly well-loved.
Postiano was originally a fishing village and lies directly on a bay. The village is full of steep lanes and stairways and the view from the beach will simply knock you out. In the summer it is a very good beach for bathing. At the end of the route, you come to Amalfi, which is an absolute must to visit.
Or, are you more attracted to the mountains? Then, we recommend the Alpine Pass east of Bolzano, in the province of South Tyrol. Here you can drive the route from Val Gardena to Canazei, at an altitude of 2,240 m. On this route you will travel through the overwhelming Dolomites, the Langkofel Massif and the Fassa Valley. Along the way, you will regularly come across viewing points with vistas over valleys and rock formations.
Spain, Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos (The White Village Route)
In Southern Europe, Spain offers the Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos, through Andalusia. As you can probably guess from the name, you will come across many “white” villages on this route. The road stretches through the provinces of Cadiz and Malaga and provides you with constant views of the white lime villages which are found on steep cliffs and hills.
The central treasure of the Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos is the UNESCO Nature Park in the Sierra de Grazalema range, with its 19 villages. Most roads are small cobblestone lanes so, if wanting to walk through the villages, make sure you have sturdy shoes. The small town of Arcos de la Frontera is particularly worthy of a visit. The town centre is a courtyard with a moorish castle, the Basilica Sankta Maria and residence (Parador). The town nestles on the ridge of a cliff and offers you an extraordinary view over a deep valley and the Guadalete River.
Croatia, Adria-Magistrale (The Adriatic Highway)
In Croatia you will find the Adria-Magistrale, or Adriatic Highway. The route mainly traverses Croatia and Montenegro but also goes through parts of Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The road begins near Trieste, in Italy, and travels in the direction of Montenegro.
During the course of your journey you will see, on one side, the Adriatic Sea and, on the other, mountains. You can also pause in the beautiful National Parks of the Plitvice Lakes and Krka and take advantage of their natural beauty. You could factor in shorter stops on the amazing beaches and bays along the way, or visit the cultural centres of Split, Dubrovnik or Ulcinj.
The approximate 1,200 km route is very varied and also very winding. It wends its way past steep cliffs and, at the end of the route you will be rewarded with a view over the bay at Kotor. This is the largest fjord in Europe, outside of Scandinavia.
A breathtaking, exciting 105 km journey through western Norway, this winding route is relatively demanding. Furthermore, it is only drivable between May and October. In peak season, up to 2,500 cars travel the route daily.
Those with the confidence top travel this route will be rewarded with an astounding landscape of waterfalls, fjords and lakes. Along the stretch you will also find a viewing platform that sits 200 m above the road and offers a breathtaking view over the area.
Our Tip: Start early in the morning to avoid the heavy tourist traffic.
If you aren’t confident to drive the route, then another option is the Atlantic Road. It is only 9 km long but, still, impressive and adventurous. This stretch of road links eight impressive islands. The bridges are particularly worthy of note due to their ornate style. Do not underestimate the strong wind gusts on the bridges, a factor which adds to the adventurer of this short route. The natural “theatre” of currents and tides makes for an especially memorable experience, The Geiranger Fjord, and the eponymously named village are well worth a visit.
Scotland, West Highland Way
The West Highland Way starts in the Lowlands and leads you up into the Highlands of Scotland. Along the way you will come across moor landscapes on the large fresh water lake of Loch Lomond. You can also visit the famous valley of Glen Coe (filming location for “Harry Potter” and “James Bond”) and end your journey at Scotland’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.
The name of this route is also shared by the hiking path. This path is approximately 154 km long and the 50,000 hikers that use the track annually require between 6 and 9 days to complete it. Naturally, you can also drive the route and stop here and there to stretch your legs in a natural setting before driving on.
A shorter route of 70 km can be found on the Isle of Skye. Although the route is shorter, you will experience the beauty of Scotland. The road wends its way up a steep rock massif. During the course of this journey, you will see huge rock-scapes, hills and, a valley which ends close to the ocean. The Quiraing Road presents a good cross-section of the varied, fascinating landscapes of Scotland and leads you through one of the most beautiful areas of the country.
Republic of Ireland, Wild Atlantic Way
Interested in driving along the Atlantic in a Motorhome? Well, it is not only Portugal where this option is possible. The wilds of the Atlantic coast are also to be found in the cooler regions of northern Europe. How about a road-trip along the Republic of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way?
The coastal road is approximately 2,500 km long and you can choose where you start or end your journey. If you wish to complete the entire route, we suggest beginning down in the deep south of the island, at Bantry Bay, near Kinsale. From there - it is on, via Skibbereen and along to the south west.
In Cork you will come across five large peninsulas offering wonderful regional hiking paths, including circuit paths. Further along the coast, you will reach the spectacular cliffs of this country, including the famous and “must-see” Cliffs of Moher. From nearby, you can also see the rocky Burren landscape or also make a stop in the city of Galway.
From here, you travel north, where you won’t only find Connemara National Park and Kylemore Abbey but, also, many impressive bays. The largest of these is Clew Bay with its reputed 365 islands. Further north you will find the amazing surfers’ coast. Here you can not only try out the waves with your surfboard, you can also do some great walks.
And then, you come to the last section of the route, northernmost Ireland. The highlight there? Malin Head. This is the most northern point in Ireland and also the end of the route. On the way there you will pass bays, moor landscapes, green mountains and cliffs. Having finally arrived, you can look across the vast Altlantic and feel that you are at the end of the world. A line on the ground signals that you are at the start, or, indeed, the end point of the Wild Atlantic Way.
By the way: If you feel the need to visit a city, try Donegal. In 2017, this city was voted by National Geographic Traveller as “coolest place on the planet” and, after all, who wouldn’t want to visit the coolest city in the world?