Holidays On the Road: Seven Undiscovered Road Trips In Europe
We all love a getaway. Holidays allow us to unwind, enjoy some much-needed sun and recharge both mentally and physically. Europe is home to a collection of stunning sights and world-famous attractions. But if you’ve already ticked the giants of Venice, Paris, and Barcelona off your must-see list, don’t panic. There are plenty of other gems to unveil and explore across Europe too.
Road-tripping is a great way to discover beautiful landscapes that often go under the radar.
So, whether it’s gazing upon Lake Prespa from your Prius, witnessing the wilderness of Austria from your Audi, or admiring the beauty of Brno from the comfort of your BMW, we bring you some of the most incredible destinations you’ll want to circle on your map.
Austria is a wonderful country with unbeatable views, unspoilt nature and picturesque cities.
Its capital, Vienna, has recently been crowned the most liveable city in the world for the third time in five years. Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart, is rich in history and attracts flocks of tourists all year round.
If you want to get away from all the hustle and bustle, however, hit the roads of the tranquil Salzkammergut region.
Much of the area is remote wilderness, hosting glassy waters that offer swimming, fishing and boating opportunities. Visit the picture-postcard town of Hallstatt and enjoy the dramatic scenery as you drive through the region’s carved valleys.
Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa, North Macedonia
Lake Ohrid, straddling the border between North Macedonia and Albania, is one of the world’s oldest and deepest lakes. It’s something of a hidden gem, with its Unesco world-heritage status and idyllic views.
Here, you can explore the town of Ohrid, one of the most ancient human settlements in Europe, and admire Byzantine icons dating back to the 7th century.
In the afternoon, get back on the road and cruise through the Galičica National Park, a mountainous stretch of green, flora and fauna.
Just in time for dinner, you’ll reach Lake Prespa and its quaint villages, where you can enjoy delicious fish dishes, freshly sourced from nearby lakes.
Covadonga and the Asturias, Spain
If you’ve already sunbathed on the shores of the popular Costa Brava, it’s time to give the Asturias region of northern Spain a go instead.
With crystal-clear waters, superb beaches, hiking trails and spectacular cuisine, the Asturias have it all.
If you want to fit in some culture too, drive to the Covadonga convent, nestled in the Picos de Europa mountains.
This sanctuary is one of the most renowned historical sites in Spain, boasting unforgettable views of the surrounding peaks.
Salento and Valle d’Istria, Italy
If you want to experience excellent food and splendid sights, Italy is always a safe bet. But rather than visiting the crowded cities of Rome, Milan, and Florence, why not drive along the heel of this boot-shaped country?
Salento, in Puglia, is a remote area that still proudly champions its Greek heritage and is home to lush towns and local cuisines.
As you hop from one village to the next, sampling homemade orecchiette and focaccia barese as you go, you’ll cruise through ochre-coloured fields and countless olive groves.
If you get the chance, head towards the towns of Alberobello and Locorotondo. These pretty villages, located in the Valle d’Istria, are dotted with whitewashed, cone-roofed houses called trulli.
Wine region of Brno, Czech Republic
When it comes to epic road trips, the Czech Republic certainly delivers. This country oozes breathtaking views and natural sights, and if you have a passion for wine, you won’t be disappointed.
Start your itinerary from nearby Bratislava (Slovakia), and as you enter the Czech Republic, you’ll be welcomed by rolling vineyards and cosy chateaus.
Make sure to take regular pit-stops and allow your passengers to sample some of the region’s award-winning whites – there are plenty to Czechout!
The Troll Path, Norway
Located in the western part of the country, the Troll Path (Trollstigen) is a lengthy stretch of road that zig-zags across the Geirangerfjord region.
Bear in mind that because of its hairpin bends and steep incline, it may be a route for seasoned drivers only.
As you cruise through the mountains, you’ll be able to spot the majestic Stigfossen waterfall and be presented with several photo opportunities.
Also, don’t forget to look out for trolls – legend has it that they scout the area at night and turn back into stone as the sun rises the next morning.
Velika Planina, Slovenia
Just an hour’s drive from the capital city of Ljubljana, Velika Planina is in the Slovenian Kamnik Alps. It’s a peaceful plateau dotted with grazing cows and authentic wooden huts once inhabited by local shepherds.
To access the Velika Planina uplands, you’ll have to drop off your vehicle and hop on a cable car. Once you reach the top, you’ll find yourself in a beautiful valley where time seems to stand still.
That said, the drive to the car park is worth the trip on its own, as you’ll be surrounded by pristine nature and magical views at every turn.
Written by cinch