A Beginners Guide to European Road Trips

Life is a journey, not a destination. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Although it’s a bit of a cliche, few sayings can be any more profound than the one above. Anyone who’s been on a long road trip with friends, family, or even on their own, knows that a long drive can strangely bring with it peace, soul-searching, and even excitement. Europe has some of the most efficient, yet aesthetically amazing highway routes in the world, traversing through diverse geographies, climates, and cities. If you’re traveling to Europe for vacation, make sure not to overlook passing through its most scenic roadways. Using articles from the Telegraph and skyscanner.com, we’ve compiled a list of some of Europe’s most majestic routes. So scrap that train ticket, find yourself a rental, and enjoy the ride.

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Switzerland

Switzerland has countless roadways that cross the Swiss Alps. Because of this, these roadways have some of the most breathtaking views in all of Europe. The Furka Pass through the Alps is world famous for its beautiful views, and it’s dangerous winding roads. It’s roadways also take you passed Switzerland’s Rhone Glacier, the source of the Rhone River. Also try to check out Klausen Pass, a high alpine pass known for its high elevation and astounding views.

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Germany

Germany has an array of highways that pass through its various forests and mountain ranges. Non-urban areas have no speed limit on the German Autobahn, so cars breezing by you at hellish speeds are not uncommon. Nevertheless, it gives road trip travellers a wonderful opportunity to travel the German countryside on a world famous highway. Also check out Route 500, which cuts through Germany’s Black Forest through a relatively smooth roadway through the mountains. Both highways can be notoriously busy though, so make sure to plan accordingly to avoid traffic. If you’re looking to explore beautiful German architecture and culture at it’s finest, travel on Romance Road, which cuts through the heart of Germany and its towns. Definitely try to plan your trip here during Oktoberfest to gain the full German experience.

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France

France has the highest elevated passes in Europe, and some of the highest in the world. Firstly, check out Col de la Bonnette, the highest roadway in all of Europe at a dizzying 2700m altitude. Although the road up the mountain is fairly smooth, the road downward is much more nerve-racking. If you’re looking for something a lot less death defying, check out La Route des Grande Alpes, a drive built solely for tourists hoping to cross France through a more scenic route. It passes through 16 mountain pathways, and four national parks, exhibiting a great deal of lush green terrain, as well as awe inspiring mountainsides. For a more quaint and peaceful route, try driving through Les Corniches, and Route Napoleon.

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Norway

A relatively quiet, but proud country, this Nordic nation offers an array of astounding roadways through picturesque countrysides. The Trollstigen in Norway is famous for being one of the most scenic roadways in all of Europe. From waterfalls, to forests, to mountainsides, this roadway will allow you to travel through this beautiful country and experience all of its wonders. Also make an effort to travel through Atlantic Road, an architectural marvel that prides itself in its beauty and uniqueness.

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Italy

No Eurotrip is complete without a stop in Italy. The Amalfi Coast roadway offers just the right balance between natural majesty, and man-made beauty. The roadway takes travelers from town to town, exposing tourists to architectural masterpieces and classic Italian culture. Also check out Great Dolomite Road and Stelvio Pass, two roadways that explore rural terrains and mountainsides that rise dramatically above the surrounding countryside. Stelvio Pass is especially well known among European drivers for it’s sharp curves and winding roads. It is one of Europe’s most infamously dangerous, yet exciting roads to travel on.
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