No continent on this planet is as diverse in culture as is Europe. It truly is a vast continent filled with charm, history and beautiful scenery. As such, driving this incredible continent is one of the best ways to see what it has to offer. From the mighty Alps of Switzerland to the emerald fields of Ireland to the azure coasts of Italy, Europe offers a plethora of amazing sights to see that can't be seen without a car.
Obviously, the first part of getting out for a scenic drive is the car. Depending on where you are in the world, you may even be able to drive to your destination. Going from the United Kingdom to Continental Europe with your own car is really pretty affordable and accessible these days. You can ferry across the channel or make use of the channel tunnel by driving to Folkestone in Kent and arriving under an hour later in Coquelles, near Calais. Obviously, this trip works the other way too.
While you may be comfortable driving your own car, hiring somebody else's is a great way to avoid issues with maintenance and allow you to see parts of Europe you simply wouldn't want to or be able to drive to. You can always hire something reasonably priced and fun to drive, but if you like, look for something that was meant to be driven hard. There are luxury car rental firms all over Europe and in fact, a really rather reasonable industry in hiring luxury cars for special drives.
No matter what part of the continent you’re on or what you choose to drive, you’re sure to find something amazing.
Italy's Amalfi Coast
One of the most stunning and wondrous places to take a scenic tour in Europe is the Amalfi Coast of Italy. This route gives drivers incredible views of the rugged mountain coast and the calm, turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea. While the roads along the Amalfi Coast are filled with curves and steep overlooks, the sheer beauty of the region is worth it. Along the way, weary travelers can stop at the region’s many historic villages and towns and sample the local seafood and other authentic Italian cuisine. For romance and beauty, it’s hard to beat the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
Austria's Grossglockner High Alpine Road
Another great spot for a scenic drive is the Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Austria. This route offers breathtaking views of the Austrian Alps and is perfect for those who love the mountains and have an interest in visiting Central Europe. This drive gives travelers a jaw-dropping view of the sprawling Pasterzen Glacier and other amazing mountain vistas. Be sure to visit the charming mountain towns in the region as well, and sample their delectable food and culture.
Greece's Road from Meteora to Ioannina
Those looking for both history and natural beauty will find plenty of both in Greece. The drive between the Meteora and Ioannina is nothing short of breathtaking. Ancient Greek ruins dot the landscape as grey, sculpted mountain peaks rise up majestically from the ground. Arguably the most stunning drive on the Greek mainland, this route is renowned for its sheer beauty and wealth of ancient Greek landmarks as well. A must-see for anyone planning a scenic drive along the Mediterranean coast.
Russia's Road of Life
Russia's Road of Life is another beautiful drive that seamlessly blends a stunning natural landscape with history and culture. Connecting the famed city of St. Petersburg with Lake Lagoda, this road is lined with countless monuments and memorials dedicated to those who risked their lives to supply the city during its siege in the Second World War. The route is also lined with vast birch forests and beautiful rolling hills, giving the region an idyllic, picturesque feel. One of the most amazing drives in Eastern Europe, the Road of Life is not to be missed.
Germany's Romantic Road
The celebrated Romantic Road in Germany is known for its picturesque mix of medieval castles, breathtaking mountain views and charming rural towns. Be sure to stop at a local beer hall for some authentic German beer and try some Bavarian cuisine at a pub. Besides enjoying the stunning Alpine vistas and fresh mountain air, travelers along this route can also explore the region’s historic landmarks, wine festivals and mingle with the friendly locals.
Ireland's Ring of Kerry
Ireland has its fair share of scenic drives too. The Ring of Kerry offers ancient Celtic forts to see, picturesque countryside villages to explore and a ruggedly beautiful coastline to view. Set amongst the rolling green fields of Ireland, this drive is an exhilarating mix of history, heritage and breathtaking natural landscapes. A pint of Guinness and an overnight stay at a cozy bed-and-breakfast will make this trip even more memorable.
France's Côte d'Azur
Finally, the French Riviera is certainly worth a drive as well. Boasting miles of golden beaches, charming seaside towns and phenomenal views of the tranquil Mediterranean Sea, the French Riviera is beyond breathtaking. With its idyllic villas, endless vineyards, medieval ruins and amazing seaside views, this region can’t be missed.
Scenic drives have always been a popular way of sightseeing and leisure travel. The myriad landscapes of Europe offer the perfect place for car trips and scenic tours. With many car rentals available across the continent, all you need to do is get a car and hit the open road.