One of the best ways to see Europe is by road travel. Snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, and vibrant cities are all within an easy day’s drive from each other. No other form of travel gets you up close and personal with the true character of a place the way a road trip does. Here are the 5 best destinations for a road trip on the continent.
Paris to Normandy, France
An easy drive from the City of Lights, through the French countryside, to the Atlantic coast is wonderful way to spend a weekend. Pack a picnic lunch of baguettes, fresh cheeses, and wine so that you can set up shop in a lavender-filled meadow along the way.
The storybook villages filled with biergartens and traditional homes should be enough in themselves to delight. If not, a trip to the area’s many medieval castles will make girls both young and young-at-heart feel like a princess for the day; the lack of speed limits on many German roads will keep the adventurous men happy.
Vienna, Austria to Budapest, Hungary
The origin and the destination are reasons enough for the trek. Both cities offer old-world charm and gobs of history. That said, the pleasant drive between the two gives a taste of the more rural lifestyles still common in the region.
Madrid to Salamanca, Spain
After leaving the Spanish capital you will feel transported in time as you make your way to the home of one of Europe’s oldest universities. Walled cities and open pastures along the way feel right out of a Don Quixote story.
Douro River Valley, Portugal
One of the top wine-producing regions in the world, and the home of the eponymous Port wine, the Douro Valley follows the river through small villages and vineyards. Everywhere you turn will be a postcard view.