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See Europe from the Comfort of Your Car — 5 Iconic European Road Trips

roadtrip through flower field
Written by Suzy Guese

This blog post was updated on May 16, 2023.

Thanks to Europe’s compact nature, you can often take a winding route through a couple of countries in just one day. However, if you’re after a bit more than just counting countries, Europe presents countless road trips where the journey will take you, and the destination will too. From the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy up to the glaciers of Iceland, these iconic European road trips will have you honking your horn with the simple glee that comes from cruising the open road.

The Ring of Kerry, Ireland

Ring of Kerry, Ireland

The Ring of Kerry remains one of Ireland’s great drives, and for good reason. You can easily traverse this circuit of the Iveragh Peninsula on Ireland’s southwestern coast in a day, but you could spend a couple of days exploring where the road takes you. Beginning in the town of Kenmare, the route follows the N70 road along the coast.

The narrow road provides all of the rugged Irish coastline you can handle. Along the way, you can see manor houses like the 19th-century Derrynane House, ancient ring forts like Staigue Fort and cute villages like Sneem. If you have the time, you can park your wheels and take a boat out to Skellig Michael, a former monastic settlement on the rockiest of islands.

The Amalfi Coast, Italy

Amalfi Coast

If you’re a bit of a daredevil, Italy has an iconic road trip for you, the SS 163 Amalfitana. Carefully hugging the Tyrrhenian coastline, this historic route is carved into steep rocky terrain, making for a drive where you’ll need your wits about you. Narrow, winding and stomach-churning, the SS 163 is worth all of the nail-biting turns to experience the Amalfi Coast.

Located about 90 minutes south of Naples, this UNESCO-listed coastal road extends from Punta Campanella at the westmost tip of the Sorrentine Peninsula eastward to Vietri Sul Mare. Along the 50-kilometer drive, you’ll see the Italy of your imagination: the candy-colored villages clinging so perfectly to the land, perched high above the turquoise sea. You could easily spend an entire vacation along this route, holing up in villages like Ravello, Amalfi, and the famous Positano.

The Ring Road, Iceland

The Ring Road, Iceland

If you’re looking for the ultimate road trip in Europe for nature lovers, it’s hard to beat the Ring Road in Iceland, otherwise known as Route 1. Circling the entirety of Iceland, this iconic road measures over 800 miles, with most travelers beginning in the capital of Reykjavik. While you want at least a week to fully appreciate the route, you’ll have no regrets on spending that much time traversing the countryside. Since the Ring Road covers the whole country, you’ll experience all that Iceland has to offer, from rural countryside to volcanoes, glaciers, coastal villages, fjords and plenty of waterfalls.

The Romantic Road, Germany

The Romantic Road, Germany

As its name would suggest, the Romantic Road in Germany — otherwise known as the Romantische Strasse — presents travelers with fairytale castles, half-timbered medieval villages, leafy forests, and glistening lakes. It is, in essence, a charming and bucolic road trip through Germany. Created in the 1950s after the war to lure travelers to back to the country, the route has become a major tourist draw.

The road travels through the German states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. Many different flights to Germany will land you near The Romantic Road, but Frankfurt and Nuremburg are the closest main cities to the northern end of the road, while Munich is relatively close to the southern tip. The over 200-mile trip presents enticing and romantic stops along the way, including postcard-worthy towns like Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Dinkelsbühl. Travelers will also encounter castles like the Harburg Castle and — inspiration for Disney’s iconic castle — Neuschwanstein.

Trollstigen, Norway

Trollstigen, Norway

If a road trip for you is all about the road, Norway has the path for you. And for trolls, apparently. Trollstigen, otherwise known as the Troll’s Road, is easily one of the country’s most famous routes. Covering around 100 kilometers, Trollstigen spans a major stretch of the Rauma municipality. The route features eleven hairpin turns that allow drivers to scale Stigrøra mountain. Opened in 1936, the road itself is a feat of engineering as it was carved ever so carefully into the mountain. Along with a number of viewing platforms, you can marvel at the 1,050-foot Stigfossen waterfall.

Have you taken any of these iconic European road trips? What’s your favorite? Share your pick with us in the comments below!

About the author

Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at

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