3 incredible road trips in Europe

3 incredible road trips in Europe

There’s nothing quite like embarking on a continental road trip. The freedom means you can stop wherever you want, whenever you want and for how long you wish.

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Europe is an amazing location for a road trip as there are many different cultures so close together connected by some of the best road networks in the world. On top of this, the free-flowing borders make for stress-free travelling once you leave the UK!

With Europcar, you can rent a car in one location and drop it off at the end of your road trip, so there’s no need to return to where you started.

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1. Lisbon to Porto, Portugal


Here’s why you should consider taking a road trip in Portugal. Portugal is a beautiful country, with a pleasant, sunny climate. With its religious history and rich European culture, Portugal makes for a great road trip where you can stop off at quaint little villages and monasteries.


Starting in Lisbon we recommend spending a couple of days here exploring the city and its fascinating culture. You’ll find delicious cuisine, great nightlife and a variety of tourist attractions. Then you should head to Cabo de Roca where your journey really begins. The coolest thing about Cabo de Roca is that you’ll be on Europe’s most westerly point! You can look out over the Atlantic Ocean and admire the views before the next part of your road trip.


Then drive to The Pena Palace located near Sintra and famous for its yellow-coloured walls. For some time exploring the Atlantic coastline, we recommend stopping off in Ericeira and Obidos before heading inland towards Coimbra. This is where you’ll find the Buçaco National Forest which offers stunning walking trails beneath the trees. If you have time, visit Vila Nova de Gaia before you finish your journey at Porto. To celebrate the end of your trip and after you’ve dropped off the car, why not go on a day trip to Vila Nova de Gaia? Here you can sample Portugal’s famous fortified wine – port. 


This is roughly a 320 km trip that should take you 5-7 days depending on how often you decide to stop.

2. Lugano to Zermatt, Switzerland


With its beautiful alpine mountains and crystal clear lakes, Switzerland is the ideal place for a road trip. Be sure to bring your camera as the scenery is amazing.


This winding road trip will take you through 275 km of Switzerland’s most impressive mountain peaks and valleys. We recommend you take 6-8 days to make the most of the journey.


Start your trip at Switzerland’s lakes in Lugano. We recommend taking a lunchtime cruise along the blue lake and then heading North to Lucano where you can enjoy a coffee in the marvellous Italian-speaking Piazza Grande. After visiting Locarno you should spend a day visiting some of the mountaintop castles in Bellinzona.


As you head deep into the Alps you’ll find yourself at the Gotthard Pass, a stunning drive where you should take your time so you can absorb the stunning Alpine scenery. Continue to the Furka Pass which has a large number of hairpin bends and takes you up to the Glacier of Valais. After all this driving you’ll have earned a rest in the alpine town of Zermatt, where you’ll be in awe of the Matterhorn (the Toblerone mountain).

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3. Northern Ireland Loop


Next, we head deep into north Europe and take a trip to Northern Ireland where vast countryside and coastline await you. We recommend around 4 days to take in all that this Northern Ireland route has to offer.


Your journey will begin in the heart of Belfast. Here you can discover the history of shipbuilding and visit Belfast’s very own Titanic Museum. Then drive north to the scenic Causeway coast and if you’re brave enough, walk over the famous Carrick A Rede rope bridge. Next, stop at Dunseverick Falls for a dramatic photo of the water flowing into the sea before reaching The Giant’s Causeway – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – where ancient lava has cooled into hexagonal shapes.


Travel to the historic city of Derry where you can walk over the Peace Bridge and take a local day tour to learn about the rich history of the city. After Derry, drive south to Enniskillen, between the lower and upper sections of Lough Earn, to visit the Enniskillen Castle Museums and the Marble Arch caves, before driving back to Belfast.


If you have the time whilst in Ireland we recommend you visit some of the great distilleries along the way including the Old Bushmills distillery and the Boatyard distillery.

Rent a car with Europcar and embark on one of these great European adventures by road.

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