It’s about this time of year when the days are shorter, the temperature drops and I start daydreaming of next years travel adventures. I thought I’d take a look at some Europe’s best scenic road trips to fuel your imagination and maybe inspire a little adventure of my own too! I’ve done my best to include a few personal highlights from my previous travels across Europe…
Spain: There’s nowhere quite like Spain with it’s glorious sunshine, Tapas, beautiful sandy beaches and dramatic landscapes. The Spanish coastline has such a rich variety of places to see, starting in the North of Spain in Barcelona and winding up in the South in beautiful Almeria, stopping along the way to explore Valencia, Alicante, and Murcia.
We spent a lovely, relaxing family break in Almeria which you can read about in my previous post ‘A sunny trip to Almeria’ where we discovered several hidden gems including a mini Hollywood! If you can’t make it to the wild west of America, then this place was as close as it gets to the real deal. Take a peek at the ‘Mini, Hollywood, Almeria’
Italy: It’s no secret that I’m in an ongoing love affair with Italy, I love the food, the people, the landscapes, the fashion- just about everything! Mr T and I got engaged next to breathtaking Lake Como, so of course it holds a special place in my heart. We ate an eye-wateringly delicious dinner at La Piazetta before THE PROPOSAL! You can see more from our time at Lake Como in my ’48 Hours in Lake Como, Italy’ guide, we also had the joy of spending a day out at Villa Carlotta, Tremezzo just next to the lake- which I would highly recommend.
There are so many places in Italy that I’m yet to discover. A drive from one of Italy’s great lakes in the north to the south has to be up there with Europe’s best scenic road trips! not to mention the Amalfi coast!!! One of my all-time favourite places on Earth has to be the Island of Ischia in the bay of Naples, where Mr T and I spent our dreamy honeymoon. Ischia would be the perfect place to end a road trip as the pace of life on the island is totally different to that of the mainland. As soon as you arrive you feel a sense of relaxation, the sea is pristine and the Island boasts several naturally heated mineral pools (heated by Mount Versuvius).
Europe is so easy to travel around as the rail service is affordable, efficient and most places are well connected. Of course there are some of the lesser discovered gems that you can only access via road. If you are travelling by car then be sure to check that your vehicle is properly maintained, stocked with water and has a spare tyre in the boot. Nothing worse than getting stuck in the countryside miles from anywhere with no back up! Kwik Fit car service is an easy way to get peace of mind.
France: The south of France would make for the perfect road trip, winding your way from Monaco through Nice down to Cannes- stopping at Eze along the way! The Cote de Azure is truly spectacular, known for being the playground of F Scott Fitzgerald and the bright young things back in the roaring twenties- this azure stretch of coastline has so many gems to discover.
We spent a Weekend in Monaco visiting the church where Grace Kelly got married, dining at some world-class restaurants such as Le Vistmar & Terrace. Monaco has lots of fabulous places to stay including the Fairmont Monte Carlo Hotel & Resort and the Hotel Hermitage. The lobby of Monaco’s Hotel de Paris was the place where Audrey Hepburn was discovered for the role of Gigi whilst she was still an unknown actress shooting a scene for the film Monte-Carlo. The Hotel de Paris also boasts the most exquisite restaurant La Salle Empire, where we dined out in the thunderstorm. Built into the steep coastline, Monaco would certainly warrant a stop on one of Europe’s best scenic road trips.Travelling down the coastline from Monaco, be sure to stop at the hilltop medieval town of Eze, beautiful Nice and end your trip in Cannes. Cannes has been made famous by the legendary Cannes Film Festival which is held annually in the idyllic Riviera city.
Walking around it’s easy to see why Cannes is twinned with Beverley Hills. If the Riviera is like the California of Europe, then Cannes would certainly be Rodeo-Drive-On-Sea. As you walk around expect to see lots of small dogs to squeal at, ladies with beautifully blow-dryed hair, luxury boutiques and restaurants. Cannes faultlessly combines the glamour of Beverly Hills with historical European opulence. For more on Cannes visit my previous post HERE.
I hope this post brings you some inspiration for just a few stops to make on a couple of Europe’s best scenic road trips…