Europe feels designed for road trips, as its scenic roads and many small towns offer a real glimpse at local life. Hotels, B&Bs, and restaurants in the countryside showcase the best of "the old continent," with amazing local hospitality at reasonable prices. Travel at your own pace to experience the best scenic drives, coastlines, and backroads. Buckle up!

We selected these 7 itineraries to help you travel at your own pace to see the best that Europe has to offer beyond the major cities. Navigate small hilltop towns in Italy, valleys and coastal roads in France, and explore remote landscapes in Iceland and Norway. Each of these road trips takes you beyond the major cities and into smaller towns and the countryside where you will meet locals and gain a different perspective on local life, culture, and traditions.

#1 Spain: Northern Spain Road Trip: Madrid, Galicia, & The Basque Country - 14 Days

Traverse Spain's northern coast from Galicia to the Basque Country as you visit highlights from the famous Camino de Santiago route. Dine on seafood and pintxos, paired with wines from the Rioja region. Admire otherworldly architecture by Gaudi and modern art in Bilbao. Relax on the sandy beaches in San Sebastian preparing for an evening tapas crawl through the old town.

The rugged cliffs of the Basque coast
The rugged cliffs of the Basque coast
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Madrid - Evening Tapas Tour Madrid
Day 2 Private City Tour - Discover Madrid's Royal Legacy Madrid
Day 3 Drive From Madrid to Ribera del Duero Peñafiel
Day 4 Drive to León - City Tour León
Day 5 Drive From León to Ribeira Sacra - Stop in Astorga Monforte de Lemos area
Day 6 Boat Tour of Ribeira Sacra - Drive to Vigo Vigo
Day 7 Tour the Cíes Islands - Drive From Vigo to Santiago Santiago de Compostela
Day 8 Santiago de Compostela - Cooking Class & City Tour Santiago de Compostela
Day 9 Drive to Lugo - City Tour & Gourmet Lunch Lugo
Day 10 Drive from Lugo to Oviedo Oviedo
Day 11 Drive From Oviedo to Bilbao - City Tour Bilbao
Day 12 Coastal Drive From Bilbao to San Sebastian San Sebastian
Day 13 Half-Day Tour of San Sebastian San Sebastian
Day 14 Depart Spain  

Spain is so much more than its famous cities. Over two weeks you'll see its hidden gems as you drive from Madrid north through wine country to historic sites in the lesser-visited Galicia region. The adventure culminates on the Atlantic coast and a stay in the beautiful seaside resort city of San Sebastian. Read more

#2 Italy: Tuscany Road Trip: Florence, Siena, & Montepulciano - 9 Days

Tuscany is best explored at your own pace. While some roads may feel a bit too narrow at first, the flexibility of a Tuscan road trip opens up access to some of Italy's best-hidden towns and treasures.

Explore backroads in Tuscany
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Florence Florence
Day 2 Historic Walking Tour of Florence Florence
Day 3 Local Cooking Class in Florence Florence
Day 4 Drive to Siena, Afternoon Wine Tasting Siena
Day 5 Day Trip to San Gimignano & Monteriggioni Siena
Day 6 Siena to Montepulciano, stop in Pienza Montepulciano
Day 7 Wine Tasting in Montepulciano Montepulciano
Day 8 Guided Tour of Cortona Montepulciano
Day 9 Drive to Florence, Departure  

This road trip around Tuscany is perfect for those looking to delve into Italian wine culture. Start in Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, stroll around its medieval plazas and cathedrals, and see for yourself the history that permeates the city. Visit picturesque Tuscan villages and local wineries, getting a taste for local life and in some incredible surroundings. Read more

#3 Iceland: Relaxed Ring Road Adventure - 10 Days

Iceland is the ultimate self-drive destination. The volcanic island offers unmatched natural beauty from roaring waterfalls to massive glaciers, sheer cliffs, craggy coasts, scenic fjords, lava fields, and more. Iceland's Ring Road (Route 1), encircles the island with smaller sideroad access to small fishing villages, scenic hikes, and remote natural hot springs. The great infrastructure allows you to enjoy the comforts of fast connectivity and world-class dining even in the most remote parts of the country.

Gulfoss Waterfall on Iceland's north coast
Godafoss Waterfall on Iceland's north coast
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival and Downtown Reykjavik Reykjavik
Day 2 Glymur Falls and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 3 Scenic Drive to Akureyri Akureyri
Day 4 The North: Godafoss, Whale Watching, and Big Waterfalls Lake Myvatn
Day 5 Geological Wonders of Lake Myvatn Lake Myvatn
Day 6 Scenic Eastern Fjords Seydisfjordur
Day 7 Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Diamond Beach, Skaftafell Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Day 8 South Coast Waterfalls, Black Sand Beaches Golden Circle
Day 9 Golden Circle & Back to Reykjavík Reykjavik
Day 10 Blue Lagoon, Reykjanes Peninsula, & Departure  

With 10 days on the road, you can discover a variety of regions and landscapes as you loop around Iceland's famous Route 1 (Ring Road). This moderately paced self-drive itinerary will take you to the best spots along the 828-mile (1,332 km) route with stops in its two biggest cities, as well as volcanoes, waterfalls, lava fields, black sand beaches, small fishing towns, and massive glaciers, as well as major attractions in the Golden Circle. This is going to be one gorgeous ride! Read more

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#4 France: Western France Road Trip: Paris, Normandy, Loire Valley, & Bordeaux - 12 Days

Get behind the wheel and discover what France has to offer from the coastlines of Normandy filled with history to opulent chateaux in the Loire Valley, to vineyards of the Bordeaux wine region. Take in the scenery, preserved medieval villages, colorful and fragrant marketplaces, all at a relaxed pace reserved for the French countryside.

Royal Chateau of Amboise
Royal Chateau of Amboise
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to France! Arrive in Paris & Evening Eiffel Tower Tour Paris
Day 2 Pastry Tour of Le Marais & Afternoon at the Louvre Paris
Day 3 Day Trip to Versailles Paris
Day 4 Ile de la Cité & Paris Catacombs Paris
Day 5 Drive from Paris to Bayeux & City Tour Bayeux
Day 6 Tour of D-Day Sites & Drive to Loire Valley Tours
Day 7 Day Trip to Châteaus de Chambord & Chenonceau Tours
Day 8 Retrace History with Leonardo Da Vinci Tours
Day 9 Drive to Bordeaux & Luxurious Dinner Bordeaux
Day 10 Morning Market Visit & Bordeaux Bike Tour Bordeaux
Day 11 Oyster Tasting & Wine in St. Emilion Bordeaux
Day 12 Au Revoir, France  

View art in Paris, enjoy beaches in Normandy, and taste oysters in Bordeaux on this twelve-day road trip through western France. Spend four days in the City of Lights (with a day trip to see Versailles), then head to the Atlantic Coast for seafood and WWII history. End in Bordeaux, where the wine flows freely and the food is world-class. Read more

#5 Norway: Ultimate Norwegian Fjord Road Trip - 10 Days

Norway has curated 18 National Scenic Routes to showcase the best scenery, villages, and viewpoints, making it the perfect place to explore on your own. Combine scenic drives with ferry transfers, small villages, Viking history, and incredible hikes. 

Climb to Preikestolen, or 'Pulpit Rock' – a steep cliff above Lysefjorden
Climb to Preikestolen, or 'Pulpit Rock' – a steep cliff above Lysefjorden
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bergen Bergen
Day 2 Explore Bergen with a Local Bergen
Day 3 Drive to Stavanger & Explore Stavanger
Day 4 Lysefjord Adventure Stavanger
Day 5 Stavanger - Drive to Eidfjord & Vøringfossen Waterfall Eidfjord
Day 6 Explore Hardangerfjord Eidfjord
Day 7 Eidfjord - Drive to Årdal Årdal
Day 8 Guided Hike & Kayaking Tour Årdal
Day 9 Årdal - Drive to Bergen Bergen
Day 10 Depart Bergen  

Experience the best of Norway's spectacular fjords on this active self-drive tour. The trip starts in Norway's second-largest city (Bergen), where you'll pick up a rental car and spend several days exploring charming fjord-side villages and stopping for outdoorsy activities, like hiking, summer skiing, and kayaking. Finish the adventure traveling along Norway's longest and deepest fjord towards Jotunheimen National Park — with more than 250 peaks — to see some glaciers. Read more

#6 Croatia: Classic Drive: Zagreb, Split, Brač, & Dubrovnik - 12 Days

You won’t want to miss a drive along Croatia's scenic Dalmatian Coast. Discover small fishing towns, rocky islands and coastlines, and architectural wonders from its classic past.

Fort Lovrijenac, Croatia
Fort Lovrijenac, Croatia
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Zagreb! Zagreb
Day 2 Day Trip to Castles of the Zagorje Region Zagreb
Day 3 Zagreb to Zadar, Visit Plitvice Lakes National Park Zadar
Day 4 Explore the Coastal Town of Zadar Zadar
Day 5 Zadar to Split, Visit Krka National Park Split
Day 6 Historical Walking Tour of Split Split
Day 7 Ferry from Split to Brač, Explore Brač Brač Island
Day 8 Explore Brač, Relax on Zlatni Rat Beach Brač Island
Day 9 Ferry from Brač to Dubrovnik Dubrovnik
Day 10 Explore Dubrovnik, the "Pearl of the Adriatic" Dubrovnik
Day 11 Day Trip to Montenegro Dubrovnik
Day 12 Depart Dubrovnik  

The sun always shines on the Dalmatian Coast—one of the most scenic coastal drives in Europe. In 12 days, you'll have the freedom to explore on your own, starting from historic Zagreb and ending at the walls of mighty Dubrovnik with a wide selection of national parks and beautiful coastal towns to stop at along the way. Read more

#7 Ireland: Southwest Road Trip: Cliffs of Moher, Dingle, Ring of Kerry, Dublin - 9 Days

Once you adjust to driving on the other side of the road, you'll quickly find that there is no better way to explore the Emerald Isle. Drive coastal roads around peninsulas and through a patchwork of the green countryside as you visit castles, cliffs, and local pubs offering trad music.

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Ireland! Adare
Day 2 The Cliffs of Moher via the Wild Atlantic Way Adare
Day 3 Slea Head and the Dingle Peninsula Killarney
Day 4 The Ring of Kerry Drive Killarney
Day 5 Killarney Boat Trip and Jarvey Ride Kinsale
Day 6 Cork City & Cobh Kinsale
Day 7 Kinsale to Dublin Dublin
Day 8 Guided Tour of Dublin Dublin
Day 9 Departure from Dunlin  

See the best of southwestern Ireland and Dublin on this self-driving tour through some of the Emerald Isle's best-loved counties. You'll discover Ireland's history in Adare and at Bunratty Castle, explore the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, wander the streets of Dingle, and view County Kerry's sparkling lakes and iconic green meadows. Before exploring Dublin's Trinity College and Grafton Street shops, you'll visit Cobh to sample local foods at The English Market and hear the bells of Shandon Steeple. Read more