The rugged coastlines and dramatic seacliffs of northern Europe offer beautiful scenery, charming small towns, and some of the freshest local seafood. Hike along sheer cliffs of Ireland's west coast, take a ferry along Norway's fjord-filled west, and drive along the under-visited northern coastlines in Spain and France. These itineraries provide a nice alternative to the sandy shores of southern Europe.

We selected these 5 self-guided itineraries to showcase some of the best craggy cliffs and coastal landscapes in Europe. Hike along cliff-side trails high above the ocean, spend time in smaller towns at a slower pace, and stand on some of the most historical cliffs.

#1 Ireland: Wild Atlantic Way Self Drive Adventure - 14 Days

the sea cliffs at Downpatrick Head on the coastline of County Mayo, Ireland
the sea cliffs at Downpatrick Head on the coastline of County Mayo, Ireland
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin Dublin
Day 2 Tour the Rock of Cashel - Cork Cork
Day 3 Cork to Kenmare (the Sheep's Head Loop drive) Kenmare
Day 4 Beara Way & Gleninchaquinn Park Kenmare
Day 5 Ring of Kerry to Dingle Dingle Town
Day 6 Dingle Free Day Dingle Town
Day 7 Cliffs of Moher Doolin
Day 8 Explore Galway Galway
Day 9 Connemara National Park & Clifden Clifden, Co Galway
Day 10 Sky Road Cycle/hike Westport
Day 11 Achill Island Westport
Day 12 Westport to Donegal Town Donegal
Day 13 Slieve League and back to Dublin Dublin
Day 14 Departure  


Get ready for mile after mile of unforgettable memories. On this road trip along the Wild Atlantic Way— the longest defined coastal route in the world—you'll enjoy rugged scenery, gorgeous coastline, and off-the-beaten-path adventures from County Donegal’s remote Northern Headlands down to the picturesque southern peninsulas. Read more

#2 Iceland: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Westfjords, & Northern Iceland - 12 Days

Latrabjarg Cliffs
The Jagged Latrabjarg Cliffs
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival and Downtown Reykjavik Reykjavik
Day 2 Drive to Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Hike in Glymur Falls, & Visit Borgarnes Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 3 More of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 4 Ferry From Snaefellsnes Peninsula to the Westfjords Patreksfjörður
Day 5 Southern Westfjords: Látrabjarg & Dynjandi Isafjordur
Day 6 Isafjordur or Hornstrandir Hiking Isafjordur
Day 7 Eastern Westfjords - Isafjordur to Holmavik Drangsnes
Day 8 Northern Iceland: Holmavik to Akureyri Akureyri
Day 9 The North: Godafoss, Whale Watching, and Big Waterfalls Lake Myvatn
Day 10 Geological Wonders of Lake Myvatn Lake Myvatn
Day 11 Drive back from Akureyri to Reykjavik Reykjavik
Day 12 Visit the Reykjanes Peninsula & Depart From Reykjavík  


This off-the-beaten-path road trip is especially great during the summer months with endless days, the midnight sun, and a fraction of the visitors of Iceland's south coast and Golden Circle. Wind your way along some of the best coastal roads in the country, starting with the volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Ferry to the remote with its sheer tabletop mountains and rising seacliffs--great for spotting puffins and other local birdlife. Continue along the northern coast past small fishing villages and hidden natural hot pools near the ocean. Read more

#3 Norway: Fjords and Western Coast Tour - 12 Days

Reine in the Lofoten Islands
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo - City Tour Oslo
Day 2 Train to Flåm - Ferry to Balestrand Balestrand
Day 3 Kayaking in Balestrand - Ferry to Bergen Bergen
Day 4 Explore Bergen with a Local Bergen
Day 5 Fjordcruise to Rosendal - Guided Hike & Glacier Tour Rosendal
Day 6 Return to Bergen - Board Hurtigruten Onboard Hurtigruten
Day 7 Hurtigruten: Nordford - Ålesund - Geirangerfjord Onboard Hurtigruten
Day 8 Hurtigruten: Trondheim - Rørvik Onboard Hurtigruten
Day 9 Hurtigruten: Brønnøysund - Lofoten Islands Svolvær
Day 10 Explore Lofoten Islands - Drive to Andenes Andenes
Day 11 Whale Watching & Snorkeling Safari - Drive to Svolvær Svolvær
Day 12 Ferry to Bodø - Depart Norway  


Check off a number of stunning summer gems in southern and northern Norway with this 12-day adventure. After arriving in Oslo, start your trip in the majestic fjords region with ferry rides and a kayaking adventure in the Sognefjord. From here, ferry to Bergen and visit a glacier before boarding a Hurtigruten cruise for several days along the western coast filled with fjords, charming ports, and rare wildlife under long days of sunshine. Finally, make your way to the Lofoten Islands and explore a series of gorgeous islands by rental car at your own pace. Read more

#4 France: Normandy, Brittany & the Loire Valley - 14 Days

Etretat, Normandy
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Paris - City Tour - Transfer to Bayeux Bayeux
Day 2 Tour of Normandy's Landing Beaches - Return to Bayeux Bayeux
Day 3 Tour of Honfleur & Pays d'Auge Bayeux
Day 4 Tour of Mont Saint Michel - Drive to Saint-Malo Bayeux
Days 5-6 Explore Brittany Saint-Malo
Day 7 Drive from Saint-Malo to Tours, via Rennes Tours
Day 8 Tour of the West Loire Valley Tours
Day 9 Drive from Tours to Amboise Amboise
Day 10 Tour of Chambord & Chenonceau Paris
Day 11 Free Day in the Loire Valley Amboise
Day 12 Train from Tours to Paris - Explore the City Paris
Day 13 Canal Saint-Martin Food Tour - Le Louvre Museum Tour Paris
Day 14 Depart Paris  


This epic trip combines the history-filled coasts of Normandy and Brittany with a pleasant few days in the Loire valley to balance it out. Start in Normandy to visit historical sites—spanning 900 years—between Bayeux and Omaha Beach. Next is Brittany where you'll have free time (and a car) to explore the wild, rugged coastline at your own pace. Then experience UNESCO-listed villages, castles, and wine in the Loire Valley before finishing in Paris. Read more

#5 Spain: Northern Spain Road Trip: Galicia & Basque Country - 12 days

Spain
Lighthouse of Cabo Vilán, Galicia
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 León - City Tour León
Day 4 Drive From León to Ribeira Sacra - Stop in Astorga Monforte de Lemos area
Day 5 Boat Tour of Ribeira Sacra - Drive to Vigo Vigo
Day 6 Tour the Cíes Islands - Drive From Vigo to Santiago Santiago de Compostela
Day 7 Santiago de Compostela - Cooking Class & City Tour Santiago de Compostela
Day 8 Drive to Oviedo - Stop in Lugo Oviedo
Day 9 Drive From Oviedo to Bilbao - City Tour Bilbao
Day 10 Coastal Drive From Bilbao to San Sebastian San Sebastian
Day 11 Half-Day Tour of San Sebastian San Sebastian
Day 12 Depart Spain  


The northern region of Spain is rich in culture and beauty. Orient yourself in Madrid before continuing to the far northwest corner of Galicia, known for its delicious seafood, beautiful coastline, and historic and religious pilgrimage sites. Drive through the gorgeous Basque Country and end with a couple of days in the star cities of Bilbao and San Sebastian. Read more