Europe’s most scenic drives

Tuesday, 31 January 2012 2:07 PM

Sometimes it’s not always about the destination, but it’s about the journey. Europe is full of spectacular scenic drives that are ideal for short countryside breaks, passing historic towns, charming villages, rolling meadows and soaring mountains. Some of these journeys can be done in a day, while others are best done over a few days, stopping to take in the beautiful sights along the way. These are Europe’s most scenic drives. 

Bergen to Oslo, Norway
The 350 mile trip from Oslo to the picturesque world heritage city of Bergen, takes you past high snow covered mountains, deep glass-like fjords, wild brooding landscapes punctuated by tiny log cabins, and beautiful green forests. Keep your eyes open for native Scandinavian wildlife such as elk, many types of birds, and if you’re lucky, even a moose. The fjords around Bergen are great spots for whale watching too.  


Ioanniana to Meteora, Greece
Easily done in a day trip, this breathtaking journey only takes around an hour, but you’ll want to stop for photos at every chance you get. This journey is usually impassable in the winter, due to its high mountain passes and is best done during a spring or summer break. The route climbs high up into the peaks before leading you down into Thessaly and Meteora, a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage area, where ancient monasteries cling to the side of giant rocks that rise up either side of the road.  


Basque Circuit, Spain and France
Starting and ending in the northern Spanish city of Bilbao, this 300mile round trip is one of the most famous drives in Spain, and takes in scenic mountain roads, historic cities and the stunning coastline along the wild Bay of Biscay. From Bilbao your route will take you to the charming city of Pamplona, home to the famous running of the bulls, and then up into the Pyrenees, through the Roncesvalles pass into France. At each turn you’ll be challenged with steep bends and rewarded with spectacular views. Finish your journey by stopping along the French Riviera in elegant Biarritz and then continuing along the sparkling coastline back to Bilbao.


Alpine Road, Germany
The Alpine Road is a great classic European drive, which winds its way along the Bavarian Alps, past lush green meadows, snow capped mountains, chocolate-box villages and romantic fairytale castles. The journey starts from the small island town of Lindau on Lake Constance and continues on until the town of Bad Tölz, making it 300miles in total. On your route you will pass Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak; the ski resort of Garmisch and the enchanting Neuschwanstein castle where the much loved kids’ movie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was filmed.  


Pas de Calais, France
This is one of northern France’s most beautiful drives and best of all it can be done straight from the ferry in Calais. The route takes you on a 160mile round journey via Boulogne, along the wide sandy beaches of the Opal Coast, to the trendy town of Le Touquet. Pass historic ports, quaint countryside scenes, colourful beach huts and the swanky boutiques Le Touquet, before returning to Calais, where you can catch glimpse of our very own white cliffs of Dover before returning home.

Esme Fox

Enjoy a driving holiday in Norway for fantastic views

Enjoy a driving holiday in Norway for fantastic views

Europe boasts plenty of places where you can enjoy a peaceful driving holiday, and Norway is perhaps one of the best destinations to travel to if you're looking for breathtaking views and charming cities.

Munich is a great foodie city

Feature: A gastronome’s delight in scenic Munich

The capital of Bavaria, Munich, is a delightful city full of historic buildings, hearty food and some of the best beer in the world. More of a living museum than a city, residents of this fairy tale land consider their home to be more of a village..

Neuschwanstein Castle provided the inspiration for Disney's Magic Kingdom

Great day trips from Munich

When most people think of Germany they tend to imagine Bavaria, with this region of the country being famous for its beerhalls, castles and sporting prowess. However, the truth is that Bavaria is in fact atypical of Germany and has more in common with its alpine neighbours Austria and Switzerland (with the exception of the sporting success!). To really get the most out of your time here, it's a good idea to get out of Munich and enjoy the stunning mountainous scenery.

European theme-park breaks for the summer

Feature: European theme-park breaks for the summer

So the last half-term before summer is finally here! Whether you and your family are sunning it up in Spain or having to endure a cold week in Dorset, at least you got to spend a bit of time away with your loved ones.

Short sailing holidays are lots of fun

Why a crewed yacht charter is perfect for a mini break

When you don’t have long for a holiday overseas, you want to make the most of the time that you do have for your getaway. If a short beach break sounds a little too routine for you, try taking the luxury and excitement stakes up a notch with a yacht charter.

Half term city breaks

Best city breaks for February half term 2013

Now that Christmas and New Year are well and truly over, our minds are set on the next chance for a getaway – the February half term. With just under three weeks to go, it’s time to start planning, so just where are the best city break destinations to take the family in February?

Carcassonne has a lot of culture to discover

Europe's best cultural destinations

Getting a good dose of culture on your holiday does not mean that you have to fly off to some far flung destination. There are plenty of fantastic places to soak up the atmosphere, art and architecture in Europe.

Chocolate Museum's

Europe’s best chocolate museums

Mention the words chocolate museum and suddenly we all revert back to being kids again imagining Willy Wonka worlds where everything is made out of chocolate and everything is free for the tasting. So, to celebrate Chocolate Week we’ve found you some of Europe’s best chocolate museums.

Coffee with a local in Amsterdam


This week is in Amsterdam drinking strong black coffee with local Machteld Ligtvoet, who gives us tips on some of his favourite local haunts – including where you can go to find one of the best views of the city.

Top five alternative Christmas markets

Alternative Christmas markets

Forget the likes of Germany and Eastern European favourites, Budapest, Krakow and Prague this year and why not head to some alternative Christmas market destinations for something a little different this festive season?