Europe is a treasure trove of beautiful cities and charming villages, each with its own unique character, history, and culture. A holiday break in Europe is a perfect opportunity to explore these picturesque destinations, and what better way to do so than with a road trip? The freedom of renting a car in Europe allows you to discover hidden gems and make unforgettable memories along the way. In this blog post, we will guide you through some of the most enchanting cities and villages in Europe that are perfect for your next holiday break.
1. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
Nestled in the heart of Bavaria, Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a well-preserved medieval town that feels like a fairytale come to life. With its cobblestone streets, colorful half-timbered houses, and picturesque market square, Rothenburg is a must-visit destination on your road trip in Europe. Make sure to take a walk along the town’s fortified walls and stop at the Plönlein, a picturesque spot where two streets converge, creating a beautiful photo opportunity.
2. Colmar, France
Located in the Alsace region of France, Colmar is a picturesque town with a unique blend of French and German influences. Its charming old town, known as “La Petite Venise” (Little Venice), is crisscrossed by canals and lined with colorful half-timbered houses. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the local vineyards and sample some of the region’s world-famous wines.
3. Giethoorn, Netherlands
Often referred to as the “Venice of the North,” Giethoorn is a charming village in the Netherlands where cars are virtually non-existent. Instead, transportation is mainly done via boats on the numerous canals that weave through the village. While you won’t be able to rent a car in Europe and drive through Giethoorn, it’s worth parking nearby and exploring this unique destination by foot or boat.
4. Sintra, Portugal
Just a short drive from Lisbon, Sintra is a must-visit destination on your road trip in Europe. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to colorful palaces, enchanting gardens, and ancient castles. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Pena Palace, a stunning example of 19th-century Romanticism architecture perched atop a hill, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
5. Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
Český Krumlov is a stunning medieval town located in the South Bohemian region of the Czech Republic. With its winding streets, red-roofed buildings, and the impressive Český Krumlov Castle, this picturesque town is a must-see destination on your European road trip. Make sure to visit the castle gardens and take in the panoramic views of the town and the Vltava River.
6. Ronda, Spain
Perched on a cliff overlooking a dramatic gorge, Ronda is one of Andalusia’s most beautiful towns. Its breathtaking location, combined with its rich history and stunning architecture, makes Ronda a must-visit destination when you rent a car in Europe. Don’t miss the chance to walk across the Puente Nuevo, a stunning 18th-century bridge spanning the 390-foot-deep El Tajo gorge.
7. Hallstatt, Austria
Located on the shores of Lake Hallstatt in the Austrian Alps, this picturesque village is known for its stunning Alpine scenery and well-preserved 16th-century Alpine houses. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hallstatt is an ideal destination for a peaceful holiday break. Explore the town’s charming streets, visit the historic salt mines, and take a leisurely boat ride on the lake to soak in the incredible views.
8. Bruges, Belgium
Known as the “Venice of the North,” Bruges is a well-preserved medieval city with picturesque canals, cobbled streets, and impressive architecture. The historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers plenty of sights to explore, such as the Belfry, the Church of Our Lady, and the Markt Square. Make sure to indulge in some of the city’s famous chocolate and sample delicious Belgian waffles during your visit.
9. Siena, Italy
Situated in the heart of Tuscany, Siena is a beautiful Italian city with a rich history and stunning architecture. The city’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to the famous Piazza del Campo, where the annual Palio horse race takes place. Don’t miss the chance to visit the impressive Siena Cathedral and climb the Torre del Mangia for panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside.
10. Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is a charming city with a vibrant atmosphere and a picturesque old town. The Ljubljanica River, with its many bridges and riverside cafes, is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the city’s relaxed vibe. Explore the medieval Ljubljana Castle, stroll through the lively Central Market, and visit the unique Metelkova district, an alternative art center with colorful street art and quirky architecture.
Tips for a Successful Road Trip in Europe
Renting a car in Europe offers the freedom and flexibility to explore at your own pace. To ensure a smooth and enjoyable road trip, keep these tips in mind:
- Research rental car options and book in advance: Compare prices and read reviews from various car rental agencies to find the best deal. Booking in advance will help you secure the best price and ensure you get the vehicle that suits your needs.
- Familiarize yourself with local driving laws and regulations: Driving laws and road signs can vary between countries in Europe. Familiarize yourself with the local rules and regulations before hitting the road to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.
- Plan your itinerary and accommodation: Plan your route, considering the distance between destinations and the time required for sightseeing. Book accommodations in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to avoid disappointment.
- Stay flexible and open to new experiences: One of the best parts of a road trip in Europe is the opportunity to discover hidden gems and experience unexpected adventures. Be open to exploring off the beaten path and embracing spontaneous moments.
A road trip through Europe is an unforgettable way to experience the continent’s charming cities and villages. By renting a car in Europe, you’ll have the freedom to explore at your own pace, uncovering hidden gems and creating lasting memories along the way. Don’t miss the chance to visit these enchanting destinations on your next European holiday break.