Travel Road

We’re fortunate to live just a hop, skip and jump from Continental Europe with its array of beauty and world-
famous attractions.

If you’ve already ticked the giants of Venice, Paris, and Barcelona off your must-see list, then look beyond. There are plenty of other gems to unveil and explore across Europe and road-tripping is a great way to discover beautiful landscapes that often go under the radar.  

So, whether it’s gazing upon Lake Prespa from your Prius, witnessing the wilderness of Austria from your Audi, or admiring the beauty of Brno from the comfort of your BMW, we bring you some of the lesser-known destinations to consider for an old skool road trip.

Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa, North Macedonia 

Lake Ohrid, straddling the border between North Macedonia and Albania, is one of the world’s oldest and deepest lakes.  It’s something of a hidden gem, with its Unesco world-heritage status and idyllic views.  Here, you can explore the town of Ohrid, one of the most ancient human settlements in Europe, and admire Byzantine icons dating back to the seventh century. 

In the afternoon, get back on the road and cruise through the Galičica National Park, a mountainous stretch of flora and fauna. Just in time for dinner, you’ll reach Lake Prespa and its quaint villages, where you can enjoy delicious fish dishes, freshly sourced from nearby lakes. 

Salzkammergut, Austria 

Austria is a gorgeous country with unbeatable views, unspoiled nature and picturesque cities. Its capital, Vienna, has recently been crowned the most liveable city in the world for the third time in five years. Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart, is rich in history and attracts flocks of tourists all year round. 

If you want to get away from all the hustle and bustle, however, hit the roads of the tranquil Salzkammergut region. Much of the area is remote wilderness, blessed with pure waters ideal for swimming, fishing and boating. Visit the picture-postcard town of Hallstatt and enjoy the dramatic scenery as you drive through the region’s carved valleys.

Covadonga and the Asturias, Spain 

If you’ve already sunbathed on the shores of the popular Costa Brava, it’s time to give the Asturias region of northern Spain a whirl. With crystal-clear waters, superb beaches, hiking trails and spectacular cuisine, the Asturias have it all.  

Be sure to drive to the Covadonga convent, nestled in the Picos de Europa mountains. This sanctuary is one of the most renowned historical sites in Spain, boasting unforgettable views of the surrounding peaks. 

Salento and Valle d’Istria, Italy 

If you want to experience excellent food and splendid sights, Italy is always a safe bet. But rather than visiting the crowded cities of Rome, Milan, and Florence, why not drive along the heel of this boot-shaped country?  

Salento, in Puglia, is a remote area that still proudly champions its Greek heritage and is home to lush towns and local cuisines. As you hop from one village to the next, sampling homemade orecchiette and focaccia barese as you go, you’ll cruise through ochre-coloured fields and countless olive groves. If you get the chance, head towards the towns of Alberobello and Locorotondo. These pretty villages, located in the Valle d’Istria, are dotted with whitewashed, cone-roofed houses called trulli. 

Wine region of Brno, Czech Republic 

When it comes to epic road trips, the Czech Republic certainly delivers. This country overflows with breathtaking views and sights, and you’ll find surprisingly good wines too. Czech vineyards boast many award-winning white wines to sample.

Start your itinerary from Bratislava (Slovakia), driving through to the Czech Republic, as you’re welcomed by rolling vineyards and cosy chateaus.

Velika Planina, Slovenia 

Just an hour’s drive from the capital city of Ljubljana, Velika Planina is in the Slovenian Kamnik Alps. It’s a peaceful plateau dotted with grazing cows and authentic wooden huts once inhabited by local shepherds.  

To access the Velika Planina uplands, you’ll have to leave your vehicle and hop on a cable car but it is well worth it for the views of the valley where time seems to have stood still. 

That said, the drive to the car park of the cable car is worth the trip on its own, being surrounded by pristine nature and breathtaking views at every turn.

The Troll Path, Norway 

Located in the western part of the country, the Troll Path (Trollstigen) is a lengthy stretch of road that zig-zags across the Geirangerfjord region. Bear in mind that, because of its hairpin bends and steep incline, it may be a route for seasoned drivers only.  

As you cruise through the mountains, you’ll be able to spot the majestic Stigfossen waterfall plus you’ll be spoilt for choice with a photo-op around every corner. Also, don’t forget to look out for trolls – legend has it that they scout the area at night and turn back into stone as the sun rises the next morning.  

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