Road trips are a timeless tradition that spans the generations. Parents take them with their kids, and young adults travel with their friends. Road trips allow you to see the environment and the world like you’ve never seen before. It’s one thing to fly to a destination. It’s a whole other experience to drive there!
There are several posts out there on the ultimate road trip across the United States, but there aren’t too many mapping out the ultimate European road trip.
Which is such a shame, because Europe has so much to offer. Well, Dr. Randall S. Olson is a Senior Data Scientist at the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Biomedical Informatics took it upon himself to compute (that’s right, we said compute) the ultimate European road trip. And here is just a glimpse into what he came up with.
There were 3 parameters for this epic road trip:
- It would make at least one stop in all of the identified European countries
- Each stop would be at a natural landmark, historic site, national park, or national monument
- It would be completely drivable
Here’s the full list of stops in order:
- Innsbruck, Austria
- Munich, Germany
- Pag, Croatia
- Venice, Italy
- Tuscany, Italy
- Florence, Italy
- Rome, Italy
- Vatican City
- Amalfi, Italy
- Gozo, Malta
- Dubrovnik, Croatia
- Santorini, Thira, Greece
- Rila Monastery, Rilski manastir, Bulgaria
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Sighisoara, Mures County, Romania
- Budapest, Hungary
- Vienna, Austria
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Krakow, Poland
- Jägala Waterfall, 74205 Harjumaa, Estonia
- Lapland, Finland
- ICEBAR, Marknadsvägen, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
- Bergen, Norway
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Berlin, Germany
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Keukenhof, Stationsweg, Lisse, Netherlands
- Edinburgh, United Kingdom
- Inverness, United Kingdom
- Ballybunion, Ireland
- Cliffs of Moher, Clare, Ireland
- Cornwall, England
- Stonehenge, Amesbury, United Kingdom
- London, United Kingdom
- Brussels, Belgium
- Paris, France
- Pamplona, Spain
- Lagos, Portugal
- Granada, Spain
- Ibiza, Spain
- Barcelona, Spain
- Luberone, Bonnieux, France
- Nice, France
- Monte Carlo, Monaco
- Interlaken, Switzerland
Here is some more detail on some of the hot locations in Europe that you would see. All in all, the trip would take around 3 months.
What does the wonderful city of Munich have to offer? Well, it turns out a lot, apparently. For starters, if you’re looking for an authentic experience, Augustiner Bräustuben offers Bavarian fare, beer and very little tourists. Enjoy a picturesque view while you dine with the locals, then take a stroll through Olympiapark, where the first Zepplin landed in 1909, and where Olympic athletes competed in 1972. If you desire a history lesson, take a stroll through Residenzmuseum, where Bavaria’s Wittelsbach ruled from 1508 until WWI.
There are so many great cities in Italy, it’s difficult to name just one that you should visit. Obviously, Venice boasts the Grand Canal, which is lined with Renaissance and Gothic Palaces. Tuscany offers cheese, wine and other delectable treats, in addition to historic attractions. And Rome has the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Sistine Chapel. But let’s not forget Vatican City, home of ancient Roman statues, Michaelangelo’s ceiling and, of course, the Pope.
While all of Romania is dotted with fortified castles and gothic architecture, the most notable city within the country’s limits is Transylvania. Transylvania is home Bran Castle, where the feared Vlad Dracul made his home and unwittingly inspired the famous legend of Dracula. If horror stories aren’t your cup of tea, Bucharest is resplendent with beautiful gothic churches, nature reserves and monasteries, to name just a few attractions.
Prague, Czech Republic
Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” Prague is one of the most historically rich cities throughout all of Europe. Old Towns Square is home to the medieval Astronomical Clock, gothic churches and, of course, Charles Bridge, which was completed in 1402 and is lined with statues of Catholic saints. Then there is Prague Castle, which looms above the Vltava’s left bank, is lined with serried ranks of spires, and boasts towers and palaces that dominate the city center like a benevolent Queen. It’s outside is just a taste of what you will find inside, which contains some of the city’s most beloved arts and treasures.
Follow your friends or be the first to join our group
Ibiza is one of the beautiful islands fortunate enough to call the Mediterranean Sea home. If you’re looking for a good time (and a bit of a break from all that history) Ibiza is your place. From lively nightclubs to yoga retreats, and white sandy beaches to pine-clad hills, this is one Balearic island you need to make time for if only to recharge your battery before you set off on your next adventure.
Europe is full of history, breathtaking architecture and picturesque landscaping that you won’t believe exists until you see it. We just touched briefly on Dr. Randall S. Olson’s list. His list covered more than 16,000 miles of terrain through Croatia, Germany, Austria, Italy, Malta, Greece, Poland, Bulgaria, Turkey, Denmark and a great deal of the rest of Western and Central Europe. Use his guide to plan your ultimate European road trip!
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Source: Randal Olson