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Driving Tours Through Northern Europe: Where You Should Go

Europe provides an appealing variety of cultures and landscapes for you to explore, from the Mediterranean to the Nordics. A driving tour provides a unique way of exploring Europe.


A driving tour of Europe is quite challenging if you factor in the sense of freedom that comes with car rental Netherlands.


If you’ve ever driven through Northern Europe, you’ll know how spectacular it can be. From forests in Germany to glacial rivers and waterfalls in Iceland, Europe is packed full of scenic driving opportunities.


Germany is home to forests, Iceland to mountains and waterfalls, and Spain to sun-washed villages and pintxos.


If you’re considering hitting the open roads in Europe, you might be confused about how to pick from all the available possibilities. So here are our top picks to travel through the picturesque scenery of northern Europe by car.

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9 Places to Visit if You’re on a Driving Tour of Northern Europe

Ireland Along The Wild Atlantic Way

Ireland is a delight to explore on a driving tour with its rocky coast, waving countryside, and dynamic cities. The scenic coastal roads of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way are arguably some of the most stunning in the world.


You’ll pass beautiful coastal towns like Cooomakista and Cork, as well as some of the world’s largest dunes. You’ll also see some of the most Instagrammed scenery in Europe, including the ancient sites of Galway and Waterford.


You should add the Wild Atlantic Way to your list of must-do Irish road trips. This itinerary takes you on a circle around the island.


You’ll see castles and manor homes along the way, promenades through harbor towns, and mingle with the welcoming inhabitants in Irish pubs.


The Cliffs of Moher, Achill Island, and the Aran Islands are among the spectacular vistas of the Irish coast that you will undoubtedly enjoy.

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Scotland’s North Coast 500

Scotland has several beautiful roads ideal for driving tour experiences with cars. The North Coast 500, or “NC500,” is a fantastic driving route in Scotland that you should consider.


You get the chance to visit iconic Scottish sights by driving on this road. For example, the Scottish castles of Dunrobin and Ardvreck may be seen, as well as the magical Smoo Cave and seaside eateries serving locally produced seafood.

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Iceland’s Full Circle

Driving across Iceland will reward you with vistas of some of the most stunning landscapes in all of Europe. On your journey through this fascinating nordic country, you may anticipate seeing roaring waterfalls, massive glaciers, and geothermal marvels.


Iceland features a Ring Road (“Route 1”) that conveniently surrounds the island. Pingvellir National Park, the Geysir geothermal region, and the Gullfoss waterfall are three of Iceland’s biggest attractions.


They are all located inside the Golden Circle, initially traveling around, beginning in Reykjavik.

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Norway’s Fjord Route

The fjord and mountain scenery of Norway is recognized for their magnificent beauty. Therefore, if you enjoy the outdoors, a self-drive journey in this region of Europe is ideal for you.


The Fjord Route in western Norway is one of the favorites among the several self-drive routes available. You’ll be driving through a region filled with fjords and stopping at charming towns and cultural hubs like Balestrand, and Lesund.

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French Riviera

There are many ways to travel through the picturesque scenery of Northern Europe. One of the best ways is to hire a car and explore the region on your own driving tour.


France has a wealth of scenery that is ideal for taking photos. You can spend your first days exploring the French Riviera, which is full of resort towns and aristocratic enclaves. This road leads from Geneva Lake to the Mediterranean Sea.


You can choose to stay at one place or a combination of places, but you’ll want to find a place that’s convenient for you.


A road trip from Paris to the Loire Valley, for example, will allow you to see the Versailles Palace, the Normandy landing beaches, and Mont St Michel.


While this route takes approximately 7 days, it’s possible to extend your vacation based on your interests and time.

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Sweden, Denmark, and Norway Make Up The Scandinavian Triangle

Scandinavia, consisting of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, is best experienced by driving through it. Even though these are three distinct nations, it is simple to travel in a loop across the southern regions of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.


With its trio of hip cities, Baltic shoreline, and lush countryside, the Scandinavian Triangle won’t take long to fall in love. Consider this triangle for your driving tour of Europe.

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Loire Valley

Switzerland is among the best destinations for scenic train rides in northern Europe. The four train rides advertised as the best in the country include the Golden Pass, which connects Luzern with Lake Geneva. But how about a driving tour?


The train has three segments and two transfers, and some have panoramic cars for an even wider view of the high mountains. If you’re traveling with family, the transport museum in Lucerne is a must-see.


You’ll also find plenty of breathtaking scenery on a road trip from Paris to the Loire Valley. You’ll visit Versailles Palace, the Normandy landing beaches, and Mont St Michel in this region.


The trip takes about seven days to complete, but you can extend it to fit in more sights. During your trip, you’ll also have time to experience local markets, eat local food, and take in the scenery of the Loire Valley.

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A five-day driving tour in Normandy starts from Paris and explores the Seine-Maritime region, Calvados, and Eure. You can visit Claude Monet’s home of Giverny, and the historic fortress of Richard Lionheart at Chateau Gaillard.


The two towns are within a half-hour drive of each other and are excellent places to start your road trip in Normandy.


The Cathedrale Notre Dame is a 16th-century church, and the Volcan, a modern performance hall designed by Oscar Niemeyer, has a remarkable shape.


You can take a 30-minute drive to Honfleur, a mythical port in Normandy. The Pont de Normandy offers a stunning view of the sea, and the garden is a picturesque backdrop for an enchanting drive.

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Brecon Beacons National Park

The Brecon Beacons National Park was established in 1957 as the third National Park in Wales. It is a beautiful region that encompasses some of the best scenery in South Wales.


Although it is not the highest mountain range in Wales, it is one of the most rugged. There are four main regions within the park, including the lonely Black Mountain, glacial lakes, and the Great Forest, which includes many waterfalls.


The Four Waterfalls Walk begins at the trailhead, allowing you to enjoy the view of the Four Waterfalls. The trail passes the iconic waterfalls Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd y Pannwr, and Sgwd Yr Eira.


You can also visit the Pen y Fan Lake and the Talybont Reservoir, two larger bodies of water in the Brecon Beacons.

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If you’re planning a winter getaway or driving tour, consider traveling to one of the most beautiful regions in the world: Northern Europe.


Home to the Viking Age, this region is steeped in culture but is far more refined than you might think. Imagine exploring medieval towns and Viking-age museums.


You’d also see far-flung islands where the sun never sets in summer, magnificent fjords, and lakes as wide as your imagination.


European self-drive trips exist in a wide variety, and you may customize yours to fit your wish list. Please contact our travel specialists at to make your ideal European road trip a reality with our car rentals.

Satyne Julianna Doner

Satyne Julianna Doner is currently a sophomore studying business management in sunny Tampa, Florida. A born bibliophile, she spends most of her free time curled up in a fantasy book or writing her own. When she isn't studying, reading, or writing, she is an avid equestrian and staunch supporter of rehabilitating retired racehorses. She owns one horse, named Hurricane, who keeps her grounded in all her endeavors.

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