Europe has so much to offer, and whilst we may be mid-pandemic that doesn’t stop us from planning for the better times that lay ahead, so where better place to start your journey? In this blog, we’ll be exploring the top 7 European hot spots well worth a visit!
Touring in your campervan or motorhome is one of the freest and most rewarding ways to see and experience the world around you. Wake up to a new view every morning and feel liberated with the amount of flexibility you have. Drive where you choose in your own time, on your own schedule. But in amongst the bliss of all this, there are a few things which you’ll need to remember before setting off, such as be sure you have:
- Documents – visas, passports, and driving licenses
- Vehicle documentation - MOT certificates, green card (proves you have motorhome insurance), and V5C registration (in case of an accident it allows the police to establish who the owner is)
- And last but not least the playlist – one of the most important things to remember if you’ve got hours and hours of driving planned
However, alongside this, be sure to do your own research into each country you’re visiting as rules and regulations can change quickly. It’s better to be prepared than having to turn round and come home again because you’ve forgotten an important document.
But now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get into the top unmissable campervan and motorhome routes Europe has to offer!
Atlanterhavsegen (or the Atlantic Roadway), Norway
At only 8.3km long this is a short trip that will take around 5 hours to drive so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to go rogue and explore the never-ending wonders Norway has to offer in between your planned stops. Follow the 'road in the ocean’ connected by seven bridges to really experience this unique stretch of road. Drive right to the ocean’s edge and explore winding paths, scenic views, and miles and miles of freedom-filled road.
This is more of an underrated route, but as it’s been labelled as the world’s most beautiful drive, I think it’s more of an unmissable one. Don’t forget to take a small break from driving and pull over in a small town and immerse yourself and fully appreciate the local cuisine, landscapes, and people.
Just a couple of things to be aware of – some roads are closed in winter months and bad weather in summer months isn’t unusual here so pack waterproofs and warmer clothing just in case, but if you’re setting off from the UK this is something you’ll already be pretty used to.
Feel full and rich in culture as you take a trip across the channel and enter Germany. This is a country you won’t want to skip if you’re planning a European tour as its autobahn is a popular, famous, and safe route that has helped to put Germany on the road trip map.
Covering 936km, you’ll want to start in Cologne and finish in Berlin. Along the way be prepared to take in the art scene in Dusseldorf, the famous city of Munster, the home of Germany’s first coffee house Bremen, the historic monuments of Hamburg, the Warnow River in Rostock, and the beautiful and royal architecture of the city of Potsdam.
Once you reach Berlin you’ll be immersed in the many important and historical landmarks this capital offers, you’ll almost hear the rich tales of history being told as you visit.
It’s the perfect destination for such a trip because you can return again, again and again, and see something different each time. As a country, it encourages the visit of motorhomers and campervanners so it’s ideal for beginners and those who are short on travel time.
If you thought Scotland was rugged, wait until you see Iceland. Through spectacles of natural beauty including glittering glaciers and roaring waterfalls, it creates the perfect balance of feeling like you’re worlds away but close enough to home that you can complete the route in five days. I’d recommend beginning your journey in Reykjanes Peninsula where you’ll find the ever-famous Blue Lagoon.
Iceland is a great place to take a self-tour so after you’re done relaxing in the geothermal waters of the Lagoon, make your way to the Golden Circle. On this 190-mile loop, you’ll find national parks, mud pools, hot springs, and waterfalls – every outdoor lover’s dream!
Work your way North next and be prepared for Iceland’s Godafoss – a huge horse-shoe-shaped waterfall. Follow this East and set your sights on the Holmanes nature reserve that is sprinkled with hikes and treks that will stretch your legs and your imagination. Continue Southeast to see the world’s largest glacier which covers 8% of the country!
A couple of things to bear in mind before setting off, if you want to see the Northern lights, you’ll need to visit during solstice and travel on more rural routes. In addition to this, be prepared to literally dig a little deeper because there will be snow on the ground, so make sure you take your snowsuit. To finish, whilst not being the cheapest of place to visit it will take some planning, but it’s also one of the most beautiful, so will all be worth it.
Starting in the world-renowned city of Zurich, this weeklong road trip is set to give you one day in each stunning location, but as you’ll be in a motorhome there is no one stopping you from spending more time in each place, there is certainly lots to do!
This route will have you venturing into some of the most breath-taking destinations Switzerland is known for, including Lucerne where you’ll be able to marvel at the blue waters of Lake Lucerne, stop in Interlaken, and set your pulse racing with activities such as skydiving and river rafting, Bern (the capital) is where you’ll see the true beauty of the country through a combination of historical architecture and natural beauty, Monteux home of the Glacier 3000, chocolate factory and numerous Jazz festivals and the skiing destination Zermatt.
Ending in Lugano, you’ll have everything you need to enjoy the final moments of your journey: a campsite at the centre, serene views of Lake Lugano, and the option of a hike through 900m Mont San Salvatore. With camping options close by each destination, you won’t need to worry about having to travel miles to see the sights, it’s all on your doorstep!
From here it’s easy to drive home or head back to Zurich on the A2 or A4 where you can do it all again!
Italy Amalfi Coast
Luxury, good food, stunning views and architecture, get behind the wheel and enjoy what Italy’s Amalfi Coast is known for. This is a route that is amazing to drive but with a few hairpin bends, narrow lanes, and cliff top edges I’d say it’s suited to those with a bit more confidence, patience, and experience in the driving seat.
Though, if you are keen to go but aren’t so keen on driving, you can always leave your campervan or motorhome at a campsite and do as the locals do by adopting the Italian way of life and renting a scooter. If you are looking for more information on which scooters are trending and what qualities to look out for, check out our top 10 scooter list.
Beach, nature, and culture all on-demand, follow the Atlantic coast as you take in the sights, wonders (and pasta) of one of the most scenic routes Europe has to offer.
Just over 800km, Portugal’s coast is home to a handful of iconic sites including the coastal city of Porto known for its production of wine, the beautiful beaches of Lagos and the local seafood served in Tavira. If you end your trip here but start in Viana do Castelo, you’ll be sure to visit all of these and more along the way.
I’ve got a couple of tips for this route, as Portugal stays relatively warm all year round it’s the perfect destination if you’re looking for some winter sun and to avoid the crowds the summer months bring with them. In addition to this, if you want to give the motorhome a rest and venture into the city centres public transport is cheap and accessible so you won’t need to feel too guilty about leaving your four (or six) wheeled companion behind.
The Netherlands to Belgium
This is the only route that will have you traveling between countries, but as this is one of the luxuries owning a motorhome provides you with, I can’t see that being a problem.
When looking at the map, the Netherlands and Belgium lie next to each other and that makes travelling between the two that little bit easier. However, follow the 300km route and experience two very separate destinations that will both please you with their beauty, culture, and history.
I’d recommend starting in Amsterdam and then travelling through to Hague. Spend some time by the canal and appreciate the museums offered here. Cross the Belgium bridge and drive to Brussels where you can enjoy the gardens and parks. Finish your tour in the picturesque city of Bruges and take in all its historical charms.
Just remember that the streets here can be narrow and hard to navigate, so if you want to see a sight but aren’t sure your big Bertha will get there, you can always look at taking public transport just to be safe.
The last stop
There we have it, pick one of our suggested routes, jump on that freedom-filled highway and explore what Europe has to offer. As I said earlier, don’t forget to check the rules and regulations of each destination you plan to visit before setting off.
If you do travel one of the routes, I’ve spoken about be sure to let me know using the comments section below or on social media.