We all think of backpacking as something that is synonymous with being a student and taking a gap year, it’s become almost a rite of passage for many youngsters to travel to Europe with just a backpack and stay in cheap hostels and travel on foot. This classic vision however is not the only way. A backpacking trip taken by car instead of on foot, can be just as rewarding, exciting and enjoyable.
There are lots of roads leading across various parts of Europe, but one epic road trip that has proved tempting to many from Europe and indeed beyond is the 500 mile long stretch of road from Lac Leman in Geneva to Florence in Italy. The scenic roads stretch through glorious mountains and along beautiful coastal terrain offering wonderful views and sweet sea air. Pop the roof up on your convertible only as you pass through the Mont-Blanc tunnel which connects the D902 with Italy, and then its roof down and more excellent scenery and picturesque villages and towns all the way to Florence.
If your thing is more adrenaline rush than peaceful countryside, you could take the north loop of the Nurburgring in Germany. This former race track which is now a public toll road gives those who want to put their foot down the chance to really give speed a chance. If you’re not a confident enough driver, but still want to feel the wind through your hair and your teeth rattle, just pay a ‘ring taxi’ to take you for a spin and learn how the seasoned drivers handle this extraordinary bit of roadway.
If you’re feet just aren’t up to it, or you prefer a bit more style than your old hiking boots and a rucksack, taking a fourteen day road trip that lets you explore over 2,500 miles of terrain and nine different countries could be for you. Check out the ski slopes in Innsbruck, cathedrals in Strasbourg and the site of the Cannes film festival before hitting Paris and romancing your way up the Eiffel Tower, admiring the paintings in the Louvre, and the views out from the top of Sacre Coeur.
It doesn’t all have to be choreographed either. Spontaneity can sometimes give you a great chance to soak up some culture and get a great feel for the people. Make a list of all the towns and cities you want to visit and the sights you want to see, and then figure out the best geographic and chronological order so that your trip will be efficient, effective and enjoyable. Allow enough time to change your plans a bit to allow for car trouble or just finding something extra you want to see or do.
Europe can be a place of eye opening experiences, rewarding, romantic, and exciting, and with a little forethought you can plan your journey and choose a route that will suit your tastes, resources and desires. With the internet offering many opportunities and resources to find the cheapest car rental and quotes so that you get the very best deal for you, a dream road trip through Europe could be just a click or two away.