Why fly when you can instead take control of the wheel and explore the world at your own pace? A road trip is that perfect opportunity to forget all your worries and make memories along the way.
Why do we like road trips so much? Well, first of all, all your transport is sorted out, when you have a car. You don’t have to worry about catching a bus on time or a delayed flight. Your car will always be your loyal road companion. Secondly, you can always decide where to stop, how long to spend in a destination and most importantly, where to go. European road trips are affordable and easy to organize.
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So, we just came back from our spectacular road trip around Europe visiting Croatia, Switzerland, and Austria just in 10 days. From beautiful beaches to snow-capped mountains, our itinerary was a perfect blend of both the worlds and we would love to share with you our experience as well as our 10 days road trip itinerary for Europe.
Start point: Budapest (as we live in Budapest)
Leg 1 Destination: Rovinj, Croatia
Distance: 593 kms
Duration : 2 Days 3 Nights
Location: 73 Kms from Salzburg, Austria
Going about it: It is advisable to begin the journey as early as possible in the morning, say at about 8 a.m.
The longer you can stay in Croatia, the less you’ll regret it later. The vibe of each little town or village you pass is unbelievably laid-back and relaxing. The sea is really as blue as in the postcards. Although Croatia is not a huge country, it is big enough to keep you busy and happy for weeks. Or months. Make no mistake there are loads of things to see and places to make your wanderlust go crazy. As we had already covered the Dalmatian islands, Split and Plitvice Lakes National Park (Click here to explore more in Croatia) last summer, we decided to explore Istrian side so the country with Rovinj being one of the most beautiful coastal towns in Europe.
The drive from Budapest to Rovinj will come with a border control where you need to validate your visa and driving license to enter into the country. Croatia is not a part of Schengen but as an exception you are allowed to visit the country in your multiple-entry schengen visa. Before adding Croatia in your itinerary do make sure to validate your visa with entry status! Visas with single entry can leave the schengen country but cannot enter any schengen country again.
So, If you’ve never heard of Rovinj, you might be wondering what’s so special about it. Well, let us just dig through its charm and you’ll love it. Click here to read more about how we spent 2 beautiful days in Rovinj, Croatia!
Hotel: Hotel Lone – This is one of the best hotels in Istria.
A perfect hotel to relax after the long drive. Each room is blessed with gigantic balcony perfect to admire the sunset views. This hotel is right on the water, and has a delicious breakfast. We were lucky to get amazing deal at Tripadvisor and we really enjoyed this hotel. Explore hotels in Rovinj with Tripadvisor!
Rate: 156 Euros per night
Leg 2 Destination: Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
Kilometre: 774 kms
Duration: 4 Nights 5 Days
Location: Bernese Oberland
As one of the most expensive European countries, Switzerland is often skipped over by many budget travellers. But that being said, Switzerland is one of the most beautiful places on earth – its home to lakes, picturesque mountains, tiny walled medieval towns, soaring peaks, beautiful churches, and endless green fields you want to run through. Everything view is so picturesque that you start assuming if the world here is absolutely painting-like. The chocolates are amazing, the country is safe, and everyone is super nice. The country rocks no matter what time of the year you visit.
We visited a small, quaint, relaxing, and full of adventure town – Wilderwil. It is located in the middle of charming – turquoise-coloured Lake Brienz and humungous Lake Thun. The cosy village is starting point for excursions to the Lauterbrunnen and also to Lucerne, Interlaken or across the nearby Alpine passes.
Lauterbrunnen is located 13 km’s from Interlaken in the Jungfrau region, the beauty of the Lauterbrunnen valley is indescribable. It’s surprisingly accessible by train, and there’s a wide range of things to do in Lauterbrunnen. From Paragliding to mountain hiking this car-free town has got it all. Click here to explore top things to do in Luterbrunnen!
Jungfrau: Top of Europe was high on our Switzerland bucket list. Why? For starters, it’s the highest train station in Europe (3,454 meters). Second of all, the views on the way to Jungfraujoch and from the top are spectacular. And last but not least, you get to walk inside a glacier and visit an ice palace. We were sold! The sun was shining, the sky was clear and I could actually see how beautiful the mountains were. Click here to explore more about Jungfrau: Top of Europe.
Hotels: Beautiful chalet booked with Airbnb for 5. Sign up now and earn a discount coupon for your first booking with Airbnb.
A perfect home to relax after the long drive. The house was blessed with traditional fondue hut perfect to admire the beautiful snow-capped mountain views. The house was very close to Interlaken, and had an amazing barbecue to enjoy savoury dinners in evening.
Rate: 300 Euros per night
Leg 3 Destination: Hallstatt, Austria
Kilometre: 624 kms
Duration: 3 Nights 2 Days
Location: 73 Kms from Salzburg, Austria
Hallstatt, known to be the prettiest lakeside village in the world, is the definition of the word Picturesque. It is so charming and historical that it has been named a UNESCO world heritage site. This charming village is home to only 1,000 people, which thrive off the money that tourism provides. It is yet another fairytale place in Europe besides Flam, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Lake Bled.
The best way to see Hallstatt is by foot, simply because cars are not allowed in the town centre. The town square is really tiny and filled with colorful houses, small cafés and a picturesque architecture.
I’ll spare you the clichés about how it’s a hidden gem and let the pictures speak for themselves. Click here to explore the beauty of Hallstatt and How to spend 1 day in this beautiful quaint village.
Hotels: Beautiful 3 bedroom Apartment booked with Airbnb. Sign up now and earn a discount coupon for your first booking with Airbnb.
Rate: 230 Euros per night
Leg 3 Destination: Budapest, Hungary
Distance: 624 kms
This being the last leg of our journey, we had an amazing experience traveling 3000km across Europe. This road trip has given us some of the fondest memories to cherish for our lifetime and inspired us take more such road trips in future with longer distance as our milestone! I hope this post has inspired you as well to plan your next road trip in Europe!