Europe caters to all kinds of travellers, including families looking for luxury road trip adventures. But road-tripping with kids requires utmost planning and preparation. You need to plan your route well and load up on essentials to keep the little ones entertained while on the road. More importantly, you need to include child-friendly activities on your itinerary. For ideas on where to drive around Europe with the kids, refer to this list of the best luxury family European road trips.
1. North Coast 500, Scotland
Scotland may be small, but it certainly packs a punch, especially for scenic road trips. The North Coast 500 is the most popular driving route in the country, and for good reasons. It’s a 500-mile path weaving its way around the stunning Highlands, passing through breathtaking coastal scenery, majestic mountains, lovely fishing villages, and white sandy beaches.
It will not take that long to drive through the entire route of the North Coast 500. However, you’ve got to consider that you will be stopping at numerous incredible sights along the way. But the good news is that you will find some great holiday homes in Scotland for when you want to spend overnight along the way. Some people will do the route for three days, but if you include some fun excursions, you can expect to conquer the entire journey for at least five days.
You do not need to see everything along the way. But the places worth a stop are a lovely city of Inverness, the stunning Rogie Falls, the picturesque village of Shieldaig, Beinn Eighe National Reserve, and Achmelvich Beach and Hermit’s Castle.
2. The Black Forest, Germany
The Black Forest is a bucket-list destination for families who love nature and the outdoors. Renowned for its dark conifer forests, scenic hiking trails, thermal spas, and enchanting villages, the Black Forest is the perfect destination for a road trip with the family. Road tripping in the Black Forest will allow you to discover the region at your own pace and marvel at the stunning scenery for as long as you wish.
The Black Forest stretches to about 100 miles. It lies along the French border from Switzerland to Germany’s Baden-Baden town. If you don’t have a planned itinerary, staying in one location will give you plenty of time to explore the surrounding areas. Such a strategy can work for short family trips since there are plenty of fun things to do in the Black Forest.
One of the best things to do in the mountainous region is to hike its numerous trails. The larger towns of Baden-Baden and Freiburg have local tourist offices where you can ask for copies of maps. There are also easy hikes suitable for families with kids.
While in the Black Forest, it’s worth visiting some palaces. There are plenty of them, but if you only have time to visit one, head to Burg Hohenzollern. Sitting in the eastern part of Black Forest National Park, this Gothic Castle looks like something out of a fairy-tale book.
3. Milan to Monza, Italy
Italy is one of the best destinations for a European road trip. It has some of the world’s most scenic roads, taking you through stunning coastal roads and lovely towns and villages. For families fond of racing, consider a road trip from Milan to Monza, where the Monza F1 race will take place, an exciting way to spend some time here! You can stop for sightseeing in Milan and check out other beautiful areas along the way.
The Monza circuit is on the outskirts of Milan, and the drive from Milan’s city centre to Monza will take around 40 minutes, depending on the traffic and how often you will stop. Before leaving Milan, take the time to explore around. The lovely city has numerous family-friendly attractions that are definitely worth your time.
Take the kids to the Duomo Cathedral, the city’s most iconic landmark. You’ll also find fascinating museums, such as the Leonardo Da Vinci National Science Museum and Milan Natural History Museum. If your kids would like to have some fun in the water, drive to the Aquatica Waterpark.
4. The Atlantic Highway, England
The Atlantic Highway is England’s most scenic road. It stretches from Devon towards the northwest corner of Cornwall, taking you through dazzling coastal roads, stunning cliffs, lovely beaches and coves, lighthouses, picturesque towns, and attractions like the Tintagel Castle. Some paths are narrow and navigating the winding road can be tricky. However, the stunning coastal views make up for it, so it’s well worth the drive!
There are many great places worth a stop along the Atlantic Highway. One of these is the town of Bude, a hotspot for surfing enthusiasts. You’ll also find golden beaches and colourful vintage beach huts, ideal for families looking to spend some time at the beach. If you plan to stop in Bude for some beach fun, don’t forget to pack some towels!
Another attraction worth a stop along the highway is the Boscastle. Check out the Boscastle Farm Shop, which overlooks the scenic views of the sea, and where you can enjoy some refreshments.
5. Iceland’s Ring Road
Driving Iceland’s Ring Road is one of those trips ideal for families looking for unusual holidays. It’s also great for adventure seekers, with its variety of scenery covering many of Iceland’s most iconic sites. The road is more than 800 miles long, connecting many of Iceland’s picturesque towns and villages.
You can drive around the Ring Road within the day, but if you want to take in the sights and attractions along the road, you should spend at least a week. It’s an incredibly picturesque two-lane road with many stunning views worth a stop.
You can also spend half the day driving through the Golden Circle and back to the Ring Road again upon reaching the town of Hveragerdi. Some of the stunning sites you should check out are the Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss waterfall, three of Iceland’s most popular attractions.
Hveragerdi is a lovely town worth spending a day or two in. It’s famous for its geothermal activities and the starting point for those hiking to Reykjadalur. The Seljalandsfoss waterfall is another attraction you’ll pass by at the Ring Road. Even though it’s about 100 metres from the road, you can see this beautiful waterfall from the highway.