Lonely Planet Writer

As petrol prices drop, here are some of Europe's most scenic road trips

Research shows that it’s the perfect moment to go on a road trip, as motorists can expect to make serious savings in Europe this summer!


According to research group the Post Office, motorists can expect to make savings of up to 17% on the cost of petrol compared to last year. The cheapest place by far for petrol is the tiny state of Andorra, whilst Switzerland also yields the biggest savings with holidaymakers paying 20p less per litre. France and Italy remain among the cheapest for unleaded petrol, with Norway remaining the most costly country when it comes to fuel charges. So with prices looking good for motorists, here’s just a few scenic motorways in Europe to get beauty bang for your buck!

Basque country
Basque country Image by Getty Images

The Basque Circuit, Spain

Starting from Bilbao and winding down south this spectacular mountain motorway takes you past Pamplona via the incredible B1623 mountain pass. From Pamplona then the trip goes into the Pyrenees. Here one passes through the Roncesvalles pass into France where the views are almost too distracting and the roads too winding! From here one heads back to Bilbao (or Pamplona) via the Cantabrian coast-line which offers sea views the whole way back!

Chamonix, France
Chamonix, France Image by Getty Images

Mont Blanc Tour, Switzerland and Italy

Since Switzerland offers the best deals this summer, we’d have to include its most scenic motorway drives as well! Starting from Lake Leman in Geneva, this journey heads south towards Mont Blanc and beyond. Taking the D902 south, the road leads to Chamonix and the dramatic seven-mile Mont Blanc tunnel, one of the longest tunnels in Europe passing through the highest Alp. From there you are in Valle D’Aosta, a splendid valley famed for its food. The Levantine Riviera is an excellent option, skirting the edges of Cinque Terre with remarkable and splendid views everywhere. You can continue to Florence through the winding roads of the Apennines.

Lush Green Landscape of Scotland
Lush Green Landscape of Scotland Image by Getty Images

Loch Ness Trail, Scotland

If a road trip is what you’re after then Scotland is a great choice, with its winding and wild roads in the Highlands as well as its well-serviced motorways, it offers both comfort and breath-taking scenery. One of the most highly recommended routes is the A82 which stretches from Inverness to Fort William. It meanders through snow-capped mountains and past lakes, most importantly, Loch Ness famed for its monster. Its views are sure to keep you engaged.

Portugal, Algarve, Odemira, Cost in front of Zambujeira do Mar
Portugal, Algarve, Odemira, Cost in front of Zambujeira do Mar Image by Getty Images

The Algarve Coast, Portugal

One for the cliff lovers, this 142 mile cliff-top ride on the road that crosses most of Portugal’s coast line takes in some of Algarve’s most beautiful sites. It ends famously by a lighthouse at the south-western most tip of Europe. This route goes to Cabo de Sao Vicente via Portimao, Lagos, Luz, and Sagres, all stunning seaside Portuguese towns. The vegetation as well as the rocky cliff faces make this one of the most spectacularly panoramic drives as well as one with frequent good stops.