Tag: drop-off at another location

Athens to Thessaloniki by Car- Greece Trip Itinerary

Greece is one of the hottest travel destinations in Europe, what better way to explore than with a week-long road trip? See the best archeological sites, dreamy beaches, and natural beauty with this comprehensive travel guide.

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Athens to Delphi- 185 kilometers (115 miles)📍 7.15 EUR Highway toll

Delphi to Volos- 210 kilometers (130 miles)📍 7.2 EUR Toll

Volos to Meteora- 145 kilometers (90 miles)📍 11.8 EUR Toll

Meteora to Mount Olympus- 155 kilometers (95 miles)📍 5.7 EUR Toll

Mount Olympus to Vergina- 75 kilometers (45 miles)📍

Vergina to Thessaloniki- 70 kilometers (45 miles)📍 1.2 EUR Toll

850 kilometers (530 miles) in total

Tags: Travel guide, road trip, drop-off at another location, Greece, Beach

This travel guide takes you on an exciting Greece road trip starting in Athens, the capital of Greece. Then, you’ll go inland towards Delphi, before spending a night in the coastal city of Volos.

Next, you’ll get to see the otherwordly hanging monasteries of Meteora, before stopping overnight in Litochoro at the foot of Mt. Olympus.

Finish off with a stop at The Royal Tombs of Aigai and an unforgettable night in Thessaloniki.

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

The total driving distance is around 850 kilometers. With that in mind, Rentalmoose recommends dedicating at least 5 days for this road trip. To fully explore the best of what each location has to offer, spend at least 10 days on the road.

What is the best time of the year to visit Greece?

The best time of the year to go on a road trip in Greece is during the sunny months, typically between May and September. The weather is the hottest during July and August, but it is also the peak of the tourist season.

You can avoid hordes of tourists while still catching a glimpse of the perfect weather when you visit during June and early September.

Road trip extensions

Greek Islands

Your Greece road trip doesn’t have to end here! Extend your road trip and visit some of the country’s most picturesque islands. Rentalmoose recommends going to Rhodes or Santorini.

Turkish Riviera

Forget South East Asia, the Turkish Riviera is dubbed one of the world’s best summer getaways. Party your heart out in Bodrum, swim in the Blue Lagoon, and enjoy the world-famous Turkish breakfast in Antalya. Click here for the guide.

Why should you rent a car in Greece?

Mainland Greece is ideal to be explored by rental car. The roads are, for the most part, well-maintained, and there are some magnificent scenic drives around Meteora, Delphi, and Mount Olympus. A road trip in Greece is a great way to see the country.

Outside of Athens, public transport tends to be rather hectic for international tourists. Most ticketing booths and schedules are available in Greek only, and buses travel between cities quite irregularly.

A rental car is definitely the best way of getting around mainland Greece.

Don’t forget to take check-in photos when picking up your rental car to qualify for a 50% rebate from the excess coverage fee!

Are there toll roads in Greece?

There is a fair amount of toll highways and paid roads around Greece. Fees can be settled when passing toll booths, mostly in cash though some booths will accept credit cards depending on the highway operator. Take cash to pay the highway tolls, just in case.

You can use this toll calculator to precisely calculate fees between Greek cities.

Can tourists drive in Greece?

Yes! As Greece is a member of the European Union, tourists can use their domestic driving licenses issued in other EU-member states.

Travelers who do not have a driving license issued in an EU-country should obtain an International Driving Permit (click here to learn all about them).

Driving around Athens may become chaotic if you’re not familiar with the unsaid rules that everyone seems to follow. Rentalmoose recommends picking up your rental car when leaving Athens and using public transport to get around the capital.

Now that you’re all set, let’s dive into this Greece road trip itinerary!

Athens

acropolis athens monumental ancient parthenon, seen behind green trees and athens skyline on a clear day.

The Acropolis photographed by Leonhard Niederwimmer

This road trip kicks off in what could very well be the most fascinating city in this part of Europe. Welcome to Athens!

For maximum convenience, Rentalmoose recommends picking up your rental car at Athens International Airport. Browse through car rental options that support drop-off at another location via Rentalmoose.

Don’t forget to take check-in photos of the car to qualify for a 50% rebate from the excess coverage fee.

Rentalmoose insider tip: Athens is infamous for its notorious traffic jams. Get around the city using public transport and rent your car once you’re ready to leave town.

What can’t you miss in Athens?

Parthenon- the Acropolis

The Parthenon is an absolute must-see in Athens, no matter whether you are into history or not. The elevated rocky hill in the heart of Athens is home to the Parthenon as well as other ancient monuments that make up the famous Acropolis.

Wear comfortable shoes: the Acropolis is on a hilltop and the only way to reach it is by hiking! The walk up to the ruins takes around 15 minutes.

As the Acropolis is undoubtedly the main highlight for tourists in Athens, be sure to book your tickets in advance. Check the official website for details. 

Tickets for the Acropolis cost 20 EUR per person. During the winter (November to the end of March) ticket prices are reduced to 10 EUR. 

If you’re planning to visit other ancient sites, consider purchasing a combined ticket that grants you entrance to the Acropolis, as well as the Ancient Agora, the Roman Agora, Kerameikos, and more. A combined ticket costs 30 EUR and can be purchased online. Keep in mind that you have to visit all of the sites within 5 days, otherwise the ticket expires.

Rentalmoose tip: The Acropolis can get extremely crowded, especially on weekends. Visit the monuments during the week, or near the closing time, to avoid hordes of tourists.

Acropolis Museum

Once you’ve seen the famous Acropolis, make your way to the museum practically across the street.

Inside, you will find loads of precious artifacts dating back to prehistoric times. The Acropolis Museum features a collection of ancient art and items housed in a stunning contemporary building.

Travelers can also visit the archeological excavation area right beneath the museum!

The museum is open all week from 8 AM during the summer season. Admission costs 10 EUR per person. Purchase your tickets online to skip the queue.

UPDATE: As of April 2021, the Acropolis Museum remains closed until further notice. Refer to the official website for more details.

Monastiraki Flea Market

Feel the authentic city vibe as you wander around the streets of the Monastiraki district, one of the oldest parts of Athens. Begin your journey at the picturesque main square, right next to the Monastiraki metro station.

Make sure to step inside the vibrant Monastiraki Flea Market. Shopping freaks will be happy to hear that you can find pretty much anything here! Vendors are selling a variety of goods ranging from clothes to regional delicacies, jewelry, or souvenirs.

An outdoor market in Athens. Photo by Kirkandmimi.

Exploring the narrow streets of Monastiraki will surely wear you out, head up to one of the iconic rooftop bars!

Couleur Locale Athens

Couleur Locale is one of the best rooftop bars/restaurants in Monastiraki, perhaps even in all of Athens. Located just by the main square, the bar offers unbeatable views of Athens and the Acropolis. It’s a perfect backdrop for photos, remember to post your best photos online #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a free rental car!

Guests can enjoy a tasty lunch, an aromatic cocktail once dusk falls, or a refreshing coffee in the afternoon. Click here for the menu.

What are the best hotels in Athens?

Four Seasons Astir Palace

Luxury travelers should consider checking in at the Four Seasons Astir Palace, a serene beachside getaway just half an hour away from the heart of Athens. The prestigious property features three private beaches, eight onsite restaurants, a world-class spa as well as upscale shopping, bars, and lounges. Greece’s first Four Seasons hotel really is a fabulous one.

Plaka Hotel

If you want to stay in the lively heart of Monastiraki, spend the night at the Plaka Hotel. This 3-star property features 67 modern rooms and suites. After a busy day of exploration, guests can sip on a drink at the rooftop terrace while admiring panoramic views of the Acropolis.

Next on your road trip in Greece: Delphi, 2 hours 20 minutes 7.15 EUR highway toll

Delphi

Ancient sites in Delphi photographed by Konstantin Arzumanidis

Depart Athens and head northwest for a little over 2 hours until you reach Delphi. As this is not an overnight stop, it’s best to leave Athens early in the morning to explore all of what Delphi has to offer.

Is Delphi worth visiting?

Most certainly! The stunning ancient ruins are worth a quick peek at the very least. If you have the extra time, drop by the museum and visit the modern town of Delphi. Spend a few hours in Delphi before continuing on to Volos.

The ancient ruins & the museum

Unarguably, the main highlights of Delphi are the fascinating ruins and archeological sites. Hike around the mountains and explore the Temple of Apollo, the monumental Ancient Theatre, the Stadium, or the Gymnasium where athletes would prepare for the Pythian Games. The sites are open all week from 8 AM to 8 PM.

Rentalmoose insider tip: Get a grasp of the region’s history whilst exploring the ruins of Delphi and download the EasyGuideApp Delphi as your virtual guide. Alternatively, consider booking a traditional guided tour to learn all about these fascinating sites.

Learn even more about the sites and their history at the Delphi Archeological Museum, one of Greece’s most important museums! Open Wednesday-Monday from 8 AM to 8 PM, and between 10 AM and 5 PM on Tuesdays.

Admission tickets cost 12 EUR per adult and 6 EUR per child. The ticket includes entry to the museum as well as the archeological sites. Current prices can be found here.

Taverna Dion

Walking around the sites will surely make you hungry. Before you set off further, follow the main road into the town of Delphi until you reach Taverna Dion, the go-to restaurant in Delphi. The Taverna uses a variety of locally-sourced products to create delicious, regional dishes.

Next on your road trip in Greece: Volos, 2 hours 30 minutes 7.2 EUR Highway Toll

Volos

Landscape of Volos photographed from Mount Pelion by Dimitris Vetsikas.

Follow the spectacular mountain roads, and then make your way to the coastal city of Volos.

What should you see in Volos?

Portaria

Make your way north of Volos and explore the lovely village of Portaria, situated on the steep slopes of Mount Pelion. The village is full of scenic mansions, spectacular viewpoints, and cozy restaurants perfect for dinner. 

You can stretch your legs as you hike around the Centaurs’ Path, or wander around the Spring of Manas. Alternatively, you can visit one of the other 20 villages scattered around Mount Pelion.

Mylopotamos Beach

After exploring the villages around Mount Pelion, head further east until you reach the dreamy Mylopotamos Beach. The white-pebble beach features crystal-clear water, absolutely perfect for a dip, and pristine views of the surrounding cliffs. It is regarded as one of the best beaches in all of mainland Greece, yet remains unspoiled by over-tourism.

Athanasakio Archeological Museum of Volos

History freaks can visit the Athanasakio Archeological Museum of Volos. Apart from various fascinating exhibits from the Neolithic period, guests can also find entire burials that have been incorporated in the exhibition, making for an unforgettable experience.

Open all week except Tuesdays from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Tickets are priced at 4 Euros per adult and 2 Euros for a reduced ticket.

Isalos Beach Club

Admire the sunset while enjoying tasty dinner at the Isalos Beach Club, Volos’ best beach club, and overall trendy hangout. It certainly isn’t the cheapest place to eat or drink in Volos, but the cool experience is well worth it. 

Isalos Beach Club is open all week from 9 AM till 3 AM, and nonstop on weekends.

What are the best places to stay in Volos?

Domotel Xenia Volos

Luxury seekers should most definitely consider checking in at the 5-star Domotel Xenia Volos. This beachfront property features modern rooms with sea views, a spa and wellness center, a beach, and a lively rooftop bar. Not to mention the location near the heart of Volos.

Despotiko

Would you rather stay a bit further from the busy city? Book a room at the stylish Despotiko up in Portaria. This 4-star property located in a chic mansion features stylish decor and an outdoor pool. 

A private car park is available at no extra charge.

Next on your road trip in Greece: Meteora, 1 hour 50 minutes 11.8 EUR Highway toll

Meteora

Meteora’s out-of-this-world scenery photographed by Ioannis Ioannidis

After a day in the coastal town of Volos, it is time to head back inland. A 2-hour drive will take you to Meteora, one of the highlights of mainland Greece.

Is Meteora worth a visit?

Meteora is, without a doubt, worth visiting! Six monasteries situated atop spectacular natural pillars make an impressive sight to say the least. It is no surprise that the monasteries are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The hanging monasteries of Meteora

An absolute must when in Meteora is visiting the clifftop monasteries. Back in the day, they were nearly impossible to access as the monks who spent their time here hardly had any visitors. Today, bridges and stairs have been constructed to make it easier for tourists.

Spectacular views in Meteora photographed by Ioannis Ioannidis

The Great Meteoron Monastery

Great Meteoron Monastery is the most popular one, its history dates back to the 14th century making it the oldest and largest of the six. The Great Meteoron Monastery began the monasticism in the area, it is worth at least a quick peek. 

The hike up the hill takes around 40 minutes one way. The monastery is open between 9 AM and 3 PM. Closed on Tuesdays.

Rentalmoose insider tip: The monasteries tend to get crowded during peak season. It’s best to visit them in the morning or right before the closing time.

Varlaam Monastery

Varlaam Monastery is the second biggest monastery in Meteora, located near the Great Meteoron Monastery. It was founded around 1350 by a monk named Varlaam, who managed to climb the cliff. 

Varlaam monastery is open between 9 AM and 4 PM and remains closed on Tuesdays.

St. Stephen’s Monastery

St. Stephen’s Monastery is perfect for the slightly lazier travelers, as it is the easiest one to access. Forget long hikes and steps, all you have to do is cross one single bridge. Nonetheless, this monastery is just as impressive as the other five. 

St. Stephen’s Monastery is open between 9 AM and 1:30 PM, then 3:30 PM until 5:30 PM. Closed on Mondays. You can check the opening hours and closures of all six monasteries here.

If you have the extra time, be sure to visit the other three monasteries. In that case, consider staying the night in Meteora before departing further.

Next on your road trip in Greece: Litochoro, 2 hours 5.7 EUR Toll

Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus photographed by Ioannis Ioannidis.

A visit to mainland Greece couldn’t possibly be complete without stopping by the monumental Mount Olympus, the tallest mountain in Greece, and one of the country’s national treasures. The mountain is often portrayed in Greek mythology, and now it’s your chance to visit it!

Can you hike Mount Olympus?

Mount Olympus is a well-known destination among trekkers and mountaineers, it is clear to see why. The trailhead begins in the town of Litochoro, the entire trek to the summit is difficult and takes multiple days to complete. There are easier trails for less-experienced tourists, too. 

Check out Olympus Paths for a complete guide to trekking in Mount Olympus, or book a guided tour with them.

Litochoro

Litochoro is a small town at the foot of Mount Olympus, it serves as a base for mountaineers and tourists who are planning to hike to the summit of the mountain. There is a variety of restaurants, shops, accommodation options, and car parks around the town.

St. Dionysios Monastery

When in Litochoro, be sure to visit the St. Dionysios Monastery. Its history dates back to the 1500s. The original monastery was destroyed during WW2 and is currently being restored to bring the monument back to its former glory. It is well worth a visit when in Litochoro, the monastery makes a perfect backdrop for photography.

The monastery can be accessed free of charge. Remember to dress and act appropriately when visiting places of worship.

Check the directions here.

Erato Wine Restaurant

What better way to end a day of hiking than with a delicious Greek dinner? In the evening, make your way to Erato Wine Restaurant, one of the favorite eateries among locals and tourists in Litochoro. The terrific mountain view is worth mentioning, too.

Rentalmoose insider tip: You can’t go wrong with Gyros or locally-sourced grilled meats. The restaurant can get crowded on weekends, be sure to book your table prior to your visit.

The restaurant is open from noon until midnight on weekdays and from 9 AM until midnight on weekends.

Where to stay near Mount Olympus?

Cavo Olympo

Sophisticated travelers will enjoy spending the night at the 5-star Cavo Olympo. The prestigious seafront hotel features chic rooms and suites situated in a beautiful resort, a spa and wellness center, and an outdoor pool.

Cavo Olympo is only for adults, children are not permitted within the hotel.

Mythic Valley

Traveling on a slightly tighter budget? Consider booking a room at the 3-star Mythic Valley, right in the heart of Litochoro. This property offers stylish rooms with free wi-fi and a complimentary breakfast buffet, all at a price that doesn’t break the bank. 

Next on your road trip in Greece: Vergina, 1 hour

Vergina

The Royal Tombs in Vergina photographed by DocWoKav/Wikimedia Commons.

This optional leg of the journey requires a small detour on your way to Thessaloniki. The detour adds around 40 minutes extra to the total driving time, it is well worth it for history freaks.

What can you do in Vergina?

Vergina is a small village around an hour away from the center of Thessaloniki. At first, it may not look particularly interesting. The village, however, is home to one of the most important archeological sites in Greece.

Museum of The Royal Tombs of Aigai

The Royal Tombs of Aigai are an absolute must-see for any history buff visiting mainland Greece. The somewhat remote location of Vergina makes it often overlooked by international tourists, don’t make the same mistake! The museum is situated atop underground tombs. Royal tombs, to be precise. What makes the tombs of Aigai royal?

The Royal Tombs of Aigai are home to Phillip II or the Phillip of Macedon. Primarily known as the father of Alexander the Great, one of the most famous figures of the ancient world. Guests can also see the (apparent) tomb of Alexander’s child, Alexander IV, as well as a collection of precious artifacts found during the excavation. The experience is truly unforgettable.

Admission tickets to the museum and archeological sites cost 12 EUR per adult and 6 EUR per child. If you want to explore the local museums further, purchase a combined ticket for 15 EUR. Guided tours are available, it’s best to book one ahead of your visit.

The museum is open all week until 8 PM.

Next on your road trip in Greece: Thessaloniki, 55 minutes 1.2 EUR Toll

Thessaloniki

Photography by Emilia Babalau-Maghiar.

The final leg of the journey is a 70-km drive east towards Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece and the vibrant heart of this part of the country.

Is Thessaloniki worth visiting?

Most definitely! Thessaloniki is a diverse, fascinating city. Deep-rooted in history, full of waterfront bars, and a trendy, coastal vibe, Thessaloniki is the perfect place to visit during your road trip around mainland Greece.

White Tower of Thessaloniki

No visit to Thessaloniki could be complete without a photo by the White Tower of Thessaloniki

The waterfront landmark is located within walking distance of other attractions (Ladadika District and Tsimiski Street), that’s why Rentalmoose recommends parking your rental car at a car park near the White Tower for the day. Finding an on-street parking spot is nearly impossible during peak season, a private car park costs around 2 EUR per hour.

After you get your photo with the famous White Tower (remember to post it online using #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a free rental car!), you can enter the museum that spans across 6 floors of the tower. Then, make your way to the viewing terrace and enjoy panoramic views of the city.

The tower is open all week from 8 AM to 8 PM. Admission costs 8 EUR per adult and 4 EUR per reduced ticket.

Ladadika District

Be sure to go for a stroll around the vibrant Ladadika District in the very heart of Thessaloniki. Ladadika is the go-to spot for nightlife, entertainment, and dining near the sea. Back when Thessaloniki was ruled by the Ottomans, Ladadika was a large market. Today, the market is gone and the traditional buildings have been turned into charming bars and restaurants.

Ouzou Melathron

Out of all the delicious eateries and taverns around Ladadika, Ouzou Melathron has got to be one of the best ones. Try some of the best Greek cuisine accompanied by a glass of aromatic Ouzou (if you’re not the driver, of course) while dining outdoors on the vivid street.

Open all week between 1 PM and 1 AM.

Tsimiski Street

Tsimiski Street is Thessaloniki’s main shopping avenue. The 1.2 kilometer-long street is lined with high-end boutiques, making it perfect for shopping freaks. You can also catch a movie at the multiplex cinema located in the Plateia shopping mall or go for a coffee at a waterfront cafe nearby. 

Rentalmoose insider tip: If you can’t find a parking spot near Tsimiski Avenue, head to Plateia’s shopping mall car park and leave your rental car there.

Where are the best beaches near Thessaloniki?

Halkidiki Peninsula

Explore some of the best sandy beaches in mainland Greece when you visit the Halkidiki Peninsula just a drive away from the city. There are over 50 pristine beaches waiting for you! Halkidiki Peninsula is perfect for a day trip from the city.

Armenistis Beach

Armenistis Beach is perfect for active beachgoers and well worth the 3-hour drive from Thessaloniki. Crystal-clear waters, soft sands, and beautiful surrounding areas are guaranteed. There are lots of amenities, including sunbeds and umbrellas and watersport activities at your disposal.

Continue reading if you’d rather visit a beach near Thessaloniki.

Agia Triada Beach

Agia Triada Beach is a long beach just 20km away from the center of Thessaloniki. The beach features crystal waters and lots of activities, bars and waterfront restaurants. Despite its attractiveness, the beach remains calm for the majority of the season.

What are the best hotels in Thessaloniki?

The Met Hotel

Luxury seekers should check-in at the 5-star Met Hotel. The property is conveniently located in Thessaloniki’s New Port and offers modern decor, a spa, and a magnificent rooftop pool that overlooks the city.

Plaza Hotel

Are you traveling on a tighter budget? Consider spending the night at the Plaza Hotel, a stylish 3-star hotel located near the heart of Thessaloniki. The property features modern, chic rooms, suites with a sea view, delicious breakfast, and a great location, all at a reasonable price.

Drop-off

For maximum convenience, drop off your rental car directly at Thessaloniki Airport “Makedonia” when leaving Greece. Browse through car rental options that support airport drop-off and drop-off at another location via Rentalmoose.

Don’t forget to book your rental car via Rentalmoose for your next road trip in Greece. On our platform, you can find the top rental companies at the best price, along with tens of curated travel guides around the globe. Get your car from Rentalmoose!

We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

Post your pictures from your next road trip in Greece online using #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

The best Baltic Road Trip Itinerary for the Summer

The best Baltic road trip for the summer

Whenever you think of a summer getaway in Europe, you probably think of Italy, Cote D’Azur, or the Turkish Riviera. This summer, spice things up and go on a road trip around the underrated Baltics! This travel guide will help you plan your ultimate road trip around Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (Click the red pins for directions):

Tallinn to Haapsalu- 100 kilometers (60 miles) 📍

Haapsalu to Parnu- 110 kilometers (65 miles) 📍

Parnu to Riga- 180 kilometers (110 miles) 📍

Riga to Jurmala- 40 kilometers (25 miles) 📍

Jurmala to Klaipeda- 255 kilometers (160 miles) 📍

Klaipeda to Kaunas- 215 kilometers (135 miles) 📍

Kaunas to Vilnius- 100 kilometers (60 miles) 📍

1000 kilometers (600 miles) in total

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

The overall length of this road trip is a little over 1000 kilometers. Rentalmoose recommends dedicating at least 6 days (5 overnight stops) for this adventure at the very least.

To truly experience the best of what each destination has to offer, spend at least 10 days on the road.

What is the best time to visit the Baltics?

The best time to visit Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is definitely during the Summer (June-August) or late Spring (from May).

The tourist season peaks during the Summer break, which is from late June till the end of August. Expect some spots to get crowded, and hotel prices to be higher than off-season.

You can pick up your rental car directly as you arrive in Tallinn, and drop it off in Vilnius before leaving.

Browse through car rental options that support airport pick-up and drop-off at another location via Rentalmoose. Add excess coverage, just in case.

When picking up your rental car, use the Rentalmoose app to take check-in photos of the condition of the vehicle.

If you take check-in photos of the car, you can qualify for a 50% rebate from the excess coverage fee.

Trip Extensions

Explore the Baltics even further with these two road trip extensions, curated by Rentalmoose.

The Manors of Estonia

Did you know that Estonia has over 400 beautiful manors and castles? Many of them have been turned into unique hotels, restaurants, or museums.

Drive across Estonia and visit the best manors around the country. Click here for the guide.

Rental Moose mascot posing with the facade of Kau Manor in Estonia.

Poland

Once you’re in Vilnius, Poland is just a few hours away. Scenic natural beauty, sandy beaches and vibrant cities await.

Plan your Polish getaway with this Rentalmoose travel guide to Poland.

Can tourists drive in the Baltics?

Definitely! Keep in mind that the road regulations may slightly vary depending on the country you’re in.

Estonia

Estonia – the country where Rentalmoose, Skype, and TransferWise all come from – accepts most of the driving licenses in the world. International Driving Permits (click to learn all about them) are not mandatory when driving in Estonia.

Latvia

Tourists from most countries, including EU-citizens and Americans, can use their domestic license to drive in Latvia. If you’re unsure, contact your local government office, or get an IDP.

Lithuania

You can use your domestic driving license in Lithuania as long as it has a photo. If not, you need to have a photo ID along with the driver’s license. International Driving Permits are not mandatory.

All three nations have right-hand side traffic.

Now that you’re all set, let’s dive into your Baltic road trip!

Tallinn

Tallinn old town, vibrant square full of outdoor restaurants and tourists wandering around. Large medieval cathedral in the background and traditional architecture.

Tallinn’s old town photographed by Erkko Vuorensola.

Welcome to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia and the birthplace of Rentalmoose! For maximum convenience, pick up your rental car directly from the airport and explore this vibrant city.

What are the best places to see in Tallinn?

The Old Town

While you’re in town, be sure to visit Tallinn’s famous old town. It’s one of the best-preserved medieval cities in this part of Europe, hence it’s a highlight for practically all tourists visiting this city. Here are some of the best attractions in the old town.

Raekoja Plats

The heart of the old town, the Town Hall Square, is certainly worth a stroll. Step inside one of the numerous cafes and enjoy the medieval architecture. Visiting in winter? Be sure to attend the magical Christmas market!

Kohtuotsa Viewing Point

Take in the best view of the city from the Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform. Walk up the hill and enjoy the panoramic views. The city’s skyline makes for a perfect backdrop for photos.

Remember to post your best photos online using #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a free rental car!

Admission to the viewing platform is free of charge.

If you have the extra time, visit the Town Hall Pharmacy and St Olav’s Church.

Balti Jaam Market

Satisfy your shopping needs at the Balti Jaam Market, Tallinn’s go-to market. You can find nearly everything there, ranging from clothing to fresh produce and delicious street food.

The market is open Monday to Saturday from 9 AM to 7 PM and from 9 AM to 5 PM on Sundays.

Noa Chef’s Hall

Getting hungry? Book a table at Noa Chef’s Hall, Tallinn’s exquisite fine-dining restaurant. Enjoy a selection of delicious dishes from their wine-tasting menu paired with aromatic wine all while looking at the Bay of Tallinn.

As this top-rated restaurant can get crowded, be sure to book ahead of your visit. Tables can be booked via Noa Chef’s Hall’s website.

Restaurant Moon

Traveling on a tighter budget?

Give Restaurant Moon a shot, it’s one of the best places in town where you can find modern Russian cuisine. As this is one of the top picks in town, be sure to book a table in advance.

Open from noon to 11 PM Monday to Saturday, and between 1 and 9 PM on Sundays. 

Looking for more attractions in Tallinn? Check out our travel guide through Estonia’s castles and manors to find more fun things to do in town!

What are the best hotels in Tallinn?

Hotels in the Old Town

Sophisticated travelers can choose from a variety of high-end hotels in Tallinn. Some of the Rentalmoose favorites include The 3 Sisters Boutique Hotel, Schlössle, or Hotel Telegraaf.

Hotels in the City Center

If you’d rather stay in the city center, consider booking a room at the Swissotel or Hilton. Both of them are conveniently located in the heart of Tallinn!

Radisson Blu Tallinn, one of our favorite properties in town, is currently closed. The hotel is expected to re-open in Q1 2022.

Next on your Baltic road trip: Haapsalu, 1 hour 20 minutes

Haapsalu

haapsalu cute white buildings with red roofs, seen from haapsalu castle. City view, surrounded by trees and baltic sea in the background.

View from the top of the castle in Haapsalu photographed by Tiia Monto.

Is Haapsalu worth visiting?

For sure! This charming town was once the go-to vacation getaway for the Russian aristocracy. Today, the town is known for its beautiful promenade, traditional streets, great restaurants and a picturesque railway station.

Haapsalu Promenade

Stroll down the waterfront promenade in Haapsalu. Step inside the Old Haapsalu Town Hall where you can learn more about the region’s history. Tickets cost 4 Euros per person, open until 5 PM between Wednesday and Sunday.

After a visit to the museum, enjoy delicious lunch at Wiigi Kohvik. This restaurant, located along the promenade, offers tasty desserts, colorful drinks, and affordable meals, enjoy them with a panoramic view of the sea.

Haapsalu Castle

Later, head inland and wander around the narrow streets of the cute town of Haapsalu. Be sure to visit the Haapsalu Castle. Guests can climb the top of the castle to get the best views of this town! Open daily between 10 AM and 6 PM.

Next on your Baltic road trip: Pärnu, 1 hour 20 minutes

Pärnu

aerial view of parnu. waterfront buildings and parks, bridge connecting to mainland. sunset in estonia.

Aerial view of Pärnu, shot by Kristian Pikner

What can you do in Parnu?

Parnu Beach

Be sure to visit the sandy Parnu Beach, a true highlight of this Estonian town. Located just 15 minutes away from the city center, the large sandy beach offers everything a beachgoer needs: calm sea, white sand, surfing equipment rentals, and stalls that sell snacks and refreshments. 

Tervise Paradiis Spa & Water Park

Traveling with kids? Visit the Tervise Paradiis Hotel, an action-packed property in Parnu. Thrill-seekers can spend their day at the water park (admission starts at 18 Euros per adult). Alternatively, you can relax a the spa or go for lunch in the hotel restaurant.

What are the best places to eat in Parnu?

Superlsaksad

Once you get hungry, consider heading to Supelsaksad. Although the restaurant serves great regional food, they are famous for their freshly-prepared cakes and desserts. Open until 10 PM on weekdays and 11 PM on weekends.

Rentalmoose order tip: Their lamb salad is to die for!

If you’d rather go to a different place, consider booking a table at Villa Ammende, Villa Wesset, or Mon Ami.

Which hotel should you book in Parnu?

Luxurious hotels

Sophisticated guests will find themselves at home at the classy Villa Ammende. Would you rather stay at a beachfront hotel? Take a look at the Hedon Spa. if you haven’t fallen in love with these two hotels, book a room at Rosenplanter

Budget-friendly hotels

Would you rather stay at a more affordable hotel? Consider checking into the beachfront Rannahotell, Strand Spa & Conference Hotel, or the Estonia Medical Spa.

Next on your Baltic road trip: Riga, 4 hours 30 minutes

Riga

Medieval buildings in the heart of the old town of Riga, Latvia. Panoramic view of riga's old town from above on a sunny day in the Baltics.

The heart of Riga photographed by the talented Ecksplorer.

After a four and a half hour drive from Parnu, you will arrive in the capital city of Latvia. Welcome to Riga!

What to see in Riga?

Old Town

When in Riga, make sure to visit the picturesque old town. A quick look around will be enough to realize why people often call Riga “Paris of the North”. Soak in the vibe from one of the vibrant cafes or wander around and admire the architecture.

House of The Black Heads

Step inside the House of The Black Heads, a famous museum and venue for countless exhibitions and events. Look at the building’s facade or step inside and follow the trails of history along the decorative rooms and chambers. Open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM.

St. Peter’s Church

You can’t miss the monumental St. Peter’s Church in the heart of Riga’s old town. There are regular concerts at the church, be sure to check the official website for the schedule!

Open daily until 7 PM.

Riga Central Market

Rentalmoose loves heading to local markets in cities around the world. Riga is no different, the Central Market is actually Europe’s biggest market! 

Riga Central Market is so iconic that it has earned itself a spot as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the most important places in all of Latvia, and a must-see for tourists.

Stroll around the bazaar and check out the vendors who sell all kinds of goods and souvenirs. Open all week between 7 AM and 6 PM. 

Portofino

Take a break from regional cuisine and head for lunch to Portofino, the best Italian restaurant in Riga. Choose from a variety of Italian dishes, including fresh oysters, aromatic pizza, or vegan alternatives. 

Rentalmoose insider tip: As this is one of the most popular eateries in Riga, booking in advance is recommended.

Open 7 days a week from noon until 11 PM.

What is the best hotel in Riga?

Pullman Riga Old Town

If you’re looking for the most exquisite and luxurious stay in Riga, check-in at the Pullman. This prestigious 5-star property features spacious rooms and suites, delicious cuisine at the restaurant, and lots of amenities.

Tallink hotel

Traveling on a tighter budget doesn’t necessarily mean having to stay at bad hotels. In fact, Tallink Hotel is one of the best-rated hotels in Riga, yet the room prices are beyond reasonable. 

Art freaks take note: The Latvian National Museum of Art is a short 15-minute walk from the hotel!

Next on your Baltic road trip: Jurmala, 40 minutes

Jurmala

jurmala sunset at beach. Beautiful orange sky reflects in the surface of the baltic sea, sandy beach and one person standing in the water in the distance.

Sunset at Jurmala Beach photographed by Egor-220.

Jurmala is a scenic resort town just half an hour away from Riga. Head here on your way to Klaipeda, or on a separate day trip from Riga. Either way, Jurmala is worth a visit!

Why should you visit Jurmala?

Jurmala Beach

Jurmala is best known for its long, vibrant Jurmala Beach. You definitely have to visit it during your road trip!

Sunbathe on the golden sand, go for a dip in the Baltic Sea, or come in the evening and attend one of the legendary parties. Speaking of parties, check out this next location.

Legend Restaurant & Beach Club

If you’re a fan of luxurious beach clubs, be sure to visit Legend when in Jurmala. Once you’re inside, you might feel like you’ve entered Nikki Beach or a vivid beach club in Miami.

Legend features a top-rated restaurant with seafront dining, a heated outdoor pool, and a selection of drinks as well as shisha.

Enjoying the vibe at Legend does come at a high price, though. Sunbeds start at 30 euros, while poolside beds cost 120 euros.

Faces

When you’re hungry, head into the city and go for lunch or dinner at Faces. This trendy eatery is one of the best spots in town to enjoy fresh seafood. Great service and an unforgettable experience are guaranteed!

Open all week until 11 PM. 

Next on your Baltic road trip: Klaipeda, 3 hours 20 minutes

Klaipeda

white church in klaipeda, lithuania. beautiful architecture, church is surrounded by green grass and trees lurking into the frame. sunny day.

Photography by Drakonas

After you leave Jurmala, it’s time to enter the next country on this road trip. Say hello to Lithuania! Your first stop here is the town of Klaipeda.

What are the top attractions in Klaipeda?

Lithuanian Sea Museum

Admire and learn about all kinds of marine life when you visit the Lithuanian Sea Museum. The museum consists of different aquariums, exhibitions, and a dolphinarium. You can even book your own individual session with the dolphins!

Admission tickets start at 7 euros per adult and 3.5 euros per child. Purchase your tickets online to save time.

Curonian Spit

Spend a day out in nature when you visit the Curonian Spit National Park. The impressive sandy peninsula is almost 100 kilometers long in total, and it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its natural beauty.

Ferry

The easiest way to get to the park is via a ferry from Klaipeda to Smiltyne. The ride only takes a few minutes, click here for the ferry schedule.

Note that there are two different ferry terminals in Klaipeda. The old terminal, located in the city center, is just for travelers on foot and bicycles. The new ferry terminal, located further from the city center, is for cars as well as travelers on foot, bicycles, trucks, and buses.

Klaipeda ferry service is the best way to get to the Curonian Spit. Ferry boat seen from above, leaving the old ferry port in the center of Klaipeda

Once on the Spit, drive down the road (there is only one road that can be accessed by car, bicycle, or on foot) and observe as the sand dunes and forests roll by. You can even cross into Russia, as long as you are not on foot.

Keep in mind that there is an ecological charge of 20 euros when entering the park.

Klaipeda Castle

Return back to city life and visit the monumental Klaipeda Castle. This Teutonic castle’s history dates back all the way to the 1200s, making it a true gem for history fans. Step inside the chambers and enjoy a trip back in time as you wander around the museum.

Admission costs below 2 euros per adult, guided tours are available at an extra cost.

What are the best hotels in Klaipeda?

Michaelson Boutique Hotel

If you’re looking for a hotel right opposite the Klaipeda Castle, look no further than the Michaelson Boutique Hotel. The elegant property offers spacious, stylish rooms, as well as an onsite restaurant with delicious food. The perfect location within the old town and right opposite the castle is the main highlight, of course.

Amberton Hotel Klaipeda

A bit of luxury doesn’t always have to come at a high price. In Klaipeda, budget travelers can treat themselves and stay at the 4-star Amberton Hotel Klaipeda. The hotel features modern rooms, an outdoor pool, a spa, and a fitness center!

Next on your Baltic road trip: Kaunas, 2 hours 10 minutes

Kaunas

old town kaunas, traditional architecture and large brick church in the middle of the frame. tourists walking around on this sunny day in lithuania

Photography by Makalu.

What can’t you miss in Kaunas?

Laisves Avenue

When in Kaunas, you absolutely can’t miss strolling down Laisves Avenue. The walking street runs through the heart of the city, connecting the old and new districts together. 

The total length is a little over 1.5 kilometers long, and there are countless cafes and restaurants you can stop at to recharge your batteries.

Devil’s Museum

Devil’s Museum is exactly as fascinating as the name suggests. The museum consists of a collection of sculptures portraying devils around the world. See how different cultures picture the eerie devil, be sure to photograph the artifacts.

Open 7 days a week from 11 AM. Admission is below 4 euros per person.

Numan

For lunch, consider heading to Numan, one of the trendiest places to eat in Kaunas. The delicious beautifully-presented meals are served in a classy, yet casual setting. 

Rentalmoose order tip: After lunch, be sure to try one of the sweet desserts to complete the experience. Then, it’s time to hit the road one more time.

Vilnius

the skyline of vilnius across the river. aerial view, some modern skyscrapers and traditional buildings provide a diverse architectural style. sunny day with some clouds in the distance.

Vilnius’ skyline photographed by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke

This road trip (if you don’t choose to extend it) finishes here, in the capital of Lithuania. Welcome to stunning Vilnius!

Is Vilnius worth visiting?

Of course! Vilnius is one of the most history-packed cities in this part of Europe, and it is most certainly worth spending at least a day here.

Old Town

When walking through the Old Town in Vilnius, you will soon realize that it is hard to define one architectural style of this well-preserved district. You’ll pass by Gothic churches, baroque houses and of course, the neoclassical Town Hall and the medieval castle.

Gediminas Castle Tower

For the best views of the area, climb up the Gediminas Castle Tower. Panoramic views offer a great photo opportunity, remember to post your best photos online using #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a free rental car!

Admission to the tower costs 5 euros per adult, there are also museums you can visit directly below the tower.

Museum of Illusions

Challenge your brain when you visit the Museum of Illusions. All sorts of fascinating illusions, inventions, and gadgets are scattered around the 400 sqm museum, making it perfect for a trip with kids.

Entry tickets cost 11 euros per adult and 9 euros per child. Children below 7 enter free of charge!

Amandus

Head to Amandus for the ultimate gourmet experience in Vilnius. The tasting menu will take you on a journey across a variety of flavors, and can be paired with aromatic wine. Keep in mind that the tasting dinner has to be booked in advance, check out their website for more details.

Amandus is open Tuesday to Saturday between 7 PM and 10 PM for dinner service.

What is the best place to stay in Vilnius?

Grand Hotel Kempinski

Sophisticated travelers don’t have to leave the old town when picking their hotel. Spend the night at the Grand Hotel Kempinski, a luxurious 5-star hotel right in the very heart of Vilnius. Relax at the swimming pool or spend your evening at the onsite bar. As expected, it isn’t the cheapest hotel in Vilnius.

Esperanza Resort

Stay in a retreat just out of Vilnius when you check-in at the Esperanza Resort. The 5-star property features a stunning lakeside location with a private beach, stylish decor, a pool, a spa and wellness center, and more. Vilnius and its old town are just 40 kilometers away.

Drop-off

When you’re ready to head back home, simply drop your rental car off directly at Vilnius International Airport. Browse through rental car options that support airport drop-off via Rentalmoose.

Win a free rental car

Whether you’re chilling at the beach club in Jurmala or wandering the streets of the old town in Vilnius, be sure to take lots of photos during your Baltic road trip.

Post the best photos from your Baltic road trip online using #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge!

red rocks canyon landscape and desert in foreground at arches near moab in utah usa

The Best Utah National Parks Road Trip Itinerary

Discover the Natural Beauty of Utah on a road trip across the state’s most popular National and State parks.

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Salt Lake City to Moab- 230 miles (370km) 📍  

Moab to Goblin Valley- 100 miles (160km)📍 

Goblin Valley to Capitol Reef- 60 miles (100km) 📍

Capitol Reef to Escalante- 70 miles (110km) 📍

Escalante to Bryce Canyon- 50 miles (80km) 📍

Bryce Canyon to Zion- 70 miles (110km) 📍

Zion to Las Vegas- 160 miles (260km) 📍

740 miles (1190km) in total

Tags: Travel guide, Drop-off at another location, Scenic Driving

Witness some of the most spectacular landscapes on the planet. Follow the trails along red rocks, squeeze between narrow canyon slots, and hike in a river. This adventure-packed guide will take you on an epic Utah road trip through the best of what this state has to offer, before finishing off in Las Vegas.

This travel guide takes you on a road trip starting in Salt Lake City in the northern part of Utah. Then, head south to Moab and explore Canyonlands, Dead Horse Point, and Arches National Park, where you can make the most out of a 4×4 car.

Drive down the Scenic Byway 12, hike in the spooky canyon slots in Escalante, take in the otherwordly view at Bryce Canyon National Park and continue along the Scenic Drive in Zion National Park, all before a grand finish in Las Vegas over in Nevada.

Planning- Before You Leave

Before setting off on your Utah National Parks road trip, be sure to read through the information below.

Which National Parks are in Utah?

“The Big 5” in Utah refers to the state’s 5 national parks, all of which are covered during this road trip. These are the National Parks in Utah:

  • Arches National Park
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Capitol Reef National Park
  • Zion National Park

What’s more, the following state parks and monuments are also included in this road trip itinerary in Utah.

  • Dead Horse Point State Park
  • Goblin Valley State Park
  • Escalante Petrified Forest
  • Grand Staircase National Monument

All of the parks above are covered in this Utah road trip itinerary!

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

The total distance of this Utah road trip is below 750 miles. Rentalmoose recommends dedicating at least 5 days for this road trip.

Consider that you will be stopping at viewpoints and overlooks a lot, especially on the Scenic Byway 12 and the Scenic Drive in Zion National Park.

In order to be able to see each spot thoroughly, spend a few extra nights in Moab, and add an overnight stop in Zion National Park.

When is the best time to visit Utah?

The best time to visit Utah is between April and May or September and October. That’s when the weather is pleasant, attracting many tourists in the National Parks.

If you choose to visit in winter, keep in mind that some of the parks may be closed and the roads may not be accessible.

On the other hand, the heat does get unbearable in the peak of summer.

Road trip extensions

Your American adventure doesn’t have to end in Las Vegas!

Why not extend the trip to sunny California? Drive down the Big Sur, see the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco and more! Click here for our California road trip itinerary, you don’t want to miss it!

You can also choose to extend the trip to see spectacular natural beauty in Nevada. Visit Death Valley National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Great Basin National Park during our Nevada road trip. Click here for the road trip itinerary to Nevada.

Salt Lake City is just a few hours away from Yellowstone National Park over in Wyoming. Click here for our road trip guide to Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and extend your trip to Wyoming.

Why should I book a rental car in Utah?

Driving through Utah is an absolute dream for any road trip fanatic. The panoramic landscapes along the scenic routes are simply unbeatable. What’s more, if you rent a 4×4 you can explore some of the world’s finest offroading trails that are otherwise inaccessible.

Remote parts of Utah are best accessed with a private vehicle, not to mention the ability to alter your itinerary without any limits that can only be achieved when traveling by car.

For extra peace of mind during your road trip, Rentalmoose recommends adding excess coverage when booking your rental car. Once you’ve picked up the car, don’t forget to take photos of the vehicle to qualify for a 50% discount from the excess coverage fee.

Can tourists drive in Utah? 

Tourists are allowed to drive in Utah using a foreign driving license as long as they are at least 16 years old, and the license covers the type of vehicle they are driving. It is recommended to get an International Driving Permit if your driving license is not in English. 

Furthermore, some car rental companies may require foreign tourists to obtain an International Driving Permit, it’s best to check the company policy before booking your rental car.

Don’t know how to obtain an International Driving Permit, how much it costs, or what countries require you to have one? Check out this blog post to find out all you need to know about IDPs.

When you begin driving in Utah, you will quickly notice that the locals don’t stick to the speed limit too strictly, mainly around freeways.

Keep in mind that the police can still pull you over, even if you are caught going just a few miles per hour over the limit.

If you do happen to get stopped by the police during your Utah road trip, be sure to stay calm. Put both hands on the steering wheel, avoid sudden movements, and present your license when the officer tells you to do so. 

Driving under influence, or DUI in short, is a serious crime in the US. Police enforce drink-driving related rules very strictly. Do not drink and drive, offenders can even land in prison.

The US has right-hand side traffic.

Now that you’re all set, let’s dive into your Utah road trip itinerary!

Salt Lake City

salt-lake-city-temple-square

Salt Lake City’s Temple Square. Photography by WikiImages.

Welcome to the largest city in the state! Your Utah road trip begins here, for maximum convenience pick up your rental car directly at the Salt Lake City International Airport when you arrive.

Browse through car rental companies that support airport pick-up via Rentalmoose. Once you’ve got your rental car, it’s time to explore the city.

What can you do in Salt Lake City?

Salt Lake City may not be on every traveler’s bucket list, but the town’s fun attractions scattered around the region’s natural beauty and a unique downtown area might just surprise you. 

Temple Square

Be sure to drop by Temple Square, a complex that hosts over 20 attractions related to Christianity right in the heart of the city.

Although the Temple itself is closed for renovation until 2024, the majority of the attractions are still open!

Admire the monumental church, or step inside the Tabernacle where you can attend the weekly choir rehearsals every Thursday night at 7:30 PM.

History fans can visit the Church History Museum, open between 9 AM and 9 PM on weekdays and 10 AM to 6 PM on Saturdays. The museum is closed on Sundays.

The Great Salt Lake

When in Salt Lake City, you can’t skip visiting the Great Salt Lake itself. Drive up to Antelope Island and enter the State Park, where visitors can hike down numerous scenic trails, watch the spectacular lake views or spend the night at one of the secluded campsites.

If you’re looking for a unique way to see the island while getting a bit of exercise, consider renting a bike with Antelope E-Bikes. Apart from bike rentals, the company offers guided cycling tours. Check their website for more information.

Park City

Get your skis on and drive up to Park City, a winter getaway just half an hour away from the city. Park City is home to two major ski resorts lined with slopes for both skiers and snowboarders.

If you’re visiting outside of the winter season, head to the Canyons Golf Course.

Pretty Bird Chicken

When you get hungry, head over to Pretty Bird Chicken in downtown Salt Lake City. The eatery, often considered the best places to eat out in the city, is known for its signature fried chicken.

Rentalmoose order tip: Try the juicy Sando fried chicken sandwich.

What are the best hotels in Salt Lake City?

Spend the night at The Grand America Hotel, an elegant property right in the heart of Salt Lake City. The classy rooms feature retro decor and balconies. Guests can relax at the indoor and outdoor pools, work out at the fitness center or dine at the restaurant.

A car park is available at an extra cost.

Traveling on a tighter budget? Consider checking in at The Carlton Hotel. The charming, historic property is located near the heart of the city. The moderately-priced hotel features cozy rooms and free wifi.

Once you’ve explored Salt Lake City, it’s time to start your car and begin your Utah road trip! The first leg is a 4-hour drive to Moab.

Next: Moab, 3 hours 50 minutes

Moab

moab-arches-national-park-red-rocks-nature-utah

Arches National Park. Photography by Adam Derewecki.

Your Utah National Park road trip begins! Drive southeast from Salt Lake City for roughly 4 hours until you reach Moab, a small town in the south of the state which is home to some of the best national parks in Utah.

What is there to see in Moab?

Moab Museum

To be honest, Moab in itself may not be the most interesting town in the world. If you’re very curious about exploring it, drop by the Moab Museum where you can learn about the region’s local history through a variety of fascinating exhibitions.

The recently renovated museum welcomes visitors all week except Mondays.

Arches National Park

The natural beauty around Moab can’t be missed. Be sure to visit the monumental Arches National Park (photographed above), the park should land on any Utah National Park road trip itinerary.

A 7-day admission fee costs only $30 per vehicle and can be paid either when entering the park or online prior to your visit. Current fees can be checked on the official website.

Dead Horse Point State Park

Don’t miss the breathtaking view from the Dead Horse Point State Park, just 40 miles away from the city. Admire the landscapes that truly look out of this world, observe as the Colorado river twists between the canyons all from 2000 feet above.

Visit the viewing point when the sun sets and illuminates the red rocks in magical colors. Capture the incredible landscapes and post your photos online #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge!

The park is open daily between 6 AM and 10 PM, a 3-day admission pass costs $20 per vehicle as of 2020. Click here to learn more about the fees.

Canyonlands National Park

Another absolute must-see near Moab is the Canyonlands National Park. Inside, make sure to see the Island in the Sky where you can get the best views and hike around scenic trails.

Don’t miss the 100-mile (160km) White Rim Road. This trail is one of the best driving roads in all of the US.

Similarly to the Arches and Dead Horse Point parks, there is a fee to enter the Canyonlands National Park. A 7-day admission pass costs $10 per vehicle and can be paid directly upon entrance.

utah-shafer-canyon-road-canyonlands-trail-4x4-offroad

The White Rim Road in Canyonlands is not for the faint-hearted. Photography by Mike Goad.

Did you rent a 4×4 for this trip?

If you came to Moab in a 4×4 or another kind of off-roader, be sure to explore the backroads and trails around Canyonlands National Park.

Some of the drives are a lot more challenging than others, but spectacular views are guaranteed no matter which trail you pick. You can find more information on offroad driving around Moab right here.

Moab Adventure Center

Adrenaline junkies can explore the area’s fascinating landscapes while getting exercise. You can book a mountain bike tour with Moab Adventure Center and cycle around the Dead Horse Point, Arches National Park or the La Sal Mountains.

Moab Adventure Center also offers river rafting if you would rather get wet. Check their website for details on available activities and pricing information.

Glamping

The region is a popular glamping (luxury camping) destination. If you’re not familiar with glamping, or you’re not a fan of it for any reason, spend the night at Under Canvas Moab to change your mind.

The property features well-equipped tents within Arches National Park, a spectacular secluded setting and complimentary parking. As the name may suggest, glamping does come at a hefty price tag.

Hotel Moab Downtown

Check-in at Hotel Moab Downtown for traditional, budget-friendly accommodation. The 2-star hotel features a retro interior and a heated outdoor pool. Exceptional service and a convenient location with a view of La Sal Mountains make this property one of the top picks in town.

A car park is available at no extra cost.

Next: Goblin Valley State Park, 1 hour 40 minutes

Goblin Valley

goblin-valley-state-park-rock-formations

Goblin Valley State Park photographed by Steppinstars/Pixabay.com

Drive northwest from Moab, then hop on the I-70 and take the exit 149 to get on route 24. Roughly an hour and a half after departing from Moab, you will reach the Goblin Valley State Park.

What can you see in Goblin Valley?

Goblin Valley is one of the most fascinating parks in the country, perhaps even in the entire world. Afterall, where else can you see crazy rock formations like the one in the photo above? Once you’re inside the Goblin Valley State Park, you’ll feel as if you’ve traveled to another planet. It is truly spectacular!

Thousands of unique-looking rocks (nicknamed the goblins) are waiting for you. Drive till the end of the Goblin Valley Rd, drop off your car by the campground and explore on foot. Hikers can stick to the existing trails, such as the Carmen Canyon Trail or the Curtis Bench Trail.

Are you looking for that extra adventurous touch? Get off the official trails and discover the natural beauty on your own.

Did you know that Goblin Valley is one of the best spots for stargazing on the entire planet?

The dark skies are free from light pollution and provide stunning views at night, as long as there are no clouds. Regular stargazing-related events are hosted within the park, such as full moon hikes or telescope tours guided by the park’s rangers. Click here to check out the upcoming events.

You probably noticed a trend among parks in this part of the United States: none of them can be accessed for free. Goblin Valley State Park is no different, a 2-day admission pass costs $15 per vehicle. You can find detailed fees for other types of vehicles and camping fees on the park’s official website.

Goblin Valley State Park is open all week between 6 AM and 10 PM.

Next: Capitol Reef National Park, 1 hour

Capitol Reef

capitol-reef-empty-road-canyons-red-rocks-utah

Photography by Sos8_6 via Pixabay.com

As you set off from Goblin Valley, you will begin the most scenic part of the journey. Route 24 will take you between red rocks, across valleys, and through countless twists and turns constantly overlooking the spectacular landscapes.

Is Capitol Reef worth visiting?

The number of parks in Utah might be overwhelming for some travelers, to the point where you might be wondering whether they are worth seeing or not. Trust me, Capitol Reef National Park is most certainly worth a visit!

As you’ve probably guessed by now, travelers visiting Capitol Reef need to pay an admission fee. A 7-day entry fee to Capitol Reef National Park costs $20 per vehicle. 

The Scenic Drive

Make sure you drive down the Scenic Drive, a picturesque paved road just below 8 miles in length. Don’t get fooled by the seemingly short length and dedicate around an hour and a half for the entire drive, as there are many spots worth visiting along the way.

Keep in mind the Scenic Drive costs an extra $20 on top of the park’s entry fee.

Offroading in Capitol Reef

If you happen to be in Capitol Reef in a 4×4, you can head to some thrilling offroad trails around the park.

One of the most scenic routes is the 68-mile Burr trail. The first section of the road stretches from the town of Boulder and is paved and smooth for nearly 20 miles. The rest of the trail is a natural surface backroad, though most passenger cars should be able to handle it unless there is rain.

Of course, it is highly recommended to drive down the Burr trail in a 4×4.

Are you more experienced in offroading?

If you’re looking for a slightly more challenging trail, consider driving down the Blue Benches. Although nowhere near as extreme as some of the other trails in the park, this 20-mile loop is perfect for intermediate offroad fanatics. There are a couple of river crossings along this trail, though they are only around 1-2 feet deep.

You can find all trails in Capitol Reef National Park using the online trail finder. Sort trails by difficulty, location, and trail type. Did you find a trail that’s worth mentioning in this travel guide? Comment below and let me know!

Capitol Reef will surely keep you busy all day, that’s why Rentalmoose recommends spending the night here before continuing further.

Cougar Ridge

Consider checking in at the Cougar Ridge, a luxury ranch just minutes south of Torrey. Guests can choose to stay at the prestigious lodge, filled with facilities such as a bowling alley, theater room, a spa, and a hot tub.

You can also choose to stay in the Casitas, equally luxurious buildings lined across the property.

Austin’s Chuckwagon Motel

If you’re traveling on a tighter budget, spend the night at Austin’s Chuckwagon Motel in Torrey. The cozy motel features rooms, cabins, and suites, as well as an outdoor pool and a well-equipped store.

A complimentary car park is available.

Next: Escalante Petrified Forest, 1 hour 40 minutes

Escalante

escalante-rural-trail-fields-red-rocks-utah

Photography by Mike Goad.

Byway 12 Scenic Drive

The most scenic drive of your adventure begins as soon as you get on Byway 12 in Torrey. The route is considered one of the best picturesque drives in the country, perhaps even on the entire planet.

Follow it for less than an hour and a half until you reach the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. There are countless viewpoints along the way that overlook spectacular landscapes, be prepared to spend more time driving down Byway 12.

What can you do in Escalante?

Hiking through canyon slots

The region is best known for the thrilling natural hiking trails through canyon slots.

Rentalmoose recommends hiking along the Zebra Slot Canyon Trailhead and the Spooky Gulch. Squeeze through the tight gaps between the stones, and enjoy the views from a unique perspective.

Whether you’re a hiking fan or not, a walk through the slots is an unforgettable experience. However, it’s not recommended for travelers suffering from claustrophobia.

Grand Staircase National Monument

Don’t miss the Grand Staircase National Monument. Although nowhere near as popular among tourists as the canyon trails, the monument is most certainly worth a quick peek at the very least.

Hike along the routes or explore the landscapes from the comfort of your car while following the offroad trails. Like most natural surface trails in this part of Utah, paths around the Grand Staircase might become inaccessible during heavy rainfall, even in a 4×4.

There is no admission fee for the Grand Staircase National Monument.

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

When passing Escalante, be sure to drop by the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park.

The park is home to some of the finest petrified wood in the world. Hike along the trails through the petrified forest until you get to the shores of the crystal-clear Wide Hollow Reservoir. Here, you can wander around the campground, go for a refreshing swim, rent a canoe or observe petrified dinosaur bones and shell fossils at the nearby visitor center.

Admission to the park costs below $10 per person for a day pass.

Next: Bryce Canyon National Park, 50 minutes

Bryce Canyon

bryce-canyon-red-rocks-utah

Is this the surface of another planet? Bryce Canyon photographed by Ton W.

Follow the Scenic Byway 12 for almost an hour. Turn left onto Route 63, right before the Bryce Canyon Resort. Continue along Route 63 until you reach Bryce Canyon National Park.

What is there to see in Bryce Canyon?

Main Viewing Points

First, get a good look at the otherworldly landscapes from the four main viewpoints: Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunset Point, and Sunrise Point. Each of the viewing points opens up to breathtaking natural beauty of countless hoodoos (spiral rock formations), valleys, and local flora.

For the absolutely best experience, visit the points when the sun sets or rises. You can also hike the Rim Trail between the Sunset and Sunrise Points.

Keep in mind that you need to purchase a 7-day pass to enter Bryce Canyon National Park. The admission costs $35 per vehicle as of 2020 and includes all occupants in a single vehicle. You can pay directly when entering the park. Find detailed information on current fees here.

Next, follow the 18-mile main road that will take you along further viewpoints and hiking trails. You can find a map of all the trails and walking routes on this website.

Stone Hearth Grille

For dinner, drive over to the Stone Hearth Grille a few miles east of Tropic. The charming restaurant serves juicy local steaks as well as other delicacies, such as scallops or grilled swordfish. Best of all, you can enjoy your meal while admiring a panoramic view of the park from the restaurant’s outdoor terrace.

Open daily between 5 PM and 9 PM.

Best Western Plus

In the evening, check-in at the Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon. The property features luxurious rooms, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and a bicycle rental.

A complimentary car park is available, too.

Quality Inn

Travelers on a slightly tighter budget can stay at the Quality Inn. The Western-themed hotel features mountain view rooms with complimentary WiFi access, a breakfast buffet, and a free car park.

Next: Zion National Park, 1 hour 20 minutes

Zion

zion-scenic-drive-road-national-park-canyon-red-rock-utah

Photography by Egor Shitikov.

Head south on Route 89, leaving behind Bryce Canyon National Park. Don’t worry, as what’s coming up ahead may very well be even more spectacular. Turn onto the Mt Carmel Highway (UT-9 W) and continue along another one of the most spectacular drives in the United States.

What is special about Zion National Park?

Not many tourists know that Zion is the first National Park in Utah! The main attraction is the spectacular Zion Canyon, begin your tour of the park there.

The Narrows

Head down into The Narrows. The narrowest part of the Zion Canyon is home to the popular 16-mile hike in the Virgin River, where travelers can choose to walk either from the bottom up or the other way around.

The most popular starting point of the hike is the Temple of Sinawava, you can get off the shuttle bus essentially next to the river.

The Observation Point

Get the best panoramic view of the spectacular landscape from the Observation Point. You will have to hike for roughly four miles along The Weeping Rock Trailhead to reach the viewing point.

The trail begins at The Weeping Rock, which is the 7th stop for the free shuttle bus. The hike is fairly steep and can be very exhausting, but the rewarding view is absolutely worth the effort.

Scenic Drive

Before you leave, make sure to drive down the 54-mile Scenic Drive. The drive starts at Mt Carmel Junction (if you’re coming from Bryce Canyon, you most likely entered the park from here) and continues up to the I-15 on the western tip.

The scenic drive is a must, not just for the driving enthusiasts, as the scenery is simply extraordinary. Rentalmoose recommends saving the drive for last, as you can continue to Vegas directly from the western end of the Scenic Drive.

During the high tourist season, private cars are banned from the park’s main roads. In that case, you will need to drop off your car at one of the car parks near the gates and take the complimentary shuttle to Zion’s attractions. Click here for more details on the park’s shuttle system.

Zion National park is open all year long. Opening hours depend on the season, check current operating hours here. A 7-day admission pass to Zion National Park costs $25 per vehicle and can be purchased directly upon entrance.

Next: Las Vegas, 2 hours 30 minutes

Las Vegas

dodge-challenger-las-vegas-skyline-sunset

An American muscle car and a view of the Sin City during sunset. Isn’t this the perfect way to conclude this adventure? Photography by Kevin Schmid.

Depart Zion National Park and head southwest towards Las Vegas, leaving Utah behind. Remember to set your watch an hour back, as Vegas is in a different timezone. After taking in the natural beauty of Utah, it’s time to party your heart out in the city of sin.

What can you do in Las Vegas?

Fremont Street Experience

We have all heard of the Vegas Strip, but did you know the city has another go-to entertainment street right in the center? Don’t miss the Fremont Street Experience, the busy street is lined with flashy casinos, hotels, eateries and is packed with endless entertainment.

Watch the street from above as you zoom past on the Slotzilla zipline, go gambling inside the casinos or step inside one of the restaurants and take in the vibrant vibe.

Red Rock Canyon

The first things that come to your mind when you think of Las Vegas are probably the intense nightlife, gambling, and resorts. If you need to catch a break from all the craziness, consider heading out to the Red Rock Canyon.

Relax and enjoy the natural landscapes of the Mojave Desert as you drive down the 13-mile scenic drive, stopping along to stretch your legs at over 25 different trails that can be explored.

A day pass to the park costs $15 per vehicle. For more information on ticketing, click here.

Speed Vegas Race Track

Adrenaline junkies should visit the Speed Vegas racetrack. Choose from a variety of exciting cars, such as the Lamborghini Huracan, Porsche 991 GT3 RS or even a Baja Truck, and lap the race track!

You can also ride shotgun with a professional instructor instead. Check the Speed Vegas website for available packages, pricing, and terms and conditions.

Las Vegas is packed with so many attractions that it would take forever to list them all. Check out The Ultimate California Road Trip travel guide, where I mention some of the best places to visit in Las Vegas, including the famous Strip.

The Twist by Pierre Gagnaire

The number of restaurants in Las Vegas is quite overwhelming, and picking the best place to eat can be a challenge. If you’re looking for the best fine dining experience in town, book a table at the Twist by Pierre Gagnaire at the Waldorf Astoria. It’s the world-renowned chef’s first and only restaurant in the United States.

Indulge in delicious French cuisine while admiring spectacular views of the Strip from the 23rd floor.

The restaurant is open until 10 PM all week except Sundays and Mondays.

Caesars Palace

Luxury seekers have plenty of 5-star hotels to splash out on during a trip to Las Vegas. Consider checking in at the Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino along the Strip.

The glamorous hotel, often featured in Hollywood blockbusters, offers prestigious rooms and suites, as well as a wide array of facilities and activities for guests, such as a spa, pools and world-class dining.

The ideal location along the Strip, among with the countless facilities and world-class service all make the Caesars Palace the perfect choice in town.

The Golden Nugget

Naturally, most travelers will want to save their money for the casinos and live shows in Vegas as opposed to splashing out on a hotel. In that case, consider booking a room at the Golden Nugget.

The famous hotel is all you can expect in Vegas: a flashy facade, plenty of onsite activities and a casino, of course. Step outside the hotel and explore the busy Fremont Street, or relax at the pool.

Did I mention the hotel pool has a shark tank? What’s more, guests can ride a waterslide through the shark tank!

Drop-off

Your American adventure doesn’t have to end here! Read the Ultimate California Road Trip travel guide, and continue your journey onwards to the Grand Canyon, San Diego, and the Pacific Coast Highway. Combine the two trips into an epic road trip through the western US.

If you choose to finish your trip here, drop off your car directly at the McCarran International Airport. You can browse through car rental companies that support drop-off at another location and airport drop-off via Rentalmoose.

Don’t have a car you can take on your National Park road trip? No problem!

Don’t forget to book your rental car via Rentalmoose for your next adventure. On our platform, you can find the top rental companies at the best price, along with tens of curated travel guides around the globe. Get your car from Rentalmoose!

We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

Post your pictures from your National Park road trip online using #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

Sydney's opera house and high rise buildings and harbor on a clear sunny day

Sydney To Melbourne- Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Australia’s East Coast from Sydney to Melbourne, explore the best of Australia with our Australia road trip itinerary.

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Sydney to Jervis Bay- 200 kilometers (125 miles)📍 

Jervis Bay to Batemans Bay- 140 kilometers (85 miles)📍

Batemans Bay to Narooma- 70 kilometers (45 miles)📍

Narooma to Eden- 140 kilometers (85 miles)📍

Eden to Lakes Entrance- 240 kilometers (150 miles)📍

Lakes Entrance to Wilsons Promontory- 280 kilometers (175 miles)📍

Wilsons Promontory to Phillip Island- 130 kilometers (80 miles)📍

Phillip Island to Melbourne- 140 kilometers (85 miles)📍

1340 kilometers (830 miles) in total

Tags: Travel guide, Drop-off at another location, Australia, Beaches

Pristine sandy beaches, dramatic coastlines, fascinating marine life, and exotic forests await! Explore the stunning natural beauty of the land Down Under during a coastal road trip from Sydney to Melbourne. Kangaroos, koalas, and surfing opportunities are guaranteed, of course!

This travel guide takes you on an epic Australian road trip along the picturesque coast of New South Wales and Victoria. Pick up your rental car in the vibrant city of Sydney, then head south along the picturesque Grand Pacific Drive, one of the most scenic driving roads in the country.

Continue through Jervis Bay, where you can sunbathe with kangaroos on Pebbly Beach. Drive south until you reach Batemans Bay, where you can stay overnight.

Try the best seafood in your life at the famous Narooma Oyster Festival, go on a whale-watching cruise in Eden or stroll down the Ninety Mile Beach, one of the longest beaches on the planet.

Stay overnight near Lakes Entrance, then hike Mount Oberon to admire the panoramic view of Wilsons Promontory National Park. Stop for the night at Phillip Island, where you can peek at the Little Penguins Parade or lap a racetrack in a go-kart.

Later, continue to Melbourne and indulge in the city’s Greek cuisine.

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

Rentalmoose recommends making 3 overnight stops during this Australian road trip at the very least.

This travel guide is designed to take you around the absolute must-see highlights, though expect to make more stops along the way.

To put it into perspective, this road trip took me nearly two weeks to complete, and I would dedicate even more time if I had the chance to do it again!

When is the best time to visit Australia?

Keeping in mind that the seasons in Australia are switched (Summer is between December and February), it’s usually best to go right before the summer or directly after it finishes.

The weather is still warm enough to swim in the ocean, yet the crowds are smaller compared to the summer when the tourist season peaks.

Great Ocean Road Trip Extension

Once you get to Melbourne, consider adding a few extra days to your road trip itinerary to drive down the coastal Great Ocean Road, one of the world’s most scenic driving routes.

Admire the monumental Twelve Apostles (right by the Great Ocean Road) during a helicopter tour, attend the surfing championship in Bells Beach, tour the coast in a World War 2 aeroplane or swim in a volcanic lake in Colac.

Click here for the adventure-packed travel guide around the Great Ocean Road, starting in Melbourne.

Why should I book a rental car in Australia?

Unless you’re planning to stay in a single city, a rental car is definitely the go-to means of transport in Australia. Some of the smaller towns along the way, as well as beaches or hiking trails, can only be accessed by car. Road trips in Australia are the best ways to see the country.

What’s more, the ability to change your itinerary on the go can only be achieved when traveling by car.

Not to mention the absolutely breathtaking views along the coastal roads, such as the Grand Pacific Drive (one of the best driving roads on the planet!).

For extra peace of mind during your road trip, Rentalmoose recommends adding excess coverage when booking your rental car. Once you’ve picked up the car, don’t forget to take photos of the car to qualify for a 50% discount from the excess coverage fee.

Can tourists drive in Australia? 

Yes! You can drive with your foreign driver’s license for up to 3 months in Australia, as long as it’s in English. If your driver’s license is not in English, you need to obtain an International Driving Permit prior to leaving.

Check out this blog post to learn all you need to know about the International Driving Permit.

The traffic laws in Australia are strictly enforced.

Driving under influence is completely unacceptable and can land the offender in jail. 

In terms of speeding penalties, the Department of Transport and Main Roads claims that the average speeding ticket is $210, which equals just below 130 euros. Going less than 13km/h over the limit will cost you $177 (105 EUR).

Traffic in Australia is on the left-hand side of the road.

Once you’re all set, let’s dive into this Australian road trip around the East Coast!

Sydney

sydney downtown opera house during sunset

Your Australian road trip begins in the vivid city of Sydney, the capital of New South Wales. For maximum comfort, pick up your car directly at Sydney Airport.

Find car rental companies that support drop-off at another location and airport pick-up via Rentalmoose. Once you’ve got your car, it’s time to dive into this diverse city!

What can you do in Sydney?

Begin by exploring the busy heart of Sydney. Drop off your car at the Sydney Opera House Car Park just a walk away from the city’s most recognizable landmarks. The car park is open nonstop 7 days a week, the current rates can be found on the official website.

Wander around the waterfront and continue towards the famous Opera House. Admire the unique architecture, photograph the landmark with the Harbour Bridge in the background or step inside and attend one of the daily events (click here for the schedule). Explore the heart of Sydney even further by taking a ferry to other parts of the city.

Continue strolling around the waterfront and enter the colorful Royal Botanic Gardens. Enjoy the refreshing ocean breeze as you examine the exotic flora and observe the colorful birds, admire the monumental Government House or lay down in the vibrant grass and simply watch the ocean.

Those who are curious about the park’s history can take part in one of the guided tours of the park.

The Royal Botanic Gardens are open all year round from 7 AM, admission is free of charge.

No visit to Sydney could possibly be complete without a day at Bondi Beach. Often ranked as one of the best urban beaches in the world, Bondi Beach is the precious jewel of Sydney.

The busy sandy beach is the perfect place to swim or surf in the ocean, lay down and sunbathe or hop inside one of the numerous eateries and cafes along the streets. Hate it or love it, Bondi Beach is a piece of Sydney’s history and shouldn’t be missed when in town. 

Looking for a change of scenery? Drive up to the glamorous Blue Mountains, a National Park less than 2 hours west from the heart of Sydney. Admire the view from viewpoints high above the ground, ride down the world’s steepest railway or explore the eerie Jenolan Caves all within the park.

The winding roads around the park provide spectacular views and are extremely fun to drive around. As we all know, scenic driving is a must on any proper road trip.

aerial view cliff in blue mountains national park nsw australia

Sydney is packed with attractions of all kinds, including a vibrant nightlife scene. That’s why Rentalmoose recommends spending at least one night in town before continuing the journey.

What are the best hotels in Sydney?

Luxury travelers should check out the Park Hyatt Sydney in the heart of town. The modern 5-star hotel offers a selection of elegant rooms and suites overlooking the Sydney Harbour or the city’s landmarks. Relax after a scorching day at the rooftop pool or indulge in fine dining cuisine at the award-winning restaurants.

Sydney is known for being one of the most travel destinations in the world, and the city’s hotels are no exception. In recent years, however, stylish budget-friendly hotels began popping up all over the city. One of the most interesting hotels in town that don’t break the bank has got to be the Rushcutters Bay Vibe Hotel.

The affordable 4-star hotel is located just a 5-minute drive away from the heart of Sydney and offers modern rooms and suites as well as a rooftop pool and a fitness center. A private car park is available at an extra cost. 

Next on your Australia road trip: Jervis Bay, 2 hours 40 minutes

Jervis Bay

jervis bay secluded beach turquoise water green plants white sand australia

Photography by Anna Palinska.

Depart Sydney and head south towards the city of Wollongong. The picturesque coastal road, known as the Grand Pacific Drive, is one of the most scenic driving roads in the country and serves as the perfect introduction to see the natural beauty of Australia. 

Grand Pacific Drive

Don’t hesitate to get off the main road and discover the region more thoroughly, there are hundreds of pristine beaches along the way and it is impossible to mention them all.

To put it into perspective, Wollongong alone has nearly 20 wonderful beaches.

And that’s just one of the cities you’ll be passing!

That said, a must-see on your drive to Melbourne is the famous Jervis Bay. The bay is lined with various unspoiled sandy beaches, safe turquoise water, and hiking trails through the exotic wilderness of the nearby forest.

Don’t skip the Callala Beach, the longest beach in the entire bay.

Pay a visit to Huskisson, the most adventure-packed town in Jervis Bay.

Looking to explore more of the underwater world?

Go on a snorkeling tour with Woebegone Freedive.

Relax at the Shark Net Beach, or rent a kayak next door and make your way around the crystal-clear ocean on your own.

There are plenty of hotels in Huskisson if you decide to extend the trip and stay overnight.

Once you get hungry, drop by Stonegrill Huskisson for a tasty meal. Guests can choose from the a la carte menu or cook on the stone grill themselves. The delicious food paired with welcoming service makes the Stonegrill the go-to restaurant in Jervis Bay.

Open daily from 5:30 PM until 9 PM on weekdays and 10 PM on weekends.

Next on your Australia road trip: Batemans Bay, 1 hour 50 minutes

Batemans Bay

kangaroo looking at ocean pebbly beach australia batemans bay

Is Batemans Bay worth visiting?

Continue south along the highway for around 2 hours until you reach Batemans Bay. The vivid coastal town is one of the favorite getaways in New South Wales, offering breathtaking beaches, delicious fresh seafood, and an overall cool, coastal vibe.

Murramarang National Park

When in Batemans Bay, you can’t skip the Murramarang National Park. The National Park is packed with wild forests full of colorful, exotic birds, as well as secluded beaches.

Don’t know what to see in Murramarang National Park?

Visit the scenic Pebbly Beach. The wide beach is often completely free of tourists. If you’re lucky, you might spot the local kangaroos.

Your rental car can be dropped off by the campground, just a 5-minute walk from the beach itself. 

Cullendulla Creek Nature Reserve

Hikers will enjoy their time in Batemans Bay as well.

Visit the Cullendulla Creek Nature Reserve, a large park near the bay which is absolutely perfect for hiking. The tracks will take you among mangroves, forests, gum trees and beaches.

Choose the Square Head Track 2, as this short trail is just below 2 kilometers round-trip and offers an easy hike between exotic gum trees, finishing with a perfect picnic spot on a secluded beach.

Sunday Market

If you’re looking to observe the local life, take part in the Batemans Bay Sunday Market. The market, held on the first and third Sundays of every month, is full of stalls selling all sorts of antiques, clothing, jewelry, and accessories of all kinds.

Wander around the stalls while listening to live music played by local artists, drink an aromatic coffee or indulge in some local delicacies.

The stalls are open between 8 AM and 1 PM. 

Rally of The Bay

Petrolheads are in for a treat, as Bateman Bay is home to the Rally of The Bay. Watch as powerful rally cars race across 7 different stages around the bay, filled with chicanes, skids and hops.

The adrenaline-packed rallying event takes place annually. Visit the official website for more information including the event schedule.

Where to stay in Batemans Bay?

BIG4

Traveling with kids? Consider spending the night at the BIG4 Batemans Bay. The beach resort offers well-equipped homes, along with a wide array of attractions such as an outdoor pool, a tennis court and a beachfront location.

A private car park is available at no extra cost.

Mariners on The Waterfront

If you would rather stay near the heart of Batemans Bay, book a room at Mariners on The Waterfront. The hotel is situated just a short walk away from local eateries and cafes, and 600 meters from the closest beach. The hotel features modern rooms, an outdoor pool and a free private car park.

Next on your Australia road trip: Narooma, 1 hour

Narooma

ocean waves hitting rocks narooma wagonga inlet australia beautiful beach

What can you see in Narooma?

Hop back on Princes Highway for another hour until you reach the scenic coastal town of Narooma. The serene Wagonga inlet, the town’s famous oyster festival, and heavenly beaches make Narooma an absolute must-see.

Wagonga Inlet

When in Narooma, be sure to visit the Wagonga inlet. The best way to explore the magnificent inlet is from the water.

Drop off your rental car by Riverside Drive and head go for a Walgonga Inlet Cruise. Choose from daily cruises between 1 and 3 hours each. Admire the best views during the sunset cruise, watch the sea life and photograph the scenic surroundings.

Check the pricing and schedules on their website.

Montague Island

Discover Montague Island, one of the most popular tourist attractions in this part of Australia. Choose from a selection of boat tours that best suits your needs, as the only way to access the island is by boat.

Whale watching out in the ocean, snorkeling with seals, or admiring Little Penguins or just some of the activities to choose from. Montague Island itself is known for its natural beauty and plenty of wildlife and should definitely be marked on your itinerary. 

Narooma Oyster Festival

Are you a seafood lover?

If so, you should most definitely visit the town during the annual Narooma Oyster Festival. The award-winning festival is a celebration of the region’s yummy oysters and is perfect for foodies, families, and friends. Indulge in the locally-caught seafood while enjoying live music, purchase local art or simply admire the spectacular views.

Next on your Australian road trip: Eden, 1 hour 40 minutes

Eden

eden australia green fields and ocean dramatic coastline nsw

Continue along Princes Highway for a little over an hour and a half until you reach the charming town of Eden. Eden, famous for its fishing culture, whale watching tours, and of course, immaculate beaches.

Long Beach

Before you reach the city, take a slight detour off the highway and spend some time at Long Beach. The secluded beach (not to be confused with Long Beach in Batemans Bay, or the one in California) is overlooked by monumental Pinnacles.

Drop your car off at the free car park and walk directly to the beach, or hike along the Pinnacles Walk.

Hooked On Seafood

As Eden is known for its fish, it only makes sense to try some fresh seafood while you’re here. Head to Hooked On Seafood, the best restaurant in town. Choose from a selection of fish, shrimps, crab or oysters. Observe local fishermen as you feast on regional seafood right by the ocean.

Open daily between 9:30 AM and 7 PM. 

Whale-watching tours

Go for a whale-watching boat trip with Cat Balou Cruises. The operator offers a selection of sightseeing cruises between 2 and 4 hours each.

See playful dolphins in Twofolds Bay, admire the wilderness in secluded parts of the coast or watch enormous whales. No matter which cruise you pick, each one offers an unforgettable experience. Click here to book.

Next on your Australia road trip: Lakes Entrance, 2 hours 50 minutes

Lakes Entrance

lakes entrance town aerial view on a sunny day from ocean

Photography by Mark Wyld

Drive down Princes Highway and cross into Victoria until you reach Lakes Entrance, another major hotspot that you should visit during a road trip from Sydney to Melbourne.

What is there to see in Lakes Entrance?

Gippsland Lakes

Don’t skip the Gippsland Lakes, the most popular tourist destination in the region. Wander around the wilderness, rent a boat and cross the lakes yourself or have a go at fishing. If you’re lucky, you might spot the endangered Burrunan Dolphins.

Raymond Island

You’ve seen kangaroos at Pebbly Beach back in Batemans Bay, now it’s time for the second animal that’s become an easily recognizable symbol of Australia.

Take the free ferry from Paynesville to Raymond Island, which is home to Victoria’s largest koala population. Hike down the Koala trail and see if you can spot any of the cute furry animals.

You can also rent a bicycle and cycle around the area instead.

Ninety Mile Beach

Did you know that the beach by Lakes Entrance is one of the longest in the entire world? Check for yourself and visit the famous Ninety Mile Beach. Stroll down the golden sands, go for a dip in the turquoise ocean or try to spot whales and dolphins from the shore. 

Waterwheel TAV

Getting hungry? Visit the Waterwheel TAV, a local pub that offers tasty cuisine including steaks and pizza along with a wide selection of drinks. What’s more, guests can enjoy their meals while admiring the lakes at the pub’s outdoor terrace.

Open daily from 10 AM.

Spend the night at the Bellevue on the Lakes. The 4-star hotel features well-equipped modern rooms, an outdoor pool, a heated indoor pool and barbecue facilities available for the hotel guests. A car park is available free of charge.

Traveling on a tighter budget? Consider checking into the Lakes Waterfront Motel. The motel offers either rooms or standalone cottages with retro decor, an outdoor swimming pool, and an incredible waterfront location. Free parking is available.

Next on your Australia road trip: Wilsons Promontory National Park, 3 hours 30 minutes

Wilsons Promontory

wilsons promontory national park sand beach turquoise ocean australia

Photography by Siggy Nowak

Set off from Lakes Entrance and continue near the coast. You will arrive in Wilsons Promontory, one of Australia’s best national parks, in around three and a half hours.

What can you do at Wilsons Promontory?

Norman Bay

Relax at the picturesque Norman Bay. Go for a swim in the ocean, sunbathe on the shore or hike the local trails. Travelers can go for a canoe tour any day between December and January, or rent their own kayaks from First Track Adventures.

Surfing is allowed on one part of the beach.

Sightseeing Cruise

Drive down to Port Welshpool and park your rental car by the old ferry terminal building at the end of Lewis Street. Then, go for a sightseeing cruise to Refuge Cove.

The secluded spot is home to fascinating marine life, including sharks, seals, and dolphins. Cruises are available daily, check the schedule and pricing information here.

Hike up Mount Oberon

Looking for the best photo opportunity in Wilsons Promontory? Hike up to the summit of Mount Oberon. The trek up to the top does get exhausting, but the panoramic views from the 558-meter high summit are absolutely worth the effort!

Admire the Southernmost point of mainland Australia and the islands scattered around the crystal-clear waters. Watching the sunset from high above the ground is that extra touch that completes the magical experience.

Next on your Australia road trip: Phillip Island, 1 hour 50 minutes

Phillip Island

phillip island australia victoria green beach on cloudy day
Photography by Wei Chung Low

Is it worth going to Phillip Island?

Absolutely! Phillip Island is one of the favorite getaways for locals and tourists in Melbourne, and it is clear to see why. The island, apart from spectacular beaches and a dramatic coastline, is the perfect place to experience Victoria away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Don’t forget that it is one of the best places to spot Little Penguins, too.

Surfing

Phillip Island is known as one of the best spots in Australia when it comes to surfing, why not try this exciting watersport for yourself? Experienced surfers can hire equipment from Island Surfboards and hit the beaches.

Never tried surfing? Don’t know where to start? Island Surfboards offers surf lessons for intermediate surfers as well as beginners who have never touched a surfboard. Click here for details.

Cowes Beach

Relax at one of the beaches scattered around the island. One of the favorite beaches for swimming has got to be Cowes Beach, right by the vivid heart of Phillip Island. Go for a refreshing swim in the ocean, walk down the golden sands or wander around the seaside cafes and shops in Cowes.

Phillip Island Circuit

Motorsport fans are in for yet another trip during this road trip. The Phillip Island Circuit is a world-class racing track that hosts events such as the MotoGP, as well as a series of local automobile races and track days.

Watch as powerful cars or motorcycles lap the track, book a passenger hot lap around the track, or have a go at the famous circuit yourself in a go-kart.

Penguin Parade

As the sun is about to set, be sure to head to Summerland Beach. Observe as little penguins return to their home after a day of fishing, known as the daily Penguin Parade. Watch one of Australia’s largest penguin colonies from the viewing platform, or peek at the animals from the underground viewing point.

Click here to book your tickets. 

Phillip Island is packed with adventures, that’s why Rentalmoose recommends stopping here for the night. There are plenty of elegant hotels, villas and holiday homes that offer spectacular ocean views, great service, and an amazing experience overall.

The Clifftop

Get the best panoramic views of the ocean when you check-in at the Clifftop. The hotel is situated by Smiths Beach and offers stylish rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, a beautiful shared space with a pool table and a cozy fireplace, as well as scenic natural surroundings.

A private car park is available free of charge. 

North Pier Hotel

If you’d rather stay in the vivid center of Cowes, consider booking a room at the North Pier Hotel. The budget-friendly, recently renovated hotel features modern rooms with ocean views, a beach just across the street as well as a convenient location in the heart of the Cowes township with lots of nearby eateries, shops, and bars.

Next on your Australia road trip: Melbourne, 1 hour 40 minutes

Melbourne

melbourne skyline aerial view melbourne skyscrapers during sunset victoria australia
Photography by Moerschy

What should you see in Melbourne?

Head to downtown Melbourne and get a photo with the picturesque Flinders Street Station. The main railway station in town has been open since the early 1900s and now serves as a major tourist attraction due to its monumental facade.

The station is present on many Melbourne postcards and souvenirs, despite the fact that what’s inside is fairly uninteresting. Don’t expect to spend too much time here, as pretty as it is to look at it’s not much more than a busy train station.

Cross the street to enter Federation Square, the vibrant cultural heart of Melbourne. Admire the abstract art installations or the magnificent buildings surrounding the square.

Step inside one of the art galleries, such as the Australian Center for the Moving Image, and discover the country’s artistic history. Wander around the trendy cafes and bars, or simply sit down and take in the artsy vibe.

Your rental car can be dropped off at this Wilson Parking multi-story car park. 

For the best view of the city, take the elevator up to the Skydeck on top of the 91-story Eureka Tower. Admire the panoramic views high above the ground, or try The Edge experience and enjoy the view from a glass cube suspended 300 meters above ground level, if you dare.

Open 7 days a week between noon and 8:30 PM.

A private car park is available right beneath the tower.

Great Ocean Road

Though the city itself is packed with attractions and various activities, a 90-minute drive west will take you to the beginning of the scenic Great Ocean Road, one of the world’s best scenic drives. Extend the trip and explore the natural beauty of the western coast of Victoria with our travel guide.

Where is the best Greek food in Melbourne?

Did you know that Melbourne has the most Greeks out of any city outside of Greece? With such a large Greek community, you definitely shouldn’t miss out on trying some authentic Greek cuisine when in Melbourne.

Head to Stalactites, a family-run restaurant with some of the finest Greek dishes in the country. Let the fresh meals take you on a journey to Greece.

Rentalmoose order tip: try souvlakis, grilled meat, or moussaka.

Don’t worry about coming too late or too early, the restaurant is open 24 hours a day, all week.

Where to stay in Melbourne?

Luxury seekers should consider booking a room at the QT Melbourne. The 5-star hotel features extremely stylish rooms and suites, as well as a fitness center.

The highlight of the hotel is its trendy rooftop venue where guests can grab a drink while admiring the city’s skyline. Add in the perfect location in the very heart of Melbourne and you will clearly see why this is one of the top picks in town.

A private car park is available at an extra cost.

Those looking for a more budget-friendly alternative should spend the night at the Plough Hotel. The hotel features well-equipped rooms, a convenient location near the city center and an outdoor terrace, as well as a bar and restaurant.

A private car park is available at no extra cost.

Looking for more attractions and hotels in Melbourne? Check out the Rentalmoose Great Ocean Road travel guide, where you will find more exciting things to do in Melbourne including trendy laneways, vibrant gardens and a local market.

Drop-Off

If you’ve decided to end your journey in Melbourne, Rentalmoose recommends dropping off your rental car directly at Melbourne Airport when you’re leaving. Browse through rental companies that support drop-off at another location, as well as airport drop-off, via Rentalmoose.

Win a free rental car!

The scenic journey between Sydney and Melbourne is packed with incredible natural beauty, secluded beaches, and dramatic coastal views, so I’m sure you will take lots of photos. Post your best photos from this trip with #Rentalmoose. Rentalmoose’s favorites will be rewarded with a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge!

kangaroo on green field australia pebbly beach

oludeniz blue lagoon turquoise sea with boats sandy beach and green trees aerial view

The Sunny Turkish Riviera- Turkey Itinerary by Car

A trip through the sunny Turkish Riviera with Rentalmoose. Explore the best of it with our curated Turkey itinerary.


Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Antalya to Goynuk Canyon– 40km (25 miles) 📍 

Goynuk Canyon to Phaselis and Olympus– 60km (40 miles) 📍

Olympus to Adrasan– 10km (6 miles) 📍

Adrasan to Fethiye– 200km (125 miles) 📍

Fethiye to Marmaris– 140km (85 miles) 📍

Marmaris to Bodrum– 170km (105 miles) 📍

620km (385 miles) in total

Tags: Travel guide, Drop-off at another location, Turkey, Beaches, Summer, Short Trip

This travel itinerary takes you on a road trip across the Turkish Riviera, starting in Antalya going to Bodrum through beautiful beaches, scenic driving roads, and authentic Turkish towns. 

The road trip is roughly 600km in total and is divided into various sectors ranging anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 and a half hours.

Rentalmoose recommends dedicating at least three days for this adventure, with two overnight stops along the way in Adrasan and Marmaris. Add more overnight stops to make the most out of this Turkey itinerary.

What is the Turkish Riviera?

 The Turkish Riviera, also called the Turquoise Coast, is a beautiful region in the southwestern part of the country. This part of Turkey is famous for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear water, exclusive hotels, delicious cuisine, and ancient history. It is vastly underrated among international tourists!

Why is the Turkish Riviera worth visiting?

 This part of Turkey is perfect for travelers who adore the sun, wonderful beaches with crystal clear water, and monumental views. The Riviera has a lot of various attractions for families, couples, groups of friends, and solo travelers. 

No matter if you choose to stay in a chic hotel or a budget hostel, there are plenty of options to choose from at different price points.

Business Insider has referred to Bodrum (the finishing point of this journey) as the perfect under-the-radar luxury tourist destination for 2020, surpassing hotspots such as Bali or the Greek island of Mykonos. Explore the beautiful Turkish Riviera with our Turkey itinerary!

Is Turkey safe for tourists?

The US Department of State has ranked Turkey the second-lowest level of risk for tourists, except for regions near the Syrian and Iraqi borders, which have gotten higher risk ratings. The western part of Turkey remains safe for tourists.

Turkey is, however, one of the most seismically active countries in the world. It is recommended to be familiar with the safety procedures if an earthquake does occur.

Road Trip Extensions

Extend your road trip and discover the region even further! When you’re done exploring the Turkish Riviera, fly over to Athens and choose to drive across mainland Greece, or visit Santorini.

Alternatively, you can take a ferry from Turkey to Rhodes! Click here for the Rentalmoose road trip guide to Rhodes.

Why should you get a rental car in Turkey?

A rental car is definitely the go-to type of transportation for this road trip. The points of interest along the way are located within driving distance of each other, and getting a car will be a lot more convenient than traveling by bus. 

The freedom to roam around, change courses, or extend your road trip is only available when you travel by car. There are also beautiful views along the coastal roads and the traffic isn’t as heavy as in major cities, such as Istanbul or Adana. Lastly, car rentals are relatively cheap in Turkey.

When booking your rental car, do not forget to add excess coverage provided by Rentalmoose for extra protection. After picking up the car, be sure to take check-in photos of the vehicle and qualify for a 50% discount from the excess cover fee.

Can tourists drive in Turkey?

Yes! As long as your driving license is in English, you can drive in Turkey with a foreign license for up to three months. If your license isn’t in English, you will have to get an International Driving Permit before heading off for holiday. Drivers younger than 18 are not permitted to drive in Turkey at all.

Check out this blog post to learn all you need to know about International Driving Permits.

The driving limits in Turkey are 50km/h in urban zones, 90km/h outside cities, and 120km/h on highways.

Speeding is a common occurrence in Turkey, police pay a lot more attention to drink-driving rather than excessive speed.

If you do happen to get caught for speeding or a different minor offense, you might have to pay your fine on the spot. 

The fines for exceeding the limit by less than 30% are around 170TL (23 Euros). Getting caught driving at more than 30% above the limit will result in a 350TL (47 EUR) penalty.

Driving under the influence is not tolerated in Turkey. Police often carry out routine checks to check if drivers are sober, especially during the weekends. Do not drink and drive.

Traffic in Turkey is on the right side of the road.

HGS- The Highway Toll System in Turkey


There are no paid sectors along this road trip. However, your rental car will most likely come equipped with an electronic HGS device that will automatically be billed when passing paid highway sections. Most rental companies will sum up this fee when returning your car, the cost will depend on the amount of paid sections you have driven through.

There are no paid HGS sectors along this route.

When is the best time to visit Turkey?

Rentalmoose recommends visiting the Turkish Riviera between May and June or September and October. The weather is hot and sunny this time of the year, perfect for a swim in the Mediterranean or wandering around the streets of Bodrum. It is also the peak of the tourist season, so expect some destinations to get crowded. 

Antalya can get so hot during the summer that it can become unbearable for tourists who are not used to this type of harsh climate.

Now that you’re all set, let’s dive into this Turkey itinerary!

Antalya

altinkum beach in antalya turkey riviera coast colorful light

Altinkum beach in Antalya.

 Welcome to the sunny city of Antalya! Rentalmoose recommends picking up your rental car directly at the airport and heading down into this fascinating city.

What to do in Antalya?

Kaleiçi

Begin by exploring the coastal Old Town, the true heart of this city. Don’t hesitate to get lost among the historical Ottoman mansions, as the cobblestone streets are lined with cafes, restaurants and boutiques. The Kaleiçi district is the perfect place to discover a traditional part of Antalya.

Turkish Breakfast

Trying the world-renowned Turkish breakfast is a must during your stay in the Turquoise Coast. Head to Vista Restaurant, located steps away from the sea, for delicious breakfast and aromatic tea, all while enjoying panoramic views of the Mediterranean.

Konyaalti Beach

For a bit of relaxation, pay a visit to one of the city’s dreamy beaches. Rentalmoose recommends heading to Konyaalti Beach in the western part of town. 

This pebble beach stretches for around 5 kilometers and is known for its clean water and lots of cafes and restaurants in the area. 

It is popular among both tourists and locals, so it may not be perfect for travelers who are looking for a quiet and secluded spot.

This public beach can be accessed for free. You can also rent a sunbed for just a few Turkish Lira (between 1 and 2 Euros).

Next on your Turkey itinerary: Goynuk Canyon, 40 minutes

Goynuk Canyon Adventure Park

goynuk canyon turkey whitewashed stone turkish riviera

Goynuk Canyon near the resort town of Kemer.

After leaving Antalya, take the D400 highway south towards the resort city of Kemer. This coastal highway will take you to destinations within the Kemer region.

 Adventure junkies can stop at the Goynuk Canyon near Kemer, a local adventure park with zip lines and a canyoning safari. Thrilling zip lines combined with the park’s natural beauty make the Goynuk Canyon an unmissable spot.

 The attraction owners recommend staying in the park for at least 2 hours in order to fully enjoy it. Tickets can be purchased here or upon entrance.

Next on your Turkey itinerary: The ruins of Phaselis and Olympus, 1 hour

The historic ruins of Phaselis and Olympus

phaselis nothern harbor ruins on beach at turkish riviera

The remains of the northern harbor of Phaselis. Wikimedia Commons

Phaselis

 Phaselis was an ancient Greek and Roman city, its history dates back as far as 700 BC. The remaining ruins lie just 16 kilometers south of Kemer. 

Once there, you can discover the ruins of three ancient ports, aqueducts and many more. You can also go for a swim on the beach located within the ancient city. Admission costs less than 40 Turkish Lira (6 EUR) per person, tickets can be purchased directly upon entrance.

Next: Olympos, 40 minutes

Olympus

The Ruins of Olympus are older and more popular among tourists. Located just minutes from Adrasan, this ancient city cannot be missed. 

Its history dates back to the second century BC and has been abandoned since the 15th century. These ruins are not preserved as well as Turkey’s most popular ones, such as Ephesus or Göbekli Tepe, though they are definitely worth at least a short visit. 

You can also enjoy the local beach. Admission costs less than 30 Turkish Lira (4.5 EUR) per person and can be bought directly at the entrance, just like in Phaselis.

Next on your Turkey itinerary: Adrasan, 15 minutes

Adrasan

adrasan sandy secluded beach calm sea large mountains turkey riviera

A beautiful beach in Adrasan surrounded by monumental mountains.

Adrasan Sahil

 Continue along the D400 from the Phaselis until you reach the small village of Adrasan. Drive down to Adrasan Sahil, an absolutely breathtaking pebble beach surrounded by the mountains. 

Go for a swim in the crystal-clear water, or sunbathe on one of many sunbeds, available for just a couple Turkish Lira (below 2 Euros).

Admission is free of charge, you can leave your car directly next to the beach for just a few Turkish Lira (less than 2 Euros) per day.

 Where to stay in Adrasan?

ADA Boutique Hotel

Rentalmoose recommends staying at the ADA Boutique Hotel, a boutique hotel just a minute away from the beach. The hotel features a pool and restaurant, as well as free parking for guests.

Arikanda River Garden Hotel

Another hotel worth considering in Adrasan is the Arikanda River Garden Hotel. This cozy hotel consists of just 10 rooms. The location is perfect, just steps away from the private hotel beach.

There is a beautiful restaurant atop the river that serves breakfast as well as traditional Turkish dishes, along with plenty of options for vegetarians.

Next on your Turkey itinerary: Fethiye, 4 hours

Fethiye

This is the longest non-stop driving segment of this trip. Leave Adrasan and head west on the D400 for around 4 hours, until you reach the picturesque Butterly Valley.

 If you wish to make a stop along the way, Rentalmoose recommends going to Kaş. Head into the heart of this village and step inside Natur-El, the best restaurant in town. Have a sip of Turkish coffee or a round of delicious Turkish breakfast.

Kelebekler Vadisi- a dreamy beach in Fethiye

kelebekler vadisi butterfly valley turkey aerial view secluded sandy beach boats turquoise sea turkey riviera
Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons.

 The Butterfly Valley is a stunning valley near Fethiye. Don’t get confused by the name, as the butterflies have become a rare sight. 

Pay a visit to the Kelebekler Vadisi beach, where you will find turquoise water just like in the Maledives. Visit the beachside bar for a refreshing beverage or snack. 

This small spot can get crowded during peak season, it is definitely not the most secluded beach in Turkey. As Kelebekler Vadisi is a public beach, entry is free of charge. Sunbeds are available during the season for under 10 Turkish Lira.

Next on your Turkey itinerary: Blue Lagoon, 15 minutes

Blue Lagoon- The Mediterranean Maldives

oludeniz blue lagoon aerial view turkey turquoise sea sandy beach turkish riviera

Aerial view of the Oludeniz Blue Lagoon.

The Blue Lagoon is perhaps the most popular tourist hotspot in the Fethiye region and one of the most valuable gems in all of Turkey. 

The lagoon is famous for its sandy beaches and clear, turquoise waters. Rent a canoe and travel across the lagoon, or stay on dry land and sunbathe. 

Head into the inner side of the lagoon, where you will find authentic Turkish restaurants, cafes, and bars. The water is full of wildlife and available attractions include snorkeling and paragliding. 

The Blue Lagoon is in a protected National Park, entrance costs below 10 Turkish Lira (less than 1.5 EUR) and can be paid in cash upon entrance. Parking costs around 30 Lira (4.5 EUR).

Next on your Turkey itinerary: Marmaris, 2 hours 10 minutes

Marmaris

marmaris town skyline panoramic view with sea in background turkish riviera

The city of Marmaris on the shore of the Mediterranean. Shot by Alpcem/Pixabay.com

 Drive along the D400 for about two hours until you reach the city of Marmaris.

What to do in Marmaris?

Marmaris Castle

Begin by exploring the center of the city. Park your car next to the Marmaris Castle and stroll around the area on foot. This castle is one of just a few in Turkey that has been turned into a fascinating museum.

History lovers can enjoy the interior daily from 8:30 AM to 7 PM, with admission tickets priced at 14TL that can be purchased upon entrance. 

Grand Bazaar

Shopping fans can walk across the center to the Grand Bazaar. This market is filled with shops where you can purchase all sorts of souvenirs, jewelry, leather goods, and clothing. 

Cleopatra Island

 Tourists can also take a day trip to the popular Cleopatra Island. Day trips by boats are operated by various carriers directly from the city, you can purchase tickets directly when boarding the boat. There are different durations of the trip, depending on which operator you choose. Pricing starts at 100TL per person.

What are the best hotels in Marmaris?

If you are planning to stay the night in Marmaris, which Rentalmoose highly recommends, consider staying in one of the hotels listed below.

Casa De Maris

 Casa De Maris is a luxury 5-star resort hotel meters away from the beach. It offers chic rooms, a big pool, unique architecture, and a complimentary carpark. Book your room here.

Uysal Beach Motel

Uysal Beach Motel is a cheaper alternative within the city. This hotel is directly on the seashore and includes air-conditioned rooms, free parking and a bar on the ground floor. Book your room here.

Next on your Turkey itinerary: Bodrum, 1 hour 20 minutes

Bodrum

bodrum whitewashed traditional buildings and blue sea boats turkish riviera

 The final leg of this journey goes from Marmaris to Bodrum. Take the D550 up north and then continue via the D330 until you reach the city.

What to see in Bodrum?

 Bodrum is the go-to tourist hotspot in the Turkish Riviera. Luxury hotels, incredibly fresh seafood, all-around shopping, and a vivid nightlife scene, you name it. Bodrum has it all.

Bodrum Castle

 Begin by strolling around the Bodrum Castle and port. This part of town is full of life, packed with cafes, shops, and restaurants.

You can take various day trips by boat straight from the port, going to secluded bays and islands. There are many operators to choose from, Rentalmoose recommends going with My Way Boat Trip.

Karafaki Restaurant

 For lunch or dinner, head down to the Karafaki Restaurant, just 30 minutes away from the heart of Bodrum. Dining with a panoramic view of the Aegean Sea is a truly mesmerizing experience.

Huqqa

If you fancy trying out Hookah, there are many shisha bars to choose from. Rentalmoose recommends Huqqa Bodrum, one of the best hookah cafe chains in the world.

There are tons of different flavors to choose from, along with colorful drinks and food.

Bodrum is filled with attractions and spots worth visiting, so Rentalmoose highly advises staying in town for a couple of days to experience what it has to offer.

Drop-off

Your rental car can be dropped off directly at the Milas-Bodrum Airport for maximum comfort. Rental companies that support drop-off in a different location can be found via Rentalmoose.

Interlaken panoramic view small town near blue lake and alps mountains in the summer

Around The Alps- Switzerland Itinerary By Car

Curated Switzerland road trip. Check out our ultimate Switzerland itinerary by car!

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Geneva to Chillon Castle- 100km (60 miles) 📍 

Chillon Castle to Interlaken- 160km (100 miles) 📍

Interlaken to Andermatt- 120km (75 miles) 📍

Andermatt to Lugano- 110km (70 miles) 📍

Lugano to St Moritz- 120km (75 miles) 📍

St Moritz to Zurich- 200km (120 miles) 📍

810km (500 miles) total

Tags: Travel guide, Drop-off at another location, Switzerland, Alps, Winter

This Switzerland itinerary takes you on a road trip through the Swiss Alps, one of the most scenic regions in Europe. The road trip begins in the city of Geneva and continues across the Geneva lake and Interlaken with an overnight stop in Andermatt. On day two, head to Lake Lugano before arriving in St. Moritz. The Swiss road trip finishes in Zurich.

The Switzerland road trip is a little over 800 kilometers in total and is divided into segments ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes each.

In order to discover the most of each destination, Rentalmoose recommends adding at least one overnight stop along the way, plus a night at Geneva and Zurich.

If you have the time, add extra overnight stops in Interlaken and St. Moritz.

Road Trip Extensions to Germany

The Black Forest

Do you want to explore the region even further? This road trip can be merged with our Black Forest Road Trip. Once you arrive in Zurich, continue to Basel and cross into Germany to discover the beautiful region of Schwarzwald.

Munich and its surroundings

Alternatively, you can head up to Munich and explore the best of Bavaria and Austria, including the fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle. Click here for the guide.

Is Switzerland expensive to visit?

Switzerland is the continuous leader as the world’s most expensive country to visit. Zurich and Geneva are also among the most expensive cities to live in on the entire planet.

It’s best to budget your Switzerland trip carefully.

Check out this short video we shot in the beautiful town of Verbier.

What is the best month to visit Switzerland?

Winter and summer are both good parts of the year to visit Switzerland.

Between May and September, most of the snow has melted away and the hiking trails are open to the public, cable cars are in service and the weather is more moderate.

The peak of the winter season is around January and February. Check out this beautiful video to see why you should visit Switzerland in winter!

Why should you get a rental car in Switzerland?

Despite high petrol prices and strict traffic laws, a rental car is the best way of getting around during this road trip. There are lots of scenic driving roads along the way, and the freedom of modifying the route can only be achieved by traveling in a car.

Switzerland can be best explored by car.

Various rental companies support drop-off at a different location, browse through available options on Rentalmoose.  

When booking your rental car, do not forget to add excess coverage provided by Rentalmoose for extra protection.

After picking up the car, be sure to take check-in photos of the vehicle and qualify for a 50% discount from the excess cover fee.

Can tourists drive in Switzerland?

Absolutely! Switzerland is a part of the open-border Schengen Zone, this means crossing countries is quick and hassle-free. However, if your license isn’t in English, German, French or Italian you are required to have an International Driving Permit when driving in Switzerland. 

Check out this Rentalmoose blog post to learn all you need to know about International Driving Permits.

Swiss motorway vignette system

In order to drive on Swiss highways, cars, as well as motorcycles, are required to have a vignette. Rental cars available in the country have a vignette already, so you do not need to purchase one. For extra safety, it is best to double-check with the rental company before setting off.

Are traffic laws strict in Switzerland?

Switzerland is generally regarded as a strict country, and the nation’s traffic laws are no exception. Driving even just a few kilometers over the speed limit can land you a speeding ticket, and the roads are filled with speed cameras. When driving in Switzerland, be sure to follow all of the traffic rules carefully.

Real-life example: a student who drove around 20km/h over the speed limit got a minimum ticket of 2500€. Speeding ticket penalties depend on your income. The higher the salary, the bigger the ticket.

Once you’re ready, it’s time to dive into this Switzerland itinerary by car!

Geneva

geneva switzerland city seen from lake clear day water fountain

Luis Francisco Pizarro Ruiz/Pixabay.com

Welcome to the picturesque city of Geneva, situated at the western tip of the country. The city is a hotspot for luxury shopping and fine dining, and it is the starting point of your Switzerland itinerary.

What is there to do in Geneva?

Patek Philippe Museum

Fans of prestigious watches should be familiar with Geneva, as some of the world’s most expensive timepieces are manufactured around the city. Pay a visit to the Patek Philippe Museum, where visitors can learn about five centuries of watchmaking.

The museum is located within the heart of Geneva, you can stroll around the area or go for a coffee in one of the nearby cafes.

As of 2020, the Patek Philippe Museum admission tickets cost below 11 euros.

Geneva International Motor Show

If you’re visiting during the beginning of March, Rentalmoose highly recommends going to see the Geneva International Motor Show. The GIMS is among the most important automotive events in the entire world, guests from across the planet come to admire hundreds of cars that are showcased during the show.

Parking is available around Palexpo, where the show takes place. The annual expo can get quite full, it is best to buy your admission tickets in advance. The motor show is a must on any Switzerland itinerary!

Parc des Eaux-Vives

Go for a relaxing walk in Parc des Eaux-Vives, a lakeshore park on the east side of the city. Inside the park, there is a monumental residence that was built in the mid-1700s that has been turned into a hotel and a prestigious restaurant.

The upper side of the park is home to the Geneva Tennis Club

Where can you find the best food in Geneva?

Gusto

Once you get hungry, go for lunch at Gusto, a fine-dining Italian restaurant in the Metropole Hotel. The upscale venue is the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a meeting. Open Monday to Friday till 10 PM.

Where should you stay in Geneva?

La Reserve Geneva

Sophisticated travelers should consider staying the night at La Reserve Geneva. The luxurious 5-star hotel offers a seaside villa rental, chic rooms and suites as well as a pool, and a wellness center. Free parking is available for hotel guests.

Hotel Des Tourelles

Guests on a tighter budget can choose the Hotel Des Tourelles, a 2-star hotel with an amazing location right in the vibrant heart of Geneva. The hotel may not have luxury amenities, but it is valued for excellent service and its perfect location. Parking is available at an extra charge.

Next on your Switzerland itinerary: Geneva to Chillon Castle, 1 hour 20 minutes

Chillon Castle

lake geneva boat with swiss flag approaching chillon castle switzerland

Pemaze/Pixabay.com

Set off from Geneva early in the morning. Then, head east along Lake Geneva until you reach a historic structure on the edge of the lake. The castle may look familiar to Disney fans, as Prince Eric’s castle from Little Mermaid was inspired by the Chillon Castle.

The Castle

This magical structure dates back to the medieval times, it was designed by James of Saint George. Inside the castle, there are thousands of historic items on display.

The castle is open to visitors every day of the week between 9:30 AM and 5 PM, admission tickets are priced at below 15 CHF (14 EUR) and can be purchased either online or at the entrance.

Complimentary parking is available by the castle.

Clos de Chilon- local wine

The Chillon Castle is home to local red and white stored in the castle’s cellars, made from grapes grown at the local vineyards. Clos de Chilon can be purchased within the castle, guests can also book a guided wine tour that includes wine-tasting.

Bella Vista

Bella Vista is a delicious Italian restaurant situated practically across the street from the castle. Head inside for a fresh pizza or dessert while enjoying panoramic views of Lake Geneva.

Rentalmoose order tip: Give Bella Vista’s pizzas a shot, you will not be disappointed!

Next on your Switzerland itinerary by car: Interlaken, 1 hour 40 minutes

Interlaken

interlaken in the summer seen from above the alps mountains town and blue lake switzerland

Enrique Lopez Garre/Pixabay.com

Why is Interlaken famous?

Interlaken is regarded as Switzerland’s capital for adventure junkies, as there are lots of action sports opportunities available throughout the small town. Its picturesque surroundings make Interlaken heaven for photographers, make sure to bring your camera along!

Outdoor Interlaken

Thrill-seekers should have a look at Outdoor Interlaken before heading to town. The company offers various adventure-packed activities for both summer and winter, ranging from canyoning and skydiving to skiing and winter sports. Take a look at their official website for more information on available activities.

Unterseen

Visit the picturesque village of Unterseen for an authentic, historic feel of Switzerland. Some of the beautiful historic buildings are dating back to the middle ages.

Pay a visit to the Stadtkeller, where you might just run into a live musical or theatrical performance. 

Jungfraujoch Summit

Head up the mountains to Jungfraujoch- The Top of Europe. The highlight of the Alps is surrounded by glaciers and snow, making for a truly unforgettable view. Head into one of the shops or admire the spectacular views from the observation deck. 

Rental Moose Mascot posing in front of swiss alps panoramic view with local employee. Photo at the summit, winter in Switzerland.


Schilthorn Summit

James Bond fans should also visit the summit at Schilthorn. The unbeatable panoramic views can be observed from the viewing deck atop the mountain.

Schilthorn was one of the filming locations for the 1969 “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, making it a must-see for James Bond fans.

Rentalmoose pro tip: The Jungfraujoch, as well as Schlithorn, can only be accessed by rail, park your car near the Lauterbrunnen railway station and take a train up the mountains.  

La Terrasse

If you’re craving a tasty meal, go to La Terrasse located within the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel. The upscale restaurant offers a wide selection of regional dishes that changes every season, along with a separate menu for desserts.

Next on your Switzerland itinerary: Andermatt, 1 hour 40 minutes

Andermatt

andermatt ski resort town in winter with alps in background

The driving time from Interlaken to Andermatt highly depends on the season, the fastest route goes along the A11, though the pass is only open around the summer.

During the colder months, taking the A8 is the fastest.

The mountain village situated nearly 1500 meters above sea level is home to central Switzerland’s largest ski resort. The town’s narrow streets are lined with traditional buildings, local eateries, and shops. Andermatt is truly the perfect mountain getaway.

Where can you ski in Andermatt?

Ski Arena Andermatt-Sedrun

Start at the Ski Arena Andermatt-Sedrun. Andermatt is a famous ski destination in the Swiss Alps and there are various resorts to choose from.

The two ski areas have over 50 different slopes, along with facilities such as numerous sun terraces and restaurants. Skiing and snowboarding equipment can be rented by the slopes.

Passes can be purchased online.

Gotthard Pass

Drive up the scenic Gotthard Pass, an absolutely breathtaking driving road outside of the village. The road is favored by petrolheads, bikers, cyclists, and hikers from around the world.

Drive across the Tremola and pass the Devil’s Bridge and admire the out-of-this-world scenery. Post photos from the Pass with #rentalmoose, the best ones will be rewarded with a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge!

Andermatt Golf Course

If you’re visiting during the Summer, play a round of golf at the local Andermatt Golf Course. The 18-hole course is beautifully designed between the mountains and offers a picturesque setting during your game, with slight winds as an additional challenge.

Experienced players can participate in one of the tournaments.

Where to stay in Andermatt?

Andermatt is perfect for luxury hotel fans, as one of the best hotels in the country is located near the center of the village.

The Chedi Andermatt

The Chedi Andermatt is a prestigious 5-star hotel that offers beautiful rooms with panoramic views, as well as complimentary amenities such as spa and pool access, a fireplace in each room, 7 bars and restaurants and “a ski butler service”. 

Schweizerhof Hotel

A relatively affordable, at least for Swiss standards, alternative is the Schweizerhof Hotel. The hotel consists of 28 cozy rooms, as well as an atmospheric restaurant that serves delicious regional dishes.

Next on your Switzerland itinerary: Lugano, 1 hour 30 minutes

Lake Lugano

lake lugano large mountain flowers calm lake colorful sunset switzerland

Nicola Giordano/Pixabay.com

Lugano is a beautiful lake in southern Switzerland surrounded by monumental mountains, often regarded as one of the most beautiful destinations in the country. A visit to this part of Switzerland wouldn’t be complete without a stop here!

What to see in Lugano?

Piazza Riforma

Begin by exploring the cute town of Lugano. Leave your car at Autosilo Motta, a large multi-story car park close to the heart of the city (the cost is around 25CHF for a day).

Stroll around the narrow streets, visit some of the local shops or cafes placed along the Piazza Riforma.

Trattoria Galleria

Head to Trattoria Galleria for a delicious Italian lunch, a short walk away from Riforma. Afterall, Lugano is a mix of Swiss and Italian cultures and it is reflected in the local cuisine.

The Lakeside Promenade

After lunch, continue walking south until you reach the shore. The clear view of the lake and the mountains surrounding it is truly unreal.

Admire the scenery while walking along Lugano’s beautiful promenade.

Then, turn away from the lake and into Via Nassa, the town’s go-to shopping destination. Some of the stores here date beyond the 17th century.

FoxTown

Shopping freaks should consider paying FoxTown a visit. The luxury outlet is filled with high-quality clothing and accessories at discounted prices. A visit to FoxTown requires a minor, 20-minute detour south towards Italy.

The outlet is open daily between 11 AM to 7 PM

Gandria

Leave the town and drive a couple of minutes west until you reach Gandria, a beautiful untouched lakeside village. The beautiful facades of well-preserved historic buildings make Gandria a beautiful backdrop for photography, located at the foot of Monte Brè.

Next on your Switzerland itinerary: Saint Moritz, 2 hours 40 minutes

Saint Moritz

saint moritz ski resort hotel in winter frozen lake alps in background switzerland

Pitsch/Pixabay.com

The next stop on your journey is Saint Moritz, a prestigious alpine resort town favored by the rich and famous. The town’s elegance does come at a high price, as Saint Moritz is repeatedly rated as one of the most expensive holiday destinations in the world.

What can you do in Saint Moritz?

Ski Resorts

If you’re visiting St. Moritz in the winter season, you should definitely experience what the town is famous for: ski resorts.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a pro, a beginner or anywhere in between, St. Moritz is the place to go. 58 ski lifts and 350 kilometers of slopes make the town absolute heaven for winter thrill-seekers.

Detailed information about ski resorts can be found here.

Some tourists believe that a ski resort town doesn’t offer much other than slopes. While this may be true for some towns, it is certainly not the case with Saint Moritz.

What can you do in St. Moritz except skiing?

Ice Skating

Every winter, the frozen lake by the town is transformed into a natural ice rink. Skating on a frozen lake while admiring the magnificent glaciers is another unforgettable experience during this road trip.

What’s more, the natural ice rink is very affordable. Admission costs below 15 CHF per day, children can enter for half the price.

Skates can be rented directly at the rink for around 5 CHF. Visiting in the summer? Head to Eisarena Ludains by the lake for an artificial rink open all year long.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking fans will find themselves in paradise upon arriving in Saint Moritz, as the resort town is home to thrilling world-class mountain biking trails. Choose from hundreds of kilometers of trails, you can find the best ones in Red Bull’s MTB Destination Guide

Mountain Biking Equipment Rental

Do you want to try out mountain biking? You can visit the St Moritz Bike Center, where visitors can rent different types of bicycles and necessary equipment. Pick up your bike and head up to the mountains!

Mountain Restaurants

If you’re looking for a more relaxing way to enjoy the panoramic views, visit one of the Mountain Restaurants by Suvretta House Hotel. Restaurants Chasellas and Trutz both offer breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps as well as delicious cuisine.

Which restaurant to pick?

Trutz features a variety of traditional Swiss dishes, while Chasellas has more of a Mediterranean cuisine.

Where to stay in St. Moritz?

Badrutt’s Palace

Luxury seekers can spend the night at the prestigious Badrutt’s Palace. This extraordinary 5-star hotel has been welcoming guests since 1896, making it one of the oldest hotels in Europe!

Its impressive history is present throughout the property. The hotel’s restaurant (Le Restaurant), for example, was once home to Europe’s first indoor tennis court.

The legendary property features classy rooms overlooking the mountains, 6 restaurants, an indoor pool, a spa and fitness center and more.

As expected, all this luxury comes at a hefty price tag, it most certainly isn’t the top pick among budget travelers.

Next on your Switzerland itinerary: Zurich, 2 hours 50 minutes

Zurich

zurich old town bridge medieval church clock tower during sunset switzerland

Jorg Vieli/Pixabay.com

The last segment of this trip is a drive to Zurich, the global capital for banks and financial institutions. The city, however, has a lot more in stock for you.

What is Zurich famous for?

Zurich is known around the world as the go-to Swiss city for luxury shopping and fine dining, banking and consuming as much Swiss chocolate as possible. The city is also very historical, with tens of museums and art galleries scattered around the streets.

Seebad Enge

Are you in town during the summer? If so, go to Seebad Enge, one of the city’s best spots where you can go for a swim in Lake Zurich. The water in the lake is very clean, and the surroundings make for extraordinary views.

There is also a sauna available during the winter, as well as a restaurant and bar.

Admission costs below 10 CHF per person as of 2020.

Bahnhofstrasse

Don’t forget to visit Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich’s vivid hotspot for shopping. Walk down the busy streets, get some of the local delicacies at numerous cafes and bakeries or shop for a luxury Swiss timepiece.

If you happen to be in Zurich during the Christmas season, you can admire the magical Christmas decorations that are lighting up the street or visit one of the seasonal Christmas markets.

Are you looking for more attractions in Zurich? Click here to read more about the city, including the best restaurant in town. You don’t want to miss it during your visit!

What are the best hotels in Zurich?

Widder Hotel

For your night in Zurich, consider staying at the prestigious Widder Hotel in the heart of Zurich’s Old Town. The 5-star hotel is situated in a 15th-century townhouse and is home to one of the best bars in town. Unique decor in each room, fine dining, and a beautiful library are also parts of the unique experience.

A private car park is available for hotel guests.

Kameha Grand

A more affordable alternative is the Kameha Grand. This 4-star boutique hotel is a part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection and features a stylish, Middle-eastern inspired decor and a good location near the airport, as well as very good service.

A private car park is available. 

Drop-off

Your rental car can be dropped off directly at the Zurich Airport for maximum comfort. Rental companies that support drop-off in a different location can be found via Rentalmoose.

Don’t forget to book your rental car via Rentalmoose for your next adventure.

On our platform, you can find the top rental companies at the best price, along with tens of curated travel guides around the globe. Our Switzerland itinerary is just one of them!

Get your car from Rentalmoose!

We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

Post your pictures from your Switzerland itinerary and tag #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

Rental Moose Mascot posing with traditional Swiss wooden homes in Verbier Village in Switzerland
blue crystal lago di garda lake in italy next to large mountains green fields and small town on a clear summer day

The Ultimate North of Italy Road Trip Itinerary

Weekend Getaway Through Northern Italy. Explore the best of it with our North of Italy Road Trip Itinerary.

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Milan to Lake Como– 51km (32 miles) – 1.7 EUR highway toll 📍

Lake Como to Bergamo– 62km (39 miles) 📍

Bergamo to Lago di Garda– 92km (57 miles)- 5.7 EUR 📍

Lago di Garda to Verona– 73km (45 miles), 2.2 EUR 📍

Verona to Venice– 116km (73 miles), 8.8 EUR 📍

360km (224 miles) in total

Tags: Travel guide, Italy, Drop-off at another location, South of Europe, Lombardy

 This travel guide takes you on a 360 km Italian road trip starting in Milan, the fashion capital of the world, through picturesque regions of Lombardy to the Garda Lake continuing to Verona before finishing in Venice.

 The road trip itinerary is divided into short sectors roughly an hour of driving each. Dedicate at least two full days to this road trip to have enough time to discover every point along the way.

Planning- Before You Leave

Before setting off on your road trip in Italy, take a look at some of the essential information listed below.

Why should I rent a car in Italy?

Italy is perfect to be discovered by a rental car, the country has moderate traffic outside cities and getting around by car is a lot more convenient than using trains or buses. Italy is perfect for a European road trip!

 Your rental car can be picked up from different spots in Milan, such as the Milan Malpensa Airport, Milan Bergamo Airport, or the Milano Centrale Railway Station. Browse through available options on Rentalmoose.

 When booking your rental car, do not forget to add excess coverage provided by Rentalmoose for extra protection. 

After picking up the car, be sure to take check-in photos of the vehicle and qualify for a 50% discount from the excess cover fee.

Rental Moose mascot standing next to traditional italian home in italy. See the best places to see in Italy with rentalmoose

Can tourists drive in Italy?

You need an international driving permit to drive in Italy unless you are an EU-citizen. These can easily be obtained in your local country and are mandatory for non-EU driver licenses when driving in Italy. For more information on International Driving Permits, click here.

Driving in Italy for the first time might be quite a hectic experience. Getting around large cities is chaotic and driving around tight cobblestone streets can be a nightmare.

On top of all this, the locals don’t really seem to be following the speed limits.

Speeding is common among drivers in Italy. Once you get caught, you will probably realize it was not worth it. Tourists in Italy have to pay the fine on the spot to the police and can additionally be charged by the car rental company.

Going up to 21km/h over the limit on the highway will cost you around 150 Euros, while breaking a “no-parking” rule will cost you around 80 Euros.

Traffic in Italy is on the right-hand side.

Road Trip Extensions

Travelers willing to explore Italy further can head south to Tuscany and the coastal southern tip of the country, extending their Italian road trip. Check out the Rentalmoose guides to Tuscany as well as the Sunny South of Italy and plan your great Italian road trip!

You can also experience a total change of scenery and head north into Switzerland. Drive across alpine mountain passes, ski in the world’s most luxurious resorts and explore the absolute best of the Swiss Alps. Click here for the guide.

Fancy a different route? Check out this travel guide for a different, adventure-filled guide from Milan to Venice through Switzerland.

@rentalmoose

A 20-second travel guide: Northern Italy by car. Check out my profile for more trip ideas ##tiktoktravel ##travelguide ##traveltip ##italy ##roadtrip

♬ original sound – ocean_magazine

The Toll System in Italy

 Keep in mind that highways in Italy are not free. The total cost of tolls for this trip does not exceed 20 Euros. You can find all paid highway sections in the country here.

 Fees can be covered by cash and credit card directly at the highway entrance, or using a prepaid Viacard that can be purchased at gas stations and roadside shops.

When is the best time to visit Italy?

The perfect time to visit this part of Italy is spring (from late March until early June) and fall (September to November). As the peak of the tourist season is in the summer, most places will be too crowded for enjoyable sightseeing.

If you want to go for a swim in Garda Lake while avoiding massive crowds, I recommend going in late May just before the summer starts.

Now that you’re all set, let’s dive into your Italy road trip itinerary!

Milan

duomo di milano milan cathedral illuminated at night italy

Milan Cathedral at night. Photo by Cococc/Pixabay.

The adventure begins in the fashion capital of the world, Milan. Pick up your rental car directly at the airport and head into this fascinating city. 

What to see in Milan?

Piazza del Duomo and Milan Cathedral

Don’t forget to visit the Piazza del Duomo right in the heart of the city. You can park your car just beside the square and take a short stroll to the Milan Cathedral

 Admire the beautiful facade or step inside for just 3 EUR per person [buy tickets here]. 

Grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

 Directly next to the Cathedral, you will see the Grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. If you are a fan of luxury shopping, this Gallery is the perfect place for you.

 Head into one of the numerous cafes and restaurants in the area. I personally recommend Signorvino, offering delicious pizza, cheese boards, and a perfect view of the Cathedral [Click here for the menu].

Next on your Italy road trip: Lake Como, 1 hour, 1.7 EUR highway toll

Lake Como

traditional medieval italian hillside village overlooking lake como blue water surrounded by mountains on a clear day

Lake Como. Photo from Pixabay

 Take the A9 up to Como, a magnificent lake surrounded by the Dolomites. The area offers truly breathtaking landscapes, it is regarded as the most beautiful place in all of Lombardy. 

What is worth visiting in Lake Como?

Enjoy the panoramic views from ground level in the cute town of Como, or take the Funicolare train up the mountain to Brunate and enjoy the scenery from above. 

 A return ticket costs just 6.7 Euros per person and can be purchased at the ticket booth directly before boarding the train. 

Art enthusiasts can enjoy an exhibition in Villa Olmo, an impressive palace built in the late 1700s. Visitors can check out various exhibitions or admire the monumental architecture. This venue also features green gardens surrounding the villa that can be visited free of charge.

Al Veluu- Fine Dining by Lake Como

If you are looking for a very sophisticated culinary experience be sure to visit Al Veluu, a fine-dining restaurant just a short drive up the mountain west of Como. Signature dishes include fresh lake fish, juicy mountain cuts and incredible tiramisu. Take a look at the menu here.

Al Veluu also has luxury suites if you wish to spend the night near the lake.

Next on your Italy road trip: Bergamo, 1 hour 30 minutes

Bergamo

bergamo citta alta historical italian town traditional architecture and medieval church on a clear day

Bergamo’s città alta. Photograph from Pixabay

How to get to Bergamo?

Whilst the fastest way to Bergamo is the A9/E64 highway which passes through Milan, there is a much more interesting route. It’s a minor detour that will extend the trip time by just 20 minutes, though during the drive you will be able to experience the less-touristy side of Lombardy. 

Take the SP342 directly from Como and follow it all the way through to the city of Bergamo. Along the way, you will pass through plentiful cozy villages filled with authentic trattorias and cafes undiscovered by tourists. 

If you choose to take the faster route instead, there is an extra cost in the highway toll (4.50 Euros). 

Armani Designer Outlet

Shopping freaks can take a small detour south of Como and visit the Armani designer outlet. Inside, you will find a wide selection of clothes and accessories from previous seasons. Some of the items are discounted up to 80% off the regular price!

What should you see in Bergamo?

The city of Bergamo is truly fascinating. Its incredibly rich history is reflected especially in Città Alta, the old part of town.

Visiting the Palazzo Della Ragione and Santa Maria Maggiore is essentially a must. Città Alta’s are lined with many local shops, trattorias (a casual type of restaurant), and gelaterias (ice cream shops).

This part of Bergamo is best explored on foot, you can park your car practically anywhere along Viale Delle Mura. Parking spots that are marked using blue paint have to be paid at the nearest meter, while spaces marked in white are free of charge.

Pay a visit to Piazza Vecchia, the vibrant heart of Bergamo. A portion of ice cream from Caffé del Tasso is a must, as it is considered to be the best gelateria in town. It is one of the oldest cafes in all of Bergamo, it opened back in 1476! Once you’re there, make sure to post it on social media using hashtags #rentalmoose and #caffedeltasso. 

Next: Lago di Garda, 1 hour 20 minutes 5.7 EUR highway toll

Lago di Garda

Yellow, traditional italian buildings and a small piazza in Sirmione right by the crystal-clear Lago di Garda. See the best parts of northern italy with our italy road trip itinerary.

Garda Lake seen from Sirmione

 Lago di Garda is the biggest and cleanest lake in all of Italy, it is the country’s hotspot for family attractions and watersports. Some of the places worth visiting in Lake Garda include secluded beaches, Gardaland and the town of Sirmione. It’s a must on any road trip in Italy.

Sirmione

 The town of Sirmione is just off the E70 highway. Follow Viale Guglielmo Marconi all the way until you reach the castle, then turn left and leave the car at the carpark

 The historical part of town can only be accessed on foot. The 13th-century Scaligero Castle acts as the gate to Sirmione, and can be explored inside and out. 

 You can climb its tower and enjoy panoramic views of the lake from a higher point. Admission tickets to Scaligero Castle start at 5 Euros per person.

Where to stay in Sirmione?

Continue further into the town where you will find chic cafes and hotels. I recommend staying at Hotel Sirmione right in the very center of the town. Rooms start at 150 Euros per night, though there are frequent discounts. 


Beautiful green flowers and plants in front of crystal-clear Lago di Garda lake in north of italy. See the best parts of italy on our italy road trip itinerary.

What are other attractions in Lago di Garda?

 Thrill-seekers and families can spend a day at Gardaland, a theme park filled with rides for all ages, an aquarium and an upcoming Legoland water park (opening in 2020). Located on the south-west side of the lake, Gardaland is open all year round. 

An entry ticket to the theme park costs 25 euros per person (and 16 euros for the aquarium), which is a good deal compared to other parks in Europe such as Disneyland or Europa Park. 

 The park often offers discounts during the off-peak season, so you can score entry tickets for an even better price.

 If you are looking for a more relaxing way to spend your time in Lake Garda, consider going for a swim in Aquaria Thermal Spa, located within the town of Sirmione. 

 This spa and wellness complex is open daily and features thermal pools, saunas and a variety of massages and treatments. Entry tickets start at 39 EUR per person and can be purchased here.

Garda Lake is famous for its crystal clear water and a number of beaches. There are many to choose from but I strongly recommend heading to Parco Baia Delle Sirene

 It is a rather quiet beach in the eastern part of the lake, perfect for a swim or sunbathing. Admission starts at 6 Euros after 3 PM, click here for details on pricing.

Next on your Italy road trip: Verona, 50 minutes 2.2 EUR highway toll

Verona

verona traditional historical town medieval stone buildings and bridge over adige river at sunset in italy. See Verona on an italy road trip

Verona’s Adige River. Photo by Henrique Ferreira via Unsplash.

 Verona is the second biggest city in the Veneto region of Italy and definitely shouldn’t be missed on any Italian road trip. 

Driving around the central area of Verona can be a nightmare because of its tight one-way roads, lack of parking spaces and the overall amount of cars, so consider leaving the car at the outdoor car park in Piazza Cittadella and strolling around the area instead.

What to see in Verona?

Arena di Verona

 Arena di Verona, the city’s main historical attraction, is just a 5-minute walk from the carpark. The monumental colosseum is just as spectacular as the one in Rome, constructed back in 30AD. 

 You can walk inside the arena, where many public gatherings and events have been held for thousands of years. Check the official website for events during your visit.

Ponte di Castelvecchio

 Continue to stroll through the city center until you reach Ponte di Castelvecchio, another true landmark in Verona. Situated on top of River Adige, this spectacular bridge is a part of Castelvecchio.

The bridge and castle date back to the 13th century and can act as a stunning backdrop for your photos. Step inside the castle which has been turned into a museum for just 6 Euros per person, tickets can be bought directly at the entrance.

ponte di castelvecchio red stone bridge over adige river on a clear sunny day in verona italy. See it on an Italy road trip

Ponte di Castelvecchio. Photography by Paul Arps from Flickr.com

Juliet’s House

 As you keep walking East of the castle, you will find yourself next to Juliet’s house. It was believed to be the house of Juliet from William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”.

 Although lots of people find this attraction overrated, along with proof that this was in fact not the real house of Juliet, it remains one of Verona’s landmarks that’s worth at least a quick peek.

Where is the best pizza in Verona?

This leg of the trip wouldn’t be complete without trying real, Italian pizza. Where can you find the best pizza in Verona? I recommend going to Pizzeria Tutti Gusti, hands-down one of the best pizzerias in town.

Have you been there? Be sure to let us know in the comments if you agree with us. [Click here for the menu]

Next on your Italy road trip: Venice, 1 hour 20 minutes 8.8 EUR highway toll

Venice

venice empty grand canal surrounded by colorful traditional buildings and parked boats italy


Getting to Venice

 The last leg of this road trip is a 120km drive from Verona to Venice via the A4 highway. There are massive multi-story car parks right by the entrance to the city, so don’t worry about finding a spot.

A parking spot costs 21 euros per day, with lower rates for the short-term. Detailed rates can be found here. You can then get to the city by the waterbus (2nd line), they’re available right by the carparks. 

 Get off at the first stop right in front of the Ponte della Constituzione bridge. Cross the bridge and enter the magnificent town. You can then head towards Ponte Degli Scalzi and continue exploring on foot.

What are the best attractions in Venice?

Rialto Bridge

 A sight not to be missed is the Rialto bridge. It is one of the most recognizable spots in Venice, and is filled with tourists. 

 The area surrounding the bridge is packed with all kinds of restaurants, cafes, and shops, where one can find anything from high-end clothes to traditional handmade masks. 

The number of people can be overwhelming and in my opinion, Ponte di Rialto is best when admired from a distance, therefore I recommend heading down to Al Buso

 Directly next to the bridge, this restaurant will prepare a delicious Italian meal with a view of the bridge and Canal Grand.

St Mark’s Basilica and St Mark’s Square

 St Mark’s Basilica and St Mark’s Square are the most visited attractions in Venice, and one of the most popular tourist hotspots in all of Italy. 

 Known for its breath-taking architecture, Saint Mark’s Basilica is situated within Saint Mark’s Square. The Basilica has been a landmark in Venice ever since its opening back in 1094. 

 Don’t get discouraged by the queues waiting to enter the church, as visiting the interior is absolutely worth it.

 You can purchase entry tickets online [Purchase tickets], skip the queue and walk right in for just 3 Euros per person. 

 Skip the line service is available only during the highest peak season from April till November, as during other months the queues are much shorter.

La Biennale di Venezia

Art enthusiasts should definitely visit La Biennale di Venezia. The venue hosts different exhibitions during the year, including art and architecture exhibitions, film and dance festivals and theatre shows. Tickets for various events by Biennale can be purchased here.

What are the best hotels in Venice?

 Venice has all sorts of luxury, boutique, or budget hotels available throughout the islands. If you are looking for the absolute best of Venice’s luxury experience, Hotel Belmond Cipriani is the hotel of your dreams. 

Definitely the best place to stay in Venice, this 5-star hotel offers luxury accommodation, a great location and gourmet dining.

If you are traveling on a tighter budget, consider staying at the B&B Bloom Settimo Cielo. Located within walking distance of the Rialto Bridge, the highlights of this cozy hotel are beautiful interior decor and a very good location, just a 10-minute walk away from Saint Mark’s Square [Book a room here].

Travelers who wish to stay at the beach can take the Vaporetto Water Bus to Lido island directly from Venice. Le Ville del Lido is a cozy, affordable hotel just across the street from the beach. The hotel features an outdoor pool, classic decor and a beautiful garden. 

traditional colorful handmade carnival masks on display in local store in venice italy

Drop-off

Your rental car can be dropped off directly at the airport for maximum convenience. Browse through available options on Rentalmoose.

Don’t have a car you can take on one of the best road trips in Italy? No problem!

Don’t forget to book your rental car via Rentalmoose for your next Italy road trips. On our platform, you can find the top rental companies at the best price, along with tens of curated travel guides around the globe. Get your car from Rentalmoose!

We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

Post your pictures from your next Italy road trips online using #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

green hillside vineyards seen from Durbach Castle in Black Forest Germany

Top places to visit in the Black Forest Germany- Schwarzwald by Car

Top places to visit in Black Forest Germany

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Strasbourg to Gengenbach– 40km (25 miles) 📍 

Gengenbach to Baden-Baden– 61km (38 miles) 📍

Baden-Baden to Allerheiligen Waterfalls– 45km (28 miles) 📍

Allerheiligen Waterfalls to Triberg Waterfalls– 69km (43 miles) 📍

Triberg Waterfalls to Hexenloch Mill– 23km (14 miles) 📍

Hexenloch Mill to Freiburg– 87km (54 miles) 📍

Freiburg to Basel– 70km (43 miles) 📍

Basel to Zurich– 87km (54 miles) 📍

440km (273 miles) total

Tags: Travel guide, Drop-off at another location, Germany, Schwarzwald

This travel guide takes you on a road trip starting in Strasbourg, France, going across the Black Forest region before finishing in Zurich, Switzerland. The scenic drive can be completed in less than 7 and a half hours and is divided into short segments roughly an hour each.

The recommended duration of this road trip is 2 days, with about 3 hours of driving per day. 

Planning- Before You Leave

Before setting off to explore the Black Forest in Germany, take a look at some of the essential information listed below.

What is the Black Forest? 

The Black Forest (Schwarzwald in German) is an incredible mountainous forest in Baden Württemberg in southwestern Germany. Schwarzwald is the setting of most Grimm Brothers tales and is famous for the Black Forest Cake, a local delicacy.

The Black Forest has various attractions waiting to be explored, from picturesque forests, mountains and waterfalls through to vineyards and cute historical villages with delightful local cuisine.

Best of all, this region isn’t ruined by over-tourism, so it’s the perfect place to discover an authentic part of Germany.

How did the Black Forest get its name?

 The Black Forest got its name during the times of Ancient Rome. Romans referred to the forest as “Silva Nigra” (the Black Forest in Latin) because of its density and dark color, and the name remained ever since.

Where is the Black Forest in Germany?

Germany’s Black Forest, or Schwarzwald, is located in the south-west part of Germany, in the Baden Württemberg region. Some of the towns in and around the Black Forest include Baden-Baden, Offenburg, or Freiburg im Breisgau.

When is the best time to visit Germany?

 The best time to visit the Black Forest is anytime in Spring (late March to June) and Autumn (September to November), as some of the mountain roads may not be accessible in Winter.

Baden-Baden, the B500 mountain road and Freiburg might get crowded on weekends, so go during the week when it’s much quieter.

Road Trip Extensions

Your trip doesn’t have to end in Zurich! The Black Forest is near two beautiful regions in Germany and Switzerland.

Explore the picturesque region of Bavaria, stroll around the vibrant city of Munich or dine at an old Nazi mountain summit base. Check out the Rentalmoose guide to Munich’s surrounding areas and plan your ideal trip!

Alternatively, you can continue south and discover the monumental Swiss Alps. Indulge in extreme sports in Switzerland‘s most luxurious resort, drive across exciting mountain passes or play a game of golf in Andermatt. Click here for the guide.

Why should I book a rental car in Germany?

 Germany is ideal to be discovered by a rental car. The roads are very well-maintained and stunning views along the way are guaranteed. Many rental companies in Strasbourg support drop-off in a different location, browse through available options on Rentalmoose.

 Germany, France and Switzerland are parts of the open-border Schengen Zone, which means crossing countries is quick and hassle-free.

Germany and France accept foreign driving licenses from most countries, however, if your license isn’t in English, German, French or Italian you are required to have an International Driving Permit when driving in Switzerland. 

For extra peace of mind during your road trip, add the excess coverage provided by Rentalmoose when booking your rental car.

Once you’ve picked up the car, don’t forget to take photos of the car to qualify for a 50% discount from the excess coverage fee.

When driving on the German Autobahn, remember to stick to the right lane unless overtaking. Some segments of the Autobahn have no speed limits, it is especially crucial not to block the overtaking lanes on unrestricted segments.

Speed limits are enforced quite strictly in Germany. You may come across well-hidden radars, especially in urban zones. Pay attention to road signs at all times and stay within the limit.

If you do happen to get a speeding ticket, you will be pleased to hear that the fines are rather low. Getting caught at 11-15km/h (6.8-9.3 MPH) above the limit outside of urban zones will result in a 40 Euro ticket.

 All 3 nations have right-hand side traffic.

Now that you’re all set, it’s time to begin your road trip and explore the Black Forest!

Strasbourg

strasbourg medieval old town traditional wooden and white buildings near calm rhein river and yellow trees in france. See Strasbourg during our Black forest Germany road trip itinerary.

Strasbourg’s old town.

Your Black Forest itinerary begins over in the French town of Strasbourg. Rentalmoose recommends picking up your rental car directly as you arrive at the airport.

Getting around town is very comfortable by car, as there isn’t heavy traffic, so feel free to explore the city before continuing on to Germany.

What to do in Strasbourg?

Notre Dame Cathedral

 A must-see is the famous old town, where you will find the monumental Notre Dame Cathedral. You can go inside, visit the beautiful astronomical clock and admire the views from the viewing point for 2 and 4.6 Euros respectively.

You can park at Parking des Bateliers, just a short walk from the cathedral.

Le Gruber

 Head over to Le Gruber (click for directions), one of the best restaurants in Strasbourg, where you can try some local specialties such as tarte flambée.

Rentalmoose order tip: Be sure to try Tarte Flambee when in Strasbourg. This traditional pizza-like flatbread is a regional specialty.

Batorama Boat Tours

Afterward, take a short walk to the pier and take one of the sightseeing boat tours through the city. Cruises are operated multiple times a day by Batorama, with tickets starting at 13.5 Euros per person.

Marche de L’Esplanade

 If you happen to be in Strasbourg on a Tuesday or Saturday morning, visit Marché de l’Esplanade, a traditional French market with various local vendors and producers.

Next: Gengenbach, 40 minutes

Gengenbach

gengenbach medieval city center traditional bavarian wooden bright buildings small square people on benches on a clear sunny day in germany

The medieval town of Gengenbach.

Cross the Rhine river into Germany and continue past Offenburg towards the fairytale-like town of Gengenbach. Don’t be fooled by the size of this town, its history dates back to the 13th century despite having just 11000 inhabitants!

Drive towards the center and continue to explore it on foot, there are a couple of car parks along Friedrichstrasse.

Why should you visit Gegenbach?

 The biggest surprise in Gengenbach is the absence of any tourists, this town is a true hidden gem! Stroll around and admire the historical architecture, step inside any of the local cafes for a slice of Black Forest Cake, after all this is what the Black Forest is famous for. 

Gegenbach Wine Festival

 If you are planning to visit Gengenbach in Autumn, you can attend the annual wine festival, which takes place on the third weekend of September every year.

Next: Baden-Baden, 40 minutes

Baden-Baden

baden baden walking street colorful bright storefronts and restaurants street performer playing the guitar on a clear sunny day in germany

Baden-Baden’s colourful old town.

 After a 40 minute drive on the Autobahn, you will arrive in Baden-Baden, one of the best-known spa towns in the entire world. There are plenty of things to do in Baden-Baden, such as a relaxing session in a thermal bath or shopping in the old town.

What should I see in Baden-Baden?

Lichtentaler Allee

 You can begin by exploring Lichtentaler Allee, a lovely park in the heart of the city. The park is over 2 kilometers long, making it perfect for a relaxing stroll.

There is a multi-story car park conveniently located inside a shopping gallery just across the south end of the park (click for directions). 

The Old Town

 Continue walking south until you reach the famous Baden-Baden Casino, then turn east and you will find vivid old town streets full of colorful restaurants, cafes and all kinds of stores to satisfy your shopping needs.

Caracalla Spa

 If you wish to relax during your stay in Baden-Baden, why not try what the city is known for? Pay a visit to Caracalla Spa, a spa and wellness center offering thermal pools and plenty of different treatments.

Ticket prices start at 15 Euros for 90 minutes in the Spa area. Caracalla Spa is open daily from 8 AM to 10 PM.

Next: Allerheiligen Waterfalls, 50 minutes

Allerheiligen Waterfalls

man walking up path next to allerheiligen waterfalls in germany surrounded by tall mountains and dense forest. See Allerheiligen waterfalls during our Black Forest Road Trip itinerary.

The trail following Allerheiligen Waterfalls.

The Black Forest High Road- one of the best drives in Europe

 This part of the road trip begins as soon as you set off from Baden-Baden. Leave the city and follow the B500 up into the mountains.

You will drive along the Schwarzwaldhochstrasse (The Black Forest High Road), one of the best driving roads in all of Europe. This mountain pass goes through the middle of the Black Forest and is very popular among motorcyclists and car enthusiasts.

Be sure to fill up your tank before leaving Baden-Baden, as there aren’t many gas stations later on.

How to find the Allerheiligen Waterfalls?

 You can stop at one of the numerous viewpoints along the way to enjoy the panoramic views from above, before arriving at Allerheiligen Waterfalls (All Saints Waterfalls).

You can choose to explore the waterfalls starting at the bottom and hiking along the trail up the mountain, or starting directly at the top near the monastery ruins.

There is a large car park along the B500 near the bottom of the waterfalls (how to find it).

 You will see the first waterfall after a couple of minutes of walking, the entire trail is rather steep and lengthy so be prepared to hike for a bit if you want to see all of the waterfalls.

Allerheiligen Monastery Ruins

 At the end of the trail (1.3 km length), there are ruins of the Allerheiligen Monastery. You can regain energy at All Saints Abbey, a restaurant next to the Monastery ruins. 

The top of the waterfalls, along with All Saints Monastery ruins, can also be accessed by car. Simply park at the spacious Allerheiligen Oberer car park (how to find it).

Next: Triberg Waterfalls, 1 hour 30 minutes

Triberg Waterfalls

walking tourist path over triberg waterfalls the tallest waterfalls in germany

Triberg Waterfalls seen from the bottom of the trail.

 Follow the hairpins along the B500, B28, and B33 for another 90 minutes until you reach the town of Triberg. Access to Triberg Waterfalls is not free of charge, unlike the Allerheiligen.

You can park at Scheffelplatz, where you will need to purchase admission tickets. Entry costs 5 Euros per person but it is definitely worth it.

Triberg- the highest waterfall in Germany

 The spectacular waterfall is over 160 meters tall, making it the highest in the country. The water is illuminated until 10 pm daily, it is a truly spectacular sight even after nightfall.

You can head into the village of Triberg for a snack or another slice of the delicious Black Forest Cake, just minutes away from the car park.

Next: Hexenloch Mill, 30 minutes

Hexenloch Mill

motorcycles parked in front of wooden hexenlochmuhle building restaurant famous in black forest germany

The Hexenloch Mill is a favorite lunch spot among bikers and car enthusiasts passing through the Black Forest High Road.

What is the Hexenloch Mill?

 The Hexenloch Mill (Hexenlochmühle) is yet another hidden gem you should visit in the Black Forest. The structure was built in the early 1800s and is currently the go-to food spot in the region.

This atmospheric restaurant loved by locals and tourists, it offers authentic, mouth-watering dishes. Grab a seat at one of the outdoor tables and enjoy some German specialties like sausages (Bratwurst) or a pork Schnitzel.

Rentalmoose order tip: In Germany, you can’t go wrong with a fresh Bratwurst (German Sausage) or a juicy Schnitzel (porkchop).

 There is also a gift shop inside where you can stock up on souvenirs after your meal.

 The Hexenloch Mill is open from Friday to Tuesday until 6 pm.

Next: Freiburg, 40 minutes

Freiburg im Breisgau

red white and orange traditional medieval buildings in freiburg germany

Freiburg’s reconstructed old town. Photography by Couleur from Pixabay.

Follow the final stretch of the B500 and continue along beautiful vineyards until you reach the city of Freiburg im Breisgau. Drive into the city center and park at the Karlsbau. Just a few steps away, you will find the impressive Freiburg Minster (click for directions).

The Freiburg Minster

 The Freiburg Minster is 116 meters tall, so it is impossible to miss. View the immense facade or take a peek inside, where you can climb up to a viewing point atop the tower and get the best views of the city.

The cathedral stands in the middle of the glamorous Münsterplatz square, which is another spot worth a visit while in Freiburg.

The Old Town

Freiburg im Breisgau’s old town has been carefully reconstructed after the Second World War which had left it in tragic shape, however, this is certainly not the case anymore. Walking through the heart of Freiburg will make you feel as if you’ve traveled back to Medieval times, thanks to many historical monuments and cobblestone roads.

The Local Market

 You can also attend the local market that trades in the city centre every morning except Sundays. Go to one of the butchers and try Black Forest Ham, another specialty from this region of Germany.

 Where to stay in Freiburg im Breisgau?

 In order to feel the medieval vibe, Rentalmoose recommends spending the night at the Oberkirch Hotel, situated right at the foot of the Minster. Perfect location and historical decor make this my favorite hotel in Freiburg. The rooms start at 89 Euros per night.

 A cheaper alternative would be the Ibis Budget Hotel around 5km away from the city center, where rooms start at 40 Euros per night. [Click to check availability]

Next: Basel, 1 hour

Basel

basel's old town medieval traditional architecture buildings seen from across bridge on the other side of river during sunset in switzerland

Basel’s iconic historical district with the Rhine in the foreground. Photography by Skeeze from Pixabay.

 The route from Freiburg to Basel is nowhere near as exciting as the B500, though it is also unique for tourists from other countries. Drive onto the A5 Autobahn and continue south. 

 German highways (Autobahn) are famous around the world for their unrestricted segments. About 70% of the German Autobahn network has no speed limit.

That’s right, as soon as you pass this sign you are allowed to drive as fast as you want. The best part of it all? All Autobahns in Germany are completely free of charge. Keep in mind to stay in the right lane, as the left lane is reserved strictly for overtaking.

 Don’t forget that unrestricted highways only exist in Germany, in Switzerland the motorway speed limit is 120km/h. Furthermore, Switzerland is known for very strict penalties for speeding and improper parking [click for details], so be extra careful not to pass the limit.

Drivers in Switzerland can be fined for going just 1km/h over the speed limit!

Speeding is dangerous as on the highways there are unmarked police cars trying to catch speeders. During the night I was driving around 20 km/h over the limit and police was behind me in a regular looking BMW.

After following me for some time they pulled me over and asked questions. As the penalty policy depends how much you earn I told I was a student and had no income. I got minimum 2500 franks and they didn’t let me go till I paid them directly.

Swiss police is strict and they don’t send you penalties home anymore, on-the-spot payment is required.

 Please note: In Switzerland, a highway vignette is required in order to drive on motorways. An annual vignette costs 40 Swiss Francs and can be purchased directly at the border. Drivers caught without a vignette could get fined 200 Francs. Read more about the highway vignettes in Switzerland here.

 What is the first place you should visit in Basel?

Kunstmuseum

 The Basel Kunstmuseum hosts the largest collection of art in the country, including pieces by Van Gogh, Monet, Rembrandt or Picasso. Admission tickets cost 25 Euros and can be bought online or directly at the entrance [museum website].

Why should you visit Basel’s old town?

Basel’s old town has many historical buildings dating all the way back to the 14th century. Explore the area on foot, your rental car can be parked nearby [click for directions].

Muensterplatz

Both banks of the Rhine river are worth seeing, as well as the iconic Münsterplatz square with the enormous medieval church in the heart of it [click for directions].

The Minster can be admired from the inside as well, entrance costs 5 Euros per person and offers panoramic views from the top of the structure.

Basel Zoo

 For a family-friendly experience, head over to the Basel Zoo. The attraction’s modern approach to enclosures, as well as over 600 different animals, make this a fun, memorable experience in Switzerland’s best and most diverse zoo.

More information can be found on the Zoo’s official website.

Day tickets to the Basel Zoo start at 21 Swiss Francs for adults.

Next: Zurich, 1 hour 10 minutes

Zurich

zurich bridge over river into traditional district old town medieval buildings and historical tall church during sunset

Pretty streets in the heart of Zurich mark the perfect end of this trip. Photographed by Jörg Vieli from Pixabay

The final leg of the journey will take you to one of Switzerland’s most iconic cities; Zurich. Take the A3 motorway directly from Basel to Zurich, you should arrive in just a little over an hour.

What is the best place to eat in Zurich?

Zeughauskeller

 Indulge yourself in the local cuisine at one of Zurich’s top restaurants. I recommend trying out Zeughauskeller in the heart of the city, where you will find specialties such as Rösti or Kanonenputzer.

You can park your car here, within walking distance of Zeughauskeller.

What to do in Zurich?

FIFA World Football Museum

 Football fans will find themselves at home at the FIFA World Football Museum, open between 10AM to 6PM Tuesday-Sunday. Directions can be found here.

Lake Zurich Cruise

 Another interesting experience is going on a cruise on Lake Zurich. Cruises and boat tours depart near the city center, more information on timetables and pricing can be found here.

 Zurich is packed for attractions and points of interest to keep you busy for days! Check out more of our favorites in this blog post, and extend your trip further into the Swiss Alps.

 Drop off your rental car directly at the Zurich airport before leaving, car hire options that support drop-off at a different location can be found on Rentalmoose.

Don’t have a car you can take to the Black Forest? No problem!

Don’t forget to book your rental car via Rentalmoose for your next adventure. 

On our platform, you can find the top rental companies at the best price, along with tens of curated travel guides around the globe. Get your car from Rentalmoose!

We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

Post your pictures from your next road trip online using #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

black forest germany vineyards hills and mountains during sunset

One of numerous vineyards in the Black Forest.

Berlin to Warsaw by car- Poland Road Trip Itinerary

Discover central Europe- Berlin to Warsaw travel guide. Check out our Poland road trip itinerary!

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Berlin to Poznań- 270km📍 40 PLN Highway Toll (9.1 EUR)

Poznań to Wrocław- 180km📍

Wrocław to Kraków- 270km📍36.2 PLN Highway Toll (8.2 EUR)

Kraków to Warsaw- 300km📍

1 130 kilometers (700 miles) in total

Tags: Travel guide, Poland, Europe, Drop-off at another location

This guide takes you on a road trip through the heart of central Europe. The road trip begins in the capital of Germany, where you will depart east and cross the Oder into Poland. 

Discover the best attractions in Poznań and Wrocław. Get lost in the historic Old Town of Kraków, then take the final stretch to Warsaw and finish with an unforgettable night in the country’s vibrant capital.

Is Poland cheap to travel to?

Though the trip begins in Germany, the majority of the road trip takes you across Poland, which is one of the most affordable countries in the European Union to travel to. 

Poland’s rich history and unique cuisine can be discovered on a tighter budget compared to other countries in the region. For example, lunch in a Polish restaurant will cost you anywhere between 15 and 30zł (3-7 Euro).

Is Poland worth visiting?

Poland is most certainly worth visiting! The country offers a wide selection of attractions, such as:

  •  museums 
  • art galleries 
  • scenic natural beauty
  • authentic restaurants with regional and exotic dishes. 

Combined with a day in Germany, there are even more attractions for all kinds of travelers!

Can tourists drive in Poland?

Yes! Poland, as well as Germany, are both members of the open-border Schengen zone, meaning crossing the borders is quick and hassle-free. 

If your driving license was issued in an EU country, you can drive in Poland and Germany without any limitations. Driving licenses issued in countries that are mentioned in the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (list here) are valid for 6 months, as long as the driver is over 18.

 If your driving license was issued in a different country, you will have to obtain an International Driving Permit before coming.

The penalties for speeding and other car-related offenses have increased in recent years. Drivers will lose their license for 3 months if they are caught going more than 50km/h above the speed limit in an urban zone, as well as a 500zł (110 EUR) penalty on the spot.

Check out this Rentalmoose guide on driving in Poland to get more useful tips! Learn all about the tolling system, speed limits, and more.

Poland and Germany both have right-hand side traffic.

Are highways in Poland free?

All of the German highways (Autobahns) are completely free to use. In Poland, however, some of the highway segments are paid. The total toll cost for this trip doesn’t surpass 80zł (18.1 euro), and the fees can be paid by cash or credit directly at the highway booths.

What is the best time to visit Poland?

Do you want to explore the region during the hottest summer weather? Visit during peak summer, keeping in mind it is also the peak of the tourist season. 

If you’re looking to avoid large crowds, go on this trip during early autumn (from the 1st of September) or late spring (until 31 May). 

If you want to experience Poland during the Christmas season, explore the colorful Christmas markets in each of the cities and see snow (if you’re lucky), Rentalmoose recommends going in the second half of December.

Now that you’re all set, let’s dive into your Poland road trip itinerary!

Berlin

Rental Moose mascot sitting in oldtimer vintage car posing in front of Brandenburg Gate, one of the best things to do in Berlin. See it during our Poland road trip itinerary


Your road trip begins in Berlin, one of the most diverse cities in all of Europe. Pick up your rental car directly from one of the city’s airports, train or coach stations. Numerous car rental companies support drop-off at a different location, you can browse through available options on Rentalmoose

What is Berlin famous for?

The capital of Germany is a vibrant multicultural city known for its rich history, artistic vibe, and crazy nightlife. Discover the city’s modern Europa-Center, the world-class Zoo or choose your favorite from the many museums around town.

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Tiergarten & Berlin Zoo

Begin with a stroll through Tiergarten, a massive park that is known as the city’s green lungs in the very heart of Berlin. Visit the world-class Berlin Zoo, the most species-rich zoo in the world.

Rental Moose mascot posing in front of Victory Column, a landmark in Berlin. See the best places to visit in Berlin with our curated berlin travel guide

Your rental car can be dropped off at Parkhaus am Zoo, a multi-story car park across the road. The day rate is below 20 euros.

Berlin is Germany’s capital of art and culture. Choose from a variety of museums, or head to the Astor Film Lounge for a one of a kind cinematic experience. 

Astor Film Lounge

Germany’s first premium cinema has been open to the public since the late 40s. The best aspects of retro luxury moviegoing combined with modern technology make visiting Astor a truly unforgettable experience. Valet parking and a welcome drink are included, of course.

Classic Remise

Automotive freaks will find their paradise in Berlin, as Classic Remise is situated on the outskirts of the city. Located in a renovated tram depot from 1899, this hidden gem is home to hundreds of rare classic cars, as well as modern sports cars and motorcycles of all sorts. 

Rental Moose mascot posing in Classic Remise next to vintage cars. Classic Remise Berlin is a great spot to visit in Berlin for car enthusiasts, hundreds of classic cars can be found here.

Petrolheads can find a mix of privately-owned cars put up on display as well as automobiles listed for sale. The best part? Admission is free of charge. Classic Remise is definitely worth a visit for any car fan in town!

Any visit to Berlin wouldn’t possibly be complete without trying Döner Kebap, a Turkish dish that has essentially conquered Germany. 

Where can you eat the best Döner in Berlin?

Mustafa’s

Head to Mustafa’s, one of the best Kebap spots in town, to try the city’s iconic dish. The lengthy queue to the stall is another sign that the kebap is truly delicious.

On-street parking is available in the area but if you can’t find a spot head to this car park around the corner.

Rental Moose mascot standing next to busy Mustafa's Gemuse Kebap food stall. It is one of the best doner kebap in Berlin located in Kreuzberg, and one of the best places to eat in Berlin.

Nightlife

Once dusk falls, be sure to head out and enjoy one of Europe’s best-known nightlife scenes. There are tons of crazy underground clubs and bars to choose from. If you’re not familiar with the scene, be sure to pay a visit to Berghain. This powerplant-turned-club is one of the wildest party spots in town. 

Rental Moose mascot posing in front of Berghain night club in Berlin during sunset. Berghain is a renowned techno club, one of the best underground clubs in Berlin.

What are the best hotels in Berlin?

Hotel Adlon Kempinski

Sophisticated guests will surely enjoy spending the night at Hotel Adlon Kempinski, one of Berlin’s most elegant and prestigious 5-star hotels. 

World-class service, luxury amenities such as an enormous spa and wellness center along with a perfect location overlooking the Brandenburg Gate all make for the superb experience.

Plus Berlin

If you’re looking to stay close to the heart of Berlin’s famous nightlife scene, consider booking a room at Plus Berlin.

This budget-friendly hotel offers stylish ensuite rooms, onsite amenities such as a pool and a bar, as well as welcoming service. The surrounding area, Friedrichshain, is the true heart of East Berlin’s nightlife scene, with numerous techno clubs nearby.

Next on your Poland road trip: Poznań, 2 hours 30 minutes  40zł Highway Toll

Poznań

outdoor restaurant in poznan old town square on a cloudy summer day in poland

Poznań’s busy Old Town. Photography by Anna Jelec.

Hop on the A2, named the Highway of Freedom, and head east towards Poland. After roughly two and a half hours you will reach Poznań, one of the biggest cities in the country.

The highway toll between Świecko (the first paid sector in Poland) and Poznań costs 40zł (9.1 euro) and can be paid in cash or by card directly on the highway.

What is there to do in Poznań?

Poznań, the largest city in the Greater Poland Voivodeship, is packed with attractions for tourists from around the world.

Old Market Square

Begin with a visit to the city’s beautiful Old Market Square. The colorful buildings have been carefully reconstructed after World War II took its toll on the heart of Poznań. 

The streets around the main square are lined with restaurants, bars, and cafes of all sorts. Precisely at noon, look up at the historic Town Hall. A small door above the clock will open and you will see two billy goats butt their heads 12 times. The goats are a symbol of the city.

Christmas market

Are you in town during the Christmas season? Every December, the Old Town hosts the magical Christmas market, one of the most beautiful ones in this part of Europe. 

On-street parking is available practically right outside of the square.

Stary Browar

Don’t forget to go shopping in Stary Browar, the city’s go-to shopping and dining venue. The mall, located in a transformed historic brewery, features over 200 shops and restaurants.

Works of art can be found around every corner of Stary Browar. There is a large underground car park that costs under 5zł per hour. Don’t forget to take receipts if you go shopping, 4-hour parking is complimentary for visitors who spend over 90zł (20.5 eur) in Stary Browar.

There are lots of restaurants in town that offer mouth-watering traditional Polish cuisine, picking the best one can get tricky. 

Where can you try Polish food in Poznań?

Pod Niebieniem

Rentalmoose recommends heading for lunch at Restaurant Pod Niebieniem. The restaurant offers regional dishes with a modern twist, such as a vegan version of Gołąbki or a bacon steak.

Next on your Poland road trip: Wrocław, 2 hours

Wrocław

wroclaw push-pull miniature effect colorful medieval buildings in downtown wroclaw in poland on a sunny day

Photography by Martina Schwab.

Wrocław is a comfy 2-hour drive from Poznań via a well-maintained expressway.

Is Wrocław worth visiting?

Absolutely! The city’s rich history and colorful Old Town, as well as vibrant nightlife, make Wrocław an up-and-coming tourist hotspot. Don’t forget to try some of the local delicacies, too.

Old Town

Begin exploring with a stroll through the magnificent Old Town. Similarly to Poznań, the vibrant cobblestone streets are lined with regional and exotic eateries, colorful shops and welcoming cafes. 

Leave your rental car at Parking Nowy Targ (below 6PLN or 1.4 EUR per hour) and continue on foot. 

Admire the gothic architecture of the Wrocław Cathedral or purchase regional souvenirs at one of the many touristic shops in the area.

National Museum

Art enthusiasts should definitely pop by the National Museum in Wrocław. Regarded as one of the most important museums in the nation, the venue hosts a selection of temporary and permanent exhibitions from various historical periods.

Purchase your ticket online to avoid the queues or directly upon entrance.

Rentalmoose tip: A day of sightseeing will surely make you hungry. Reward yourself with Pierogi, traditional Polish dumplings. 

Where is the best place to try Pierogi in Wrocław?

Pierogarnia Stary Młyn

One of the Rentalmoose favorites is Pierogarnia Stary Młyn, serving various types of pierogi right in the heart of town. Open daily until 11 PM. 

Cocktail Bar by Incognito

Once dusk falls, Wrocław turns into a trendy city overflowing with lively bars, pubs, and nightclubs. Visit Cocktail Bar by Incognito, a stylish underground bar that offers delicious cocktails of all sorts and a unique, somewhat mysterious vibe.

Open daily between 5 PM and 2 AM.

Hotel Monopol

If you’re looking for a prestigious, contemporary hotel in the very heart of Wrocław, consider booking a room at Hotel Monopol. The 5-star hotel offers the perfect amount of modern elegance and luxurious facilities along with a touch of history. Relax while enjoying the view from the rooftop terrace or go for a massage at the hotel spa.

Hotel Śląsk

A budget-friendly, yet elegant, alternative is the 3-star Hotel Śląsk. The hotel offers guests chic rooms, a spa and wellness center, and a tasty restaurant. Complimentary parking is available, too.

Next on your Poland road trip: Kraków, 3 hours 36.2 PLN Highway Toll

Kraków

krakow main market square touristic market and tourists basilica in background during sunset

Photography by Dimitris Vetsikas.

Depart Wrocław and take the A4 highway for roughly 3 hours.

The highway includes paid sectors, and the total cost as of 2020 is 36.2 PLN (8.2 EUR).

Similar to other highway tolls in the country, you can pay by cash or credit card directly at the toll booth.

What can you see in Kraków?

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Kraków has plenty of activities in stock for tourists. Begin with a trip to the Wieliczka Salt Mine, one of the most popular attractions in the area. Located near the outskirts of Kraków, the salt mine is filled with underground treasures. 

The mine’s rich history spans seven centuries, with over 240 kilometers of mysterious corridors waiting to be explored. In order to avoid lines at the ticket booths, purchase admission tickets online prior to arrival.

Auschwitz-Birkenau

Learn about Poland’s tragic World War II history at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp museum and memorial. 

Auschwitz, located roughly 70km from Kraków, was the largest Nazi death camp. Over 1.1 million people lost their lives here. A visit to the memorial is an absolute must in order to better understand this devastating part of history.

Main Market Square

Once you’ve explored the surrounding areas, drive to the heart of the city. Stroll along the busy streets of the 13th century Main Market Square, admire the gothic architecture of St. Mary’s Basilica or step inside the church and explore the monumental interior.

Every hour, you can hear St. Mary’s Trumpet Call, a local anthem, played live by a trumpeter from the highest tower of the Basilica. The anthem is a symbol of Kraków and is closely linked with the region’s history.

Kraków Cloth Hall & Art Gallery

Satisfy your souvenir shopping needs at Kraków Cloth Hall located directly in the middle of the Main Market Square. Apart from countless souvenir shops and jewelers, the Cloth Hall is home to The Gallery of The 19th-Century Polish Art. Admission costs below 30 PLN (6.8 EUR), tickets can be purchased upon entry.

Where to stay in Krakow?

Hotel Stary

Book your night at the exclusive 5-star Hotel Stary and let the stunning award-winning interior design speak for itself. Spend the evening relaxing at the spa, or go for a dip in one of the two pools. 

Visiting during the summer? Enjoy a snack at the seasonal terrace restaurant while enjoying the best view of the Main Market Square.

Hotel Amadeus

Looking for a moderately-priced alternative with an equally convenient location? Consider booking a room at Hotel Amadeus, a 4-star boutique hotel located just 200 meters from the Main Market Square. 

The hotel offers 22 rooms with a historic interior that pays homage to the 1700s, as well as a sauna, a cozy gym, and a car park. 

Next on your Poland road trip: Warsaw, 3 hours 30 minutes

Warsaw

Rental Moose mascot posing in Warsaw's Old Town during a sunny summer day in the capital of Poland. See the best places to visit in Warsaw with our curated travel guide.


Welcome to Warsaw, the vibrant capital of Poland. The city is home to over 1.7 million people, making it the largest in the country. Warsaw is a mix of post-communist blocks of flats, a medieval Old Town and ultra-modern skyscrapers around the business district.

Warsaw, despite being a large city, hasn’t been negatively impacted by over-tourism, making it a perfect getaway in this part of Europe. The city is known for its diverse cuisine, rich history, and an exciting nightlife scene.

What are the best attractions in Warsaw?

Old Town

Stroll around the Old Town, a historic district reconstructed after it was completely destroyed during the Second World War. 

Walk along the vivid streets lined with shops and restaurants, try some freshly-made waffles in the summer or a grilled sausage in the winter, both served in local eateries directly by the streets.

Head to the Royal Castle, either admire its vibrant facade or visit the museum inside. Purchase your tickets here.

Warsaw Old Town, Zygmunt Column and The Royal Castle seen during sunset. See the best things to do in Warsaw with our curated travel guide

Leave your rental car at the on-street parking along Podwale street (pay at the parking meter, roughly 3-4zł per hour). 

Krakowskie Przedmieście & The New World

Continue walking along Krakowskie Przedmieście and you will soon reach The New World, Warsaw’s trendy hotspot for dining and nightlife. Head for a traditional Polish lunch at Zapiecek, one of the most popular regional restaurants in town. 

Rentalmoose order tip: Enjoy a bowl of pierogi, Polish sausage or a portion of beetroot soup. 

Hala Koszyki

If you’re looking to discover a modern, trendy part of Warsaw, go to Hala Koszyki for a delicious lunch. The beautiful venue is located in a restored market hall and is home to tens of restaurants and bars with all sorts of European, Asian and American dishes. 

Whether you’re looking for seafood, a portion of green Thai curry or an elegant fine-dining experience, Hala Koszyki has got you covered.

Rental Moose mascot posing with a bowl of thai soup in Hala Koszyki foodcourt in downtown Warsaw. Hala Koszyki is one of the best places to eat out in Warsaw Poland.

Palace of Culture and Science

A trip to Warsaw wouldn’t be complete without paying the Palace of Culture and Science a visit. The Soviet structure dates back to the 50s and has become the symbol of Warsaw ever since. 

Inside, you can find multiple theaters, cafes, a cinema complex, and frequent temporary exhibitions and expos. There is a viewing terrace on the 30th floor of the building, too. 

However, Rentalmoose knows a secret way of getting the best panoramic view of the city from a different spot! Leave your car at the palace’s car park (around 5PLN per hour) and walk to the Marriott Hotel across the street.

Panorama Sky Bar- The Best View of Warsaw

Panorama Sky Bar is a jaw-dropping bar situated on the 40th floor of the Warsaw Marriott Hotel.

The bar is open daily from 6 PM, not just for hotel guests! 

Simply walk inside the hotel and take one of the elevators up to the top floor directly from the lobby. The drinks are pricey for Polish standards, but the utterly beautiful panoramic views make the experience absolutely worth it!

Raffles Europejski Warsaw

Luxury-seekers will be happy to hear that Warsaw has various top-notch hotels to choose from. Rentalmoose’s favorite hotel in Warsaw is Raffles Europejski Warsaw

The 5-star hotel is located minutes away from the Old Town and offers its guests a selection of stylish rooms and suites. Enjoy a minute of relaxation at Raffles Spa, or go for dinner at one of the hotel’s world-class restaurants.

Polonia Palace

Elegance doesn’t always come at an ultra-high price tag, and Polonia Palace Hotel is the perfect example. Located across the street from the Palace of Culture and Science, this 4-star hotel features classy rooms and an elegant restaurant and bar. 

Looking for more attractions in Warsaw?

Check out this Rentalmoose travel guide, where you can find more places worth visiting, restaurants and hotels in town. You don’t want to miss them!

Poland Road Trip Extension to the Baltic Sea

Your Poland road trip doesn’t have to end in Warsaw. Once you reach the capital, take a look at this Rentalmoose travel guide that will take you up to the northern tip of Poland.

Relax at the Masurian Lake District, explore the world’s biggest castle, spend a night in Tricity and visit Toruń and Łódź on your way back.

Drop-off

For maximum comfort, Rentalmoose recommends dropping off your rental car directly at the Warsaw Chopin Airport before leaving. Various rental companies support drop-off at another location, you can browse through available options on Rentalmoose.

Don’t forget to book your rental car via Rentalmoose for your next adventure.

On our platform, you can find the top rental companies at the best price, along with tens of curated travel guides around the globe. Get your car from Rentalmoose!

We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

Post your pictures from your Poland road trip and tag #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

Manuel Antonio National Park. Green, thick rain forest and long sandy beach, calm crystal blue sea on a clear day in costa rica.

Pura Vida Road Trip- Costa Rica Itinerary

Pura Vida – the magical word combination that all of us are searching for in this life. Simply translated Pura Vida means “pure life” or “simple life”. This is the motto of the people in Costa Rica. Not just a motto but actually a way of living. Discover your Pura Vida with our curated Costa Rica itinerary.

Shouldn’t it be the same for all of us? That’s why I decided to fly to Costa Rica and travel around the country by car – to find this magical Pura Vida for myself during an unforgettable Costa Rica road trip. 

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

San Jose to Arenal Volcano- 135 kilometers (85 miles)📍 

Arenal Volcano to Papagayo Peninsula- 170 kilometers (105 miles)📍 

Papagayo Peninsula to Jaco- 230 kilometers (140 miles)📍 

Jaco to Manuel Antonio- 70 kilometers (45 miles)📍

Manuel Antonio to Pacuare Lodge- 265 kilometers (165 miles)📍

Pacuare Lodge to Limon- 70 kilometers (45 miles)📍

Limon to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca- 60 kilometers (40 miles)📍

1000 kilometers (600 miles) in total

Planning- Before You Leave

Before setting off to explore Costa Rica with our detailed itinerary, take a look at some essential information listed below.

Why should you visit Costa Rica?

Costa Rica has it all the rainforests, the volcano, powerful waterfalls, the tropical jungles and beautiful Caribbean beaches (both white sand and black sand). There really is everything in this small country – from relaxation to hard parties. Let’s start to explore!

Rentalmoose tip: Get yourself a four-wheel-drive car to explore Costa Rica as some of the roads can get bumpy. And some places might not have roads at all. Find a suitable car for your Costa Rica road trip using Rentalmoose.

Can tourists drive in Costa Rica?

Absolutely! All you need to drive in Costa Rica is a driving license issued in your home country. International Driving Permits are not mandatory.

Although the general traffic rules are similar to those in other countries, the enforcement of traffic laws leaves a somewhat gray area. With that in mind, it is advised to follow all of the regulations.

Traffic in Costa Rica is one the right side of the road.

Now that you’re all set, let’s dive into your Costa Rica itinerary!

San José

san jose costa rica  whitewashed government building, white facade traditional architecture in the heart of san jose on a sunny day. Costa Rican flag in the foreground.

San Jose photographed by Jose Conejo Saenz.

My flight took me to the capital of Costa Rica – San José – the biggest city in the country. I decided to stay here for a few nights to discover the city as well. San Jose is an absolute must on any Costa Rica itinerary by car.

My suggestion would be to stay 1 day or 1 night as Costa Rica countryside has so much more to offer than this big and noisy city.

It’s good to know that San José is the least violent city in the Latin American region! Some people even say that Costa Rica is the Switzerland of America. 

The architecture in San José is mostly not very beautiful with some exceptions. The pretty buildings can be found around the Paseo Colon. 

What can’t you miss in San Jose?

Teatro Nacional is a stunning Neoclassical building that is home to Costa Rica’s national opera and ballet companies.

If you have decided to spend a night in the city then go see a show – this is the best way to see the beautiful architecture of this building and of course to enjoy the lovely performance. 

It’s also possible just to buy a tour in the building if you have no time for the show. 

Rentalmoose insider tip: There are often art exhibitions or different performances on the square in front of the Theatre! These are free for the public, so keep your eyes open!

If you are interested in the history of the country then there is the National Museum of Costa Rica in San José. It’ll keep you occupied for a while. 

Another lovely building close-by is San José’s Metropolitan Cathedral. It’s famous for its stained glass windows but there’s a lot to see on the inside as well – like delicate tile work and sculptures. 

Where to stay in San Jose?

 There are some hotels with lovely Colonial-style architecture  – for example, Hotel Grano de Oro (which was chosen as a top hotel in Central America and Caribbean region by Condé Nast in 2018!) which has beautiful wooden decor in its rooms. 

The hotel also has a fabulous gourmet restaurant with the same name, which is one of the top restaurants in San José! Grano de Oro’s famous restaurant serves a fusion of Costa Rican and European cuisine and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Rentalmoose tip: When booking a hotel or a restaurant in San Jose, be careful – there is a city with the exact same name in the US as well! Make sure you make your reservations to the right city! Learn from other people’s mistakes (read – mine haha!). 

Next on your Costa Rica itinerary: Arenal Volcano, 3 hours

Arenal Volcano

Large arenal volcano mountain seen from a nearby rain forest. The tip of the volcano is covered by large white clouds, seen on a sunny day in costa rica.

Arenal Volcano in the clouds

 After wining and dining in San José it’s time to start the engine and set off on your Costa Rica road trip! The first stop is the Costa Rican volcano – Arenal. 

Arenal is one of seven historically active Costa Rican volcanoes along with Poás, Irazú, Miravalles, Orosí, Rincón de la Vieja complex, and Turrialba. 

There are 2 roads that can take you to Arenal, but we chose the longer one because there is a beautiful waterfall on the way and, well – who doesn’t love chasing waterfalls? 

La Paz Waterfall

My chosen road goes through Alajuela and I made a stop at the La Paz waterfall. It’s in the middle of the tropical forest – such a lovely view and refreshing air! By the way, it’s a popular wedding ceremony destination so you might get to witness one as well! 

Poas Volcano

 Very close to La Paz waterfall is another volcano called Poas volcano. It’s an active 2,708-metre stratovolcano. A stratovolcano is a conical volcano built up by many layers of hardened lava, tephra, pumice, and ash. 

There is an open viewing point from where you can actually see inside the crater of the volcano! A very cool experience indeed! 

Arenal Volcano

After experiencing the La Paz and Poas, it’s time to continue the drive to your final destination of the day which is Arenal Volcano National Park. The perfectly symmetrical Arenal was Costa Rica’s most active volcano until 2010. And it’s in the top 10 of World’s most active volcanoes. 

 Thanks to the volcanoes, the area has another thing it’s famous for – its hot springs.

The whole area together with its hotels is basically a large spa, perfect after traveling the whole day! 

These springs originate in a geothermally heated underground river. Local hotels tap into this source and bring the water to the surface, creating mineral-rich hot springs for their guests to enjoy.

Need any more reasons to stay? I didn’t think so! 

Where to stay near the Arenal Volcano?

There are several hotels to choose from, my recommendations would be Tabacon Thermal Resort, The Springs Resort, or The Royal Corin Resort. Now relax and enjoy your time!

Next on the Costa Rica itinerary: Papagayo Peninsula, 3 hours

Papagayo Peninsula

empty, white sandy beach in papagayo peninsula in costa rica. Small waves, blue ocean and green resort lawn lined with tall palm trees. Sunny day in costa rica

You are probably totally soaked and relaxed and it’s time to live the wellness area behind because another resort is waiting for you – welcome to Papagayo Peninsula. The place with pretty beaches and tropical forests. 

The peninsula has been formed this way by the volcanic activity and weather.

There are 31 separate beaches on the 15mi / 24km of the peninsula. Not too many private wild beaches left in the world but this is your chance to find one!

 You now have 2 options – whether you prefer to stay in the peninsula to discover more of it or go hunt other beaches on the coast. 

Where to stay in the Papagayo Peninsula?

If you’d like to stay in the peninsula for longer and indulge yourself in the tropic but at the same time in luxury then the Four Seasons hotel is a place for you. A luxury in the jungle! 

Andaz Costa Rica Resort will also be just as good of an option for treating yourself. Find your inner explorer as the place has many experiences to offer, choose from hiking, surfing, paddleboarding, animal spotting, snorkeling, diving, and many more outdoor activities. 

What are the best beaches near Papagayo?

If you don’t plan to stay in the peninsula then hit the road again and start driving to the South. There will be many beautiful beaches along your way – Playa Flamingo, Playa Grande and Tamarindo to name a few. If you have plenty of time to discover Costa Rica – go and see all these different beaches and villages next to those. 

If you are on a strict time limit, then choose one of the following beaches: 

Playa Flamingo

Playa Flamingo is one of Costa Rica’s most popular beaches because it has the finest white sand, clear blue water, and lagoons. The prettiest and probably most crowded due to that.

Playa Grande

Playa Grande is, as its name suggests, a long beach. It is an important part of the national park because it’s a nesting place for leatherback turtles. It is still open to the public but it’s very protected. So take only pictures and leave only footprints!

Tamarindo

 Tamarindo is a surfers’ paradise, you can really feel the hippie lifestyle vibes here. There are plenty of restaurants, shops, and nightlife in addition to beach life here. 

Rentalmoose tip: If you want to discover even more of the peninsula, you can also visit these beaches: Santa Teresa, Montezuma, Samara (this one is quiet with nice sand and trendy cafes), Ostional (home of turtles!) and Nosara beach

Next on your Costa Rica itinerary: Jaco, 3 and a half hours

Jaco

Jaco – the Costa Rican nightlife capital. Photography by Juliette Giannesini

 This will also be an optional visit along the route as Jaco is not just a town – but a beautiful and energetic beach spot. I put Jaco in the Costa Rica itinerary because it’s the surfing and partying capital of the country. So if you would like to do some dancing during your trip then this is the place for that! 

What is the best beach in Jaco?

Hermosa Beach

If you love surfing then head to the Hermosa beach to catch the big waves. By the way, the International Quicksilver Championship is held at this beach. If you happen to travel at the same time, you can enjoy the show while comfortably sunbathing on the beach. There are also smaller surfing competitions going on every Saturday!

Hermosa is also a great place for beginners so why not surprise yourself and take some surfing lessons or even participate in a surf camp?

2-hour surf lessons cost about 50.- US dollars per person and there are many cool surfing schools, like School of the World, Tortuga, and Jaco Surf School.

Playa Jaco

Playa Jaco is a very nice and clean beach and popular with tourists. Be aware that there are very strong tides here, so if traveling with kids, keep an eye on them at all times! 

Jaco is okay to travel with kids as its not party all over, there are plenty of other things to do and see here as well – like horseback riding, deep-sea fishing, ATV tours, kayaking, boat rides, rafting, canopy zip line, waterfall tour, a catamaran tour along the coast or a walking tour on the hanging bridges at the Rainmaker Park. I mean there is a lot to do for adventure seekers!

Rentalmoose tip: A good idea would also be a day trip to Tortuga Island. This will get you a real Caribbean feeling with its white sand and clear blue waters!

Herradura Beach

The best beach for kids would probably be Herradura beach – a more tranquil beach, which is also perfect if you need a break from the pulsing energy of more heavily-populated areas. 

The nightlife

 And now back to the party talk. After surfing this is the next reason people come to Jaco. There are many beer bars where the surfers go but also some fancier options to choose from. 

Popular clubs in Jaco are Le Loft, ManCave and Orange Pub. There are also two good beach clubs to check out – Black Marlin and Jaco Blu

After surfing and partying like there is no tomorrow, it’s time to escape from Jaco and head to a quieter place.

Next on the Costa Rica itinerary: Manuel Antonio, 1 hour

Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio National Park. Green, thick rain forest and long sandy beach, calm crystal blue sea on a clear day in costa rica.

The wonderful nature and beaches of Manuel Antonio photographed by Gloriana Anchetta.

 You have arrived at your next destination – Manuel Antonio National Park – the jewel of Costa Rica. Manuel Antonio is the most popular national park in all of Costa Rica. It’s not the biggest but it is so beautiful and has a diversity of wildlife. 

Manuel Antonio National Park has several beautiful beaches, especially if you’re into snorkeling! You’ll instantly fall in love with the place.

What is the best beach in Manuel Antonio National Park?

If you love white sand beaches then Playa Manuel Antonio is the place to be for you! By the way – Playa Manuel Antonio was voted as number 1 beach in the world by travelers in Tripadvisor’s “Traveller’s Choice Award 2019”. 

Or maybe you’ll prefer a little hidden beach? Head 20 mi / 32 km south from the Manuel Antonio National Park and you’ll get to the Playa Linda. This will be a complete escape from the highly visited typical tourist attractions. 

Next to Playa Linda, there is another hidden gem- Playa Matapalo

Local Farmers’ Market

 Another great experience near Manuel Antonio National Park is a local farmers market called Quepos Feria. Local feria in Quepos starts late afternoon on Friday and is open until 12 pm on Saturday. 

You can find everything you need for your perfect vacation from the Feria – local seasonal fruits and vegetables, artisanal fresh cheeses, fresh fish/chicken/meats, homemade desserts, jams, herbs and spices, flowers, fresh pipa water right out of the shell (coconut water) and even locally made jewelry and clothing. 

After the exciting time at the feria with the locals, go to Nahomi Park to enjoy the end of the day with tranquil sunset views. 

Whether you are traveling with a family, couple or friends, eco-tourists, seeking exciting adventures, or just to relax, you have come to the right place.

Next on the Costa Rica itinerary: Pacuare, 5 hours

Pacuare Lodge

single boat rafting down pacuare river. exciting sport to get to pacuare lodge is via whitewater rafting. The river surrounded by rainforest and large rock.
Rafting is the best way of getting to the lodge. Photography by Paco Martinez.

 Now it’s time to discover a real natural rain forest. Unfortunately, Costa Rica doesn’t shine with its roadways so you have to take the same road back which you used to come to Manuel Antonio.

Drive through Jaco and head towards San Jose. After passing the capital city and Irazu volcano you are about to arrive. 

Pacuare Lodge is a hotel that lies in the midst of the rainforest. It’s not possible to reach it by car, you have to leave your car at some parking place and the hotel transfer minivan will come to pick you up from there. 

Getting to the Pacuare Lodge

Take only a small bag with you because the journey to the hotel is something you have probably never experienced before – your bag will be put into a bigger waterproof bag and you will have to go rafting to the hotel through a Pacuare river! 

Rentalmoose tip: Keep in mind that the tides can be strong and the road to the hotel can be jumpy so it’s not the best idea when traveling with small kids. 

Once you arrive at the hotel you’ll be soaking wet, so keep that in mind when choosing the clothes for your rafting trip. 

The property

The hotel and its area are absolutely amazing. You are lucky if the weather is sunny but otherwise remember that you are in the rainforest so it can rain. A lot. Like, 48 hours straight. 

The rain won’t stop this place to be nothing but amazing. Your room is like a little wooden house – it doesn’t have windows or doors, just the insect net – which comes in handy as you can imagine what kind of life goes on in the rainforest! You will have an outdoor shower as well. Instead of slippers, you will have complimentary rain boots and umbrellas in your room.

The hotel provides many excursions in the forest which are good to participate in. The restaurant is amazing – great cuisine and an excellent wine list! 

For more romantic dining, they have a table built on the tree. That is something very different, so I definitely recommend giving it a try!

I think 2-3 days it the rainforest will be enough. After that the journey back will be (yeah, you guessed it) through the river rafting again!

Next on the Costa Rica itinerary: Limon, 1 hour 30 minutes

Limon

royal palm trees tall palm trees planted on a green lawn in limon costa rica. seen from below, natural beauty of costa rica on a clear day.

Royal palm trees are a frequent sight in Limon. Photo by Falco/pixabay.com

 After getting constantly wet on the rainforest there is no better plan than to go to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, to warm yourself up at the beach! The road trip heads to Limon,  the second-largest city in Costa Rica with a population of about 55 000 people. Arriving here can make you feel a bit confused – I sure felt like I had arrived in Jamaica instead. 

Limon is the home of the Afro Costa-Rican community. A part of the community traces its roots to Italian, Jamaican and Chinese laborers who worked on a late nineteenth-century railroad project that connected San José to Puerto Limón.

 Puerto Limon is not a very touristic place. Although big cruise ships dock here, most of the tourists still head to the West coast of the country. The port mostly is for exporting fruits. It can be a good thing to see a side of Costa Rica that is untouched by the Western world (with its port as an exception). 

Is Limon worth a visit?

Limon is a big port city, so it is good to visit it just for a day and head to a calmer place to spend the night. Unless you happen to visit it during mid-October when the 12-days annual Carnival takes place. 

What are the best places to eat in Limon?

 Treat yourself to a true Caribbean style meal in either of these restaurants: Soda El Patty, Mirador Da Domenico Red Snapper, or Caribbean Kalisi Coffee Shop

Next on the Costa Rica itinerary: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, 1 hour

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Small wave splashes the black sand coast of playa negra. black sand beach in puerto viejo de talamanca costa rica. Dark sand and mangroves near the shore.

Exotic black sand beach – Playa Negra

 After a day well spent in the Puerto Limon, it is time to head even more south – almost to the border of Panama – to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. It’s a more quiet seaside resort where it’s good to have your final rest before heading back to the airport.

The best beaches around Puerta Viejo

Although it’s on the Caribbean side and you’d probably expect some white sand beaches, this place is actually known for its black sand beach – Playa Negra. For a white sandy beach experience try one of these – Playa Cocles, Playa Chiquita, Playa Blanca.

Surfing in Puerta Viejo

 Puerto Viejo is already known for the surfers, it is actually becoming a hot spot for them. They come here to ride the famous Salsa Brava waves which have made the place one of the top-rated surfing paradises in the world. Be warned of the waters here, they have a strong rip current. So, swimming is not advised. This beach is for surfing experts only. 

Don’t worry, there are many other tropical beaches just within walking distance where it is safe to relax and swim. 

If you are not the one who has the patience to just chill on the beach, the place has many activities as well – horseback tours of the area, snorkeling, diving, mountain biking, kayaking, or boogie boarding. 

You can take a chocolate tour. Yes – chocolate is an important crop in this area of Costa Rica and you can take a tour to learn how they grow cacao trees, process the cocoa bean, and make chocolate. 

Nightlife

Puerto Viejo also has a lively nightlife – there are many bars, clubs, and restaurants in the area. It’s also great to know that the prices are not too high here (probably another reason after surfing why the place is popular amongst the hip youngsters). 

I must add that the roads here are in very poor condition. Except for the main highway, all the other roads are dirt paved. But it’s actually kind of cool to have a rustic place that hasn’t been changed by human hand so much.

As I have already mentioned that Costa Rica doesn’t shine with the amount of highways, you have to take the same road back to San Jose to reach the airport and drop off your rental car just nearby it. Browse through available rental cars for your road trip to Costa Rica via Rentalmoose

 Costa Rica is not about glamour. It’s about letting yourself be part of nature. Forget your daily worries that don’t have any meaning in the long terms of life. Be part of Mother Earth, appreciate it and all the living creatures on our planet. Take care of it. Enjoy what it has to offer and try not to change it. This is the meaning of living Pura Vida that I discovered for myself during this trip. 

Don’t have a car you can take on a road trip in Costa Rica? No problem!

Don’t forget to book your rental car via Rentalmoose for your next adventure. On our platform, you can find the top rental companies at the best price, along with tens of curated travel guides around the globe. Get your car from Rentalmoose!

We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

Post your pictures from your next road trip online using #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

Croatia to Montenegro- Balkan Road Trip Itinerary

New stars of the road trips: Croatia and Montenegro. Check out this curated Balkan road trip itinerary!

Tags: road trip, travel by car, drop off at another location, Croatia, Montenegro, long trip, beaches

For years and years, people have been going to their summer vacations to the Mediterranean countries but always the preferred ones have been Spain, France, Italy, and Greece. Now, there are new, trendy hotspots – Croatia and Montenegro. See the best places in Croatia and Montenegro during this insightful Balkan road trip itinerary.

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Rovinj to Plitvice Lakes- 240 kilometers (150 miles)📍 

Plitvice Lakes to Zadar- 120 kilometers (75 miles)📍 

Zadar to Krka- 75 kilometers (45 miles)📍 

Krka to Split- 85 kilometers (50 miles)📍

Split to Ston- 190 kilometers (120 miles)📍

Ston to Dubrovnik- 55 kilometers (35 miles)📍

Dubrovnik to Kotor- 90 kilometers (55 miles)📍

Kotor to Tivat- 10 kilometers (6 miles)📍

910 kilometers (565 miles) in total

Planning- Before You Leave

Before you set off on your Balkan road trip, take a look at some essential information below.

Why should you visit Croatia and Montenegro?

There is no surprise that Croatia and Montenegro have gotten popular among international tourists- they have the same natural beauty, crystal waters, lovely islands, and cheaper prices! Well, to be totally honest the prices have increased in the latest years when tourists have become more interested in the area. 

Croatia became well known when its city Dubrovnik was the shooting location for a scene in the Game of Thrones.

 Your road trip can start either from Rovinj, Croatia or Tivat, Montenegro. Whichever way you prefer. 

The closest airports to Rovinj are Pula Airport (40-minute drive) and Trieste in Italy (2-hour drive). 

Road Trip Extension to Northern Italy

As Rovinj is very close to Venice, Italy, you can extend the road trip and visit Northern Italy as well. Experience very different sides of Mediterranean countries and indulge in Italy’s delicious cuisine.

Click here for the travel guide. 

Ferries from 2 different companies sail between Venice and Rovinj 7 days a week and the duration of the journey is about 3-4 hours, depending on the ferry. Find more ferry information HERE.

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

The duration of this road trip is 13 hours, with a total driving distance equal to 908km (564mi). Rentalmoose suggests spending between 4-5 days and a week on the road, in order to really experience each attraction to the fullest.

What is the best time to visit Croatia and Montenegro?

The best time to visit Croatia and Montenegro would be the high season  – from May until the end of September. If you love cabriolet cars then a road trip around the Balkans is a great opportunity to rent one, you could enjoy the magnificent views. 

If you’re traveling in a larger group, then a normal car or a minibus would be the best choice. You can find different car options at Rentalmoose, just type your criteria and you’ll get the perfect car for this trip.

For your peace of mind, don’t forget to use the Rentalmoose app to take photos of the car when receiving it to qualify for a 50% rebate from the excess coverage fee. 

Now that you’re all set, let’s dive into your Balkan road trip!

Rovinj

Rovnij aerial view of port, blue sea and red-roofed traditional buildings, on a sunny day in Croatia.
Rovinj seen from above. Photography by Byungjei Lim.

This Balkan road trip starts from the fishing port town of Rovinj, in Croatia, on the Western coast of the Istria peninsula. 

An interesting fact is that originally the peninsula on which Rovinj lies was an island, separated from the mainland by a channel. The latter was filled in 1763. 

 Being so close to Italy makes this city bilingual, people speak both Croatian and Italian here. It also has the Italian feel to it, many people say Rovinj more like Italy rather than Croatia.

 The main economic activity in Rovinj is tourism. During peak season (May–September), its bars, restaurants, and art galleries are open ‘till late hours, while operating limited hours off-season. 

What should you see in Rovinj?

The heart of the city

 The busiest place is the center – fully pedestrian Carrera Street, with many independent shops and art galleries. There is also a farmer’s market located at the edge of the historic part of town, near Valdibora Square – the best place to fuel yourself with healthy and cheap snacks! In addition to the old town, you should definitely have a stroll along the harbor

What is the best place to eat in Rovinj?

Monte Restaurant

For a delicious meal, book yourself a spot at the Monte restaurant. People say not only is it one of the best in Rovinj but one of the best in all of Croatia – so it’s not to be missed!

But as the world moves fast, this place is already extremely popular. You have to make a reservation far in advance. 

Where to stay in Rovinj?

 To sleep off your travel exhaustion, opt for spending a night at the ultra-modern Lone Hotel, just about a 15-minute stroll away from the center. The hotel is set within the Golden Cape Natural Park.

There are various attractions onsite including a sushi bar, a nightclub, and several restaurants within the building. 

Another excellent 5* hotel is Hotel Monte Mulini. This place is also a short walk away from the old town but you can feel like in a resort here and leave the city bustle behind. Let the relaxation begin! 

Next on your Balkan road trip: Plitvice, 3 hours 30 minutes

Plitvice Lakes National Park

plitvice lakes national park, small wooden path with tourists on top of lakes and green forest. Natural beauty in Croatia.

Croatia is well known for its amazing natural beauty and waterfalls. One of the most famous ones is Plitvice Lakes National Park, one of the oldest and largest national parks in Croatia.

 Plitvice Lakes National Park is listed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage sites. It is a popular visiting destination all year round, and a must-see for every visitor to Croatia. So yes – it’s about a 3-and-a-half-hour-drive, but I am sure you won’t regret going there. 

Is Plitvice Lakes National Park worth visiting?

 Most definitely! The national park has sixteen lovely emerald green lakes that are interconnected by cascades and waterfalls. Not only do humans love this natural wonder – animals do, too! This place is a home for many bears, wolves, otters, wild boars, skunks, squirrels, rabbits, foxes, and numerous bird species.

You probably won’t want to miss this exceptional natural beauty. Check the park’s official website for seasonal information and ticket prices.

After a serene afternoon in the park, the next leg of your Balkan road trip will take you to Zadar!

Next: Zadar, 1 hour 30 minutes

Zadar

zadar croatia. tourist attraction, greeting to the sun solar panels and a reflection of a cyclist with sea in background. Seen during sunset.
Zadar’s Greeting to The Sun photographed by Ivan Vuksa.

  Zadar – home to a historic old town of Roman ruins – is the urban center of northern Dalmatia as the administrative, economic, cultural, and political center of the region with 75,000 inhabitants.

In this intriguing city the old and the new live together – medieval museums next to cosmopolitan cafes. 

Zadar is a city of exceptional history and rich cultural heritage. The area of present-day Zadar traces its earliest evidence of human life from the late Stone Age, while numerous settlements date as early as the Neolithic times. 

 Zadar has good road infrastructure – the main road along the Adriatic passes through the city. And the natural beauty of the landscape will not leave you untouched.

I’m sure you will enjoy this Balkan road trip to the max! 

What to see in Zadar?

Sea Organ

 A must-see in Zadar is its “Sea Organ” – the first of its kind in the world. It is an architectural sound art object, an experimental musical instrument – a set of large marble steps, the pipes are located beneath it.

At the end of each pipe is a whistle, tuned to play seven chords of five different tones, creating sighs when the sea waves pushes air in them. This really needs to be seen and heard by yourself. 

The Greeting to the Sun

 Next to the “Sea Organ”, at the end of the Zadar peninsula, there is another masterpiece created by the same architect – Nikola Bašić. “The Greeting to the Sun” communicates with light, just like the “Sea Organ” does with sound. 

“The Greeting to the Sun” consists of three hundred multi-layered glass plates placed on the same level with the stone-paved waterfront in the shape of a 22-meter diameter circle. Under the glass conduction plates, there are photo-voltage solar modules through which symbolic communication with nature is made. 

 Both are really cool experiences!

By the way, the film legend Alfred Hitchcock himself said that the prettiest sunsets in the world are in Zadar! Another must-see in town!

What are the best hotels in Zadar?

 After walking through the Plitvice and discovering Zadar you are probably really tired and need a good night’s rest. Book your room at the 4* Bastion Heritage Hotel in the Old Town. This is great for a car traveler as the hotel is very close to the only area you can reach with the car. So you wouldn’t need to carry your suitcases too long. 

In addition, there is a very famous fine dining restaurant “Kaštel” within the hotel. The restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine in elegant interiors and on a spacious terrace overlooking the garden. 

After a good night’s sleep, you can start your journey in the morning. Rested and ready for a new great day ahead!

Next on your Balkan road trip: Krka, 1 hour

Krka National Park

wide waterfall white foamy water going into crystal clear, secluded emerald lake, surrounded by trees. Sunny day in krka national park croatia
Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons

Loved hiking yesterday at the Plitvice National Park? Well, this is not it – you can enjoy another day in beautiful nature again as there is another gorgeous national park on the way. Make a stop at the Krka National Park

This park has a gorgeous swimming area, roped off at a bend in the river below the crescent of waterfalls. Before stripping off, take the shaded one-mile walk past a chain of tumbling pools to spot fish and sapphire dragonflies. And yes – now go freshen yourself up with a swim under the waterfalls. Need I even say more?

Boat tour to Visovac

 By the way, inside the National Park there is a small island called Visovac. There is a Roman Catholic Visovac Monastery founded by the Franciscans in 1445. The monastery was founded during the reign of Louis I of Hungary. The island can be visited by a boat tour from Skradinski Buk.

Rentalmoose tip: A boat trip through the national park is included in the entrance ticket and it is a great way of seeing much more of the park!

Next on your Balkan road trip: Split, 1 hour

Split

Prestigious outdoor restaurant by the walls of Diocletian's Palace. Tourists, outdoor terrace next to palm trees and one large empty table. beautiful sunset in split croatia

The restaurant next to the walls of Diocletian’s Palace

Welcome to Split! The largest city on the Dalmatian coast and the second-largest in the whole of Croatia. Split is an important transport center for Dalmatia and the wider region. 

In addition to the Zagreb-Split freeway (A1), all the road traffic along the Adriatic coast on the route Rijeka–Dubrovnik (Adriatic Highway) flows through the city. Split is always buzzing, the old city walls are filled with many trendy hotspots. 

What can you see in Split?

Go see the Diocletian’s Palace – a Unesco World Heritage site that is one of the world’s most impressive Roman monuments, built in 305 AD. 

It was built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian as his retirement residence – not a bad place to retire, right? By the way, the palace is another shooting location for the Game of Thrones. If you are a fan, go and try to find the exact spots from the series!

 Within the huge Diocletian Palace, there are many sites to see, for example, the St Domnius Cathedral and its Bell Tower. This is said to be the oldest Catholic Cathedral in the world that still works in its original structure. When climbing to the Bell Tower, you can see the breathtaking views of Split and the city’s red rooftops. 

The Diocletian Palace is actually forming half of the old town, so if you go there, you’re already wondering around in the Split’s oldest parts of the city. 

There are also many restaurants and bars where you could have some snacks and a cold drink – for example, Zinfandel Food & Wine Bar.

 Another spot you should see in Split is its harbor, where hundreds of sailing boats take off to the gorgeous islands of Croatia. If you have more time on hand, I definitely suggest visiting an island or two  (the biggest and most famous being Hvar). 

Next to the harbor, there is a promenade called The Riva. It makes a lovely place for an evening walk after dinner. 

Where can you find the best food in Split?

 A great restaurant recommendation would be Dvor. The location of this restaurant is so beautiful and the food is delicious, it’s totally worth having the 20-minute walk from the old town! 

Which hotel in Split is the best?

 When you call it a day then go and have a good rest in Hotel Park Split. You will feel very special once entering the hotel as there is live piano music. The staff will offer you a glass of champagne when checking in as a welcoming drink. A truly luxurious experience!

Another great option is Villa Split Heritage Hotel in the old town – an authentic Roman house from the 3rd century AC. The house used to be a home for the most prominent Croatian writer Marko Marulić. For this reason, the place is still sometimes called “Marulić house”. It’s located in the Diocletian Palace. 

Next on your Balkan road trip: Ston, 2 and a half hours

Ston

the great walls of ston. medieval defense walls on a green hill, with traditional croatian buildings and tourists in the foreground. sunny day in ston, croatia.

The wall of Ston

 Rise and shine! This morning let’s start the journey towards another great Croatian city – Dubrovnik. But with a little stopover at the small town called Ston which will be on the way. The reason for visiting this place is food! The best oysters in Croatia come from the Bay of Mali Ston! 

What is Ston known for?

 Always dreamed of visiting the Wall of China but haven’t made it there? Don’t worry, in Ston, there is a Croatian version of it – one of the longest defense walls in Europe.

The Ston Walls are 1200 m long and were built to ensure protection from neighboring regions. The chronicles state that the construction of the wall lasted 18 months.

 It is possible to visit oyster beds by boat from Mali Ston. Shellfish cultivation in Mali Ston Bay is currently based on only two species: The European Flat Oyster (Ostrea edulis) and the mussels called Mytilus galloprovinicialis

The oysters are the most flavourful in March, when St Joseph’s Day is celebrated. Gastro expert’s claim that oysters are best served freshly opened with some lemon juice.

You will have the opportunity to taste the freshly opened oysters smelling of the sea around St Joseph’s Day (19 March) at the restaurants in Ston and Mali Ston. 

Where to eat in Ston?

 Of course, it’s possible to eat oysters in Ston during other times of the year as well. Visit the famous Kapetanova kuća or Konoba Bakus restaurants to try some regional delicacies. 

Rentalmoose order tip: Order oysters and try their mussels and black seafood risotto as well! Delicious! There is also a dessert called “Ston cake” which should be tried, it will give some mixed feelings as its a dessert with macaroni. But it actually tastes surprisingly good, give it a shot. 

Next on your Balkans road trip: Dubrovnik, 1 hour

Dubrovnik

Old town of Dubrovnik seen from an elevated view point. Wonderful red roofs of traditional buildings near the Adriatic sea. Dubrovnik is a great destination to visit on a Balkan road trip
Dubrovnik captured by Ecksplorer.

 Bernard Shaw once said: “Those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik.” So yes – you have reached another amazing walled city on the Adriatic! It’s probably the most beautiful one! 

This will be your last stop in Croatia during this Balkans road trip. Dubrovnik is really a magnificent historical city, no wonder it has also been used as a filming location in Game of Thrones as King’s Landing.

Can you drive in Dubrovnik’s Old Town?

 I must warn you that the Old Town in Dubrovnik is pedestrian-only – no cars allowed. And the parking around the city is very expensive. I am talking Monaco kind of expensive.

I strongly suggest finding a hotel which offers a private car park. Alternatively, park your car a bit further from the center and take a short walk, or use the public transport instead. 

What is there to see in Dubrovnik?

Definitely don’t skip going to the Old Town – its aristocratic Baroque palazzos and medieval churches stand together with lively wine bars, classy seafood restaurants, and elegant hotels. 

 A must thing to do in Dubrovnik is taking a walk on the Dubrovnik Walls – the medieval walls surround the whole Old Town so you basically get to see it all during your stroll. 

It’s recommended to keep a hat on and keeping a water bottle with you. It’s not that the walk would need extra climbing or hiking skills, but just to protect you from the sun and heat (especially in July and August when the temperatures reach their peak). 

The views from the walls are amazing, so don’t forget to take your camera with you! Post your best photos online using #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge!

 After you’ve seen the Old Town from above, it’s time to see it from the ground as well. Get lost on these tiny cobbled streets – there are many small roads that lead to great bars with amazing sea views. So don’t make a plan and go with the flow! Dubrovnik is full of such small gems! 

Also, visit what’s said to be the oldest pharmacy in Europe! Set inside the 14th-century Franciscan Monastery, the pharmacy is called Ljekarna Male Braće (meaning Little Brother’s Pharmacy). 

Rentalmoose tip: Buy their legendary rose face cream – krema od ruža – which is made of a secret medieval recipe!

Another attraction worth trying is the cable car ride – enjoy great views of Dubrovnik and the small islet Lokrum just close-by. I suggest going there during the sunset. It’s extra lovely at that time but it can get very crowded, though. 

Panoramic view of Dubrovnik and its surrounding hillside area can best be seen from a cable car ride up the Sra hill. Sunset view of the Balkans
Hesitant whether or not the cable car ride is worth your time? This wonderful shot by Ecksplorer should be enough to change your mind!

For a bit more of a private visit, book a table at the Panorama restaurant and dine above the city.

 During the high season, the beaches can be extremely crowded. But if you’re traveling off-season, go check the Banje beach just nearby. You can pay for a sunbed or go with your own towel to lay on. Alternatively, visit the beachside restaurant and club.

After a day of exploration, recharge at Barba, a place that serves you fresh seafood street food. For example, try the octopus burger. I bet you’ve never had anything like that before!

Another great experience would be fusion restaurant Azur – Croatian fresh ingredients done with Thai spices and herbs. 

Where should you stay in Dubrovnik?

After a fulfilling meal, go to have a good night’s rest at the Hilton Imperial Hotel – just next to the Old Town. The hotel also offers a paid parking garage. 

Another great option would be the Hotel Excelsior which offers free private parking!

Next on your Balkans road trip: Kotor, 2 hours

Kotor

kotor croatia coastal village, turquoise Mediterranean bay with boats, green trees and mountains in the background.
Kotor and its beautiful surroundings. Photography by PixelRaw.

 This morning, you are heading to the border of Croatia and Montenegro. Let’s hope that there won’t be much traffic on the border as it sometimes may happen. The first stop in Montenegro is the spectacular Bay of Kotor, a must on any Balkans road trip. 

The old Mediterranean port of Kotor is surrounded by fortifications built during the Venetian period. The bay of Kotor is a ria (a submerged river canyon) though people often call it the most southern fjord in Europe.

Together with the nearly overhanging limestone cliffs of Orjen and Lovćen, Kotor and its surrounding area form an impressive landscape. 

What are the best places to visit in Kotor?

 Kotor, like Dubrovnik, has a beautiful old town which is said to be the best-preserved medieval old town in the Adriatic area. The old town is a medieval maze where you can wander around and find different museums, churches, Venetian palaces, and lovely cafes.

Although Kotor now is a tourist attraction, it still hasn’t lost its authentic charm. By the way: in 2016, Lonely Planet named it the number one city in the world to visit. So let’s dive into it!

 For a spectacular view you are again challenged for a little climb (nothing too much though!).

Go climb the Castle of San Giovanni from where you’ll be able to see stunning Kotor from a different perspective.

The view of the Old Town and the Boca Bay will take your breath away, if climbing the 1355 steps hasn’t already. The stunning views are worth every single step!

 If you want to see more magical places, then head to Perast. Perast is a tiny village on the edge of Kotor Bay. The village is said to be one of the most beautiful places in Montenegro! It is situated just a few kilometers northwest of Kotor. 

Another must-see on any Balkans road trip in Montenegro would be Our Lady Of The Rocks, or Gospa od Skrpjela.

It is one of the two gorgeous islands in the bay of Boka Kotorska, which are situated in the sea across Perast. It is actually an artificial island, which was created using a bulwark of rocks and by sinking old and seized ships loaded with rocks. 

After a day spent in Kotor, it’s time to continue to journey to your final destination on this route. 

Next: Tivat, 20 minutes

Tivat

tivat montenegro, luxury superyachts parked in the marina. large white and red crane and small boats in the foreground, whitewashed building on the shore with palm trees and tall mountains in background.
Superyachts in Tivat photographed by Виктория Сидоренко

 Tivat is not far from Kotor, it’s also located in the Bay of Kotor. It’s one of the smallest municipalities in Montenegro with its population being just around 14 000.

Tivat is probably the most glamorous city on this road trip – it has a fancy marina with expensive superyachts, classy restaurants, and glitzy boutiques. So how did a modest and ordinary town end up like that? 

 Canadian businessman Peter Munk bought a naval shipyard in Tivat, intending to transform it into a luxury vacation resort and a marina for luxury yachts called Porto Montenegro. Tivat went through a major multimillion-dollar remodeling of its marina and the surroundings.

Today, it is a place where the world’s jet-set resides and rests during their summer holidays. 

As most of this Balkan road trip is in historic cities, it’s nice to see something different that Tivat offers. Although there are traces of history in this place as well. For example, the Renaissance Summer House Buca in the center of the city.

Where can you find the best food in Tivat?

 A great meal is found at restaurant One which can also boast with unbeatable views of the yacht marina, a million-dollar view indeed! 

Another option would be to buy yourself some green and healthy organic food from Bonella – a “supermarket” where you can only find the good stuff. Jet setters approved! 

Where to stay in Tivat?

 I suggest to book a room at Regent Porto Montenegro in Porto Montenegro. This way you’ll be inside the new and fancy area, or maybe even see the fabulous promenade and marina from your room window.

The hotel is located in the UNESCO-listed Boka Bay within a luxury Porto Montenegro Village in the town of Tivat. The luxury hotel is built in a Renaissance-Venetian style. 

Another great 5* hotel is The Chedi Luštica Bay. Set on the waterfront and boasting a private beach area and an outdoor pool, The Chedi Luštica Bay Hotel is located in Trašte Bay, 14 km from the center of Tivat.

Drop off

The good news is that Tivat airport is just 3km away from the centre. By the way, this small town’s airport happens to be the biggest airport in all of Montenegro! Browse through rental cars that support airport drop-off via Rentalmoose.

DON’T HAVE A CAR YOU CAN TAKE ON A BALKAN ROAD TRIP? NO PROBLEM!

Don’t forget to book your rental car via Rentalmoose for your next adventure. 

On our platform, you can find the top rental companies at the best price, along with tens of curated travel guides around the globe. Get your car from Rentalmoose!

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Post your pictures from your next road trip online using #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

Weekend Getaway- Northern Italy Road Trip Itinerary

The North Italian weekend getaway (with a little bit of Switzerland). Check out this Northern Italy road trip itinerary!

Tags: Travel guide, road trip, drop-off at another location, Italy, Switzerland, travel by car

I know that sometimes you wonder where to travel for a weekend getaway and you don’t come up with something amazing that excites you enough to open your laptop immediately to purchase your flight tickets.  

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (Click the red pins for directions):

Milan to Lake Como- 50 kilometers (30 miles) 1.7 EUR (highway tolls) 📍

Lake Como to Saint Moritz- 145 kilometers (90 miles) 📍

Saint Moritz to Limone Sul Garda- 280 kilometers (175 miles) 📍

Limone Sul Garda to Verona- 100 kilometers (60 miles) 4 EUR📍

Verona to Venice- 115 kilometers (70 miles) 8.8 EUR 📍

690 kilometers/430 miles in total

I am a travel freak and always looking for something that excites me and could possibly give me memorable experiences for a lifetime. We all work hard to pay our pills but there really should be more joyful times when we enjoy our lives to the fullest. 

As nature is in my heart, I thought about seeing different landscapes and views where my eyes could rest and where I can get inspiration to continue working hard to achieve my goals. So this post is for travel enthusiasts who are into active traveling.

For my weekend motivation road trip, I visited classical lake Como which has beautiful Italian architecture and an old town on the riverside of the lake. After that, the road trip took me to Switzerland to visit the historical village of Saint Moritz, which is one of the most popular winter ski resorts in the World. Those views towards alps are stunning there.

The next stop was at the breathtakingly beautiful lake Garda, back in Italy. And then I was off to my last destination – Venice – with a little stopover in Verona. 

Planning- Before You Go

Before you set off on your road trip in Italy, take a look at the basic information below.

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

The driving duration of this Italian road trip is around 14 hours so the minimum program should be 3-4 days, ideal for a weekend getaway.

When is the best time to visit the North of Italy?

The best time for this Italian road trip is from May to October (with summer months being the high season – meaning more crowds, higher prices, and longer waiting time everywhere). 

Depending on the season, please be aware that it can be cold and even some snow on the mountains when traveling off-season.

Keep that in mind when choosing a car. You’ll find the perfect options for every season on Rentalmoose.

Trip extensions to Switzerland and other parts of Italy

Extend your road trip further with two road trip extensions recommended by Rentalmoose.

Swiss Alps

When you’re in Lake Como, you can head north to Lugano and then continue exploring the scenic Swiss Alps. Spend a night in Andermatt, see the top of Europe near Interlaken and wander the streets of Geneva. Click here for the guide.

Tuscany

If you’d rather see more of Italy, head south to the magical city of Florence. Drive around the vineyards, visit forgotten medieval castles and see “The Medieval Manhattan of Italy”. Check out this guide to help you plan your next Italian road trip.

Alternative Route

On top of road trip extensions, Rentalmoose suggests an alternative route for this road trip. Whether you’ve already been to this part of Italy or would rather not go to Switzerland during this trip, check out this travel guide for an alternative road trip route between Milan and Venice.

@rentalmoose

A 20-second travel guide: Northern Italy by car. Check out my profile for more trip ideas ##tiktoktravel ##travelguide ##traveltip ##italy ##roadtrip

♬ original sound – ocean_magazine

Can tourists drive in Italy?

Absolutely! However, you will need an international driving permit to drive in Italy unless you are an EU-citizen. These can easily be obtained in your local country and are mandatory for non-EU driver licenses when driving in Italy. For more information on International Driving Permits, click here.

Driving in Italy for the first time might be quite a hectic experience. Getting around large cities is chaotic and driving around tight cobblestone streets can be a nightmare. On top of all this, the locals don’t really seem to be following the speed limits.

Speeding is common among drivers in Italy. Once you get caught, you will probably realize it was not worth it. Tourists in Italy have to pay the fine on the spot to the police and can additionally be charged by the car rental company.

Going up to 21km/h over the limit on the highway will cost you around 150 Euros, while breaking a “no-parking” rule will cost you around 80 Euros.

Traffic in Italy is on the right-hand side.

To avoid any future misunderstandings, don’t forget to use the Rentalmoose app to take photos of the condition of the car when receiving it and before starting your journey to qualify for a 50% rebate from the excess coverage fee. 

What are you waiting for? Let’s dive into this fascinating Italian road trip.

Milan

milan Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, famous tourist site at piazza duomo. Grand architecture and glass ceiling hosts luxury boutiques and is one of the highlights of milano. see it on an Italy road trip

The Galleria next to Milan Duomo 

The starting point of this Italy road trip is the city of Milan

Flying to Milan

Milan has 3 big airports – Malpensa, Linate and Bergamo. All of the airports are more or less about a 1-hour drive from the next location on your North Italian road trip – lake Como. 

During high season in Summer there might be a lot of traffic around the city center and parking can be hard to find.

How to find a rental car in Milan?

For rental car options, have a look at Rentalmoose.com which offers you the best prices for car rentals from the most well-known car rental companies. 

Keep in mind that when you are seeing that car rental companies are offering really low prices online then there might be some risk for you – either high deposit or hidden fees. There is no such issue when booking through Rentalmoose. 

With the Rentalmoose app, you can take pictures of your car’s visual condition (scratches) and when returning you have proof of your car condition which means lower risk for you and a better car renting experience. 

To avoid any misunderstandings, use the Rentalmoose app to take photos before starting your journey and to qualify for a 50% rebate from excess coverage.

Pick a suitable car that you feel like driving with. When you want to enjoy the summer breeze then opt for a convertible or when you are going with more than two people then a sedan or an SUV is a better choice. 

Add your criteria at Rentalmoose and you’ll see the most suitable car options for your Italy road trip.

Parking your rental car in Milan

When visiting Milan, Rentalmoose suggests parking the car outside the center and using public transport to go and see the Milan Duomo and the beautiful Galleria next to it, and if you are not the one driving – enjoy an Aperol Spritz at one of the cafes around here.

Milan is in the other direction from lake Como so your driving time will be longer. 

Are you looking for the best attractions in Milan?

Looking for the best things to do in Milan? Wondering where you can eat the best pizza in town? Check out this travel guide to see Rentalmoose’s favorite spots in Milan!

Next: Lake Como, 40 minutes

Lake Como

villa d'este restaurant. View the villa's beautiful garden while dining in the terrace. Empty, decorated tables, windows lined with purple flowers and park with tourist on bench.

Hotel Villa d’Este in lake Como 

The first leg of your Italy road trip is a casual 1-hour drive north towards the border with Switzerland. 

What should you see in Lake Como?

When arriving to lake Como, enjoy the stunning view and take a walk in the old town and riverside. 

Villa d’Este

A very nice place to visit in the area is Villa d’Este. Maybe treat yourself to a drink and a dessert in their lovely restaurant with the most amazing view to the lake and mountains. And if you have more time – take a ferry to Bellagio. A true fairytale city.

Looking for more attractions in Lake Como? Check out this travel guide!

Fox Town Factory Stores

Now, if you want to go shopping then Como is not the best spot as it’s a small town and it doesn’t have too many boutiques around. But close-by is an outlet called Fox Town Factory Stores where you can purchase designer goods and save some euros. 

They have the most well-known brands and it’s good to check out their discounts when going there. Fox Town is located in Switzerland, just across the Italian border, about half an hour’s drive from the center of Como 

Detour- visit Lake Lugano

Before you set off to Saint Moritz, consider heading up north for around 30 minutes until you reach the picturesque Lake Lugano in Switzerland. Click here to discover the best things to do in Lugano.

Next: Saint Moritz, 3 hours

Saint Moritz

badrutt's palace hotel building seen at night during wintertime. the hotel's classical architecture, castle style and famous tower. Be sure to see it on an Italy road trip

Badrutt’s Palace in Saint Moritz

Are you ready to visit one of the oldest and most iconic ski resort areas in the whole world? When driving from Como to Saint Moritz you will see amazing views on the way. 

Feel free to stop to breathe the fresh air and take a few photos of mind-blowing views. Remember to post your photos online using #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a free rental car!

Also, be very careful when driving the curvy mountain roads. 

Saint Moritz is a popular Winter destination but there is plenty to do during the summer season as well. But keep in mind that the climate is a bit cool, even during the summer. 

What can you do in St. Moritz during the summer?

Mountain Biking

For those who like biking or want to have an adrenaline rush, mountain bikers can use the cable car to reach the Piz Nair mountain station at 3,056 meters above sea level. The views are breathtaking and the trails are as varied as the wonderful natural environment itself. Read more here about why you should experience mountain biking. 

Relax in a spa

After getting dirty on the bike, there is nothing better to do than going to the sauna and relaxing in the spa. This is another thing that St Moritz is famous for. 

Most of the hotels have spas here. Most legendary hotels here are Badrutt’s Palace, Kulm hotel, and Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski. Good thing is that summer is the low season in the resort so you can get better hotel deals this time!

La Restaurant

Badrutt’s Palace is in the heart of the village. It’s dating back to 1898, being one of the first hotels which had electricity and in 1913 they built the first indoor tennis court in Europe. 

Instead of an indoor tennis court, it is now home to the Le Restaurant dining room. So if you want to experience something extraordinary then book a table in Le Restaurant in advance. 

They do have an outdoor tennis court within the hotel though so you don’t have to miss the game. 

Chesa Veglia

A bit of a more casual place to eat in Saint Moritz is Chesa Veglia – located in a gorgeous and authentic Engadine farmhouse, converted almost a century ago into the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. The hotel is situated just 350 meters from the lake. 

Kempinski, on the other hand, is just in front of the lake where during the wintertime the famous St Moritz Snow Polo takes place. 

Rentalmoose insider tip: When in search of cheaper hotels for your budget, look for the ones out of the center –  the prices are cheaper yet they are still a short drive away from the village. 

Next: Limone Sul Garda, 5 hours through Paseo Stelvio

Limone Sul Garda

beautiful natural beauty near garda lake. Limone Sul Garda, small town in northern part of lago di garda. Large rocky hill seen from the lake's surface, trail from boat on the lake and clouds in distance.

Photography by Tommy Rau

Stelvio Pass

Before continuing the Italian road trip, make sure you choose a route that goes to Limone via the Stelvio Pass. It will be a longer route but – this road has been rated as one of the world’s greatest driving roads by Top Gear. 

In fact, Stelvio Pass has landed on our list of the top 10 best driving roads in Europe. Check out the rest of them!

Check out this Top Gear video where they are driving through it and let them give you a taste of the feeling what you are about to get from this road trip.

And our road trip has brought us back to Italy, on the way to another great lakeside destination – Lago di Garda – the biggest lake in Italy which is known for its crystal clear water. Our stop here is in Limone Sul Garda. 

Limone Sul Garda

Limone is a very tiny but gorgeous village. It’s the perfect place for a little stop, walk around in the village and in the promenade to enjoy the cute old houses and all the flowers – there are so many vibrant, colorful flowers everywhere! Walk until the harbor and then treat yourself to a delicious gelato – famous Italian ice cream. 

Lunch recommendations

A good feast awaits you at the Vecchia Malcesine restaurant. And for a simpler lunch go to Ristorante Gemma

See more of Lago di Garda

Have you fallen in love with this beautiful crystal-clear lake? Check out this travel guide and add a slight detour to your Italy road trip. Visit the southern tip of the lake, stay in the town of Sirmione, or ride one of the thrilling rollercoasters in Gardaland.

Where to stay in Limone Sul Garda?

For the real Italian vibe, stay at the Splendid Palace hotel or Hotel Castell – both of them have marvelous views of the lake. 

If you prefer more modern accommodation, look no further than Park Hotel Imperial

Once you’ve spent enough time at the crystal-clear Garda Lake, the next leg of your Italy road trip is a 90-minute drive to Verona!

Next: Verona, 1 hour 30 minutes

Verona

arena di verona, large colosseum is the main attraction in verona, italy. Seen on a cloudy day, tourists in the distance and old column in front of the arena. Be sure to see it on an Italy road trip

Arena di Verona 

Let’s continue to drive towards the final stop on your road trip in Italy – Venice. 

Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli

But first: about a half an hour drive to the South on the lakeshore there is one of the best restaurants and hotels in the Garda area (if not in the World…) – Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli

It is very private and as a tourist almost impossible to find – there are even no signs on the streets. If not planning to spend the night there you can go to their restaurant also. This place comes with a price tag, it is expensive. But the food is oh so divine! 

Villa Feltrinelli appears unchanged since 1892, yet it’s always different. This will be a once in a lifetime experience! 

Sirmione

If Villa Feltrinelli doesn’t suit your travel budget then drive until Sirmione. This is another beautiful location on Garda lake. And it’s literally in Lake Garda as Sirmione is on the top of a peninsula. Don’t forget to see their amazing castle, Scaliger.

Lunch recommendations

Go to restaurant La Rucola 2.0 or La Speranzina if you are ready to pay more for your fabulous meal or go to Trattoria Clementina where you can find great food for a reasonable price. 

After you have discovered Sirmione, hop in the car and drive to Verona. Name sounds familiar?

Probably because this is the city where the world’s best-known love story came from. Oh yes, the place of Romeo and Juliet! 

What should you see in Verona?

Casa di Giulietta

Go visit the Casa di Giulietta – a 14th-century residence with a small Juliet’s balcony and if you are together with your loved one then write your names on the wall as thousands of loved ones have done before you. 

Arena di Verona

Another must-see place is Arena di Verona. The Verona Arena is a huge 1st-century Roman amphitheater, which currently hosts concerts and large-scale opera performances. So check their program, maybe you can see some event there. I was lucky to witness Andrea Bocelli himself singing there.

After an afternoon in Verona, a pleasant 90-minute drive will take you to the final stop on your Italy road trip! 

Next: Venice, 1 hour 30 minutes

Venice

gritti palace terrace restaurant, outdoor dining with a view of canal grande. Sunny day, no tourists and canal full of boats. Be sure to see it on an Italy road trip

View from the Gritti Palace Terrace in Venice

You’ve reached beautiful Venice, a really unique city that is built on the islands and belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals. 

What can’t you miss in Venice?

The places to see in Venice are its Grand Canal and Piazza San Marco. Of course, you have to go on a gondola ride while there! You can also go shopping as most fashion brands are represented in Venice and many Italian ones make special collections that are only possible to buy in this city!

Where to stay in Venice?

The most famous hotels in Venice are Hotel Danieli (Legendary The Tourist with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp was filmed there), The Gritti Palace, Aman hotel and Belmond Hotel Cipriani. 

Of course, all of those come at a price (possible to get a better price when traveling off-season!).  A good hotel recommendation with a reasonable price would be Hotel Ai Due Principi

Lunch recommendations

For the best pasta go to The Gritti Palace Terrace – the view from there is jaw-dropping! Be sure to visit Harry’s Table, a soon-to-be-open restaurant that belongs to Cipriani.

Looking for more fun things to do in Venice? Check out this travel guide!

Drop-off

Rentalmoose insider tip: drop off your rental car in Venice because the traffic in Venice is by gondolas anyway and this way you’d skip high parking fees. Catch Italia Rail fast train that takes you directly to Malpensa airport in 4h 5 mins from Venice. 

If you still choose to park your car at the port for the time you enjoy Venice and drive back to Milan, then a pit stop recommendation would be Bergamo (or maybe your flight departs from Bergamo airport anyway?). If you happen to be foodie then Michelin 3* restaurant Da Vittorio in Bergamo is a must. In this case, drop off your rental car at Milan Bergamo airport. 

Don’t have a car you can take on a road trip? No problem!

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See the detailed Venice parking information here.  

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