Tag: foodie

Greek Islands- Santorini Itinerary By Car

Santorini is the definition of an ideal Greek island. It’s full of picturesque villages, scenic natural beauty, tasty cuisine, and fascinating archeological sites. Explore the best of Santorini with this comprehensive road trip itinerary!

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Fira to Oia- 12 kilometers (7.5 miles)📍

Oia to Ancient Thera- 23 kilometers (14.3 miles)📍

Ancient Thera to Pyrgos- 7 kilometers (4.4 miles)📍 

Pyrgos to Akrotiri- 8 kilometers (5 miles)📍

50 kilometers (31 miles) in total

Tags: Travel guide, road trip, Greece, Beach, foodie

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

The best time of the year to visit Santorini is in May and September. That’s when the weather is still pleasant and there aren’t too many tourists around the island. 

The weather is the hottest during July and August, it’s best to go during these months if you plan to spend lots of time on the beaches. Keep in mind that it is also the peak of the tourist season, and Santorini tends to get very crowded during the summer.

Why should you rent a car in Santorini?

Santorini, despite being a rather small island, is definitely best explored using a rental car. The comfort of altering your itinerary on the go, freely extending the road trip, or finishing it early can only be achieved when traveling by car.

Public transport around Greece tends to be rather hectic for international tourists. Most ticketing booths and schedules are available in Greek only, and buses irregularly travel between destinations. Not to mention the crowds and the fact that bus tickets can only be purchased in cash at the booths, right before leaving.

Road trip Extensions

Mainland Greece

Your Greek getaway doesn’t have to end here! Before leaving Greece, fly to Athens and drive all the way to Thessaloniki, exploring the best attractions in mainland Greece along the way. Click here for the travel guide and plan your ideal road trip through mainland Greece.


Rhodes is the definition of Greece as most tourists know it. Here, you can find some of Europe’s most pristine beaches, spectacular natural beauty, and fascinating towns with ancient historical sites. Click here for the guide.

Rental Moose mascot posing at a viewpoint overlooking a beautiful sandy beach in Kos, Greece. Check out our curated Greek Island itineraries.

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 in Greece for first-timers might be overwhelming at first. Locals tend to drive aggressively without much regard for others, be extra cautious when driving a rental car around Santorini, and make sure to get excess coverage provided by Rentalmoose when booking your vehicle.

Don’t forget to take check-in photos when picking up your rental car, that way you are eligible for a 50% rebate from the excess coverage fee.

Once you’re all set, let’s dive into this exciting Santorini itinerary!


Photography by EzPzPics.

Welcome to the sunny island of Santorini! For maximum convenience, Rentalmoose recommends picking up your rental car directly when you arrive at the airport. Browse through car rental options that support airport pick-up via Rentalmoose.

Santorini is often regarded as the most beautiful island in Greece, it surely is one of the most unique ones. It provides a perfect mix of historical sites, delicious cuisine, scenic natural beauty, and vibrant nightlife. Santorini is a volcanic island, the caldera is what remained after an eruption that happened centuries ago, and resulted in shaping Santorini’s unique landscape. 

Is Fira worth visiting?

Most certainly! Fira is the main town on the island, and it has plenty of attractions and spots worth visiting. You can find plenty of scenic points, restaurants, hangouts and nightlife spots all around this small town. Here are some of our favorite spots and the best things to do in Fira.

Karavolades Stairs & The Old Port

Enjoy a fair bit of exercise as you walk down the Karavolades Stairs, often referred to as the 587 steps. Tourists traveling with children will surely love seeing many donkeys traveling up and down what was once the main donkey trail that connected the town to the port.

 The exhausting stroll will take you down to the harbor, where you can hire a boat or go on a fishing tour.

You can either walk back up the same way or take the cable car and regain energy. The cable car to Fira costs just 6 EUR per person. Note that passengers are required to wear masks.

Rentalmoose insider tip: Try to visit the old port outside of the peak hours, otherwise you might find yourself stuck in a long queue for the cable cars.

Three Bells of Fira

After your cable or ride (or hike, if you can handle it), walk along the cliffside road until you reach the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church. The church is a famous attraction due to its whitewashed facade, blue dome, and the Three Bells of Fira overlooking the sea. It is hands-down one of the best photo opportunities in Santorini.

Remember to post your pictures from this trip online using #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a free rental car!

Three Bells of Fira photographed by Judith Scharnowski


When in Santorini, you can’t miss out on the delicious cuisine! Make your way across the narrow streets until you reach Obelix, the best place in Fira to try real Gyros. As it’s one of the favorites among both tourists and locals, prepare to wait a bit for your food. It is well worth it, though!

Open all week from noon until 9:30 PM.

Rentalmoose order tip: Don’t skip out on their famous Gyros or Souvlaki.

PK Cocktail Bar

PK Cocktail Bar is one of the go-to nightlife spots in all of Santorini. It’s always vibrant, crowded, and well-known among locals. It has been welcoming guests for over 40 years and remains one of the top picks on the island. Sip on a delicious cocktail as you watch the sunset from the outdoor terrace, order a cup of aromatic coffee, or smoke a tasty cigar.

PK Cocktail Bar is open all week until midnight.

Parking in Fira

You can drop off your rental car at one of the small public car parks located along the main road. The majority of public car parks in Santorini are usually free, the few paid ones cost under 2 EUR per hour.

On-street parking is permitted unless there are signs that state otherwise. Generally, if there are other cars parked along the street, you should be fine as well.

Where to stay in Santorini?

As the total driving distance for this road trip doesn’t surpass 100 kilometers, Rentalmoose recommends staying at one of these hotels during your trip to Santorini.

Iconic Santorini

Iconic Santorini is an impressive boutique cave hotel located in Imerovigli, at the highest point of the caldera. This idyllic spot is centrally located from the hustle and bustle of the cruise shopping port of Fira. Oia’s famous sunsets are only a short drive away.

The 5-star property features a stunning infinity pool overlooking the sea, magnificent suites, an upscale restaurant, and a wellness facility. It is the perfect choice for sophisticated travelers visiting Santorini.

Photo courtesy of Iconic Santorini

Grand View Hotel

Don’t want to splash out hundreds of Euros per night on an ultra-luxurious hotel in Santorini? Consider checking-in at the 3-star Grand View Hotel instead. This property, located in Megalochori, features a stunning outdoor terrace and swimming pool overlooking the sea at a fraction of its 5-star competitors. 

Add modern decor, a charming restaurant, complimentary parking, and Grand View Hotel becomes a very attractive budget-friendly stay in Santorini.

Next on your Santorini itinerary: Oia, 20 minutes


Photography by Michelle Maria.

Depart Fira and continue towards the northern tip of the island. After roughly 20 minutes, you will reach Oia, the second-largest town in Santorini, and one of the most picturesque spots you can find. It is also quieter than Fira, especially once dusk falls.

What can you do in Oia?

Ammoudi Bay

Cool down from the scorching heat and go for a dip in the Aegean Sea at Ammoudi Bay. Adrenaline junkies can find opportunities for cliff-jumping, foodies can drop by one of the waterfront fish taverns and dive into local seafood. 

Alternatively, you can go on a boat tour directly from the bay to see picturesque bays, other islands, and the famous volcano.

Ammoudi Fish Tavern

Once you get hungry, head to the Ammoudi Fish Tavern located in Ammoudi Bay. Apart from fresh fish and tasty seafood, the eatery offers a beautiful waterfront dining experience with panoramic views of the sea and the nearby island. The restaurant is popular, you might want to book ahead during the peak season to ensure you get the best table.

The tavern is open daily from 11 AM to 11 PM.

Byzantine Castle Ruins

Santorini’s magical sunsets are famous around the world. For the best view of the sunset, head to the point right next to the Byzantine Castle Ruins. Spectacular sunsets with panoramic views of the iconic whitewashed buildings, traditional windmills, and deep blue water, attract hordes of tourists every evening. Make sure to find your spot long before the sunset itself to get an unobstructed view!

Church of Panagia

The Church of Panagia is a lovely whitewashed Orthodox church in the heart of Oia. Its pristine facade makes for a perfect backdrop for photography. Alternatively, visitors can step inside and admire the decorative interior. Remember to dress appropriately when visiting places of worship.

Hike to Fira

If walking down the 587 steps to the old port in Fira wasn’t enough exercise for the day, you can wander down the scenic trail all the way to Fira. The hike is around 10 kilometers long one-way, spectacular views along the way are guaranteed, as you’ll be walking practically on the edge of the caldera. Click here for more info on the hike between Fira and Oia.

Next on your Santorini itinerary: Ancient Thera, 35 minutes

Ancient Thera

Photography by Norbert Nagel

After exploring Oia and Fira, it’s time to head out and see what the southern part of the island has to offer. Be sure to drop by the Ancient Thera archeological site. The winding road leading to the site, filled with tight hairpins and chicanes, is a super fun drive.

What is Ancient Thera?

Ancient Thera is a large archeological site of an ancient town of Thera, its history dates as far as the 8th century BC. The remains of the settlement are located on top of the Mesa Vuono Mountain, providing spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding areas.

You can follow the chicane-filled road and park your rental car near the entrance to the site, or leave your car in Perissa and reach the top of the mountain on foot. Wear comfy shoes as there is lots of ground to cover, and the hiking conditions can be challenging for the inexperienced.

The archeological site is open between 8 AM and 3 PM and remains closed on Mondays.

Kamari Beach

Hiking around the archeological site for a few hours might wear you out. In that case, reward yourself with a relaxing evening at Kamari Beach just a short car ride down the mountain from Ancient Thera. 

Catch a glimpse of the setting sun, go for a swim, or feel the mix of volcanic sand and pebbles as you stroll down the shore. You can also walk around Kamari and step inside one of the local restaurants or shops.

Next on your Santorini itinerary: Pyrgos, 15 minutes


Photography by DanaTentis

Is Pyrgos worth visiting?

Definitely! Pyrgos is a scenic whitewashed village around 15 minutes away from Ancient Thera that remains frequently overlooked by tourists, hence it is usually calm and peaceful. Once the capital of Santorini, Pyrgos is one of the best-preserved, authentic villages on the island. Its natural setting between vineyards makes it even more charming.

Admire the panoramic view of the village first from this viewing point. Then, make your way into the town, park your rental car, and stroll around Pyrgos on foot. The best way to see the beauty of this cute village is by simply walking around and exploring its narrow streets.

Art Space Santorini

As Pyrgos is surrounded by vineyards, it would only make sense to see a winery and learn about the local wine culture. The perfect space to do so is Art Space Santorini. The venue features a wine-oriented museum located in an old winery.

Art enthusiasts will enjoy the exhibition of wine-related art pieces. Guests can also tour an active winery and the nearby vineyard.

You can taste and purchase locally-made wine, too. Remember that driving under the influence is strictly forbidden.

Art Space Santorini is open all week between 11 AM and 7 PM.

Santorini of the Past

Learn all about Santorini’s regional history at Santorini of The Past, a wonderful museum focused on depicting the everyday life of Santorini. The museum features a collection of historic items and fascinating artifacts on display. Of course, scenic surroundings and panoramic views are guaranteed.

Metaxi Mas

Try what could very well be the best restaurant in all of Santorini. Metaxi Mas serves Greek dishes with a slight Cretan twist. The cozy taverna hosts guests in an indoor area or their stunning terrace with panoramic views of the island. Each dish can be paired with local wine, of course.

Metaxi Mas is open from noon until midnight, 7 days a week. It can get busy during the weekend, book ahead to reserve a spot in the outdoor seating area.

Next on your Santorini itinerary: Akrotiri, 15 minutes


The Red Beach photographed by Pat Scrap.

Having explored the village of Pyrgos, it’s time to head towards the southeastern tip of Santorini. This part of the island has even more natural beauty, as well as some of Santorini’s best beaches.

What can you do in Akrotiri?

Akrotiri Archeological Site

Akrotiri Archeological Site is dubbed “the Greek Pompeii” and is regarded as one of the most remarkable sites in the country. Its history dates back to the Bronze Age!

The excavation site has been covered by a roof, it doesn’t look too appealing from the outside, but the treasures it holds are worth seeing. You can check out the artifacts on display, too.

Akrotiri Archeological Site is open from 8 AM to 3:30 PM on Wednesdays and from 8 AM to 8 PM for the rest of the week. Admission tickets cost 12 EUR per person.

Akrotiri Lighthouse

Head to the easternmost point of Santorini, where you will find the picturesque Akrotiri Lighthouse set on a cliff above the shore. It’s one of the oldest lighthouses in Greece, dating back to the late 1800s. The whitewashed walls of the lighthouse make it another ideal backdrop for photos.

If you want to experience another otherworldly sunset, hang around the lighthouse. This spot provides similarly spectacular views as the sun sets, yet it’s less popular among tourists. It’s easier to get an unobstructed view here than in Oia. Not convinced? Just look at the photo below.

Akrotiri Lighthouse during sunset photographed by Skeeze.

What are the best beaches in Santorini?

The area around Akrotiri is home to some of the best beaches in Santorini. Keep in mind that Santorini is a volcanic island, you won’t find any picture-perfect beaches with palm trees and white sand.

Mesa Pigadia Beach

Mesa Pigadia Beach is the perfect getaway from Santorini’s crowds. This tranquil pebble beach is perfect for sunbathing or swimming in its crystal-clear water. When you get hungry, pop inside the Mesa Pigadia restaurant for a snack right by the sea.

Red Beach

Red Beach is one of the most photographed beaches in Santorini, mainly because of its iconic red volcanic sand and the red cliffs surrounding the beach. Apart from sunbathing and swimming, Red Beach is perfect for snorkeling.

Vlychada Beach

The beach in Vlychada, much like Red Beach, offers a spectacular natural setting, as the volcanic shore is surrounded by dramatic cliffs. The otherwordly landscape makes Vlychada Beach stand out among any other beaches on Santorini.

Sunbeds are available for just a couple of Euros. There are also beachside bars and cafes where guests can pop by for a drink.

What’s more, there is a vibrant marina just a few minutes away from the beach, where visitors can admire some of the docked yachts or enjoy fresh seafood.

Perissa Beach

Perissa Beach has got to be the busiest beach on all of Santorini. It is also, however, the one with the most hotels, restaurants, and nightlife opportunities. Sunbeds are available as far as the eye can see. 

Tired of sunbathing all day? Spend some time at one of the beach clubs, or walk around the nearby town of Perissa. There is always something to do near Perissa Beach.


For maximum convenience, you can drop your rental car off at Santorini Airport directly before leaving. Browse through car rental options that support airport drop-off using 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 ultimate Rhodes Itinerary By Car

Rhodes is a breathtaking Greek paradise within the Dodecanese Islands, near the coast of Turkey. The island’s pristine beaches, archeological sites, scenic roads, and traditional restaurants are scattered all across the island, making Rhodes the perfect destination for a road trip. Plan your ideal Rhodes road trip with this comprehensive travel itinerary!

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

East Coast of Rhodes to Lindos- 50 kilometers (30 miles)📍

South of Rhodes to Prasonisi- 50 kilometers (30 miles)📍

West Coast of Rhodes- 160 kilometers (100 miles)📍 

260 kilometers (160 miles) in total

Tags: Travel guide, Greece, Beach, foodie, scenic roads, history

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

The total driving distance is a little over 250 kilometers. That said, Rentalmoose recommends dedicating 4 days for this road trip at the very least. Spend a day to explore the city of Rhodes, then make overnight stops in Lindos and the Elafos Hotel near Mussolini’s Villa.

If you want to explore each location thoroughly, spend at least a week on the road.

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

The best time to visit Rhodes, much like any other Greek island, is right before the peak season begins (early June), or after it finishes (late August). That way, you can enjoy the perfect summer weather without the hordes of tourists that come to Rhodes during peak season.

Why should you get a rental car in Rhodes?

Rhodes is ideal to be discovered by a rental car. Tourist attractions are scattered all over the island, and some of the pristine beaches can only be accessed by car or on foot. Not to mention the ability to alter your itinerary on the go, freely extend your trip or end it before schedule.

Public transport around Greece tends to be rather hectic for international tourists. Most ticketing booths and schedules are available in Greek only, and buses irregularly travel between destinations. Not to mention the crowds and the fact that bus tickets can only be purchased in cash at the booths, right before leaving.

A cabriolet is the most fun type of car you can get in Rhodes. Photography by Manolis D

Road trip extensions

Turkish Riviera

The breathtaking Turkish Riviera is just a ferry ride away from Rhodes! The ferry from the city of Rhodes will take you to Marmaris, you can then make your way across the picturesque Riviera and see its incredible natural beauty and serene beaches. Click here for the guide.


There are regular ferries between Rhodes and Santorini around twice every week. The journey takes about 8 hours, but experiencing the otherworldly scenery of Santorini is well worth it. Click here for the Rentalmoose guide to Santorini.

Mainland Greece

If you’re a fan of long road trips, our Athens to Thessaloniki travel itinerary is definitely worth considering! The 1000km journey will take you across the spectacular sites in mainland Greece, such as the hanging monasteries of Meteora or the famous Mount Olympus.

Can tourists drive in Rhodes?

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 in Greece for first-timers might be overwhelming at first. Locals tend to drive aggressively without much regard for others, be extra cautious when driving a rental car around Santorini, and make sure to get excess coverage provided by Rentalmoose when booking your vehicle.

Don’t forget to take check-in photos when picking up your rental car, that way you are eligible for a 50% rebate from the excess coverage fee.

Once you’re all set, let’s dive into your Rhodes itinerary by car!

City of Rhodes

Palace of The Grand Master of The Knights of Rhodes. Photography by Peter Linter.

Welcome to the sunny island of Rhodes! For maximum convenience, Rentalmoose recommends picking up your rental car directly when you arrive at Rhodes International Airport.

Browse through car rental options that support airport pick-up via Rentalmoose.

Once you’ve picked up your rental car, make your way to the city of Rhodes at the northern tip of the island. Any great Rhodes itinerary will include a few days in the City of Rhodes, and ours is no different.

The island’s capital is full of traditional architecture, a monumental castle, and beaches.

What can you do in Rhodes?

Palace of The Grand Master of The Knights of Rhodes

The Palace of The Grand Master of The Knights of Rhodes, often simply referred to as Kastello by locals, is one of the very few examples of Gothic architecture in Greece. The structure dates back to the 7th century and has undergone restoration in the 20th century.

Visitors can tour the castle, where some of the chambers are home to art exhibitions, while others display precious artifacts.

The castle is set within Rhodes’ Old Town, you can walk around and explore the charming area.

The castle is open daily between 8 AM and 8 PM, however, the exhibitions are open only until 5 PM. Admission tickets cost 8 EUR per adult and 4 EUR per child.

A charming alley somewhere in the city of Rhodes. Photography by Kirkandmimi.

The Acropolis of Rhodes

The remains of the Acropolis of Rhodes are situated atop the Monte Smith hill. The archeological site includes remains of an ancient stadium, a temple, and a restored Roman Odeon where events are still held today.

The panoramic view from the summit of Monte Smith hill is especially spectacular during sunset.

The site is open 24 hours a day, entry is free.

This archeological site is without a doubt one of the must-visit attractions that deserves to be on every Rhodes itinerary.

Elli Beach

Elli Beach is the go-to waterfront hangout in the city of Rhodes. The cosmopolitan beach is known for its crystal-clear water, perfect for a dip. The lively beach is full of watersport activities, sunbeds available for rent, and waterfront bars and restaurants.

Once you’ve soaked enough of the sun, you can cross the street and gamble at the Casino Rodos, or admire some of the wildlife at the small aquarium right off the beach.

Finding a parking spot might be tough around the peak tourist season. Try this free car park just a short walk away from the beach.

Alexis 4 Seasons Seafood Restaurant

On an island like Rhodes, trying the local seafood is an absolute must! Once you get hungry, head over to Alexis 4 Seasons Seafood Restaurant in the old town. The upscale restaurant serves delicious seafood such as shrimps, seabass, or cuttlefish. The charming outdoor area located in the heart of Rhodes’ old town is the cherry on top.

As the restaurant is quite popular, be sure to book ahead during the peak season. The restaurant is open all week from noon until midnight.

What are the best hotels in Rhodes?

Mitsis Grand Hotel Beach Hotel

Sophisticated travelers should check-in at the 5-star Mitsis Grand Hotel. This vibrant beachfront resort, located in the heart of Elli Beach, features spacious rooms and suites with sea views, three pools (both indoor and outdoor). There is also one extra pool with fresh water for children, a spa, and six different restaurants.

Mitsis Grand Hotel is the only 5-star beachfront hotel in the city of Rhodes.

Marco Polo Mansion

Enjoy a stylish trip back in time when you stay at the Marco Polo Mansion, a 3-star hotel set within the narrow streets of Rhodes’ old town.

The hotel is known for its tasteful decor, perfect location, and a great restaurant. Treat yourself to a Greek dinner in the green outdoor area, or go for a stroll around the authentic old town.

Next on your Rhodes itinerary: Lindos, 1 hour

East Coast to Lindos

Beach of Lindos. Photography Emilian Robert Vicol.

Head south along the east coast of Rhodes, leaving the city behind. Before you get to Lindos, there are various attractions worth visiting dotted across the east coast of Rhodes. Here are some of the best ones, consider adding them to your Rhodes itinerary.

Kallithea Springs

Kallithea Springs is less than 10 kilometers from the city. The thermal springs have been around since the ancient times, and were brought to international fame by the Italians in the early 20th century.

Today, the springs have been refurbished and turned into a lavish retreat. Monumental yet tasteful architecture, authentic decor, a crystal-clear bay with a top-rated beach bar, and the hot springs themselves, of course, all attract international tourists as well as locals. 

The exclusive getaway is open all week from 8 AM to 6 PM. Admission costs around 5 EUR, paid upon entrance. If you want to use the sunbeds, you’ll have to spend at least 5 EUR in the cafe.

If thermal baths aren’t exactly your thing, why not drop by simply to enjoy the views? Photo by Dimitri Houtteman

WaterPark in Faliraki

A short 5-minute drive south from the Kallithea Springs will take you to Ammoudes, a beachfront resort. There are various attractions here, including the Faliraki public beach, though the WaterPark remains the absolute highlight.

From thrill-seekers to families with small children, everyone will find activities suitable for them at the WaterPark. Choose from a variety of waterslides, pools, and attractions.

The WaterPark is open all week between 9:30 AM and 7 PM. 

1-day admission costs 24 EUR per adult and 16 EUR per child. Purchase tickets either upon entry or online.

A scenic coastal drive on the East Coast of Rhodes. Photo by Erik Karits

Anthony Quinn Bay

Another stop worth making on your way to Lindos is the spectacular Anthony Quinn Bay, named after the great Mexican-American actor. It features a small beach surrounded by the rocky bay perfect for sunbathing (sunbeds are available), clear water ideal for swimming, and scenic surroundings.  

Photography by Denimeij

Taverna Epta Piges

This marvelous lunch spot is located a little further inland, though the delicious food and serene scenery are well worth the detour.

Head to Taverna Epta Piges, located within the beautiful Seven Springs, for an unforgettable culinary experience. This taverna is a must-visit on any Rhodes itinerary.

The tavern features an outdoor area set in the heart of the Seven Springs, providing spectacular views to accompany your meals. Taverna Epta Piges serves the finest Greek cuisine, meals are made from locally-sourced ingredients and are cooked to perfection. Give it a shot!

After lunch, feel free to explore the picturesque Seven Springs itself.

Rentalmoose order tip: Taverna Epta Piges is famous for their juicy grilled meats, why not try a steak? Perhaps order a portion of Dolmadakia, minced meat and rice wrapped in vine leaves.

Taverna Epta Piges is open all week from 9 AM to 11 PM.

Tsambika Beach

If you’ve enjoyed your time at the Anthony Quinn Bay, just wait until you see this! Tsambika Beach looks straight out of a fairytale, with golden sands spanning the shore and plenty of activities.

You can rent a sunbed and umbrella for just a few euros, or go for a swim in the pristine water. Adrenaline junkies can rent jet skis or participate in one of the various exciting watersport activities.

There are various waterfront restaurants (taverns), snack bars, and a casual beach club, too. 

Despite its popularity, Tsambika Beach is hardly ever crowded, even during the summer months. You can leave your rental car right by the beach.

Acropolis of Lindos

The Acropolis of Lindos is perhaps the most fascinating archeological site in all of Rhodes. The hilltop remains date back to the 6th century BC. The walk up from modern-day Lindos can be exhausting, but the fascinating Acropolis is well worth it. 

Alternatively, you can get a donkey ride to the top for less than 10 euros, though animal rights activists urge tourists not to do so.

Once you’re atop the hill, you can explore the remains of ancient Lindos, including the ruins of the monumental Athena’s Temple, or photograph the panoramic coastal views. 

Admission to the acropolis of Lindos costs 12 EUR per adult and 6 EUR per child. The site is open daily from 8 AM to 8 PM.

Photography by Kirkandmimi

Taverna Kamariko

Another evening on a Greek island means another unforgettable dinner in an authentic tavern. When you get hungry in Lindos, head to Taverna Kamariko near the heart of town. Leave your rental car at the hotel and feast on regional specialties accompanied by a glass of aromatic ouzo.

The tavern is open all week between noon and 3 PM (lunch service), and 6:30 PM and 11 PM (dinner service).

Where to stay in Lindos?

Mitsis Lindos

Sophisticated travelers should consider booking a room at the prestigious Mitsis Lindos. The monumental 5-star hotel features a fantastic beachfront location, modern rooms, a spa, an outdoor pool, a private sandy beach, and Italian decor both inside and out.

Mitsis Lindos is an adult-only hotel.

Lambis Studios

Looking for the best budget hotel in Lindos? Give Lambis Studios a shot. The 3-star property offers well-equipped rooms, an outdoor pool, a snack bar with pool tables, and a good location near the heart of town, all for a reasonable price.

Next on your Rhodes itinerary: Prasonisi, 55 minutes

Prasonisi- South of Rhodes

Photography by Ri Butov.

After a night in the town of Lindos, make your way south towards the southernmost tip of Rhodes.

Mojito Beach Bar

Take a break from driving at Mojito Beach Bar, one of the trendiest hangouts in this part of Rhodes, located around half an hour away from Lindos. Cool down in the crystal-clear sea, relax on the sunbeds or enjoy some of the snacks and drinks while listening to lounge music in the background. 

Mojito Beach Bar is open all week from 8:30 AM until midnight.


This peninsula is loved by windsurfers and kiteboarders. During low tide, the small island is connected to Rhodes by a slim trail of golden sand, which vanishes as the tide rises. The peninsula is a perfect spot to see sunsets, try out kiteboarding, or sit back and enjoy the views.

If you’re interested in windsurfing, you can rent equipment or book lessons through Prasonisi Center.

Prasonisi Peninsula during low tide. Photo by postcardtrip.

Once you get hungry (or thirsty), step inside one of the beachfront taverns or laid-back bars. Lighthouse Tavern is one of the best eateries in Prasonisi.

Next on your Rhodes itinerary: West & Central Rhodes, 4 hours

West of Rhodes

The absolutely spectacular clifftop castle of Monolithos photographed by Ri Butov.

As you leave Prasonisi behind, follow the main coastal road along the west coast of Rhodes. This part of the island, much like the other coast, is dotted with exciting attractions. The first one is around 50 minutes away from Prasonisi. Make sure you see them on your Rhodes itinerary.

What should you see in the West of Rhodes?

Castle of Monolithos

The ruins of the Castle of Monolithos (pictured above) are a spectacular sight, and an absolute must on any Rhodes itinerary. The remains of the 15th-century castle are situated on top of a cliff, opening up to astonishing views of the sea.

Keep in mind that you will have to use your imagination to picture what the castle must have looked like back in its glory days, as it isn’t exactly well-preserved. Despite its condition, the ruins are most definitely worth seeing. Wear comfy shoes, there is some hiking to be done!

The ruins can be accessed 24 hours a day. Admission to the ruins of the Monolithos Castle is free of charge.

Rhodes is a photographer’s paradise and the Castle of Monolithos is just one of many unique photo opportunities.

Kritinia Castle

The Kritinia Castle is just around 40 minutes away from the ruins of the Castle of Monolithos. The Kritinia Castle dates back to the 1470s and was used by the Italians as a base back in the 20th century. Hence, the ruins are a mix of architectural styles from different periods of time,

Just like the Castle of Monolithos, Kritinia Castle can be accessed 24 hours per day with no entrance fee.

If you don’t have the time to see both Kritinia and Monolithos castles, pick the latter one. The Castle of Monolithos is arguably better for a short visit, due to its scenic setting.

Mussolini’s Villa

After the Castle of Kritinia, head inland towards the mountains. Take the winding roads up to the summit of Profitis Ilias, the highest point of Rhodes. The scenic drive will take you all the way to the summit, where you can explore Mussolini’s abandoned villa and spend the night in a chalet-style hotel.

The now-abandoned villa was supposed to be Benito Mussolini’s summer retreat where he would spend his retirement. However, the Italian dictator was executed and had never actually visited the villa.

Today, what’s left of the monumental villa has become one of the top spots for urban exploration in Rhodes. The eerie villa can be explored both inside and out. As the building isn’t maintained or taken care of in any way, shape, or form, its condition is getting worse every year. Get a chance to see it before it’s completely ruined.

Paraga Restaurant

Are you looking for the best food in Rhodes? The ultimate Greek culinary experience? Head down to the Paraga Restaurant in Apollona, just 10 minutes away from the summit of Profitis Ilias. 

Paraga is widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in Rhodes that serves authentic Rhodian cuisine. The restaurant itself is located in a traditional home, making the entire experience even more unforgettable.

Rentalmoose order tip: When in Greece, you can’t go wrong with juicy Souvlaki, or grilled meat. Paraga serves incredible lamb chops.

The restaurant is open all week from noon until 8:30 PM, 9 PM on Saturdays.

Elafos Hotel

The top of the mountain is home to the charming Elafos Hotel, where you can pop in for dinner or spend the night. The 3-star property features rooms with scenic views and an onsite cafe. 

The chalet-style hotel in the mountains is a dramatic change of scenery from the coastal parts of the island.

Another look at the Castle of Monolithos and its spectacular surrounding area. Photo by Milengga.

The Valley of The Butterflies

Continue following the chicanes until you reach The Valley of The Butterflies. Just like the name suggests, this stunning nature park is home to thousands of butterflies. Sadly, tourism reduced the butterfly population, yet the valley still remains a must-see in Rhodes.

The colorful insects are attracted by the sweetgum tree forest (the only natural forest of oriental sweetgum trees in Europe!) and the valley’s humid climate. Guests can stroll around the park and admire vibrant butterflies of practically all colors.

The park is open all week between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM. Admission tickets cost just 5 EUR, children can enter free of charge.


Before you get back to the city of Rhodes, consider stopping at the picturesque village of Koskinou, a beautiful hilltop village just 5 kilometers away from Rhodes Town. 

Koskinou is favored among photographers for its beautiful whitewashed buildings with colorful front doors, countless mosaics, and green courtyards. The narrow streets are perfect for an afternoon stroll.

Step inside Almiro Gliko in the heart of Koskinou for a refreshing snack before leaving.


For maximum convenience, drop off your rental car at Rhodes International Airport right before leaving. Browse through car rental options that support airport drop-off via Rentalmoose.


Don’t forget to book your rental car via Rentalmoose for your next adventure. This Rhodes itinerary is perfect to follow by rental car.

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 trip following our Rhodes itinerary and tag #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

golden sands by shangri la resort in batu ferringhi green palm trees ocean and pools on a clear day in penang malaysia

Malaysia Road Trip Itinerary From Singapore

Road Trip Itinerary Across Western Malaysia and Singapore

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Singapore to Malacca- 240 kilometers (150 miles) 📍  27 Ringgit highway toll and border crossing

Malacca to Kuala Lumpur- 150 kilometers (95 miles) 📍20 Ringgit highway toll

Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands- 250 kilometers (155 miles) 📍

Cameron Highlands to Penang- 250 kilometers (155 miles) 📍16 Ringgit highway toll

Penang to Mersing- 720 kilometers (450 miles) 📍 50 Ringgit highway toll

Mersing to Singapore- 150 kilometers (95 miles) 📍7 Ringgit border crossing

1760 kilometers (1095 miles) in total

Tags: Travel guide, Long Trip, Malaysia, Singapore, Asia

The majority of Malaysia is often overlooked by tourists visiting South East Asia, as most international visitors just focus on Kuala Lumpur. In reality, there are lots of beautiful destinations scattered all over the country that are worth a visit. 

This travel guide focuses mainly on the Western part of Malaysia. Begin by exploring the fascinating city-state of Singapore, a modern country just below the southern tip of Malaysia. Then, cross the bridge to enter Malaysia and continue to Kuala Lumpur with a stop in the historic port town of Malacca. 

Later, drive up the steep mountain roads until you reach Cameron Highlands. Taste the delicious locally-grown tea and strawberries before continuing north to the island of Penang, where you can spend the evening sunbathing on a sandy beach. 

On your way back to Singapore, make a stop at Mersing and take the ferry to Tioman Island.

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

As the trip is over 1500 kilometers in total, Rentalmoose highly recommends making four overnight stops at the very least, plus an extra night in Singapore before beginning the trip and an optional night off the coast of Mersing if you decide to stop there. 

In order to truly explore each location, spend at least two nights in every city.

When is the best time to visit Malaysia?

As the region is close to the equator, the tropical weather is warm and humid all year round. The dry season (March to August) sees a lower amount of rainfall. However, tourists should expect rain and thunderstorms multiple times a week even during the dry season.

Why should I book a rental car for a Malaysian road trip?

Some of the attractions along this journey can’t be accessed by plane, and the freedom to change your route as you go can only be achieved with a car. What’s more, Malaysian highways are mostly modern and well-maintained, and the tolls are affordable.

Numerous rental companies offer car rentals out to Malaysia. Browse through available options via Rentalmoose.

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.

Plus- Malaysian Highway Toll System

You will need to pass through several paid highway segments along this trip. The pricing is reasonable, as all highway tolls, Penang bridge toll, and border crossings cost below 130 Ringgit (27.5 EUR) in total. 

Tolls can either be paid by cash or credit card, some booths accept prepaid Touch ‘N Go cards too. For tourists and short-term visitors, it is the most convenient to pay by cash or card directly at each booth.

Can tourists drive in Malaysia and Singapore? 

Absolutely! In Malaysia, tourists can use their domestic license as long as it’s in English (or if it was issued in one of ten ASEAN member countries) and it has a photograph. 

If your domestic license is not in English, an International Driving Permit is required. Click here to learn all you need to know about International Driving Permits.

The same rules apply for tourists in Singapore. Keep in mind that both nations have left-hand side traffic.

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


marina bay sands hotel illuminated by green and blue laser beams and white merlion statue in the foreground seen at night in singapore

Welcome to Singapore, an intriguing, diverse country south of Malaysia. The country is known for being a major business hub in Asia, as well as its ultra-modern architecture and delicious cuisine. 

As public transportation in Singapore is very well-developed, Rentalmoose recommends picking up your rental car the day you set off to Malaysia.

What can you do in Singapore?

As Singapore is a very multicultural city, you can experience an authentic part of various Asian cultures around the city. 


For starters, head to Chinatown. The colorful streets are lined with all sorts of small shops and delicious restaurants. 

Admire the monumental Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, situated between colonial buildings and tall skyscrapers, or visit the local wet market opposite of the temple.

Hawker Centers

Singapore is essentially a paradise for foodies, as the country is the melting pot of Asian cultures. Budget-friendly, authentic eateries (hawker centers) can be found all across the island. No matter which hawker center you pick, you will end up eating delicious meals.

When in Chinatown, try the Liao Fan Hawker Chan, the world’s first Michelin-star hawker ever. 

Rentalmoose order tip: You can’t go wrong with chicken rice, a local specialty.

Gardens By The Bay

Get a break from the busy city at Gardens By The Bay, a sci-fi-like park by Marina Bay Sands. The majority of the park can be accessed for free, however visitors need to purchase tickets to come inside the two large glass domes. 

Don’t miss the magical light show at the Supertree Grove, which takes place every evening at 7:45 PM and 8:45 PM.


When the night falls, enjoy the best panoramic view of the city from 1-Altitude. The trendy rooftop bar offers unbeatable views, delicious drinks, and an elegant vibe. 

Admission costs below SG$50 (32 euro) and includes 2 welcome drinks. 


An aerial view of Suntec and Rochor seen from The Singapore Flyer.

Lau Pa Sat

Craving a delicious meal in the middle of the night? Head to Lau Pa Sat, one of the best hawkers open 24 hours a day. Right outside the building is the famous Satay Street. Every day from 7 PM onwards, tens of satay (freshly grilled meat/seafood skewers) stalls start serving food on the street. Rentalmoose’s favorite is the satay stall #7.

The Fullerton Hotel

Luxury-seekers will be happy to see the wide selection of prestigious hotels in Singapore. One thing’s for sure: you can’t go wrong with The Fullerton Hotel.

This elegant 5-star hotel sits at the heart of Marina Bay and has been a crucial part of the country’s history. Classy rooms and suites with amazing views of the city, exquisite restaurants, and luxurious amenities make The Fullerton one of the best picks in town.

YWCA Fort Canning

Breaking the bank is easy when traveling in Singapore. A moderately-priced, 3-star alternative near the heart of the city is YWCA Fort Canning. The hotel offers cozy air-conditioned rooms and suites, as well as an outdoor swimming pool for guests to cool down in after a scorching day.


Singapore is absolute heaven for foodies! The photo was taken at Chuen Chuen in Bugis, one of my personal favorites in the country.

Next on your Malaysia road trip: Malacca, 2 hours 30 minutes 27 Ringgit highway toll (5.7 EUR)



Cross the causeway and enter Malaysia, a true gem situated on the western coast of Malaysia. The border can get crowded, so it is recommended to cross it early in the morning. The current border fees can be found here.

Then, hop on the AH2 until you reach the historical town of Malacca. The highway toll until Malacca costs 20.34 Ringgit (4.2 euros) as of March 2020.

What can you see in Malacca?

Malacca’s rich history is deeply reflected in the city’s attractions and sightseeing opportunities.


The remains of A’Famosa highlight Melacca’s historical significance. The fortress, built in the 1500s by the Portuguese, was a part of Portugal’s network of ports linking the country with China. The ruins can be explored free of charge.

Christ Church

Next, stroll around the area until you reach Christ Church, a beautiful red-brick structure built by the Dutch in the mid-1700s. Admire the building’s well-preserved facade or head indoors for one of the regular services in either English or Chinese.

Jonker Street

Jonker Street, the city’s Chinatown, is located across the road from Christ Church. Visit the area during a weekend evening to experience the busy night market. Shop at some of the exotic stores or grab a bite from one of the appetizing stalls.

Nancy’s Kitchen

Once you get hungry, visit Nancy’s Kitchen. One of the best eateries in the city is located in the heart of vivid Jonker Street. The restaurant specializes in Peranakan cuisine, originally invented by early Chinese migrants who settled throughout Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.

Nancy’s Kitchen offers cooking classes, too.

What are the best hotels in Malacca?

The Majestic Malacca

Indulge yourself in the city’s historic vibe and stay at The Majestic Malacca, a refined 5-star hotel located in a riverside 1920s mansion. The hotel offers classy rooms and suites, along with a wide array of facilities and a convenient location near the heart of Malacca.

Eco Tree Hotel

Travelers on a tighter budget can still opt for luxury at the Eco Tree Hotel. The 3-star hotel features well-equipped rooms and suites as well as a modern rooftop sky deck where guests can enjoy a relaxing swim in the pool, order a snack at the bar or simply admire the panoramic views.

Next on your Malaysia road trip: Kuala Lumpur, 1 hour 30 minutes 20 Ringgit toll (4.2 EUR)

Kuala Lumpur


Leave Malacca and hop back on the AH2 highway. Prepare around 20 Ringgit (4.2 euros) for the highway tolls. In around an hour, the city’s monumental skyscrapers should emerge on the horizon. Welcome to the vibrant capital of Malaysia! 

Petronas Towers

Head to downtown KL and visit the massive Petronas Towers, the world’s tallest twin structures. The 452 meter high towers are hard to miss and have become a symbol of modern Malaysia.

Visit the observation deck (Rentalmoose knows a better observation point in KL, keep on reading to find out!), go for a shopping spree at the Suria KLCC mall located on the lower levels, or relax in the park directly in front of the spectacular towers.

KL Tower

In order to get the best view of the city, visit the KL Tower. There is an open-roof sky deck atop the tower, over 300 meters above the ground! If the weather is bad, enjoy the panoramic view from the enclosed observation deck at the structure’s top floor.


The view from the KL tower is rather overwhelming.

Batu Caves

Batu Caves can’t be missed when in Kuala Lumpur. The famous tourist attraction is located less than 20 minutes away from the city center. The world-famous flights of stairs, guarded by a massive Hindu God statue, lead up to the mysterious natural caves.

Admission costs below 20 Ringgit (4.2 EUR) per person.

The Row

Visit The Row for a trendy, modern dining experience. Various restaurants and cafes are lined in a row of renovated heritage houses minutes away from the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

Rentalmoose order tip: Don’t know which eatery to pick? Walk inside Limapulo: Baba Can Cook, and try their incredible Laksa, a local specialty.

Which hotel should you pick in Kuala Lumpur?

Grand Hyatt

Sophisticated travelers should consider checking into the Grand Hyatt, a prestigious 5-star hotel near the Petronas Towers. The hotel offers elegant rooms and suites with a panoramic view of the city, as well as countless facilities and top-notch service.

Bintang Warisan

Bintang Warisan is a cozy, colonial hotel in the Bukit Bintang district. The hotel is made up of over 100 neutral-tone rooms and offers exceptional service and a stylish colonial coffee house.

A car park is available for hotel guests.

Next on your Malaysia road trip: Cameron Highlands, 3 hours 30 minutes

Cameron Highlands


Leave Kuala Lumpur and head north up into the highlands. The twisty roads will take you to Cameron Highlands, a picturesque region famous for its tea plantations and strawberry farms.

Developed during the British colonial period, Cameron Highlands used to be the getaway for Brits in Malaysia throughout the 20th century.

As the area is high above sea level, the climate is more moderate than in the rest of the country, with the temperature averaging in the low 20s centigrade.

 What is there to do in Cameron Highlands?

Tea Plantations

Begin by visiting one of the many tea plantations in the region. Afterall, tea is exactly what made this part of the country famous.

Head over to the Boh plantation, specifically the Sungei Palas Tea Garden. Taste the locally-grown Boh tea while enjoying panoramic views of the plantations. Guests can also opt for a factory tour or purchase tea from the gift shop.

Admission is free of charge.

Strawberry Farms

Once you’ve had enough of the local tea, proceed to Raju Hil Strawberry Farm, where you can taste fresh strawberries, try a slice of strawberry cake or drink freshly-squeezed strawberry juice. You can even go out on the farm and pluck your own fruit!

Golden Hills Night Market

On the evening of every weekend, the streets of Golden Hills host the busy Night Market. The stalls sell all kinds of products, from locally-picked crops and vegetables through to souvenirs and t-shirts. Delicious food is available too, of course!

The night market opens as early as 4 PM and lasts nearly till midnight. However, bad weather can affect the hours.


Even if the weather is less than ideal, the plantations look stunning.

Where can you stay in Cameron Highlands?

The Lakehouse

Experience the colonial vibe at The Lakehouse, a beautiful 4-star hotel. The Tudor-style hotel-transformed country house offers colonial-style rooms and suites and amazing service. Unique amenities include complimentary jungle trekking activities and a scenic lake-view terrace.

Century Pines Resort

Century Pines Resort is a more affordable, yet high-standard alternative in Cameron Highlands. The 4-star hotel features classy rooms with balconies, elegant common areas, a spa and fitness centers and a wide array of activities.

Next on your Malaysia road trip: Penang, 3 hours 30 minutes 16 Ringgit toll (3.4 EUR)



Drive down one last twisty mountain road and come back to lower ground. Jump back on the AH2 highway and head north until the Simpang Pulai toll booth.

Cross the monumental Penang bridge (7 Ringgit toll, around 1.5 euro) and enter Georgetown, the main city on this island.

China House Penang

Dive into the heart of Georgetown and head inside China House Penang, an authentic group of restaurants and cafes located in 3 renovated heritage buildings.

The 14 eateries all have one thing in common- every single one of them serves outright deliciousness. Enjoy a cup of Kopi (local coffee), a slice of cake or lunch.

Open daily between 9 AM to 1 AM.

Kek Lok Si Temple

Did you know that Penang is home to one of the largest Buddhist temples in all of South East Asia? Explore Kek Lok Si Temple, an absolute must-see in Penang.

The monumental temple complex is constructed in a mix of Asian styles, making it a colorful symbol of the region’s cultural diversity.


Local food courts may not look very appealing, but I can assure you the food served there is incredible!

Tropical Spice Garden

Get a break from the busy city and stroll around the Tropical Spice Garden, a harmonious escape in the northern tip of the island. Enjoy a guided tour in the gardens, learn all about the local flora and fauna or take part in one of the regular cooking classes. 

What is the best beach in Penang?

Batu Ferringhi

Surely, every traveler will enjoy a beach day after hours on the road. Drive up to the north-western part of the island, until you reach Batu Ferringhi.

The little town is Penang’s best beach resort, with luxurious beachfront hotels and a beautiful beach. Cool down in the sea, sunbathe or enjoy a drink in one of the bars. Adventure junkies can rent a jet ski or go parasailing if they dare.


Batu Ferringhi.

Picking the right hotel in Penang can be a challenge, depending on whether you’re looking to stay along the busy streets of Georgetown or at a peaceful beachfront resort.

Eastern and Oriental

If you’d prefer staying near the heart of Georgetown, book a night at the classy Eastern and Oriental. The 5-star 19th-century hotel offers elegant, well-equipped rooms and suites and luxurious facilities, such as a spa, an outdoor pool, and a gallery where guests can discover the region’s rich history.

Magazine Vista Hotel

 A cheaper alternative with an equally convenient location is the Magazine Vista Hotel. The chic 4-star hotel is located in a renovated historic building and features spacious suites at an affordable price.

The Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La

Looking for a beachfront resort on the island of Penang? Rentalmoose recommends checking in at The Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La. The 4-star resort offers chic rooms and suites, a wide selection of facilities for the whole family and of course, a sandy beach.

The hotel is located at Batu Ferringhi, the island’s best beach resort.

Next on your Malaysia road trip: Mersing, 7 hours 50 Ringgit toll (10.5 EUR)



Photography by David Russo.

On the long drive back to Singapore, Rentalmoose recommends making a slight detour and heading to Mersing. Prepare around 50 Ringgit (10.6 Euro) for the AH2 highway tolls. The town itself is not particularly exciting, but it serves as a great base for island hopping.

Island hopping from Mersing

Park your car at the Mersing Harbour (a fenced and guarded car park is available for around RM20 [4.2 EUR] per day) and take a ferry to one of the stunning islands in the region.

The most popular, Tioman Island, is an absolute paradise for snorkeling fans and divers. The island’s turquoise waters and secluded beaches make it one of the best escapes in the region.

Air Papan Beach

If you’re not planning to spend the night, or simply prefer to stay on the mainland, drive to Air Papan Beach. The sandy beach is favored by locals and is less touristy than the islands, yet equally beautiful. Go for a swim in the sea or enjoy the afternoon wandering around the white sand.

Next on your Malaysia road trip: Singapore, 2 hours 10 minutes 7 Ringgit border toll (1.4 EUR)


For maximum comfort, drop off your car directly before departing Singapore at Singapore Changi Airport. Rental companies that allow trips to Malaysia can be found via Rentalmoose.

Don’t forget to book your rental car via Rentalmoose for your next Malaysia road trip. 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 Malaysia road trip online using #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

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.


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!


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 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.


 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 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 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


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