Tag: road trip

Highway 395 Road Trip- Los Angeles to Lake Tahoe

The scenic Highway 395 makes for one of the best road trips you could take in this part of California. Afterall, who wouldn’t want to drive across diverse landscapes and endless natural beauty, with two of the area’s most spectacular National Parks just a small detour away?

What car is best for this road trip?

Like any other road trip, the answer is largely subjective. If you’re a fan of sports cars, you’ll surely enjoy a lavish roadster or a classic American muscle car. No matter what car you’re after, Rentalmoose has got you covered. Browse through options from the industry leaders and ensure you get the best deal with Rentalmoose.

If you’re hesitant about renting a car for the Highway 395 road trip and would rather use your own vehicle, check out this blog post. It may just change your mind.

What to see on Highway 395?

That’s the crucial question. Some of the attractions along this road trip include Red Rock Canyon State Park, Lone Pine, Mount Whitney, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Bishop, and Mammoth Lakes. There are also optional detours to Death Valley and Yosemite NPs!

Don’t forget to check out our guide to renting a car in California before setting off.

Without further ado, let’s dive into this Los Angeles to Lake Tahoe road trip itinerary!

Los Angeles

by David Mark

This road trip begins in the legendary City of Angels. It’s hard to think of a better place to begin a Highway 395 road trip!

For your maximum convenience, Rentalmoose recommends picking up your rental car directly from LAX. Note that airport pickup is usually subject to an extra fee added on top of your rental bill. If you want to avoid a premium location surcharge, it’s best to pick up your rental car somewhere in the city.

While Los Angeles may not be the best place to drive around, the traffic is not as bad as you may have heard. The notorious “LA Traffic” is nowhere near as bad as rush hour traffic in Paris, for example.

What are the best things to do in Los Angeles?

Despite what some first-timers may think, there is a lot more to Los Angeles than just Hollywood or the Walk of Fame. Mulholland Drive, for example, is easily one of the best driving roads in this part of California. You can spot hundreds of bikers and petrolheads enjoying this chicane-filled drive each day.

Rentalmoose insider tip: Don’t forget to stop at the Mulholland Scenic Overlook for those classic views of the skyline! Check the map for the exact location.

The two LA attractions listed below are simply ideal for fans of the outdoors. We all need a break from the hustle and bustle of the busy city every now and again.

Runyon Canyon Park

Runyon Canyon Park is the perfect getaway located in the Hills above the city. You can enjoy an early morning jog, or simply hike up to admire unbeatable views of the Los Angeles skyline.

The North Entrance of the park can be accessed directly off Mulholland Drive. That way, you can stop for a hike while driving down LA’s favorite scenic drive. What a fun way to spend the day!

The park is open from sunrise to sunset, 7 days a week. Entrance is free of charge. Your vehicle can be parked at the North Entrance off Mulholland Drive.

Griffith Observatory & Griffith Park

Griffith Park isn’t exactly a hidden gem. In fact, you have probably already seen it plenty of times in various Hollywood blockbusters and TV shows. Nonetheless, the iconic Griffith Observatory is the place to admire those picture-perfect views overlooking the LA skyline.

You can find more great things to do in Los Angeles in this travel guide.

After a memorable night in one of the best hotels in Los Angeles (these are our favorite picks in town), it’s time to hit the road and begin your Highway 395 road trip!

Next stop on your road trip: Red rock Canyon State Park, 2 hours

Red Rock Canyon State Park

by Matthew Dillon

To be completely honest, the Southernmost tip of Highway 395 is a little underwhelming. The route starts in the town of Victorville and the first stretch isn’t exactly picture-perfect. That’s why we recommend taking the chicane-filled Angeles Crest Highway via the Angeles National Forest. You will then reach Red Rock Canyon State Park via Lancaster instead. It is a much more exciting drive.

The scenic Red Rock Canyon State Park is located roughly 2 hours north of Los Angeles. Once you’re here, you can admire jaw-dropping natural beauty. The park borders the southern tip of the Sierra Nevada, it’s filled with scenic canyons and hiking trails that overlook it all.

You can access the hiking trails via the park’s dirt road network. It’s open to any street-legal car, so you can safely drive around in your rental car!

Camping at Red Rock Canyon SP

Moreover, travelers who wish to spend the night here can set camp at one of the 50 campsites situated at the Ricardo Campground. Up to 8 friends can share one campsite at $25 per site, no campgrounds for larger groups are available.

Next on your Highway 395 road trip: Lone Pine & Mt Whitney, 1 hour 20 minutes

Lone Pine & Mount Whitney

by Khun Hans Photography

After spending some time at the Red Rock Canyon SP, it’s time to head north into the beautiful landscapes of Sierra Nevada. A short 20-mile drive up will take you to the iconic Highway 395. Follow it for around an hour, until you reach the cute town of Lone Pine.

A slight detour to Death Valley National Park is an absolute must, especially if you haven’t been to this park before. You could even extend the trip further to see the Grand Canyon over in Arizona, too!

The village is a well-known spot for fishing. It’s also surrounded by some more spectacular natural beauty, complete with winding hiking trails to take it all in. These are some of the must-do attractions in Lone Pine.

Museum of Western Film History

Movie buffs have to drop by the Museum of Western Film History. The museum gallery is full of Western memorabilia that any enthusiast will love. Visitors can get an insightful look at how some of the most iconic Western movies were made.

You can watch a Western movie at what is perhaps the world’s best Western cinema, located within the premises. The cozy theatre can sit up to 85 guests.

The museum is open 10AM to 4PM Thursday to Monday.

Fishing in Lone Pine

Like we mentioned previously, the Lone Pine area is a popular spot among fishing fans who visit Sierra Nevada. There are plenty of fishing spots to choose from in and around Lone Pine, such as:

  • Independence Creek
  • George Creek
  • Diaz Lake

Check out this blog post by the Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce for a guide on fishing in the Lone Pine area.

Hiking & Enjoying The Outdoors

Without a doubt, the best thing you can do in Lone Pine is simply enjoying the outdoors. There are lots of hiking trails, such as the Mobius Arch Loop Trailhead that will take you to the iconic Mobius Arch rock formation.

The Mt. Whitney Trailhead is worth paying a visit, too. From there, you could hike over to the Lone Pine Lake, which is around 6 miles (10km).

Whitney Portal Road Scenic Drive

Don’t let the short length of Whitney Portal Road fool you, this scenic drive is an absolute must-visit! The 13-mile (19km) scenic drive will take you through the heights of Alabama Hills. Movie buffs will instantly recognize this scenery from hundreds of Western films that were shot here. This area was also featured in High Sierra, an absolute classic from 1941 starring Humphrey Bogart.

Stay The Night

Before continuing further, Rentalmoose recommends spending the night in Lone Pine. Consider checking in at the cozy Dow Villa Motel. This family owned business has been welcoming guests ever since its opening in the 50s! Make the most out of the outdoor pool while you’re here.

Next on your Highway 395 road trip itinerary: Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, 1 hour 45 minutes

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

by Fred Moore

Technically, the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest does require a small detour off of Highway 395. However, much like the Death Valley NP, it is highly recommended to visit it along the way. You will not regret adding merely an hour of driving, that’s for sure!

If, somehow, you’re still not convinced about adding Bristlecone Pine Forest to your road trip itinerary, you’ll definitely want to keep reading.

This precious spot is home to some of the oldest trees found on our planet. What exactly does that mean?

Well, many of the trees found in the Bristlecone Pine Forest are more than 4000 years old!

You can get more information about the area at the visitor center located at Schulman Grove. It’s open throughout the summer between 10AM and 5PM Thursday to Sunday.

After a hike through the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, it’s time to continue along Highway 395 until you reach Bishop.

Next on your road trip: Bishop, 1 hour

Bishop

by Jay Huang

Bishop is yet another cute town that’s situated along Highway 395. It makes for one of the favorite local getaways from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. Its beautiful surrounding area makes for a great destination to visit on your drive up to Lake Tahoe.

Climbing the Buttermilks

Those who are into climbing are probably well aware of what Bishop has to offer. The nearby Buttermilks feature some of the region’s most accessible and diverse climbing areas. Every climber can have a great time enjoying these impressive boulders, no matter the skill level.

The climbs here range from beginner-friendly ones, all the way to some of the country’s most challenging routes. The Buttermilks are located only a short drive west out of Bishop. Simply follow the appropriately-named Buttermilk Road along the McGee Creek.

You can learn more about bouldering and climbing in Bishop in this guide.

Nature in Bishop

As Bishop is famous for its scenic natural setting, it is an absolute must to visit at least a few of the best sites in the area. Hike up and down the challenging trailheads, go on a thrilling mountain biking adventure, or simply take in the views from the comfort of your vehicle. Either way,you simply have to enjoy the outdoors when in Bishop.

The Four Lakes in the Bishop Creek Basin

The scenic Bishop Creek Basin is home to four spectacular lakes. Ideally, you’d want to visit all of them as each one offers a different landscape. If you only have the time to see one of them, we recommend going to the South Lake.

  • North Lake
  • Lake Sabrina
  • Intake II
  • South Lake

Next on your Highway 395 road trip: Mammoth Lakes, 45 minutes

Mammoth Lakes

by Jeff Sullivan

A short 45-minute drive along Highway 395 will take you to the scenic town of Mammoth Lakes. Without a doubt, this may just be the most exciting stopover during this road trip. If you only had the time for one break between Lake Tahoe and Los Angeles, I’d strongly recommend to make it here.

Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth Lakes is full of attractions, no matter the time of the year. During the magical winter, you should definitely head up to the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. This resort is often considered to be the best of its kind in all of California!

Mammoth Mountain is easily the best place to go skiing in California. First-timers, as well as experienced skiers and snowboarders are all bound to have a good time here. If you’re not particularly into skiing, you can simply take the scenic gondola ride up to the summit. The views from there are magnificent.

Mammoth Mountain is a year-long destination. During the summer, travelers can play a game of golf or try out mountain biking. You can find more details about Mammoth Mountain on its official website.

Detour to Yosemite National Park

Did you know that one of the US’ best National Parks is just a small detour away? If you haven’t been to Yosemite NP before, it is strongly recommended to add a few days to your itinerary and visit it. You will not regret it, that’s for sure.

You can check out a guide around Yosemite National Park right here. Note that reservations are no longer required to enter the park!

Play Golf High Above Sea Level

Golf enthusiasts will surely have a good time when in Mammoth Lakes, as the town is home to two spectacular alpine golf courses:

You cannot go wrong with the Snowcreek golf resort. It was the first golf course in Mammoth Lakes, and is often considered to be the best one around. However, its elevation isn’t as high above sea level as the Sierra Star course.

Travelers can enjoy a game of golf accompanied by dramatic backdrops at each of the resorts. In addition, the Sierra Star golf course is also the highest-elevation 18-hole course in the entire state. You can see a driving increase of up to 10% when playing at this altitude, according to some experts.

Next on your Highway 395 road trip: South Lake Tahoe, 2 hours 30 minutes

Lake Tahoe

by m01229

This is it, the longest driving segment of your Highway 395 road trip. Follow the road up north for a little over 2 and a half hours, all the way until you reach the spectacular Lake Tahoe. The equally-amazing drive is perhaps the prettiest part of California’s stretch of Highway 395, too.

Welcome to one of the most beautiful lakes in the West part of the US! There are so many great attractions and fantastic things to do in this part of Lake Tahoe, it’d be impossible to list them all. Nonetheless, these are our top picks.

Vikingsholm Castle

Did you know that Lake Tahoe has its very own castle? The magical Vikingsholm is tucked away in the Emerald Bay, down at the southern tip of the lake.

Emerald Bay was the first destination where wealthy Californians would build their holiday homes in the late 1800s. The land where Vikingsholm is has seen summer cabins for over two centuries, though the beautiful castle erected in the late 1920s. It still remains here today, making for a truly magnificent spot.

by Mike McBey

You’ll probably quickly realize that Vikingsholm doesn’t exactly look like your typical North American building. The unique name is another giveaway of the property’s Scandinavian descent. In fact, Vikingsholm was commissioned by Mrs Lora Josephine Knight who had been in love with Scandinavian fjords. The natural setting of Lake Tahoe reminded her of Northern Europe.

Today, Vikingsholm welcomes tourists from across the planet. You can learn more about the property and all of its secrets during a guided tour.

Note that the property is 1-mile away from the car park, it is only accessible on foot or by boat.

Swimming & Sunbathing

Unwinding at a sandy beach does sound like the ideal way to spend the day. A well-deserved afternoon of relaxation isn’t exactly a road trip essential, though it certainly wouldn’t hurt. You should make the most out of the fact that swimming is permitted in Lake Tahoe. Enjoy the crystal-clear waters and impressive alpine backdrops!

These are some of the best beaches at South Lake Tahoe.

  • Kiva Beach
  • Zephyr Cove Beach
  • Conolley Beach
  • Emerald Bay
by Carandoom

Where to stay in South Lake Tahoe?

Travelers who wish to stay at a fun-packed resort should certainly consider booking a room or suite at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Resort. The 3-star property features spacious and modern rooms, though those who stay here will probably hang around the casino downstairs. Moreover, you can expect tons of live shows, cool bars to spend the evening at, and much more!

Alternatively, you could opt for the waterfront Beach Retreat & Lodge. At first sight, you may mistake the sandy beach of this hotel with an oceanfront resort on a Greek island or in Costa Rica. The 3-star property boasts modern rooms that overlook the lake, three waterfront restaurants, and a marina with kayaks and boat rentals.

Drop-off

After you’re done with your Highway 395 road trip, you could drive over to San Francisco and drop your rental car off there. Alternatively, you could drive back from Lake Tahoe to Los Angeles via the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, one of the best driving roads on the planet.

Don’t forget to use Rentalmoose to find the best rental car deal for this road trip!

Post your pictures from your Highway 395 road trip online using #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in our travel guides.

Get your car from Rentalmoose, we plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

These Are The 7 Longest Roads in The World

Driving down endless roads is unarguably one of the highlights of any great road trip. Check out the longest road in the world, as well as six runner-ups that are nearly as long!

Your international travel plans have probably come to a halt due to the ever-changing restrictions caused by COVID-19. However, that should not stop you from learning about potential destinations for the coming years.

Take a look at this map to see where the world’s longest roads are located.

These are the longest roads in the world (click to jump to each section):

  1. US Route 6
  2. US Route 20
  3. Golden Quadrilateral Highway
  4. Trans-Canada Highway
  5. Trans-Siberian Highway
  6. Highway One
  7. Pan-American Highway

Continue reading to find out more about each of the world’s longest roads!

U.S. Route 6

Loveland Pass historic photo from the 1960s. Loveland Pass in Colorado is a part of the US Route 6, one of the longest road in the world. It connects Long Beach in California with Princetown in Massachusetts.
Photo by Robert J. Boser

Total length: 5 100 km/3 100 miles

Starting point: Long Beach, California

Finishing point: Provincetown, Massachusetts

Road trip duration: 2 weeks+

Apart from being one of the longest roads in the world, the U.S. Route 6 is also one of the best cross-country US road trips. Afterall, is there a better way to explore the United States than by traversing the entire country?

As covering this much distance can be challenging, it is recommended to spend at least 2 weeks on the road to complete this road trip. Get on the US-6 in the small town of Provincetown, Massachusets. You will pass through nearly 15 states in total before reaching the destination in Long Beach, California.

With the Rocky Mountain National Park, Utah’s spectacular natural beauty, Nevada and its hidden gems, as well as countless other points of interest along the way, this truly makes one of the best road trips you could ever take.

U.S. Route 20

apart from being one of the longest road in the world, US Route 20 is the main driving road through Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
Photo by ArtTower

Total length: 5 500 km/3 400 miles

Starting point: Newport, Oregon

Finishing point: Boston, Massachusetts

Road trip duration: 2 weeks+

Looking for an alternative cross-country road trip that goes along just one single highway? The US Route 20 may just be the perfect pick for you. This journey would be 500 kilometers shorter than the previously mentioned US Route 6.

This 5500-kilometer (3400 miles) long road stretches from Newport in Oregon all the way to Boston over on the East Coast. From all the attractions that you’ll see along the way, the unarguable highlight is the Yellowstone National Park.

As this is one of the longest roads in the world, it is recommended to spend at least 2 weeks on the road to make the most out of each destination. Much like the US Route 6, GPS navigation won’t be needed for this road trip. Just follow the same road from start to finish!

Golden Quadrilateral Highway- India

Golden Quadrilateral Highway, one of the longest roads in the world, connects the four major cities in India.
Photo by Soham Banerjee

Total length: 6 000 km/3 600 miles

Starting point: Delhi, India

Finishing point: Delhi, India

Road trip duration: 2 weeks+

The Golden Quadrilateral Highway is the second-longest road in all of Asia. This road is crucial for India, as it connects the four main cities in the country- Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai.

Travelers who plan to complete the loop around the Golden Quadrilateral Highway should think twice about driving in Delhi and Mumbai, two of the largest cities in India. Each of these cities is home to around 20 million people. Can you imagine what rush hour traffic must look like in such an enormous city?

Nonetheless, driving down the Golden Quadrilateral Highway is bound to be an unforgettable adventure. Apart from seeing some of the largest urban populations on the planet, travelers will also visit landmarks such as the Taj Mahal. Be sure to stop by Belgaum and admire some of the breathtaking waterfalls around the area.

Trans-Canada Highway

Trans Canada Highway, one of the longest roads in the world, connects two ends of Canada. Spectacular scenic drive through Glacier National Park.
Photo by Mariano Mantel

Total length: 7 000 km/5 000 miles

Starting point: Victoria, British Columbia

Finishing point: St. John, Newfoundland and Labrador

Road trip duration: 2 weeks+

Although not the longest road on the planet, the Trans-Canada Highway is considered the longest national highway on Earth.

Those who decide to drive across this lengthy scenic route are in for a real treat, as the Trans Canada Highway will take them right through some of the most spectacular landscapes in the country. Don’t forget to plan stops in some of the country’s fascinating National Parks, Gros Morne and Glacier to name a few.

Expect to spend at least 2 weeks on the road to complete this road trip across one of the longest roads in the world. Accommodate some extra time for stops at scenic overlooks, as you’ll surely find yourself stopping to take in the views rather often.

Trans-Siberian Highway- Russia

Trans Siberian Highway, one of the longest roads in the world, seen in winter. Volvo driving through snowy forest in Russia
Photo by Сергей Корчанов

Total length: 11 000 km/7 000 miles

Starting point: St. Petersburg, Russia

Finishing point: Vladivostok, Russia

Road trip duration: 1 month+

The third-longest road in the world is the Trans-Siberian Highway. This 11 000-kilometer highway connects St. Petersburg by the Baltic Sea with Vladivostok, a Russian city just 3 hours north of the North Korean border.

The Trans-Siberian Highway became fully paved in 2015. However, this does not mean that crossing this route has become easy. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

Harsh weather conditions and a remote location both make passing the Trans-Siberian Highway challenging, to say the least. Parts of the road can quickly become impassable during the road, leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

That’s not to say that a road trip across the Trans-Siberian wouldn’t be the adventure of a lifetime. Some of the attractions along the way include a visit to Moscow, passing Lake Baikal, and getting close to North Korea as you approach Vladivostok. You’ll drive across seemingly endless plains of Northern Asia, coniferous forests, and tall mountains.

This journey would take at least a month to complete, given that there are no delays due to unpredictable weather conditions.

Highway 1- Australia

Highway 1 in Australia, one of the longest roads in the world. Straight, empty paved road goes through green fields and trees.

Total length: 14 500 km/9 000 miles

Starting point: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Finishing point: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Road trip duration: 2 months+

Apart from being the second-longest roadway in the world, Australia’s Highway 1 takes the trophy as the world’s longest national highway! Driving down this enormous 14 500 km (9000 miles) loop is one of the best ways to see the best of what Australia has got to offer.

Australia’s Highway 1 will take you across all states of the country. You can begin the journey in Sydney and head south towards Melbourne. This chunk of the journey alone makes for a great road trip idea already, check it out.

A segment of Highway 1 just south of Sydney is named the Grand Pacific Drive. The 140 scenic coastal route is considered to be one of the most scenic driving roads in the world!

long sandy beach and wavy blue ocean off the great ocean road on a clear sunny day in victoria australia. The article is about the longest roads in the world.

You could also detour in Melbourne and head down the Great Ocean Road, which is yet another scenic coastal drive. Check out the itinerary here. All in all, there are plenty of attractions worth visiting along the way.

The recommended duration for this road trip is at least 2 months. That way you can make the most out of each stop along the way, and won’t feel like you’ve rushed through too quickly.

Pan-American Highway

pan american highway is considered to be the longest road in the world. Straight road through plains of south america.
by Herbert Bieser

Total length: 48 000 km/30 000 miles

Starting point: Prudhoe Bay, Alaska

Finishing point: Ushuaia, Argentina

Road trip duration: 6months+

Driving across the Pan-American Highway is on the bucket list of travelers around the globe. Many consider the Pan-American Highway to be the ultimate road trip in the world. While we all have different visions of the perfect road trip, there is no doubt that this is the longest one of them all.

According to Guinness World Records, the Pan-American Highway is the world’s longest “motorable road”.

The entire journey from the northern tip in Alaska all the way to the south of Argentina spans nearly 50 000 kilometers (30 000 miles) in total. Those who decide to complete this fascinating journey will pass through 14 countries on 2 continents, as well as 6 different time zones before reaching the end. Although the Panamericana is considered to be the longest road in the world, not all of it can be passed by car. In fact, the road disconnects for about 100 miles nearly in the middle of the journey.

Darien Gap

There is a 100-mile stretch of remote wilderness in Panama and Colombia which is known as the Darien Gap, and the Pan-American Highway does not pass through this jungle. Instead, the road cuts off in Yaviza in Panama and resumes in Turbo, Colombia. There have been plans to build a road through the infamous Darien Gap, though with no success yet.

The Darien Gap is widely regarded as one of the most remote locations on the planet, even though it’s only around 60 miles long. This stretch of vibrant jungle doubles as one of the most dangerous places in the world, thanks to both dangerous wildlife as well as criminal activity.

As the jungle is the only way to cross from Colombia to Panama by land, Darien Gap has become the road of choice for illegal immigrants who want to get to North America. Add in the lack of law enforcement that makes the spot ideal for cartels and other criminals, and you end up with a quite dangerous area.

The dangerous Darien Gap does not mean that completing this road trip is impossible. In fact, most travelers choose to ship their vehicles over from Panama City to Cartagena and resume the road trip from there. There used to be a ferry crossing, though it is no longer in service.

As the two roads aren’t connected to one other, it is debatable whether the Pan-American Highway can really be considered as the world’s longest road.

Discussions aside, crossing the Pan-American Highway would definitely make for a long adventure! Most travelers need at least half a year to complete this journey.

Have you driven on any of these roads? Post photos from the longest road you’ve seen on Instagram using #Rentalmoose for a chance to have your work featured in our upcoming articles!

Don’t forget to check out our curated travel guides for more travel inspiration. You don’t have to drive the longest road in the world to have an unforgettable adventure!

30 Road Trip Essentials- Do Not Forget These Items

Planning a road trip can get tremendously overwhelming sometimes. Afterall, there are lots of different things that have to be planned out prior to leaving. Packing your road trip essentials is one of the last things you do before setting off, but it cannot be overlooked.

We’ve compiled a handy list of 30 items you have to take on your next road trip. They’re split into the following categories:

It may seem like common sense to take all of the items listed below. The stress of planning a road trip can make us forget the most basic stuff.

Check out this blog post to make sure you take all of your road trip essentials!

13 Absolute Essentials For Every Road Trip

The items below are your absolute essentials for your next road trip. Make sure you don’t forget any of them!

The Most Basic Items You Always Need On A Road Trip

  • Driving License & ID
  • Car Documents & Proof of Insurance
  • International Driving Permit
  • Roadside Emergency Kit & First Aid Kit
  • Flashlight
  • Face Masks
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Protective Gloves
  • Emergency Contact Info
  • Cash
  • Engine Oil
  • Credit Card
  • Water Bottles

Driving License & ID

First and foremost, you have to make sure that you packed your driving license and ID. A driver must be able to provide a valid driver’s license and proof of identity. Any passengers in the vehicle need to have their IDs, as well.

Note that some countries require foreign drivers to have their passports with them at all times, too. Check the local regulations before departing to avoid any mishaps during the journey.

Car Documents & Proof of Insurance

The paperwork of your vehicle is just as important to have as your driver’s license and ID.

If you’re traveling by rental car, the car’s paperwork will either be in the glove compartment or handed to you when picking up the vehicle. Always double-check before setting off.

Different types of car insurance may be obligatory, depending on the region you’re driving in. Rental cars in America, for example, will typically only come with a very basic protection plan. Check with your credit card company, as they may offer additional insurance.

When traveling by rental car, it is crucial to have the vehicle properly insured. You can check out this blog post to learn more about rental car insurance.

International Driving Permit (if necessary)

Driving abroad? Some countries may require the driver to have an International Driving Permit or IDP for short.

Remember that you have to obtain an IDP before leaving your home country. There is no way to get an International Driving Permit while you’re already in a foreign country.

You can learn all you need to know about IDPs in this blog post.

Roadside Emergency Kit + First Aid Kit

A roadside emergency kit is crucial to have on a road trip. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it. Unexpected accidents could happen, hence it’s best to have one laying around just in case. The same goes for a first aid kit.

A roadside emergency kit should have the following items:

  • first aid kit
  • jumper cables
  • tow strap ropes
  • warning triangle
  • a set of tools, including screwdrivers and sockets
  • seatbelt cutter
  • window breaker
  • blanket
  • electrical tape
  • high-visibility vest
  • whistle

As you can see by its components, a high-quality roadside emergency kit will keep you prepared for any unexpected scenarios. You’ll be able to deal with technical breakdowns, dead batteries, medical emergencies, and any other situations that could happen during your road trip.

Flashlight

A flashlight should be a part of your roadside emergency kit. If it is not, then ensure you pack at least one working flashlight. It is one of the must-have road trip essentials, that’s for sure.

Don’t forget spare batteries!

Face masks

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way we travel. Depending on the region you’re going to, face masks may be required indoors as well as outside.

Make sure you take enough masks. Don’t forget to pack spare ones, too!

Hand Sanitizer

Any traveler going on a road trip in 2021 should take a bottle of hand sanitizer.

While many local businesses set up hand sanitizers near the entrance to their premises, it could turn helpful to have your own bottle.

Protective Gloves

Not all surfaces you’ll come across are going to be particularly clean. What’s more, you may have to open the hood of your car to check the oil levels.

You’ll definitely end up having to go to the bathroom at a gas station. Taking a pair of gloves with you certainly won’t hurt. It could save you from coming in contact with some disgusting surfaces.

Emergency Contact Numbers

Ensure that you have the emergency contact numbers saved on your phone, or written down on a piece of paper. Ensure you have the contact details for roadside assistance, too.

Don’t forget that the emergency numbers can change depending on the region you’re in!

You can check out this Wikipedia page to see emergency telephone numbers in different countries.

Cash

Not all local businesses will accept payment by card. It’s always good practice to have some local currency on hand at all times, hence we recommend cash as another thing to take on a road trip. You never know when a small purchase may come up!

Naturally, you don’t want to take too much cash with you either. An amount that will be enough for the duration of the trip, plus some more just in case anything happens, should be sufficient.

Remember to take the money with you, and not leave it in a car unattended.

Engine Oil

This is crucial if you are going on a long-distance road trip in your own vehicle. Regularly checking the engine oil level is a must. Otherwise, you could risk damaging the powerplant of your car.

I cannot stress this enough. Having a bottle of engine oil in the trunk is extremely convenient. Some local gas stations may sell the right type of engine oil, though it is not guaranteed.

Credit Card (if necessary)

A credit card may not be a road trip essential for everyone unless they’re renting a car.

If you are traveling by rental car, you’ll need to take your credit card (with enough funds to cover the security deposit) and present it when picking up the vehicle.

Note that the credit card has to be under the same name as the renter. Click here to learn more about the pick-up process.

Water Bottles

It goes without saying that water is an absolute necessity. While any local grocery shop or gas station will sell water, it’s always a good idea to have a few bottles in the car with you whenever you get thirsty. Especially if you’re traveling in rural areas.

Water bottles could come in handy if you go on a hike, or in case of a breakdown in the middle of nowhere.

Pack These 14 Items To Make Your Road Trip More Comfortable

Although the items below are helpful to take, we don’t qualify them as absolute road trip must-haves. Nonetheless, consider packing these convenient items to make your road trip more comfortable.

These Items Will Improve The Comfort of Your Road Trip

  • Bug spray
  • Shovel
  • Ice scraper
  • Painkiller
  • Sunscreen
  • Toilet paper
  • Umbrella
  • Sunglasses with a Polarizing Filter
  • Phone Charger
  • Blanket and Pillow
  • AUX Cord
  • Handsfree Bluetooth Kit
  • Books
  • Snacks

Bug Spray

Insects of all sorts can be annoying, especially when hiking out in the wild or trying to enjoy a barbecue with friends. Don’t even get us started on mosquito bites. Yikes!

Pack some bug repellent and you’ll spare yourself from

Shovel

A shovel is a great multi-purpose tool you should definitely pack with you on your next road trip.

You’ll surely find it useful if your car gets stuck in mud or snow.

Ice Scraper

An ice scraper is a must for any driver during the wintertime. It’s the most efficient way to remove ice and snow from your car’s windshield and mirrors.

Some people attempt to save time by pouring boiling water directly on the windshield. Do not do that. The temperature difference could cause your windshield to shatter to a million pieces.

Going on a winter road trip? Check out this guide for more helpful tips.

Painkillers

Headaches are never fun, but they’re even worse during a road trip. Riding in a car for hours with a constant headache can be a terrible experience.

It’s best to be prepared and take some painkillers and medication that could become useful.

Sunscreen

Yet another must-have on any road trip during the summer. Particularly handy if you’re driving down a coastal road and decide to stop at a scenic roadside beach. Perhaps you want to get out of the car and hike around the wilderness?

Sunscreen is super useful, yet it is easily overlooked and forgotten. Don’t forget to pack it!

Toilet Paper

Don’t overestimate local gas stations and small restaurants. You may often see that public bathrooms either provide rough, low-quality toilet paper, or they are out of it altogether.

It’s best to bring your own rolls with you, just in case. A roll of toilet paper could double as tissues or a paper towel for cleaning up any spilled liquids, too.

Umbrella

Ideal for protection from the rain. It can also serve as a great way to protect yourself from strong sunlight.

Sunglasses With A Polarizing Filter

Sunglasses can dramatically improve your driving experience. Being blinded by harsh sunlight is dangerous and could lead to a collision. Sometimes there’s so much light that the car’s sun visor just won’t cut it.

Instead of just any sunglasses, try to get ones with a polarizing filter. A polarizing filter will eliminate reflections, such as the ones on your car’s windshield. Trust me, you will not regret it.

Phone Charger

Speaking from experience, it’s best to pack more than one phone charger on a road trip. They can get broken, lost, or simply disappear into the “black hole” between your seat and the center console.

Despite what some people may say, it is impossible to retrieve anything once it falls into the black hole. Really.

If you’re traveling with friends, it’s safe to assume that at least one of them will forget their charger. Better safe than sorry.

Blanket & Pillow

Who would not want to enjoy a nap during an endless road trip? As long as you’re not the one driving at the moment, of course.

Blankets and pillows can easily qualify as road trip essentials. While not taking them would not affect the safety of your road trip, it is a nice touch to get a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

AUX Cord

Experienced roadtrippers can all agree that there are some unwritten rules for every road trip. One of them states that the front-seat passenger’s main role is being the DJ for the duration of the road trip. They control the magical AUX cord and select the music played in your car.

Make sure you have a way to connect your phone to the car’s audio system. Newer cars may have Bluetooth connectivity. If you have an older vehicle, an AUX cord is your best bet.

Handsfree Bluetooth Kit

Talking on the phone while driving is not only illegal in most countries, but also very dangerous. Instead, you can connect a handsfree Bluetooth kit to safely make phone calls while behind the wheel.

Newer vehicles often have this feature as a standard option in the infotainment system.

Books

Staring at a phone screen for hours on end can drive your passengers crazy. Instead, pack a few of your favorite books that they can read through during the road trip.

Snacks

Any proper road trip begins with a shopping stop to gather snacks. When it comes to piling up road trip snacks, it is always best to come overprepared. There is no such thing as not having enough snacks, that’s for sure.

Don’t just stick to junk food, purchase some healthy foods as well. Fresh fruits are both nutritious and tasty, for example.

Other Accessories

The items below are far from road trip essentials. However, it could be useful to pack them. Check out our recommendations!

Paper Map

A million things can go wrong with your phone. Anything from your battery running out to shattering the screen will leave you stranded with no map. A regular paper map is something you can always count on. Sure, it may not be as sophisticated as a fancy navigation app with real-time traffic warnings. However, a paper map will never fail you.

Take a paper map. It may just come in handy.

Pen and Pencil

Doodling, drawing, writing down any important information or leaving a note on a car you’ve dented at a car park. Whatever the reason may be, it’s always a good idea to have a pen and pencil along with a few pieces of paper.

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

Head over to Rentalmoose and book a rental car for your next journey. Choose from the most trusted suppliers at over 15 000 different locations worldwide.

Rentalmoose contributes to a better tomorrow. We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

Dramatic cliff coast with small buddhist temple on the edge and blue ocean in nusa dua bali

The Ultimate Bali Itinerary By Car

Check out our curated Bali itinerary.

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Denpasar to Medewi- 80 kilometers (50 miles)📍

Medewi to Pemuteran- 90 kilometers (56 miles)📍

Pemuteran to Lovina Beach- 50 kilometers (31 miles)📍

Lovina Beach to Mount Batur- 70 kilometers (43 miles)📍

Mount Batur to Candi Dasa- 50 kilometers (31 miles)📍

Candi Dasa to Ubud- 50 kilometers (31 miles)📍

Ubud to Denpasar- 20 kilometers (12 miles)📍

410 kilometers (255 miles) in total

Tags: Travel guide, Asia, Short Trip

This Bali itinerary by car will cover the following topics.

Bali is a destination on every traveler’s bucket list, and it’s not hard to see why. Some of the best reasons to visit Bali include:

  • beaches straight out of paradise
  • dramatic cliffside temples
  • diving spots around shipwrecks
  • monumental waterfalls 
  • sunrise hikes up active volcanoes

Bali has it all, and this travel guide takes you through the absolute best of what this unimaginable island has to offer.

This travel guide takes you on a road trip highlighting the best attractions and must-see points of interest in Bali.

Afterall, a self-guided tour around Bali is the best way to see the island, and our Bali itinerary is perfect to get you started!

Set off from Southern Bali and continue west along the coast. 

Learn to surf in Medewi and drive through a tree on your way to Pemuteran. Drop off your car at the harbor and see Deer Island, before spending the night in a secluded resort near Pemuteran.

Get up before sunrise to spot the dolphins at Lovina Beach, and relax at the natural hot springs on the shore of Lake Ubud. Trek up the active volcano before continuing through to the temples around Candidasa. 

After dusk falls, observe as hordes of bats fly out of the cave at Pura Goa Lawah. Then, drive over to Ubud, stopping to see a hidden waterfall and the famous rice terraces on the way. Indulge in local cuisine at the night market before heading back to Denpasar.

Planning- Before You Leave

Before jumping into the Bali itinerary, take a look at some essential information listed below.

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

Although the total distance isn’t high, be prepared that you will be traveling at below 50 kilometers per hour during most of the road trip. 

Rentalmoose recommends dedicating at least 3 days for this road trip with overnight stops in Pemuteran and Mount Batu, plus at least one extra night in Southern Bali before setting off. 

Spend at least a week in Bali to experience each spot thoroughly.

When to go to Bali?

Bali is an all-year destination due to its tropical climate. The best time to visit Bali is during the dry season between April and October. 

Keep in mind that decreased rainfall attracts many tourists. The perfect time to go to Bali is between April and June, as well as September, just outside of peak tourist season.

Why should I book a rental car in Bali?

Though a rental car is not necessary if you’re planning to stick to your resort, it’s definitely the best way of getting around if you want to explore more of the island. 

It is also very cheap to rent a vehicle in Bali. You can rent a car for as low as $20

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.

Parking around Bali is surprisingly simple. Your rental car can be left along the side of the road at most spots within the island. Some car parks at major tourist attractions, such as the Tanah Lot Temple, can charge a small fee (usually within 5000 Rupiah, 0.3 EUR) on top of the entry fee. Hotel car parks are complimentary.

Can tourists drive in Bali? 

Yes! Tourists who plan on driving in Bali need to obtain an International Driving Permit in their home country prior to leaving. 

Click here to learn more about IDP’s. Keep in mind that you must present your driving license alongside the IDP, the International Driving Permit cannot be used on its own.

Keep in mind that travelers visiting Bali need an IDP and license regardless of whether they’re renting a car or a motorcycle. The penalty, if you’re caught without an International Driving Permit, is 50  000 Rupiah, which is around 2.9 Euros (plus any other fine you might receive). 

If you’re caught driving without an appropriate license, the penalties can reach up to 2 million Rupiah (117 Euros).

The traffic in Bali is on the left side of the road.

Southern Bali

south bali buddhist temple on the edge of tall cliff overlooking blue ocean waves and green grass on a sunny day

The dramatic coastline at the Uluwatu Temple.

Our Bali itinerary begins the minute you arrive on the incredible island. For maximum convenience, Rentalmoose recommends picking up your rental car directly when you arrive at the Ngurah Rai International Airport. 

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

What can you do in the south of Bali?

Travelers visiting this part of the island can enjoy countless activities on the sandy beaches, party till the morning in numerous clubs and bars, or explore the busy city of Denpasar.

Southern Bali is the most popular part of the island among tourists. Beach resorts around Seminyak, Nusa Dua, and Kuta have become world-class luxury travel destinations. 

What are the best beaches in Bali? 

Every traveler visiting the Indonesian island has asked this question at least once. Bali is filled with lots of sandy beaches, and picking the best one depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for.

Seminyak Beach

If you want to spend a day in the bustling heart of Bali, go to Seminyak Beach. The five-kilometer sandy beach is anything but secluded; there are numerous bars, nightclubs, and eateries lined along the shore. 

Seminyak is also home to luxurious resorts and prestigious beach clubs if you’d rather spend your time there. Your rental car can be dropped off at the street parallel to the beach.

Nusa Dua Beach

Drive south until you reach Nusa Dua Beach. This sandy beach is a lot calmer than Seminyak or Kuta, the shore is dominated by upscale resorts, restaurants, and golf courses. Nusa Dua Beach and its calm waters are ideal for swimming, sunbathing and watersport activities.

nusa dua calm wide sandy paradise beach blue ocean on a hot sunny day in bali indonesia

Nusa Dua Beach gets quite empty outside of the peak tourist season.

Thomas Beach

Finding a secluded beach is hard in Southern Bali, as most of the tourists stay in this part of the island. Head to Thomas Beach if you’re looking for the quietest beach around the south of Bali. This peaceful beach features calm, turquoise waters and pristine golden sand, perfect for sunbathing or simply enjoying the serenity.

Foodies will find themselves in absolute paradise, as Bali is filled with eateries ranging from cheap food courts serving authentic regional cuisine all the way to prestigious cliffside restaurants that offer an exclusive gourmet experience. 

There are so many spots to choose from that it’s hard to decide where to begin, similarly to picking beaches.

Sukun Restaurant

If you’re looking for the best Balinese fine-dining experience, head to the Sukun Restaurant. This upscale eatery, located in Kuta, serves the absolute best of local Indonesian cuisine in a beautiful setting, perfect for a romantic dinner date or a luxurious lunch. The restaurant also serves breakfast.

Open daily between 6 AM and 11 PM.

Alila Villas

Luxury travelers should consider checking in at the breathtaking Alila Villas in Uluwatu, right at the southern tip of the island. The spacious villas feature panoramic ocean views, large infinity pools, world-class service, and exceptional architecture and interior design.

Uma Karan

Bali is scattered with lots of budget-friendly resorts, charming family-run hotels, and hostels near the beach. Consider booking a room at the affordable, 3-star Uma Karan in Seminyak. 

Apart from spacious rooms, the property offers a beautiful garden and a 15-meter long swimming pool, as well as an unbeatable feeling of privacy and a convenient location just 10 minutes away from the bustling heart of Seminyak.

Next on your Bali itinerary: Medewi, 2 hours 10 minutes

Medewi

surfer surfing blue ocean wave during sunset in medewi bali indonesia

Photography by Postcardtrip.

After a few days in the southern part of Bali, it’s time to escape the hordes of tourists and explore more authentic parts of the island. The first leg of our Bali itinerary is a 2-hour drive down to Medewi.

The coastal road overlooking the ocean is filled with fun twists and chicanes, follow it all the way until you reach Medewi.

What is there to do in Medewi?

Medewi is one of the best surfing spots in Bali, known for having the longest left-hand wave in Bali. Surfing here is an absolute blast, no matter whether you’re an experienced surfer or a total beginner with zero experience. 

Contact one of the local surf schools, such as Dikaloha, to begin your surfing journey and book a multi-day surf camp. You can also purchase a surfing lesson directly on the shore without any prior booking.

An hour-long lesson will cost you around US$20, surfboard rental is included.

Rambut Siwi Temple

Experience the local culture when you visit the Rambut Siwi Hindu Temple. This cliff-top temple, located just by the ocean, is an absolute must-see gem when in Medewi. 

Admire the exotic architecture with the turquoise ocean providing a spectacular backdrop. Remember to be respectful and dress appropriately when visiting places of worship.

Bunut Bolong

Head inland for around 20 minutes until you reach Bunut Bolong, a local tourist attraction. The large, sacred tree has a large opening in the middle and a road running through it, making it the perfect subject for photography.

 Post your photos of Bunut Bolong online using #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge!

Next on your Bali itinerary: Pemuteran, 1 hour 50 minutes

Pemuteran

sitting baby macaque monkey hugging mother next to trees at pulaki temple pemuteran bali indonesia

Macaques at the Pulaki Temple. Keep your eyes open, as they can be spotted all over the island!

Continue west along the coast for another two hours until you reach Pemuteran, a charming fishing village in the northwest part of the island favored by divers and snorkeling enthusiasts. Its thrilling attractions make Pemuteran a must on any Bali itinerary.

What is Pemuteran known for?

Diving & Snorkeling

Pemuteran is one of the favorite diving and snorkeling spots around the whole island. The bay is covered by colorful coral reefs filled with marine life, diving or snorkeling here is a truly unforgettable experience.


Menjangan Island

Be sure to visit Menjangan Island (Deer Island in English), a pristine, uninhabited island full of wildlife. The island can only be accessed by boat, you can either go to the Labuhan Lalang harbor and take a boat tour from there or book one of the package tours prior to leaving.

Your rental car can be dropped off by the harbor. The pricing for a snorkeling boat tour is around $US 30.

Pulaki Temple

The area around Pemuteran is home to many Hindu temples, the most notable being the Pulaki Temple. Apart from the monumental architecture and panoramic ocean views, Pulaki Temple is famous for being home to lots of local monkeys. Stroll around while observing the playful animals. 

Don’t let go of your belongings, as cute as the monkeys are, they can get very curious about your backpack, camera or snacks. Once they get a hold of your things, it’s very hard to get them back.

Pemuteran Beach

After a long day, head to the Pemuteran Beach and relax along the splendid shore. Sunbathe on one of the sunbeds, go for a dip in the ocean or catch one of the snorkeling tours directly from the beach.

Warung Bali Re

For a delicious lunch or dinner, head to the local Warung Bali Re. This cozy family-run eatery serves a wide array of traditional Indonesian dishes, and is located just minutes from the ocean.

The restaurant is open daily between 8 AM and 9 PM.

Sun Suko Boutique Retreat

Luxury seekers can book a room at the Sun Suko Boutique Retreat. The prestigious 4-star hotel features elegant rooms, an outdoor pool, a pool table, and a colorful garden. The property is located near the beach and less than 3 kilometers away from the Pulaki Temple.

A private car park is available at no extra cost.

Kubuku Bali

There are plenty of budget-friendly guesthouses, boutique hotels and affordable stays around Pemuteran. One of the best cheap stays in Bali has got to be the Kubuku Bali.

The property offers well-equipped rooms, exceptional service, an outdoor pool, and a variety of fun activities. Not to mention the location just 200 meters away from the ocean, all without breaking the bank.

A free car park is available.

Next on your Bali itinerary: Lovina Beach, 1 hour

Lovina Beach

lovina beach bali ocean three dolphins jumping out of blue water and tourist boat tour nearby during sunrise indonesia

Photography by Michelle Maria.

Continue east along the coastal road until you reach Lovina Beach, a city famous for sighting dolphins, diving, and its black sand beach.

Is Lovina worth visiting?

Lovina Beach may not be your typical postcard-like beach with golden sand. The fact that the sand is black, as well as the Lovina’s location, make the beach practically free from tourists (except peak season). 

Those who have been to Bali before might know how frustrating it can be to find a secluded beach, and Lovina Beach is one of them.

Dolphin watching

When in Lovina, an absolute must is taking a dolphin watching boat tour. These tours start before sunrise and take participants around the spots frequently visited by dolphins as well as other fascinating marine life, including whales.

Tickets start at as little as 100.000IHR (5 EUR) per person.

Aling Aling Waterfalls

Adrenaline junkies should most definitely drop by the Aling Aling Waterfalls, only around 20 minutes away from Lovina Beach.

After paying a small entry fee (below 1 EUR per person), travelers can admire four monumental waterfalls and trek through the vibrant jungle.

You can even jump from the top of the falls, though it is necessary to pay one of the local guides if you’re planning to jump or swim in the natural pools. 

Diving & Snorkeling

Lovina is another hotspot for divers and snorkeling fans, as the waters near the village are filled with fascinating diving sites, such as the Lovina Reef. Consider booking a diving tour or a snorkeling day trip with Permai Scuba Dive, an operator based in the heart of Lovina.

Lovina Beach

Cool down with a swim in the ocean at the local Lovina Beach. The black sand beach is one of the nicest in this part of Bali, and it is the starting point for dolphin-watching tours and snorkeling boat trips.

Rentalmoose order tip: Visit the nearby eateries and cafes where you can enjoy refreshing kopi (favorite local coffee).

Next on your Bali itinerary: Mount Batur, 1 hour 40 minutes

Mount Batur

mount batur volcano surrounded by forest and lake batur on a cloudy day in bali indonesia view from sari mountain restaurant

The monumental Mount Batur is an active volcano that last erupted in 2000, photographed from Sari Restaurant.

Leave Lovina Beach and turn south inland after following the coast for roughly half an hour. You will reach the striking Mount Batur a little over an hour and a half hours from departure.

What can you do at Mount Batur?

Mount Batur is an absolutely spectacular active volcano in the northeast of Bali, surrounded by dramatic scenery and a large lake. It is a total change of scenery compared with the island’s coast, contributing to Bali’s diverse landscape.

Sunrise Trek

There is a wide variety of tours you can take to explore the volcano further, such as a Jeep tour or a hiking tour. The most unforgettable tour, and the best way to see the volcano, has got to be the Sunrise Trek

The hike begins early in the morning, it takes around 2 hours to trek up in complete darkness until you reach the top. You can then observe the dramatic sunrise from the best spot on the island, recharge with a small breakfast and hike back down before noon.

Sari Mountain View Restaurant

Enjoy one of the best views of the volcano while indulging in delicious cuisine at the Sari Mountain View Restaurant. The eatery offers a wide selection of dishes at the buffet and unbeatable views of Mount Batur and the Batur lake.

Open daily between 9 AM and 7 PM.

Batur Hot Springs

Afterward, head over to the peaceful Batur Hot Springs by the Batur lake. A dip in the natural hot springs is the perfect way to relax after an exhausting day of trekking. 

Admire the scenery from the pools or enjoy a drink in the swim-up bar. The springs are open daily between 7 AM and 7 PM. Admission costs below 15 EUR per person.

Senetan Villas

You can spend the night at the luxurious Senetan Villas, just 20 minutes away from Mount Batur. The resort features beautiful, well-equipped villas with private pools, cozy bungalows, upscale dining and a wide array of activities such as complimentary bicycle hire.

If you chose to stay here, consider going to Ubud before heading off to Candi Dasa. A free car park is available.

Bintang House

Traveling on a tighter budget? Consider checking in at the Bintang House, a charming property right at the foot of Mount Batur. The guest house features cozy ensuite rooms, a shared kitchen, and a colorful garden.

A complimentary car park is available.

Next on your Bali itinerary: Candi Dasa, 1 hour 20 minutes

Candi Dasa

candi dasa buddhist temple whitewashed stone architecture traditional balinese statues and stairs on sunny day bali indonesia

Lempuyang Temple. Photograph from Wikimedia Commons.

Is Candi Dasa worth a visit?

The region is still largely undiscovered by tourists, compared to spots such as Kuta or the Uluwatu temple, though it is most certainly worth adding to your Bali itinerary. Some of the best attractions include the Pura Goa Lawah Temple, 

Pura Goa Lawah Temple

Make sure to visit the Pura Goa Lawah Temple, one of the most important Hindu temples on the entire island. The shrine dates back to the 11th century when it was first built around a bat-filled cave. 

If you are afraid of seeing thousands of bats flying quite literally everywhere, Pura Goa Lawah may not be the best pick for you. It’s best to visit the temple after sunset, when you can witness hordes of bats leaving the natural cave.

Admission costs around 15000 Indonesian Rupiah (0.9 EUR).

Lempuyang Temple

Another must-see just 40 minutes out of Candi Dasa is the picturesque Lempuyang Temple. Apart from being a place of worship, this Hindu temple is very popular among photographers. 

The temple’s monumental gates overlook the Mount Agung volcano. Wander around the temple, find the best shot and post it online using #Rentalmoose.

There is no entrance fee to visit the temple, but it’s recommended to leave a small donation around 20000IDR (1.2 EUR).

Diving- Amed Beach

If you have the extra time, you can detour east for around an hour one-way to Amed Beach, a colorful playground for divers. 

Book a dive with one of the local operators that will take you around the best sites. Alternatively, you can head to the beach itself where you will find numerous boats that will take you on a snorkeling tour or a wildlife-watching cruise instead.

Next on your Bali itinerary: Ubud, 1 hour 10 minutes 

Ubud

tegalalang green rice terraces on cloudy day surrounded by plam trees and jungle bali indonesia

Tegalalang Rice Terraces.

Head west towards Ubud, one of the most frequently-visited spots in Bali. The drive is a little over an hour, and seeing the famous rice paddies is a must on any Bali itinerary.

Tukad Cepung Waterfall

Before you get to Ubud itself, you can make a slight detour and watch the otherworldly Tukad Cepung Waterfall. Drop your rental car off at the car park and follow the stairs until you reach the cavern and its stunning waterfall. 

The hike, although absolutely worth it, can get exhausting for the elderly or tourists who are not in the best shape.

There is an entrance fee of 10000IDR (0.6 EUR). Open daily until 5 PM.

Tegalalang Rice Terrace

Another stop worth making around 10 kilometers from Ubud is the famous Tegalalang Rice Terrace. The picturesque hillside features breathtaking, green landscapes and, of course, rice paddies.

Adrenaline junkies can enjoy the views from the famous Bali swing, or zipline across the fields. Don’t forget to snap a photo of the popular rice paddies!

Goa Gajah

The Goa Gajah is a temple located inside of a natural cave, dating back all the way to the 9th century. It’s the perfect spot to brush up on some of the local history by observing the ancient cravings in the peaceful cave. The temple is very popular among tourists, it’s best to go either right after the opening time or directly before the closing.

The cave is open between 8 AM and 4:30 PM. Admission costs around 15000IHR per person (0.9 EUR).

Gianyar Night Market

Street food lovers and passionate shoppers should most definitely visit the Gianyar Night Market. The vibrant market is lined with vendors selling all sorts of delicacies, souvenirs, clothing, fresh fruit, and accessories.

The stalls open daily after 3 PM and most remain open until 10 PM.

Next on your Bali itinerary: Denpasar, 40 minutes

Drop-off

For maximum convenience, drop off your rental car directly at the Ngurah Rai International Airport prior to leaving. Browse through car rental companies that support airport drop-off via Rentalmoose.

Don’t have a car you can take on a road trip in Bali? 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 Bali road trip online using #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

beautiful red and white facade of the kadriorg palace near tallinn, estonia. Colorful, traditional architecture of a well-renovated palace, one of many in estonia.

Road trip through the manors and castles of Estonia

Road trip through the manors and castles of Estonia

Tags: Estonia, road trip, travel by car, manor, castle

You are about to enter the birthplace of Rentalmoose! So welcome to Estonia – the country with the cleanest air, greenest forests, and well, I have to mention the Nordic temperatures. Discover the best manors and castles in Estonia with this road trip itinerary! 

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Tallinn to Vihula Manor- 90 kilometers (55 miles)📍

Vihula Manor to Saka Manor- 80 kilometers (50 miles)📍

Saka Manor to Maetaguse Manor- 40 kilometers (25 miles)📍

Maetaguse Manor to Alatskivi Castle90 kilometers (55 miles)📍

Alatskivi Castle to Pohjaka Manor 130 kilometers (80 miles)📍

Pohjaka Manor to Kau Manor- 40 kilometers (25 miles)📍

Kau Manor to Laitse Castle- 65 kilometers (40 miles)📍

Laitse Castle to Keila-Joa Castle- 30 kilometers (20 miles)📍

612 kilometers (380 miles) in total

This travel guide will take you from our capital, Tallinn, to the East-Estonia (almost close to the Russian border!), then to the center of Estonia, then driving West from there and again back to North – where our capital Tallinn, the most Northern city lies.

Countless manors and castles of Estonia

There are so many manors in Estonia but during this trip, I am going to lead you through the most famous ones, the ones that have managed to survive the bite of time (with a bit of renovation, of course) and are again working as restaurants, spas and hotels, and welcoming guests.

Other than that, we have 414 preserved manors that are all worth seeing but even us, Estonians, haven’t managed to see all of those (with maybe some manor-enthusiasts exceptions).  

When is the best time to visit Estonia?

The best time to plan a trip to Estonia will definitely be European summer (let’s say from May to September). Although we do have some pretty awesome winters if you like loads of snow and frosty minus degrees (in Celsius). 

But this current road trip should preferably be done during summer because only then you can explore the beauty of the Estonian manors to the fullest.

Rental Moose mascot holding watch out for moose street sign at a forest road somewhere in Estonia. Estonia road trip itinerary

Road Trip Extension

You can explore the region even further and head on an epic road trip across the Baltics! See the best of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, with this Rentalmoose travel guide. It’s an ideal summer getaway.

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

The total driving distance is 612km / 380mi and the duration is about 8 hours. It’s perfect for a weekend getaway! I recommend taking 4 days for this trip so you could fully enjoy all the facilities different manors have to offer.

When you just want to visit the manors without using the experiences then it’s possible to finish the road trip in 2-3 days as well.  

Just in case 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. Check-in photos before starting your journey qualify for a 50% rebate from the excess coverage fee. 

Can tourists drive in Estonia?

Yes! 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.

You can take your rental car from the Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport and drop it off at the same place. Find your suitable rental car for the journey via Rentalmoose.

Our airport (called Lennart Meri after our very loved second president, may he rest in peace) is in the capital city – Tallinn. And this is our first stop on this trip.

So let’s start the exciting journey on the trails of history!

Tallinn & Kadriorg Palace

Rental Moose mascot posing with church tower in Tallinn, Estonia. Best things to do in Tallinn Estonia with Rentalmoose

The capital city Tallinn is the biggest city in Estonia, yet it’s still so small compared to other countries. The population in Estonia is 1,3 million and about 426,538 people live in Tallinn. 

What can’t you miss in Tallinn?

Old Town

 If you have more time on hand, I definitely suggest exploring Tallinn as well. The old town is very lovely but tends to get crowded from tourists during summer. Check out Tales Of Reval for daily free tours of Tallinn’s old town.

Still, it’s a great place to have a walk and lunch on the terraces of the amazing restaurants that we have here! For example Ore or Chedi, an Asian restaurant just next to Ore. 

Kadriorg

The route I planned will also take you to Kadriorg, a very nice area in Tallinn with cute wooden houses. It’s quite a fancy area I must say – even the Presidential Palace is there and it is no surprise – The Palaces and the park with the flowers and the ponds with swans swimming around are truly gorgeous. 

Kadriorg Palace

Kadriorg Palace is a Petrine Baroque palace built for Catherine I of Russia by Peter the Great. Both the Estonian and the German name for the palace (and the area!) means “Catherine’s valley”. It’s located just next to the President Palace. So this will be our first manor stop. Nowadays, the palace is a location for the art museum.

KUMU

Just a little walk from the palace there is a new, huge modern art museum called KUMU. Kumu is the headquarters of the Art Museum of Estonia, as well as the largest and most impressive exhibition venue in Estonia. The venue has also been used for different events and parties.

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Which hotel in Tallinn should you pick?

In the Old Town

If you decide to spend the night (or a few) in Tallinn, then the best hotel options in the old town would be The Three Sisters Boutique Hotel and Telegraaf hotel. 

Outside of the Old Town

The newest hotel we have is the Hilton but this is not in the old town, more like a modern glass building in a new city. A popular modern hotel option is also the Swissotel

After spending the day in the old town and Kadriorg (both are the most expensive areas to live in Tallinn), you should put a new location in the GPS and head east.

Next: Vihula manor, 1 hour

Vihula Manor

Vihula Manor Country Club and Spa, renovated manor turned into a luxury getaway in northern Estonia. White building with red roof in front of a green garden. Green apple branch and apples in the foreground.
Vihula Manor, photo by Unique Hotels/flickr.com

 There are actually 3 different great manors in the very small area here. The driving distance between the three is less than 10 minutes and exactly on the way, so you don’t have to take a detour to see them all.

Palmse Manor

The first of the three manors is called Palmse manor. They have a restaurant, a manor museum (with a ticket) and a guesthouse. As of mid-2020, the entry ticket costs 9 euros per adult and 7 euros for children. Guided tours are available at an extra price

Sagadi Manor

Another one is Sagadi manor – it has been said that Sagadi looks the most like a true manor in Estonia. They offer the same experiences as Palmse does, though the prices are lower. As of mid-2020, admission to the museum costs 4 euros per adult and 2 euros per student.

Vihula Manor

The third one is the elegant Vihula Manor Country Club & Spa. It is renovated but still has the steep stairs, old original wooden floors, and wide stone walls from the 16th century. But it also has all the modern luxuries one can wish for.

Is Vihula Manor worth visiting?

Of course! Vihula’s renovation has been the latest of the three, it has everything the other two offer but also a spa – a pool, sauna, massages and beauty treatments. So for these reasons, I recommend visiting the first two and staying in the third one! 

They also have many activities you can enjoy in nature – like renting a boat for a little ride across their lakes or playing minigolf. The staff can help you organise a picnic in the forests, for example.

Then there are museums and different workshops and they also have different tours – even one with a horse carriage to make you feel like living the real old manor life. 

After these activities, you can go swimming in the pool or use the sauna or treat yourself to a really luxurious massage or beauty treatment. A perfect end to the evening would be in their most beautiful restaurant, and if you’re lucky – accompanied by live piano music. 

Next: Saka manor, 1 hour

Saka Manor

saka manor in estonia. Beautiful, renovated manor now hosts a stylish hotel. Elegant, white exterior and a decorative lawn lined with flowers in front of the building.
The elegant Saka Manor. Nosser/Wikimedia Commons

 Ready to drive closer to the Russian border? Our next manor, Saka, is located on the East of Estonia. The manor was reopened in 2010, before that it was just being forgotten and deserted (as so many manors in Estonia still are, unfortunately). 

The manor was bought by a private owner, the property underwent a full renovation and opened its doors to the public. The bright white manor works as a hotel with wellness and spa areas.

What can you do in Saka Manor?

There is quite a lot to do here – play tennis or arrow games, walk in the 19th-century manor park, or have a picnic out in the fresh air. Or go hiking – the nature here is wonderful as the manor is located on the Northern-Estonian highest cliff (up to 55 metres). 

There are also wild forests with many waterfalls closeby. Great hiking trails will get you everywhere – these are also possible to ride through with a bike (available to rent from the manor). Below the cliff, there is a wonderful white sand beach. 

Before you could only see the beach from the cliffs as there were no stairs to get there, but the new owner changed that. He built a stairway that brought a high architectural award to its architect.

Optional detour to Narva

From Saka manor it’s about a 50-minute drive to the Estonian-Russian border and the last city before Russia, called Narva. This roadtrip won’t take you there as it will make you turn to the South instead. 

The trip to Narva is optional – you can actually see Russia from Narva – it’s just across the river (river being the border). Unfortunately, you can’t visit Russia without a visa.

Next: Mäetaguse manor, 30 minutes

Mäetaguse manor

maetaguse manor in estonia. Grand, restored manor has been renovated and turned into a hotel with lots of attractions and activities for its guests. Bright, symmetrical facade with a large balcony and neatly-cut lawn in front. Cloudy day in estonia
Maetaguse Manor by Amadvr/Wikimedia Commons.

Mäetaguse manor is on the list because of the different interesting activities they offer. To fully enjoy them all, it’s good to stay here for the night. 

What are some of the attractions in Mäetaguse Manor?

The manor has hotel rooms, a restaurant and a spa but it also offers the options to play disc golf, a visit to the sauna (which can be turned into an enjoyable sauna ritual, combining a pleasant sauna and hot tub experience with skin exfoliation, nutrition, and moisturization. To do that, the special instructor will teach you in the private sauna how to make body scrubs and sauna masks from expedient means.). 

You can also have a picnic on the bog on the bank of the Seli lake and a course to make dumplings – which has become Mäetaguse manor hotel’s most popular activity.

Handicrafts activities

It is up to you to decide the shape of dumplings you want to get, either with beef, potatoes, or mushroom stuffing. 

The hotel has a very conveniently located nice handicrafts workshop right across the yard, where you can engage in a number of exciting handicrafts activities – in addition to making dumplings, there is a ceramics workshop, glass-making classes, sewing, and blacksmithing and carpentry workshops. 

You won’t feel boredom in that place, that’s for sure!

Next: Alatskivi castle, 1 hour

Alatskivi Castle

Alatskivi castle, estonia. The white fairytale-like castle has been turned into a hotel and museum. Alatskivi Castle is in the middle of the Onion Route. Bright, white facade with a castle tower on each side of the building, blue roof, surrounded by trees. Clear, blue sky
Alatskivi Castle looks like it belongs in a fairy tale! Rauno Kalda/Wikimedia Commons

The Alatskivi castle is located in a 16th-century manor house. This is the true fairytale castle! I mean – Walt Disney would be jealous if he saw the one in Alatskivi. 

Alatskivi has very classical wooden furniture in its rooms. By the way – if you want to feel like a real princess or king, book yourself a room at their tower! 

The lakes

Just 200 meters away there is the Alatskivi lake, and 3km / 1,8mi away there is the biggest lake in Estonia – Peipus (Peipsi in Estonian). It does look like a sea from the beaches there and the Russian border goes through the lake, half of it actually belongs to Russia. 

The Onion Route

The Alatskivi castle is located in the middle of The Onion Route. The Onion Route is in fact a chain of meandering villages on the shore of the Lake Peipus, inhabited both by Estonians and Russians living side by side, and which is famous for its rich cultural diversity and, yes you guessed right – for its very tasty onions. Read more about the activities in The Onion Route here.

Next: Põhjaka manor, 1 hour 30 minutes

Põhjaka manor

Rental Moose mascot posing with the colorful door of Pohjaka manor in Estonia. See the manors of estonia during our road trip itinerary.

Põhjaka manor is, together with Kadriorg Palace, a manor that does not work as a hotel. The whole building still has a rustic feel to it. But this place does work as a restaurant – and it’s one of the greatest in Estonia! 

The history of the Manor

What they say about themselves: “When the three chefs Märt, Ott and Joel discovered Põhjaka Manor in the early spring of 2007, the building, dating back to the year 1820, was in a rather poor condition. 

Windows and doors had been veneered and boarded up, half of the wood flooring was stolen, the fine stoves had been plundered and carried away.

Despite all this, the chefs were convinced that the old manor would be the perfect place to open a restaurant. It took them three years to construct and renovate the building with their own hands. Sometimes friends came to help and so the manor was given the new shape as one can see today.

The home of delicious Estonian cuisine

The restaurant was opened in 2010. By now, the chefs have proven to everyone (themselves included) that is it possible to prepare delicious food using nothing else but local Estonian raw material, being thus wholly dependent on seasons. 

 Therefore, in the winter more filling meals are prepared, during the summertime they serve lighter food – all the fresh and green that our fields and forests have to offer. 

“Not to mention the vast amounts of preserves that are stored in our cellar, so that the juices, compotes and jams could be enjoyed in the winter! Much game is used in our kitchen. By now we have our own garden and farmland, as well as a chicken coop. From this spring also four piglets can be heard oinking in the yard.”

It’s definitely worth a visit for a great lunch! Notice that they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays

Rentalmoose order tip: Make yourself a favor and try their Napoleon cake aka Mille Feuille – one of the best in the world!

Next: Kau manor, 30 minutes

Kau manor

Rental Moose mascot posing with the grand entrance to Kau Manor in Estonia. See the best manors in estonia on our road trip itinerary, the best things to do in estonia

 Kau manor is one of the most special manors in all of Estonia. It belongs to private owners who have done a very different interior design from the other manors, it’s even kind of exotic and eclectic because most of the furnishings have been bought from the different corners of the world where the owners have traveled. 

Kau is at once an art center, an academy, a pristine nature preserve, and a boutique hotel and restaurant. Just so you could explore more of this place, Rentalmoose suggests spending the night here. 

Every item in this manor has a story to tell and the hosts are more than happy to share these with you. Kau is the perfect retreat to enjoy nature, gastronomy and culture in their highest forms. 

Rental Moose mascot posing with Kau Manor in Estonia during autumn. See the best manors and castles in estonia on our road trip itinerary.

Next: Laitse castle, 1 hour

Laitse castle

Laitse Castle is a knight's castle transformed into a guesthouse in Estonia. Exterior of the building covered by stone, tower on the left edge of the building and medieval architecture. surrounded by green trees and a lawn.
Ren12/Wikimedia Commons

Laitse castle is not just a castle – but a knight’s castle, like the ones in the wide world. 

What is the history of Laitse Castle?

The story is the same as with most manors, it used to be full of life, everyone was welcome here – travelers, merchants, artisans, and dandies from the city.

There were foods and drinks for everyone, and beds to let the weary ones rest. Time passed, and the land was ravaged by great floods, conflagrations, and wars. 

Rulers changed and the stones of Laitse Castle started to crumble, its beams started to rot. Then one day, a court jester with his faithful wife happened to pass by. Two lovers looking for a place to dream. 

From the very first sight, they fell in love with the castle and decided to stay there. Under the stewardship of the new proprietors, the appearance of the castle began to slowly restore itself. 

 And once again the castle welcomes all travelers, merchants, lovers, and other good people. The exuding romance and allure of Laitse castle make a unique and royal experience for the visitors. 

The Attractions

This fairytale old castle offers a variety of activities for families, for those in love, for gourmands, for colleagues or for thrill-seekers. Yes – for thrill-seekers, as the place hosts an evening of murder mysteries. The evening with 4-course dinner and role-play is like traveling back in time – people wearing costumes from different eras. 

Murder mystery dinner parties

There is a dinner party during which murder happens – everyone can find their inner Poirot to solve the murder mystery. People stay in roles the whole evening. 

How the evening takes its course depends on the contribution of each participant. The game is run by experienced and clever game hosts. If you are traveling with a group, it’s possible to order the murder mystery game night just for your group. More information on their website here.

Rentalmoose insider tip: When participating in the game night it’s recommended to stay in the hotel for the night as they also offer alcoholic drinks at the dinner and the evening will end late. 

If you wish to visit then there is another manor en route from Kau to Laitse. It’s called Saue manor and it also works as a hotel. 

Next: Joa castle, 30 minutes

Keila-Joa Castle

Keila Joa Castle seen during sunset on a cold winter day. The bright castle and the park surrounding it has a bit of snow. Winter day in Estonia
Elvis Antson/Wikimedia Commons

 Keila-Joa manor is the last manor on the road trip list and it’s one of the newest and trendiest of all Estonian manors.  

 Its name is Keila-Joa Schloss Fall and it’s also actually more like a castle. The extensive renovation on the Neo-Gothic castle ended in 2013 and then it opened its doors to the public. 

The property

 

The boutique hotel was opened just in 2016 – offering time-true and stylishly furnished luxury suites, an excellent restaurant and a winery with well-chosen wines. It also includes a fascinating museum where different exhibitions are displayed and many concerts and theatres are held. 

The cuisine

Of course, there is an elegant fine dining restaurant Cher Ami. “Cher Ami” aka “Dear Friend” – that is how all the letters between Tsar Nikolai I and the manor owner Alexander von Benckendorff begun and that is how the Keila-Joa Castle restaurant’s head chef invites the visitors to enjoy the exquisite flavors. Check the menu here.

Sightseeing

There are both guided tours or the possibility to visit the manor or its museum separately. Of course, there is a small ticket price. But do check their website because on some dates the castle might be booked for events and be closed – the venue is popular for weddings and other big festivities. 

From Keila-Joa it’s only about 30 minutes’ drive to get back to Tallinn. 

Drop-off

Once you’ve arrived back in Tallinn, you can drop your rental car off to Tallinn Airport. Tallinn doesn’t have many direct flights but there are good connecting flights through Helsinki and Riga. Browse through car rental options that support airport drop-off via Rentalmoose.

Don’t have a car you can take on a 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 next road trip online using #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

The Ultimate 4-Day UK Road Trip Itinerary

Across the UK by rental car- 4-day UK road trip itinerary.

Have you ever wondered what the Loch Ness looks like? Ever wanted to visit Oxford – the famous University-city? See the home town of Manchester United? 

This is your chance to tick these dreams off your bucket list! This travel guide takes you on a UK road trip that starts from London, England, and finishes in Inverness Scotland. 

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

London to Stonehenge- 90 miles (145 km)📍 13 Euro Toll

Stonehenge to Bath- 35 miles (55km)📍

Bath to Oxford- 80 miles (130km)📍

Oxford to Birmingham – 75 miles (120km)📍

Birmingham to Manchester- 85 miles (135km)📍

Manchester to Carlisle- 120 miles (195km)📍

Carlisle to Edinburgh- 100 miles (160km)📍

Edinburgh to Blair Atholl- 80 miles (130km)📍

Blair Atholl to Inverness- 80 miles (130km)📍

730 miles (1175 kilometers) in total

Planning- Before you leave

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

This road trip takes a minimum of 3-4 days to complete, the total driving time is about 15 hours.

The total length of the journey is about 729 miles (1173 km).

These numbers will be smaller if you decide to skip a few optional locations and shorten the length of the road trip.

This is a perfect route with a rental car, you can pick up the car from London and drop it off in Inverness. Many car rental suppliers support drop-off at another location, please take a look for available options using Rentalmoose.

Rentalmoose recommends starting this journey on the morning of the first day so you can visit all landmarks and enjoy the ride in a relaxed manner and finish the journey whenever you want – depending on how much time you decide to spend at each stop.

What is the best time for a United Kingdom road trip?

The best season for your UK road trip would be from March until October. Winters in England are mostly very rainy, grey, and frosty. 

Road Trip Extensions to France

Are you a real road trip fanatic? Instead of flying directly to London, pick from a selection of fascinating destinations in France and explore a bit of the best places to visit in France before heading to the UK.

Can’t decide which city to pick?

Check out the Rentalmoose travel guides to regions in France: Normandy and Brittany or picturesque Southern France.

Can tourists drive in the United Kingdom?

Absolutely! The UK accepts most of the driving licenses in the world, so do not hesitate to start riding on the left side of the road! If your license is not in English, you are required to obtain an International Driving Permit before leaving your home country.

Keep in mind that the United Kingdom is packed with speed cameras. If you’re caught speeding in a rental car, the ticket will be sent to the car rental agency and the penalty will be added to your car rental fee, usually with an extra surcharge. 

The minimum speeding fine in the UK is 100 pounds (110 EUR).

Just in case – don’t forget the excess cover provided by Rentalmoose and for extra peace of mind, it is recommended to add it when booking a vehicle. Also, please do not forget to take check-in photos with the Rentalmoose app to qualify for a 50% rebate from excess coverage.

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

London

harrods luxury department store in london. Decorative lighting on the building's exterior facade seen during night time, london taxi passing the street in foreground.

Famous Harrods – luxury department store in London

This is where the road trip begins. For maximum comfort, we recommend you to pick up the car from the airport where you enter the UK.  

If you arrived here earlier, there are plenty of things to do and see in London. 

Rental Moose mascot posing with red telephone booth in London, UK. See London during our UK road trip itinerary.

Should you drive a rental car in London?

The city might not be the best place to travel around by car because of heavy traffic. If spending some time in London, then choose a hotel with parking so you can park your car for the days in the city – it’s easier to use public transport in London, rather than a private car. 

Next: Stonehenge, 2 hours

Stonehenge

stonehenge natural wonder of the world. Rock formation on a green lawn during a sunny day, some tourists near the right end of the frame.

Stonehenge photographed by Gareth Wiscombe/flickr.com

Visiting Stonehenge is actually optional on this UK road trip – depending on whether you are into historical monuments or not. Stonehenge is perhaps the world’s most famous prehistoric monument, so we strongly recommend stopping by!

Why is Stonehenge famous?

The monument consists of a ring of standing stones, with each standing stone around 13 feet high, seven feet wide, and weighing around 25 tons  – which makes it one of the wonders of the world and the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe. If seeing this with your own eyes excites you, then hop on your rental car and drive to Salisbury! 

Rentalmoose tip: Weekends can get very busy, so consider heading to Stonehenge early in the morning or an hour before closing.

If you do not wish to visit Stonehenge, you can just drive from London straight to Bath (about 2,5 hours) or Oxford (about 1,5 hours).  

Next: Bath, 1 hour

Bath

traditional roman baths in bath, united kingdom. the bath is observed by tourists from the balcony one level above. tourist attraction in united kingdom, must-see on a UK road trip

The Roman baths. Photo by loseitlady/pixabay.com

Bath is one of Britain’s most picturesque cities to visit, it’s known for its Roman-built baths. Hence the name! Thanks to that, the city became a World Heritage site in 1987. 

What is the history of Bath?

It was 60 AD when the Romans built baths and a temple in the valley of the River Avon, although hot springs were known even before then. A lot of history in this place! So no wonder that there are so many museums – including:

  • Museum of Bath Architecture
  • Victoria Art Gallery
  • Museum of East Asian Art
  • Herschel Museum of Astronomy
  • Holburne Museum.

Take some time to explore the Roman baths, natural springs, and the Royal Crescent (a row of 30 terraced houses laid out in a sweeping crescent). 

Lunch recommendations near Bath

For filling up in between your explorations, Rentalmoose suggests heading to Sotto Sotto – a classic Italian restaurant with a contemporary twist in candlelit vaulted cellars with bare stone walls.

(Booking in advance is strongly recommended!) or a more laid-back option The White Hart which is great for a quick fix. 

As you probably want to enjoy more of the baths and the city and are already tired from driving, this will be another overnight stop for you on this UK road trip

For a fine sleep in Bath why not stay at The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa? You can tick off 3 things from the list at once – going to a spa, seeing the Royal Crescent, and having an amazing place to wake up! 

You can also have a lovely place to sleep for almost half of that price (prices may vary depending on the day and how full the hotel is) – choose the Macdonald Bath Spa hotel

Next: Oxford, 1 hour 30 minutes

Oxford

prestigious oxford university view from above. gothic architecture, large university campus in united kingdom on a sunny day.

Oxford University photographed by Alfonso Cerezo.

Your next stop on this UK road trip is the well-known town of Oxford. You can park your rental car on the street just near the world-famous Oxford University and see the historical site and other city landmarks. You can find more information about parking in Oxford here.

Tour of the University of Oxford

A good recommendation would be to book an Oxford University tour!

An easier way to find out a lot about this impressive institute.

There are different walking tours to choose from, check the Oxford Walking Tours website for more details. Each tour lasts around 90 minutes.

What can’t you miss in Oxford?

Oxford Castle & Bodleian Library

The best places to see in Oxford (after the famous University) would be the Oxford Castle and Prison, as well as the Bodleian Library – they definitely don’t do libraries like this anymore so it’s totally worth seeing this impressive place. 

Bodleian Libraries, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG. Check the official website for opening hours.

Blenheim Palace

Don’t forget to see the Blenheim Palace – a huge country house with epic gardens and a parkland that will take you around 20 minutes to drive to from Oxford. The estate is best known as the birthplace of Winston Churchill.

Museums

It’s not often that people genuinely get excited about visiting a museum.

The Museum of Natural History is one exception, and so is the Pitt Rivers in Oxford – a world-famous museum of archaeology and ethnography. The best news is that the entry there is free!

A tour for Harry Potter fans

And finally something for the Harry Potter fans! There is a tour especially for you at Oxford – a tour of the locations used in the shooting of the Harry Potter films. See more information about it here.

Tired of the fish and chips already? Then we recommend tasting some authentic Thai food in Oxford! Head to Oli’s Thai for a delicious meal. Make sure to book your table in advance, as it’s one of the best picks in town!

Where to stay in Oxford?

While spending the day in the city of Oxford, Rentalmoose suggests driving a little outside to the UK countryside to spend a night there – just about a 1-hour drive from Oxford is the cute little village of Cotswolds – another pretty location to visit with its rolling hills, picturesque rural looking towns and beautiful history.

Barnsley House

Just about 12 minutes drive from the center of the Cotswolds is Barnsley House – an old manor turned into a luxurious country house. Of course, they also have a spa where you can rest before hitting the road again. 

Another great spa, restaurant, and hotel options are Thyme manor  (it is located halfway from Oxford to Cotswolds) and Lords Of The Manor

Are you a fan of stylish, authentic manors?

Consider heading to Estonia for your next road trip! The country is full of elegantly restored manors. Click here for our travel guide.

Next: Birmingham, 1 hour 30 minutes

Birmingham

birmingham river during sunset. parked boats surrounded by red brick buildings with lights on, no people are seen. beautiful sunset in united kingdom

Birmingham river photographed by Wonjong Oh.

Out from the country living and straight into big city life – welcome to Birmingham! The second-most-populous city in the UK, after London, with an estimated 1,137,123 inhabitants. It is a must if you’re planning one of the best road trips in the UK.

What is there to do in Birmingham?

There are major cultural institutions in the big city – the Symphony Orchestra, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Library of Birmingham, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. Just choose which speaks to you the most! 

Cadbury World

Rentalmoose recommends visiting the UK’s famous Cadbury World chocolate factory Café – especially if traveling with kids!

It is time for Cadbury World’s Afternoon Tea that gives the classic British experience with a chocolate-themed twist, combined with the best sandwiches. 

Take your time to enjoy and later follow the route and ride via Birmingham city center for the next stop on your UK road trip. 

Next: Manchester, 2 hours

Manchester

manchester etihad stadium busy during a large football game. footballers playing on the pitch, sunset, the stadium is illuminated. wide angle shot from the upper rows at the stadium.

Etihad Stadium in Manchester. Wikimedia Commons

What is Manchester famous for?

Manchester City is probably known to everyone in the world because of being the home of the Manchester United football team.

Whether you’re a die-hard football fan, or just visiting Manchester with your family, it’s for sure recommended to visit the National Football Museum here to enjoy the world’s biggest and best museum dedicated to football.  

The Old Trafford

Football lovers should also visit the Old Trafford – a football stadium that is the home stadium of Manchester United, offering behind-the-scenes stadium tours and 75,000 seats for matches. 

The Etihad Stadium

Then there is another big stadium just 8 minutes away – The Etihad Stadium (it’s currently known as the Etihad Stadium for sponsorship reasons) which is the home of the Manchester City football team.

The John Rylands Library

There is also another amazing library to see on this road trip – The John Rylands Library.

For those who set eyes on Deansgate’s (the main road through Manchester city center) The John Rylands Library for the first time, ‘library’ might not be the first word that comes to mind. This masterpiece of Victorian Gothic architecture looks more like a castle or cathedral. 

Where The Light Gets In

For a lovely meal, go to Where The Light Gets In (aka WTLGI) – yes, this is the name of the restaurant. 

Serious food fans from around the world thanks to an inspired seasonal tasting menu (most ingredients from their own farm nearby), a great wine list and relaxed but attentive service. 

And of course the atmosphere – a loft in a Victorian restored warehouse with huge windows from where the light gets in 🙂

Hispi

Another recommendation would be Hispi – an intimate dining room in a former bank, with an innovative menu offering set and a la carte options. Thumbs up from us!

What are the best hotels in Manchester?

Radisson Blu Edwardian

For your night in Manchester, consider choosing the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel which is in a gorgeous old building but all new and modern inside. 

The Football Hotel

For football lovers, there is no other option than The Football Hotel. Also, it’s a great option when traveling with kids. The hotel is located opposite Old Trafford Football Stadium and close to Media City and Manchester City Centre. 

Carlisle is the next stop on your UK road trip, located around 2 hours away.

Next: Carlisle, 2 hours

Carlisle

carlisle cathedral view from the west side. beautiful well preserved traditional building in front of neatly cut lawn, free from tourists. clear skies on a sunny day in united kingdom

Carlisle Cathedral. Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC BY-SA 3.0

A detour to the Lake District

 Another optional visit when driving from Manchester to Carlisle would be The Lake District. It is a National Park which is one of Britain’s most stunning areas to see. 

The hills and lakes have created a landscape that’ll leave you impressed and inspired to keep exploring. Visit the charming town called Windermere, walk up the hills, and enjoy the beauty of this region.

Now, back to our main track. Carlisle is a 2000-year-old city with two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and one World Heritage Site. The capital of Cumberland. This is where the Roman empire limited its expansion and built Hadrian’s Wall to protect the empire against Scottish tribes. 

A city steeped in history, Carlisle is known as the ‘great border city’ and today is a vibrant place with great shops, a variety of places to eat and drink, and lots of culture from museums and galleries, theatre, music, comedy and events.

What can’t you miss in Carlisle?

Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery

Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery – a family-friendly Roman Frontier Gallery – is a good place to start. It tells the fascinating frontier story and shows the effect of Roman occupation on Britain through interactive exhibitions and Roman artifacts.

You can either opt to stay overnight in Carlisle and continue the trip the next day if you want to explore more or just visit for a day trip. 

Where to stay in Carlisle?

Willowbeck Lodge

There are plenty of nice historical hotels around, in case you decide to stay here for the night, a great recommendation for you would be Willowbeck Lodge that is situated in one of the most beautiful and spectacular locations in England.

The place offers free parking for those who stay in the hotel.

Next: Edinburgh, 2 hours

Edinburgh

the clock tower of edinburgh. traditional architecture illuminated by the sun on a cold sunny day. car, construction barriers and people at bus stop in front of the clock tower.

Clock Tower Edinburgh

Welcome to the capital of Scotland! It has a medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian New Town with gardens and neoclassical buildings. 

What is Edinburgh famous for?

Edinburgh Castle

Looming over the city is Edinburgh Castle, home to Scotland’s crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny, used in the coronation of Scottish rulers. Edinburgh Castle is the most recognizable landmark in the city, it sits atop a volcanic peak and dominates the city skyline.

Mary King’s Close

Did you know that there is a secret city inside Edinburgh? It’s called Mary King’s Close. It used to be a part of the old town in the 16th century but then these buildings were buried and built on to make space for creating a more developed Edinburgh. 

It is now open to the public. Go and wander in these hundreds of years old streets but be aware – there is a rumor that this place is haunted by the people that used to live there. Spooky. 

The Devil’s Advocate

If you are not the one driving then treat yourself to the most well-known export that Scotland is known for – their whiskey. 

And if whiskey is not your cup of tea (or a glass of shot should I say?) then try the very famous cocktail bar – The Devil’s Advocate. It’s said to have one of the best mixologists in the city! It’s not just a bar – you can get a decent meal from here as well. Come for lunch or dinner. 

After visiting all the suggested places, head over the Queensferry Crossing bridge over the Firth of Forth, opened in 2017, for your next stop on your road trip.

Next: Blair Atholl, 2 hours

Blair Atholl

blair castle frontal view, symmetrical photo from across the castle shows its white walls, windows. cloudy day in great britain.

Blair Castle photographed by Guillaume Piolle

Out of the city and back into the countryside – Blair Atholl is a calm village. 

What should you see in Blair Atholl?

Blair Atholl Distillery

It is time to take a break in Blair Atholl distillery and see how the best of whiskey has been made for centuries.

Rentalmoose tip: Beware of tasting all the good stuff, Scotland has harsh limits for allowed alcohol in blood, and drink-and-drive is prohibited. Enjoy whiskey only if you are in the passenger seat.

Blair Castle

Whilst you are in the area, you don’t want to miss Blair Castle which is one of the most famous tourist landmarks in the area. The bright white fairytale-like castle is recognizable from afar. Now, where is the Sleeping Beauty?

Cairngorms National Park

The journey continues driving along Cairngorms National Park offering spectacular views for Scottish wildlife. Scenic drives are a must on any great road trip!

Next: Inverness, 1 hour 30 minutes

Inverness

inverness castle. hilltop castle near a river is made from red brick, illuminated by the sun during sunset. beautiful sunset in united kingdom.

Inverness Castle. Photo by Dave Conner.

This is your final destination on this UK road trip. Scottish Highlands is a spectacular place to drive around and see the wonderful landscape including mountains and fjords. And who knows, maybe you will be lucky enough to meet the Loch Ness monster yourself! 

We have chosen the best place for you to spend the night so you’d be ready to go and meet the monster the next morning. We recommend staying overnight at Inverness and Rentalmoose has selected a special place for the night: Loch Ness Country House Hotel.

Would you dare to try Scotland’s famous national dish, Haggis (a savory pudding containing sheep’s pluck; minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and cooked while traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach)? It’s the cherry on top of your Scotland experience!

Drop-off

The next day (or whenever you have finished your explorations) you can drop off your rental car at Inverness and fly back home via Inverness airport that has many direct connections to various places.

Browse through car rental options that support drop-off at another location via Rentalmoose.

Don’t have a car you can take on a 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 next road trip online using #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

The Ultimate South of France Road Trip Itinerary

This Southern France road trip itinerary ideal for passionate hikers and nature lovers. Explore the best of the South of France by car!

 When thinking about the South of France, people mostly start imagining the Eiffel tower, croissants, wine, the riviera, ski resorts, etc. Our first thought is probably never hiking. But did you know that the European version of the Grand Canyon is in France? That you can find crystal blue water just like in the Maldives, in France too? 

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Nice to Castellane- 85 kilometers (55 miles)📍 

Castellane to Verdon Gorge- 30 kilometers (20 miles)📍 

Verdon Gorge to Calanques- 170 kilometers (105 miles)📍 

Calanques to Camargue- 115 kilometers (70 miles)📍

Camargue to Montpellier- 70 kilometers (50 miles)📍

470 kilometers (290 miles) in total

 Yes – France is a dream road trip destination for hiking in picturesque nature. And you don’t need to be a professional hiker with all the gadgets, A pair of New Balance trainers will do just as fine! These places are all about enjoying yourself and the amazing scenery, perfect to be explored during a road trip in France.

 Hiking trails and nature parks from this article are located in the South of France. When planning your road trip, try to find flights to Nice Côte d’Azur airport. If it’s your first time there, then take a few days to rest and see the place before hitting the road.

Planning: Before you go

The road trip starts from Nice and ends in Montpellier. If your flights arrive and leave both through the Nice airport, return to Nice after visiting Camargue National Park. The route is 255 km (159 miles) and will take about 2,5 hours.

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

 The length of this road trip is about 310 miles (about 500 km / 310 miles) and the total driving time will be about 8 hours. The total duration of the trip depends on you – how long you plan to spend time at each destination.

The minimum recommended program would be 3-4 days but Rentalmoose suggests taking a week off so you can fully enjoy all the locations. 

What is the best time to visit the South of France?

The best time for this road trip would be late Spring (end of April until June) or early Autumn (September – the beginning of October) – it’s also ok during the summer months but weather temperatures and prices are way higher than usual and places are definitely more crowded this time of the year.

Keep in mind that it is recommended to have excess coverage when booking your vehicle through Rentalmoose. Make sure to take check-in photos of the rental car to qualify for a 50% rebate from the excess coverage fee. Please also be aware not to leave anything valuable in the car.

There are plenty of rental car options in the Nice airport to fit all of your needs (traveling as a couple, with kids, a group of friends, etc).

Take a look at available car rental options for your travel dates using Rentalmoose.

Road Trip Extensions

If you have the extra time, consider extending your road trip even further! Check out these two recommendations by Rentalmoose.

Basque Country

Drive west to the scenic Basque Country and experience one of the best gourmet experiences in your life. See wonderful cities in France as well as Spain. Click here for the guide.

Normandy & Brittany

After you’ve seen the best of Southern France, make your way up north to Paris. After a few days in the city of love, continue onwards to Normandy and Britany for a total change of scenery, before finishing in Nantes. Click here for the guide.

Can tourists drive in France?

Yes! France is a part of the open-border Schengen Zone, this means crossing countries is quick and hassle-free. France accepts foreign driving licenses from most countries. International Driving Permits are recognized, but not mandatory.

Speeding in France is forbidden and the rules are strictly enforced. Tourists are required to pay any tickets on the spot. Fines for speeding in France range from 45 Euros all the way up to 3750 Euros. 

Traffic in France is on the right-hand side of the road.

Now that you’re prepared, let’s dive into this French road trip itinerary!

Nice

the coast of nice, france. Promenade des anglais, pebble beach, green palm trees and buildings in the distance. cloudy day in cote d'azur. Visit the city during a France road trip

The heart of Nice looks stunning, even on a cloudy day.

 Welcome to the French Riviera! We recommend taking a few days to get to know the city and its pebble beaches before beginning your road trip.

What can you do in Nice?

Day trip to Cannes

You can visit Cannes – a glamorous city where the annual Cannes Film Festival takes place (it’s the end of May, so if you happen to be there at the same time, maybe you’ll see Brad Pitt or Sharon Stone walking around town). 

Go see the two famous hotels: InterContinental Carlton and Martinez where all the stars live during the festival. Or why not stay in one of these hotels if the price range is acceptable for you. Cannes is just a 50-minute drive from Nice. 

Pebble beaches

 When discovering Cannes is not on your list of things to do and you just want to relax on the beach then you can either enjoy the pebble beaches that Nice has to offer or drive to some beach club close-by. 

Plage Blue Beach nice france pebble beach during off-season, no tourists, pretty blue sea and calm waves, green hill and villas in the background on a sunny day in cote d'azur, french riviera.

One of Nice’s pebble beaches.

Anjuna Plage beach club

There is an amazing tropical restaurant & beach club just about half an hour driving distance from the center of Nice – Anjuna Plage in Eze Sur Mer.

And when talking about Eze – it’s a small ancient village in the mountains just above that beach club. Add it to your road trip itinerary if you’re in the area. Continue reading to learn more about it.

Eze

When planning to visit the beach, visiting the village itself is a must! It is about a 15-minute drive from the beach. The views from there are something you’ll never forget so 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!

promenade des anglais, large boardwalk filled with tourists in nice, cote d'azur, south of france. Tourists and segway tours, palm trees and luxury hotels in the distance on a sunny day in the french riviera

The famous Nice Promenade des Anglais

Where can you find a parking spot in Nice?

There are public parking lots and most of them offer 1-hour free parking. And for paying, keep in mind that the parking machines take only coins. So keep some cash with you always! Read more about the detailed parking plans here.

Parking in Nice can be tricky because it’s not always very easy to find. There is no free street parking downtown – so you might want to check if the hotel you book has a parking space or not. 

Once you’ve explored Nice, it’s time to hit the road and begin your French road trip!

Next on your Southern France road trip: Castellane, 2 hours

Castellane

medieval well-preserved church in the heart of castellane village in the south of france. Green plants in front of the entrance to the small church, empty town with mountain in the background on a sunny day in cote d'azur.

The historic center of Castellane. Photography by Yannick Moschetti.

Rentalmoose tip: The road trip goes through Route Napoleon- a picturesque Alpine road which has been named as one of the top 10 best roads in the world, don’t miss it!

Route Napoleon- Scenic Driving Road

 The Route Napoléon is the route taken by Napoléon in 1815 on his return from Elba, when Napoleon Bonaparte first set foot on Golfe-Juan beach, after one year of exile. By his side, 1200 men ready to conquer Paris and sit their emperor on the throne once again.

 It is now concurrent with sections of routes N85, D1085, D4085, and D6085. The road was inaugurated in 1932 and meanders from the French Riviera north-northwest along the foothills of the Alps. It is marked along the way by statues of the French Imperial Eagle.

The route itself is 315 km long so this road trip doesn’t cover all of it. Our road trip will continue along Route Napoleon until Castellane. 

scenic driving road outside of nice, cote d'azur, france. Single-lane paved road with a right-chicane, surrounded by low trees and green bushes, cliffy mountain in the background. clear, sunny day in the french riviera.

When driving around Southern France, you are bound to run into spectacular scenery!

 Take the route through Mougins and Grasse to make sure you’ll get to drive the famous Route Napoléon. Both are cute small villages so if you have more time, feel free to check these out too! 

 Rentalmoose lunch stop recommendation: A few kilometers before Castellane, in a village called La Garde there is an amazing Michelin Guide restaurant “Auberge du Teillon”

The next stop on your Southern France road trip is the European equivalent of the Grand Canyon!

Next: Gorges du Verdon, 1 hour

Verdon Gorge National Park

verdon gorge national park, turquoise calm lake surrounded by large limestone cliffs covered in green bushes. No tourists on this sunny day in french riviera, cote d'azur.

Boating in the turquoise water of Verdon Gorge

 You have reached the European Grand Canyon! Yes – the water in Gorges du Verdon is exactly as blue there as in this picture here! The park is an absolute must-see on any road trip in France, be sure not to miss it.

Rentalmoose recommends taking some time off and staying here for a few days if possible. One day, take your rental car to lap a circle around the edge of the gorge – only from up there, you can see how deep it actually is. 

If you are really lucky like I was – you can see a vulture as well. A huge bird who lives in the caves of the gorge. 

Another day, go and see the gorge from below – either rent a small boat or a kayak to discover the breathtaking beauty of the place. 

You can easily spend half a day there, so take some snacks and water with you. Take it easy – sunbathe and swim and enjoy to the fullest what this unique place offers.

Where to stay near Verdon Gorge National Park?

For an overnight stay, it’s good to check hotels at the Moustiers Sainte Marie – a village that was once named the prettiest in France. 

La Bastide de Moustiers

For a more exclusive stay, check out the La Bastide de Moustiers hotel. It belongs to the world-known French chef Alain Ducasse and of course, his 1* Michelin restaurant is in the hotel. 

la bastide de moustiers michelin star restaurant by celebrity chef alain ducasse. four white-covered, fancy tables in a dining area with no guests. Moustiers Sainte Marie village in cote d'azur, france

Alain Ducasse Michelin 1* restaurant 

Le Colombier

 If you don’t plan to spend this much on a hotel on your road trip, another good hotel in the village to look into is  Hotel Le Colombier. 

Rentalmoose insider tip: Most hotels in the Verdon Gorge area offer car parking and are very helpful in organizing your stay there.

Now that you’ve seen the European Grand Canyon, the next stop during this road trip is a National Park that may remind you of the Maledives!

Next: Massif des Calanques, 2 hours 30 minutes

Calanques National Park

kayaking on the crystal clear turquoise waters at calanques national park in the south of france. Clean lake surrounded by low limestone hills covered with green trees.

Kayaking in Calanques crystal clear waters

Whenever you are ready to leave the amazing gorges, continue your road trip to Massif des Calanques – another breathtakingly beautiful location in the South of France! 

Aix-en-Provence

Drive through Aix-en-Provence and perhaps go on a walk and treat yourself to a delicious lunch in this cute French town. If you happen to be there in July, make a photo stop in the beautiful purple lavender fields that Provence is so famous for.

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

What can’t you miss in Aix-en-Provence?

Hotel de Caumont

 When driving inside this historic town, make sure to visit its Hotel de Caumont – it has everything for a perfect afternoon: amazing French architecture, a gorgeous garden, art exhibitions, and a cute cafe. 

Cours Mirabeau

 Also, go for a walk in the Cours Mirabeau – a great boulevard for people watching and resting your feet before hitting the road again.

Luxury shopping & local markets

 There are various markets happening on different days as well. And of course, the shopping streets which also start from this boulevard. You can find both – exclusive designer boutiques and souvenir shops here. 

Calanques National Park

About an hour more to drive before you reach your next destination: Calanques. It’s also recommended to take some time to see more of the natural wonders of this place before continuing on your French road trip.

Numerous pre-marked hiking trails in Calanques have different lengths but they will last some time so take water and some snacks with you. Especially when the weather is hot. 

 You can discover Calanques by hiking on the mountainous routes or by kayaking on the crystal clear waters. Water is very tempting for swimming but it’s quite cold there, so you can try to go swimming after you are getting too hot from hiking. 

Dinner in Cassis

Rentalmoose recommends: Treat yourself to the amazing Michelin 2* restaurant La Villa Madie in Cassis. It gets busy, tables should be booked before! 

There is also a variety of different restaurants in the fishing port – most with a view to the castle Chateau Cassis. Spend at least one evening in this beautiful port. 

Parking in Cassis

There is one parking place in Cassis that is free of charge – Parking des Gorguettes. But it is a bit further from the center so when traveling with small kids, keep this in mind.

Parking places in the center are not free. Pay with coins at the parking machines. 

Where to stay near Calanques National Park?

When deciding to spend some nights here, check hotels in the beautiful fisherman village of Cassis. Cassis has many cute boutique hotels to choose from, for example, Chambre d’hotes Clos du Petit Jésus and the beachfront Hostellerie La Farandole.

Next: Camargue, 2 hours

Camargue National Park 

a group of flamingos in shallow wetland water in camargue national park, south of france. Pictured near green fields that appear golden during sunset. must-see on a france road trip itinerary.

Pink flamingos of the Camargue National Park. Photography by Association Posidonia.

Camargue is a natural region located south of Arles, France, between the Mediterranean Sea and the two arms of the Rhône delta. It’s also one of Europe’s largest wetlands and a must-see destination during any great road trip in France.

Is Camargue National Park worth visiting?

Most definitely! From watching thousands of flamingos to horse riding at the beach – there are a lot of fun things to do. The Camargue offers great hiking and cycling opportunities for those who like flat terrain and no hills. There are tracks and trails across the Rhone delta. 

Deserted beaches

To the east of Saintes Marie, there are miles of largely deserted sandy beaches, only accessible along tracks or on foot, on horseback or bike. Some places are accessible by car, but not all.

Bullfighting

 You can also go on the river trips or see the bullfights (which are not like the Spanish ones – meaning no one gets harmed). Tickets to the bullfights can be purchased in the city or online, which will save you some time from standing in the queues.

Aigues Mortes & the pink lake

  

Also, why not visit the medieval city Aigues Mortes which used to be a Mediterranean port back in the day. Don’t forget to see Salin d’Aigues-Mortes, one of the few pink-colored lakes in the world. 

Parking in Arles

There are 2600 regulated parking spaces in Arles which are divided into 4 different pricing zones. Some of them offer the first 1 hour for free. For detailed information and map see here.

Where to stay near Camargue?

When spending the night in Camargue there are a few options – Camargue has only small establishments that need to be booked in advance.

There are more options to stay are in the city of Arles which is about a 20-minute drive from this Wild West of Europe. 

L’hotel Particulier & Hotel le Rodin

For a more fabulous (and costly) stay opt for the L’hotel Particulier. A really nice hotel is also Hotel le Rodin which is a better option money-wise.

After a day (or more!) in Camargue, it is time to hit the road one last time and drive to the last destination on this Southern France road trip.

Last stop on your road trip: Montpellier, 1 hour

Montpellier

famous place de la comedie main square in montpellier south of france. Grand architecture, people rushing around the square and clear, sunny skies. See the city during your road trip in France

Place de la Comedie in Montpellier. Photo by Ennelise Napoleoni-Bianco

It’s about a 50 minute trip from Camargue to Montpellier airport – the final destination of your French road trip. But it’s also always a good idea to see a new place – so if you haven’t been to Montpellier before it’s a great reason to go now. 

Rentalmoose recommends going to enjoy a cup of coffee and croissants in one of many beautiful terraced cafes on pink marble Montpellier city court (pictured above). Or take a little walk to the popular Coldrip Food & Cafe for a great brunch. 

What can you do in Montpellier?

Go walk in Place de la Comédie – the link between Old Montpellier and newer city districts.

This area has a lively ambiance with many of its bars, restaurants, and shops. Wonder in and around the Fabre museum which holds one of the best collections of Baroque art. 

See Montpellier Cathedral and Arc de Triomphe and if traveling with kids – go see the Montpellier Zoological Park.

There are more than 750 animals in the park and an educational farm for the littlest visitors where are tamed goats and sheep to feed. 

Where can you park your rental car in Montpellier?

Overflow car parks are located on the outskirts of the city and linked to the tram line (car park+tram), covered or outdoor car parks and parking areas (nearly 5000 spaces).

This option is recommended when doing a day trip to Montpellier.

If you’re staying overnight and your hotel doesn’t offer a private car park, see your options here.

Drop-off

If your flight goes from Nice and not from Montpellier airport, you can return back via the highway and return your rental car in Nice. If you do find a flight back from Montpellier, you can just drop your car off at the airport.

Don’t have a car you can take on a 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 next road trip online using #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

Rentalmoose OÜ 2020