Best Winter European Road Trips

Nov 21, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)

Winter road trips can be particularly challenging since you may be limited by snowfall or ice depending on where in Europe you hope to go. At the same time, winter allows for some unique views, picturesque scenery, and winter activities. Take advantage of the winter season and avoid the crowds of tourists. With proper safety precautions and the right vehicle, one of the following winter European road trips can be excellent experiences.

Paris to Berlin

Regardless of the time of year, driving from Paris to Berlin is an excellent option. When you leave Paris, continue in France while driving through the hills of Champagne to Reims. Then, head to Luxembourg City to visit fairytale castles hovering over snowy mountains. From there, you can enter Germany through Trier, the oldest city in the country, where you will still find ancient Roman baths. From there you can drive to Bacharach, a medieval village in Riesling wine country, followed by Heidelberg, Nuremberg, Leipzig, and finally Berlin. This road trip takes one or two weeks on well-maintained highways offering plenty of attractions, wining and dining, and off-season prices.

Eastern Europe Road Trip

This road trip is a great choice for those who want to see Vienna, Budapest, and Transylvania. Start from Bucharest and go north to Transylvania through the Carpathian Mountains. Be careful, check the weather forecast, and take your time on the mountain roads and tunnels. If you take your time, you will be rewarded with an invigorating drive and spectacular scenery. Don’t forget to stop at the famous Bran Castle, the mythical home of Dracula. Drive through the mountains towards Sibiu, followed by Brasov, Sighisoara, and Timisoara. From there, head to Budapest for ruins and tranquil baths before going to the capital of Bratislava. From there, Vienna is only about an hour away. This trip should take 7 to 12 days filled with snug mountain cottages and imposing castles.

Alpine Roads of Germany

Make sure you have a capable vehicle and head to the Alpine Road, Alpenstrasse, in Bavaria. This route will take you through lakes, cozy villages, mountains, and high-altitude meadows. Begin by Lindau on Lake Constance before going to Oberstaufen where you will find numerous therapeutic spas. From there, go east to Breitachklamm Gorge, which is where the Breitach River cuts among colossal boulders and verdant cliffs. Go to Fussen and see some of the best violins in the world, stopping at delightful “gingerbread” villages as you travel. From here, it is a quick trip to Neuschwanstein Castle, the inspiration for the Disney Cinderella Castle and even more awe-inspiring in person. Since you are traveling in winter, you can stop to go skiing at Garmisch-Partenkirchen before you visit Benediktbeuern and the medieval town of Bad Tolz. Hit the Chiemgau Alps for some stunning wilderness and head to Munich. Expect this trip to take you between three and eight days, and provide a timeless overview of the charming winter scenery in Bavaria.

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