European Sites You Must Visit on a Road Trip
Many people underestimate just how unique Europe is. By taking your own vehicle or renting one overseas there is no better way to enjoy what Europe has to offer than under your own steam. Our blog reveals some of Europe’s most exciting locations that are a little different to the typical tourist haunts.
Hill of Crosses, Lithuania
Looking like a scene from a blockbuster film, Lithuania’s Hill of Crosses is site that remains a mystery. Just outside of the city of Siauliai is a mound covered in thousands of metal and wooden crosses of all shapes and sizes. Dominating the landscape, the Hill of Crosses is first mentioned in literature in 1850 but many believe the crosses appeared well before this time. Stories circulate that the crosses appeared at the end of the 19th century following an apparition of the Virgin Mary appearing, holding baby Jesus and asking believers to erect holy icons over the mound.
The Hill of Crosses is open to the public and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lake Balaton, Hungary
If you like to swim, sail or hike a visit to Hungary’s Lake Balaton should be part of your road trip itinerary. With glorious beaches and volcanic hills, the beautiful aqua lake is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy outdoor pursuits. In July the small town of Zamardi on the shore of the lake is home to the Balaton Sound Festival with cocktail bars on the beach, hammocks and tents all enjoying electronic music in an extraordinary location.
Black Forest, Germany
Bordering France in the South West of Germany, the Black Forest is known for its enchanting dense woodland, evergreen forests and picturesque villages. Famously associated with the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, the Black Forest is full of incredible hiking opportunities, meandering through luscious meadow, carved valleys and thick woods complete with waterfalls.
Famed as a fishing villaged named after the Biblical Nazareth in the 4th century, Nazare seems like any beautiful town. Many traditions are kept intact in Nazare, such as the local fishermen still wearing the customary skirts when heading out to the ocean. The local area is Portugal through and through and it is why so many people love to visit.
However, there is one thing that the younger generation flock to Nazare for – surfing. The incredibly high breaking waves (which form due to the Nazare Canyon) draw large crowds every year. The Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge, part of the World Surf League, takes place annually and witnesses some of the world’s best surfers taken on enormous waves.
Freetown Christiania, Denmark
In the Danish city of Copenhagen is a 7.7-hectare expanse of land home to roughly 900 people. This is Freetown Christiana, a former military base that was turned into a commune as of 1971. The community has its own rules and regulations that are separate to the Danish government.
Visitors are welcome to Christiania but there are some rules to follow, such as not taking photographs in the Green Light District, no running as it causes panic and no photos of the locals without their permission.
Driving around Europe
Whether you are driving to a specific country or taking in a few, there are some incredible locations throughout Europe that go beyond the usual tourist attractions. If you’re renting a vehicle always make sure you go through a legitimate hire company and double check your paperwork and insurance. Don’t forget, to ensure you’re never out of pocket and for added peace of mind, consider investing in holiday car hire excess insurance, or excess car insurance Europe. This way, should any accidents happen you are protected against additional costs. Car rental excess insurance can cost as little as 12p per day so get a free quote today!