By Dom at Reduce My Excess,
08 May 2019
Some countries were just made for driving through. From spectacular scenery, to surprisingly beautiful roads, we've outlined five fantastic European countries that are perfect for hiring a car in, and exploring the roads they have to offer. Let's get to it..
Iceland is a brilliant country. It’s becoming more and more popular as a tourist destination, and I can’t recommend hiring a car here enough, it’s a joyous country to drive through.
Not only is the landscape often breath-takingly beautiful, Iceland’s small population of around 400,000 means its roads are fantastically quiet. One of the most stressful parts of hiring a car in a different country is trying to navigate through heavy traffic and confusing road layouts. Iceland has brilliantly laid out roads and easy-to-navigate routes around the island. With fewer than 50 'main' routes, including the Route 1 (Ring Road) it's pretty easy to get around, as long as the snow and ice doesn't get in your way!
Now, southern Germany may not be as quiet as Iceland, but it is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque regions in central Europe. The sweeping hills and valleys through the forests of Bavaria are the perfect backdrop for your car hire journey. Not only this, but the sheer level of efficiency that you will pick up your hire car from Munich airport will be enough to warrant travelling there.
Away from the admin, there’s a smorgasbord of great destinations to head to whilst driving through Munich and the surrounds. One certainly not to miss is Neuschwanstein Castle, the inspiration for Walt Disney to design his now infamous “Cinderella Castle” that adorns theme parks and movie credits alike.
Copenhagen is one of the few cities that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed driving through. It feels completely different to other big bustling cities. That’s not to say that traffic isn’t bad, at times the roads are quite busy, but you won’t really care, you’re in Copenhagen, simply looking for the next café to dive into and grab a warming coffee and slice of cake.
It’s a place that’s made for smaller cars, so if you can try and get a smallish hire car, and you could find yourself exploring down some of Copenhagen’s most charming “hidden streets” some of which are still cobbled, with your wing mirrors still intact!
An area not to miss in the Danish capital is Nyhavn the city’s 17th century harbour. Once home to the more salacious characters of Denmark’s past, this area remains a hub for restaurants, entertainment and culture in the city.
Driving on the winding streets that line the valleys of Zurich with a backdrop of snow-covered mountains interspersed with the glistening blue water of Switzerland’s many lakes, with have you feeling like James Bond in no time. Few places can match the sheer classiness of Zurich.
The high-end shopping, eye-wateringly expensive jewellery and swanky bars create an interesting juxtaposition from the impressive, geographic surrounds. Head to the Bahnhofstrasse for shopping, the world-famous Cabaret Voltaire for a drink and Uetliberg for a cracking hike and views across Lake Zurich.
Last but not least, we travel to a country that just lives at a different pace to everywhere else. Ireland is a country in which you need to take your time. The slower and more casually you do things, the more you’ll absolutely fall in love with it as a nation.
A Leisurely drive along the coast from Kenmare to Tralee will gift you hours of incredible views. Book into a few B&Bs and sample the equally lovable Irish hospitality which will no-doubt make you some friends for life.
For those who think with their stomach, one place to check out is O'Neill’s The Point Seafood Bar for some of the freshest seafood you’re likely to ever have; for the foodies out there, this is definitely one not to miss.
Wherever you end up on your car hire travels, make sure you have cover with car hire excess insurance, it could save you £100s at the car hire desk. Have a look at our car hire excess insurance page, for more information on what our cover can do for you.