Itinerary for a 5-Month Road Trip in Europe

Itinerary for a 5-Month Road Trip in Europe

When we returned from a 6-month road trip through Asia in 2017, we knew one thing for sure: we wanted to travel even more. This time, our grumpy old pug had to come along. So we bought a super cool old blue bus, packed all our belongings in it, and embarked on an amazing road trip through Europe for several months.

We visited delightful cities in Germany, the beautiful lakes of Slovenia, discovered the beauty of Croatia, enjoyed the Italian lifestyle, the Spanish siestas, and the surfing culture of Portugal. We didn’t have a fixed itinerary, so every day was a surprise. Curious about our final route? Keep reading.

Overview of the 5-month Europe road trip:

Germany

  • Mainz – 9 days
  • The Black Forest & Heidelberg – 3 days
  • Camping Eschendorf – 3 days
  • Munich – 3 days
  • Berchtesgaden – Germany – 5 days

Slovenia

  • Lake Bled – Slovenia – 3 days
  • Lake Bohinj – Slovenia – 5 days
  • Razdrto (stopover) – Slovenia – 2 days

Croatia

  • Rovinj: 4 days
  • Krk: 4 days
  • Gospic: 3 days
  • Sibenik: 3 days
  • Trogir: 3 days
  • Lokva Rogoznica: 5 days
  • Plitvice National Park: 3 days

Slovenia

  • Ljubljana – 3 days
  • Vipava Valley – 3 days

Italy

  • Venice – 3 days
  • Lake Garda – 3 days
  • Trento – 4 days
  • Bolzano – 5 days
  • Stellata (stopover) – 3 days
  • Scarperia e San Piero – 2 days
  • Montepulciano – Italy – 5 days
  • Siena – 3 days
  • Volterra – 4 days
  • Livorno – 2 days

Sardinia

  • Olbia, Sardinia – 5 days
  • East Sardinia – 3 days
  • Villasimius – 4 days
  • Chia – 2 days
  • Buggerru – 4 days
  • Torre Del Pozo – 3 days
  • Alghero – 3 days
  • Porto Torres / Sassari – 4 days

Spain

  • Barcelona – 3 days
  • Valencia – 3 days

Portugal

    • Campo Maior – 3 days
    • Nazaré – 2 days
    • Peniche – 6 days
    • Ericeira – 4 days
    • Sintra – 3 days
    • Lisbon – 4 days
    • Creveiral – 3 days

Germany

Mainz – 9 days

We stayed a total of 9 days in Mainz, which unfortunately was not planned. Mainz became our first destination to meet friends. Unfortunately, our bus broke down on day 1, so we got stuck in Mainz for quite a while. But Mainz is a really great city for a city trip.

Mainz
mainz

The Black Forest & Heidelberg – 3 days

Since we are members of the ANWB, we also got a rental car and decided to explore the surrounding area for a few days. We drove to the Black Forest where we realized after one night that the tent we brought was not waterproof at all. Oops! The Black Forest looked amazing, but we didn’t see enough of it.

On the way back, we decided to stay for 2 more days in the enchanting Heidelberg.

Camping Eschendorf – 3 days

To break up the journey from Mainz to Munich, we decided to stop at a small campsite along the way where we could spend a few more days with my sister and her family.

Munich – 4 days

Beer gardens, historic buildings, trendy hotspots, and lots of greenery. We are truly Munich fans. What a delightful city to visit.

munchen hotspots
munchen stedentrip
BOLD munchen

Berchtesgaden – Germany – 5 days

I came across an article on Pinterest about undiscovered Bavaria with a reference to the Berchtesgaden nature park. What a surprise. This area is truly magnificent. It was initially meant to be a short stop, but we ended up staying 5 days in beautiful Berchtesgaden.

Berchtesgaden
Berchtesgaden

Slovenia

Lake Bled – Slovenia – 3 days

The stunning church in the middle of Lake Bled, this is the image that everyone has of Slovenia. Although it is a must-visit, we found the lake a bit disappointing.

Bohinj

The road from Bled to Bohinj is one you won’t forget easily. Along the way, you’ll be rewarded with stunning landscapes and azure blue rivers. Bohinj was definitely one of the most beautiful destinations in Slovenia.

Razdrto (stopover) – Slovenia – 2 days

To break up the journey from Bohinj to Rovinj, we decided to make a small stop in Razdrto.

Croatia

Rovinj – 4 days

The most charming town in Istria, that’s how Rovinj is often described, and we completely agree. It’s a bit touristy, but it has everything. A charming town, lovely beaches, and lots of hotspots.

Rovinj
Rovinj cityguide

Krk: 4 days

Krk is also known as the golden island. It earned this name because it possesses various cultural and natural treasures.

Gospic: 3 days

To break up our journey to Sibenik, we ended up in Gospic and were surprised by the beauty of this area. If you love tranquility and nature, this is the place to be.

Gospic camper
Gospic

Sibenik: 3 days

This historic city is located on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. Thanks to its charming old town, numerous hotspots, and beautiful location, Sibenik also became a favorite for us.

Sibenik
Sibenik city guide
Sibenik

Trogir: 3 days

Trogir is a charming town with a rich history, delightful hotspots, and beautiful beaches. It is a top destination for a boat trip to explore the nearby islands.

trogir

Lokva Rogoznica: 5 days

We found the small campsite Sirena right by the sea in the village of Lokva Rogoznica just past Split. The perfect place to work for a few days with a stunning view and the occasional refreshing dip in the water.

Plitvice National Park: 3 days

If there’s one place you shouldn’t miss in Croatia, it’s Plitvice National Park. It’s the pride of Croatia and perhaps one of the most beautiful places in the country.

Plitvice

Slovenia

Ljubljana – 3 days

The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, is super hip, young, and cozy. It may not win the beauty contest, but it’s definitely enjoyable.

Vipava Valley – 3 days

The Vipava Valley is Slovenia’s wine region and still relatively undiscovered. In addition to its stunning surroundings, you can enjoy the best wines Slovenia has to offer. Oh, and it can get incredibly windy there!

 Vipava
Vipava

Italy

Venice – 3 days

The gondolas, charming streets, historic buildings, and countless bridges of Venice were something we really wanted to see with our own eyes. So, despite our mini-budget of 60 euros per day, we decided to visit Venice with our camper. Our verdict: Venice on a budget is definitely possible!

venetie travel guide
venetie tips
venetie

Lake Garda – 3 days

To break up the long drive to South Tyrol, we decided to spend a few days at Lake Garda. The lake is beautiful, and the villages are charming. However, we found it difficult to find a spot where we wanted to stay longer. Many campsites are very large with very small pitches. Therefore, after 3 days, we decided to continue driving, but we will definitely give Lake Garda a second chance someday.

Trento – 4 days

The Trentino region was not initially part of our plan, but we are very glad we visited this undiscovered part of Italy during our road trip. We found a lovely spot at Camping Laghi di Lamar in the small village of Vallene, just above Trento. In the end, we stayed there for days, enjoying beautiful hikes.

Bolzano – 5 days

South Tyrol is delightful, both in summer and winter. Bolzano is the perfect base for exploring the South Tyrol region. It is the capital of the region and a delightful city to visit.

Stellata (stopover) – 3 days

From South Tyrol, we drove to Tuscany, but since it would be quite a long drive, we decided to spend a few days at the Fireflies In The Fog Camping Village in Stellata. It’s a cozy and charming campsite in a beautiful environment. It was wonderful to enjoy the tranquility for three days.

Scarperia e San Piero – 2 days

Near Florence, we found a small and simple campsite in the village of Scarperia e San Piero. We took a small road trip with the Tomos and ended up in a small village (without any tourists) where we enjoyed one of the most delicious Italian meals ever!

Montepulciano – Italy – 5 days

Montepulciano embodies Tuscany. Beautiful rolling hills, endless vineyards, and charming villages. In this area, you’ll find some of the best wines in Italy, perhaps even in the world, and the food here is absolutely DIVINE!

Siena – 3 days

Siena is an old, authentic Tuscan city in Italy. You can wander through narrow streets all day long. The city is filled with countless cathedrals and historic buildings. It’s like one big open-air museum. In 1995, Siena was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

siena reistips
siena

Volterra – 4 days

Volterra was recommended to us by several people, and we’re so glad we visited this place. It’s one of the most beautiful towns in Tuscany. Walking through the charming Tuscan alleys, admiring the magnificent historic buildings, and, of course, enjoying the FOOD!

Livorno – 2 days

We decided to take the ferry to Sardinia from Livorno. That went smoothly. We didn’t see much of the city itself, but it’s supposed to be a nice city to visit for a day.

Sardinia – 3 weeks

Although Sardinia is technically an island, we’ll include it as one destination for this article. But it’s definitely our favorite! We fell in love with Sardinia. This island had been high on our bucket list for years. From rugged coastlines, surf spots, beautiful mountains, untouched nature, charming towns, to bright pink flamingos, Sardinia has it all. We embarked on a beautiful, relaxed, and unforgettable road trip through Sardinia for 3 weeks.

Our Sardinia Road Trip:

      • Olbia, Sardinia – 5 days
      • Eastern Sardinia – 3 days
      • Villasimius – 4 days
      • Chia – 2 days
      • Buggerru – 4 days
      • Torre Del Pozo – 3 days
      • Alghero – 3 days
      • Porto Torres / Sassari – 4 days

Spain

Barcelona – 3 days

Barcelona is a delightful city to visit and can be easily explored with a camper. Just outside the city, you’ll find several campsites that are quite decent and affordable. This is a great tip if you want to visit Barcelona on a budget-friendly basis. With public transportation, you can quickly reach the city center. Ideal!

Valencia – 3 days

Unfortunately, we only had one full day in Valencia, but we made the most of it. Valencia is such a charming city with a great mix of historic buildings and modern architecture. We spent our day enjoying Spanish wines, delicious food, and of course, Aqua de Valencia, which might sound like water but definitely isn’t ;p. One day was definitely too short, so we will definitely be back for another visit.

Portugal

Campo Maior – 3 days

After a journey of nearly 12 hours, we finally arrived at our first destination in Portugal, the cozy village of Campo Maior. When we arrived in Campo Maior, we were pleasantly surprised. The surroundings were beautiful, and the campsite was a lovely spot among the olive trees. The village is small but has a few restaurants and supermarkets. There is also plenty to see and do in the surrounding area.

Nazare – 2 days

Nazare is the place to be if you want to spot big wave surfers. Every winter, this town attracts surfers and spectators from all over the world. The village is situated on a beautiful cliff. It is definitely a must-visit in Portugal.

Nazare
Nazare Portugal roadtrip

Peniche – 6 days

Peniche is not really a beautiful town, but it was one of our favorite destinations in Portugal. The atmosphere is great, there are countless restaurants, it’s wonderfully quiet, and you’ll find one of the best Rip Curl waves in the world here. It’s no wonder that the Rip Curl Pro World Surfing Championship is held here every year. It’s a super cool event where the world’s best surfers compete against each other.

Peniche
Peniche roadtrip

Ericeira – 4 days

Although Peniche is where the World Championship takes place, Ericeira is the absolute surf capital of Portugal. Everything revolves around surfing here. But even if you’re not into surfing, this town is really lovely to visit.

Sintra – 3 days

Sintra is the fairytale of Portugal. In this area, you’ll find beautiful nature and the most impressive castles. You can easily combine Sintra with a visit to Lisbon.

Lisbon – 4 days

Lisbon, you are so much fun! We decided to enjoy the trendy Portuguese life for 4 days here. Lisbon is incredibly hip! You’ll find the coolest hotspots and most creative places here. An absolute must-visit in Portugal.

Lisbon
Lisbon roadtrip

Craveiral – 3 days

For We Wander Why, we are always looking for the most unique accommodations, and we found that at Craveiral Farmhouse. It was absolutely perfect for me. The accommodations consist of beautiful cottages surrounded by nature. The food comes fresh from the garden, and you can even indulge in the wellness facilities. The atmosphere is wonderful, and you’ll encounter animals everywhere. I love it!

Sagres – 4 days

Our Europe road trip ended in Sagres, the end of the world. In Sagres, you’ll find Cabo de São Vicente, the most southwestern point of Europe. In the past, people believed this was the end of the world. Because we suddenly received a dream assignment to travel to Gambia, we decided to drive back to the Netherlands in a rush. So we concluded a beautiful journey and embarked on a new one. It was a perfect ending.

While writing this article, I realize again how fantastic this road trip was. How lucky we are and how much beauty we have seen. Traveling with a van or camper is truly wonderful, the ultimate freedom. No day is the same, every day is a surprise.

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