The lure of the open road entices many of us at some time or another. Although a spontaneous journey can be fun, road trips are better when intentional. With some planning and an itinerary to guide you, a road trip through these European countries will provide an unbeatable cultural experience with outstanding scenery along the way. Whether you're on a personal pilgrimage to explore your heritage or looking to indulge a passion for driving, food, or world history, the best way to experience your journey is by hitting the highway.


01Route 1, Iceland

Circumnavigating the island country, Route 1 provides access to Iceland's dramatic volcanic landscapes. Start in the capital city of Reykjavik and allow yourself about a week to complete the 800-mile route. Use a sturdy vehicle with four-wheel drive, as you'll encounter some gravel roads along the way. Expect to see lava fields, deserts of volcanic ash, hot water geysers, and spectacularly photogenic waterfalls and hot springs. You may want to stop for a whale-watching tour at Husavik on the north coast, or to camp near Vik in the south to experience its famous black beach.

Deserted roads and spectacular landscapes await on the south coast of Iceland. Andre Schoenherr / Getty Images