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8 routes to prepare a breathtaking coastal road trip

Summer holidays are fast approaching. What about taking a car road trip to visit some wonderful architectural and cultural sites and beautiful countryside? Discover 8 routes to explore by car for memorable road trips in Ireland and other countries. What do they have in common? They are all coastal roads which have many surprises in store for a unique experience.

Prepare an extraordinary road trip on coastal roads

© Adobe Stock

The most beautiful coastal roads

  • Costa da Morte or Coast of Death in Spain
  • Antalya to Finike in Turkey
  • Rugen Island in Germany
  • Causeway Coastal Route in Northern Ireland
  • Zeeland and the Delta Works in the Netherlands
  • Quiberon Bay in France
  • Hel Peninsula in Poland
  • Otranto to Santa Maria di Leuca in Italy

The most beautiful coastal road in Spain: Coast of Death

Travel by car along the Coast of Death in Galicia

© Pixabay - Pablo Valerio

Galicia, a Celtic land to the west of La Coruna, reveals landscapes full of mystery and legends. And in particular, the Coast of Death or “Costa da Morte” in Galician, which stretches over tens of kilometres. Enough to enjoy a long drive along a breathtaking Spanish coastal road. Its endless beaches and high, steep cliffs reveal its wild character. Fortunately, it is sparsely populated and gives drivers the possibility to take several breaks in an idyllic setting with its capes, rias, beaches and small ports.

 Where does the enigmatic name of Coast of Death come from? The choppy waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the rugged coastline have been the scene of many shipwrecks, not forgetting the wild storms that rage in winter! Prepare yourself for a road trip for adventurers!

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The most beautiful coastal road in Turkey: from Antalya to Finike

Drive along the coast from Finike to Antalya

© https://commons.wikimedia.org/ - Александр Попрыгин

Another beautiful coastal road steeped in history can be found in Turkey. The road stretches from the town of Antalya to Finike. It runs alongside the calm waters of the Mediterranean Sea which border the Teke peninsula. Rich in archaeological treasures, the earliest signs of civilisation date back to 3000 BC!

The coastal road from Antalya to Finike is situated in a popular touristic area. There are plenty of places to visit along the road including some original locations: the ancient city of Arycanda, the ruins of Limyra, the cave of Suluin or the wreck of a Phoenician merchant ship (about 1200 BC) exhibited at Bodrum.

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The most beautiful coastal road in Germany: island of Rügen

Follow the road on the island of Rügen for a number of nice stops

© Tourismuszentrale Rügen/Christian Thiele

For a getaway along the coast of the Baltic Sea, Rugen, Germany’s largest island offers an extraordinary road to discover beautiful coastal landscapes. The island can be reached by crossing the large bridge from the town of Stralsund. Once there, you are ready for a unique loop along 574 kilometres of coastline! The many white sandy beaches, some of which are secluded, and the high white chalk cliffs are one of the treasures of the Baltic Sea.

Make sure you build in time to stop to take photos: at the north east of the island, the Jasmund peninsula provides a breathtaking view. An impressive beech tree forest extends over this national park where you can enjoy a walk. Finally, the Königsstuhl, the highest formation of chalk cliffs on the island, reaching 118 metres above sea level will leave you memories to treasure.

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The most beautiful coastal road in Northern Ireland: Causeway

Fantastic road trip in Ireland on the Causeway

© Northern Ireland Tourist Board 

What about a road trip in Ireland? From Belfast to the town of Derry-Londonderry, many historical, natural and legendary sites can be found along the 195 km of wild coast. The Causeway coastal route is one of the most extraordinary roads to drive along in the world! During the trip, tourists quickly understand why: long sandy beaches, welcoming fishing villages, rolling green valleys, spectacular views over the stormy sea, castles, waterfalls, etc.

Not forgetting very famous locations including the Giant’s Causeway declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and Dunluce Castle, which fans of the Game of Thrones series will recognise as one of the film locations.

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The most beautiful coastal road in the Netherlands: Zeeland and the Delta Works

 

The province of Zeeland in the Netherlands is renowned for its leisurely drives and extraordinary panoramic (360 degree) views of the sea. Holland is well known as being the country surrounded by water. Start your journey by exploring the impressive Delta Works which includes the Oosterschelde barrier. This 8 km long barrier is the main attraction! It was built after the catastrophic floods of 1953.

To continue your car journey on the E312: visit the pretty port towns, the fishing villages, Yerseke with its mussels and oyster boats, and the charming village of Veere. On your trip, you must visit the town of Middelbourg which is many centuries old. Climb to the top of De Lange Jan tower, or enjoy a local dish at Vlissingen on the banks of the West Scheldt estuary!

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The most beautiful coastal road in France: Quiberon Bay

In Brittany, starting from the famous menhir alignment at Carnac, open the car windows and let the wind blow through your hair as you admire the beautiful coastal road: the Quiberon Peninsula. Surfing spots, fine sandy beaches, rambling, photography, the sea in Brittany is a real source of inspiration for sporting and artistic activities.

 From Quiberon, you can embark for the remote islands such as Belle-Ile-en-Mer, Houat or Hoedic. Or if you prefer, discover Quiberon’s wild coast: the Penthièvre isthmus is the narrowest part which offers a splendid maritime view between the bay on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Finally, the imposing and majestic Turpault castle completes the charming landscape of this coastal road at the tip of the heath beside the sea, at Quiberon. An invigorating experience by car!

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The most beautiful coastal road in Poland: Hel Peninsula

The Hel Peninsula can be visited by car

© https://commons.wikimedia.org / Muniorek1983 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

In the north of the country, on the Baltic coast, a narrow piece of land, 34 km long juts out into the sea. Locals have given it different names because of its unique form for example the “Cow’s Tail. Only one road runs along the Hel Peninsula, you can’t miss it! Just like the stunning view that unfolds before your eyes: sand dunes, long beaches and an endless pine forest line each side of the road. It is the perfect location to go windsurfing.

The road to Hel will take you through beautiful coastal scenery and a nature conservation area to finally arrive in a charming fishing village. You will find pretty half-timbered houses, a church converted into a fishing museum and a centre to observe grey seals.

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The most beautiful coastal road in Italy: Otranto to Santa Maria di Leuca

Let’s complete our selection of the most beautiful coastal roads in Europe with Italy’s boot heel: the Apulia or “la Puglia” in Italian. Your car journey can start in Otranto which is a small port town where it is pleasant to stroll along the ramparts of the majestic Castello. This Italian region is home to ancient medieval villages and the forests of the Gargano National Park.

On the coast you can discover creeks, caves and beaches with crystal clear water. For lunch, you will be spoilt for choice with the many delicious culinary specialities since Apulia is an olive oil and wine route. Following the road to the south, you will reach the sunny peninsula of Salento where its Greek origins and ancient times mingle. At Santa Maria di Leuca; the last leg of the trip, leave your vehicle and take a boat to visit the spectacular caves accessible from the sea.

The tour of 8 superb coastal road trips is over. You want to pack your bags and hit the road again? Why no heading to the mountains to discover other tourist routes by car, think about it!

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