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Five Of Europe's Most Scenic Car Hire Drives

Apr 15, 2008
With a rental car you can always afford to take the scenic route. Europe offers some splendidly scenic trails that are a joy to explore with car hire. As we spring into summer, you'll agree that this is the most pleasant, (if not the best) time of year to enjoy a good road trip. To celebrate the beauty of this season, we've selected five of Europe's prettiest itineraries for you to experience nature at it's finest.

1. Romantic Road (Germany)

Travel agents invented the term 'The Romantic Road', (Romantische Straβe) in the 1950s to describe a disarmingly beautiful 360km stretch of highway linking Würzburg to Füssen in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. The medieval bell towers, elegant palaces and turreted walls that you encounter en route certainly conjure up images of fairytale knights and princesses. The road was originally a trade route during the Middle Ages and takes you through long forgotten countryside, knitting together walled towns and picturesque villages. The drive is worthwhile, if only to experience the novelty of entering a town through an arched gateway complete or stopping off to photograph historic guard towers. Once inside, you're free to discover Gothic cathedrals, half-timbered Fachwerk houses, and stunning Alpine views.

2. Ring of Kerry (Ireland)

The Ring of Kerry is one Ireland's most spectacular drive destinations. Such is the feeling of enchantment that you'll no doubt be imagining mythical heroes like Chúcalainn beating a path its glassy lakes and brooding mountains. The route encompasses a 170km circular road, which winds its way from Killarney to Killorglin, taking in the stunning sights of Kenmare, the Iveragh Peninsula, Sneem, Waterville and Cahirciveen along the way.

3. Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos (Spain)

Fearless bullfighters, gleaming cottages, zealous flamenco dancers-Andalusia's 'road of the white villages' offers drivers the chance to experience the essence of one of Spain's most beautiful regions. The most impressive sights along the route include the Castelar de la Frontera which was built in the 12th century. Seventy tightly packed houses are to be found within its walls, each a living museum of culture, tradition and good old-fashioned stoicism.

4. Chiantigiana Wine Route (Italy)

Situated in perennially popular Tuscany, the Chiantigiana Wine Route takes you through a landscape of picturesque villages and lush vineyards. Renowned for its red wine, spectacular views of patchwork scenery ensure that wine isn't the only thing you'll be drinking in. Chianti sits snugly between Florence and Siena. Both cities are famed for their beautiful artistic heritage and are well-worth exploring. Back on the Chiantigiana Wine Route you'll encounter an interesting landscape of wildly knotted chestnut woods and rugged hillside slopes.

5. Loire Valley (France)

Myriad whimsical castles, impressionist's landscapes and writer's muses make the Loire Valley one of the most enchanting places you'll ever visit. Travelling through this scenic landscape, you can't help but encounter some shiny nugget of history or other. Whether it's Jules Verne's House, Jean Proust's famous Guermantes Way or Claude Monet's favourite views, you'll find driving through the Loire Valley brings art and literature to life.
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