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Exotic Road Trip Itinerary Across Malaysia and Singapore

Road Trip Itinerary Across Western Malaysia and Singapore

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Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Singapore to Malacca- 240 kilometers (150 miles) 📍  27 Ringgit highway toll and border crossing

Malacca to Kuala Lumpur- 150 kilometers (95 miles) 📍20 Ringgit highway toll

Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands- 250 kilometers (155 miles) 📍

Cameron Highlands to Penang- 250 kilometers (155 miles) 📍16 Ringgit highway toll

Penang to Mersing- 720 kilometers (450 miles) 📍 50 Ringgit highway toll

Mersing to Singapore- 150 kilometers (95 miles) 📍7 Ringgit border crossing

1760 kilometers (1095 miles) in total

Tags: Travel guide, Long Trip, Malaysia, Singapore, Asia

The majority of Malaysia is often overlooked by tourists visiting South East Asia, as most international visitors just focus on Kuala Lumpur. In reality, there are lots of beautiful destinations scattered all over the country that are worth a visit. 

This travel guide focuses mainly on the Western part of Malaysia. Begin by exploring the fascinating city-state of Singapore, a modern country just below the southern tip of Malaysia. Then, cross the bridge to enter Malaysia and continue to Kuala Lumpur with a stop in the historic port town of Malacca. 

Later, drive up the steep mountain roads until you reach Cameron Highlands. Taste the delicious locally-grown tea and strawberries before continuing north to the island of Penang, where you can spend the evening sunbathing on a sandy beach. 

On your way back to Singapore, make a stop at Mersing and take the ferry to Tioman Island.

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

As the trip is over 1500 kilometers in total, Rentalmoose highly recommends making four overnight stops at the very least, plus an extra night in Singapore before beginning the trip and an optional night off the coast of Mersing if you decide to stop there. 

In order to truly explore each location, spend at least two nights in every city.

When is the best time to visit Malaysia?

As the region is close to the equator, the tropical weather is warm and humid all year round. The dry season (March to August) sees a lower amount of rainfall. However, tourists should expect rain and thunderstorms multiple times a week even during the dry season.

Why should I book a rental car for a Malaysian road trip?

Some of the attractions along this journey can’t be accessed by plane, and the freedom to change your route as you go can only be achieved with a car. What’s more, Malaysian highways are mostly modern and well-maintained, and the tolls are affordable.

Numerous rental companies offer car rentals out to Malaysia. Browse through available options via Rentalmoose.

For extra peace of mind during your road trip, Rentalmoose recommends adding excess coverage when booking your rental car. Once you’ve picked up the car, don’t forget to take photos of the car to qualify for a 50% discount from the excess coverage fee.

Plus- Malaysian Highway Toll System

You will need to pass through several paid highway segments along this trip. The pricing is reasonable, as all highway tolls, Penang bridge toll, and border crossings cost below 130 Ringgit (27.5 EUR) in total. 

Tolls can either be paid by cash or credit card, some booths accept prepaid Touch ‘N Go cards too. For tourists and short-term visitors, it is the most convenient to pay by cash or card directly at each booth.

Can tourists drive in Malaysia and Singapore? 

Absolutely! In Malaysia, tourists can use their domestic license as long as it’s in English (or if it was issued in one of ten ASEAN member countries) and it has a photograph. 

If your domestic license is not in English, an International Driving Permit is required. Click here to learn all you need to know about International Driving Permits.

The same rules apply for tourists in Singapore. Keep in mind that both nations have left-hand side traffic.

Singapore

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Welcome to Singapore, an intriguing, diverse country south of Malaysia. The country is known for being a major business hub in Asia, as well as its ultra-modern architecture and delicious cuisine. 

As public transportation in Singapore is very well-developed, Rentalmoose recommends picking up your rental car the day you set off to Malaysia.

What can you do in Singapore?

As Singapore is a very multicultural city, you can experience an authentic part of various Asian cultures around the city. 

Chinatown

For starters, head to Chinatown. The colorful streets are lined with all sorts of small shops and delicious restaurants. 

Admire the monumental Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, situated between colonial buildings and tall skyscrapers, or visit the local wet market opposite of the temple.

Hawker Centers

Singapore is essentially a paradise for foodies, as the country is the melting pot of Asian cultures. Budget-friendly, authentic eateries (hawker centers) can be found all across the island. No matter which hawker center you pick, you will end up eating delicious meals.

When in Chinatown, try the Liao Fan Hawker Chan, the world’s first Michelin-star hawker ever. 

Rentalmoose order tip: You can’t go wrong with chicken rice, a local specialty.

Gardens By The Bay

Get a break from the busy city at Gardens By The Bay, a sci-fi-like park by Marina Bay Sands. The majority of the park can be accessed for free, however visitors need to purchase tickets to come inside the two large glass domes. 

Don’t miss the magical light show at the Supertree Grove, which takes place every evening at 7:45 PM and 8:45 PM.

1-Altitude

When the night falls, enjoy the best panoramic view of the city from 1-Altitude. The trendy rooftop bar offers unbeatable views, delicious drinks, and an elegant vibe. 

Admission costs below SG$50 (32 euro) and includes 2 welcome drinks. 

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An aerial view of Suntec and Rochor seen from The Singapore Flyer.

Lau Pa Sat

Craving a delicious meal in the middle of the night? Head to Lau Pa Sat, one of the best hawkers open 24 hours a day. Right outside the building is the famous Satay Street. Every day from 7 PM onwards, tens of satay (freshly grilled meat/seafood skewers) stalls start serving food on the street. Rentalmoose’s favorite is the satay stall #7.

The Fullerton Hotel

Luxury-seekers will be happy to see the wide selection of prestigious hotels in Singapore. One thing’s for sure: you can’t go wrong with The Fullerton Hotel.

This elegant 5-star hotel sits at the heart of Marina Bay and has been a crucial part of the country’s history. Classy rooms and suites with amazing views of the city, exquisite restaurants, and luxurious amenities make The Fullerton one of the best picks in town.

YWCA Fort Canning

Breaking the bank is easy when traveling in Singapore. A moderately-priced, 3-star alternative near the heart of the city is YWCA Fort Canning. The hotel offers cozy air-conditioned rooms and suites, as well as an outdoor swimming pool for guests to cool down in after a scorching day.

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Singapore is absolute heaven for foodies! The photo was taken at Chuen Chuen in Bugis, one of my personal favorites in the country.

Next: Malacca, 2 hours 30 minutes 27 Ringgit highway toll (5.7 EUR)

Malacca

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Cross the causeway and enter Malaysia, a true gem situated on the western coast of Malaysia. The border can get crowded, so it is recommended to cross it early in the morning. The current border fees can be found here.

Then, hop on the AH2 until you reach the historical town of Malacca. The highway toll until Malacca costs 20.34 Ringgit (4.2 euros) as of March 2020.

What can you see in Malacca?

Malacca’s rich history is deeply reflected in the city’s attractions and sightseeing opportunities.

A’Famosa

The remains of A’Famosa highlight Melacca’s historical significance. The fortress, built in the 1500s by the Portuguese, was a part of Portugal’s network of ports linking the country with China. The ruins can be explored free of charge.

Christ Church

Next, stroll around the area until you reach Christ Church, a beautiful red-brick structure built by the Dutch in the mid-1700s. Admire the building’s well-preserved facade or head indoors for one of the regular services in either English or Chinese.

Jonker Street

Jonker Street, the city’s Chinatown, is located across the road from Christ Church. Visit the area during a weekend evening to experience the busy night market. Shop at some of the exotic stores or grab a bite from one of the appetizing stalls.

Nancy’s Kitchen

Once you get hungry, visit Nancy’s Kitchen. One of the best eateries in the city is located in the heart of vivid Jonker Street. The restaurant specializes in Peranakan cuisine, originally invented by early Chinese migrants who settled throughout Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.

Nancy’s Kitchen offers cooking classes, too.

What are the best hotels in Malacca?

The Majestic Malacca

Indulge yourself in the city’s historic vibe and stay at The Majestic Malacca, a refined 5-star hotel located in a riverside 1920s mansion. The hotel offers classy rooms and suites, along with a wide array of facilities and a convenient location near the heart of Malacca.

Eco Tree Hotel

Travelers on a tighter budget can still opt for luxury at the Eco Tree Hotel. The 3-star hotel features well-equipped rooms and suites as well as a modern rooftop sky deck where guests can enjoy a relaxing swim in the pool, order a snack at the bar or simply admire the panoramic views.

Next: Kuala Lumpur, 1 hour 30 minutes 20 Ringgit toll (4.2 EUR)

Kuala Lumpur

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Leave Malacca and hop back on the AH2 highway. Prepare around 20 Ringgit (4.2 euros) for the highway tolls. In around an hour, the city’s monumental skyscrapers should emerge on the horizon. Welcome to the vibrant capital of Malaysia! 

Petronas Towers

Head to downtown KL and visit the massive Petronas Towers, the world’s tallest twin structures. The 452 meter high towers are hard to miss and have become a symbol of modern Malaysia.

Visit the observation deck (Rentalmoose knows a better observation point in KL, keep on reading to find out!), go for a shopping spree at the Suria KLCC mall located on the lower levels, or relax in the park directly in front of the spectacular towers.

KL Tower

In order to get the best view of the city, visit the KL Tower. There is an open-roof sky deck atop the tower, over 300 meters above the ground! If the weather is bad, enjoy the panoramic view from the enclosed observation deck at the structure’s top floor.

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The view from the KL tower is rather overwhelming.

Batu Caves

Batu Caves can’t be missed when in Kuala Lumpur. The famous tourist attraction is located less than 20 minutes away from the city center. The world-famous flights of stairs, guarded by a massive Hindu God statue, lead up to the mysterious natural caves.

Admission costs below 20 Ringgit (4.2 EUR) per person.

The Row

Visit The Row for a trendy, modern dining experience. Various restaurants and cafes are lined in a row of renovated heritage houses minutes away from the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

Rentalmoose order tip: Don’t know which eatery to pick? Walk inside Limapulo: Baba Can Cook, and try their incredible Laksa, a local specialty.

Which hotel should you pick in Kuala Lumpur?

Grand Hyatt

Sophisticated travelers should consider checking into the Grand Hyatt, a prestigious 5-star hotel near the Petronas Towers. The hotel offers elegant rooms and suites with a panoramic view of the city, as well as countless facilities and top-notch service.

Bintang Warisan

Bintang Warisan is a cozy, colonial hotel in the Bukit Bintang district. The hotel is made up of over 100 neutral-tone rooms and offers exceptional service and a stylish colonial coffee house.

A car park is available for hotel guests.

Next: Cameron Highlands, 3 hours 30 minutes

Cameron Highlands

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Leave Kuala Lumpur and head north up into the highlands. The twisty roads will take you to Cameron Highlands, a picturesque region famous for its tea plantations and strawberry farms.

Developed during the British colonial period, Cameron Highlands used to be the getaway for Brits in Malaysia throughout the 20th century.

As the area is high above sea level, the climate is more moderate than in the rest of the country, with the temperature averaging in the low 20s centigrade.

 What is there to do in Cameron Highlands?

Tea Plantations

Begin by visiting one of the many tea plantations in the region. Afterall, tea is exactly what made this part of the country famous.

Head over to the Boh plantation, specifically the Sungei Palas Tea Garden. Taste the locally-grown Boh tea while enjoying panoramic views of the plantations. Guests can also opt for a factory tour or purchase tea from the gift shop.

Admission is free of charge.

Strawberry Farms

Once you’ve had enough of the local tea, proceed to Raju Hil Strawberry Farm, where you can taste fresh strawberries, try a slice of strawberry cake or drink freshly-squeezed strawberry juice. You can even go out on the farm and pluck your own fruit!

Golden Hills Night Market

On the evening of every weekend, the streets of Golden Hills host the busy Night Market. The stalls sell all kinds of products, from locally-picked crops and vegetables through to souvenirs and t-shirts. Delicious food is available too, of course!

The night market opens as early as 4 PM and lasts nearly till midnight. However, bad weather can affect the hours.

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Even if the weather is less than ideal, the plantations look stunning.

Where can you stay in Cameron Highlands?

The Lakehouse

Experience the colonial vibe at The Lakehouse, a beautiful 4-star hotel. The Tudor-style hotel-transformed country house offers colonial-style rooms and suites and amazing service. Unique amenities include complimentary jungle trekking activities and a scenic lake-view terrace.

Century Pines Resort

Century Pines Resort is a more affordable, yet high-standard alternative in Cameron Highlands. The 4-star hotel features classy rooms with balconies, elegant common areas, a spa and fitness centers and a wide array of activities.

Next: Penang, 3 hours 30 minutes 16 Ringgit toll (3.4 EUR)

Penang

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Drive down one last twisty mountain road and come back to lower ground. Jump back on the AH2 highway and head north until the Simpang Pulai toll booth.

Cross the monumental Penang bridge (7 Ringgit toll, around 1.5 euro) and enter Georgetown, the main city on this island.

China House Penang

Dive into the heart of Georgetown and head inside China House Penang, an authentic group of restaurants and cafes located in 3 renovated heritage buildings.

The 14 eateries all have one thing in common- every single one of them serves outright deliciousness. Enjoy a cup of Kopi (local coffee), a slice of cake or lunch.

Open daily between 9 AM to 1 AM.

Kek Lok Si Temple

Did you know that Penang is home to one of the largest Buddhist temples in all of South East Asia? Explore Kek Lok Si Temple, an absolute must-see in Penang.

The monumental temple complex is constructed in a mix of Asian styles, making it a colorful symbol of the region’s cultural diversity.

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Local food courts may not look very appealing, but I can assure you the food served there is incredible!

Tropical Spice Garden

Get a break from the busy city and stroll around the Tropical Spice Garden, a harmonious escape in the northern tip of the island. Enjoy a guided tour in the gardens, learn all about the local flora and fauna or take part in one of the regular cooking classes. 

What is the best beach in Penang?

Batu Ferringhi

Surely, every traveler will enjoy a beach day after hours on the road. Drive up to the north-western part of the island, until you reach Batu Ferringhi. T

he little town is Penang’s best beach resort, with luxurious beachfront hotels and a beautiful beach. Cool down in the sea, sunbathe or enjoy a drink in one of the bars. Adventure junkies can rent a jet ski or go parasailing if they dare.

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Batu Ferringhi.

Picking the right hotel in Penang can be a challenge, depending on whether you’re looking to stay along the busy streets of Georgetown or at a peaceful beachfront resort.

Eastern and Oriental

If you’d prefer staying near the heart of Georgetown, book a night at the classy Eastern and Oriental. The 5-star 19th-century hotel offers elegant, well-equipped rooms and suites and luxurious facilities, such as a spa, an outdoor pool, and a gallery where guests can discover the region’s rich history.

Magazine Vista Hotel

 A cheaper alternative with an equally convenient location is the Magazine Vista Hotel. The chic 4-star hotel is located in a renovated historic building and features spacious suites at an affordable price.

The Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La

Looking for a beachfront resort on the island of Penang? Rentalmoose recommends checking in at The Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La. The 4-star resort offers chic rooms and suites, a wide selection of facilities for the whole family and of course, a sandy beach.

The hotel is located at Batu Ferringhi, the island’s best beach resort.

Next: Mersing, 7 hours 50 Ringgit toll (10.5 EUR)

Mersing

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Photography by David Russo.

On the long drive back to Singapore, Rentalmoose recommends making a slight detour and heading to Mersing. Prepare around 50 Ringgit (10.6 Euro) for the AH2 highway tolls. The town itself is not particularly exciting, but it serves as a great base for island hopping.

Island hopping from Mersing

Park your car at the Mersing Harbour (a fenced and guarded car park is available for around RM20 [4.2 EUR] per day) and take a ferry to one of the stunning islands in the region.

The most popular, Tioman Island, is an absolute paradise for snorkeling fans and divers. The island’s turquoise waters and secluded beaches make it one of the best escapes in the region.

Air Papan Beach

If you’re not planning to spend the night, or simply prefer to stay on the mainland, drive to Air Papan Beach. The sandy beach is favored by locals and is less touristy than the islands, yet equally beautiful. Go for a swim in the sea or enjoy the afternoon wandering around the white sand.

Next: Singapore, 2 hours 10 minutes 7 Ringgit border toll (1.4 EUR)

Drop-off

For maximum comfort, drop off your car directly before departing Singapore at Singapore Changi Airport. Rental companies that allow trips to Malaysia can be found via Rentalmoose.

Win a free rental car!

Both Singapore and Malaysia are incredible destinations to explore. Make sure to take photos when you go on this trip and post them with #Rentalmoose. The best ones will be rewarded with a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge!

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Beware of cows when driving in Malaysia 🙂

utah-red-rocks-canyon-moab

Discover the natural beauty of Utah

Discover the Natural Beauty of Utah

utah-road-trip-itinerary-moab-arches-nevada-holiday

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Salt Lake City to Moab- 230 miles (370km) 📍  

Moab to Goblin Valley- 100 miles (160km)📍 

Goblin Valley to Capitol Reef- 60 miles (100km) 📍

Capitol Reef to Escalante- 70 miles (110km) 📍

Escalante to Bryce Canyon- 50 miles (80km) 📍

Bryce Canyon to Zion- 70 miles (110km) 📍

Zion to Las Vegas- 160 miles (260km) 📍

740 miles (1190km) in total

Tags: Travel guide, Drop-off at another location, Scenic Driving

Witness some of the most spectacular landscapes on the planet. Follow the trails along red rocks, squeeze between narrow canyon slots and hike in a river. This adventure-packed guide will take you through the best of what Utah has to offer, before finishing off in Las Vegas.

This travel guide takes you on an epic journey starting in Salt Lake City in the northern part of Utah. Then, head south to Moab and explore Canyonlands, Dead Horse Point and Arches, where you can make the most out of a 4×4.

Drive down the Scenic Byway 12, hike in the spooky canyon slots in Escalante, take in the otherwordly view at Bryce Canyon and continue along the Scenic Drive in Zion, all before a grand finish in Las Vegas.

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

The total distance is below 750 miles. Rentalmoose recommends dedicating at least 5 days for this trip, If you don’t have a problem spending between two and four hours per day driving.

Consider that you will be stopping at viewpoints a lot, especially on the Scenic Byway 12 and Zion’s Scenic Drive.

In order to be able to see each spot thoroughly, spend a few extra nights in Moab and add an overnight stop in Zion.

When is the best time to visit Utah?

Rentalmoose recommends visiting Utah between April and May or September and October. That’s when the weather is pleasant, attracting many tourists in the National Parks.

If you choose to visit in winter, keep in mind that some of the parks may be closed and the roads may not be accessible.

On the other hand, the heat does get unbearable in the peak of summer.

Rentalmoose recommends- West Coast trip extension

Your American adventure doesn’t have to end in Las Vegas!

The trip can easily be extended further into California, where you can walk down the famous Hollywood Boulevard, drive up the famous Pacific Coast Highway, tour the Alcatraz in San Francisco and explore the natural beauty of Yosemite and Death Valley National Parks.

Click here for the Rentalmoose West Coast travel guide, you don’t want to miss it!

Why should I book a rental car in Utah?

Driving through Utah is an absolute dream for any road trip fanatic. The panoramic landscapes along the scenic routes are simply unbeatable. What’s more, if you rent a 4×4 you can explore some of the world’s finest offroading trails that are otherwise inaccessible.

Remote parts of Utah are best accessed with a private vehicle, not to mention the ability to alter your itinerary without any limits that can only be achieved when traveling by car.

For extra peace of mind during your road trip, Rentalmoose recommends adding excess coverage when booking your rental car. Once you’ve picked up the car, don’t forget to take photos of the car to qualify for a 50% discount from the excess coverage fee.

Can tourists drive in Utah? 

Tourists are allowed to drive in Utah using a foreign driving license as long as they are at least 16 years old, and the license covers the type of vehicle they are driving. It is recommended to get an International Driving Permit if your driving license is not in English. 

Furthermore, some car rental companies may require foreign tourists to obtain an International Driving Permit, it’s best to check the company policy before booking your rental car.

Don’t know how to obtain an International Driving Permit, how much it costs or what countries require you to have one? Check out this blog post to find out all you need to know about IDPs.

When you begin driving in Utah, you will quickly notice that the locals don’t stick to the speed limit too strictly, mainly around freeways.

Keep in mind that the police can still pull you over, even if you are caught going just a few miles per hour over the limit.

If you do happen to get stopped by the police during your trip, be sure to stay calm. Put both hands on the steering wheel, avoid sudden movements, and present your license when the officer tells you to do so. 

Driving under influence, or DUI in short, is a serious crime in the US. Police enforce drink-driving related rules very strictly. Do not drink and drive, offenders can even land in prison.

The US has right-hand side traffic.

Salt Lake City

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Salt Lake City’s Temple Square. Photography by WikiImages.

Welcome to the largest city in Utah! Your road trip begins here, for maximum convenience pick up your rental car directly at the Salt Lake City International Airport when you arrive. Browse through car rental companies that support airport pick-up via Rentalmoose. Once you’ve got your car, it’s time to explore the city.

What can you do in Salt Lake City?

Salt Lake City may not be on every traveler’s bucket list, but the town’s fun attractions scattered around the region’s natural beauty and a unique downtown area might just surprise you. 

Temple Square

Be sure to drop by Temple Square, a complex that hosts over 20 attractions related to Christianity right in the heart of the city.

Admire the monumental church, or step inside the Tabernacle where you can attend the weekly choir rehearsals every Thursday night at 7:30 PM.

History fans can visit the Church History Museum, open between 9 AM and 9 PM on weekdays and 10 AM to 6 PM on Saturdays. The museum is closed on Sundays.

If you’re hungry, grab dinner at The Roof  Restaurant and enjoy a delicious meal accompanied by panoramic city views 10 floors above the ground.

The Great Salt Lake

When in Salt Lake City, you can’t skip visiting the Great Salt Lake itself. Drive up to Antelope Island and enter the State Park, where visitors can hike down numerous scenic trails, watch the spectacular lake views or spend the night at one of the secluded campsites.

If you’re looking for a unique way to see the island while getting a bit of exercise, consider renting a bike with Antelope E-Bikes. Apart from bike rentals, the company offers guided cycling tours. Check their website for more information.

Park City

Get your skis on and drive up to Park City, a winter getaway just half an hour away from the city. Park City is home to two major ski resorts lined with slopes for both skiers and snowboarders.

If you’re visiting outside of the winter season, head to the Canyons Golf Course.

Pretty Bird Chicken

When you get hungry, head over to Pretty Bird Chicken in downtown Salt Lake City. The eatery, often considered the best places to eat out in the city, is known for its signature fried chicken.

Rentalmoose order tip: Try the juicy Sando fried chicken sandwich.

What are the best hotels in Salt Lake City?

The Grand America Hotel

Spend the night at The Grand America Hotel, an elegant property right in the heart of Salt Lake City. The classy rooms feature retro decor and balconies. Guests can relax at the indoor and outdoor pools, work out at the fitness center or dine at the restaurant.

A car park is available at an extra cost.

The Carlton Hotel

Traveling on a tighter budget? Consider checking in at The Carlton Hotel. The charming, historic property is located near the heart of the city. The moderately-priced hotel features cozy rooms and free wifi. 

Next: Moab, 3 hours 50 minutes

Moab

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Arches National Park. Photography by Adam Derewecki.

Drive southeast from Salt Lake City for roughly 4 hours until you reach Moab, a small town in Southern Utah surrounded by breathtaking landscapes.

What is there to see in Moab?

Moab Museum

To be honest, Moab in itself may not be the most interesting town in the world. If you’re very curious about exploring it, drop by the Moab Museum where you can learn about the region’s local history through a variety of fascinating exhibitions.

The recently renovated museum welcomes visitors all week except Mondays.

Archest National Park

The natural beauty around Moab can’t be missed. Be sure to visit the monumental Arches National Park (photographed above), an absolute must-see in Utah.

A 7-day admission fee costs only $30 per vehicle and can be paid either when entering the park or online prior to your visit. Current fees can be checked on the official website.

Dead Horse Point State Park

Don’t miss the breathtaking view from the Dead Horse Point State Park, just 40 miles away from the city. Admire the landscapes that truly look out of this world, observe as the Colorado river twists between the canyons all from 2000 feet above.

Visit the viewing point when the sun sets and illuminates the red rocks in magical colors. Capture the incredible landscapes and post your photos online #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge!

The park is open daily between 6 AM and 10 PM, a 3-day admission pass costs $20 per vehicle as of 2020. Click here to learn more about the fees.

Canyonlands National Park

Another absolute must-see near Moab is the Canyonlands National Park. Inside, make sure to see the Island in the Sky where you can get the best views and hike around scenic trails.

Similarly to the Arches and Dead Horse Point parks, there is a fee to enter the Canyonlands National Park. A 7-day admission pass costs $10 per vehicle and can be paid directly upon entrance.

utah-shafer-canyon-road-canyonlands-trail-4x4-offroad

Shafer Canyon Road in Canyonlands is not for the faint-hearted. Photography by Mike Goad.

Did you rent a 4×4 for this trip?

If you came to Moab in a 4×4 or another kind of off-roader, be sure to explore the backroads and trails around Canyonlands National Park.

Some of the drives are a lot more challenging than others, but spectacular views are guaranteed no matter which trail you pick. You can find more information on offroad driving around Moab right here.

Moab Adventure Center

Adrenaline junkies can explore the area’s fascinating landscapes while getting exercise. You can book a mountain bike tour with Moab Adventure Center and cycle around the Dead Horse Point, Arches National Park or the La Sal Mountains.

Moab Adventure Center also offers river rafting if you would rather get wet. Check their website for details on available activities and pricing information.

Glamping

The region is a popular glamping (luxury camping) destination. If you’re not familiar with glamping, or you’re not a fan of it for any reason, spend the night at Under Canvas Moab to change your mind.

The property features well-equipped tents within Arches National Park, a spectacular secluded setting and complimentary parking. As the name may suggest, glamping does come at a hefty price tag.

Hotel Moab Downtown

Check-in at Hotel Moab Downtown for traditional, budget-friendly accommodation. The 2-star hotel features a retro interior and a heated outdoor pool. Exceptional service and a convenient location with a view of La Sal Mountains make this property one of the top picks in town.

A car park is available at no extra cost.

Next: Goblin Valley State Park, 1 hour 40 minutes

Goblin Valley

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Goblin Valley State Park photographed by Steppinstars/Pixabay.com

Drive northwest from Moab, then hop on the I-70 and take the exit 149 to get on route 24. Roughly an hour and a half after departing from Moab, you will reach the Goblin Valley State Park.

What can you see in Goblin Valley?

Goblin Valley is one of the most fascinating parks in the country, perhaps even in the entire world. Afterall, where else can you see crazy rock formations like the one in the photo above? Once you’re inside the Goblin Valley State Park, you’ll feel as if you’ve traveled to another planet. It is truly spectacular!

Thousands of unique-looking rocks (nicknamed the goblins) are waiting for you. Drive till the end of the Goblin Valley Rd, drop off your car by the campground and explore on foot. Hikers can stick to the existing trails, such as the Carmen Canyon Trail or the Curtis Bench Trail.

Are you looking for that extra adventurous touch? Get off the official trails and discover the natural beauty on your own.

Did you know that Goblin Valley is one of the best spots for stargazing on the entire planet?

The dark skies are free from light pollution and provide stunning views at night, as long as there are no clouds. Regular stargazing-related events are hosted within the park, such as full moon hikes or telescope tours guided by the park’s rangers. Click here to check out the upcoming events.

You probably noticed a trend among parks in this part of the United States: none of them can be accessed for free. Goblin Valley State Park is no different, a 2-day admission pass costs $15 per vehicle. You can find detailed fees for other types of vehicles and camping fees on the park’s official website.

Goblin Valley State Park is open all week between 6 AM and 10 PM.

Next: Capitol Reef National Park, 1 hour

Capitol Reef

capitol-reef-empty-road-canyons-red-rocks-utah

Photography by Sos8_6 via Pixabay.com

As you set off from Goblin Valley, you will begin the most scenic part of the journey. Route 24 will take you between red rocks, across valleys, and through countless twists and turns constantly overlooking the spectacular landscapes.

Is Capitol Reef worth visiting?

The number of parks in Utah might be overwhelming for some travelers, to the point where you might be wondering whether they are worth seeing or not. Trust me, Capitol Reef National Park is most certainly worth a visit!

As you’ve probably guessed by now, travelers visiting Capitol Reef need to pay an admission fee. A 7-day entry fee to Capitol Reef National Park costs $20 per vehicle. 

The Scenic Drive

Make sure you drive down the Scenic Drive, a picturesque paved road just below 8 miles in length. Don’t get fooled by the seemingly short length and dedicate around an hour and a half for the entire drive, as there are many spots worth visiting along the way.

Keep in mind the Scenic Drive costs an extra $20 on top of the park’s entry fee.

Offroading in Capitol Reef

If you happen to be in Capitol Reef in a 4×4, you can head to some thrilling offroad trails around the park.

One of the most scenic routes is the 68-mile Burr trail. The first section of the road stretches from the town of Boulder and is paved and smooth for nearly 20 miles. The rest of the trail is a natural surface backroad, though most passenger cars should be able to handle it unless there is rain.

Of course, it is highly recommended to drive down the Burr trail in a 4×4.

Are you more experienced in offroading?

If you’re looking for a slightly more challenging trail, consider driving down the Blue Benches. Although nowhere near as extreme as some of the other trails in the park, this 20-mile loop is perfect for intermediate offroad fanatics. There are a couple of river crossings along this trail, though they are only around 1-2 feet deep.

You can find all trails in Capitol Reef National Park using the online trail finder. Sort trails by difficulty, location, and trail type. Did you find a trail that’s worth mentioning in this travel guide? Comment below and let me know!

Capitol Reef will surely keep you busy all day, that’s why Rentalmoose recommends spending the night here before continuing further.

Cougar Ridge

Consider checking in at the Cougar Ridge, a luxury ranch just minutes south of Torrey. Guests can choose to stay at the prestigious lodge, filled with facilities such as a bowling alley, theater room, a spa, and a hot tub.

You can also choose to stay in the Casitas, equally luxurious buildings lined across the property.

Austin’s Chuckwagon Motel

If you’re traveling on a tighter budget, spend the night at Austin’s Chuckwagon Motel in Torrey. The cozy motel features rooms, cabins, and suites, as well as an outdoor pool and a well-equipped store.

A complimentary car park is available.

Next: Escalante Petrified Forest, 1 hour 40 minutes

Escalante

escalante-rural-trail-fields-red-rocks-utah

Photography by Mike Goad.

Byway 12 Scenic Drive

The most scenic drive of your adventure begins as soon as you get on Byway 12 in Torrey. The route is considered one of the best picturesque drives in the country, perhaps even on the entire planet.

Follow it for less than an hour and a half until you reach the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. There are countless viewpoints along the way that overlook spectacular landscapes, be prepared to spend more time driving down Byway 12.

What can you do in Escalante?

Hiking through canyon slots

The region is best known for the thrilling natural hiking trails through canyon slots.

Rentalmoose recommends hiking along the Zebra Slot Canyon Trailhead and the Spooky Gulch. Squeeze through the tight gaps between the stones, and enjoy the views from a unique perspective.

Whether you’re a hiking fan or not, a walk through the slots is an unforgettable experience. However, it’s not recommended for travelers suffering from claustrophobia.

Grand Staircase National Monument

Don’t miss the Grand Staircase National Monument. Although nowhere near as popular among tourists as the canyon trails, the monument is most certainly worth a quick peek at the very least.

Hike along the routes or explore the landscapes from the comfort of your car while following the offroad trails. Like most natural surface trails in this part of Utah, paths around the Grand Staircase might become inaccessible during heavy rainfall, even in a 4×4.

There is no admission fee for the Grand Staircase National Monument.

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

When passing Escalante, be sure to drop by the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park.

The park is home to some of the finest petrified wood in the world. Hike along the trails through the petrified forest until you get to the shores of the crystal-clear Wide Hollow Reservoir. Here, you can wander around the campground, go for a refreshing swim, rent a canoe or observe petrified dinosaur bones and shell fossils at the nearby visitor center.

Admission to the park costs below $10 per person for a day pass.

Next: Bryce Canyon National Park, 50 minutes

Bryce Canyon

bryce-canyon-red-rocks-utah

Is this the surface of another planet? Bryce Canyon photographed by Ton W.

Follow the Scenic Byway 12 for almost an hour. Turn left onto Route 63, right before the Bryce Canyon Resort. Continue along Route 63 until you reach Bryce Canyon National Park.

What is there to see in Bryce Canyon?

Main Viewing Points

First, get a good look at the otherworldly landscapes from the four main viewpoints: Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunset Point, and Sunrise Point. Each of the viewing points opens up to breathtaking natural beauty of countless hoodoos (spiral rock formations), valleys, and local flora.

For the absolutely best experience, visit the points when the sun sets or rises. You can also hike the Rim Trail between the Sunset and Sunrise Points.

Keep in mind that you need to purchase a 7-day pass to enter Bryce Canyon National Park. The admission costs $35 per vehicle as of 2020 and includes all occupants in a single vehicle. You can pay directly when entering the park. Find detailed information on current fees here.

Next, follow the 18-mile main road that will take you along further viewpoints and hiking trails. You can find a map of all the trails and walking routes on this website.

Stone Hearth Grille

For dinner, drive over to the Stone Hearth Grille a few miles east of Tropic. The charming restaurant serves juicy local steaks as well as other delicacies, such as scallops or grilled swordfish. Best of all, you can enjoy your meal while admiring a panoramic view of the park from the restaurant’s outdoor terrace.

Open daily between 5 PM and 9 PM.

Best Western Plus

In the evening, check-in at the Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon. The property features luxurious rooms, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and a bicycle rental.

A complimentary car park is available, too.

Quality Inn

Travelers on a slightly tighter budget can stay at the Quality Inn. The Western-themed hotel features mountain view rooms with complimentary WiFi access, a breakfast buffet, and a free car park.

Next: Zion National Park, 1 hour 20 minutes

Zion

zion-scenic-drive-road-national-park-canyon-red-rock-utah

Photography by Egor Shitikov.

Head south on Route 89, leaving behind Bryce Canyon National Park. Don’t worry, as what’s coming up ahead may very well be even more spectacular. Turn onto the Mt Carmel Highway (UT-9 W) and continue along another one of the most spectacular drives in the United States.

What is special about Zion National Park?

Not many tourists know that Zion is the first National Park in Utah! The main attraction is the spectacular Zion Canyon, begin your tour of the park there.

The Narrows

Head down into The Narrows. The narrowest part of the Zion Canyon is home to the popular 16-mile hike in the Virgin River, where travelers can choose to walk either from the bottom up or the other way around.

The most popular starting point of the hike is the Temple of Sinawava, you can get off the shuttle bus essentially next to the river.

The Observation Point

Get the best panoramic view of the spectacular landscape from the Observation Point. You will have to hike for roughly four miles along The Weeping Rock Trailhead to reach the viewing point.

The trail begins at The Weeping Rock, which is the 7th stop for the free shuttle bus. The hike is fairly steep and can be very exhausting, but the rewarding view is absolutely worth the effort.

Scenic Drive

Before you leave, make sure to drive down the 54-mile Scenic Drive. The drive starts at Mt Carmel Junction (if you’re coming from Bryce Canyon, you most likely entered the park from here) and continues up to the I-15 on the western tip.

The scenic drive is a must, not just for the driving enthusiasts, as the scenery is simply extraordinary. Rentalmoose recommends saving the drive for last, as you can continue to Vegas directly from the western end of the Scenic Drive.

During the high tourist season, private cars are banned from the park’s main roads. In that case, you will need to drop off your car at one of the car parks near the gates and take the complimentary shuttle to Zion’s attractions. Click here for more details on the park’s shuttle system.

Zion National park is open all year long. Opening hours depend on the season, check current operating hours here. A 7-day admission pass to Zion National Park costs $25 per vehicle and can be purchased directly upon entrance.

Next: Las Vegas, 2 hours 30 minutes

Las Vegas

dodge-challenger-las-vegas-skyline-sunset

An American muscle car and a view of the Sin City during sunset. Isn’t this the perfect way to conclude this adventure? Photography by Kevin Schmid.

Depart Zion National Park and head southwest towards Las Vegas, leaving Utah behind. Remember to set your watch an hour back, as Vegas is in a different timezone. After taking in the natural beauty of Utah, it’s time to party your heart out in the city of sin.

What can you do in Las Vegas?

Fremont Street Experience

We have all heard of the Vegas Strip, but did you know the city has another go-to entertainment street right in the center? Don’t miss the Fremont Street Experience, the busy street is lined with flashy casinos, hotels, eateries and is packed with endless entertainment.

Watch the street from above as you zoom past on the Slotzilla zipline, go gambling inside the casinos or step inside one of the restaurants and take in the vibrant vibe.

Red Rock Canyon

The first things that come to your mind when you think of Las Vegas are probably the intense nightlife, gambling, and resorts. If you need to catch a break from all the craziness, consider heading out to the Red Rock Canyon.

Relax and enjoy the natural landscapes of the Mojave Desert as you drive down the 13-mile scenic drive, stopping along to stretch your legs at over 25 different trails that can be explored.

A day pass to the park costs $15 per vehicle. For more information on ticketing, click here.

Speed Vegas Race Track

Adrenaline junkies should visit the Speed Vegas racetrack. Choose from a variety of exciting cars, such as the Lamborghini Huracan, Porsche 991 GT3 RS or even a Baja Truck, and lap the race track!

You can also ride shotgun with a professional instructor instead. Check the Speed Vegas website for available packages, pricing, and terms and conditions.

Las Vegas is packed with so many attractions that it would take forever to list them all. Check out The Ultimate California Road Trip travel guide, where I mention some of the best places to visit in Las Vegas, including the famous Strip.

The Twist by Pierre Gagnaire

The number of restaurants in Las Vegas is quite overwhelming, and picking the best place to eat can be a challenge. If you’re looking for the best fine dining experience in town, book a table at the Twist by Pierre Gagnaire, the world-renowned chef’s first and only restaurant in the United States.

Indulge in delicious French cuisine while admiring spectacular views of the Strip from the 23rd floor.

The restaurant is open until 10 PM all week except Sundays and Mondays.

Caesars Palace

Luxury seekers have plenty of 5-star hotels to splash out on during a trip to Las Vegas. Consider checking in at the Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino along the Strip.

The glamorous hotel, often featured in Hollywood blockbusters, offers prestigious rooms and suites, as well as a wide array of facilities and activities for guests, such as a spa, pools and world-class dining.

The ideal location along the Strip, among with the countless facilities and world-class service all make the Caesars Palace the perfect choice in town.

The Golden Nugget

Naturally, most travelers will want to save their money for the casinos and live shows in Vegas as opposed to splashing out on a hotel. In that case, consider booking a room at the Golden Nugget.

The famous hotel is all you can expect in Vegas: a flashy facade, plenty of onsite activities and a casino, of course. Step outside the hotel and explore the busy Fremont Street, or relax at the pool.

Did I mention the hotel pool has a shark tank? What’s more, guests can ride a waterslide through the shark tank!

Drop-off

Your American adventure doesn’t have to end here! Read the Ultimate California Road Trip travel guide, and continue your journey onwards to the Grand Canyon, San Diego, and the Pacific Coast Highway. Combine the two trips into an epic road trip through the western US.

If you choose to finish your trip here, drop off your car directly at the McCarran International Airport. You can browse through car rental companies that support drop-off at another location and airport drop-off via Rentalmoose.

Win a free rental car!

The breathtaking landscapes make for incredible backdrops for photos and videos. Post your photos online using #Rentalmoose, and the best ones will be rewarded with a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge!

sydney-skyline-sunset-opera-house

Australia’s East Coast Road Trip- Sydney to Melbourne

Australia’s East Coast from Sydney to Melbourne

australia sydney to melbourne road trip itinerary google maps

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Sydney to Jervis Bay- 200 kilometers (125 miles)📍 

Jervis Bay to Batemans Bay- 140 kilometers (85 miles)📍

Batemans Bay to Narooma- 70 kilometers (45 miles)📍

Narooma to Eden- 140 kilometers (85 miles)📍

Eden to Lakes Entrance- 240 kilometers (150 miles)📍

Lakes Entrance to Wilsons Promontory- 280 kilometers (175 miles)📍

Wilsons Promontory to Phillip Island- 130 kilometers (80 miles)📍

Phillip Island to Melbourne- 140 kilometers (85 miles)📍

1340 kilometers (830 miles) in total

Tags: Travel guide, Drop-off at another location, Australia, Beaches

Pristine sandy beaches, dramatic coastlines, fascinating marine life, and exotic forests await! Explore the stunning natural beauty of the land Down Under during a coastal trip from Sydney to Melbourne. Kangaroos, koalas, and surfing opportunities are guaranteed, of course!

This travel guide takes you on an epic journey along the picturesque coast of New South Wales and Victoria. Pick up your rental car in the vibrant city of Sydney, then head south along the picturesque Grand Pacific Drive, one of the most scenic driving roads in the country.

Continue through Jervis Bay, where you can sunbathe with kangaroos on Pebbly Beach. Drive south until you reach Batemans Bay, where you can stay overnight.

Try the best seafood in your life at the famous Narooma Oyster Festival, go on a whale-watching cruise in Eden or stroll down the Ninety Mile Beach, one of the longest beaches on the planet.

Stay overnight near Lakes Entrance, then hike Mount Oberon to admire the panoramic view of Wilsons Promontory National Park. Stop for the night at Phillip Island, where you can peek at the Little Penguins Parade or lap a racetrack in a go-kart.

Later, continue to Melbourne and indulge in the city’s Greek cuisine.

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

Rentalmoose recommends making 3 overnight stops during this road trip at the very least.

This travel guide is designed to take you around the absolute must-see highlights, though expect to make more stops along the way.

To put it into perspective, this trip took me nearly two weeks to complete, and I would dedicate even more time if I had the chance to do it again!

When is the best time to visit Australia?

Keeping in mind that the seasons in Australia are switched (Summer is between December and February), it’s usually best to go right before the summer or directly after it finishes. The weather is still warm enough to swim in the ocean, yet the crowds are smaller compared to the summer when the tourist season peaks.

Rentalmoose recommends- Great Ocean Road Trip Extension

Once you get to Melbourne, consider adding a few extra days to your itinerary to drive down the coastal Great Ocean Road, one of the world’s most scenic driving routes.

Admire the monumental Twelve Apostles during a helicopter tour, attend the surfing championship in Bells Beach, tour the coast in a World War 2 aeroplane or swim in a volcanic lake in Colac.

Click here for the adventure-packed travel guide around the Great Ocean Road, starting in Melbourne.

Why should I book a rental car in Australia?

Unless you’re planning to stay in a single city, a rental car is definitely the go-to means of transport in Australia. Some of the smaller towns along the way, as well as beaches or hiking trails, can only be accessed by car.

What’s more, the ability to change your itinerary on the go can only be achieved when traveling by car. Not to mention the absolutely breathtaking views along the coastal roads, such as the Grand Pacific Drive (one of the best driving roads on the planet!).

For extra peace of mind during your road trip, Rentalmoose recommends adding excess coverage when booking your rental car. Once you’ve picked up the car, don’t forget to take photos of the car to qualify for a 50% discount from the excess coverage fee.

Can tourists drive in Australia? 

Yes! You can drive with your foreign driver’s license for up to 3 months in Australia, as long as it’s in English. If your driver’s license is not in English, you need to obtain an International Driving Permit prior to leaving.

Check out this blog post to learn all you need to know about the International Driving Permit.

The traffic laws in Australia are strictly enforced. Driving under influence is completely unacceptable and can land the offender in jail. 

In terms of speeding penalties, the Department of Transport and Main Roads claims that the average speeding ticket is $210, which equals just below 130 euros. Going less than 13km/h over the limit will cost you $177 (105 EUR).

Traffic in Australia is on the left-hand side of the road.

Sydney

sydney downtown opera house during sunset

Your Australian adventure begins in the vivid city of Sydney, the capital of New South Wales. For maximum comfort, pick up your car directly at Sydney Airport.

Find car rental companies that support drop-off at another location and airport pick-up via Rentalmoose. Once you’ve got your car, it’s time to dive into this diverse city!

What can you do in Sydney?

Begin by exploring the busy heart of Sydney. Drop off your car at the Sydney Opera House Car Park just a walk away from the city’s most recognizable landmarks. The car park is open nonstop 7 days a week, the current rates can be found on the official website.

Opera House

Wander around the waterfront and continue towards the famous Opera House. Admire the unique architecture, photograph the landmark with the Harbour Bridge in the background or step inside and attend one of the daily events (click here for the schedule). Explore the heart of Sydney even further by taking a ferry to other parts of the city.

Royal Botanic Gardens

Continue strolling around the waterfront and enter the colorful Royal Botanic Gardens. Enjoy the refreshing ocean breeze as you examine the exotic flora and observe the colorful birds, admire the monumental Government House or lay down in the vibrant grass and simply watch the ocean.

Those who are curious about the park’s history can take part in one of the guided tours of the park.

The Royal Botanic Gardens are open all year round from 7 AM, admission is free of charge.

Bondi Beach

No visit to Sydney could possibly be complete without a day at Bondi Beach. Often ranked as one of the best urban beaches in the world, Bondi Beach is the precious jewel of Sydney.

The busy sandy beach is the perfect place to swim or surf in the ocean, lay down and sunbathe or hop inside one of the numerous eateries and cafes along the streets. Hate it or love it, Bondi Beach is a piece of Sydney’s history and shouldn’t be missed when in town. 

Blue Mountains

Looking for a change of scenery? Drive up to the glamorous Blue Mountains, a National Park less than 2 hours west from the heart of Sydney. Admire the view from viewpoints high above the ground, ride down the world’s steepest railway or explore the eerie Jenolan Caves all within the park.

The winding roads around the park provide spectacular views and are extremely fun to drive around.

aerial view cliff in blue mountains national park nsw australia

Sydney is packed with attractions of all kinds, including a vibrant nightlife scene. That’s why Rentalmoose recommends spending at least one night in town before continuing the journey.

What are the best hotels in Sydney?

Park Hyatt

Luxury travelers should check out the Park Hyatt Sydney in the heart of town. The modern 5-star hotel offers a selection of elegant rooms and suites overlooking the Sydney Harbour or the city’s landmarks. Relax after a scorching day at the rooftop pool or indulge in fine dining cuisine at the award-winning restaurants.

Rushcutters Bay Vibe Hotel

Sydney is known for being one of the most travel destinations in the world, and the city’s hotels are no exception. In recent years, however, stylish budget-friendly hotels began popping up all over the city. One of the most interesting hotels in town that don’t break the bank has got to be the Rushcutters Bay Vibe Hotel.

The affordable 4-star hotel is located just a 5-minute drive away from the heart of Sydney and offers modern rooms and suites as well as a rooftop pool and a fitness center. A private car park is available at an extra cost. 

Next: Jervis Bay, 2 hours 40 minutes

Jervis Bay

jervis bay secluded beach turquoise water green plants white sand australia

Photography by Anna Palinska.

Depart Sydney and head south towards the city of Wollongong. The picturesque coastal road, known as the Grand Pacific Drive, is one of the most scenic driving roads in the country and serves as the perfect introduction to see the natural beauty of Australia. 

Grand Pacific Drive

Don’t hesitate to get off the main road and discover the region more thoroughly, there are hundreds of pristine beaches along the way and it is impossible to mention them all. To put it into perspective, Wollongong alone has nearly 20 wonderful beaches. And that’s just one of the cities you’ll be passing!

That said, a must-see on your drive to Melbourne is the famous Jervis Bay. The bay is lined with various unspoiled sandy beaches, safe turquoise water, and hiking trails through the exotic wilderness of the nearby forest.

Don’t skip the Callala Beach, the longest beach in the entire bay.

Huskisson

Pay a visit to Huskisson, the most adventure-packed town in Jervis Bay.

Looking to explore more of the underwater world? Go on a snorkeling tour with Woebegone Freedive.

Relax at the Shark Net Beach, or rent a kayak next door and make your way around the crystal-clear ocean on your own.

There are plenty of hotels in Huskisson if you decide to extend the trip and stay overnight.

Stonegrill Huskisson

Once you get hungry, drop by Stonegrill Huskisson for a tasty meal. Guests can choose from the a la carte menu or cook on the stone grill themselves. The delicious food paired with welcoming service makes the Stonegrill the go-to restaurant in Jervis Bay.

Open daily from 5:30 PM until 9 PM on weekdays and 10 PM on weekends.

Next: Batemans Bay, 1 hour 50 minutes

Batemans Bay

kangaroo looking at ocean pebbly beach australia batemans bay

Is Batemans Bay worth visiting?

Continue south along the highway for around 2 hours until you reach Batemans Bay. The vivid coastal town is one of the favorite getaways from Sydney, offering breathtaking beaches, delicious fresh seafood, and an overall cool, coastal vibe.

Murramarang National Park

When in Batemans Bay, you can’t skip the Murramarang National Park. The National Park is packed with wild forests full of colorful, exotic birds, as well as secluded beaches.

Don’t know what to see in Murramarang National Park? Visit the scenic Pebbly Beach. The wide beach is often completely free of tourists. If you’re lucky, you might spot the local kangaroos.

Your rental car can be dropped off by the campground, just a 5-minute walk from the beach itself. 

Cullendulla Creek Nature Reserve

Hikers will enjoy their time in Batemans Bay as well. Visit the Cullendulla Creek Nature Reserve, a large park near the bay which is absolutely perfect for hiking. The tracks will take you among mangroves, forests, gum trees and beaches.

Choose the Square Head Track 2, as this short trail is just below 2 kilometers round-trip and offers an easy hike between exotic gum trees, finishing with a perfect picnic spot on a secluded beach.

Sunday Market

If you’re looking to observe the local life, take part in the Batemans Bay Sunday Market. The market, held on the first and third Sundays of every month, is full of stalls selling all sorts of antiques, clothing, jewelry, and accessories of all kinds.

Wander around the stalls while listening to live music played by local artists, drink an aromatic coffee or indulge in some local delicacies.

The stalls are open between 8 AM and 1 PM. 

Rally of The Bay

Petrolheads are in for a treat, as Bateman Bay is home to the Rally of The Bay. Watch as powerful rally cars race across 7 different stages around the bay, filled with chicanes, skids and hops.

The adrenaline-packed rallying event takes place annually. Visit the official website for more information including the event schedule.

Where to stay in Batemans Bay?

BIG4

Traveling with kids? Consider spending the night at the BIG4 Batemans Bay. The beach resort offers well-equipped homes, along with a wide array of attractions such as an outdoor pool, a tennis court and a beachfront location.

A private car park is available at no extra cost.

Mariners on The Waterfront

If you would rather stay near the heart of Batemans Bay, book a room at Mariners on The Waterfront. The hotel is situated just a short walk away from local eateries and cafes, and 600 meters from the closest beach. The hotel features modern rooms, an outdoor pool and a free private car park.

Next: Narooma, 1 hour

Narooma

ocean waves hitting rocks narooma wagonga inlet australia beautiful beach

What can you see in Narooma?

Hop back on Princes Highway for another hour until you reach the scenic coastal town of Narooma. The serene Wagonga inlet, the town’s famous oyster festival, and heavenly beaches make Narooma an absolute must-see.

Wagonga Inlet

When in Narooma, be sure to visit the Wagonga inlet. The best way to explore the magnificent inlet is from the water.

Drop off your rental car by Riverside Drive and head go for a Walgonga Inlet Cruise. Choose from daily cruises between 1 and 3 hours each. Admire the best views during the sunset cruise, watch the sea life and photograph the scenic surroundings.

Check the pricing and schedules on their website.

Montague Island

Discover Montague Island, one of the most popular tourist attractions in this part of Australia. Choose from a selection of boat tours that best suits your needs, as the only way to access the island is by boat.

Whale watching out in the ocean, snorkeling with seals, or admiring Little Penguins or just some of the activities to choose from. Montague Island itself is known for its natural beauty and plenty of wildlife and should definitely be marked on your itinerary. 

Narooma Oyster Festival

Are you a seafood lover? If so, you should most definitely visit the town during the annual Narooma Oyster Festival. The award-winning festival is a celebration of the region’s yummy oysters and is perfect for foodies, families, and friends. Indulge in the locally-caught seafood while enjoying live music, purchase local art or simply admire the spectacular views.

Next: Eden, 1 hour 40 minutes

Eden

eden australia green fields and ocean dramatic coastline nsw

Continue along Princes Highway for a little over an hour and a half until you reach the charming town of Eden. Eden, famous for its fishing culture, whale watching tours, and of course, immaculate beaches.

Long Beach

Before you reach the city, take a slight detour off the highway and spend some time at Long Beach. The secluded beach (not to be confused with Long Beach in Batemans Bay, or the one in California) is overlooked by monumental Pinnacles.

Drop your car off at the free car park and walk directly to the beach, or hike along the Pinnacles Walk.

Hooked On Seafood

As Eden is known for its fish, it only makes sense to try some fresh seafood while you’re here. Head to Hooked On Seafood, the best restaurant in town. Choose from a selection of fish, shrimps, crab or oysters. Observe local fishermen as you feast on regional seafood right by the ocean.

Open daily between 9:30 AM and 7 PM. 

Whale-watching tours

Go for a whale-watching boat trip with Cat Balou Cruises. The operator offers a selection of sightseeing cruises between 2 and 4 hours each.

See playful dolphins in Twofolds Bay, admire the wilderness in secluded parts of the coast or watch enormous whales. No matter which cruise you pick, each one offers an unforgettable experience. Click here to book.

Next: Lakes Entrance, 2 hours 50 minutes

Lakes Entrance

lakes entrance town aerial view on a sunny day from ocean

Photography by Mark Wyld

Drive down Princes Highway and cross into Victoria until you reach Lakes Entrance, another major hotspot that you should visit during a road trip from Sydney to Melbourne.

What is there to see in Lakes Entrance?

Gippsland Lakes

Don’t skip the Gippsland Lakes, the most popular tourist destination in the region. Wander around the wilderness, rent a boat and cross the lakes yourself or have a go at fishing. If you’re lucky, you might spot the endangered Burrunan Dolphins.

Raymond Island

You’ve seen kangaroos at Pebbly Beach back in Batemans Bay, now it’s time for the second animal that’s become an easily recognizable symbol of Australia.

Take the free ferry from Paynesville to Raymond Island, which is home to Victoria’s largest koala population. Hike down the Koala trail and see if you can spot any of the cute furry animals.

You can also rent a bicycle and cycle around the area instead.

Ninety Mile Beach

Did you know that the beach by Lakes Entrance is one of the longest in the entire world? Check for yourself and visit the famous Ninety Mile Beach. Stroll down the golden sands, go for a dip in the turquoise ocean or try to spot whales and dolphins from the shore. 

Waterwheel TAV

Getting hungry? Visit the Waterwheel TAV, a local pub that offers tasty cuisine including steaks and pizza along with a wide selection of drinks. What’s more, guests can enjoy their meals while admiring the lakes at the pub’s outdoor terrace.

Open daily from 10 AM.

Spend the night at the Bellevue on the Lakes. The 4-star hotel features well-equipped modern rooms, an outdoor pool, a heated indoor pool and barbecue facilities available for the hotel guests. A car park is available free of charge.

Traveling on a tighter budget? Consider checking into the Lakes Waterfront Motel. The motel offers either rooms or standalone cottages with retro decor, an outdoor swimming pool, and an incredible waterfront location. Free parking is available.

Next: Wilsons Promontory National Park, 3 hours 30 minutes

Wilsons Promontory

wilsons promontory national park sand beach turquoise ocean australia

Photography by Siggy Nowak

Set off from Lakes Entrance and continue near the coast. You will arrive in Wilsons Promontory, one of Australia’s best national parks, in around three and a half hours.

What can you do at Wilsons Promontory?

Norman Bay

Relax at the picturesque Norman Bay. Go for a swim in the ocean, sunbathe on the shore or hike the local trails. Travelers can go for a canoe tour any day between December and January, or rent their own kayaks from First Track Adventures.

Surfing is allowed on one part of the beach.

Sightseeing Cruise

Drive down to Port Welshpool and park your rental car by the old ferry terminal building at the end of Lewis Street. Then, go for a sightseeing cruise to Refuge Cove.

The secluded spot is home to fascinating marine life, including sharks, seals, and dolphins. Cruises are available daily, check the schedule and pricing information here.

Hike up Mount Oberon

Looking for the best photo opportunity in Wilsons Promontory? Hike up to the summit of Mount Oberon. The trek up to the top does get exhausting, but the panoramic views from the 558-meter high summit are absolutely worth the effort!

Admire the Southernmost point of mainland Australia and the islands scattered around the crystal-clear waters. Watching the sunset from high above the ground is that extra touch that completes the magical experience.

Next: Phillip Island, 1 hour 50 minutes

Phillip Island

phillip island australia victoria green beach on cloudy day
Photography by Wei Chung Low

Is it worth going to Phillip Island?

Absolutely! Phillip Island is one of the favorite getaways for locals and tourists in Melbourne, and it is clear to see why. The island, apart from spectacular beaches and a dramatic coastline, is the perfect place to experience Victoria away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Don’t forget that it is one of the best places to spot Little Penguins, too.

Surfing

Phillip Island is known as one of the best spots in Australia when it comes to surfing, why not try this exciting watersport for yourself? Experienced surfers can hire equipment from Island Surfboards and hit the beaches.

Never tried surfing? Don’t know where to start? Island Surfboards offers surf lessons for intermediate surfers as well as beginners who have never touched a surfboard. Click here for details.

Cowes Beach

Relax at one of the beaches scattered around the island. One of the favorite beaches for swimming has got to be Cowes Beach, right by the vivid heart of Phillip Island. Go for a refreshing swim in the ocean, walk down the golden sands or wander around the seaside cafes and shops in Cowes.

Phillip Island Circuit

Motorsport fans are in for yet another trip during this road trip. The Phillip Island Circuit is a world-class racing track that hosts events such as the MotoGP, as well as a series of local automobile races and track days.

Watch as powerful cars or motorcycles lap the track, book a passenger hot lap around the track, or have a go at the famous circuit yourself in a go-kart.

Penguin Parade

When the sun is about to set, head to the Summerland Beach. Observe as little penguins return to their home after a day of fishing, known as the daily Penguin Parade. Watch one of Australia’s largest penguin colonies from the viewing platform, or peek at the animals from the underground viewing point.

Click here to book your tickets. 

Phillip Island is packed with adventures, that’s why Rentalmoose recommends stopping here for the night. There are plenty of elegant hotels, villas and holiday homes that offer spectacular ocean views, great service, and an amazing experience overall.

The Clifftop

Get the best panoramic views of the ocean when you check-in at the Clifftop. The hotel is situated by Smiths Beach and offers stylish rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, a beautiful shared space with a pool table and a cozy fireplace, as well as scenic natural surroundings.

A private car park is available free of charge. 

North Pier Hotel

If you’d rather stay in the vivid center of Cowes, consider booking a room at the North Pier Hotel. The budget-friendly, recently renovated hotel features modern rooms with ocean views, a beach just across the street as well as a convenient location in the heart of the Cowes township with lots of nearby eateries, shops, and bars.

Next: Melbourne, 1 hour 40 minutes

Melbourne

melbourne skyline aerial view melbourne skyscrapers during sunset victoria australia
Photography by Moerschy

What should you see in Melbourne?

Flinders Street Station

Head to downtown Melbourne and get a photo with the picturesque Flinders Street Station. The main railway station in town has been open since the early 1900s and now serves as a major tourist attraction due to its monumental facade.

The station is present on many Melbourne postcards and souvenirs, despite the fact that what’s inside is fairly uninteresting. Don’t expect to spend too much time here, as pretty as it is to look at it’s not much more than a busy train station.

Federation Square

Cross the street to enter Federation Square, the vibrant cultural heart of Melbourne. Admire the abstract art installations or the magnificent buildings surrounding the square.

Step inside one of the art galleries, such as the Australian Center for the Moving Image, and discover the country’s artistic history. Wander around the trendy cafes and bars, or simply sit down and take in the artsy vibe.

Your rental car can be dropped off at this Wilson Parking multi-story car park. 

Eureka Tower Skydeck

For the best view of the city, take the elevator up to the Skydeck on top of the 91-story Eureka Tower. Admire the panoramic views high above the ground, or try The Edge experience and enjoy the view from a glass cube suspended 300 meters above ground level, if you dare.

Open 7 days a week between noon and 8:30 PM.

A private car park is available right beneath the tower.

Great Ocean Road

Though the city itself is packed with attractions and various activities, a 90-minute drive west will take you to the beginning of the scenic Great Ocean Road, one of the world’s best scenic drives. Extend the trip and explore the natural beauty of the western coast of Victoria with our travel guide.

Where is the best Greek food in Melbourne?

Did you know that Melbourne has the most Greeks out of any city outside of Greece? With such a large Greek community, you definitely shouldn’t miss out on trying some authentic Greek cuisine when in Melbourne.

Stalactites

Head to Stalactites, a family-run restaurant with some of the finest Greek dishes in the country. Let the fresh meals take you on a journey to Greece.

Rentalmoose order tip: try souvlakis, grilled meat, or moussaka.

Don’t worry about coming too late or too early, the restaurant is open 24 hours a day, all week.

Where to stay in Melbourne?

QT Melbourne

Luxury seekers should consider booking a room at the QT Melbourne. The 5-star hotel features extremely stylish rooms and suites, as well as a fitness center.

The highlight of the hotel is its trendy rooftop venue where guests can grab a drink while admiring the city’s skyline. Add in the perfect location in the very heart of Melbourne and you will clearly see why this is one of the top picks in town.

A private car park is available at an extra cost.

Plough Hotel

Those looking for a more budget-friendly alternative should spend the night at the Plough Hotel. The hotel features well-equipped rooms, a convenient location near the city center and an outdoor terrace, as well as a bar and restaurant.

A private car park is available at no extra cost.

Looking for more attractions and hotels in Melbourne? Check out the Rentalmoose Great Ocean Road travel guide, where you will find more exciting things to do in Melbourne including trendy laneways, vibrant gardens and a local market.

Drop-Off

If you’ve decided to end your journey in Melbourne, Rentalmoose recommends dropping off your rental car directly at Melbourne Airport when you’re leaving. Browse through rental companies that support drop-off at another location, as well as airport drop-off, via Rentalmoose.

Win a free rental car!

The scenic journey between Sydney and Melbourne is packed with incredible natural beauty, secluded beaches, and dramatic coastal views, so I’m sure you will take lots of photos. Post your best photos from this trip with #Rentalmoose. Rentalmoose’s favorites will be rewarded with a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge!

kangaroo on green field australia pebbly beach

oludeniz-aerial-view-turquoise-coast

Road Trip Through The Sunny Turkish Riviera

A trip through the sunny Turkish Riviera with Rentalmoose

antalya to bodrum turkish riviera road trip itinerary schedule google maps


Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Antalya to Goynuk Canyon– 40km (25 miles) 📍 

Goynuk Canyon to Phaselis and Olympus– 60km (40 miles) 📍

Olympus to Adrasan– 10km (6 miles) 📍

Adrasan to Fethiye– 200km (125 miles) 📍

Fethiye to Marmaris– 140km (85 miles) 📍

Marmaris to Bodrum– 170km (105 miles) 📍

620km (385 miles) in total

Tags: Travel guide, Drop-off at another location, Turkey, Beaches, Summer, Short Trip

This travel guide takes you on an epic journey across the Turkish Riviera, starting in Antalya going to Bodrum through beautiful beaches, scenic driving roads, and authentic Turkish towns. 

The trip is roughly 600km in total and is divided into various sectors ranging anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 and a half hours. Rentalmoose recommends dedicating at least three days for this adventure, with two overnight stops along the way in Adrasan and Marmaris.

What is the Turkish Riviera?

 The Turkish Riviera, also called the Turquoise Coast, is a beautiful region in the southwestern part of the country. This part of Turkey is famous for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear water, exclusive hotels, delicious cuisine, and ancient history. It is vastly underrated among international tourists!

Why is the Turkish Riviera worth visiting?

 This part of Turkey is perfect for travelers who adore the sun, wonderful beaches with crystal clear water, and monumental views. The Riviera has a lot of various attractions for families, couples, groups of friends, and solo travelers. 

No matter if you choose to stay in a chic hotel or a budget hostel, there are plenty of options to choose from at different price points. 

Business Insider has referred to Bodrum (the finishing point of this journey) as the perfect under-the-radar luxury tourist destination for 2020, surpassing hotspots such as Bali or the Greek island of Mykonos.

Is Turkey safe for tourists?

The US Department of State has ranked Turkey the second-lowest level of risk for tourists, except for regions near the Syrian and Iraqi borders, which have gotten higher risk ratings. The western part of Turkey remains safe for tourists.

Turkey is, however, one of the most seismically active countries in the world. It is recommended to be familiar with the safety procedures if an earthquake does occur.

Why should you get a rental car in Turkey?

A rental car is definitely the go-to type of transportation for this trip. The points of interest along the way are located within driving distance of each other, and getting a car will be a lot more convenient than traveling by bus. 

The freedom to roam around, change courses, or extend your road trip is only available when you travel by car. There are also beautiful views along the coastal roads and the traffic isn’t as heavy as in major cities, such as Istanbul or Adana. Lastly, car rentals are relatively cheap in Turkey.

When booking your rental car, do not forget to add excess coverage provided by Rentalmoose for extra protection. After picking up the car, be sure to take check-in photos of the vehicle and qualify for a 50% discount from the excess cover fee.

Can tourists drive in Turkey?

Yes! As long as your driving license is in English, you can drive in Turkey with a foreign license for up to three months. If your license isn’t in English, you will have to get an International Driving Permit before heading off for holiday. Drivers younger than 18 are not permitted to drive in Turkey at all.

Check out this blog post to learn all you need to know about International Driving Permits.

The driving limits in Turkey are 50km/h in urban zones, 90km/h outside cities, and 120km/h on highways. Speeding is a common occurrence in Turkey, police pay a lot more attention to drink-driving rather than excessive speed.

If you do happen to get caught for speeding or a different minor offense, you might have to pay your fine on the spot. 

The fines for exceeding the limit by less than 30% are around 170TL (23 Euros). Getting caught driving at more than 30% above the limit will result in a 350TL (47 EUR) penalty.

Driving under the influence is not tolerated in Turkey. Police often carry out routine checks to check if drivers are sober, especially during the weekends. Do not drink and drive.

Traffic in Turkey is on the right side of the road.

HGS- The Highway Toll System in Turkey


There are no paid sectors along this road trip. However, your rental car will most likely come equipped with an electronic HGS device that will automatically be billed when passing paid highway sections. Most rental companies will sum up this fee when returning your car, the cost will depend on the amount of paid sections you have driven through.

There are no paid HGS sectors along this route.

When is the best time to visit Turkey?

Rentalmoose recommends visiting the Turkish Riviera between May and June or September and October. The weather is hot and sunny this time of the year, perfect for a swim in the Mediterranean or wandering around the streets of Bodrum. It is also the peak of the tourist season, so expect some destinations to get crowded. 

Antalya can get so hot during the summer that it can become unbearable for tourists who are not used to this type of harsh climate.

Antalya

altinkum beach in antalya turkey riviera coast colorful light

Altinkum beach in Antalya.

 Welcome to the sunny city of Antalya! Rentalmoose recommends picking up your rental car directly at the airport and heading down into this fascinating city.

What to do in Antalya?

Kaleiçi

Begin by exploring the coastal Old Town, the true heart of this city. Don’t hesitate to get lost among the historical Ottoman mansions, as the cobblestone streets are lined with cafes, restaurants and boutiques. The Kaleiçi district is the perfect place to discover a traditional part of Antalya.

Turkish Breakfast

Trying the world-renowned Turkish breakfast is a must during your stay in the Turquoise Coast. Head to Vista Restaurant, located steps away from the sea, for delicious breakfast and aromatic tea, all while enjoying panoramic views of the Mediterranean.

Konyaalti Beach

For a bit of relaxation, pay a visit to one of the city’s dreamy beaches. Rentalmoose recommends heading to Konyaalti Beach in the western part of town. 

This pebble beach stretches for around 5 kilometers and is known for its clean water and lots of cafes and restaurants in the area. 

It is popular among both tourists and locals, so it may not be perfect for travelers who are looking for a quiet and secluded spot.

This public beach can be accessed for free. You can also rent a sunbed for just a few Turkish Lira (between 1 and 2 Euros).

Next: Goynuk Canyon, 40 minutes

Goynuk Canyon Adventure Park

goynuk canyon turkey whitewashed stone turkish riviera

Goynuk Canyon near the resort town of Kemer.

After leaving Antalya, take the D400 highway south towards the resort city of Kemer. This coastal highway will take you to destinations within the Kemer region.

 Adventure junkies can stop at the Goynuk Canyon near Kemer, a local adventure park with zip lines and a canyoning safari. Thrilling zip lines combined with the park’s natural beauty make the Goynuk Canyon an unmissable spot.

 The attraction owners recommend staying in the park for at least 2 hours in order to fully enjoy it. Tickets can be purchased here or upon entrance.

Next: The ruins of Phaselis and Olympus, 1 hour

The historic ruins of Phaselis and Olympus

phaselis nothern harbor ruins on beach at turkish riviera

The remains of the northern harbor of Phaselis. Wikimedia Commons

Phaselis

 Phaselis was an ancient Greek and Roman city, its history dates back as far as 700 BC. The remaining ruins lie just 16 kilometers south of Kemer. 

Once there, you can discover the ruins of three ancient ports, aqueducts and many more. You can also go for a swim on the beach located within the ancient city. Admission costs less than 40 Turkish Lira (6 EUR) per person, tickets can be purchased directly upon entrance.

Next: Olympos, 40 minutes

Olympus

The Ruins of Olympus are older and more popular among tourists. Located just minutes from Adrasan, this ancient city cannot be missed. 

Its history dates back to the second century BC and has been abandoned since the 15th century. These ruins are not preserved as well as Turkey’s most popular ones, such as Ephesus or Göbekli Tepe, though they are definitely worth at least a short visit. 

You can also enjoy the local beach. Admission costs less than 30 Turkish Lira (4.5 EUR) per person and can be bought directly at the entrance, just like in Phaselis.

Next: Adrasan, 15 minutes

Adrasan

adrasan sandy secluded beach calm sea large mountains turkey riviera

A beautiful beach in Adrasan surrounded by monumental mountains.

Adrasan Sahil

 Continue along the D400 from the Phaselis until you reach the small village of Adrasan. Drive down to Adrasan Sahil, an absolutely breathtaking pebble beach surrounded by the mountains. 

Go for a swim in the crystal-clear water, or sunbathe on one of many sunbeds, available for just a couple Turkish Lira (below 2 Euros).

Admission is free of charge, you can leave your car directly next to the beach for just a few Turkish Lira (less than 2 Euros) per day.

 Where to stay in Adrasan?

ADA Boutique Hotel

Rentalmoose recommends staying at the ADA Boutique Hotel, a boutique hotel just a minute away from the beach. The hotel features a pool and restaurant, as well as free parking for guests.

Arikanda River Garden Hotel

Another hotel worth considering in Adrasan is the Arikanda River Garden Hotel. This cozy hotel consists of just 10 rooms. The location is perfect, just steps away from the private hotel beach.

There is a beautiful restaurant atop the river that serves breakfast as well as traditional Turkish dishes, along with plenty of options for vegetarians.

Next: Fethiye, 4 hours

Fethiye

This is the longest non-stop driving segment of this trip. Leave Adrasan and head west on the D400 for around 4 hours, until you reach the picturesque Butterly Valley.

 If you wish to make a stop along the way, Rentalmoose recommends going to Kaş. Head into the heart of this village and step inside Natur-El, the best restaurant in town. Have a sip of Turkish coffee or a round of delicious Turkish breakfast.

Kelebekler Vadisi- a dreamy beach in Fethiye

kelebekler vadisi butterfly valley turkey aerial view secluded sandy beach boats turquoise sea turkey riviera
Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons.

 The Butterfly Valley is a stunning valley near Fethiye. Don’t get confused by the name, as the butterflies have become a rare sight. 

Pay a visit to the Kelebekler Vadisi beach, where you will find turquoise water just like in the Maledives. Visit the beachside bar for a refreshing beverage or snack. 

This small spot can get crowded during peak season, it is definitely not the most secluded beach in Turkey. As Kelebekler Vadisi is a public beach, entry is free of charge. Sunbeds are available during the season for under 10 Turkish Lira.

Next: Blue Lagoon, 15 minutes

Blue Lagoon- The Mediterranean Maldives

oludeniz blue lagoon aerial view turkey turquoise sea sandy beach turkish riviera

Aerial view of the Oludeniz Blue Lagoon.

The Blue Lagoon is perhaps the most popular tourist hotspot in the Fethiye region and one of the most valuable gems in all of Turkey. 

The lagoon is famous for its sandy beaches and clear, turquoise waters. Rent a canoe and travel across the lagoon, or stay on dry land and sunbathe. 

Head into the inner side of the lagoon, where you will find authentic Turkish restaurants, cafes, and bars. The water is full of wildlife and available attractions include snorkeling and paragliding. 

The Blue Lagoon is in a protected National Park, entrance costs below 10 Turkish Lira (less than 1.5 EUR) and can be paid in cash upon entrance. Parking costs around 30 Lira (4.5 EUR).

Next: Marmaris, 2 hours 10 minutes

Marmaris

marmaris town skyline panoramic view with sea in background turkish riviera

The city of Marmaris on the shore of the Mediterranean. Shot by Alpcem/Pixabay.com

 Drive along the D400 for about two hours until you reach the city of Marmaris.

What to do in Marmaris?

Marmaris Castle

Begin by exploring the center of the city. Park your car next to the Marmaris Castle and stroll around the area on foot. This castle is one of just a few in Turkey that has been turned into a fascinating museum.

History lovers can enjoy the interior daily from 8:30 AM to 7 PM, with admission tickets priced at 14TL that can be purchased upon entrance. 

Grand Bazaar

Shopping fans can walk across the center to the Grand Bazaar. This market is filled with shops where you can purchase all sorts of souvenirs, jewelry, leather goods, and clothing. 

Cleopatra Island

 Tourists can also take a day trip to the popular Cleopatra Island. Day trips by boats are operated by various carriers directly from the city, you can purchase tickets directly when boarding the boat. There are different durations of the trip, depending on which operator you choose. Pricing starts at 100TL per person.

What are the best hotels in Marmaris?

If you are planning to stay the night in Marmaris, which Rentalmoose highly recommends, consider staying in one of the hotels listed below.

Casa De Maris

 Casa De Maris is a luxury 5-star resort hotel meters away from the beach. It offers chic rooms, a big pool, unique architecture, and a complimentary carpark. Book your room here.

Uysal Beach Motel

Uysal Beach Motel is a cheaper alternative within the city. This hotel is directly on the seashore and includes air-conditioned rooms, free parking and a bar on the ground floor. Book your room here.

Next: Bodrum, 1 hour 20 minutes

Bodrum

bodrum whitewashed traditional buildings and blue sea boats turkish riviera

 The final leg of this journey goes from Marmaris to Bodrum. Take the D550 up north and then continue via the D330 until you reach the city.

What to see in Bodrum?

 Bodrum is the go-to tourist hotspot in the Turkish Riviera. Luxury hotels, incredibly fresh seafood, all-around shopping, and a vivid nightlife scene, you name it. Bodrum has it all.

Bodrum Castle

 Begin by strolling around the Bodrum Castle and port. This part of town is full of life, packed with cafes, shops, and restaurants.

You can take various day trips by boat straight from the port, going to secluded bays and islands. There are many operators to choose from, Rentalmoose recommends going with My Way Boat Trip.

Karafaki Restaurant

 For lunch or dinner, head down to the Karafaki Restaurant, just 30 minutes away from the heart of Bodrum. Dining with a panoramic view of the Aegean Sea is a truly mesmerizing experience.

Huqqa

If you fancy trying out Hookah, there are many shisha bars to choose from. Rentalmoose recommends Huqqa Bodrum, one of the best hookah cafe chains in the world.

There are tons of different flavors to choose from, along with colorful drinks and food.

Bodrum is filled with attractions and spots worth visiting, so Rentalmoose highly advises staying in town for a couple of days to experience what it has to offer.

Drop-off

Your rental car can be dropped off directly at the Milas-Bodrum Airport for maximum comfort. Rental companies that support drop-off in a different location can be found via Rentalmoose.

Win a free rental car! 

Be sure to take photos if you choose to go on this trip. The best ones will be rewarded with a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge for your future trips! Click here to find out more. 

interlaken-aerial-view-summer

Scenic Road Trip Around The Swiss Alps

Scenic Road Trip Around The Swiss Alps

swiss alps road trip itinerary geneva to interlaken andermatt st moritz zurich google maps

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Geneva to Chillon Castle- 100km (60 miles) 📍 

Chillon Castle to Interlaken- 160km (100 miles) 📍

Interlaken to Andermatt- 120km (75 miles) 📍

Andermatt to Lugano- 110km (70 miles) 📍

Lugano to St Moritz- 120km (75 miles) 📍

St Moritz to Zurich- 200km (120 miles) 📍

810km (500 miles) total

Tags: Travel guide, Drop-off at another location, Switzerland, Alps, Winter

This guide takes you through Switzerland, one of the most scenic regions in Europe. The trip begins in the city of Geneva and continues across the lake and Interlaken with an overnight stop in Andermatt. On day two, head to Lake Lugano before arriving in St. Moritz. The road trip finishes in Zurich.

The trip is a little over 800 kilometers in total and is divided into segments ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes each. In order to discover the most of each destination, Rentalmoose recommends adding at least one overnight stop along the way, plus a night at Geneva and Zurich. If you have the time, add extra overnight stops in Interlaken and St. Moritz.

Rentalmoose recommends- Trip Extensions to Germany

The Black Forest

Do you want to explore the region even further? This road trip can be merged with our Black Forest Road Trip. Once you arrive in Zurich, continue to Basel and cross into Germany to discover the beautiful region of Schwarzwald.

Munich and its surroundings

Alternatively, you can head up to Munich and explore the best of Bavaria and Austria, including the fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle. Click here for the guide.

Is Switzerland expensive to visit?

Switzerland is the continuous leader as the world’s most expensive country to visit. Zurich and Geneva are also among the most expensive cities to live in on the entire planet. It’s best to budget your Switzerland trip carefully.

What is the best month to visit Switzerland?

Winter and summer are both good parts of the year to visit Switzerland. Between May and September, most of the snow has melted away and the hiking trails are open to the public, cable cars are in service and the weather is more moderate.

The peak of the winter season is around January and February.

Why should you get a rental car in Switzerland?

Despite high petrol prices and strict traffic laws, a rental car is the best way of getting around during this trip. There are lots of scenic driving roads along the way, and the freedom of modifying the route can only be achieved by traveling in a car.

Various rental companies support drop-off at a different location, browse through available options on Rentalmoose.  

When booking your rental car, do not forget to add excess coverage provided by Rentalmoose for extra protection. After picking up the car, be sure to take check-in photos of the vehicle and qualify for a 50% discount from the excess cover fee.

Can tourists drive in Switzerland?

Absolutely! Switzerland is a part of the open-border Schengen Zone, this means crossing countries is quick and hassle-free. However, if your license isn’t in English, German, French or Italian you are required to have an International Driving Permit when driving in Switzerland. 

Check out this Rentalmoose blog post to learn all you need to know about International Driving Permits.

Swiss motorway vignette system

In order to drive on Swiss highways, cars, as well as motorcycles, are required to have a vignette. Rental cars available in the country have a vignette already, so you do not need to purchase one. For extra safety, it is best to double-check with the rental company before setting off.

Are traffic laws strict in Switzerland?

Switzerland is generally regarded as a strict country, and the nation’s traffic laws are no exception. Driving even just a few kilometers over the speed limit can land you a speeding ticket, and the roads are filled with speed cameras. When driving in Switzerland, be sure to follow all of the traffic rules carefully.

Real-life example: a student who drove around 20km/h over the speed limit got a minimum ticket of 2500€. Speeding ticket penalties depend on your income. The higher the salary, the bigger the ticket.

Geneva

geneva switzerland city seen from lake clear day water fountain

Luis Francisco Pizarro Ruiz/Pixabay.com

Welcome to the picturesque city of Geneva, situated at the western tip of the country. The city is a hotspot for luxury shopping and fine dining.

What is there to do in Geneva?

Patek Philippe Museum

Fans of prestigious watches should be familiar with Geneva, as some of the world’s most expensive timepieces are manufactured around the city. Pay a visit to the Patek Philippe Museum, where visitors can learn about five centuries of watchmaking.

The museum is located within the heart of Geneva, you can stroll around the area or go for a coffee in one of the nearby cafes.

As of 2020, the Patek Philippe Museum admission tickets cost below 11 euros.

Geneva International Motor Show

If you’re visiting during the beginning of March, Rentalmoose highly recommends going to see the Geneva International Motor Show. The GIMS is among the most important automotive events in the entire world, guests from across the planet come to admire hundreds of cars that are showcased during the show.

Parking is available around Palexpo, where the show takes place. The annual expo can get quite full, it is best to buy your admission tickets in advance.

Parc des Eaux-Vives

Go for a relaxing walk in Parc des Eaux-Vives, a lakeshore park on the east side of the city. Inside the park, there is a monumental residence that was built in the mid-1700s that has been turned into a hotel and a prestigious restaurant.

The upper side of the park is home to the Geneva Tennis Club

Where can you find the best food in Geneva?

Gusto

Once you get hungry, go for lunch at Gusto, a fine-dining Italian restaurant in the Metropole Hotel. The upscale venue is the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a meeting. Open Monday to Friday till 10 PM.

Where should you stay in Geneva?

La Reserve Geneva

Sophisticated travelers should consider staying the night at La Reserve Geneva. The luxurious 5-star hotel offers a seaside villa rental, chic rooms and suites as well as a pool, and a wellness center. Free parking is available for hotel guests.

Hotel Des Tourelles

Guests on a tighter budget can choose the Hotel Des Tourelles, a 2-star hotel with an amazing location right in the vibrant heart of Geneva. The hotel may not have luxury amenities, but it is valued for excellent service and its perfect location. Parking is available at an extra charge.

Next: Geneva to Chillon Castle, 1 hour 20 minutes

Chillon Castle

lake geneva boat with swiss flag approaching chillon castle switzerland

Pemaze/Pixabay.com

Rentalmoose recommends setting off from Geneva early in the morning. Then, head east along Lake Geneva until you reach a historic structure on the edge of the lake. The castle may look familiar to Disney fans, as Prince Eric’s castle from Little Mermaid was inspired by the Chillon Castle.

The Castle

This magical structure dates back to the medieval times, it was designed by James of Saint George. Inside the castle, there are thousands of historic items on display.

The castle is open to visitors every day of the week between 9:30 AM and 5 PM, admission tickets are priced at below 15 CHF (14 EUR) and can be purchased either online or at the entrance.

Complimentary parking is available by the castle.

Clos de Chilon- local wine

The Chillon Castle is home to local red and white stored in the castle’s cellars, made from grapes grown at the local vineyards. Clos de Chilon can be purchased within the castle, guests can also book a guided wine tour that includes wine-tasting.

Bella Vista

Bella Vista is a delicious Italian restaurant situated practically across the street from the castle. Head inside for a fresh pizza or dessert while enjoying panoramic views of Lake Geneva.

Rentalmoose order tip: Give Bella Vista’s pizzas a shot, you will not be disappointed!

Next: Interlaken, 1 hour 40 minutes

Interlaken

interlaken in the summer seen from above the alps mountains town and blue lake switzerland

Enrique Lopez Garre/Pixabay.com

Why is Interlaken famous?

Interlaken is regarded as Switzerland’s capital for adventure junkies, as there are lots of action sports opportunities available throughout the small town. Its picturesque surroundings make Interlaken heaven for photographers, make sure to bring your camera along!

Outdoor Interlaken

Thrill-seekers should have a look at Outdoor Interlaken before heading to town. The company offers various adventure-packed activities for both summer and winter, ranging from canyoning and skydiving to skiing and winter sports. Take a look at their official website for more information on available activities.

Unterseen

Visit the picturesque village of Unterseen for an authentic, historic feel of Switzerland. Some of the beautiful historic buildings are dating back to the middle ages.

Pay a visit to the Stadtkeller, where you might just run into a live musical or theatrical performance. 

Jungfraujoch Summit

Head up the mountains to Jungfraujoch- The Top of Europe. The highlight of the Alps is surrounded by glaciers and snow, making for a truly unforgettable view. Head into one of the shops or admire the spectacular views from the observation deck. 

Schilthorn Summit

James Bond fans should also visit the summit at Schilthorn. The unbeatable panoramic views can be observed from the viewing deck atop the mountain.

Schilthorn was one of the filming locations for the 1969 “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, making it a must-see for James Bond fans.

Rentalmoose pro tip: The Jungfraujoch, as well as Schlithorn, can only be accessed by rail, park your car near the Lauterbrunnen railway station and take a train up the mountains.  

La Terrasse

If you’re craving a tasty meal, go to La Terrasse located within the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel. The upscale restaurant offers a wide selection of regional dishes that changes every season, along with a separate menu for desserts.

Next: Andermatt, 1 hour 40 minutes

Andermatt

andermatt ski resort town in winter with alps in background

The driving time from Interlaken to Andermatt highly depends on the season, the fastest route goes along the A11, though the pass is only open around the summer.

During the colder months, taking the A8 is the fastest.

The mountain village situated nearly 1500 meters above sea level is home to central Switzerland’s largest ski resort. The town’s narrow streets are lined with traditional buildings, local eateries, and shops. Andermatt is truly the perfect mountain getaway.

Where can you ski in Andermatt?

Ski Arena Andermatt-Sedrun

Start at the Ski Arena Andermatt-Sedrun. Andermatt is a famous ski destination in the Swiss Alps and there are various resorts to choose from.

The two ski areas have over 50 different slopes, along with facilities such as numerous sun terraces and restaurants. Skiing and snowboarding equipment can be rented by the slopes.

Passes can be purchased online.

Gotthard Pass

Drive up the scenic Gotthard Pass, an absolutely breathtaking driving road outside of the village. The road is favored by petrolheads, bikers, cyclists, and hikers from around the world.

Drive across the Tremola and pass the Devil’s Bridge and admire the out-of-this-world scenery. Post photos from the Pass with #rentalmoose, the best ones will be rewarded with a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge!

Andermatt Golf Course

If you’re visiting during the Summer, play a round of golf at the local Andermatt Golf Course. The 18-hole course is beautifully designed between the mountains and offers a picturesque setting during your game, with slight winds as an additional challenge.

Experienced players can participate in one of the tournaments.

Where to stay in Andermatt?

Andermatt is perfect for luxury hotel fans, as one of the best hotels in the country is located near the center of the village.

The Chedi Andermatt

The Chedi Andermatt is a prestigious 5-star hotel that offers beautiful rooms with panoramic views, as well as complimentary amenities such as spa and pool access, a fireplace in each room, 7 bars and restaurants and “a ski butler service”. 

Schweizerhof Hotel

A relatively affordable, at least for Swiss standards, alternative is the Schweizerhof Hotel. The hotel consists of 28 cozy rooms, as well as an atmospheric restaurant that serves delicious regional dishes.

Next: Lugano, 1 hour 30 minutes

Lake Lugano

lake lugano large mountain flowers calm lake colorful sunset switzerland

Nicola Giordano/Pixabay.com

Lugano is a beautiful lake in southern Switzerland surrounded by monumental mountains, often regarded as one of the most beautiful destinations in the country. A visit to this part of Switzerland wouldn’t be complete without a stop here!

What to see in Lugano?

Piazza Riforma

Begin by exploring the cute town of Lugano. Leave your car at Autosilo Motta, a large multi-story car park close to the heart of the city (the cost is around 25CHF for a day).

Stroll around the narrow streets, visit some of the local shops or cafes placed along the Piazza Riforma.

Trattoria Galleria

Head to Trattoria Galleria for a delicious Italian lunch, a short walk away from Riforma. Afterall, Lugano is a mix of Swiss and Italian cultures and it is reflected in the local cuisine.

The Lakeside Promenade

After lunch, continue walking south until you reach the shore. The clear view of the lake and the mountains surrounding it is truly unreal.

Admire the scenery while walking along Lugano’s beautiful promenade.

Then, turn away from the lake and into Via Nassa, the town’s go-to shopping destination. Some of the stores here date beyond the 17th century.

FoxTown

Shopping freaks should consider paying FoxTown a visit. The luxury outlet is filled with high-quality clothing and accessories at discounted prices. A visit to FoxTown requires a minor, 20-minute detour south towards Italy.

The outlet is open daily between 11 AM to 7 PM

Gandria

Leave the town and drive a couple of minutes west until you reach Gandria, a beautiful untouched lakeside village. The beautiful facades of well-preserved historic buildings make Gandria a beautiful backdrop for photography, located at the foot of Monte Brè.

Next: Saint Moritz, 2 hours 40 minutes

Saint Moritz

saint moritz ski resort hotel in winter frozen lake alps in background switzerland

Pitsch/Pixabay.com

The next stop on your journey is Saint Moritz, a prestigious alpine resort town favored by the rich and famous. The town’s elegance does come at a high price, as Saint Moritz is repeatedly rated as one of the most expensive holiday destinations in the world.

What can you do in Saint Moritz?

Ski Resorts

If you’re visiting St. Moritz in the winter season, you should definitely experience what the town is famous for: ski resorts.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a pro, a beginner or anywhere in between, St. Moritz is the place to go. 58 ski lifts and 350 kilometers of slopes make the town absolute heaven for winter thrill-seekers.

Detailed information about ski resorts can be found here.

Some tourists believe that a ski resort town doesn’t offer much other than slopes. While this may be true for some towns, it is certainly not the case with Saint Moritz.

What can you do in St. Moritz except skiing?

Ice Skating

Every winter, the frozen lake by the town is transformed into a natural ice rink. Skating on a frozen lake while admiring the magnificent glaciers is another unforgettable experience during this road trip.

What’s more, the natural ice rink is very affordable. Admission costs below 15 CHF per day, children can enter for half the price.

Skates can be rented directly at the rink for around 5 CHF. Visiting in the summer? Head to Eisarena Ludains by the lake for an artificial rink open all year long.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking fans will find themselves in paradise upon arriving in Saint Moritz, as the resort town is home to thrilling world-class mountain biking trails. Choose from hundreds of kilometers of trails, you can find the best ones in Red Bull’s MTB Destination Guide

Mountain Biking Equipment Rental

Do you want to try out mountain biking? You can visit the St Moritz Bike Center, where visitors can rent different types of bicycles and necessary equipment. Pick up your bike and head up to the mountains!

Mountain Restaurants

If you’re looking for a more relaxing way to enjoy the panoramic views, visit one of the Mountain Restaurants by Suvretta House Hotel. Restaurants Chasellas and Trutz both offer breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps as well as delicious cuisine.

Which restaurant to pick?

Trutz features a variety of traditional Swiss dishes, while Chasellas has more of a Mediterranean cuisine.

Where to stay in St. Moritz?

Badrut’s Palace

Luxury seekers can spend the night at the prestigious Badrutt’s Palace. This extraordinary 5-star hotel has been welcoming guests since 1896, making it one of the oldest hotels in Europe!

Its impressive history is present throughout the property. The hotel’s restaurant (Le Restaurant), for example, was once home to Europe’s first indoor tennis court.

The legendary property features classy rooms overlooking the mountains, 6 restaurants, an indoor pool, a spa and fitness center and more.

As expected, all this luxury comes at a hefty price tag, it most certainly isn’t the top pick among budget travelers.

Next: Zurich, 2 hours 50 minutes

Zurich

zurich old town bridge medieval church clock tower during sunset switzerland

Jorg Vieli/Pixabay.com

The last segment of this trip is a drive to Zurich, the global capital for banks and financial institutions. The city, however, has a lot more in stock for you.

What is Zurich famous for?

Zurich is known around the world as the go-to Swiss city for luxury shopping and fine dining, banking and consuming as much Swiss chocolate as possible. The city is also very historical, with tens of museums and art galleries scattered around the streets.

Seebad Enge

Are you in town during the summer? If so, go to Seebad Enge, one of the city’s best spots where you can go for a swim in Lake Zurich. The water in the lake is very clean, and the surroundings make for extraordinary views.

There is also a sauna available during the winter, as well as a restaurant and bar.

Admission costs below 10 CHF per person as of 2020.

Bahnhofstrasse

Don’t forget to visit Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich’s vivid hotspot for shopping. Walk down the busy streets, get some of the local delicacies at numerous cafes and bakeries or shop for a luxury Swiss timepiece.

If you happen to be in Zurich during the Christmas season, you can admire the magical Christmas decorations that are lighting up the street or visit one of the seasonal Christmas markets.

Are you looking for more attractions in Zurich? Click here to read more about the city, including the best restaurant in town. You don’t want to miss it during your visit!

What are the best hotels in Zurich?

Widder Hotel

For your night in Zurich, consider staying at the prestigious Widder Hotel in the heart of Zurich’s Old Town. The 5-star hotel is situated in a 15th-century townhouse and is home to one of the best bars in town. Unique decor in each room, fine dining, and a beautiful library are also parts of the unique experience.

A private car park is available for hotel guests.

Kameha Grand

A more affordable alternative is the Kameha Grand. This 4-star boutique hotel is a part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection and features a stylish, Middle-eastern inspired decor and a good location near the airport, as well as very good service.

A private car park is available. 

Drop-off

Your rental car can be dropped off directly at the Zurich Airport for maximum comfort. Rental companies that support drop-off in a different location can be found via Rentalmoose.

Win a free rental car! 

Be sure to take photos if you choose to go on this trip. Post your best pictures online using #Rentalmoose. Our favorite ones will be rewarded with a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge for your future trips! Click here to find out more. 

gdansk-old-town-cobblestone-road

Summer Getaway in Poland

A Summer Getaway in Poland

poland road trip itinerary warsaw to masurian lake district malbork castle gdansk torun lodz google maps plan

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Warsaw to Mikołajki- 220 kilometers (140 miles)📍  

Mikołajki to Malbork– 240 kilometers (150 miles)📍  

Malbork to Gdańsk– 60 kilometers (40 miles)📍  

Gdańsk to Toruń– 170 kilometers (100 miles)📍  30 PLN Highway toll (6.6 EUR)

Toruń to Łódź– 180 kilometers (110 miles)📍  

Łódź to Warsaw– 130 kilometers (80 miles)📍  

1000 kilometers (620 miles) in total

Tags: Travel guide, Poland, Summer

When planning a summer trip in Europe, you probably don’t think of Poland. In reality, Poland is the perfect under-the-radar tourist destination in this part of Europe. 

Wander around the world’s biggest castle, admire the Leaning Tower in Torun or party till the morning in Lodz’s renovated factories. Discover the best of what Poland has to offer in this travel guide!

This travel guide takes you on a journey through central and northern Poland. Your adventure begins in Warsaw, the country’s capital.

After spending a night in town, drive across the picturesque Masurian Lake District and relax in Mikołajki, a local resort town. Then, head to the Tricity, stopping at the world’s biggest castle in Malbork on the way.

After a memorable night in Tricity, drive south to the Medieval Town of Torun and explore the historical streets. Make an overnight stop in the trendy city of Lodz before returning to Warsaw.

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

The driving distance is nearly a thousand kilometers in total and the route is divided into shorter segments, each one takes around two hours to complete. Rentalmoose recommends dedicating at least four days for this trip, with overnight stops in Mikołajki, Gdańsk, and Łódź. If you have the time, add extra nights in Gdańsk.

Rentalmoose recommends- Trip Extension to Berlin

Your journey in this part of Europe doesn’t have to end! Check out the Berlin to Warsaw travel guide that will take you through southern and western parts of Poland, before finishing off in the capital of Germany.

Discover the underground chambers of a fascinating salt mine, admire the medieval architecture in the Old Towns and find the best Kebap in Berlin. Click here for details.

When is the best time to visit Poland?

The weather is the hottest during the summer (late June-August), if you want to swim in the Baltic Sea it’s best to go during those months. However, keep in mind that it is also the peak of the tourist season.

The beaches around Gdańsk, as well as the Masurian Lake District, both get very crowded during the summer.

Go in the first weeks of June or the beginning of September, when you can still catch a glimpse of the summer weather without the hordes of tourists.

Why should I book a rental car in Poland?

As the points of interest are all scattered within driving distance of each other, getting a rental car is the most convenient way of getting around during this trip.

The roads in Poland are well-maintained (except for some B-Roads in remote parts of the country), and the route across the Masurian Lakes is quite scenic. What’s more, the ability to freely alter the itinerary on the go can only be achieved when traveling by car.

For extra peace of mind during your road trip, Rentalmoose recommends adding excess coverage when booking your rental car. Once you’ve picked up the car, don’t forget to take photos of the car to qualify for a 50% discount from the excess coverage fee.

Can tourists drive in Poland? 

Absolutely! If your driving license was issued in an EU country, you can drive in Poland without any limitations. Driving licenses issued in countries that are mentioned in the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (list here) are valid for 6 months, as long as the driver is over 18.

 If your driving license was issued in a different country, you will have to obtain an International Driving Permit before coming. To learn more about International Driving Permits, check out this blog post.

Poland, is a member of the open-border Schengen zone, meaning crossing the borders is quick and hassle-free shall you extend the trip to other European nations.

Check out this blog post to read about tips that will definitely come in handy when driving in Poland, including information about speed limits, penalties for offenses and common roadside scams. You definitely want to read this post before going on a road trip to Poland.

Traffic in Poland is on the right-hand side of the road.

Are highways in Poland free?

Some of the highway segments in Poland are paid. The total toll cost for this trip doesn’t surpass 30 PLN or 6.6 Euros. Fees can be paid directly at the toll gates scattered along the A1 highway, either in Polish Zloty, Euro or US Dollars. Click here for the current fee calculator on the A1.

Warsaw

warsaw old town medieval buildings royal castle zygmunt column people poland

Photography by Andrzej B.

This trip begins in the capital of Poland, welcome to fascinating Warsaw! This history-rich city is an up-and-coming tourist hotspot in this part of Europe. For maximum convenience, pick up your car directly from the Warsaw Chopin Airport and head into the city.

Is Warsaw worth visiting?

Warsaw is a fascinating city with unique art galleries, museums, and trendy nightlife spots. It is the biggest city in Poland, it is most certainly worth a visit! Although not as popular among tourists as Kraków.

Wilanów Palace

Visiting the Wilanów Palace is a must when in Warsaw. The monumental structure is surrounded by a colorful park which is perfect for an afternoon stroll. Travelers can step inside and admire the glamorous interior while learning about local history at a selection of exhibitions.

Purchase your tickets here. Prices vary depending on the exhibition you decide to visit.

Warsaw Rising Museum

Don’t miss the Warsaw Rising Museum, where you can discover the most devastating parts of the nation’s history. The interactive exhibition showcases all aspects of life during the uprising, including day-to-day life during the war.

Admission tickets can be purchased either online via the official website or directly upon entrance. Entry tickets cost under 30 PLN per person (6.5 EUR). 

Where to eat out in Warsaw?

Na Lato

Once you get hungry, consider going to Na Lato for lunch. The restaurant offers a wide selection of delicious dishes, including pizza, fish and chips or burgers. Enjoy your meal at the seasonal outdoor terrace.

What’s more, the trendy restaurant transforms into a club on weekend nights. Open until midnight on weekdays and up to 5 AM on weekend nights.

Rentalmoose order tip: Try Na Lato’s delicious pizzas. Though not a regional dish, it is truly delicious!

The Christmas Market

Are you in Warsaw around Christmas? Be sure to head to the Old Town and attend the charming Christmas Market. Wander around the stalls selling Christmas decorations, mulled wine, juicy grilled sausages, and accessories of all sorts.

Christmas at the Wilanów Palace

Alternatively, go to the garden by the Wilanów Palace to see a magical light display. Admission to the Warsaw Christmas Market is free, meanwhile the Royal Garden of Light at the Wilanów Palace costs around 20zł per person (4.4 EUR).

Warsaw is packed with adventures and things to do, including a vibrant nightlife scene, that’s why Rentalmoose highly recommends spending at least one night in town before departing further.

What are the best hotels in Warsaw?

Bristol Hotel

Luxury seekers should consider checking into the Bristol Hotel, a member of Marriott’s Luxury Collection. The historic 5-star hotel features elegant rooms and suites, an indoor pool, a spa and wellness center and a perfect location along Krakowskie Przedmieście, just a short walk away from the Old Town.

Hampton by Hilton

Traveling on a tighter budget? Spend the night at the Hampton by Hilton near the center of Warsaw. The 3-star hotel offers well-equipped rooms, a complimentary breakfast, and a convenient location near the heart of Warsaw all at a reasonable price tag.

Looking for more fun attractions in Warsaw? Check out the Berlin to Warsaw travel guide, where you can find more things to see in town, such as the wonderful medieval Old Town or a trendy eatery in the heart of the city.

Next: Mikołajki, 3 hours

Mikołajki

masurian lake district and forest at sunset aerial view poland nature

Photography by Marcin Lewicki.

Leave Warsaw and hop on the S8 expressway up north to the scenic Masurian Lake District. After around three hours, you will reach the cute resort town of Mikołajki.

The Sailing Village

As Mikołajki is the Polish hotspot for sailing, you should definitely check out the Sailing Village in the harbor. Stroll down the picturesque promenade lined with shops and eateries, step inside one of the restaurants and enjoy fresh fish as you observe sailing boats pulling in and out of the busy harbor.

The public beach

Cross the bridge and go for a dip in the lake at the public beach. Your rental car can be left at the designated on-street parking spots along Michała Kajki street. Alternatively, try this car park.

Watersport and yacht charters

Adrenaline junkies will be happy to hear that there are plenty of jetski, boat and paddleboat rentals available in the Sailing Village.

Experienced sailors can also charter a sailing yacht in advance and sail out on the beautiful lake. Most boats can be rented directly from the jetty, though some may require an upfront reservation. 

Stare Sady- Peaceful Chillout by the lake

Relax at Stare Sady, a calm lakeshore resort a few kilometers north of the busy center of Mikołajki. Go for a swim at the sandy beach, grab lunch at the local restaurant or head out onto the lake and try flyboarding or waterskiing.

Where to eat in Mikołajki?

For lunch, consider heading to the New Island across next to Mikołajki’s Public Beach. The restaurant is a part of the 5-star Hotel Mikołajki and offers a delicious, upscale dining experience with unbeatable views of the lake.

During the summer, guests can dine in the seasonal outdoor area. The New Island is open daily from 1 PM to 11 PM.

masurian lake district poland rural b-road colorful fields and large trees

What are the best hotels in Mikołajki?

Hotel Mikołajki

Looking for the best luxury accommodation in Mikołajki? Check-in at Hotel Mikołajki, an elegant hotel next to the heart of town. The 5-star property features well-equipped rooms with lake views, 2 pools, a spa and wellness center and onsite restaurants, as well as a bar with a pool table and bowling alleys.

Hotel Santa Monica

Hotel Santa Monica is a budget-friendly alternative to some of the more expensive hotels in the area. The 3-star hotel offers spacious rooms and an outdoor pool at an affordable price. A car park is available at an extra cost.

Next: Malbork, 2 hours 40 minutes

Malbork

malbork castle surrounded by water large palace poland

Photography by Jan Nijman.

Depart Mikołajki and drive west along the twists and turns towards Malbork, a city that is home to the largest castle in the world measured by land area.

The largest castle in the world

The Malbork Castle and fortress is considered the largest in the world measured by land area. Its history dates back to the 13th century when it was constructed by the Teutons. Today, the castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and welcomes curious visitors and tourists.

Admire the castle’s massive facade and the well-preserved fortress. Then, experience a trip back in time as you step inside the authentic medieval interior. Visit tens of historic rooms and magnificent chambers, learn about the castle’s history at various exhibitions or wander around the terraces.

The self-guided walking tour of the castle takes around 3 hours to complete.

Admission costs below 50 PLN per person (11 EUR), with reduced prices in winter and a 10 PLN discount (2.2 EUR) when entering after 5.15 PM.

During the high season between July and August, travelers can attend a guided tour in English every day at 11:30 AM. Click here for more info about tickets.

Where can you eat in Malbork?

Gothic Cafe and Restaurant

Before you finish exploring the majestic castle, head to the Gothic Cafe and Restaurant. The eatery combines the best parts of historic cuisine with a modern twist, resulting in a unique and delicious dining experience. Indulge in the fusion cuisine while taking in the vibe of the medieval castle.

Open from 9 AM to 4 PM, closed on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Next: Gdańsk, 40 minutes

Gdańsk

gdansk old town in summer colorful medieval buildings cobblestone road people restaurants poland

Photography by Makalu.

Head north from Malbork for around 45 minutes until you reach the port city of Gdańsk. The two neighboring cities (Sopot and Gdynia), along with Gdańsk make up the Tri-City, one of the main tourist hotspots in the country.

Is Gdańsk worth visiting?

Gdansk is certainly worth visiting! Wander down the cobblestone streets in the Old Town, sunbathe on one of the public beaches or explore some of the other attractions throughout Gdańsk as well as the rest of the Tri-City.

The Old Town

You can’t skip the historical Old Town, the very heart of Gdańsk. Your rental car can be dropped off nearby at one of the designated on-street spots. On busier days, try this car park instead for around 5 PLN (1.2 EUR) per hour.

Stroll around the vibrant streets lined with colorful medieval buildings, make your way down to the Długi Targ (Long Market), the main walking street in the Old Town. Get a photo with the popular Neptune Fountain, then continue along the marina and admire the historical crane.

Remember to post your photos online using #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge.

The Pier in Sopot

Drive north along the Tri-City until you reach the famous Pier in Sopot. Stroll down the longest pier in the Baltic Sea (over 500 meters long) and feel the refreshing sea breeze.

Watch the street performers or step inside one of the fish bars, where you can find locally-caught grilled fish. If the weather allows it, you can head to the public beach right by the pier and go for a dip in the sea.

Admission to the pier costs below 10 PLN per person (2.2 EUR).

poland baltic sea sandy beach calm water cruise ship in background
Photo by Aleksander Filip

Bohaterów Monte Cassino Walking Street

You will find the heart of Sopot right opposite the Pier. Walk down the Bohaterów Monte Cassino walking street, lined with vivid pubs, clubs, and restaurants of all sorts. Step inside some of the top attractions, such as the Sopot Wax Museum and the picturesque Crooked House.

Visit the area during the evening to experience the best of the local nightlife, it really is the place to be.

Your rental car can be dropped off at designated on-street parking spots. Beware of the “private car parks” in the area, as they might try to scam tourists and ask for crazy amounts of money.

On a busy day, drop your car off at Sheraton’s underground car park (around 10 PLN per hour, 2.2 EUR).

Where can you find the best food in the Tri-City?

Eliksir

When you get hungry, go for dinner at the Eliksir restaurant and cocktail bar in Gdańsk. The award-winning restaurant is known for food-pairing its unique dishes with creative cocktails, and is considered one of the best places to dine in the entire Tri-City.

Choose from a tasting menu and pick your favorite from a wide selection of beverages. Open from 4 PM onwards on weekdays and 2 PM and 1 PM on Saturdays and Sundays respectively.

The Tri-City is filled with fun activities and spots worth seeing, that’s why Rentalmoose highly recommends spending the night in town.

Luxury travelers should check-in to one of the beachfront hotels in Sopot. My personal favorite is the 5-star Sheraton, located in the very heart of Sopot directly by the pier. Admire the sea views from the hotel’s modern rooms and suites, relax at the indoor pool, book a treatment at the serene spa and wellness center or dine at the restaurant. A private car park is available at an extra cost.

Traveling on a tighter budget? The Smart Hotel in Gdańsk might just be the perfect choice for you. The affordable property features modern rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi and a restaurant. A car park is available at an extra cost.

Next: Toruń, 1 hour 40 minutes 30 PLN Highway toll (6.6 EUR)

Toruń

torun old town colorful medieval buildings on a sunny day vistula river in background

E-Gabi/Pixabay.com

Hop on the A1 highway and drive south, leaving the Tricity behind. Keep in mind that on Summer weekends there can be extremely heavy traffic on the highway, resulting in long queues by the toll points. Drive on weekdays to avoid the traffic.

What is Toruń famous for?

Toruń was the hometown of Copernicus, a famous Polish astronomer who lived in the 1400s. Today, the medieval heart of the city is perfect for a trip back in time, and the historical buildings are often home to museums that showcase local history and culture.

The charming city is often overlooked by international tourists, though it is most certainly worth a visit!

The Medieval Town

When in Toruń, you can’t skip the Medieval Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The historical buildings are very well-preserved and the cobblestone streets are perfect to get lost in.

Wander around until you reach the monumental Old Town Hall, which has been turned into a museum after the Second World War. Step inside and walk through the exhibitions located within the wonderful historical interiors.

Travelers can climb the Town Hall tower to get the best view of the city.

Admission tickets cost 15 PLN (3.3 EUR) per person, entry is free of charge on Wednesdays. Tickets to the tower cost an additional 15PLN per person.

The Leaning Tower… Of Toruń

Did you know that Poland has its own equivalent of the Leaning Tower of Pisa? It may not be as large or as famous as the one in Italy, though the Leaning Tower of Toruń is a landmark worth visiting nonetheless.

Admire the medieval tower from the outside, sadly the interior is not accessible to the public. From the tower, you can follow the large defensive walls that protected the city in medieval times.

The Planetarium

Travelers who wish to learn more about astronomy should pay a visit to the Planetarium. The attraction offers astronomical shows along with two interactive exhibitions.

Check the official website for the daily show schedule. An admission ticket costs below 15 PLN (3.3 EUR) per person.

Next: Łódź,1 hour 50 minutes

Łódź

lodz piotrkowska walking street in the summer shops city center poland

Photography by Marcin Polak.

Hop back on the A1 highway and continue south. In around 2 hours, you will reach the city of Łódź (or Lodz in English), the last stop on the journey before making your way back to Warsaw.

What can you do in Lodz?

Łódź isn’t a popular tourist destination in Poland, despite being one of the largest cities in the country and just an hour and a half west of Warsaw. The times when Łódź was just an industrial town are long gone, and the city’s countless trendy hangouts and cultural venues prove it.

Piotrkowska Street

When in Łódź, you should definitely stroll down Piotrkowska Street, the longest commercial street in the entire country and the cultural heart of the city.

Some travelers may not be willing to walk down the whole street, as it is over four kilometers long. In that case, be sure to at least visit the northern part of the street as that’s where all the busy bars, restaurants and shops are situated.

Visit the street after dusk falls and experience Lodz’s vibrant nightlife in one of the numerous clubs or bars.

Off Piotrkowska Center

When you’re exploring Piotrkowska, be sure to turn into the Off Piotrkowska Center. The trendy venue is home to unique shops and exotic restaurants all located in and around a renovated industrial factory. Even if you’re not in the mood for dining, the spot is worth visiting solely for its cool industrial vibe.

Manufaktura

Be sure to drop by Manufaktura, another factory-turned-cultural spot in Łódź. Guests can satisfy their shopping needs at the local shopping gallery, dine at one of the restaurants, learn about the city’s history in the museums or wander around the outdoor area and simply enjoy the architecture.

Your rental car can be dropped off at the car park off Drewnowska Street, there are over 3500 complimentary parking spots.

What is the best restaurant in Łódź?

Anatewka

For dinner, consider going to Anatewka. The unique restaurant just off Piotrkowska Street serves traditional Jewish cuisine. Łódź has historically been a melting pot of four cultures, and the eatery focuses on the Jewish culture and its delicious dishes. Open daily between 11 AM and 11 PM.

Which hotel should you pick in Łódź?

Vienna House Andel’s

Spend the night at the Vienna House Andel’s Lodz, an elegant 4-star hotel near the heart of the city. The property features modern rooms, an indoor pool, a fitness center, a spa and wellness center, and a stylish interior design. A private underground car park is available at an extra cost.

Boss Hotel

A good budget-friendly alternative in Łódź is the Boss Hotel. The hotel features well-equipped rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi and a bar and restaurant. Guests can relax at the seasonal outdoor terrace. A car park is available at no extra cost.

Next: Warsaw, 1 hour 30 minutes

Drop-off

Your Polish adventure doesn’t have to end here! Click here for our travel guide that will take you through Kraków, Wrocław, and Poznań before finishing in Berlin.

If you choose to end the trip here, drop off your rental car directly at Warsaw Chopin Airport before leaving. Car rental companies that support airport drop-off can be found via Rentalmoose.

Win a free rental car!

Make sure to take photos when you go on this trip and post them with #Rentalmoose. The best ones will be rewarded with a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge!

watch out for moose street sign in poland forest
granada-alhambra-historical-monument

Road Trip Across Spain’s Costa del Sol and Andalucia

Road Trip Across Spain’s Costa Del Sol and Andalucia

costa del sol and andalucia road trip itinerary malaga nerja granada antequera ronda malbera gibraltar google maps travel schedule

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Malaga to Nerja– 60km (40 miles) 📍 

Nerja to Granada– 95km (60 miles) 📍

Granada to Antequera– 100km (60 miles) 📍

Antequera to Ronda– 90km (60 miles) 📍

Ronda to Marbella– 65km (40 miles) 📍

Marbella to Gibraltar– 80km (50 miles)📍 (9.55 EUR Highway Toll)

Gibraltar to Malaga– 140km (90 miles) 📍 (9.55 EUR Highway Toll)

630km (390 miles) total

Tags: Travel guide, Spain, Costa del Sol, Southern Europe, Beach, Summer, Short Trip

This travel guide takes you on a road trip across Spain’s Andalucia region, starting in Malaga before continuing up north to Granada and Ronda, then heading back down to Costa del Sol, Marbella and to the tip of Europe: Gibraltar. 

The route then winds back up to Malaga. The recommended duration for this trip is at least 3 days, with the first night in Malaga and an overnight stop in Granada and Marbella.

Why should you visit Southern Spain?

Andalucia is an exciting part of Spain in Southern Europe. The region is known for its beautiful beaches on Costa del Sol (Coast of The Sun), rich multicultural history, beautiful landscapes and mouth-watering food. This trip is perfect for travelers who enjoy beaches, sightseeing and Mediterranean delicacies.

When is the best time to visit Spain?

Costa del Sol has an average of 300 sunny days every year. The water in the Mediterranean is the hottest during the summer, however, it is also warm enough for swimming in late Spring and early Autumn. The water temperature gets colder in the west of Costa del Sol, as the Mediterranean mixes with the Atlantic.

 The perfect time to visit, while avoiding the summertime crowds, would be between April to early June, as well as late August to October.

Why to get a rental car in Spain?

The points of interest along this trip are located within driving distance of each other. Although most milestones on this journey could be accessed by public transport, it is nowhere near as convenient as traveling by rental car. 

 Scenic routes along the coast and mountain pass roads make this road trip one of the best driving tours in this part of Europe. 

For extra peace of mind during your trip, Rentalmoose recommends adding excess coverage when booking your rental car. What’s more, you can qualify for a 50% discount from the excess cover fee if you take check-in photos when picking up your rental car.

Can tourists drive in Spain?

Spain is a member of the European Union, therefore most foreign driving licenses are accepted as long as the driver is 18 years old and above. International Driving Permits are recognized, but not mandatory. 

Check out this blog post to learn more about International Driving Permits.

Make sure to follow the speed limits carefully when driving around Spain. There are lots of speed cameras set up all over major roads, some of them are nearly impossible to spot.

International tourists are required to pay their fines on the spot, or online via the DGT website. Keep in mind that if you decide to pay online, the price will be two times higher. Speeding tickets range from 50 to 250 Euros, depending on the excess speed and the road type.

Excessive speeding can land you in jail. If you are caught going over 201km/h on the motorway or over 111km/h in an urban zone, you will either receive an enormous fine based on your salary, or will be sent to prison for up to 6 months.

Traffic in Spain is on the right-hand side.

Málaga

malaga city panorama stadium green park harbor sea in background sunny day spain

Your Spanish adventure begins in the second biggest city in Costa Del Sol, Málaga. This exciting city has transformed from being a gateway to Andalusia into a vibrant hotspot packed with cultural experiences, local cuisine and vivid nightlife all waiting to be discovered. 

 Once you arrive, pick up your rental car directly at the airport for maximum convenience and head down into the city. 

What to do in Málaga?

Mercado Central

Indulge yourself in local culture at Málaga’s famous central market, Mercado Central. This authentic Andalusian market has a rich history, it has once been a storage warehouse, weapon’s arsenal, and military warehouse, before becoming a local market once again in the 1800s. 

Mercado Central is perfect to satisfy your local shopping needs, here you can find anything from fresh olives or fruit through to souvenirs and jewelry. 

Mercado Central is a great place for lunch, head into one of the food stalls for local seafood or North African pastries. You can leave your car opposite the market at this multi-story carpark for 15 euros per day.

Museo Picasso

Find out first-hand why Pablo Picasso fell in love with this part of Spain. Head towards the heart of the city and admire pieces from Spain’s most famous painter in Museo Picasso

The venue itself is breath-taking, as the museum is situated in a renovated 16th-century mansion. Inside, there are over 120 works made by Picasso alongside various temporary exhibitions. The museum is open daily from 10 AM, admission tickets cost 9 Euros and can be purchased here.

I recommend going in the afternoon, no sooner than 3 PM, as there are a lot more visitors in the morning.

Playa Pedregalejo

Take a break from the busy city and relax on one of the city’s sandy beaches. Visit Playa Pedregalejo, a long sandy beach in the eastern part of Málaga

Take a dip in the sea or sunbathe. Costa del Sol gets an average of 300 sunny days per year, so you can essentially be sure it won’t rain.

For a post-beach day meal stroll over to El Balneario, where you can enjoy fresh seafood right by the shore. Click here for the menu.

seafood fresh grilled squid vegetables on white plate spanish food


What are the best hotels in Málaga?

As Málaga is filled with attractions, I recommend spending at least one night in town before continuing on. Travelers who want to enjoy the comforts of a 4-star hotel with a pool, fitness center and a perfect location near the Centro district will feel at home at Barcelo Málaga. Prices start at 96 Euros per room.

Gran Hotel Miramar

Sophisticated travelers looking for the most top-of-the-line experience available in Malaga can stay at Gran Hotel Miramar.

This luxurious 5-star hotel offers anything a guest can look for in the perfect hotel: spacious and chic rooms, a spa and wellness center, a restaurant serving delicious food, a bar, and great service. This high standard does come with a hefty price tag, rooms start at 250 euros per night. 

Next: Nerja, 45 minutes

Nerja

nerja beach aerial view blue sea water walking street palm trees buildings spain costa del sol

The first leg of the journey is a scenic coastal drive along the Mediterranean to Nerja. The city of Nerja is one of the most popular hotspots in Costa del Sol, and it is easy to see why. 

It is Spain’s paradise for beachgoers with a variety of beaches, from secluded coves to wide, vivid beaches in the heart of town. Nerja, however, offers a lot more than sandy beaches, as you are about to discover.

What is the best beach in Nerja? 

Burriana Beach

The most frequently visited beach in Nerja is Burriana Beach. Located east of the town, this sandy beach is filled with seashore restaurants, bars, and shops as well as watersport activities.

You can try to park your car along the streets for free, though on-street parking is usually full during peak season. There is a public car park available right by the beach entrance, average cost is around 2 euros per hour. 

Playa del Pino

Crystal-clear waters make the Playa del Pino a perfect spot for snorkel and diving fans. This quiet beach is more secluded, with zero seashore restaurants or frankly any other facilities. Clothing is optional, bear this mind if you do not wish to see nudists.

Frigiliana

After a calming stay at the beach, drive up to the village of Frigiliana, just a few kilometers away from Nerja (click for directions). Beautiful, whitewashed houses and picturesque streets make up Frigiliana, renowned as the most beautiful village in all of Costa del Sol. 

Stroll around the streets and feel as if you’ve been taken back in time by this authentic town. Your rental car can be dropped off at the public car park right across the street.

Nerja Caves

Beaches are certainly not all Nerja has to offer, and the Nerja Caves (Cueva de Nerja) and Frigiliana village are the prime examples. 

This massive, 4-kilometer long cave system is a must-see in Costa del Sol. Admission tickets cost 11 Euros and are definitely worth every cent. You can purchase tickets right here.

Next: Granada, 1 hour 20 minutes

Granada

granda alhambra palace with mountains in background during sunset spain tourism

Drive east out of Nerja and then north along the A-44 until you reach the city of Granada, a historical city at the foot of Sierra Nevada.

What to see in Granada?

The Alhambra

Begin your tour of Granada by visiting the most popular monument in the entire country: The Alhambra. This monumental palace is a true Spanish treasure. 

It used to be a fortress, and it served as the residence of Nasrid sultans between the 13th and 15th centuries. As this palace is very popular among tourists from across the globe, I recommend visiting near closing times. 

Admission tickets cost 14 Euros and can be purchased here. The Alhambra is open daily from 8:30 AM to 8 PM (6 PM in winter, between October and March).

Generalife

Next, head over to the Generalife. These colorful gardens are especially lively in spring, but visiting during any other season will be just as breath-taking. 

Within the gardens, you will find lots of monumental fountains and pools as well as the Generalife Palace. If you are planning to visit the Generalife as well as the Alhambra, you can purchase combined tickets for a reduced price. Generalife Gardens tickets cost 7 Euros per person and can be bought here

Flamenco shows- a must

Flamenco is essentially the heartbeat of Granada. The city is packed with beautiful Flamenco Shows that are often accompanied by delicious local dinner. 

There are lots of venues to choose from, one of the best in town being the Zambra Maria la Canastera, located in the traditional Sacromonte neighborhood that is another attraction in itself. 

The 1-hour show takes place in a traditional whitewashed cave and is performed daily. Tickets cost 24 Euros per person and can be bought via flamencotickets.com.

Where to stay in Granada?

The absolute best place to stay in Granada would be the Parador de Granada. Located in a 14th-century palace, the venue itself is astonishing and rich in history. Its excellent location is directly within the Alhambra. It does not get better than this. The rooms start at 230 euros per night.

Gar Anat Boutique Hotel is a more economical choice for travelers on a tighter budget. This cozy hotel is in a perfect location within the city’s central district. The building itself is a restored 16th-century hotel. The Granada Cathedral (another tourist attraction worth visiting) is just minutes away. The rooms start at below 100 euros per night.

Next: Antequera, 1 hour 20 minutes

Antequera

antequera alcazaba fortress castle fields in background spain

Head west out of Granada and follow the A-92 for about a hundred kilometers. After roughly an hour and a half, you will reach “el corazón de Andalucía” (the Heart of Andalucia), the city of Antequera.

What are the best places to visit in Antequera? 

Antequera is a city often referred to as the heart of Andalusia, and it is perfect for travelers who are keen on history, natural beauty and, of course, delicious cuisine.

Alcazaba of Antequera

Begin by visiting the Alcazaba of Antequera (pictured above), a historical fortress near the center of the city. It was built in the 14th century to counter the Christian Army, which was advancing towards Antequera from the north. 

This monumental fortress remains a historical gem. Guests can step inside the interior and explore the fortress by themselves or get a guided tour. Admission costs 6 Euros per person and can be purchased upon entrance. There is a 50% discount for kids between 7 and 16 years of age, and children below 6 years old can enter for free.

Parking (public) is available right outside the walls of Alcazaba.

Torcal de Antequera

An absolute must-see during your visit is Torcal de Antequera. This national park west of the city features unbelievable, natural rock formations that can be experienced on different hiking trails. 

The trail network includes many hikes that can be walked through for free, there are also guided tours that can be booked via the official website. The national park is home to the Iberian Ibex, which can be seen across the area. Free parking is available beside the entrance.

Where to dine in Antequera?

Foodies certainly won’t be disappointed in Antequera, as there are lots of local restaurants to choose from. Whether you’re craving a delicious Paella, Gambas Pil Pil or a slice of Jamon Serrano, the city has got you covered! 

Head over to Restaurante Plaza de Toros for a tasty local meal. This magical restaurant is located in a bullring, dining here is a once in a lifetime experience. Delicious Mediterrreneanen food and an out of this world atmosphere guaranteed!

Next: Ronda, 1 hour 20 minutes

Ronda

ronda spain cliff bridges and waterfall town costa del sol

Ronda has got to be one of the most beautiful towns in all of Spain. Located on two monumental rocks, there are historical bridges that connect the two districts.

The best views of Ronda

There is a quiet spot where you can get the best ground-level views of Ronda, I recommend going there before heading into the city. 

Drive up to the viewing point. Take caution, as the drive there can be tricky: it’s a rather tight dirt road with steep slopes. 

Once you get to the viewing point, park your car and enjoy the scenic views of the bridges, the rocks, and vineyards in the surrounding area in this picturesque spot.

Next, head up into town. You can leave your car at one of the public car parks in the historic part of Ronda, the rates are around 2 euros per hour. Continue strolling on foot and walk over to the Mirador de Ronda viewpoint, this time to get a view of the region from above.

After getting the best panoramic views at Mirador de Ronda, take a walk to the Bullring

Which bullring is the oldest in Spain?

Plaza de Toros

Ronda’s bullring called Plaza de Toros was the first one ever built in Spain, back in 1785. The controversial show now takes place just once every year, there are multiple guided tours every day that tour the historical arena. 

If you are interested in learning about the history of bullfighting, visit the Bullring Museum. Admission costs 8 euros.

De Locos Tapas

After strolling around the magical town, go for a taste of delicious local food in De Locos Tapas, one of the best tapas bars in Ronda. This restaurant serves some of the best delicacies in town, therefore it can get quite crowded. I recommend booking in advance right here.

Ascari Race Track

Visting the Ascari Racetrack is a must for every car enthusiast in the area. The resort includes a private racetrack, often rated as one of the best in Europe, as well as a country house.

There are multiple racing experiences you can book. Each one includes at least 80km of track driving, a professional instructor, a mechanical team and equipment, a garage tour, and food and beverages.

Next: Marbella, 1 hour 10 minutes

Marbella

marbella puerto banus port yachts luxury boats on blue sea whitewashed buildings in background costa del sol

Head south from Ronda, along a scenic mountain pass down to the coastal city of Marbella.

What can you do in Marbella?

Marbella is Costa del Sol’s hotspot for luxury, featuring ports filled with enormous yachts, luxury clothing stores, golf courses, fine dining restaurants and expensive villas overlooking the city.

Puerto Banús

Begin with a visit to Puerto Banús, the city’s vibrant modern center. Stroll through the marina and admire massive luxurious yachts, or go shopping in one of the marina’s countless high-end boutiques. 

Puerto Banús is the hotspot for nightlife, if you are visiting in the evening you can head into one of the local clubs or bars.

La Sala By the Sea is a great beach club minutes away from the marina, where you can enjoy exceptional drinks and food on the beach. Sunbed pricing starts at 15 Euros per person and can be booked via the official website.

Golfing in Marbella

Golf is extremely popular for both locals and tourists in Marbella, there are over 30 golf courses in the city to choose from and La Quinta Golf and Country Club is one of the most popular ones. 

This 27-hole course is one of the most attractive courses in the region and is suitable for both beginners and advanced players. 

Pricing starts at 100 euros, though there are various sales and discounts throughout the year. This country club also features a Best Western hotel. Prices start at 150 euros per night.

Where is the best party in Marbella?

Playa Padre

When you are looking for a nightlife, then the hidden gem for that is Playa Padre. It’s a small and stylish place where mostly locals go or the people who know it. Some well known DJ’s have performed here, such as Solomun and Black Coffee.

It’s hard to find for tourists, which makes it even more exclusive. If you are into house music then this is a paradise. Best parties on Sunday evenings, check out the Playa Padre website and social media accounts for upcoming events.

Where to stay in Marbella?

As Marbella is the top luxury destination in Spain, incredible hotels are a common sight. Travelers looking for the best 5-star hotels have plenty of options to choose from, I recommend the Villa Padierna Palace. This lavish resort includes 130 rooms, suites and villas surrounded by 3 golf courses, pools, and a spa center. Rates start at 250 euros per night.

A more budget-friendly alternative would be The Urban Villa, 10 minutes away from the city. This hillside villa offers 5 suites with incredible views, as well as a semi-secluded location, authentic food, and a pool. The rooms start at 70 euros per night.

Next: Gibraltar, 1 hour 10 minutes

Gibraltar

rock of gibraltar big mountain on small island city in background sunny day calm blue sea

Drive down the AP7 from Marbella to Gibraltar. The tolls along this route add up to 4.3 euros and can be paid directly as you are driving through. 

A toll-free alternative (around 20 minutes longer) would be the coastal A7. Although the drive is longer, practically the entire route runs along the coast, so panoramic views are guaranteed. 

As Gibraltar is a British territory, there is a passport control upon entry and exit, and you might find yourself stuck in a long queue during the weekends. You can leave your car at La Linea Car Park in Spain and walk over to Gibraltar on foot, too.

What are the attractions in Gibraltar?

Rock of Gibraltar

The most famous attraction in Gibraltar is the gigantic Rock of Gibraltar. You can drive up atop the famous rock by car, although this drive is recommended for experienced drivers. 

The way up is an exciting tight road filled with alpine-style hairpins and steep slopes. At the top, you can enjoy panoramic views of Gibraltar, Spain and Africa. 

You can also take the Gibraltar Cable Car. The ride up takes 6 minutes and costs 16 pounds per adult and 7 per child.

The Main Street

After visiting the Rock of Gibraltar, head down to the Main Street in the heart of town. The vivid streets are lined with all sorts of restaurants, pubs and shops. 

Some duty-free products, such as perfume, are available at lower prices than in Spain. After shopping, head over to Cafe Rojo for a British lunch, open from 10 to midnight Tuesday to Saturday. Your rental car can be parked here.

Next: Malaga, 2 hours

Return to Málaga via the AP7.

On the way back to Malaga, you can stop for an unforgettable lunch or a dinner in Los Marinos Jose Restaurant, which is located after Fuengirola. It is one of the best seafood restaurants in Spain.

Drop-off

Enjoy a few more days in the sunny city or return home. Your rental car can be dropped off at Malaga Airport for maximum convenience.

Win a free rental car!

The picturesque Costa del Sol and Andalucia make for perfect Instagram photos! Post your best photos online using #Rentalmoose, our favorite ones will be rewarded with a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge!

amalfi-coast-italy-sunny-day

The Sunny South of Italy

The Sunny South of Italy

south of italy road trip itinerary plan coastal italian vacation google maps schedule

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Bari to Gargano- 150 kilometers (90 miles)📍 

Gargano to Naples- 230 kilometers (140 miles)📍 14.7 EUR highway toll

Naples to Amalfi Coast- 70 kilometers (40 miles)📍 2.1 EUR highway toll

Amalfi Coast to Matera- 220 kilometers (140 miles)📍 

Matera to Lecce- 170 kilometers (105 miles)📍 

Lecce to Bari- 150 kilometers (90 miles)📍 

990 kilometers (615 miles) in total

Tags: Travel guide, South of Italy, Beaches, History

This travel guide takes you on a magical journey around Puglia, Campania, and Basilicata regions of Southern Italy.

Begin by exploring Bari, then drive along the coast to Gargano, where you will find some of the most jaw-dropping beaches in the whole world. Continue west until you reach Naples, a historic city guarded by the spectacular Mount Vesuvius.

Then, make your way across the winding roads of the glamorous Amalfi Coast before heading inland to Matera, known as “the City of Caves”. After an unforgettable night in a cave hotel, drive back to Bari through Lecce.

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

There are lots of attractions worth dropping by in Southern Italy, and this travel guide only highlights some of them. Rentalmoose recommends spending at least three nights in the region. In order to discover each town, add an extra night in each major city. 

When is the best time to visit The South of Italy?

The best time to go on this trip is in Spring (April to June) or Autumn (September to October), when the weather is moderate and there aren’t too many tourists.

The hottest weather is during the Summer between late June and August, but it is also the peak of the tourist season. 

Why should I book a rental car in the South of Italy?

The South of Italy is perfect to be discovered via a rental car. The spots worth visiting are all located within driving distance of each other, and the freedom of changing your itinerary during the trip can only be achieved when traveling by car.

Driving enthusiasts are in for a treat, as the coastal roads of Puglia and Amalfi Coast are along the most scenic in the whole world. 

For extra peace of mind during your road trip, Rentalmoose recommends adding excess coverage when booking your rental car. Once you’ve picked up the car, don’t forget to take photos of the car to qualify for a 50% discount from the excess coverage fee.

Can tourists drive in Italy? 

Yes! You need an international driving permit to drive in Italy along with your domestic license unless you are an EU-citizen. These can easily be obtained in your local country and are mandatory for non-EU driver licenses when driving in the country. 

Check out the Rentalmoose blog post on International Driving Permits to find out all you need to know about IDPs!

Driving in Italy for the first time might be quite a hectic experience. Getting around large cities is chaotic and driving around tight cobblestone streets can be a nightmare. On top of all this, the locals don’t really seem to be following the speed limits.

Speeding is common among drivers in Italy. Once you get caught, you will probably realize it was not worth it. Tourists in Italy have to pay the fine on the spot to the police and can additionally be charged by the car rental company. 

Going up to 21km/h over the limit on the highway will cost you around 150 Euros, while breaking a “no-parking” rule will cost you around 80 Euros.

The traffic in Italy is on the right-hand side of the road.

Are there tolls in Italy?

The Italian highway system is not toll-free. Fees can be paid at toll gates by cash or credit card, alternatively using a prepaid Viacard that can be purchased at gas stations and roadside shops. The map of toll highways and a toll calculator can be found here.

Bari

beautiful small italian sandy beach surrounded by whitewashed buildings and cliffs blue sea near bari south of italy sunset

Photography by Giancarlo Composto.

The adventure begins in the gorgeous city of Bari. For maximum comfort, pick up your car directly from Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport. Car rentals that offer pick-ups at the airport can be found via Rentalmoose.

Is Bari worth visiting?

Sunny Bari is one of the most important cities in the South of Italy. The city has a lot in store for travelers, it is especially ideal for history lovers, beachgoers and foodies. It is most certainly worth a visit!

Bari Vecchia

Get started with a visit to the city’s historic district, Bari Vecchia. Wander around the narrow streets, admire the Adriatic Sea from the old port or admire the monumental facade of the Basilica of San Nicola. 

Getting hungry? Bari Vecchia has some of the best street food in all of Italy! All sorts of local eateries are lined around the cute streets, serving regional delicacies such as focaccia or panzerotti.

Although the city of Bari itself is fascinating, Rentalmoose highly recommends exploring some of the best spots nearby.

Polignano a Mare

Discover the picturesque coastal town of Polignano a Mare. The cute town is home to Lama Monachile, a famous beach surrounded by cliffs. Snorkel in the turquoise waters or go for a boat tour of the eerie caves along the shore.

Your rental car can be parked on-street near the beach, white-marked spots are free and blue ones need to be paid for at the nearest meter. Yellow spots are strictly for local residents.

Grotta Palazzese

For an unforgettable dining experience, book a table at the magnificent Grotta Palazzese. The restaurant’s jaw-dropping terrace is situated in a natural cave, offering guests spectacular views and making for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The restaurant does get very busy during peak season, it’s best to book a table prior to arrival.

Alberobello

Continue south for another half an hour until you reach Alberobello. The fairytale-like village is made up of over 1500 of Trulli houses, making it the biggest concentration of Trulli in the region. The picturesque town is perfect for a stroll.

It’s best to visit Alberobello on a weekday, as the town tends to get overcrowded by tourists during peak hours.

Are you looking for the best place to stay near Bari? Consider booking a night at the elegant Grotta Palazzese, previously mentioned for its breathtaking restaurant. The 5-star hotel features modern rooms and suites with an unbeatable sea view, private crystal-clear beach access, and complimentary parking.

A budget-friendly alternative near the heart of town is the 2-star Hotel City Bari. The affordable hotel offers air-conditioned rooms and a paid car park.

Next: Gargano, 2 hours 

Gargano

gargano pebble beach crystal clear sea white sandstone cliffs tourists swimming and sunbathing forest in background sunny day south of italy

Photography by Gianni Crestani.

Where are the best beaches in Italy?

Don’t forget to take your swimwear when you depart Bari, as you are about to visit some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Europe. The two-hour drive leads along the coast, scenic views along the way are guaranteed.

Mattinata Beach

Take a break at Mattinata Beach, one of the most popular pebble beaches in the region. Enjoy a swim in the crystal-clear sea or wander along the coast. It is best to visit during the week, as Mattinata Beach tends to get very busy on weekends.

Mattinatella Beach

One of the most picturesque beaches in the Gargano region is Mattinatella Beach, just minutes away from Mattinata. The beach is famous for the crystal-clear water and breathtaking scenery. If you’re planning to swim in the sea, it is recommended to take footwear, as there are many rocks beneath the water.

Continue driving North along the twisty roads and explore the other beaches in the area. Did you find a stunning beach near Gargano that is worth mentioning here? Post a photo with #rentalmoose for a chance to win a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge!

Where can you find the best food in Gargano?

Like all of Italy, Gargano is home to loads of delicious regional restaurants. Drive up to the small town of Monte Sant’Angelo. Inside, you will find Li-Jalantuumene. The restaurant serves traditional food with a modern, creative twist. It is the perfect spot to take a break from beach-hopping all day.

Next: Naples, 3 hours

Naples

naples dramatic coast small pier sunset skyline traditional buildings mount vesuvius in background italy

Photography by Antonio Speranza.

Depart Gargano and drive across to the west coast of Italy. You will know you’re close as soon as Mount Vesuvius will emerge on the horizon. The active volcano is looking over Naples, one of the most important cities in the country.

Is Naples safe for tourists?

Naples, Italy’s third-largest city, is often seen as an unsafe city, especially for international tourists. While the city does have some uglier, dodgy districts (which major city doesn’t?), the biggest danger for tourists is the chaotic traffic. 

If you use common sense, there is no reason to feel unsafe in Naples.

What should you do in Naples?

Naples is favored among travelers as it isn’t spoiled by tourism as much as Venice, Rome or Florence. The narrow, cobbled streets are filled with local eateries and cafes, vibrant markets and cute shops.

The Catacombs of Naples

Head to the city’s mysterious underground world: The Catacombs of Naples. The historical sites are scattered around the city. Catacombs of San Gennaro, for example, are a 2-floor complex around the Basilica of Sant’Agrippino.

The catacombs’ ambient lighting highlights the eerie vibe and makes for a one-of-a-kind experience. Purchase your tickets online prior to visiting.

Mount Vesuvius

Every traveler visiting Naples should get up close to Mount Vesuvius, Europe’s only volcano that has erupted within the last century. Drive up the mountain road and park your car at the end of Piazzale di Quota 1000, you will have to hike for roughly 30 minutes to get to the very top. The hike is well worth it, as the panoramic views of Naples and the volcano’s crater are just unforgettable.

What makes the experience even more exciting is the fact that the frightening volcano that has completely devastated Pompeii will eventually erupt once again.

SSC Napoli Football Team

Football fans will be happy to hear that Naples is home to the SSC Napoli, a famous Italian soccer team. You can find more information, including match dates and tickets, on their official website.

Pompeii

 Learn all about the Roman civilization while strolling around the Ruins of Pompeii. The ancient city became forgotten after it was covered by ashes following a massive volcano eruption. It was discovered in the mid-1700s and has become one of the most important archeological sites in the entire world. The ruins can get crowded, your rental car can be dropped off at Parking Zeus directly next to the entrance.

What are the best hotels in Naples?

Grand Hotel Vesuvio is a seafront 5-star hotel that has been welcoming guests since 1882. The hotel features stylish rooms and suites, 2 panoramic restaurants with perfect views of Mount Vesuvio, as well as luxurious facilities such as an indoor pool and fitness center.  

Looking for a comfortable stay in Naples without breaking the bank? Consider checking into The Bellini House. This boutique bed and breakfast attracts travelers with a convenient location near the historic center of the city, retro decor and delicious breakfast.

Next: Amalfi Coast, 1 hour 40 minutes

Amalfi Coast

amalfi coastal village beach tourists and ships traditional italian village on seaside cliff hills in background

Photography by Andreas Precht.

As you leave Naples, prepare to drive across some of the world’s most scenic roads. Rentalmoose recommends making a slight detour and driving along the SS145 and SS163 coastal roads that lead to the picturesque Amalfi Coast. 

Which towns should you visit on the Amalfi Coast?

Positano

Before you reach the town of Amalfi, make a stop at the colorful town of Positano. Admire the unreal scenery from one of the viewpoints along SS163 (Amalfi Drive) before driving into the heart of the village.

Stop for a snack or breakfast in one of the eateries scattered around the winding streets. Like all of the Amalfi Coast, it is best to go early in the morning to avoid massive crowds and traffic jams.

Grotta Dello Smeraldo

On your way across the coast, be sure to make a stop at Grotta Dello Smeraldo. The beautiful cave was named “Emerald Cave” because sunlight enters the cave under the water, illuminating it in a magical color. Travelers can enjoy the unique vibe during an affordable (roughly 5 EUR) boat tour. 

How to get to Grotta Dello Smeraldo?

There is an elevator next to the SS163 coastal road. Park your car nearby and head beneath the ground into the caves.

Amalfi

Make your next stop in the town of Amalfi, the main tourist hotspot on the coast. Prepare for tons of tourists and long traffic jams leading to the city. The unbeatable views, however, are absolutely worth the wait!

Visit the scenic Piazza Duomo and admire the Amalfi Cathedral. The busy beach may not be the most secluded in the country, but it is a spot worth at least a quick peek.

Where can you find the best authentic food in Amalfi?

Head for lunch at the cute Antica Trattoria Barracca, a local restaurant located inside the town of Amalfi. The eatery dates back to 1945 and continues to serve some of the best Italian dishes in town, including fresh seafood and delicious tiramisu. The food is surprisingly affordable compared with other restaurants in town.

Rentalmoose order tip: After a mind-blowing lunch, be sure to try Tiramisu accompanied by a cup of real, Italian coffee.

Where to park in Amalfi?

Try leaving your car at Luna Rossa, a large multi-story car park outside the town, which costs below 5 EUR per hour. If there are no spots, try your luck parking along the street; lots of locals do it and as long as you’re not blocking any gate or road you should be fine.

Parking in Amalfi can get tricky, especially during peak season.

Next: Matera, 3 hours

Matera

matera city of caves italy stone buildings traditional town during sunset

Photography by blank76 from Pixabay.com

Continue inland, leaving behind the glorious Amalfi Coast. Head east until you reach Matera, a historic Italian city situated in the hills of the Basilicata region.

The third oldest continuously inhabited city in the whole world, Matera has gone full circle from an important ancient city to an Italian slum and has now become one of the most significant landmarks in the country.

What can you see in Matera?

Belvedere di Murgia Timone

Visiting the historic part of Matera will make you feel as if you’ve traveled back in time. The City of Caves is best admired from Belvedere di Murgia Timone, a viewing point that overlooks Matera. Head there and enjoy the panoramic views before you enter the town. Your rental car can be left at the public car park directly by the viewpoint.

Casa Noha

After you’ve seen the city from a distance, it is time to head inside. Begin with learning the city’s fascinating history at Casa Noha. The exhibition reveals the culture, art, and history of the Sassi as well as the local people.

Sassi di Matera

Park your rental car at one of the public car parks within Sassi di Matera and continue exploring the town on foot. Wander around the winding streets whilst admiring the unique rock-cut architecture. Appreciate the caves, many of which have remained untouched since the 20th century, or peek inside some of the refurbished ones that have become stylish boutique hotels and eateries.

Cathedral of Saint Mary ‘della Bruna’ and Saint Eustace

Step inside the magnificent Cathedral which dates back to the 13th century. The cathedral looks more elegant than ever following a 10-year restoration project. The interior features a remarkable decorative style.

When you get hungry, go for lunch at Baccanti Ristorante, a traditional Italian eatery situated in an ambient cave in the heart of the historic district of Matera. Enjoy a selection of local meat and cheese along with a variety of Italian dishes. The pricing is higher than the average restaurant in town, but the delicious cuisine and a unique atmosphere are absolutely worth it.

What is the best cave hotel in Matera?

The historical town offers unforgettable stays in unique hotels situated within the caves. Enjoy a one-of-a-kind night at the Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita. The extraordinary 4-star hotel features fabulous rooms and suites within the caves, as well as a wellness center and a perfect location in the historic part of Matera.

If you’re looking for the unique cave-hotel experience on a more affordable budget, check-in at the Caveoso. The 3-star hotel offers rooms and suites that open up to the panoramic Sassi and a private car park available at an extra cost.

Next: Lecce, 2 hours

Lecce

lecce seaside cliffs crystal clear sea during sunset

Photography by Luigi Martina.

Leave Matera and continue east back into the Puglia region. Head near the southeastern tip of the country and enter the charming city of Lecce.

What is there to do in Lecce?

Lecce, although nowhere near as historically significant as Matera, is certainly swinging by. Filled with 18th-century baroque architecture, the charming city is another example of well-preserved history in the South of Italy.

Piazza del Duomo

One of the best ways to experience the old part of Lecce is a stroll around Piazza del Duomo and its surroundings. Getting lost in the maze of narrow streets lined with local businesses is a pure treat.

Basilica Cattedrale di Maria Santissima Assunta

Admire the architecture, which is a fascinating mix of medieval and baroque styled-buildings. Photograph the monumental facade of Basilica Cattedrale di Maria Santissima Assunta or step inside for a guided tour of this significant cathedral.

Grotte della Poesia

Escape the busy city and drop by the astonishing Grotte della Poesia. The majestic caves surrounded by crystal-clear, turquoise water make for a marvelous view. Take a break from driving at the nearby sandy beach.

As this is one of the main attractions in the region, do not get fooled by the photos that might make the cave seem like a secluded spot. Expect crowds, especially during the weekends.

Castro

Find out why Castro is called the “pearl of the Salento” as you head inside the sweet town. Stroll along the vibrant Castro Marina, feel the Adriatic breeze as you observe the traditional fishing boats.

There are countless secluded coves and caves in the area and the best way to see them is during a boat tour directly from the marina. Castro isn’t a major tourist hotspot and finding an empty parking spot along the streets shouldn’t be a challenge.

Marevivo- The best seafood in Castro

As Castro is a village known for fishing, indulge in the fresh local seafood at one of the town’s restaurants. Head for lunch at Marevivo, one of the best eateries in the area. A wide selection of fish and other seafood awaits!

Torre Sant’Andera

The Lecce province is home to some paradise-like beaches and dramatic coastlines. Torre Sant’Andera is most definitely worth a stop.

The picturesque spot offers unbeatable views of unique rock formations surrounded by crystal-clear water. The nearby beach is perfect for a swim, though Rentalmoose recommends going in the morning to avoid crowds.

Next: Bari, 1 hour 40 minutes

Drop-off

For maximum convenience, Rentalmoose recommends dropping off your car directly at the Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport before leaving. Rental companies that support airport drop-off can be found via Rentalmoose.

Win a free rental car!

The South of Italy is among the most picturesque regions in the entire world. Make sure to take loads of photos when you go on this trip! Post them online with #Rentalmoose, we will reward our favorite ones with a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge!

lecce large seaside cliff with round opening and traditional italian tower and fields during sunset

Photography by Gianni Crestani.

lago-di-garda-crystal-lake-italy

Weekend Getaway Through Northern Italy

Weekend Getaway Through Northern Italy

north italy road trip itinerary plan milan lake como bergamo lake garda verona venice google maps

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Milan to Lake Como– 51km (32 miles) – 1.7 EUR highway toll 📍

Lake Como to Bergamo– 62km (39 miles) 📍

Bergamo to Lago di Garda– 92km (57 miles)- 5.7 EUR 📍

Lago di Garda to Verona– 73km (45 miles), 2.2 EUR 📍

Verona to Venice– 116km (73 miles), 8.8 EUR 📍

360km (224 miles) in total

Tags: Travel guide, Italy, Drop-off at another location, South of Europe, Lombardy

 This travel guide takes you on a 360 km journey starting in Milan, the fashion capital of the world, through picturesque regions of Lombardy to the Garda Lake continuing to Verona before finishing in Venice.

 The route is divided into short sectors roughly an hour of driving each. Dedicate at least two full days to this road trip to have enough time to discover every point along the way.

Why should I rent a car in Italy?

 Italy is perfect to be discovered by a rental car, the country has moderate traffic outside cities and getting around by car is a lot more convenient than using trains or buses. 

 Your rental car can be picked up from different spots in Milan, such as the Milan Malpensa Airport, Milan Bergamo Airport, or the Milano Centrale Railway Station. Browse through available options on Rentalmoose.

 When booking your rental car, do not forget to add excess coverage provided by Rentalmoose for extra protection. After picking up the car, be sure to take check-in photos of the vehicle and qualify for a 50% discount from the excess cover fee.

Can tourists drive in Italy?

You need an international driving permit to drive in Italy unless you are an EU-citizen. These can easily be obtained in your local country and are mandatory for non-EU driver licenses when driving in Italy. For more information on International Driving Permits, click here.

Driving in Italy for the first time might be quite a hectic experience. Getting around large cities is chaotic and driving around tight cobblestone streets can be a nightmare. On top of all this, the locals don’t really seem to be following the speed limits.

Speeding is common among drivers in Italy. Once you get caught, you will probably realize it was not worth it. Tourists in Italy have to pay the fine on the spot to the police and can additionally be charged by the car rental company.

Going up to 21km/h over the limit on the highway will cost you around 150 Euros, while breaking a “no-parking” rule will cost you around 80 Euros.

Traffic in Italy is on the right-hand side.

The Toll System in Italy

 Keep in mind that highways in Italy are not free. The total cost of tolls for this trip does not exceed 20 Euros. You can find all paid highway sections in the country here.

 Fees can be covered by cash and credit card directly at the highway entrance, or using a prepaid Viacard that can be purchased at gas stations and roadside shops.

When is the best time to visit Italy?

The perfect time to visit this part of Italy is spring (from late March until early June) and fall (September to November). As the peak of the tourist season is in the summer, most places will be too crowded for enjoyable sightseeing.

If you want to go for a swim in Lago di Garda while avoiding massive crowds, I recommend going in May just before the summer starts.

Milan

duomo di milano milan cathedral illuminated at night italy

Milan Cathedral at night. Photo by Cococc/Pixabay.

The adventure begins in the fashion capital of the world, Milan. Pick up your rental car directly at the airport and head into this fascinating city. 

What to see in Milan?

Piazza del Duomo and Milan Cathedral

Don’t forget to visit the Piazza del Duomo right in the heart of the city. You can park your car just beside the square and take a short stroll to the Milan Cathedral

 Admire the beautiful facade or step inside for just 3 EUR per person [buy tickets here]. 

Grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

 Directly next to the Cathedral, you will see the Grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. If you are a fan of luxury shopping, this Gallery is the perfect place for you.

Fancy a cup of Italian coffee or a delicious pizza? 

 Head into one of the numerous cafes and restaurants in the area. I personally recommend Signorvino, offering delicious pizza, cheese boards, and a perfect view of the Cathedral [Click here for the menu].

Next: Lake Como, 1 hour, 1.7 EUR highway toll

Lake Como

traditional medieval italian hillside village overlooking lake como blue water surrounded by mountains on a clear day

Lake Como. Photo from Pixabay

 Take the A9 up to Como, a magnificent lake surrounded by the Dolomites. The area offers truly breathtaking landscapes, it is regarded as the most beautiful place in all of Lombardy. 

What is worth visiting in Lake Como?

Funicolare train to Brunate

Enjoy the panoramic views from ground level in the cute town of Como, or take the Funicolare train up the mountain to Brunate and enjoy the scenery from above. 

 A return ticket costs just 6.7 Euros per person and can be purchased at the ticket booth directly before boarding the train. 

Villa Olmo

Art enthusiasts can enjoy an exhibition in Villa Olmo, an impressive palace built in the late 1700s. Visitors can check out various exhibitions or admire the monumental architecture. This venue also features green gardens surrounding the villa that can be visited free of charge.

Al Veluu- Fine Dining by Lake Como

If you are looking for a very sophisticated culinary experience be sure to visit Al Veluu, a fine-dining restaurant just a short drive up the mountain west of Como. Signature dishes include fresh lake fish, juicy mountain cuts and incredible tiramisu. Take a look at the menu here. Al Veluu also has luxury suites if you wish to spend the night near the lake.

Next: Como to Bergamo, 1 hour 30 minutes

Bergamo

bergamo citta alta historical italian town traditional architecture and medieval church on a clear day

Bergamo’s città alta. Photograph from Pixabay

How to get to Bergamo?

Whilst the fastest way to Bergamo is the A9/E64 highway which passes through Milan, there is a much more interesting route. It’s a minor detour that will extend the trip time by just 20 minutes, though during the drive you will be able to experience the less-touristy side of Lombardy. 

Take the SP342 directly from Como and follow it all the way through to the city of Bergamo. Along the way, you will pass through plentiful cozy villages filled with authentic trattorias and cafes undiscovered by tourists. 

If you choose to take the faster route instead, there is an extra cost in the highway toll (4.50 Euros). 

Armani Designer Outlet

Shopping freaks can take a small detour south of Como and visit the Armani designer outlet. Inside, you will find a wide selection of clothes and accessories from previous seasons. Some of the items are discounted up to 80% off the regular price!

What should you see in Bergamo?

The city of Bergamo is truly fascinating. Its incredibly rich history is reflected especially in Città Alta, the old part of town.

Città Alta

Visiting the Palazzo Della Ragione and Santa Maria Maggiore is essentially a must. Città Alta’s are lined with many local shops, trattorias (a casual type of restaurant), and gelaterias (ice cream shops).

This part of Bergamo is best explored on foot, you can park your car practically anywhere along Viale Delle Mura. Parking spots that are marked using blue paint have to be paid at the nearest meter, while spaces marked in white are free of charge.

Piazza Vecchia

Pay a visit to Piazza Vecchia, the vibrant heart of Bergamo. A portion of ice cream from Caffé del Tasso is a must, as it is considered to be the best gelateria in town. It is one of the oldest cafes in all of Bergamo, it opened back in 1476! Once you’re there, make sure to post it on social media using hashtags #rentalmoose and #caffedeltasso

Next: Lago di Garda, 1 hour 20 minutes 5.7 EUR highway toll

Lago di Garda

lago di garda crystal clear blue lake in italy surrounded by cliff mountains and green fields

Lago di Garda. Photography by Bernd Hildebrandt/Pixabay.

 Lago di Garda is the biggest and cleanest lake in all of Italy, it is the country’s hotspot for family attractions and watersports. Some of the places worth visiting in Lake Garda include secluded beaches, Gardaland and the town of Sirmione. 

Sirmione- a town at the tip of Lago di Garda

 The town of Sirmione is just off the E70 highway. Follow Viale Guglielmo Marconi all the way until you reach the castle, then turn left and leave the car at the carpark

 The historical part of town can only be accessed on foot. The 13th-century Scaligero Castle acts as the gate to Sirmione, and can be explored inside and out. 

 You can climb its tower and enjoy panoramic views of the lake from a higher point. Admission tickets to Scaligero Castle start at 5 Euros per person.

Where to stay in Sirmione?

Continue further into the town where you will find chic cafes and hotels. I recommend staying at Hotel Sirmione right in the very center of the town. Rooms start at 150 Euros per night, though there are frequent discounts. 

Luxury Suite Sirmione is a cheaper alternative with rooms starting at less than 80 Euros, though keep in mind that the average price within this particular town is significantly higher than in other parts of the lake.

sirmione scalgiero whitewashed bright medieval castle fortress with blue moat italy clear day

The Scaligero Castle in Sirmione. Photo from Pixabay

What are other attractions in Lago di Garda?

Gardaland

 Thrill-seekers and families can spend a day at Gardaland, a theme park filled with rides for all ages, an aquarium and an upcoming Legoland water park (opening in 2020). Located on the south-west side of the lake, Gardaland is open all year round. 

An entry ticket to the theme park costs 25 euros per person (and 16 euros for the aquarium), which is a good deal compared to other parks in Europe such as Disneyland or Europa Park. 

 The park often offers discounts during the off-peak season, so you can score entry tickets for an even better price.

Aquaria Thermal Spa

 If you are looking for a more relaxing way to spend your time in Lake Garda, consider going for a swim in Aquaria Thermal Spa, located within the town of Sirmione. 

 This spa and wellness complex is open daily and features thermal pools, saunas and a variety of massages and treatments. Entry tickets start at 39 EUR per person and can be purchased here.

Parco Baia Delle Sirene

 Lago di Garda is famous for its crystal clear water and a number of beaches. There are many to choose from but I strongly recommend heading to Parco Baia Delle Sirene

 It is a rather quiet beach in the eastern part of the lake, perfect for a swim or sunbathing. Admission starts at 6 Euros after 3 PM, click here for details on pricing.

Next: Verona, 50 minutes 2.2 EUR highway toll

Verona

verona traditional historical town medieval stone buildings and bridge over adige river at sunset in italy

Verona’s Adige River. Photo by Henrique Ferreira via Unsplash.

 Verona is the second biggest city in the Veneto region of Italy and definitely shouldn’t be missed. 

Driving around the central area of Verona can be a nightmare because of its tight one-way roads, lack of parking spaces and the overall amount of cars, so consider leaving the car at the outdoor car park in Piazza Cittadella and strolling around the area instead.

What to see in Verona?

Arena di Verona

 Arena di Verona, the city’s main historical attraction, is just a 5-minute walk from the carpark. The monumental colosseum is just as spectacular as the one in Rome, constructed back in 30AD. 

 You can walk inside the arena, where many public gatherings and events have been held for thousands of years. Check the official website for events during your visit.

Ponte di Castelvecchio

 Continue to stroll through the city center until you reach Ponte di Castelvecchio, another true landmark in Verona. Situated on top of River Adige, this spectacular bridge is a part of Castelvecchio.

The bridge and castle date back to the 13th century and can act as a stunning backdrop for your photos. Step inside the castle which has been turned into a museum for just 6 Euros per person, tickets can be bought directly at the entrance.

ponte di castelvecchio red stone bridge over adige river on a clear sunny day in verona italy

Ponte di Castelvecchio. Photography by Paul Arps from Flickr.com

Juliet’s House

 As you keep walking East of the castle, you will find yourself next to Juliet’s house. It was believed to be the house of Juliet from William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”.

 Although lots of people find this attraction overrated, along with proof that this was in fact not the real house of Juliet, it remains one of Verona’s landmarks that’s worth at least a quick peek.

Where is the best pizza in Verona?

This leg of the trip wouldn’t be complete without trying real, Italian pizza. Where can you find the best pizza in Verona? I recommend going to Pizzeria Tutti Gusti, hands-down one of the best pizzerias in town.

Have you been there? Be sure to let us know in the comments if you agree with us. [Click here for the menu]

Next: Venice, 1 hour 20 minutes 8.8 EUR highway toll

Venice

venice empty grand canal surrounded by colorful traditional buildings and parked boats italy


Getting to Venice

 The last leg of this tour is a 120km drive from Verona to Venice via the A4 highway. There are massive multi-story car parks right by the entrance to the city, so don’t worry about finding a spot.

A parking spot costs 21 euros per day, with lower rates for the short-term. Detailed rates can be found here. You can then get to the city by the waterbus (2nd line), they’re available right by the carparks. 

 Get off at the first stop right in front of the Ponte della Constituzione bridge. Cross the bridge and enter the magnificent town. You can then head towards Ponte Degli Scalzi and continue exploring on foot.

What are the best attractions in Venice?

Rialto Bridge

 A sight not to be missed is the Rialto bridge. It is one of the most recognizable spots in Venice, and is filled with tourists. 

 The area surrounding the bridge is packed with all kinds of restaurants, cafes, and shops, where one can find anything from high-end clothes to traditional handmade masks. 

The number of people can be overwhelming and in my opinion, Ponte di Rialto is best when admired from a distance, therefore I recommend heading down to Al Buso

 Directly next to the bridge, this restaurant will prepare a delicious Italian meal with a view of the bridge and Canal Grand.

St Mark’s Basilica and St Mark’s Square

 St Mark’s Basilica and St Mark’s Square are the most visited attractions in Venice, and one of the most popular tourist hotspots in all of Italy. 

 Known for its breath-taking architecture, Saint Mark’s Basilica is situated within Saint Mark’s Square. The Basilica has been a landmark in Venice ever since its opening back in 1094. 

 Don’t get discouraged by the queues waiting to enter the church, as visiting the interior is absolutely worth it.

 You can purchase entry tickets online [Purchase tickets], skip the queue and walk right in for just 3 Euros per person. 

 Skip the line service is available only during the highest peak season from April till November, as during other months the queues are much shorter.

La Biennale di Venezia

Art enthusiasts should definitely visit La Biennale di Venezia. The venue hosts different exhibitions during the year, including art and architecture exhibitions, film and dance festivals and theatre shows. Tickets for various events by Biennale can be purchased here.

What are the best hotels in Venice?

 Venice has all sorts of luxury, boutique, or budget hotels available throughout the islands. If you are looking for the absolute best of Venice’s luxury experience, Hotel Belmond Cipriani is the hotel of your dreams. 

Definitely the best place to stay in Venice, this 5-star hotel offers luxury accommodation, a great location and gourmet dining.

If you are traveling on a tighter budget, consider staying at the B&B Bloom Settimo Cielo. Located within walking distance of the Rialto Bridge, the highlights of this cozy hotel are beautiful interior decor and a very good location, just a 10-minute walk away from Saint Mark’s Square [Book a room here].

Travelers who wish to stay at the beach can take the Vaporetto Water Bus to Lido island directly from Venice. Le Ville del Lido is a cozy, affordable hotel just across the street from the beach. The hotel features an outdoor pool, classic decor and a beautiful garden. 

traditional colorful handmade carnival masks on display in local store in venice italy

Rentalmoose recommends- Trip Extension to Tuscany

The historical city of Florence is located less than 3 hours away from Venice. Instead of finishing this trip in Venice, consider extending it by a few days and heading down to explore the highlights of Tuscany! Click here for the Rentalmoose travel guide to Tuscany.

Your rental car can be dropped off directly at the airport for maximum convenience. Browse through available options on Rentalmoose.

Win a free rental car!

Delicious cuisine, breathtaking landscapes and rich history make Northern Italy the perfect place for your European holiday this year. 

Be sure to take lots of photos during this trip. Post your photos online using #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge!

Rentalmoose 2020