The best European overlanding tours take in one or more countries, using various forms of transport to really experience a place. So rather than just hopping in an out of an airport terminal at a city, why not embark on one of the top 7 overland trips in Europe.
With 44 countries, more than 20 official languages, and close to 750 million people, overland travel in Europe covers a stunning mix of cultures, landscapes and activities. And what better way to see it all than travelling overland where the journey becomes the adventure.
Want to find out more about the best overlanding adventures in Europe? Below we have compiled a list of seven great trips to be had in this truly unique continent:
This is not just any old tuk tuk, but a Piaggio Ape, a true Italian classic, and the closest thing you’ll get to a European version of a tuk tuk. Traveling around northern Italy on a week-long excursion, you’ll get to drink in the dramatic landscapes and sample stunning cuisine along the way.
But that’s not all, you’ll be part of a team of two or three. Competing against other adventurers on an Italian tuk tuk road trip and accruing points for completing challenges along the way. This is your very own Amazing Race, all backdropped by one of the most beautiful and iconic countries in Europe.
Ok, so travelling by boat is not technically overland, but overland travel can include ferries (it just excludes flying). So we just couldn’t leave this Greece trip off our list. Jump from beautiful Greek island to beautiful Greek island on a network of ferries, sail boats and private charters.
With more than 6,000 islands and islets to explore scattered throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas, this is truly some of the most beautiful scenery to be found in Europe. On the islands you can hang out and sip Ouzo in traditional Greek tavernas, lounge on pristine beaches or take a dip in sparkling clear waters.
One of the most enigmatic and least-known countries in Europe. This is your chance to get off the beaten track in one of only a few places left in the continent where you can really do that. Georgia lies at the heart of the Caucasus at the crossroads of Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East.
Despite this, Georgia has retained a very strong cultural identity and is renowned for its hospitality. All of which you get to experience on this 14-day guided overland tour. Begin in the historic capital Tbilisi and travel through wine country and into the mountains on the border with Azerbaijan for one of the best European overlanding tours.
The Spanish rail network is well developed, modern and extensive, making it a great way to get around this beautiful and fascinating country. Spain has a very strong cultural identity, in part driven by its history as one of the world’s first great global powers.
Each region is distinct and marked out by its diverse landscapes, cuisines and even languages. Then of course there is beautiful coastal areas of Andalucía, Murcia and Almeria, as well as iconic cities including Barcelona, Madrid and Seville. The comfortable and affordable Spain trains are the best way to see more of the country.
Norway is one of those countries that ticks all the overlanding boxes. There are endless miles of wilderness, rugged peaks dominating the horizon and a majestic coastline unlike any other on the planet. Easily one of the top overland trips in Europe, and the Atlantic Road is considered one of the best road trips worldwide.
Set aside a few weeks and make your way from the capital Oslo, in the south, to the very far northern fjords inside the Arctic Circle. Travel in the summer to avoid the harshest conditions and to experience a place where the sun never sets.
Of course, why limit yourself to just one or two countries when you can see the whole thing? This has been the classic voyage of discovery for young people for decades. The Interrail passes let you travel through 33 participating countries with just one pass. You can travel from the north of Scandinavia down to Mediterranean islands like Sicily.
There are a variety of different ticket types to suit budget and needs. Some boat crossings are even included, meaning that wherever you want to go, your travel is covered. Easily one of the best European overlanding tours and what better way to explore one of the most varied and diverse continents on the planet?
While we’re on the theme of travelling through multiple countries, why pay for travel when you can do it under your own steam? Cycling is one of the best ways to see more of any country. It’s great for mind and body and as you travel slower you see more and get under the nails of a destination.
There are a number of Europe-wide cycle routes, known as the EuroVelo routes. This is a project that aims to create long distance bike routes by tying together existing bike paths and cycle routes.
For example, the Eastern European routes include Route 6 Atlantic to the Black Sea and the Route 11 East Europe Route. You can pass through countries like Serbia, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Albania and more. Find out my cycling through the Balkans trip here.
While the above represent the best European overlanding tours this is just my opinion. Everyone is different and what floats my boat may not interest you. For example you might want to drive around in a beat up campervan visiting all the best kitesurf spots in Europe!
So don’t just take my word for it, get out there and find out for yourself. The only limit to overlanding adventures in Europe is your imagination and of course budget. You could hitch hike around the best beaches of the Med, traverse the Alps or spend a summer linking up music festivals…
We hope you found this list of the top 7 overland trips in Europe inspirational! Check out our Europe overlanding holidays page for more great ideas.