Looking for the best 4×4 driving in Europe? Then check out the top 5 European off-road adventures below.
Europe is heavily populated with more paved road per square kilometre than any other continent. However, there is still plenty of wilderness to explore. You just need to know where to go.
Thanks to its geographical diversity, Europe has just about every terrain you could hope to explore. Much of the wilderness is in national parks and much is protected from off-road driving in Europe. But not everywhere – far from it!
If you are planning European off-road adventures then your first job is to get a suitable vehicle. While you can rent a 4×4, for any prolonged journey you are better off taking your own off-road machine.
Before you start, check the fluids, tires, and frame. Any rust or other issues need to be dealt with. Fix loose steering and tracking, plus ensure the suspension is up to the job at hand.
You might want to make upgrades. Adding spot lights, or a digital speedometer – both will help when driving off-road at night. For comfort and ease of camping a fold out roof tent is a great addition.
So your vehicle is ready to roll, now engage low-range and read on! The best 4×4 driving in Europe below will take you off the beaten track and reveal things most adventure travellers never see.
On the Greek mainland you’ll find some of the best off-roading in Europe. Not only will they take you out into the rough stuff, it will also get you to one of the country’s most important cultural landmarks.
Taking the less travelled routes to the ancient city of Delphi brings you closer to what was once the centre of the Greek world. Visiting this town was once considered the nearest man would ever come to heaven!
Leave Delphi via Karpenisi and head into the Agrafa mountain range. You’ll find mountain top monasteries, stone bridges and scattered settlements. A Greece overland holiday provides some of the best 4×4 driving in Europe.
While you can’t exactly drive to Iceland from Europe it provides some of the top European off-road adventures. Much of the country is wild and there are beautiful views around every corner. Plus there are many adventure sports in Iceland that are worth trying.
Iceland has lots of 4×4 tours available and hiring an off-road vehicle is popular and easy. Winter is not great for off-roading, but when the highland tracks open in the summer it is well worth exploring.
There are gravel roads criss-crossing the lava and ash desserts that go deep into Iceland’s mountainous interior. In the north you can discover remote areas that few people visit. such as the moody lunar landscape of Askja Volcano.
With few significant tourist developments to spoil its wilderness, Georgia offers some great off-road adventures. The country itself is very welcoming with some of the world’s oldest vineyards and a diverse and interesting cuisine.
The Caucasus Mountains are often considered to be the easternmost border of Europe. At 5,642 metres (18,510 ft) Mount Elbrus is Europe’s highest point. Georgia is sandwiched between the Lesser and Greater Caucasus, so a visit is exploring the far reaches of the continent.
There are volcanic plateaus and spring towns to be found in the Lower Caucasus. Follow the off-road routes up toward the village of Ushguli passing medieval forts along the way. This is the highest village in Europe, with views to match.
The 4×4 vehicles really come into their own in the High Caucasus. The testing tracks are only outdone by the spectacular views. Easily one of the top 5 European off-road adventures.
Bear with us on this one… Some of Turkey is in Europe and some Asia/Middle East. The dividing line is usually considered to be the Bosphorus strait which passes through Istanbul.
The Taurus Mountains are the other side of this divide in southern Turkey running parallel to the Mediterranean coast. The summit of Demirkazık is 3,756 meters (12,322 ft.) above sea level and much of the range is over 3,000m (10,000ft).
Most of the region’s rivers originate here. They pass over waterfalls and pool in majestic lakes, such as Lake Kovoda.
The Koprulu Canyon National Park is a favourite spot for white-water rafting and hiking. With a 4×4 you can reach further into the swathes of cedar trees. It’s just a short drive from the tourist hub at Antalya, but use this as the start of a longer journey into the Taurus mountains.
The Spanish side of the Pyrenees is known for its unspoilt natural habitats and secluded mountain villages. It’s a place to spot alpine flowers, shepherds and their flocks and rare wildlife high in the hills.
Closer to the French border, you’ll need your 4×4 to get into the valley of Rio Noguera La Pallaresa. From here you can drive to Andorra and skirt the Spanish/Andorran border. Expect breathtaking views and some of the best 4×4 driving in Europe.
We hope these top 5 European 4×4 adventures will inspire you to hit the (off)road. Want to explore Europe but would rather not drive? Check out this article about Europe overland travel by train.