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Europe Road Trip Recomendations Please

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#1 pauljaq


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Posted 10 May 2017 - 09:32 PM



Newbie on here.


We have a 2006 NC 2 litre bought for my wife's 50th birthday last year. She's always wanted an Mx5. I've done a bit of winter restoration and she's back on the road; the Mx5 not the wife!


Looking to do a two week road trip through France, Italy, maybe back through Alps via Austria / Switzerland, Germany, maybe call at relatives in Holland.


Looking for recommendations for route and sights to see and places to go and places to stay - guest houses, hotels etc.


Thinking on the following but not fixed in any way, looking for a rough route and we end up where we end up.


Zip past Paris - do that on a separate trip,


Loire Valley

Massif Central including caves and Millau bridge

South or France

Monte Carlo

Italian coast

Pisa / lucca

Back up through centre of Italy maybe Adriatic coast

Italian Lakes where ever they are?



Switzerland or Austria




Stelvio pass


Maybe limit to about 4 hours a day on the road, but flexible depending if we want to get somewhere.


I done drive many miles for work, I've done some major road trips including the Plymouth Banjul challenge banger rally to Africa, so not shy of a bit of adventure, but at the same time we would want this to be an enjoyable run, not a test on endurance; that can be left for when I do the Mongolian rally with my lads!


Any recommendations, experiences, sights to see, places to go or not to go, overnight stops - hotels and guest house - nothing fancy just nice.


Thanks in Advance






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#2 ChrisPackit


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Posted 12 May 2017 - 02:04 PM

I can recommend plenty of places in France but it depends how long you're planning on being in France.  If you've got the time, I would recommend going down the coast, from Bordeaux to near the Spanish border.  Near to Bordeaux is Saint Emillion which is a beautiful town famous for their wines, well worth a visit.  Heading to the coast, you have Arcachon / Cap Ferret / Dune de Pyla which are really nice harbours / beach and the highest sand dunes in Europe at Dune de Pyla, an exhausting walk but worth it for the views.
Further down the coast you have Hossegor which is a really cool place to hang out, its like a surfers paradise... a bit like Newquay was 20 years ago.  Down to Biarritz and St Jean de Luz, both really nice towns by the sea.
Heading back inland, you could do Lourdes, which even for those non too religious types, is very fascinating.  Then maybe to Toulouse which is a beautiful city, a bit like Milan.  One of my favourite places in France is Carcassone, the Medieval old town is amazing and well worth visiting.  Then over to the coast, head over to the Cote D'Azur, Nimes is OK and Avignon is well worth a visit.  You also have the Rhone Valley there so if youre wine lovers, head to Chateau Neuf du Pape which is stunning.
If you like the medieval history, then Beau de Provence is beautiful and the city of Aix is also very cosmopolitan.  Further on the coast you have St Tropez and Antibes, both nice if not a little pretencious. A nice little coastal town called VilleFranche near Nice is well worth visiting.  Monte Carlo, what can I say!  An amazing place but utterly depressing to see all that wealth!  I have stayed just over the border in Roquebrune which is walking distance to Monte Carlo but you won't pay anywhere near as much for hotels etc.  The Buddha Bar and Jimmys are cool places to hang out when youre there.
Pardon if Ive spelt all of the places wrong, but its just from memory!  Also, Ive always found the Logis Hotels good places to stay.  Some real quirky hotels on their site.
Take plenty of cash and have a great time!

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#3 IanC


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Posted 12 May 2017 - 05:48 PM

If you fancy a break from driving Marineland in Antibes to see the Orcas

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#4 Bowz


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Posted 12 May 2017 - 06:04 PM


I did a similar route 2 years ago and I think your plans may be a bit ambitious to only drive 4 hours a day and cover that distance.


 We went via Amsterdam down to Normandy to visit a relatives grave, but did cover Le Mans, Tours, Massif Central, Millau bridge, along the cote d'azure to monte carlo then back via lake como over into switzerland via st gotthard pass, furka pass was closed due to snow (in September) so used sustran pass, travelled then to nurburgring then up through Holland back to Amsterdam a total of 2,500 miles in 14 days and very tiring.  I think your route would be nearer 3,000 as you are travelling further over into Italy.

I would recommend downloading a great program called Tyre to Travel (its free) from here  and its great for planning your route.  We booked rooms before we left through and made sure we could cancel upto the day of arrival, this allowed us to alter the route if needed.  Our trip including fuel, ferries & accommodation cost us £1373 (i did book the ferry at xmas).


Places I would recommend to visit are drive the circuit at Le Mans, Oradour sur Glan (a town destroyed in WW2 by the Germans but left as it was as a memorial), Millau Bridge, drive the gorge du tarn, Paul Ricard Circuit, Quai des Millardaires (Antibes), Moanaco (was disappointing as it was like a building site and most of the circuit was closed including the tunnel), take the ferry from Griante to Bellagio on lake Como for lunch, any of the swiss passes, The Black Forest, Nurburgring.



I can e-mail you the route if you want in Tyre to Travel format (broken down into days), whatever you plan enjoy it.  We are off to the swiss alps, Austria & the dolomites in the 1989 MK1 on June 5th for two weeks.




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#5 Med


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Posted 12 May 2017 - 11:39 PM

Talking about Italy: Thyrrenian coast is ok, Pisa and Lucca also. Why don't you go to Florence then? If you're not interested in Florence, I would go to Pass Abetone heading to Maranello and Modena. Here you can visit various supercars manifacturers and museum if you want. I would avoid Adriatic coast, imho there's little interesting north to Rimini except Ravenna. Once in Modena point North towards Mantua and Verona, both worth a visit. Lake Garda is just outside Verona, but I would avoid the south-east coast due to heavy traffic in summer and going to the more enjoyable west coast. Desenzano and Limone worth a see. The other two big italian lakes, Lake Maggiore and Lake Como are over 100 miles away from Lake Garda, so I don't know if they fit in your plan.

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#6 R55Thrillhouse


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Posted 18 May 2017 - 11:08 AM

Doing a 6 day trip next Thursday (if my car is fixed....) to Switzerland (ignoring France entirely), smashing all the passes, Stelvio, then up through Germanys Black Forest, then Nurburg and home.


It purely is a driving holiday, not sight seeing.  We are doing AirBNB which gives you unique, quirky places on the cheap.  No more than £100 split over5 nights stay at random places each time, and no, none of them are hostels lol!


Fuel is a different question.

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#7 tdk



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Posted 19 May 2017 - 11:20 AM

Plenty of suggestions in my book!


I am very often roadtripping around Europe. I am just back from the San Marco pass in Italy, actually, and know lots of the interesting jaggy, zig-zaggy bits around Europe. Drop me a line if you like.


Bon voyage.

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#8 Volumex


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Posted 22 May 2017 - 01:33 PM

Not going to be able to make this years but this should be worth following ( a mainly open road event so you can tag along providing you don't get in the way and respect the entrants who have been known to press on (!!) or drop into one of the circuits.


HTH. Cheers, Volumex

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#9 Mudo


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Posted 24 May 2017 - 07:34 AM

Ferry to Santander or Bilbao then take the coastal route through the Basque country, then Cantabria/Asturias and Galicia.

The roads (outside of the big cities) are lightly used and very good quality; there are plenty of MX5 type roads.

It is a truly beautiful area and little known by the Brits who all seem to fly overhead to the over rated (purely my opinion) southern coast.

The Basque country itself is a real jewel and San Sebastian (Donostia) is just about the most prosperous, and elegant, city you are likely to find.

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I don't mind the old Romanians or the old Bulgarians, but the Old Etonians are a different matter entirely

#10 atlex


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Posted 24 May 2017 - 07:45 PM

Belgian Ardennes, Eifel Mountains in Germany..

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#11 Volumex


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Posted 05 June 2017 - 10:20 AM

Not long back from a trip to Bologna for SWMBO's birthday.

Fascinating city and not over-run by other tourists.

We took a train from there to Modena - €12 the two of us - and went on a pre-booked visit of the Pagani factory.

What makes it so interesting is that being small scale production you actually see cars being manufactured.

On the way back we went to the Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena.

Having been to Maranello before I found the EFM in many ways more interesting as it's about the man rather than lots of shiny cars (though there were quite a few of those).

Well worth visting either in you're in that part of Italy.

Cheers, Volumex.

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#12 super5


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Posted 14 June 2017 - 12:17 PM

A little closer, still in Europe, just did the NC500 a few weeks ago.
Amazing! Suited the mx5 so well. Great mix of roads, some fast some single track like special stages when views opened up and the Views..!!
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#13 skipper


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Posted 11 February 2018 - 06:41 PM

Hello pauljaq

Your route is not possible in the 2 weeks you have at only 4hous per day even if you do all motorways, I did a simillar route last year on the bike(so no traffic jams) most days riding 8 hours a day keeping off motorways sticking to lovely a/b roads.One tip for you is do not take the coast road from the the south of france into italy, as fantastic as it is you will regret it.

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#14 Notch000


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Posted 05 November 2018 - 01:16 PM

make your way to a town called Andermatt in Switzerland, It surround on all sides by the most amazing passes in the alps. The Famous Stelvio is only a couplf of hours drive from here too

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