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How to road trip from Zürich to the end of Europe – 10 tips

Beatrice Lessi

Road trips allow you to see what you could never see, if you are just flying from airport to airport. Meet locals, discover villages you’ve never heard of, and, in the case of the road trip we did, watch the spectacular coast line.

Here are 10 ideas of things to do, based on our itinerary, which was:

Zurich  – Madrid – Chile (flying, for a marathon) – Madrid – Porto – Nazare – Sintra – Cascais – all the way down to the end of Europe (Cabo Roca, Portugal) – Algarve – Sevilla – Gibraltar – Marbella – Granada – Alicante – Valencia – Barcelona – St.Tropez – Monte Carlo – Zurich.

1. Pack so light, that you still have room in your luggage, and you can even buy something. Especially if you come from Zurich, almost everything will be cheaper, in Spain or Portugal. Maybe you’ll find the outlet or deal you were looking for. We went to beautiful and perfectly organised La Roca Village. It features the best parking I’ve ever seen (for free), a lot of premium brands, beautiful decor, and places to stop and rest from the heat.

2. Learn why the biggest waves in the world are formed in Nazare: This is possible because of the Nazaré Canyon, an underwater geomorphological phenomenon that allows the swell to form to perfect giant waves. It is the largest underwater canyon in Europe, about 170 kilometers along the coast, reaching a depth of 5,000 meters.

The difference in depths increases wave height, the canyon increases and converges the swell, and the local water current helps shape the world’s biggest wave. Last but least, there is perfect wind speed.

3. Walk with free animals – in many city parks, like Parque Marechal Carmona, you’ll be able to see peacocks, hens, turtles, ducks and many more animals roaming around.

Roaming around

4. Enjoy the Michelin starred food…and all local food. Spain really became famous for its Michelin starred restaurants, and the level of cooking is very high in many many cities. Do explore by using guides or asking locals, and learn or get inspired by classic dishes of their tradition.

5. Admire the colored tiles. Be it in Sevilla, or to decorate walls and benches, or just to indicate a street, Spain and Portugal often feature beautiful tiles and ceramics.

6. Go to the most southwest point of Europe, Cabo Roca. The famous lighthouse and the steep rocks will take your breath away. Do expect some wind!

The lighthouse where Europe ends up

7. Visit Alhambra . So many legends surround this spectacular place in Granada, famous for its Arabic shapes and majestic architecture. It is crowded, but not too much, because only a certain number of tourists can go. Book a lot in advance!

8. Do spend time in Valencia: The City of Arts and Science monuments can be seen outside for free, and enjoyed together with the park. Definitely worth a stop.

Worth a visit: the city of arts and sciences in Valencia

9. Visit Girona old town and Pont de Pedra. A stunning medieval town, with colourful houses above the river, it’s also the location where the Games of Thrones was filmed. We were lucky to see the famous flowers festival, Have coffe in Jan Frodeno’s coffee shop, to meet sporty people from all over the world.

10. When driving back home, enjoy a bit of French glamour. We went to Monaco  Grand Prix historique. So many gorgeous old timers! A very charming event, to end up in style.


Monaco, Grand Prix Historique



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