Europe is set up with some fantastic scenery. Most areas are easily traveled, and border crossing usually isn’t much of an issue. This makes for an excellent recipe for an RV tour.
There were some key locations and famous routes we didn’t want to miss. The map plotted our trip as we drew out several courses and made a full tour. The hardest thing was deciding what routes we’d have to skip this time. On trips like this, you always want to do everything. However, time is always cut short, so careful decision-making is critical.
La Route des Grande Alpes
This route is mandatory when traveling Europe by RV. It stretches from Lake Geneva all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. The ability to compare and contrast European mountain and coast life is what makes this trip so memorable.
During the planning phase of our trip, we decided it was probably a better idea to go during the summer season. The next leg of our trip made me glad we chose to do that.
A Small Paradise Called Bourg Saint Maurice
Up next was Bourg Saint Maurice, a small town positioned in the heart of the French Alps. When you think of the French Alps, usually, skiing would come to mind. However, this town is also famous for its great lake activities. We stopped and did some water skiing and spent the next day hiking.
Saint-Martin-Vésubie was another highlight of this section of our trip. This small commune is easily missed. It’s a haven for nature lovers, and we were able to do some fantastic hiking and ziplining.
Parc Alpha was an exciting way to spend the next day. We were able to gain plenty of knowledge on the wolves that roam around the local forests that surround the area.
We ended this portion of our tour in the beautiful French town of Menton. Menton is known for its beautiful beaches. Numerous gardens are home to some scarce plants. The city is also full of stunning architecture, including pastel-colored houses and beautiful 17th-century churches.
Since we are water lovers, we decided our next section of the tour would be the coast of Portugal. Portugal is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. This scenic drive along the Atlantic coast is one of the most breathtaking routes that Europe offers.
The first leg would be from Viana do Castelo to Porto. Porto is known for its fantastic port wines, and we had a great time sampling the vast selection.
This area had some of the most amazing scenery I’ve ever seen. There are beautiful palaces and churches everywhere you look. We stopped in Praia on our way out to get a view of the famous chapel built on a rock outcrop.
We left Porto and drove to Leiria. Leiria is a town that is rich in history. The Leiria Castle was one of the highlights of this portion of the trip. This castle has three distinct building phases due to the three periods of construction from different periods.
Our next major stop would be Lisbon, which is home to many iconic monuments and pastel-colored buildings. There was so much to do in this area, and we decided to park the RV and tour on foot. The cobblestone streets were an excellent way to go back in time.
There was no shortage of food here. It wouldn’t be a complete trip here if we didn’t sample the pastel de nata from a local bakery. This regional treat didn’t disappoint.
The next section of our drive would be one of the longer ones. We set out for Lagos, ready for the long drive ahead of us. This section has some amazing natural scenes we were lucky to catch on our drive.
Finally arriving in Lagos, we were able to enjoy the Atlantic beaches and historic watchtowers. It was enjoyable to be able to soak up the rays of the sun.
We ended up driving to Tavira, a small town on the Algarve coast. This town has several famous beaches and is home to many historical sites. Like other parts of Portugal, it’s rich in churches, watchtowers, and castles dating back to the 12th century.
The local seafood offered in the restaurants on the coast of Portugal shouldn’t be missed either. This was one of the highlights of this portion of our trip.
Portugal is an area that was influenced by many different cultures over the years. It’s a melting pot of various cultural influences that are still alive today.
One thing we may do next time is going during a different season. Portugal is hot, and the beaches can be frequented during almost any season. Going during the non-summer months leads to less crowding of some of the more popular areas to visit.
Without a doubt, the coast of Portugal is a must-do for any RV traveler in Europe. You get a natural feel of the influences and mixing of cultures in the area over the centuries. This left us with a genuine appreciation for the heritage here.