We’ve put together a list of ten amazing castle locations which you should consider visiting, whether you’re on a road trip or week-long local stay.
The Italian Experience
In the shadow of the famous volcano, Mt. Vesuvius, resides the coastal Italian city of Naples. We could have a whole separate list for the west coast of Italy, but Naples stands out as it acts as a great hub to visit other nearby locations driving through stunning scenic countryside.
The famous ruins of Pompeii are just a stone’s throw away, but it would be a hard task to drive past Vesuvius and not stop and marvel at the sheer enormity of the mountain. There is a selection of tours available that include sightseeing, wine tasting and more. Many vineyards are located a short trip away from the centre.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking you have to leave the city to experience Italy’s rich heritage and culture. Spend your days like royalty at The Royal Palace of Naples or perhaps visit the island fortress of the Ovo Castle, which offers stunning views from its towers. Not driven in Italy before? To get prepared for driving in Italy, read our guide to driving in Italy.
Switzerland and The Alps
The Swiss Alps offers landscape that will take your breath away and leave you speechless. From snowy peaks to quaint fishing towns, this area of Switzerland really does cement the country as one of the most beautiful in the world. Winding mountainous roads will carry you through the stunning scenery.
To get the most out of your visit, take your time to explore the entire area, but as a starting point, the town of Lucerne should be top of your list. This picturesque town has plenty to do no matter the weather. It’s located on the banks of Lake Lucerne from which you can experience relaxing boat trips, giving you the opportunity to bask in the beauty of the area.
If you want to explore in your hire car, you’ll have the pleasure of driving some very scenic roads, but make sure to allow time for multiple stops on your journey so you can enjoy the sights to the fullest.
The Great White North
If you are thinking of going a little further afield, you should wholeheartedly consider the versatile land of Canada. With big bustling cities and peaceful countryside, Canada has it all. So where do you start? Set with a back drop of towering mountains, Vancouver combines a city of culture, rich with music, theatre, architecture and art, with the tranquillity and serenity of its surrounding area.
Across the Strait of Georgia, sits Vancouver Island, home of the Pacific Rim National Park. It’s a wonderful place to explore and offers a great drive around the island. If you want an activity filled break with camping, hiking and kayaking or simply wish to escape and absorb the fresh northern air, the Island caters to everyone whilst surrounding you with gorgeous scenery.
Canada is the second largest country in the world, and as such is a road tripper’s dream. With such a vast array of landscapes, and as a result driving conditions, it’s worth taking a look at our Driving in Canada article as part of your preparations.
The rolling hills of Eire
It’s just a short hop to the beautiful green landscape of southern Ireland. From winding rivers and vast lakes, to deep forests and coastal cliffs, there is so much gorgeous greenery to see on the emerald isle. If you want a taste of the variety it offers, visit the town of Killarney in County Kerry, located in the south west. Killarney is situated next to its namesake Killarney National Park which boasts not only breath-taking scenery, including lakes and the famous Torc Waterfalls, but also the 15th Century Castle Ross.
From Killarney, it is just a short drive to the coast if you want some fresh sea air and not far from the city of Cork which sits eastward and is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland. For a few more tips check out our Driving in Ireland guide.
Vietnam is a must-see country with an abundance of natural beauty. From the limestone towers in Halong Bay to visiting one of the largest caves in the world, there is so much to see and experience. Cruise down the Mekong Delta and enjoy the stilted villages and a way of life that hasn’t changed in centuries, or immerse yourself in the history of this gorgeous country at the Ho Chi Minh City Museum.
Due to the size of the country, hiring a car is a good idea if you want to visit as many places as possible to really take it all in. There is such diverse scenery depending on where you go it would be a shame to miss any of it. South-East Asian weather conditions can be notoriously changeable, so it’s a good idea to check what season you will be travelling in. To get prepared, check out our hot weather driving tips.
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