Exploring the most beautiful coastlines in Europe: top 3 routes

Europe is home to some of the world’s most incredible coastlines. I’ve put together a list with 3 great routes to explore the most beautiful coastlines in Europe. Read on to check it out.

1. Valencia to Rome

The Mediterranean is one of the most scenic seas on earth. Famed for its tranquil blue waters and incredible white-sand beaches, the Mediterranean has long been a popular destination for coastline entiousiastics. 

A roadtrip from Valencia on the Eastern coast of Spain to the Italian capital is a fantastic trip that gives you the chance to see some of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful coastlines. The first stop on this route is the city of Barcelona. Here, the world-famous Sagrada Família and Park Güell are worth a visit! Make sure to also stroll along Las Ramblas and savor the vibrant atmosphere of the bustling La Boqueria market.

Continuing driving northward where you can make a quick stop at the charming French city of Marseille. The Old Port, lined with colorful fishing boats, offers a glimpse into Marseille’s seafaring heritage. If you decide to stop here, make sure to also explore the Le Panier district and to savor a taste of bouillabaisse, a traditional Provencal fish stew.

Photo by ISHM on Unsplash

The journey then takes you to Nice, where you can find blue waters and palm-lined boulevards. Stroll along the Promenade des Anglais and relax on the beaches.

Crossing the border into Italy, the historic port city of Genoa welcomes you. Make sure to visit the ancient city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that boasts narrow streets and grand palaces.

You can also travel by cruise ship from Valencia to Rome. Setting sail from Valencia’s port, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas of the Mediterranean coastline as you cruise towards the eternal city of Rome. Along the way you will make a stop at Corsica, a beautiful Mediterranean island and of course, you also visit beautiful cities like Barcelona, Marseille, Nice and Genoa.

2. Naples to Venice 

On the eastern side of Italy is the Adriatic Sea. This is something of a forgotten gem that is just as beautiful as the Mediterranean Sea. Flanked by Italy on one side and Croatia on the other, the Adriatic has panoramic views and is dotted with scenic islands and historic coastal towns.

Embarking on a drive from Naples to Venice offers a journey through Italy’s treasures. First, you can stop in Rome and explore the Colosseum and Vatican City.

Then, you can start driving towards the Amalfi Coast and see the dramatic cliffs and charming coast villages like Ancona, Rimini and Cesenatico.

Photo by Tom Podmore on Unsplash

After exploring Cesenatico, Bologna awaits. Bologna is a vibrant city in northern Italy known for its historical significance, rich culinary scene and cultural offerings.

End your road trip in Venice and explore the city’s unique charm. Visit the iconic St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica, Rialto Bridge, Doge’s Palace and take a gondola ride to see hidden corners and bridges. From Naples to Venice, each stop reveals Italy’s rich history, art, flavors and coasts, making this road trip truly unforgettable.

To explore this area by cruise ship, you can depart from the Italian port city of Naples on the Mediterranean coast and then sail around the bottom of the country and round to its eastern side. There, as the expanse of the Adriatic opens out in front of you, you’ll most likely stop at the Croatian coastal towns of Dubrovnik, Spit, and Koper, before rounding off the trip by finishing at the iconic Italian canal city of Venice.

aerial shot of a landscape
Photo by Muamer Ramovic on

3. The Norwegian Fjords

For many of us, holidays are synonymous with clear blue skies and warm summer weather. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a bit of sunshine, for others the weather isn’t a top priority. Some of the best coastlines in Europe can be found in the North of the continent. Norway has a unique coastline, with enormous seawater inlets that often stretch for hundreds of miles inland.

Embarking on a road trip to witness the Norwegian Fjords is a great adventure. As you wind your way through Norway’s landscapes, panorama of cliffs, waterfalls and blue waters unveil itself. The fjords, including the renowned Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord, beckon with their beauty and tranquility. Make sure to stop at Stavanger too. Here, you can hike to the famous Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) for a breathtaking view! Then drive north to Sognefjord, the longest and deepest fjord in Norway. Next to the beautiful fjords, you can discover plenty of charming villages nestled against the fjord walls. These villages offer glimpses into the traditional Norwegian life.

If you decide to make a roadtrip from Amsterdam to the The Norwegian Fjords, I recommend to include the following destinations in your itinerary: Hamburg (Germany), Copenhagen (Denmark), Gothenburg (Sweden), Oslo (Norway), Bergen (Norway), Stavanger (Norway), Aurland and Nærøyfjord (Norway), Geirangerfjord (Norway) and Sognefjord (Norway).

A cruise trip around the Norwegian Fjords is another great way to explore the beautiful coastlines. Most cruises depart from Southampton or Amsterdam. From there, you’ll sail on to the Norwegian port towns of Stavanger and Olden, before visiting the stunning fjords such as Innvikfjorden and Nordfjorden. The trip will most likely finish with stop offs at Alesund and Haugesund, before making the trip back to the departure port.

aerial photo of sea beside forest
Photo by Jeswin Thomas on


In conclusion, you can find many beautiful coastlines in Europe. From the sun-soaked Mediterranean shores along the Valencia to Rome route, to the picturesque villages nestled against the Norwegian Fjords, and the hidden gems of the Adriatic Sea on the Naples to Venice journey, the possibilities for coastal exploration in Europe are endless. Whether you choose to embark on a road trip or opt for a cruise, I am sure that you will enjoy the beautiful coastlines in Europe.

If you have any questions about the above mentioned information, please let me know in the comment section below. I’m happy to help you. Safe travels!

Author: Daphne

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