Europe is a fantastic, varied continent for exploring by road, so it’s no surprise that many people love to forget paying for expensive flights or trains and simply drive themselves around. This way, you get full control over your route and you can explore everything at your own pace, plus there’s almost no place on the continent you can’t reach by road (once you cross the English Channel, of course).

So what kind of trip are you looking for? Europe has everything, from rocky coastlines to sandy beaches, lush countryside to busy cities. Perhaps you’d like to see as much variation as possible? But in any case, you will need to plan a smart route. Here are some of the best countries for exploring by road, which might make your shortlist.

France – Pretty much the easiest continental country for UK residents to explore by road, France is just a short ferry journey away. Just remember to switch sides of the road when you arrive, and you’ll be able to explore whatever you like. Take a tour of the countryside in search of the finest French vineyards, drive up to some of the world’s favourite ski resorts, or take a tour of the glamorous holiday hotspots in the south.

Italy – With several famous, historic cities to visit, each packed with attractions both ancient and modern, Italy offers a great selection of man-made wonders. Its natural landscape is equally beautiful, though, varying from the snowy slopes in the north to the surprisingly green coastlines further south. Travelling by car is an ideal way to see it all.

Portugal – With a surprising history that most people know little of, Portugal has a huge amount to offer if you choose to explore it by road. Medieval wars, devastating earthquakes and the waves of the Atlantic Ocean have shaped both this country’s history and its geography. Beautiful architecture, delicious food and a friendly culture are all benefits of Portugal which you can experience for yourself on a road trip.

Britain – Of course, one option for Brits is to stay at home and enjoy everything the UK has to offer. What could be easier? Take a road trip to a part of the country you’ve never really seen, and find out what you’ve been missing all these years. You might be surprised how much natural beauty we really have, and there are many underrated towns and cities to visit across the country too.