Going on vacation by car has both advantages and disadvantages. the good thing about it is certainly the flexibility, and the fact that you can take as much stuff with you as you like.
City trails hotel tip zandvoort:
Closer to the beach is not possible!
destination │ texel
If you’re more the island types, take a look at texel. On the island you can expect 30 kilometers of sandy beach.
For better orientation, the beach sections are divided into so-called paals. At some paals there are small beach cottages that you can rent for a day or even for the whole vacation.
These are simple but practical small wooden sheds, which usually include sunbeds and parasols. Pack your stuff in the cabin and enjoy the sun on your lounger.
For rent: beach huts on texel
City trails hotel tip for families:
Suite for four in the dunes! grand hotel opduin**** from 320€
destination │ insider tip schoorl
If you don’t like the tourist hustle and bustle of zandvoort or texel, then have a look at schoorl! of course there are also tourists there, but the beach is much quieter and super suitable for quiet seekers or families.
insider tip: schoorl
city trails hotel tips in schoorl:
Vacation by car at the sea
2. Vacation by car in belgium
belgium is not necessarily on your mind for a vacation at the beach. After all, the Belgian coast is only 70 kilometers long. But on these 70 kilometers there are some super nice beaches, which are in no way inferior to those in holland.
does belgium have toll highways? No
Especially if you prefer to take the road less traveled, the belgian coast is worth a look. Compared to the neighboring netherlands there is much less hustle and bustle here. On the beaches in belgium you are more likely to mingle with the locals.
Destination │ westende
The area around westende has everything to offer for a beach vacation. In westende-bad and in middelkerke there are numerous restaurants and beach bars, while on the beach of lombardsije it is rather quiet.
All along the beach there are opportunities for sailing and surfing, or playing beach volleyball.
City paths hotel tip:
Directly on the beach of middelkerke for four! vacation apartment melanie from 168€
destination │ de haan& bruges
along the 12 kilometer long, finest sandy beach at de haan you will find everything your heart desires from peace and seclusion, to water sports and beach volleyball, to beach shacks. take a beach walk to the secluded cafe westhinder.
beach of de haan
If you are on vacation with your car in de haan you can also make a short trip to the next city. from de haan to bruges it is only about 20 kilometers. Take a look at historic bruges or take the streetcar to ostende.
A stroll through the historic old town of bruges
City paths hotel tip de haan:
dunes, nostalgia& cheap! B&B les hirondelles from 69€
Destination │ koksijde
one of the most beautiful beaches in belgium you will find in koksijde. even at high tide the beach is still over 200 meters wide. There is room for every sand castle! At low tide, you even have to walk up to 800 meters to reach the water.
at the beach directly a handful of beach bars await you, and at the promenade you have the free choice of countless cafes and restaurants.
close by, the amusement park plopsaland de panne is a great destination for smaller children.
You are never too old to build a sand castle!
City paths hotel tipp koksijde:
Apartment with sea view for six: blankeduyn koksijde from 180€
Vacation by car at the sea
3. Vacation by car in france
France has some breathtaking beaches both on the atlantic coast and in the south on the mediterranean sea for vacations by car.
does france have toll highways? Yes, payable directly on the highway.
These are our three favorite vacation destinations on the French coast:
destination │ la rochelle (atlantic)
in la rochelle you walk in the footsteps of seafaring. Since the 12. In the 19th century, the city was a trading center and has always been a bit different and more rebellious than other french cities.
the old town of la rochelle, which has been car-free since 1975, scores with medieval half-timbered houses, arcades and renaissance buildings.
the old vieux port is an impressive testimony to french maritime history, while the huge, modern marina is bustling with pleasure boats.
The port of la rochelle
Almost 20 percent of la rochelle’s residents are students, which is clearly noticeable, especially in the bars on weekends.
sailors, culturally interested, and all those who want to go out in the evening, will get their money’s worth here.
around the city there are some great beaches. But in our opinion you will find the most beautiful ones on the island of île de re.
In saint-martin on the île de re
on the île de re there is accommodation in all price categories, from camping sites to five-star hotels.
Conveniently, you don’t need a ferry to get to the island. there is a bridge over which you can easily drive from la rochelle to île de re.
Over this bridge you drive to the île de re
city trails hotel tips
Vacation home for families with up to 6 people on the island île de re:
Great value for money, 2 minutes to the beach, apartments for 2 to 4 people:
city trails city trips paris
In summer 2021 we will start our tours to paris again.
Destination │ biarritz& saint-jean-de-luz (atlas – french basque country)
Biarritz is a classic vacation destination for stress-ridden French city dwellers and, of course, for surfers attracted by the waves of the Atlantic.
But also for those who like to go for a little hike the area is super.
On the beach promenade of biarritz, you have several restaurants and cafes to choose from. Biarritz gets really crowded in summer, so if you’re looking for peace and quiet, this is definitely the wrong place for you.
But if you want to mingle with the crowd and go out in the evenings, biarritz is the place to be.
If you prefer things a little quieter, saint-jean-de-luz, located just south of biarritz, is the right destination on the french atlantic coast for you.
along the picturesque coastal hiking trail you can even get to biarritz in no time on foot.
Becoming crowded in summer: the beach at biarritz
meeting point for surfers: biarritz on the atlantic coast
great for hiking with a view: the la corniche hiking trail near saint-jean-de-luz
city trails hotel tips:
Biarritz │ four stars directly on the beach: hotel windsor grande plage from 200€
Saint-jean-de-luz │ savoir vivre right on the beach: grand hôtel thalasso& spa from 225€
Destination │ le grau-du-roi (mediterranean – camargue)
When people talk about the French Mediterranean coast, the first places that come to mind are probably Nice and Monaco. these are of course also beautiful places, but our favorite in this region for vacations by car is clearly le grau-du-roi.
The small harbor town is just the right size for a relaxing vacation on the mediterranean sea.
The port of le grau-du-roi
On the beaches in le grau-du-roi you can either lie down on the beach bars, which you have to pay for, or just lie on the sand.
only 8 kilometers north of the center of le grau-du-roi you will also find the dream beach of la grande-motte.
The beach of la grande-motte
It’s just 35 kilometers to montpellier. Make sure to visit montpellier, the city has a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing, culture, history and great restaurants.
Also arles, avignon and marseille are not far away. so you can combine a beach vacation in le grau du-roi with a little sightseeing and culture.
perfect for a day trip: montpellier
city trails hotel tips:
Le grau-du-roi │ good& cheap for two: hotel le maray from 90€
Le grau-du-roi │ central vacation apartment for four with harbor view: marina port camargue from 173€
La grande-motte │ cheap apartment for two, 3 minutes walk to the beach: studio – bord de plage from 62€
What do i have to consider when i drive to france??
First of all, you need to have your driver’s license and vehicle documents with you. Actually logical, you have to in germany as well.
You can pay the toll for the french freeway directly at the tollbooths. You do not need a vignette or the like.
Our tip │ at the tollbooths, queues tend to form at the lanes where cash payment is possible. If you have a credit card with you, you can also use other lanes and get through faster. Look for the symbol with the hand with the map for that. Especially in the vacation traffic you can save up to half an hour of time.
Before you leave, make sure that you have warning vests for all passengers in the car. In france this is often checked.
On french highways a speed limit of 130 km/h.
city tolls and access restrictions │ in some french cities there are restrictions that you have to pay attention to. A very good, and always current overview you can find on the website of the ADAC:
Vacation by car on the sea
4. vacation by car in spain
Of course, you’ll have to drive a little longer to spain. If this does not deter you, you will be rewarded with great beaches and fantastic food.
For just one week, you should think twice about driving the long way around. If you have two weeks time, it is worth it.
maybe you can add an overnight stay in the south of france and have a look at montpellier?
are there tolls on the highways in spain?? Partly yes, you pay directly on the highway.
Destination │ costa dorada – sitges
on the spanish costa dorada you are still comparatively fast by car. In sitges you have both a sandy beach directly in the village and a city center that invites you to stroll, store and feast.
in july and august it is quite crowded in sitges, as the small town is a popular beach destination for barcelona locals.
Sitges is colorful, alternative, has a lot of nightlife to offer and often the LGBT scene meets here.
The beach of sitges
During the day you can loiter on the beach and make a detour to a chiringuito (beach bar) every now and then, and in the evening you can wander through the streets from one tapas bar to the next.
tip: be sure to go to the tapas bar lapunta in carrer sant damià!
for a day of sightseeing barcelona is only about 40 kilometers away. From sitges you can go directly to barcelona with the regional train R2S. This is much more pleasant than driving into the city traffic of the catalonian capital.
City trails hotel tips:
Vacation apartment with sea view for 6 people: la marina de aiguadolc from 430€
Three-star hotel on the beach promenade: hotel platjador from 150€
Four star hotel, great location: URH sitges playa from 165€
about 40 kilometers south of sitges we have a secret tip for you: there is a villa on a hill in the more quiet roda de bera, which offers you not only beautiful rooms, but also a fantastic view of the sea!
destination │ basque country (bilbao)
The idiosyncratic basque country is traditionally different from the rest of spain, and not the classic vacation destination of the traveling german. The area around the gulf of biskaya has a lot to offer with its history, art, culture and fantastic cuisine!
Bilbao has changed drastically in the last decades, and is now an absolute top destination in spain for a city trip. Where once industry dominated, the largest city in the Basque Country is now a center for culture and modern architecture.
Around bilbao there are many beautiful beaches, for example in the small town of getaria. Combine your beach vacation with one or the other side trip to bilbao or the mountainous hinterland.
architect frank gehry designed the guggenheim museum in bilbao
surfers are attracted to the atlantic beaches in the basque country
On the coast of the basque country rugged cliffs and wide beaches alternate again and again. thanks to the atlantic waves the whole coast is considered a paradise for surfers.
If you want to stay close to bilbao for art and culture, check out these hotels in getxo. There you can find great accommodations near the beach and still be only about 10 kilometers from the center of bilbao.
If you are looking for a quieter place for your vacation, we can recommend getaria near zarautz. From there you can make a detour to san sebastian, 25 kilometers away, or of course to bilbao, 80 kilometers away.
sunset in getaria
city trails hotel tips:
Directly on the beach of getxo, great for two: four-star hotel igeretxe from 135€
Beautiful hotel for two, insanely great view! saiaz getaria hotela from 115€
destination │ costa del azahar (valencia)
Around valencia at the mediterranean sea one resort follows the other. even if some places are still suffering from the construction sins of the 70s and 80s, when they obviously tried to put as many beds as possible on one beach, the region is still a justifiably popular destination for vacations by car.
For a vacation we would recommend looking for accommodation outside valencia. Nevertheless, a trip to the third largest city in spain is definitely worthwhile. Besides the typical spanish old town valencia also has many museums and modern architecture to offer.
Costa del azahar
The old town of valencia
About 40 kilometers south of valencia lies the small coastal town of cullera. The location is certainly not a highlight in terms of architecture, but the beaches are great! Climb also the hill with the castell de cullera. from the historic fortress you have a great view of the surroundings.
During the day, cullera is crowded with families and children on the beach; at night, the center comes alive with bars and clubs.
things are a little quieter in tavernes de valldigna, 10 kilometers to the south. If cullera is too turbulent for you, check out lodging there.
View from the castell de cullera
city trails hotel tips:
Cullera │ three-star hotel right on the beach: el chalet from 80€
Cullera │ vacation apartment for up to 6 people: la rada from 250€
Tavernes de la valldigna │ vacation apartment with 3 bedrooms:
Vacationing by car in the mountains
5. Vacation by car in switzerland
If you prefer mountains and lakes instead of beaches, switzerland is an excellent destination for a vacation by car. In summer you can go on almost endless hikes, passing by small and large mountain lakes.
The hiking trails in the swiss tourist areas are very well designated. Small tours for the whole family and also larger hiking days for advanced hikers are possible.
The lakes in switzerland are of course suitable for swimming and water sports, but you should not be too squeamish when it comes to water temperature.
Are the highways in switzerland subject to tolls?? Yes, you need one
destination │ maloja (engadin – graubunden)
one of the most beautiful corners of the swiss alps is the engadin in graubunden. The most famous place in this area is certainly saint moritz. But we find maloja, only 15 kilometers away, much nicer for a vacation.
The silsersee is directly in front of the door and all around there are a million hiking trails.
The small village of maloja has some excellent restaurants to offer. if you are hungry for pizza, go to the campsite! in the cute restaurant you can get the best pizza far and wide!
View on the silsersee
city trails hotel tips:
our undisputed super tip for the engadin is the hotel longhin maloja. The hotel and food are fantastic, and it is the perfect starting point for hiking or touring by bike.
In addition to single and double rooms, there are also family room for four. Book best directly through the ➲ contact form on the website of the longhin, how to get the best price.
If you prefer camping, have a look at ➲ camping maloja at! the place offers you pure idyll directly at the lake. you can arrive by camper, bus or tent. And by the way, this is the campsite with the best pizza.
And then there is.
Four stars in the center of st. Moritz: crystal hotel superior from 280€
destination │ locarno – lago maggiore
in locarno you are already shortly before the italian border. After all, switzerland and italy share lago maggiore.
Locarno has a great old town to offer, and along the lake and in the surrounding mountains you can hike for weeks on end.
Stroll through the piazza grande or climb up to the church of madonna del sasso. From there you have a great view of the city and lago maggiore.
Piazza grande in locarno
view of lago maggiore from the madonna del sasso
city trails hotel tips:
Cheap inn directly at the lake: al pozz from 103€
Family room for four, directly on the lake, pool: aparthotel al lago from 205€
Five-star hotel with an incredible view! villa oselina from 340€
destination │ hiking at lake oeschinen – kandersteg
Attention, now it’s getting cheesy! it’s simply impossible to take a photo of lake oeschinen that doesn’t look awfully like a postcard idyll.
take a hotel in kandersteg in bernese oberland. From there, you can walk to lake oeschinen on various hiking trails, or simply hop on the gondola and let yourself be whisked up to the top.
If you have seen enough of lake oeschinen (if that is at all possible), take a detour to thun, about 40 kilometers away.
Postcard idyll at lake oeschinen
oberhofen castle in thun
city trails hotel tips:
built for heidi: hotel bernerhof from 190€
Super price-performance: hotel zur post from 110€
Vacation apartment for five: chalet on the irfig from 110€
vacation with the car in the mountains
6. vacation with the car in austria
For a vacation with the car at the lake or with hiking and biking tours is of course also Austria an excellent choice.
Are the freeways in austria subject to tolls?? Yes, you need one
destination │ golling an der salzach
Golling an der salzach is relatively easy to reach for vacations by car, because it is located directly on the A10 motorway. But don’t worry, once you are there, you won’t notice the highway anymore.
from golling you can discover something new every day: take a hike to the waterfall, or to the bluntausee, or explore the salzachofen adventure gorge or the ice giant world.
For a little sightseeing, salzburg is only 30 kilometers away, and picturesque hallstadt is also only 45 kilometers away.
Bluntausee lake near golling on the salzach river
Popular destination: hallstadt
city paths hotel tips:
in the middle of the village: pension cafe maier from 88€
rest& seclusion for five: vacation apartment katholnigg from 128€
Great with kids – farm, almfeeling& pool: bed& breakfast hinterkellaubauer from 82€
destination │ attersee
If you want to have a bathing lake right outside your door on vacation, the attersee in austria is a great choice. Although it is one of austria’s largest lakes, attersee gets as warm as 25 gard in summer.
around the lake there are many small, cuddly villages and several bathing places. the area around is excellent for hiking.
Salzburg is only 45 kilometers away, and it is about 50 kilometers to hallstadt.
boathouse at lake attersee
Salzburg in the evening
city trails hotel tips:
four stars, lakeside& pure mountain idyll! hotel seegasthof stadtler from 230€
Super price-performance: inn steinbichler from 94€
Vacation with the car sea& mountains
7. Vacation by car in italy
Italy is one of the classics for a vacation by car. on italian beaches our today’s tourism was born, so to speak.
Are the highways in italy subject to tolls? Yes, the toll is paid directly on the freeway.
destination │ lake garda
First the practical: lake garda is not far away for a vacation by car. now the great thing about it: lake garda is incredibly versatile and has something to offer for everyone!
The north of the garda lake is framed by the foothills of the alps and is a mecca for surfers, climbers, hikers and cyclists. In the south it becomes more tropical and just everywhere you can find extraordinary good food.
Those interested in culture will find a scaliger castle or an excavation site in almost every town that is worth a visit.
Restaurant tip │ go to the salsamenteria capolini in riva del garda! You can get incredibly good and authentic food there.
view of lake garda from monte baldo (pssst. There is a seibahn up there!)
The port of riva del garda