Summer Summit Bliss: Our Epic European Mountain Road Trip Adventure

by Carol Ranas
10 minutes read
Summer is kind of a big deal here in Europe, as everyone is excited about their summer getaway plans. Every summer, our family eagerly anticipates our annual tradition of embarking on a thrilling European road trip, seeking the cool embrace of mountain air amidst the sizzling summer heat. Our family kind of leaned towards nature experiences, so camping and mountains have always been in the summer plan. 

Summer Europe Camping 2023 Be Carol
We went big for our trip this year, calling it our mini-retirement. We planned to do the trip for 26 days, which seemed too long to be on the road, especially with a kid. We saved enough for a trip back to Manila, but circumstances were not in our favor which is why we decided to go with a mini-retirement instead. We knew we wanted to experience a different view of the Alps, so we were contemplating which side are we going to explore. 
Road trips should be broken down into small chunks of driving, giving ample time for the designated driver to rest and enjoy the trip as well. This year, we hit up cities we were familiar with in combination with new cities to explore, to balance the risk of unexpected things in new cities. Below is the route we went for:
Summer Europe Camping Vacation Be Carol

Above are the main stops we did during this whole trip. Along the way, we might have made a few quick stops as well. Let me break down below the cities we chose and the activities we had in mind for each location. 

1. Europa Park, Germany – The Kickoff to Thrills and Chills

Our family’s summer tradition kicked off at Europa Park, Germany. Picture roller coasters twisting and turning, laughter filling the air, and that undeniable theme park excitement, it’s the perfect first stop for families with kids! My son loves attraction parks, so we made sure we included them in our summer plan. 
Summer Europe Camping Europa Park Germany Be Carol
Europa Park, known as the best theme park in Europe, its captivating rides and enchanting atmosphere, providing a fantastic start to our escapade. Attraction Parks in Europe hits different from the typical parks we have in Asia. Europa Park has themes from different countries in Europe, paired with rides and attractions (not to mention some of its beloved cuisines!), one day in the park is simply not enough. Not to mention that Europa Park has a huge indoor waterpark as well called Rulantica, visiting gave us days of fun that’ll be enough to jumpstart our summer vacation.

2. Interlaken, Switzerland – Hiking Trails and Alpine Dreams

I will say it, Switzerland has been a family favorite place to visit during summer. It is the perfect stop, like stepping into a postcard. Known for its breathtaking landscapes and hiking trails, Interlaken offers an unparalleled mountain experience. We found ourselves coming back to Interlaken for the second time, surrounded by the awe-inspiring Alps. 

Summer Europe Camping Switzerland Be Carol
Hiking and Exploring the Alps became our daily routine on this trip, and I can’t even describe the views – breathtaking doesn’t do it justice. We bought the Top of Europe pass for the second time, and tried to hike the trails in Interlaken. The trails vary in difficulty, catering to both novice hikers (like me) and seasoned adventurers. Each step brought us closer to panoramic views of the Swiss Alps, making Interlaken a must-stop for anyone seeking the perfect blend of adventure and tranquility. We opted to stay for one whole week in Interlaken, so aside from the places included in the Top of Europe pass, we were also able to explore the nearby towns, such as the Aareschlucht Gorge and Reichenbachfall.

3. Milan, Italy – Foodie Heaven in a Fashionable Setting

After all that mountain air, we decided to make a city stop in Milan, Italy. I know, it is not your typical mountain destination, but hear me out. Milan is the perfect stop to try Italian cuisine and it also has Jollibee! From authentic pasta to irresistible pastries, it was a culinary pitstop that satisfied our taste buds and gave us the energy for the rest of our adventure. We are also craving something that reminds us of home, so a stop at Jollibee was definitely in the plan!

Summer Europe Camping Milan Italy Be Carol

Aside from our gastronomic plan in Milan, we also visited some of the iconic landmarks such as the Duomo. As we explore the city’s iconic landmarks and savor local delicacies, Milan provides a refreshing break before we resume our mountainous journey.

4. Dolomites, Italy – Scaling Peaks and Living the Outdoor Dream

Now, Dolomites – oh boy, this place is a dream for anyone who loves the outdoors. It was our first time in the Dolomites, so we didn’t have much expectations, let’s just say that it was amazing! We hiked through rugged landscapes, conquered challenging trails, and soaked in the serenity of the mountains. It was like being in a nature documentary, but we were the stars. Unforgettable doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Summer Europe Camping Dolomites Italy Be Carol

From challenging trails to scenic vistas,  Dolomites offer a diverse range of activities for nature lovers. It’s a destination that caters to both thrill-seekers and those seeking a more relaxed exploration of the great outdoors. We made Brixen as our base camp, and had a wonderful Italian road trip across the Dolomites. Hiking through the Dolomites is a surreal experience, with towering peaks, rugged landscapes, hidden lakes, and a sense of serenity that only nature can provide.

5. Legoland Germany – A Whimsical Break on Our Way Home

Amidst the long journey back to the Netherlands, we make a whimsical stop at Legoland Germany. This family-friendly theme park is a fantastic way to break up the drive, providing entertainment for both kids and adults alike. The colorful brick creations and exciting rides offer a playful interlude before we reach our final destination.

Summer Europe Camping Legoland Germany Be Carol 2
I can say that Legoland Germany had been included in our favorites as it was the most cost-effective stop. It is perfectly nestled in between the Netherlands and the Alp Regions. The drive was doable, and my kid also got to have fun. A win-win situation at its best!

6. Aachen, Germany – Wrapping It Up with History and Charm

Our last stop, Aachen, Germany, was like the grand finale. Historical charm oozed from every corner of the old town, and the Aachen Cathedral was a sight to behold. We strolled through cobblestone streets, taking in the atmosphere and savoring the last moments of our incredible summer adventure in the mountains.

Summer Europe Camping Aachen Germany Be Carol

The picturesque old town, coupled with the awe-inspiring Aachen Cathedral, Aachen is the perfect backdrop for reflecting on our mountainous exploits before heading home. As we stroll through the cobblestone streets and absorb the city’s charm, we savor the final moments of our summer escapade.

Summer Europe Camping 2023 Be Carol

So that was our unforgettable summer European mountain road trip. Roller coasters, alpine hikes, delicious eats, outdoor adventures, a splash of whimsy, and a touch of history – it was the perfect recipe for an epic vacation. Now it’s your turn. Pack your bags, lace up your hiking boots, and hit the road for an unforgettable journey through the majestic European mountains. We have made lots of memories to cherish and It is your turn to embark on a similar epic adventure. 

Ready for Your Summit Bliss? 

Start Planning Your Summer European Mountain Road Trip Now!

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