An Epic 8 week Summer Road Trip in Europe!

It’s that time of year again, summer road trip time!  This year our epic summer road trip in Europe will be for about 8 weeks and cover 5000 km (3000 miles).  Remember our 6 week summer road trip in Europe, back in 2013?  We covered Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France, Andorra and a bit of Spain. We had a blast and shared it all with you every step of the way.  We are going to be pushing the family harmony boundaries with this one and see if we can do 8 weeks.

Wagoners Abroad is going on a summer road trip in Europe! 8 weeks of fun with 10 cities and 2 countries. Read more on WagonersAbroad.com

 

I know to some of you that think it should be no sweat, as we just finished a full year traveling in Southeast Asia.  The difference is we plan to be moving just about every week on this trip.  In Southeast Asia, it was slower travel with bursts of rapid movement.  Normally our peace and harmony is maintained for about 5-6 weeks of rapid travel, so this should get interesting.  That said, we are keeping our apartment in Spain the entire summer, just in case we want to sprint back to “home” and end the trip early.

Where are we going for this Epic Summer Road Trip in Europe?

Well Spain of course!  We plan to spend most of that time covering parts of Spain we haven’t yet explored and a couple of weeks in France too.  Actually, we are mainly targeting the northern Spain and the southern France.  How fun is that?  This will be our 3rd summer where France has been involved in our European road trip.  We were in the Alps, Lyon and Toulouse in 2013 and then in Champagne France in 2014.

Mont Blanc or Monte Bianco, both meaning "White Mountain", is the highest mountain in the Alps and the European Union. It rises 4,810 m above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence.

Our current partially baked plan

If you know anything about us at all, it is that I like to make rough plans and then wing it as we go.  This particular road trip should last about 8 weeks and it will kick off with some work for our blog in Mallorca Spain!  Yes have been invited to review a rental property in Mallorca, an island due east of Valencia.

Of course we didn’t want to make things to easy on ourselves, so rather than flying to the island from Málaga, we will be driving 5 hours to Valencia and then hopping on a plane from there.  I know you are probably wondering, “What the heck are they thinking?!”  Well, there is a little bit of logic behind the madness.

We know our car needs to be parked at an airport, so why does it matter which one?  Our good friends and a fellow traveling family, An Epic Education, are living in Valencia, so we would love to visit them.  Once our week in Mallorca is up, we will hop back to Valencia and spend some time with them.  Because this road trip has us heading up north, we already have part of the drive done by “starting” from Valencia!  It’s magic I tell you, pure magic.

Why did we decide on a road trip in northern Spain and southern France?

Spain

Spain was easy, as of this August it will have been 4 years since we left the USA.  We have explored so much of Spain, but mainly from Madrid south, with the addition of Barcelona and Valencia.  We’ve been wanting to do the trip up north for a couple of years, but the timing hasn’t worked out in the past.  This year we want to explore more of Spain and really get a feel for the full country.

Iznalloz - Granada Spain Sunset. Off the beaten path driving in Spain. Read more on WagonersAbroad.com

France

In our secondary school, the kids are required to take French as a foreign language.  Since Lars missed his first year of secondary school in Spain, when we returned from southeast Asia, he opted to take a second Spanish language class rather than French.  He wasn’t sure if he lost some of his Spanish-speaking skills and just wanted to be sure Spanish was solid.  Well as it turned out, his Spanish was just as good as it was when we left the year prior.  Needless to say, he will be taking French next school year.

The only problem with that is they will have him right along with the rest of the class.  He will jump into the 3rd year of French.  Anya will be starting secondary school next fall and she will also begin French, so we wanted to give them a couple of weeks exposure in France.  I am not sure if it will help them much, but as parents we can only do our best to provide them with the opportunities.

Out for a walk Champagne France

Because this was our goal, I have been scouring the housesit website waiting for the perfect sit to pounce on.  I was being very selective, as I wanted to be sure it was going to be in a relaxing area with not too much sight seeing to be done.  I really wanted a more rural setting over a city and well, we wanted a Labrador dog (just a bonus wish list item).  Oh and of course it needed to be family friendly.

So one day, poof in comes an email with the latest listing.  A house sit in the French Alps, for 8 days (perfect dates), big clean home with loads of outdoor activities, family friendly and a 9 month old chocolate lab!  I don’t think we could have written a better sit ourselves.  It was like our wish list just produced itself.

It took the family about 2 seconds to decide this was the one we wanted to apply for.  I sent an email and within 5 minutes we had a response and within 20 minutes in total we were booked for this perfect housesit!  It is just amazing.

** If you are interested in learning more about housesitting, we’ve written all about it. We also have a special code for you to use to get a discount.  Click here to read more about housesitting.

Everything you need to know about House Sitting and Pet Sitting around the world. We have many house sits under our belts and think it is a great way to travel and save money, plus get time with pets. Read more about our experiences on WagonersAbroad.com

Let’s get down to the Summer Road Trip details now.

We will share with you are plan and then we will see what the reality is as we go.  We want you to be with us every step of the way, so we plan to share as we go.  Of course we will likely have daily posts on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and Twitter.  We think we may do a little bit of video as we go too, so you better keep an eye on the Wagoners Abroad YouTube as well.

If you aren’t already following us on those channels, hop on it man!  Like us, follow us, subscribe, do what you’ve got to do in order to keep up with Wagoners Abroad.

It is tough to “work”, play and share real-time, but we will do our very best.  We will also use a special hashtag for you to follow us on social media.

Starting June 25th look for #WARoadTrip.

Our current Summer European Road Trip Itinerary

We will make updates to this map as we go along, so this is a live feed from our maps page.  Feel free to book mark this and see what changes.

The purple dot is home and the purple line is our flight to Mallorca.

The green dots on the map are confirmed and we will be in those locations for specific dates.  Mallorca and Valencia will be work and sponsored reviews of properties.  Rioja will be where Lars is going to Volunteer for Diverbo – Pueblo Ingles (summer camp for teens to learn English).  We will share more about that later.  Of course we will have the housesit in the French Alps.

The yellow dots are the “somewhere around here” locations.  We don’t have accommodation booked, but we know we want to be around there somewhere.

The red dots are “if we feel like it” locations.  It could be that after the housesit, we will want to make our way back home.  If we have a little extra charge in our batteries and family harmony, then we will continue down to the coast and take a couple of weeks to return to Costa Tropical.

Road Trip in Europe:  As of June 25, Wagoners Abroad will tour 2 countries and more than 10 cities in about 8 weeks.  We should cover about 5000 kilometers (3000 miles) plus a flight to the Balearic Islands.

The goal: to have an epic road trip in Europe and share amazing moments with all of you along the way.  Wagoners Abroad will be passing through much of Spain and parts of France.

Check out our plans!

This is where we plan to be for our road trip in Europe. It will be fun to see what reality will be.

  • June in Spain: Mallorca (Balearic Islands)
  • July in Spain: Valencia > Madrid/Castile Leon > Galicia > Asturias/Cantabria > Rioja /Basque/Navarre
  • August in France:  Bordeaux, Alps (housesit), Montpellier
  • August in Spain:  Girona (Catalonia), then probably a bee line and long drive home to Almuñécar.

Regions of Spain - Epic Summer Road Trip in Europe

 

This is what we plan to share during and following our summer road trip in Europe:

  • The good, the bad, the ugly!
  • Scenery, nature, the real deal.
  • Activities, Adventures, Anything.
  • Accommodation, Costs, Routes
  • You name it, you will likely get it.

We originally planned to kick off the entire summer trip with an overnight in Las Alpujarras for the Lanjarón water fight! (Fiesta del Agua y del Jamón).  This occurs every year on the night of June 23/24 at midnight.  We have gone 2 times and loved it and celebrated another time on the beach with bonfires.  This year we have big plans on our plate and we need to be in Mallorca on the 25th, so it is probably too much to add a midnight to 5am party on our agenda the night before we drive to Valencia.

The cool thing is we can just go with the flow and do what feels right.  School is out on June 22 and doesn’t start back up until September 12th or so.  The summer is all ours to do as we please and we are going to take full advantage of that.  We created this life of ours, so we could have the freedom to do this very thing and create a well-rounded foundation and magical memories with our kids.

Are you planning a road trip in Europe?  If so, these resources may help you!

Road Trip Planning Tools & Games

Wagoners Abroad Road Trip Itineraries

We share our Road Trip Costs

Wagoners Abroad above Malaga - Segway Experience Malaga Spain - Costa del Sol. Announcing our 2016 Summer Road Trip in Europe

There are also many organized tours for you to enjoy from being active on walking or biking tour, to enjoying a food or wine tour.  There is so much to do and so many great offers for you.


If we are passing through your area, let us know!  

We have helped 100’s of families and people move to Spain, so I am sure you are out there.  We will do our best to stop for a coffee or even a quick hello and a photo.  Heck maybe you need us to housesit for you, while you are away.

Do you have any recommendations for places we should visit or not miss along the way? Go ahead and leave your thoughts in the comments.  If we make it to a place you suggested, we will gladly take a photo and let you know!

22 thoughts on “An Epic 8 week Summer Road Trip in Europe!

  1. Have fun! When you’re in León, I highly recommend a visit to Las Médulas!! Amazing otherworldly landscape in red rocks that was once a Roman mine. Fascinating place, plus there is a really fun oasis-feeling restaurant next door. (Note: your clothes will get all red, but it washes out.)

    • Hi Amy, Thank you so much for your suggestion. I just looked up images for Las Médulas and it looks spectacular! Oh I can’t wait. Keep up with us and we will let you know if we make it there! Where are you located now?

  2. This sounds amazing! I’m taking a quick trip to Madrid this summer. Landing July 5 and leaving July 10. If you guys are there during that time, I would love to try to say “Hola!” Let me know:)

    • Oh Lillian! Those dates just may be perfect for us. July 5 we leave Valencia and will be heading towards Madrid. I am not sure where we are staying yet, in the city vs out, but fingers crossed. We will be doing an awesome CityDiscovery tour in Madrid that week, so we will be in the city 1 day for sure! I will keep you posted.

      • Oh goodness it would be unbelievable to meet you guys. I’m traveling by myself, so I have a lot of flexibility, although I’ll be visiting friends. I’m staying at my friend’s flat in Carabanchel, which is in the southern part of Madrid and toward the west. I arrive in the late afternoon on the 5th, but could definitely get together after that. Feel free to e-mail me. By the way, if you’re looking for something fun to do with the kids in Madrid, I recommend the amusement park (Parque de Atracciones) in Casa de Campo. We had a blast there. Keep me posted!

        • Thanks so much. I have grabbed your email address and I am going to remove it from here, so you don’t have the world sending you emails. 🙂 I will keep you posted as it gets closer.

  3. Hi there, I’ve been following your blog and YouTube channel for a while, and thought I would say hello! I live in Toronto, Canada, and after a life shake-up we’ve decided to plan a 7-8 month trip abroad next year with our two girls. We are spending January in Merida, Mexico, February in St. Croix, March in Portugal (with a week in London), April in Spain, May in Italy, and then the end of the trip is up for grabs, but looking like Croatia/Turkey/Greece. We really want to try to sit down for at least 2 weeks in each town, with day trips in between. We are renting apartments and hoping to get into daily life a bit in each place. After some research I’m thinking two weeks in Sevilla, a week in Almunecar, and two weeks in Sitges, with a mind to explore Barcelona from there. It’s so hard to decide! I also love the idea of going to Grenada and Córdoba and Valencia, but I also don’t want to overwhelm the trip…. If you have any thoughts, I’d love to hear them. 🙂 My kids will be 8 and 10, and we will be home schooling them, as well. Looking forward to reading about your road trip!

    • Oh that is awesome Lisa! So glad you are shaking it up! 8 & 10 are fun ages to take them around. They are independent enough and curious too. Have them help with the planning and pick out what may be interesting to them. 🙂 Check out our post on our year of homeschooling while we traveled Southeast Asia.

      Your plan sounds wonderful. As far as Spain is concerned, April could still be a bit cool and rainy, but it isn’t ever really much. On the other hand it has already felt like summer in April too. Keep in mind when Easter lands, as Semana Santa is a big deal in Spain and can cause rental prices to jump for the week priror to Easter.

      Seville is a great place in April as it is the Feria de Abril (the fair). It is neat to see and be part of, so it all depends where you want to spend the bulk of your time. Cordoba is just 1 hour from Seville and would be a wonderful day trip. Also check out the Italica Roman ruins on the outskirts of the city. Our favorite Roman ruins in in Merida, a couple of hours north of Seville.

      Almunecar is awesome that time of year for sure. It is just 45 min from Granada, so very easy to do a day trip if you are here for a week. If you desire to visit the Alhambra you need to make reservations well in advance online. Alternatively, you can buy the Granda city pass card and that will also let you into the Alhambra without the reservation.

      As far as Sitges, we have only driven by to/from Barcelona. So we aren’t too familiar with that area.

      I think it is a good idea to have at least 1-2 weeks in each location. We found that with a week, once you have a travel day at either end, you really only have time for activities or day trips 1-2 days. As with homeschool and recouping from travel, you need some down time to just veg too. Espeically after the 6 weeks of travel mark for us. That seems to be our limit and then we get cranky.

      I hope that helps a little and feel free to check out our Almunecar Site (Almunecar Info) for places to stay and things to do in the area. We are always adding more info as time goes on, so keep checking.

  4. Hi lovely family!
    Your summer trip sounds great!
    When you’re in the Basque Country, we highly recommend a visit to San Sebastian! Amazing place! Very close to it is Hondarribia – a charming town on the border with France! We visited them last summer and felt in love with the places.
    Happy trip and enjoy!

    • Thank you so much Svetlana! While we don’t plan to spend the night in San Sebastian, we do plan to stop there on our way from Rioja to Bordeaux. Likely for lunch or a couple of hour break in our drive. Was there anything extra special we should be sure to do or see?

  5. In San Sebastian:
    – The Concha Bay – one of the most beautiful bays in the world
    – The seaside promenade
    – Monte Igueldo – the perfect place to enjoy the best views to sea and the city
    – San Sebastián is also famous for its pintxos. And the best place to go to try some of them is the Parte Vieja
    – the City and the gardens in front of it

    In Hondarribia:
    – the colorful historic center
    – the Marina neighborhood
    – the beach
    – Paseo de Butrón – from there, you can enjoy the fantastic views of the ocean, the estuary of the Bidasoa River and the Txingudi Bay with Hendaye (France) on the other side

  6. This road trip surely sounds epic! I love the Basque country, hopefully you’ll feel like it so I can live vicariously through you. Have a fantastic summer and I look forward to your posts.

Come on and tell us what you think!