Beach, Lagos, Portugal

Planning a trip to Europe?

If you thought planning a road trip in the U.S. was hard, try planning one for Europe. Randy Olson, the brilliant Ph.D. candidate who recently planned the best way to road trip across America, just calculated the most epic European road trip ever. Add it to the bucket list pronto.

To calculate the trip, Olson picked out a list of stops from this Business Insider article and then removed the places that required traveling over water. After that, Olson plugged the stops into a Python code (which you can find here, if you’re into that sort of thing) to calculate the shortest distance between each stop.

The road trip makes 45 stops in total, passing through the U.K., Ireland, Austria, Germany, Portugal and Finland, just to name a few. Well we would just add Porto to the trip before Lagos, wouldn’t you?



As a follow-up to my post about computing optimal road trips across the U.S., I thought it’d be fun to make a road trip map for Europe as well. If you’d like to get into the nitty-gritty of how these road trips are created, check out the first post.

Europe is a massive continent with a diverse mix of cultures, so there’s no way I’m going to pick a set of stops that will please everyone. However, last year Business Insider published a nice article listing “50 Places In Europe You Need To Visit In Your Lifetime.” These stops seemed like a nice mix of inner city exploration and outdoorsy fun from an eclectic collection of countries, so I made a map showing what an epic road trip across Europe hitting most of these spots would look like. (Some of the locations couldn’t be reached by car, so I had to exclude them.)

When asked where he would like to travel on the trip, Olson said he would most like to experience the Aurora Borealis in northern Finland and Rome because he’s “a big history nerd.”

If you’d like to create your own perfect road trip for the U.S. or Europe, use Olson’s Python script to plug in destinations, or use RouteXL, where you can enter up to 20 destinations, and the site will route the trip for you.


Via Huffingtonpost and Randal Olson



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