Hate to unravel one of those big, flimsy road maps in the car? Hate to fold it up? Me too. I've switched to using road atlases on my vacation. They're manageable in size and easy to use.
Europe is too big to put on a single map that shows you enough roads to get to any kind of rural destination, but break it up into manageable size, spiral bind it, and off you go. Sure, it's a bit of a mess when the road takes off off one map and onto another several pages away, but that's the price you pay for a detailed map that shows you nearly everything.
Here are our picks for European tourism and motoring atlases, starting with big, heavy European atlases and then taking on the single country atlases.
01 of 06
02 of 06
03 of 06
This road atlas features "maps of Britain at 9.9 miles to one inch (1:625,000) and the whole of Ireland at 15.8 miles to one inch (1:1,000,000). There is also a selection of more detailed urban area maps at 4.5 miles to one inch (1:285,000) to aid route planning in these busy areas. It also includes a rail map, Park & Ride locations (for bus and rail), a handy distance calculator chart highlighting distances between the major towns, and money-off vouchers from Castle Cover Insurance."
04 of 06
05 of 06
06 of 06
I use an Atlas in the car to augment the information on the GPS when I'm already on the road. So if I see a hill town in the distance I can locate it and a likely route to it on the atlas map, and then either set the GPS or navigate by the map. A large European atlas may be less useful for travel planning, as some people point out in the reviews. Still, starting out with an Atlas to let you know how to get between your desired towns in Europe doesn't seem like a bad idea. Get a marker and have at it.