Europe’s Greatest Road Adventures
Bored of your everyday drive to work seeing the same roads and views day in and day out, well have you ever considered taking a drive along some of the most beautiful and exciting roads in Europe for a change?
Road trips originated in America but they are growing in popularity in Europe. With the low fuel prices this year and some stunning scenery to enjoy en route you are currently presented with an excellent opportunity to plan an itinerary. Forget the busy English motorways with average speed checks and explore the European mountains and forests. Below I have chosen my top 5 roads around Europe.
Col De Bonnette
Starting with the Col De Bonnette in the French Alps. This is one of the most famous roads in Europe due to its extreme elevation being the highest road in Europe reaching over 2500m. With a smooth road surface and breathtaking views the stunning winding roads show a change in environment from lush green vegetation at the bottom to almost a volcanic setting at the top. For those drivers wishing to test their cars, this is the road to do it on. Climbing to the summit you almost fall into a driving rhythm with slowly growing difficulty till you reach the peak, descending is a very different drive. You can see the road for the following 5km making the road seem like a race circuit not a mountain drive, the only thing giving away your location is the terrain and views, half way down the corners become sharper but the road quality improves as you reach more popular driving roads.
The Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse in Austria is very popular for motorcyclists and sports car drivers. Travelling through the Hohe Tauren National Park it boasts views overlooking more than 35 mountains at a peak height of 2504 metres, challenging your tyres and skills with tight nerve racking turns. This road is best driven in the spring as all the vegetation comes to life showing off beautiful flowers surrounding lakes at the bottom of sheer faced glaciers.
The famous German Autobahn allows drivers to experience the extreme speed their vehicles can get to. With no speed limits in rural regions and views of stunning snowy capped mountains this drive is a must for anyone with a need for speed and excitement. Along the road you will spot numerous motorheads testing the acceleration of their sports car going speeds way over 150mph.
If you are thinking of visiting Switzerland then I would highly recommend driving the Albula Pass. Unlike the other popular European routes this roadway gives off a more peaceful feeling with the sweeping road making its way through meadows before starting the climb past magnificent glaciers and rugged mountain tops with picturesque viaduct bridges surrounded by woodlands. With a peak of 2400 meters you really feel away from the rest of civilization surrounded by a plateau stretching out over 5km you can literally see for miles. Because the road is not used so much there can be portions which are a little uneven and rocky so I would not recommend testing your new car here but for a 4x4 this is a dream drive.
Not looking to travel outside of the United Kingdom? Then it may be worth taking at look at the A93 in the Scottish Highlands. This historic military road runs it way through the centre of the Cairngorms National Park, and although not mountainous it is a great location to test your steering control and tyre grip in the middle of simple rolling hills with only sheep to worry about. If you take a picnic stop near the woodlands you may be lucky enough to spot deer or other rarely seen wildlife. Due to the road being more hilly than mountainous it sometimes can feel like a rollercoaster if travelling at speed with the smooth turns quickly rising and falling over the hillsides.