Top 8: Best Driving Roads in Europe
16th Jun 2021
Discover Somewhere New
Stratstone sell a range of luxury vehicles and premium cars, which provide exceptional performance and feature-packed luxury. But, how often do you get the chance to really drive them?
The daily commute is not always the best way to make use of your premium vehicle. The city traffic is at a standstill, and the straight-line motorways are not particularly involving. It is no wonder then that driving holidays are so popular.
True driving roads can be hard to come by on your travels; so we have picked out our favourites from across the continent. If you are exploring Europe, then keep an eye out for some of these roads for a drive you will never forget.
Col De La Bonette (France)
Probably one of the most recognisable roads in the world. For that it can thank some incredible scenery, as Col De La Bonette Straddles the border of southern France and Italy. Starting from the top, the road begins in Jausiers and crosses the Italian border in to the Alps, before crossing back over again to finish in St. Etienne.
The Alps provide a stunning backdrop even on foot. But to experience them at their best, there is no alternative to driving along the Bonette. As the serpentine-like roads work their way up the mountainside, lush and plentiful greenery turns in to a volcanic-like landscape perfect for the keen photographer. It is very easy to feel like you are re-enacting a scene from the Italian Job.
Random Trivia: The Bonette is the highest road in Europe, and sits 2802m above sea level.
Romantische Strasse (Germany)
The Romantic Road in English, this stretch of highway is based upon an early medieval trade route, which was designed to connect areas of central Germany with the south. It was popularised by travel agents in the aftermath of the Second World War as an idyllic step back in to traditional Germany.
Today the road is seen as a route of quintessential German culture, with backdrops to rival anything from New Zealand or Southern America. The route passes through a number of important sites, including the medieval Rothenburg (known as Germany's romantic city) and Germany's second-oldest city, Augsburg.
Random Trivia: As well as several notable cities, your scenic drive will take you through three UNESCO world heritage sites.
The A93 (Scotland)
Prosaic by name, pulse-quickening by nature. This road, located entirely within Cairgornes National Park, is actually based on an old military trail. The best feature of the A93 is that it is so remote, meaning you are unlikely to encounter any other traffic on the roads.
There is, however, wildlife in abundance. Do not be surprised to spot sheep, cows, or even a deer grazing in the vast expanse of wilderness.
The road can be a little narrow at times (and features some small bridges), but thanks to very little traffic the road surface is excellent.
Road Trip Tip: Make sure you fill up your tank before setting off; the road is just under 50 miles long and sparsely populated!
The B3135 (England)
A fairly lesser known road in England, the B3135 is located between Cheddar and Ashwick. A truly classic B-road, this short 14-mile pass is one of Somerset's best.
A hidden gem in the country, this narrow road bends and twists through the landscape to circumnavigate ancient stone and rock. Eventually, it evens out to reveal markedly more relaxed turns in spectacular countryside. Short it may be, but it is up there with many of the great European roads on our list.
Road Trip Tip: Take a co-driver with you, which will allow you to enjoy a spot of cheese and wine in the home of the Cheddar cheese.
Stelvio Pass (Italy)
Another high (2757m) pass snaked in to the Alps, Stelvio pass was voted Top Gear's best driving road in the world in 2008. Its most notable feature is the series of 48 hairpin turns, which run up the side of the valley, each one marked by a stone. It offers incredible views as you literally climb the Alps twist by turn on the road that borders with Switzerland.
The road, which was originally built in the early 19th century, also stakes through the heart of the Stelvio National Park and has provided a lush, mountainous backdrop to many bike and car events.
Road Trip Tip: Aim to conquer the Stelvio in the early morning or away from peak months, such as July and August, as the road is an extremely popular driving destination.
Trollstigen (or the Troll Ladder) is something of a hidden gem, and at only 6km in length, is one of the shortest roads on our list. It was opened by King Haakon VII in 1936 and helps to provide a more direct route over the mountains that intersect two local villages. It's open from May through to November, and despite its more practical purpose, also ranks as one of the best roads to drive on in Europe.
The trail explores the very heart of the valley, granting access to locations which would otherwise be unreachable. There are several viewing platforms which adorn the road and provide the best chance to take advantage of the idyllic location. The pass has an incline of around 10%, and driving up it will elevate you about 850m from the bottom thanks to an involving series of hairpin bends.
Road Trip Tip: Be warned bus drivers, vehicles that are over 12.4m long are not allowed, and will need to take the much longer route round.
The N152 (Spain)
The N152 unashamedly delves in to the core of the Pyrenees, with a fast smooth road intended to make the best of the landscape. The road boasts only very light traffic and motorcycle use; it's a true 'scenic route', which has been usurped by newer roads and is not used by commuters or those in a rush.
Do not be fooled by its age, the thrill is very much real. An involving journey, the N152 snakes its way through a stunning collection of mountains, which give better than average visibility. It climbs in loops eastwards, until reaching a plateau that provides excellent snowy mountain views.
Road Trip Tip: Take advantage of the numerous water points and chances to stop, not only to enjoy the scenery, but also as temperatures can be extremely high in the Serra de Satlegue.
Furka Pass (Switzerland)
The Furka pass was actually used during the filming of James Bond's Goldfinger, during the chase between Bond's Aston Martin DB5 and a Ford Mustang convertible.
Whilst we do not recommend any bond-style driving antics, the pass offers up some idyllic views of the Swiss Alps and even passes through the Rhone Glacier, which is the source of the Rhone River. Here there is a chance to stop and actually walk inside the glacier.
It offers the best of both worlds, with plenty of tight hairpins and corners that work their way down the mountainside for the keen driver. After that, the road evens out in to a fantastic arrow-straight which runs parallel with the railway.
Where will you go next?
We seriously recommend getting in your car and investigating some of these incredible driving roads. The views are truly intoxicating, no matter which part of the road you are on.
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