Driving and travel enthusiasts all over the world have been looking towards Europe as their road trip destination of choice. Home to some truly beautiful landscapes, friendly people and smooth roads, it’s no surprise that the continent has been overtaking the USA in terms of driving holiday popularity. With such a wide variety of locations on offer, however, you could end up feeling a little spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding on where to go.
To help you make your decision, Motorparks Grange, retailers of prestige used cars have assembled their top five locations for the ultimate European driving holiday:
Route Napoleon – France
History enthusiasts will love our first choice – Route Napoléon follows the exact route taken by the famous Napoléon I Bonaparte in 1815 when he marched all the way from Elba to Grenoble to overthrow Louis 18th. It is the historical aspect of the road which makes it even more exciting, Napoleon passed through the famous route through the Alps hundreds of years ago, leading to fabulous views and scenery.
This route is over 150km long, stretching from Grasse to Grenoble and leading you through both the Alps and the Alps Maritimes. Driving enthusiasts will find the road to be perfectly designed for speed and smoothness, so you can really appreciate the performance of the car. This along with the scenery makes for a truly stunning drive with many opportunities to stop and take photographs along the way.
Route One – Iceland
The sprawling Route One in Iceland takes you around the entire country, passing through all of the most populated towns along the way. This 800 mile long stretch of road is guaranteed to impress, as it offers so much in the way of variety and scenery, allowing you to see everything that makes Iceland so popular with tourists from all over the world.
Driving on this route makes for a truly once in a lifetime experience; you’ll encounter lava fields, snow covered mountain regions and even ash deserts. As Iceland is a little more wild than other European destinations, you will also encounter some rather tough terrain on your journey, so it’s recommended that you choose a sturdy vehicle such as a Land Rover or other 4X4 to travel in.
Route 500 – Germany
The famous Black Forest region in Germany is home to the popular Route 500. This sweeping stretch of road combines smooth elevated sections through the forest with thrilling switchback turns all the way through to Baden Baden.
There is a downside to travelling on such a popular road, however; traffic build-up during peak times can be a problem for drivers, so we recommend heading off early in order to avoid the queues. In addition, there are several different trails to choose from in the Black Forest, with some being better than others, so it’s worth doing your research before heading out.
One of the most visually stunning parts of this route is the Schwarzwald Hochstrasse. This stretch of road is consistently wide and easy to drive on – it’s also home to some fantastic views on both sides and an exciting drive through dense forests.
Stelvio Pass – Italy
It’s not surprising that this famous road was once voted the best driving road in the entire world by BBC’s Top Gear. The road is one of the highest and most dramatic mountain routes in the European Alps, offering beautiful views and a once in a lifetime driving experience.
With a challenging 48 switchback turns, even the most experienced drivers will have their skills tested on this rote. It’s recommended that you pull over occasionally to collect your thoughts, take in the sights and enjoy this lovely stretch of road to the fullest.
Of course, the popularity of this road does make it prone to traffic during peak hours. This means that in order to get the most out of your drive, you’ll want to get on to the road as early as you can.
Grossglockner High Alpine Road – Austria
The Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Austria winds all the way down from the country’s highest mountain. You won’t be disappointed when it comes to scenic views and at over 2,500 meters above sea level, you’ll certainly have plenty of time to enjoy them! As one of the number one destinations for motorbike and sports car enthusiasts all across the world, this route can be challenging, with a number of hairpin curves to keep you on your toes.
Any non-thrill seekers out there can make a few stops on the way down at The Alpine Nature Show Museum, Hohe Tauern National Park and Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe — home to the Pasterze Glacier.