From picturesque countryside settings to stunning mountain ranges that stretch as high as the eye can see and vast forests which are filled with wonderful scenes, there are so many reasons why you should visit Europe at least once in your lifetime.
A great way to see so much of this breath-taking continent is to take a driving holiday. To inspire you further to book one of these getaways, we’ve sought out the help of British new Aston Martin dealership Grange to provide its five unforgettable driving experiences across Europe…
When in Austria, drive along Grossglockner High Alpine Road
Referred to by the tongue-twister that is Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse locally, the Grossglockner High Alpine Road winds down Austria’s highest mountain. As such, 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 too! 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.
Everybody involved in your driving holiday is sure to appreciate this road. This is because non-thrill seekers can make a few stops on the way down the route at The Alpine Nature Show Museum, Hohe Tauern National Park and Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe — home to the Pasterze Glacier.
When in Germany, drive along Route 500
Route 500 isn’t just one of the finest roads in Germany, but also across the whole of Europe. It’s located in the country’s famous Black Forest region on the northern stretch of the Schwarzwald Hochstrasse. This sweeping stretch of road combines smooth elevated sections through the forest with thrilling switchback turns all the way through to Baden Baden.
Don’t expect to have complete ownership of this route mind. It can be prone to traffic build-ups at peak times and, therefore, it’s recommended that you set off early to enjoy the road to its fullest. 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.
A recommendation is to seek out the Schwarzwald Hochstrasse, seeing as though it’s among the most spectacular elevated sections of highway throughout the entire Black Forest region. 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.
When in France, drive along Route Napoleon
One for the adventurers and history fans among us! Route Napoléon, first opened in 1932, follows the route taken by Napoléon I (Napoléon Bonaparte) in 1815 on his march from Elba to Grenoble to overthrow Louis the 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.
Tracing through the Alps and the Alps Maritimes, this road can see you travelling for more than 150km as you drive from Grasse to Grenoble. 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.
When in Iceland, drive along Route One
The whole island of Iceland is circumnavigated on Route One, passing through the nation’s various major towns and cities too. 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.
From snow-capped mountains to ash deserts and awe-inspiring lava fields, you will have so much to witness when driving along this road. As Iceland is a little more wild than other European destinations though, 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 another 4x4 to travel in.
When in Italy, drive along Stelvio Pass
Our final stop is within the Eastern Italian Alps. The Stelvio Pass was once voted the best driving road in the world by BBC Top Gear – and for good reason. 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.
No matter how confident you are behind the wheel, your driving skills will be tested on this road. This is because the route’s 48 switchback turns can be hard to handle. 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.
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