When many people think about road trips, they think of travelling the vast highways of the United States, but Europe is home to some of the best driving roads in the world. Experience stunning mountain passes, challenging switchback turns and take in the stunning views all within driving distance from the UK.
For those of you who love being out on the open road, YourParkingSpace has compiled the top 5 routes in Europe as voted for by the public and has also included things to see and do on those routes, check out the infographic below:
The Stelvio Pass (Italy)
Famed for being one of the most stunning mountain passes in Europe, the Stelvio Pass has become popular with drivers ever since it was featured as one of the best roads on the TV series Top Gear. Combining an array of switchback turns and spectacular views of the Swiss and Italian Alps, the Stelvio Pass attracts people from all over Europe and the world.
During the route why not take in the stunning views from the Albergo Tibet Hotel at the summit of the pass, or get your walking boots on the trek through the Stelvio National Park at Trafol. For something a bit different why not visit the military fort of Venini in Oga; this World War 1 era fort is great for those who are interested in history and houses a nice collection of artefacts and photos.
Due to its popularity, the Stelvio Pass can be busy during peak months, so drive the route in the morning and be aware that it will be busy during July and August.
Distance – 30.3 miles
Estimated drive time – 1 h 17 min
Old Military Road (Scotland)
With stunning views of the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands, the Old Military Road is regarded by many as the best road in Britain. You’ll travel on the A93 and A939 as the route takes you past Balmoral Castle, through the heart of the Scottish Highlands and all the way to Grantown-on-Spey.
Things to do on the route include visiting the Queen’s residence Balmoral Castle where you can walk the gardens and see the castle in its full glory, or you could don your ski gear and hit the piste at Lecht Ski School. With many cycle and walking routes Cairngorms National Park is also worth a visit where you can take in the stunning views and wildlife of the Scottish countryside.
Talking of wildlife, watch out for animals such as deer and grouse which regularly stray into the road.
Distance – 73.3 miles
Estimated drive time – 1 h 53 min
Susten Pass (Switzerland)
Regarded by many as the best road in the world the Susten Pass is part of the ‘Big 3’ mountain passes in the area. Although not as recognised as the Grimsel and Furka passes, the Susten Pass offers drivers an array of sweeping roads, exciting switchback turns and stunning mountains views.
The route begins in Wassen and ends in Innertkirchen providing numerous places to stop off and take in the views. Thing to do in the area include visiting the Sherlock Holmes Museum in Meiringen, trek to the top of Mount Titlis or travel on the Gelmerbahn Funicular Railway.
The Susten Pass is usually open from the start of June till the end of October and can get very busy during these months. Driving the pass mid-week will allow you to miss the bulk of the traffic.
Distance – 28.5 miles
Estimated drive time – 60 mins
Black Mountain Pass (Wales)
The Black Mountain Pass joins Llandovery with Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen and is regularly voted as the best road in Wales. The route takes you over the Black Mountain in the heart of the Brecon Beacons and provides drivers with an array of exciting sharp bends, hairpin corners and switchback turns making it a must experience for any driver.
Nearby attractions include the Brecon Beacon National Park, the National Showcaves Centre and the imposing structure of Carreg Cennen Castle. The Black Mountain Pass can become very busy during the summer months, so try to travel early in the morning or mid-week to miss the bulk of the traffic.
A word of warning; keep your eyes peeled for livestock, especially sheep who like to stray onto the road.
Distance – 19.9 miles
Estimated drive time – 40 mins
Route 500, the Black Forest (Germany)
Germany is full of great roads, but the Black Forest in particular is a favourite, especially with bikers. Famed for its winding roads and dense forest trails, Route 500 attracts people for all over Europe and the world.
Along the route and near its highest point, Hornisgrinde Mountain provides some stunning views of the countryside and plenty of places to stop and take some pictures, while the Geroldsau Waterfalls offers a welcome break from driving.
Route 500 begins near Freudenstadt traveling north and finishing in Baden-Baden, but be warned, this is a major road in the area and can become very busy especially during rush hour so plan your journey in between these times to make the most of the route.
Distance – 31.1 miles
Estimated drive time – 53 mins