Autumn is a gorgeous time of year to hit the roads of Europe and explore the best of what it has to offer. Dotted with stunning gold, orange and amber leaves that gently fall to the floor, the roads of Europe make for the perfect driving trip. Plus, with a quick 35-minute journey via
Eurotunnel Le Shuttle
, you'll be hitting the roads of France in no time at all. To help you plan the drive of a lifetime, I've put together a list of my three favourite drives in Europe; from the stunning lakes of Italy to the enchanting forests of Germany, you'll be spoilt for choice. So, pack your bags and hit the road, to start your autumnal journey today.
Lake Como, Italy
Although Lake Como, or Como to Gravedona, is a truly beautiful sight to see, it's the drive from the town of Valsorda to the charming commune of Sorico that is the real treat. On top of views of the lake, you'll also encounter striking mountains of emerald forests, which turn a warm orange hue during the autumnal months
If you're in need a quick break from driving, then the perfect destination for a pit stop is the stunning town of Menaggio, where you can enjoy a relaxing walk along the lake or a gentle bike ride. It's also a great place for spending a night or two, and for grabbing a bite to eat; a popular place is Il Ristorante di Paolo, a quaint restaurant that offers a variety of Italian classics, from spaghetti to tender beef.
The road that leads to Großglockner, the highest mountain in Austria, is another great drive during the autumnal months. The road that leads throughout the enchanting views of Großglockner was built between 1930 and 1935, and is 48-kilometres in length. As you cruise along, you'll catch glimpses of the awe-inspiring, snow-capped mountains and deep green forestry that are often forgotten during the skiing season.
Großglockner High Alpine Road
For a day out in the autumn sun, make your way over to the nearby National Park Hohe Tauern, there you can wander past trickling streams and admire the epic scenery, plus you can even bring along your dog.
For food, or a place to sleep, head over to the small town of Grosskircheim; a lovely place for an evening meal is the cosy Hotel Castle Host, which offers delicious cuisine with a south Tyrolean twist.
Black Forest, Germany
An autumnal drive into Germany's Black Forest is a must; the black firs that encase the forest during spring and summer are lit up by bursts of gold, amber and orange leaves that lead the way through the darkened roads. During the winter it's known as a great place for snow sports, so autumn is a brilliant time to take advantage of the warmer temperature and cruise along the long, windy roads of the Black Forest, admiring the ever-changing flora.
Between exploring this stunning example of natural beauty, be sure to take a break at Baden-Baden, a charming spa town located just on the outskirts of the Black Forest. With its breathtaking architecture and spectacular scenery, you're bound to fall in love. For a chance to unwind and eat, enjoy a meal at Schneider's Weinstube and Vinothek, a lovely restaurant that offers a range of mouth-watering German meals.
Black Forest, Germany
Fancy an autumnal trip of your own?
Getting across the channel is quick and easy with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, with a trip to Calais only taking a speedy 35-minutes. So, with the auburn leaves of autumn and the stunning landscapes Europe has to offer, you can enjoy a gorgeous drive of your own in no time at all.
Black Forest, Germany © Allie_Caulfield
Lake Como, Italy, Monaco © Rosemary Dukelow
Großglockner High Alpine Road © Kārlis Dambrāns
Autumn Drive © Nicholas A. Tonelli