Best Roads to Drive in Europe

Best Roads to Drive in Europe

Wind down the windows, and cruise along Europe's best roads.

Sights

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Whether you're a car enthusiast, or just love to cruise along vast roads with your windows wound down, Europe has plenty of stunning drives that are bound to get your motor running. To get you inspired for your next drive, we've put together a list of some of the continent's best drives, from the hauntingly beautiful Schwarzwald in Germany, to the mountainous Alps.

France

Route de Gentelly

Located deep in the Alpes-Maritimes in Southern France, the Route de Gentelly is one of the most scenic drives in the country. Traditionally, drivers are advised to start their journey from the charming town of Vence, a place dotted with cobbled paths and rustic Mediterranean-styles buildings. From there, drive further into the mountains towards Col de Vence, a road lined by rocky green verges.

Continue through to the village of Gréolières, a beautiful place that's contained by rugged mountains and cliffs, which become sheathed in snow during the winter months. From Gréolières, take an upright turn where you'll come face to face with Route de Gentelly (D2). Along this road, you'll get to enjoy the twists and turns, as well as the unusual rocky arches that have formed over and around the tarmac. There's also a stunning stretch of straight roads that lead you through the breathtaking forest, so be sure to wind down your windows and breathe in the fragrant air.

Germany

Schwarzwaldhochstraße

The Schwarzwaldhochstraße is a road that sweeps through and beyond the ever-enchanting Schwarzwald, or Black Forest. The scenic route covers over 60-kilometres, and reaches elevations of between 600 and 1000 metres, so you can look forward to enjoying breathtaking vistas of the Rhine plain and Vosges mountains. Begin your journey in the spa town of Baden-Baden, where greenery and delightful architecture are in abundance. On top of its great sights, it's also a great place to enjoy a bite to eat before your big adventure.

From Baden-Baden, drive up and along the steep and curved roads to the castle of Bühlerhöhe, where you can look forward to incredible views high above the forest. Don't worry about missing out on the scenery as you're driving though, there are plenty of lay-bys where you can pull-over and really take the time to breathe in the mountain air, and relish in the surrounding natural beauty.

Enjoy views of the Schwarzwald

Enjoy views of the Schwarzwald.

Italy

Stelvio Pass

Located between the commune of Stilfs and the town of Bormio, the Stelvio Pass is one of the highest paved mountain passes in the continent, with the roads reaching elevations of 9,045-feet above sea level. The zig-zagging highways race across the jagged landscape, winding in and around the vast green valleys.

Although there's no right or wrong way of driving through the pass, many motorheads advise beginning from the north-west side, so that you ascend the mountain and really get to enjoy the slow climb up. Yet, coming down is just as sensational, and has plenty of stopping points for those of you looking for the perfect photo opportunity. If you'd prefer to take on a stretch of curvier, twisting roads, make sure you head north onto the challenging but picturesque Umbrail Pass.

Be blown away by the epic twists and turns of the Stelvio Pass

Be blown away by the epic twists and turns of the Stelvio Pass.

Austria

Großglockner Hochalpenstraße

One of the continent's most famous roads, the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße leads you up to Austria's highest mountain, the Großglockner, which stands at an impressive 12,461-feet high. The road itself is 48-kilometres long, contains 36 bends, and passes by gorgeous alpine meadows, scented forests and giant cliffs that loom over fleeting cars.

On top of the impeccable views you'll witness as you change gear and take on the winding turns and twists of this breathtaking road, there's also the Hohe Tauern National Park. The largest national park in the country, it's the perfect place to park up your park and enjoy a hike across the fields of tall grass and wild flowers. As well as the beautiful scenery, you'll also get to enjoy the local wildlife, from spotting the mountain goats as they clamber up sheer cliffs, to scouring the skies for hunting eagles.

Take in the impeccable vistas that surround the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße

Take in the impeccable vistas that surround the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße.

Switzerland

Furka Pass

Connecting the quaint hamlet of Gletsch in the canton of Valais to Realp in Uri, the Swiss Furka Pass is a road that stretches right through this region of mountainous beauty. Snaking through the vast green valleys, the Furka Pass contains many challenging hairpin turns and steep grades that require some driving skill and strong focus. It'll be all worth it though, especially when you catch glimpses of the glittering Rhone Glacier and wildlife, which can be found dotted across the fields.

The Furka Pass is such an idyllic road that back in 1964, it was used as a location for the James Bond film, Goldfinger. In that specific scene of the film, James Bond is shot speeding along the zig-zagging roads in his Aston Martin DB5, as he's hounded by Tilly Masterson. Make the same journey as Sir Sean Connery, picturing yourself as a top spy racing through the depths of the Swiss Alps.

Try not to be too distracted by the tremendous beauty of the Furka Pass

Try not to be too distracted by the tremendous beauty of the Furka Pass.

Getting there and around

If one of these drives has got you inspired to rev your engine and begin a trip of a lifetime, make sure you book your Channel crossing with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. It takes just 35-minutes to make that initial journey, so you'll soon be taking on the hairpin turns and steep stretches of Europe's best roads.

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Photo Credits:
Cruise along the Col de Vence towards Route de Gentelly.
Enjoy views of the Schwarzwald
Park up and relish in the forest's beauty.
Be blown away by the epic twists and turns of the Stelvio Pass
Take in the impeccable vistas that surround the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße
Look out for the wildlife that inhabit Hohe Tauern National Park
Try not to be too distracted by the tremendous beauty of the Furka Pass

All pictures licensed for commercial use at time of publication.

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