Driving holidays are an adventurer’s dream, after all, all you need is your vehicle, a little time and the open road. Driving enthusiasts and travel lovers alike are looking towards Europe as the destination of choice for their road trip. With such a huge variety of locations on offer, each offering something a little different, you could find yourself spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding where to go.
To help you figure out which destination is a perfect fit for you, Motorparks Grange have assembled this helpful guide to the best driving holiday destinations in Europe – perhaps you’ll end up choosing more than one!
Germany: Route 500
Located in Germany’s Black Forest region is the famous Route 500 on the Northern 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.
It should be noted however, that as one of the country’s most popular roads, this route can be prone to traffic during peak hours of the day – therefore, we recommend that you start your journey early to avoid 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 stunning areas 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.
Austria: Grossglockner High Alpine Road
Named after the highest mountain in all of Austria is the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. This road is known locally as the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse (a bit of a tongue-twister for non-locals)!
When it comes to scenic mountain views, you won’t be disappointed and since you’ll be starting your journey at 2,500 meters above sea level, you will certainly have time to appreciate 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.
Non-thrill-seekers will be pleased to know that this route is home to many other activities to enjoy on the way down, such as the Hohe Tauern National Park, Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe (home to the Pasterze Glacier) and the Alpine Nature Show Museum.
Iceland: Route One
Taking you through all of the major towns and cities of Iceland is the impressive Route One. 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.
The landscape here is truly diverse, you will be driving past snow-covered mountains, ash deserts and even lava fields. 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.
France: Route Napoleon
If you enjoy taking in a spot of history on your holidays, France’s Route Napoléon lets you follow the same route taken by Napoléon Bonaparte all the way back in 1815, on his march 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.
Spanning over 150km, all the way from Grasse to Grenoble, this famous road will take you past 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.
Italy: Stelvio Pass
BBC’s Top Gear once voted this road the best driving road in the world – and it’s easy to see why. 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 surprising 48 switchback turns, this route can be tough even for experienced drivers. 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.
As such a popular and well-known route, this iconic road is unfortunately prone to traffic queues during peak times. 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.