Thanks to its interlocking borders and expansive landmass, Europe has to be one of the easiest places on earth to pack up the car and head out on the trip of a lifetime with friends, indulging in a luxury hotel or two along the way. Here are three of Europe’s finest roads to burn some rubber:
As if the majesty and theatre of the Austrian Alps from ground level wasn’t enough, every year thousands of eager road trippers from all around the world take to dizzying altitudes for a glimpse of Austria’s highest and to be frank, divinest vista. The Grossglockner high alpine road traverses the heart of the Alps, passing the country’s highest mountain along the way. Formed of 48km of winding roads and 26 bends, each twist and turn highlights a new and spectacular picture-postcard ready panorama. Drivers can stop for a breather amid all the grandeur, with museums, visitor points and shops all en route. During the winter months, the pass is a soft blanket of white and remains closed to visitors, but as the flowers begin to bloom, the white melts to a lush shade of green and the roads re-appear, the Grossglockner springs back into life and is a thriving destination for nature lovers and mountaineering enthusiasts alike.
Route One: Iceland
The landscape in Iceland is one of great diversity. Volcanic rocks, soaring mountains, gushing waterfalls, azure-blue lakes and rejuvenating natural hot springs all form the crux of its charm, and Route One – otherwise known as the magic circle – is one of the finest places to see it all in one go. An 800 mile journey formed of the extraordinary, drivers should take 4-5 days to see things at a leisurely pace, passing through a handful of major towns along the way to enjoy some luxuries. The route crosses the ash fields in the north-east and passes through some of Iceland’s most remote wildernesses, where valleys of green, snow-capped mountains and deserted beaches await. For those looking to escape the clutches of mass tourism to journey along roads where the tyres of just 100 cars touch tarmac daily, Route One provides an inspiring overview of one of the least densely populated countries in the world, accompanied by some of nature’s most accomplished feats. Whilst the route remains open throughout all the seasons, be aware of visiting during the winter months where you may come across snow-clad roads that will potentially close for long periods of time.
Image source: Flickr
The Gorges du Verdon
From Alpine passes and frosty ring roads, to the serenity and green of France’s southern pastures, the Verdon Gorge Circuit is perfect for those of you who prefer to soak up the sights at your own pace – and what a sight the gorge is! As France’s deepest gorge, the opportunities to explore the earth from both land and water are plentiful, with hidden coves welcoming kayakers, and turbulent waters magnetising rafting enthusiasts looking for an adrenaline-fuelled adventure. Bursting with colourful nature trials for days spent hiking and epic downhill routes for keen cyclists, your road trip along the gorge’s edge should be spliced with pit stops along the way to truly appreciate the scenery from amid the great outdoors. The trip begins from Moustiers Sainte Marie, a quaint and tranquil town at the foot of French Alps where you can experience a slower, less hectic pace of life.