Europe is home to some of the most breath-taking destinations on earth and most of us are more fixated on these destinations and not the journey there. But loving cars means you love what they go on, Roads. Some of Europe’s roads make getting to our destinations just as, if not more exciting than the actual destination. In fact, some roads are actually the destinations for us car lovers.
Europe boasts of millions of kilometres of road across the continent and that’s a lot to choose from but here’s our pick of some of the best driving roads in Europe.
Hahntennjoch Pass, Austria
The Hahntennjoch Pass is a high mountain in the Austrian alps. With an elevation of 1,894 metres, the 29 km pass leads from Imst to Elmen and connects the upper valley of the Inn River with the Lech River valley. It offers breath-taking views of glacier-carved valleys, unnerving peak summits and densely wooded areas. It is important to note that The Hahntennjoch Pass is closed from November to April.
Trollstigen is a 55 km mountain road in Rauma Municipality, Møre og Romsdal county, Norway. It is a part of the Norwegian County Road 63. The road has a steep incline of 10% and eleven hairpin bends and reaches an elevation of over 1600 metres. That and the numerous sights around the road make it a very popular tourist attraction. The road is open between mid-May and October. Several viewing platforms have been constructed, giving you the opportunity to stop and take in the breathtaking views the area offers.
Atlantic Ocean Road, Norway (Atlanterhavsveien)
The Atlantic Ocean Road is an 8.3-kilometer long section of County Road 64 that leads from Eide to Averøy in Møre og Romsdal, Norway. It is built on several small islands and skerries, which are connected by several causeways and eight bridges, most notably The Storseisundet Bridge which is nothing short of an architectural marvel.
I recommend you visit Trollstigen, enjoy the drive and sights and then continue through the town of Åndalsnes to Eide and then Averøy which gives you the chance to also drive through the Atlantic Ocean road.
Carretera de Sa Calobra, Spain
Carretera de Sa Calobra is a 13 km road on the island of Mallorca in Spain. It was designed by the Italian engineer Antonio Parietti and built in 1932 manually, without the help of any machines. Along with amazing hairpins, Sa Calobra features The Nus de Sa Calobra, a 360-degree curve which turns 270 degrees and goes under itself leading to Port de Sa Calobra.
Julier Pass is a mountain pass in the Albula Range of the Alps in Switzerland. It connects the Engadin valley with the rest of Graubünden. Being in the Swiss Alps and at an elevation of 2284 metres, the Julier Pass offers some of the most scenic views.
The Transfăgărășan is a mountain road in Romania. It climbs to an altitude of 2042 metres, is 90 km long and leads from the village of Bascov, near Pitești to Sibiu. Due to its topography, the maximum speed limit is 40km/h and the road is closed between October and June due to snow. Top Gear hosts, in September 2009, called the Transfăgărășan the best driving road in the world.
Transalpina (DN67C), Romania
Another road worth driving on while in Romania, is the Transalpina. It is located in the Parâng Mountains group, in the Southern Carpathians of Romania and is one of the highest roads of the Carpathian Mountains. It connects Novaci, south of Parâng Mountains, to Sebeş in the north. It is called the King’s Road by the locals as it was built under King Carol II.
At its highest point, the Transalpina reaches an elevation of 2145 Metres and like most other mountain roads, it is closed during the winter.
The Old Military Road (A93), Scotland
Located in the Scottish Highlands, The A93 road is arguably the best stretch of tarmac in the UK. It runs north from Perth through Blairgowrie and Rattray, continuing through the Grampian Mountains by way of Glenshee, the Cairnwell Pass and Glen Clunie to Braemar in Aberdeenshire. It is 172 km long and reaches an altitude of 670 metres above sea level at the Cairnwell pass. The area is so remote, you get endless views over mountains, sheep grazing in the fields around you and even Deer, giving you the feeling you are in the middle of nowhere, which is something we like about this road.
In December 2015, section of the A93 near Crathie collapsed due to pressure from the overflowing River Dee. The Dee had burst its banks due to the effects of Storm Frank, which caused very severe flooding across Deeside.
The Ötztal Glacier Road
The Ötztal Glacier road is the second highest paved road in Europe, reaching an elevation of 2830 metres. It is approximately 15 km and leads from Sölden in the Ötztal valley of Tyrol
to the Rettenbach and Tiefenbach glacier in the Ötztal Alps in Austria. This is a road to drive in the winter as you also get the chance to visit the ski resort in Sölden.
The Ötztal Glacier road featured in the James Bond film, Spectre.