If you fancy a motoring holiday that takes in the best sights, you’d be hard pressed to do better than consider this selection.
And whilst the image of the perfect road trip might suggest the USA as a destination, due to its sheer size and the choice of vast highways, you don’t have to travel that far to see equally spectacular scenery that might even be on your British doorstep!
When you know where to look.
Luckily for us Your Parking Space has done most of the heavy lifting here (by driving their favourite European Road Trip routes (what a tough job guys) so we’re happy to mention them and feature the detail they supplied to help FOXY Lady blog readers plan their perfect road trip next summer.
Here are our favourite five for your consideration.
Stelvio Pass, Italy
The Stelvio Pass is one of the highest and most dramatic mountain passes in Europe.
This mountain pass shot to fame in 2008 when it was voted one of the best driving roads by Top Gear and provides stunning views of the Italian and Swiss Alps.
Approaching the Stelvio Pass from the North West side you get to drive up the Stelvio Pass’s renowned wall of 48 switchback turns. Not to be attempted by cumbersome cars and you’ll need power steering of course. Each of the turns is numbered with stones so you can count your way to the top (in case you’ve nothing better to concentrate on that is). Heading back down the pass towards Bormio provides several vantage points for photographs to mark this motoring achievement.
NB: The Stelvio Pass can become very busy during peak times, so it is advised that you drive it early in the morning and outside of the peak months of July and August.
Distance: 30.3 miles
Estimated time: 1h 17min
Points of Interest: Forte Venini di Oga, WWI Fort; Albergo Tibet Hotel, Passo dello Stelvio; Stelvio National Park, Trafoi
Old Military Road A93 & A939, Scotland
We’re told this is oft regarded as the best driving road in the UK – the Old Military Road A93 and A939 right through the heart of the Cairngorms National Park in Scottish Highlands.
You can enjoy endless stunning views on a road filled with twisting hair pins, rollercoaster-like ups and downs and steep gradients.
The route starts at Bridge of Cally, following the A93 into the Cairngorms National Park, driving through Braemar and past the Queen’s private residence Balmoral Castle. From there head onto the A939 for some more stunning highland views all the way to Grantown-on-Spey.
There is a wide variety of different wildlife in the Highlands so keep your eyes peeled for deer, haggis, snow rabbits and grouse.
Distance: 73.3 miles
Estimated time: 1h 53min
Points of Interest: Cairngorms National Park; Balmoral Castle; Lecht Ski School
Susten Pass, Switzerland
I’ve been driven over this myself and I can describe it as one of the most spectacular roads for drivers in the world. The Susten Pass is commonly referred to as one of the ‘Big 3’ passes which also includes Grimsel and Furka. Although not as well-known as the other two, you’ll enjoy sweeping valley roads, stunning forward views and its challenging switchbacks which take you to the summit at 2,224 meters.
The route starts in Wassen and finishes in Innertkirchen, and provides multiple places to stop and take in the spectacular mountain views. The road down to Innertkirchen takes you through forests and across fabulous stone bridges.
Due to its altitude, the Susten Pass is open seasonally usually at the start of June and closes at the end of October. The pass can get extremely busy during this time and is a favourite with bikers, so we recommend you choose to drive it mid-week to avoid the heaviest traffic flow.
Distance: 28.5 miles
Estimated time: 1 hour
Points of Interest: Gelmerbahn Funicular Railway; Sherlock Holmes Museum, Meiringen; Titlis Mountain
Black Mountain Pass, Wales
Heading back home again – the Black Mountain Pass (A4069) connects Llandovery with Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen and is regarded as one of the best roads in Wales, if not the UK. This A road twists and turns over the Black Mountain in the Brecon Beacons National Park and features sharp corners, hairpins and switchbacks.
The route begins at Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen and joins the A4069 at Brynamman. The road then winds across and over the Black Mountain range and comes out near Llangadog before continuing onto Llandovery.
The Black Mountain Pass is extremely popular with drivers after it was featured on Top Gear, but you can still expect little traffic on the road apart from on the sunniest weekends. One word of warning though, watch out for livestock (especially sheep) that have strayed onto the road particularly after blind corners.
Distance: 19.9 miles
Estimated time: 40 mins
Points of Interest: Carreg Cennen Castle; Brecon Beacons National Park; National Showcaves Centre
Route 500, the Black Forest Germany
The Black Forest region of Germany is famous for its winding roads and is a popular choice for road trips amongst the biker community.
One of the best and most accessible is the Schwarzwald Hochstrasse (route 500). This elevated road starts just outside Freudenstadt and travels north to Baden-Baden, it combines smooth and sweeping fast sections with dense forest trails and tight switchback turns.
Near its highest point, around the Hornisgrinde Mountain there are some great elevated views with plenty of place to park up, take in the scenery and take pictures.
The only downside is that Route 500 is a major road in the region so can become busy at certain times, we suggest that you plan your journey in the early morning to take advantage of the reduced traffic.
Distance: 31.1 miles
Estimated time: 53 mins
Points of Interest: Hornisgrinde Mountain; Geroldsau Waterfalls; Lichtenthal Abbey
Well those are our clear favourites but what about yours? By all means add ones you know in an email to me via firstname.lastname@example.org or use our Twitter @FOXYTweets or the FOXYLadyDriversClub Facebook Page.
Get that book of European road maps out over the Christmas break perhaps. Plenty to keep you busy planning next year’s touring holiday and road trip highlights. Happy motoring!