Europe has a number of roads that offer a great driving experience and are a must for anyone who enjoys challenging their car on unfamiliar territory.
First up is the Col de la Bonette in the Alps. This road is probably the most famous in the region and it claims to be the highest road in Europe at 3,807 metres, although a number of other mountain passes also make the same claim to fame!
The south climb up into the Alps starts in Saint-Etienne-de-Tinée, with an average gradient of around 6.4 per cent, but the rise to the top at one point reaches an impressive 15 per cent incline.
If you are looking for scenery rather than just height then the Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Austria may fit the bill. It can get fairly crowded during the summer months with tourists looking for the ideal photo opportunity. Therefore, you may want to set the alarm early so you can enjoy the empty roads and take in the spectacular view.
The road, which took five years to build, is only open from the start of May to late October and covers a distance of 48 kilometres to connect the Austrian provinces of SalzburgerLand and Carinthia.
Overall, it has 36 hairpin turns and there are plenty of stopping points if you want to stretch your legs and take a break.
One of the most famous onscreen European driving roads is in the central Swiss Alps. Featured in James Bond’s Goldfinger, the Furka Pass hosted a car chase between an Aston DB5 and a Ford Mustang. The road links Andermatt in the Canton of Uri with Gletsch in the Canton of Valais and it forms part of the famous Three-Pass-Ride over the Furka, Grimsel and Susten Pass.
Furka Pass was originally built for the military and was first opened in 1867. It offers drivers a thrilling ride with numerable twists and turns, hairpin bends and blind corners. It is also recommended to take some time out to take in the Rhone Glacier which can be seen on the western side of the pass.
For somewhere a little nearer to home try the A93 in Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands. For many car fans this is the perfect driving road as it winds through some of Europe’s most beautiful scenery. It has the benefit of being virtually traffic free, as many locals opt to travel along the nearby highway which offers a must straightforward and mundane journey.
There are plenty of twists along the old military road, as well as a number of ups and downs that will appeal to even the most hardened roller coaster fan.
Whatever road you decide to enjoy in Europe, remember to make sure you give your vehicle the once over before heading off on your adventure. Many of these roads can be an unpleasant place if you suffer a breakdown.
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