With Christmas well and truly behind us, you might be tempted to look for some summer holiday inspiration to get you through the cold months! After all, what better way to get you through the January blues than by planning the adventure of a lifetime. In recent years, driving holidays have become incredibly popular amongst the younger generation – and for good reason. Travelling via the open road gives you complete freedom to choose exactly where you want to visit and for how long, which is a stark contrast to the package holidays of the past.
Europe is an excellent place to start looking; with beautifully smooth roads, picturesque scenery and a huge variety of choice on offer, it’s easy to see why thousands of road trip holiday-makers journey there each year. To give you a helping hand and hopefully some inspiration for your 2019 summer trip, we’ve put together five of the best driving holiday destinations for you to consider.
Sought after by many for being the world’s best driving road is the Stelvio Pass in Italy. 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. Even the most experienced drivers will have their skills put to the test here, as the roads 48 switchback turns can prove a little tricky. 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.
Drivers should be aware that this area is very popular, and traffic jams are common during peak holiday seasons. 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.
Taking you all the way around the small island of Iceland is Route One – the largest road in the country. 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.
You’ll find a huge variety of scenery here – from active volcanos to rugged snowy mountains. We recommend that you choose a sturdy vehicle here, such as a used Range Rover Evoque to handle the tough terrain.
Known locally as the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse (a bit of a tongue-twister for non-locals) and winding down from the highest peak in Austria is the Grossglockner High Alpine Road.
This road really lives up to its name – at 2,500 feet above sea level, you’ll have more than enough time to enjoy the view. 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. For those of you who prefer to take your time and appreciate all that this route has to offer, why not stop in at the Alpine Nature Show Museum or the Hohe Tauern National Park?
This sweeping stretch of road in the Black Forest of Germany combines smooth elevated sections through the forest with thrilling switchback turns all the way through to Baden Baden. It should be noted that 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.
To make the most of the scenery and get the smoothest drive possible, we recommend taking the Schwarzwald Hochstrasse trail. 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. 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.
History enthusiasts will relish the opportunity to visit Route Napoleon in France; this winding route lets you follow the famous steps of Napoleon Bonaparte – he marched through this road on his way to overthrow Louis the 18th back in 1815. 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.
Leading you on an impressive trip through both the Alps and Alps Maritimes, this route stretches on for over 150km. 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.