Road trips are a unique experience, and absolutely must be experienced at one point in your life. The rolling landscape and utter control over your movements amount to a sense of freedom it’s hard to recreate anywhere else.
Of course, road-tripping requires a little more preparation than the average holiday, especially if you’re going to be heading down roads less-travelled. These trips are once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and having all your documents in order can ensure it remains unspoiled by breakdowns or car-related administrative issues.
With everything in place, though, your road trip can become as simple as showing up for the ride. Naturally, there are some routes more conducive to a successful road trip than others; here are four of Europe’s most majestic routes, offering scenery and excellent driving in tandem.
The Black Forest High Road, Germany
The B500, otherwise known as the Black Forest High Road, is a 37-mile stretch of road that takes you through the Black Forest from Baden-Baden to Freudenstadt. It takes in the Rhine Valley and the Vosges Mountains of the Alsace, and carries you through prime skiing territory as it crests the Kniebis. The route has been in use since the 1930s, and is unrivalled for its scenic views and smooth driving experience.
The Stelvio Pass, Italy
The Stelvio Pass is an instantly recognisable mountain route, that weaves its way up the Eastern Alps on the northern border of Italy. It is the second-highest paved pass in the Alps, second only to the Col de l’Iseran in France – and only by a matter of metres. The pass comprises 48 separate hairpin turns, resulting in a glorious stretch of road that snakes its way up the steep alpine mountainside. The views are nothing short of breath-taking, though your breath may already be short from carefully navigating those tight turns.
The Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland
On the west coast of Ireland, you’ll find a route unlike any other, both in scope and in beauty. That route is known as the Wild Atlantic Way, and is the longest uninterrupted coastal route in the world. Coming in at over 1,500 miles end-to-end, the route starts at County Cork and finishes in Donegal, keeping the wide Atlantic Ocean on your left-hand side the whole time. There is so much to see on this route that many choose to travel small stretches of it – but the full route is a driving experience like no other.
The Bealach na Bà, Scotland
Sequestered away in the rural Highlands of Wester Ross, Bealach na Bà is an unassuming mountain pass that quickly becomes one of the most beautiful and exhilarating drives in the UK. Bealach na Bà manages the steepest climb out of any UK road, taking in the majesty of the Scottish landscape as it ascends the ridges of the Applecross Peninsula.