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Wending their way through national parks, following hairpin bends high up into the mountains and crossing dramatic bridges, these famous European roads are sure to inspire you to get behind the wheel.
Traversing four national parks and 16 mountain passes, this incredibly scenic road runs for 440 miles through the French Alps, starting at Lake Geneva and finishing at the Côte d'Azur. Smooth cornering makes it a driver’s dream and the mountainous scenery is pretty spectacular too.
James Bond’s Goldfinger made the Furka Pass famous. It is one of Switzerland’s highest mountain roads with an elevation of 7,969 feet. It features magnificent views of the Swiss Alps and the Rhône Glacier, along with a dizzying amount of hairpin bends. We guarantee you’ll need a stiff martini afterwards, shaken not stirred.
The Atlantic Ocean Road is regarded as Norway’s construction of the century, and it also won the title of the world’s best road trip by the Guardian in 2006. The most famous part of the road is Storseisundet Bridge, a bridge on approach that seems to lead to nowhere.
The Trollstigen is another Norwegian road trip treat. It has 11 twisting hairpin bends traversing up the side of a mountain to 2,790 feet. The road may be stomach-churning, but the view from the 2,300 feet plateau of Stigfossen Waterfall is well worth it.
Once a military route, today Romania’s Transfăgărășan offers scenic, and heart-in-the-mouth, driving enjoyment. Stretching for 60 miles across the Southern Carpathian Mountains, it features some truly hair-raising S-bends, along with viaducts and tunnels. It takes in Bâlea Lake and Bâlea Waterfall, plus Vlad the Impaler’s castle.
Driving from Paris to Perpignan on the A75 is now a breeze thanks to the Millau Viaduct, which shaves 37 miles off the previous route. Opened in 2004, and spanning the Tarn River, the cable-stay bridge is the tallest in the world at 1,025 feet and is a major highlight of driving through the central-south region of France
The Col de Turini is a mountain pass in the French Alps famous for its hairpin turns and being a part of the Monte Carlo Rally. Connecting the villages of Moulinet and La Bollène-Vésubie, it rises to a height of 1,600 metres and has also featured in the Tour de France.
The 40 or so miles of cliff-edged highway between Sorrento and Salerno in southern Italy is a sublime feat of engineering. The Amalfi Coast Drive takes in the picturesque tourist towns of Positano and Amalfi, as well as quieter seaside fishing villages, and showcases stunning ocean views.
The Romantic Road is 220 miles of quintessential German scenery, featuring medieval towns and historic castles. Stretching between the southern German towns of Würzburg and Füssen, there are around 30 historic sites, including the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle.
One of the most scenic road trips in Europe can be found slightly closer to home. The Ring of Kerry is a 125-mile driving loop around the Iveragh Peninsula and is extremely popular for its panoramic views, beaches, historic towns and villages. The best seasons to drive the Ring of Kerry are spring and autumn to avoid the crowds.