02 Mar The Most Scenic Road Trips of Europe
With spring fast approaching and the days getting longer, it’s time to start thinking about Europe summers. Road tripping in summertime is always one of my favourite activities and there’s nothing quite like cruising along with the windows down on a sunny day!
If you want to feel like you’ve jumped straight into a car ad on TV, here are the most scenic road trips of Europe:
Route 500, Germany (The Black Forest)
One of the best known routes in Germany, Route 500 takes you on a 60km journey along sweeping roads through the Black Forest. This mountain route climbs from Baden-Baden to Freudenstadt, offering beautiful views of pine forests and meadows along the way. You can easily complete this journey in a half day, stopping at various viewpoints for Instagram photos along the way.
Route One, Iceland
Iceland is a beautiful country to visit in both summer and winter and hiring a car allows you to explore some of the country’s best natural spots. Route 1, also called “The Ring Road” is a national road that runs around the island, measuring 1,332 kilometres or 828 miles. This magic circle allows you to explore some of Iceland’s most beautiful attractions, including Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Expect to see beautiful horses, rugged mountains and geothermal pools along the way, and you might even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights if you’re lucky! Just be careful when driving in winter as the roads can become treacherous with sudden snow storms.
Trollstigen is part of the Norwegian scenic route and has many twists and turns, including 11 hairpin bends – definitely to be avoided if you get car sick! This serpentine mountain road connects the town of Åndalsnes in Rauma and the village of Valldal in Norddal Municipality. I has a steep incline as it winds its way up to Stigrøra, which is 858 metres above sea level. Driving Trollstigen allows you to view some of Norway’s best scenery, including rugged mountains and majestic fjords.
Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, Austria
The Grossglockner High Alpine Road looks like a snake winding its way through the mountains of Austria. Stretching a total of 48km it has many hairpin bends and 36 turns in total. It’s the highest surfaced mountain pass road in Austria, connecting Bruck in Salzburg with Heiligenblut in Carinthia via Fuscher Törl and Hochtor Pass. The highlight is the the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Hohe viewpoint, which offers unique views of the snow-covered Grossglockner mountain. It’s so popular with visitors that you’ll find a multi-storey car park, visitors’ centre, observation tower and restaurant should you wish to take a break.
The Ring of Kerry, Ireland
Ireland has a beautiful coastline and when you’re gazing out of the plane window, you can’t help but notice how green it is. The Ring of Kerry is a 179km-long, circular route around the Iveragh Peninsula in southwest Ireland’s County Kerry. Along the way you’ll come across rugged cliffs, green pastures and towns such as Killarney, Beaufort and Kenmare. Don’t forget to stop at a local pub to listen to live Irish music with a pint of Guinness in hand.
Preparing for your trip
If you’re planning to take your car over to Europe, make sure you get your car serviced and ready for your road trip. Kwik Fit has lots of branches all over the UK and is always convenient for things like MOTs and tyre checks. You should always check your oil and water before you go and make sure all of your lights are working, otherwise you might get pulled over.
Always be aware of the driving rules and road signs in the country you’re visiting. In order to comply with the law, you will most likely need a special European driving kit that contains things like warning triangles, headlamp beam converters and reflective jackets. If driving a UK vehicle on the other side of the road, always keep alert and remember to stay to the right hand side of the road. It takes some getting used to at first but you’ll soon get the hang of it!