As autumn paints a breathtaking tapestry of colours across Europe, car enthusiasts and adventure seekers know that it's time to hit the open road before the air and roads turn a little frosty.
Europe boasts some of the most awe-inspiring driving routes in the world which go through some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable, and in this blog, we'll explore the ultimate EU roads you must experience before they close for the winter.
So, rev up your engines, grab your warmest driving gloves, and let's embark on a journey through six incredible routes which all car enthusiasts must experience!
Our journey begins in the Alps of Italy with the world-renowned Stelvio Pass. Nestled at an altitude of 2,757 metres (9,045 feet), making it the highest paved road in the Eastern Alps, this winding mountain road offers breath-taking vistas and 75 exhilarating hairpin turns. The Stelvio Pass is a paradise for drivers seeking both challenge and beauty and is one of those go-to destinations used by many car commercials.
Next we are heading to the Swiss Alps, the Furka Pass is a road that should be on every driver's bucket list. Immortalised by the iconic car chase scene in the James Bond film Goldfinger, this road offers serpentine twists and turns amidst stunning alpine scenery which will be firing off a golden glow in Autumn. This historic Rhone Glacier can be seen along the route, either just before, or after, you've stopped off at the iconic Hotel Belvédère.
Venturing back into Italy, the Grande Strada Delle Dolomiti, or the Great Dolomites Road, takes you on a journey through the UNESCO-listed Dolomites Mountain range. The road crosses over 12 mountain passes, winding through the iconic pink and pale grey peaks of the Dolomites themselves, lush forests, and charming alpine villages, making it a photographer's dream and a driver's delight.
Next on our list is Austria's Grossglockner High Alpine Road. Watch as you and your car become tiny, as you ascend through this picturesque route. You will find yourself being watched over by the highest peak, the Grossglockner, which stands tall at 3,798 metres (12,461 feet) in Austria. Along the way, you will find numerous viewpoints to stop and savour the panoramic vistas of the Hohe Tauern National Park. This road is a true alpine masterpiece.
Norway's Trollstigen Pass is a true marvel of engineering and nature. Carved into the steep mountainsides, this road features hairpin bends, cascading waterfalls, and dizzying heights. Upon arrival at the pass, you can see why it was named Trollstigen, which translates to Troll's Ladder. Norway is known for its stunning scenery and this thrilling drive will leave you speechless.
Our final destination takes us to Romania's Transfagarasan, often hailed as the "best road in the world" by many motoring enthusiasts, including Top Gear back in 2019. The route was originally built as a strategic military route by Romania to help defend itself from the Soviet Union. This road winds through the Carpathian Mountains, offering stunning views of forests, glacial lakes, and ancient castles which would be a perfect mood for those autumnal months.
Each of these stunning routes offers a unique blend of natural beauty, challenging driving, and unforgettable experiences. So, fuel up your vehicle, check your tyre pressure, and embark on a journey through Europe's most iconic and breathtaking roads before they start closing up for the year towards the end of October. Happy driving!