Top 10 Most Scenic Driving Roads in Europe

Posted 13 September 2014 by

Going on a European holiday is more than just exploring the old cities and delightful museums on foot—you can also explore the many beautiful views of this magnificent continent by driving.

Europe boasts of a network of roads that will take you from one country to another, and whether you are traveling with your family, friends, or significant other, you will definitely find Europe’s scenic roads highly enjoyable, with its wonderful combination of natural scenery and cultural heritage sites.

Here are some of the best driving routes in Europe.

Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, Austria

Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, Austria

Named after the highest peak of the gorgeous Austrian Alps, the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse takes motorists through flower-filled meadows, lush emerald prairies, mountainside woods, and sheer cliffs before taking them up to the clouds and the perpetual winter wonderland of the alpine region.

The road starts in Oberes Nasfeld and ends at Franz-Josefs-Hohe, where motorists are rewarded with a gorgeous panorama of the Pasterze Glacier. This road is hundreds of years old, and there are plenty of historical attractions along the way, including a tower dedicated to the world-famous Austrian optician Daniel Swarovski and the Fucher Chapel.

Romantische Strasse, Germany

Romantische Strasse, Germany

The road is built in the 1950’s, shortly after the collapse of the Third Reich in the aftermath of the Second World War. The aptly named “Romantic Road” winds through the gorgeous German countryside, allowing for delightful views of medieval villages, Baroque castles, and lush forests.

When driving through the Romantische Strasse, make sure to stop at the Marienberg Fortress and the Wurzburg Residence for some of the best wine vintages in the region. The Romantic Road will also take you to the heart of the medieval city of Bavaria, as well as the fairytale castles of Neuschwanstein Hohenzollern, Schwerin, and Hohenschwangau.

The Ring of Kerry, Ireland

The Ring of Kerry, Ireland

This 200-kilometer road is a popular tourist route for those who want to explore the marvels of the Iveragh Peninsula. The circuitous road takes motorists along mountain slopes, lush valleys, lakes, rivers, cliff-surrounded coastlines, and scenic sandy beaches. The Ring of Kerry offers the best views of the Emerald Isle, and you would definitely have a hard time which window to look out from.

Atlanterhavsveien, Norway

Atlanterhavsveien, Norway

This magnificent road is truly a feat of architecture and engineering, as it perfectly fits in the gorgeous natural landscape of the region without taking anything out of the beauty of the area. Also known as the Atlantic Road, the Atlanterhavsveien connects the towns of Averoy and Eide. Construction began in 1989, and ever since then, the Atlantic Road has always been one of the most popular tourist attractions in Norway.

Adrenaline junkies and nature lovers flock to the area when there are strong winds, just to witness the glory of strong waves sweeping on the sides of the road. The route is only eight kilometres long, but the vistas are unforgettable. The highest bridge, named Storseisundet, offers a great view not only of the waters below, but also the surrounding area. If you are after great views of the fjords and mountain peaks, the Atlantic Road will definitely never disappoint you.

Les Corniches, France

Les Corniches, France

Les Corniches are three magnificent routes that all begin in Nice, taking motorists to the beautifully Baroque region of Menton and the principality of Monaco. These three routes are situated in different altitudes, with La Basse Corniche (Low Corniche) being the ideal route for those who want to explore the quiet fishing village of Villefranche-sur-Mer and the medieval structure of Eze. La Moyenne Corniche (Middle Corniche), on the other hand, boasts of dramatic views of the magnificent coastline of he French Riviera. Finally, La Haute Corniche (Upper Corniche) is not exactly the most popular route, but is the best for gorgeous vistas of the neighboring principality of Monaco.

Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos, Spain

Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos, Spain

Snaking through the scenic Sierra de Cadiz before taking motorists to the Sierra de Grazelma Natural Park, the Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos is one of the region’s most popular tourists destinations. The route itself is perched on a cliff that overlooks the Guadalete River, allowing for breathtaking views of the region’s Moorish castles and lush plains and valleys.

La Route des Grandes Alpes, France

La Route des Grandes Alpes, France

La Route des Grandes Alpes, or the High Alps Route, is one of the first tourist driving routes built in France, and is the wonderful product of a close collaboration between the French government and its citizens who love cars and driving. Built in 1909, just when the automobile was becoming an important method of transportation in industrialized parts of the world, the French Touring Club pitched the idea of constructing a road that will connect the country’s gorgeous alpine passes.

Driving through La Route des Grandes Alpes will take you to four beautiful national parks, namely Ecrins, Mecantour, Queyras, and Vanoise, as well as sixteen mountain passes situated thousands of meters above sea level. The road winds through mountain passes that allow motorists to experience breathtaking views of the Lake Geneva and the Mediterranean Sea.

Trollstigen, Norway

Trollstigen, Norway

Trollstigen is another entry for Norway, and we are compelled to include this road in the list for its jaw-dropping beauty. Construction began in 1936 and was finished eight years later. Adrenaline junkies will definitely enjoy this road, thanks to the hairpin turns and serpentine curves in the road, which can be considered as death-defying when combined with the steep inclines. If you are brave enough to drive through the Trollstigen route, you will be rewarded by beautiful mountain views, waterfalls, and other natural scenery you would never forget.

Transfagarasan, Romania

Transfagarasan, Romania

Built by the powerful Romanian communist regime, Transfagarasan is a feat of engineering—the road traverses through the highest mountains in the country (from where the road derived its name, the Fagaras) to connect two separate parts of Romania. This tourist route is popular among those seeking to discover the mist-covered mountains of Dracula’s homeland. Those who seek such mysteries will be rewarded by views (as well as opportunities to visit) the Poienari Fortress, from where the infamous Transylvanian noble terrorized his constituents and invaders.

Costiera Amalfitana, Italy

Costiera Amalfitana, Italy

The Amalfi Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (the distinction was awarded in 1997), is definitely one of the best drives in Europe, thanks to its paradise-like views of the mountains and the gorgeous sea. The weather is often pleasant, and the area is situated away from the hustle and bustle of popular tourist attractions in the country. A drive through the Amalfi Coast will definitely allow for an unforgettable experience with the region’s gorgeous historical landmarks and the friendly locals.

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