Seven Trips We’re Okay with You Not Taking the Train

Although railways are a great means of getting around Europe, there are some spots on the continent that simply need to be driven. When planning a drive, the number of options one has from which to choose is virtually limitless. Travelling by automobile has myriad advantages, such as the flexibility to drive when and where one chooses without having to worry about a scheduled itinerary. Those planning a driving holiday in Europe should find a reputable car rental office and head off to begin an enjoyable adventure on one of the following routes:

The Black Forest Highway K5370 to Oppenau–Germany

black forest

This spectacular stretch of road through Germany’s beautiful Black Forest is not heavily used by tourists, making it a safe and quiet road on which to drive. However, a drive on the K5370 to Oppenau is anything but boring. Although the route primarily runs through forestation, it is delightfully steep and features a lot of fantastic switch backs with numerous corners. One particular stretch boasts a 180 degree turn, making the driver feel as if he or she is navigating down the mountain vertically. However, the turn quickly comes back to a traditional stretch of highway through a fantastic corner by a historical wood structure. This route is a must-see for those planning to hire a car and visit Germany.

Susten Pass–Switzerland

sustenpass, switzerland

Mountain pass style driving at its best can be found on Switzerland’s Susten Pass. The well maintained highway slowly sweeps its way up to the floor of a lovely scenic valley, then begins to gradually steepen and eventually hugs the valley’s granite walls. Its slow climb is accomplished with a series of outstanding sweepers and fabulous views of the trail ahead. Before the ride commences, the driver of the car rental must navigate a tight stretch of road, featuring some impressive switchbacks. After this, tourists will find themselves at the highest point of the drive where outstanding views of the Stein Glacier can be seen. Those who choose this route are sure to have an unforgettable experience.

Cannobio Valley–Italy

Cannobio

Those in search of a genuine rugged run should consider a drive through the Cannobina Valley, where some of Italy’s most beautiful and unique scenery can be viewed. The trail runs just adjacent to the national Grand Valley Park, and then moves on to a secluded and rustic road along the valley’s unspoiled river gorges. Eventually, one will come upon the quaint town of Santa Maria Maggiore. This ride is a wise choice for anyone who is interested in finding a serene atmosphere, where he or she can commune with nature.

Simme River Valley–Bernese Oberland

Bernese Oberland

Another beautiful valley style driving route one may wish to consider is the Simme River Valley in Oberland’s Bernese region. The road winds down to the towns of Gstaad and Saanen, after passing through some of the area’s most tranquil and scenic villages along the way. The scenery found on this route is quite diversified, beginning with somewhat heavy forestation, and moving on through steep valleys and lush green meadows. The highway’s surface is well-maintained and one will rarely even come across a bump in the road. However, there are a few more towns and villages situated on this road than one usually finds on a scenic highway, therefore the driver may discover that he or she must frequently slow down when passing through these communities. This route is definitely the best choice best for those who want to sit back and unwind from the every day stresses of life, and enjoy a peaceful drive through tranquil surroundings.

The Alsace Wine Highway–France

alsace wine highway

The Alsace Wine Route is a popular favourite of many French travellers, and follows a path through some of the most enchanting villages and vineyards of Alsace. It is one of France’s most popular wine routes, and winds its way through a seemingly limitless number of timbered houses and exotic vineyards. As the path veers up the Alsace mountains, one will observe amazing and diversified scenery, which includes colourful flower displays. This route is an ideal way to experience the atmosphere of the region and the wines for which it is famous.

The Transfagarasan Route–Romania

Transfagarasan

Those searching for a route to take their breath away will find it in Romania. The Transfagarasan Route, famous for its intricate hairpin turns and zigzags, takes motorists through Romania’s spectacular Fagaras Mountains. At its highest point, which is in the region of Moldoveanu, the route features an altitude of over 2,000 metres, therefore it is not for the fainthearted. At the top of the peak it links to Muntenia, and the neighbouring province of Transylvania. Dramatic scenery, wicked turns, and glorious heights make a drive on the celebrated Transfagarasan highway a trip to remember.

Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos–Spain

Puente Nuevo

This highway is appropriately named “Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos,” which means the Route of the White Villages. This phrase certainly describes what one will experience on this scenic drive. The highway winds through a vast array of Andalusian villages and towns, all of which boast the bright white buildings and homes for which the region is famous. These picturesque structures remain quite dazzling, as they are whitewashed on a regular basis by their owners. This task is preformed in an effort to reflect the midday sun’s unforgiving rays, and this whitewashing creates a remarkable display that is extraordinary to behold.

The route captures Andalusia’s essence very well, and in each quaint community and village one can discover historical facts and catch an intriguing glimpse into the traditional Spanish way of life. The region is associated with both a Christian and Muslim past, which becomes evident when one views the architecture of the area’s various buildings.

The drive traditionally starts at historic Arcos de la Frontera, where many ornate ancient churches can be seen. The route passes through an impressive terrain of huge mountainous rocks, from where it eventually leads down to the magnificent Guadalete River and on to additional villages that pepper the lovely hillsides. For a non-commercial driving route that is unspoiled by tourism, one should hire a car and enjoy the experience of the Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos.