Winter may bring freezing temperatures and some pretty harsh driving conditions, but it also helps to enhance the natural beauty of the land in the distance through a blend of snow and ice covering the landscape. This can ease the stress of those long journeys and make them more enjoyable as you take in the sights. To celebrate the season, the Motors.co.uk team has picked its top five favourite European winter scenic drive routes which will have you stopping to take photos along the way.
1. Route 500 Schwarzwaldhochstra?e
The Schwarzwaldhochstra?e is located within the Black Forest in Germany, running along the border to France. The route runs through the heart of the Black Forest and stretches for 60km providing plenty of elevated views to take in the whole of the mountainous landscape. The Black Forest is home to a number of German myths and legends due to its sheer beauty. Tales from the Brothers Grimm are thought to be inspired by it such as Hansel & Gretel and Rumpelstiltskin. Although one of Germany’s main roads, there are plenty of laybys to stop and appreciate the views.
2. Grossglockner High Alpine Road
This is the highest surfaced road in Austria, and one of the most breathtaking roads in Europe. There is a toll fee of €34 for the road, however, the route takes you up on the Hochtor Pass which rises to a whopping 2504m and also to the Pasterze Glacier, making the toll well worth the money. The road can become congested with tourists, so it is recommended to drive along it in the early morning. This is one of the most popular driving roads in the Alps and perfectly captures its stunning landscape during the winter.
The Klausenpass provides a route directly into the heart of the Alps. Within close proximity to Zurich in central Switzerland, the road is usually quiet due to the alternative highway most people use next to it. But, the Klausenpass offers views of the sky-scraping granite peaks across the Alps which cannot be matched. It also attracts around 40,000 spectators to its motor race event involving vintage cars held every four to five years. Click here to find further details on the Klausenpass.
4. Col de la Bonnette / Alps Maritimes
The Col de la Bonnette is a high alpine pass in the French Alps within close proximity to Italy. The route reaches a maximum height of 2807m, making it the highest road in Europe. With a smooth surface and plenty of sweeping roads, it provides a leisurely drive. The peaks of the road showcase a more volcanic and barren atmosphere in contrast to its base which boasts more vegetation and wildlife. The route is even used during the Tour de France.
5. Old Military Road
The Old Military Road, or A39, is in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands. Crossing this bare landscape means views are uninterrupted and unobscured. At over 80 miles long, there is an abundance of natural beauty to experience with wild animals including deer, snow rabbits and grouse all grazing the mountain range. There is little traffic because of the highway running next to the Cairngorms taking the brunt of it. A relatively straight road with a few ups and downs along the way to keep the kids entertained, here you really can enjoy the open road. Find out more about where to stay and what to watch out for along the Old Military Road.