Europe’s most scenic drives

Tuesday, 31 January 2012 2:07 PM

Sometimes it’s not always about the destination, but it’s about the journey. Europe is full of spectacular scenic drives that are ideal for short countryside breaks, passing historic towns, charming villages, rolling meadows and soaring mountains. Some of these journeys can be done in a day, while others are best done over a few days, stopping to take in the beautiful sights along the way. These are Europe’s most scenic drives. 

Bergen to Oslo, Norway
The 350 mile trip from Oslo to the picturesque world heritage city of Bergen, takes you past high snow covered mountains, deep glass-like fjords, wild brooding landscapes punctuated by tiny log cabins, and beautiful green forests. Keep your eyes open for native Scandinavian wildlife such as elk, many types of birds, and if you’re lucky, even a moose. The fjords around Bergen are great spots for whale watching too.  

 

Ioanniana to Meteora, Greece
Easily done in a day trip, this breathtaking journey only takes around an hour, but you’ll want to stop for photos at every chance you get. This journey is usually impassable in the winter, due to its high mountain passes and is best done during a spring or summer break. The route climbs high up into the peaks before leading you down into Thessaly and Meteora, a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage area, where ancient monasteries cling to the side of giant rocks that rise up either side of the road.  

 

Basque Circuit, Spain and France
Starting and ending in the northern Spanish city of Bilbao, this 300mile round trip is one of the most famous drives in Spain, and takes in scenic mountain roads, historic cities and the stunning coastline along the wild Bay of Biscay. From Bilbao your route will take you to the charming city of Pamplona, home to the famous running of the bulls, and then up into the Pyrenees, through the Roncesvalles pass into France. At each turn you’ll be challenged with steep bends and rewarded with spectacular views. Finish your journey by stopping along the French Riviera in elegant Biarritz and then continuing along the sparkling coastline back to Bilbao.

 

Alpine Road, Germany
The Alpine Road is a great classic European drive, which winds its way along the Bavarian Alps, past lush green meadows, snow capped mountains, chocolate-box villages and romantic fairytale castles. The journey starts from the small island town of Lindau on Lake Constance and continues on until the town of Bad Tölz, making it 300miles in total. On your route you will pass Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak; the ski resort of Garmisch and the enchanting Neuschwanstein castle where the much loved kids’ movie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was filmed.  

 

Pas de Calais, France
This is one of northern France’s most beautiful drives and best of all it can be done straight from the ferry in Calais. The route takes you on a 160mile round journey via Boulogne, along the wide sandy beaches of the Opal Coast, to the trendy town of Le Touquet. Pass historic ports, quaint countryside scenes, colourful beach huts and the swanky boutiques Le Touquet, before returning to Calais, where you can catch glimpse of our very own white cliffs of Dover before returning home.
 

Esme Fox

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