Guide to the best luxury driving holidays in Europe
With 2019 now in full swing, it could be time to start looking for some inspiration for your next holiday. After all, what better way to combat the January blues than to treat yourself to a little luxury in the new year? In recent years, driving holidays have been gaining popularity. Travelling via the open road gives you unparalleled freedom of choice regarding destination and length of stay – something that the average package break can’t compete with.
So, how do you combine a driving holiday with luxury travel? We recommend Europe as the destination of choice for those of you looking for a little more in the way of comfort; with beautifully smooth roads, stunning scenery and a massive variety of choice in hotels, you can’t go far wrong. To give you some inspiration, we’ve teamed up with Grange vehicles, retailers of used Lamborghini and other luxury models to bring you a list of the best driving destinations on the continent:
1. Iceland – Route One
Taking you all the way around the small island of Iceland is Route One – the largest road in the country. This 800 mile long stretch of road is guaranteed to impress, as it offers so much in the way of variety and scenery, allowing you to see everything that makes Iceland so popular with tourists from all over the world. You’ll find a huge variety of scenery here – from active volcanos to rugged snowy mountains. We recommend that you choose a sturdy vehicle here to handle the tougher terrain.
For a little slice of luxury, you can hire a private guide to explore the majestic Glacier Lagoon. There’s also the unmissable Blue Lagoon Retreat with its exclusive spa facilities for you to enjoy.
2. Italy – Stelvio Pass
Sought after by many for being the world’s best driving road is the Stelvio Pass in Italy. The road is one of the highest and most dramatic mountain routes in the European Alps, offering beautiful views and a once in a lifetime driving experience. Even the most experienced drivers will have their skills put to the test here, as the roads 48 switchback turns can prove a little tricky. It’s recommended that you pull over occasionally to collect your thoughts, take in the sights and enjoy this lovely stretch of road to the fullest.
For a place to stay, we reccoment the Sottovento Luxury Hospitality. This alpine style building offers large rooms, a choice of restaurants and spa, steam room and jacuzzi facilities – just what you need after a long drive!
3. Austria – Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse
Known locally as the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse (a bit of a tongue-twister for non-locals) and winding down from the highest peak in Austria is the Grossglockner High Alpine Road.
This road really lives up to its name – at 2,500 feet above sea level, you’ll have more than enough time to enjoy the view. As one of the number one destinations for motorbike and sports car enthusiasts all across the world, this route can be challenging, with a number of hairpin curves to keep you on your toes. For those of you who prefer to take your time and appreciate all that this route has to offer, why not stop in at the Alpine Nature Show Museum or the Hohe Tauern National Park?
4. Germany – Route 500
This sweeping stretch of road in the Black Forest of Germany combines smooth elevated sections through the forest with thrilling switchback turns all the way through to Baden Baden. It should be noted that there are several different trails to choose from in the Black Forest, with some being better than others, so it’s worth doing your research before heading out.
To make the most of the scenery and get the smoothest drive possible, we recommend taking the Schwarzwald Hochstrasse trail. This stretch of road is consistently wide and easy to drive on – it’s also home to some fantastic views on both sides and an exciting drive through dense forests. It should be noted however, that as one of the country’s most popular roads, this route can be prone to traffic during peak hours of the day – therefore, we recommend that you start your journey early to avoid queues.
5. France – Route Napoleon
History enthusiasts will relish the opportunity to visit Route Napoleon in France; this winding route lets you follow the famous steps of Napoleon Bonaparte – he marched through this road on his way to overthrow Louis the 18th back in 1815. It is the historical aspect of the road which makes it even more exciting, Napoleon passed through the famous route through the Alps hundreds of years ago, leading to fabulous views and scenery.
Leading you on an impressive trip through both the Alps and Alps Maritimes, this route stretches on for over 150km. Driving enthusiasts will find the road to be perfectly designed for speed and smoothness, so you can really appreciate the performance of the car. This along with the scenery makes for a truly stunning drive with many opportunities to stop and take photographs along the way.