Five awesome roads in Europe
For our #ThrowbackThursday article, which picked this fabulous post… Fasten up your seat belt as Calum Hill gets behind the wheel to recommend five awesome roads in Europe!
1. Col de la Bonnette, Alps Maritimes, France
Bordering Italy and covering the south eastern region of France, laying surface to the motoring fanatics, is The Col de la Bonette. A much-loved route for motorcyclists, its beautiful winding roads have also featured in the Tour de France on four occasions, most recently in 2008. A stop at the summit is a must and a quick snap almost 3000m above sea level is strongly recommended. Most of this region, close to Nice, is surrounded by Mercantour National Park which only adds to the stunning backdrop of splendorous natural beauty.
2. Furka Pass, Central Swiss Alps
This stylish road, zigzagging across the grassy mountains of the Swiss Alps, looms flat below the mountainous setting and trails up and down steep hills. The Furka Pass connects Gletsch and Valais with Realp and Uri; though the setting is stunning, glaciers and snowy mounds do bear hazard warnings, so drive with care! After all, it is situated in one of the snowiest regions of Switzerland. Famously used in a scene of the James Bond film Goldfinger, the Furka Pass also takes you within a hundred metres of Rhone Glacier, a source of the Rhone River. What better route for all you wanna be 007s?
3. Road of the Sanctuaries, Italy
Passing along the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea is the scenic ‘Road of the Sanctuaries’ in the well known Cinque de Terre, Liguria. Tucked in the north eastern region of Italy, its path is scattered with vineyards and fishing villages, and is countable for the most common route between four worshiped sanctuaries; the Sanctuary of Montenero, Sanctuary of our Lady of Health, the Sanctuary Madonna di Reggio and the The Sanctuary of our Lady Soviore. The Ligurian fishing villages are symbolic to early Italian architecture with narrow streets and harmonious structural design and imagery. Efficiently crafted Roman design often puts Italian roads at the top for most motorists, and who could argue with fresh sea food, Italian blessings and beautiful weather to accompany you?
4. Old Military Road, Scottish Highlands
Undoubtedly one of the finest roads in Britain for clocking up the miles! This stretch of road passes through the Scottish highlands, traversing the Cairngorms National Park from Perth in the South to Fort George in the North. Completed in 1745 after the Jacobite rising, some parts of the road have fallen into disrepair and may test your suspension. Cutting through the heart of Scotland the Old Military Road exhibits a fine salutation for newcomers. Keep an eye out for the River Ericht showcasing Scotland’s crystal clear waters. Inhale the strong heritage of Scottish distilleries that line the route and be sure to stop by the Glenlivet and Glenffidich distilleries close to Tomintoul. Any volunteers to be the designated driver?
5. Dingle Peninsula Loop Triple, Dingle, Southern Ireland
Southern Ireland has some mind-blowing coastal roads and the Dingle Peninsula holds most. A short climb up mountainous roads from Dingle town is easily attainable; the road is close to 26 miles long, so takes around 30 minutes to drive. Rocky beaches and natural cliffs lay marker to one of the purest visions of the Atlantic Ocean from land. The Dingle Peninsula stretches 48 kilometers into the Atlantic Ocean and the Loop Trip enables you to drive the majority of Western/Southern Ireland by coastal roads. Passing through green pastures, rocky terrain, you also the chance to see some of Ireland’s man-made slate building designs. Up for a challenge? Cycling the route may take an afternoon but is strongly recommended of those with enough leg power.