What makes the best driving roads? Well, among motorcycle enthusiasts, there is a saying that driving a car is like watching a movie while riding your motorbike is like being part of a movie. Maybe because it all boils down to this: being open to all elements with no metal box around you, that feeling of danger and vulnerability merely heightening your senses, you can really feel that you are part of the world. The best driving roads need to have twists and turns that will get your heart rate up and your knees down. If there is a good visibility and smooth surface, all the better. Put in an epic landscape and a dose of adventure and you know that you reached your riding nirvana.
Best Driving Roads in Europe
Hardknott Pass: Steepest Road
This only has a height of 393 meters, Hardknott Pass is definitely a serious climb. With the road being a single track, there is no space for any oncoming traffic that usually results to frequent stops and backing up. With a 30% climb, this is far from being easy. During World War II, the road was totally destroyed by the English tank training and was repaved with the tarmac after the way. On clear days, Hardknott Pass offers spectacular views at the top of its summer which includes a wonderful glimpse of the Isle of Man, making it one of the best driving roads in Europe.
Col de l’Iseran: Highest Paved Mountain Pass
Considered as Europe’s highest paved mountain pass, Col de l’Iseran has a height of 2770 meters. Its name was taken after the place l’Iseran that was then named after Isère river. This river originated in the valley at Val d’Isère’s high end ski resort. Even with its famous reputation, the Col only has a single bar/restaurant on its summit. Look to the south and you will witness the beautiful views of the Vanoise Park mostly covered in snow.
Col de Finestre: Most Winding Road
You can praise the road workers for putting up 30 hairpin bends in span of less than 3 kilometeres in the Italian Cottian Alps. The overall climb is more than 18 kilometers, with the road ending at an altitude of 1694 meters. After reaching the summit, the road goes on unpaved to the border ridge or Assietta. This road was originally built in 1700, offering access to Piedmont’s biggest port.
Transfagarasan Highway: Best Driving Road
Hailed to top the list of the best driving roads in Europe is none other than Transfagarasan Highway which only earned the title World Best Driving Road from popular TV show, Top Gear. The asphalt is winding 90 kilometers between the steep cliffs found on the highest portions of Southern Carpathians, ending at a summit of 2034 meters. It was in 1970 when the Romania army built the road after Russia invaded the neighboring country of Czechoslovakia. With its breathtaking views, the drive on the road is definitely worth it.
Want to experience driving on these roads? Portugal Motorcycle Tours can make it possible for you.