Sometimes it’s good to make a mountain out of a molehill, especially when you can drive up it to enjoy breathtaking scenery like no other. Whether you’re at the wheel of an SUV like the Range Rover Sport, taking on hairpins in a sporty coupé such as the Audi A5, or blasting along in a Lexus LS, here are five of the best mountain drives on the planet.
Nestled in Italy’s Eastern Alps, this stunning 15-mile stretch of tarmac is perfect if you love testing out your driving skills. With 60 hairpin bends including almost 50 on a mountain face that plunges down over 9,000 feet, you’ll need to keep your eye on the road as well as the snowy peaks that rise up all around you. If you fancy a road trip in your own wheels, the spectacular pass is just over 11 hours from Calais.
The Grossglockner is Austria’s highest peak, and you can conquer it from the comfort of your car. Running between Heiligenblut and Bruck, the High Alpine Road climbs over 8,000 feet and is a mecca for sports car enthusiasts. It’s little wonder, with 36 hairpins to navigate over 30 miles, as you take in views of rocky cliff faces, lakes, pine-clad hills and glaciers.
With epic vistas of Mount Snowdon in Wales, you’ll enjoy everything from waterfalls to beautiful coastline, lakes, rivers, pretty villages and steep climbs and descents on this 70-mile route. Spot the puff of a steam train as you make your way from the fantasy village of Portmeirion through Porthmadog and Tremadog, and on to Mount Snowdon itself. After getting your pictures, continue on past scenic moorland to Caernarvon Castle, which stands proudly at the mouth of the Seiont River.
It’s hard to beat Canada when it comes to mind-blowing mountains, and this drive is one of the best ways to experience perhaps the most famous range anywhere in the world, the Rockies. Stretching for some 140 miles along the Continental Divide, the Icefields Parkway takes you on a voyage through soaring peaks, sweeping valleys and picturesque ice fields. What you’ll find at either end isn’t bad either, as the route connects Lake Louise with Jasper.
Mountain views? Check. Hairpin bends? Check. Cascading waterfalls? Check. Steep inclines? Of course. The Troll’s Path in Norway is another haven for drivers and motorcyclists, as it snakes down for four miles of thrilling fun along well-surfaced tarmac. There’s an incredible viewing plateau at 2,300 feet, while the houses that cling to the mountainside are a sight to behold. Don’t forget to look out for the road signs warning you about crossing trolls, too.Get out on your next road trip, with new and used cars from Inchcape.