The automotive map of Europe hides many road gems for thrill seekers and landscape hunters. There are some spectacular coastal routes and dramatic mountain roads to discover. Here’s a list of the five most awesome roads in the old continent and a short distance beyond.

Stelvio Pass, Italy

Stelvio Pass is the second-highest pass in Europe located in the Ortler Alps of northern Italy. The road connects Stelvio on the northeastern side with Bormio on the southwestern side. The ascent on the northern side is 23 kilometres long and reaches a 1,800-kilometre difference in elevation. The northern part of Stelvio Pass consists of 48 numbered sharp turns affording the most spectacular views. The entrance to the pass costs 10 euros.

A Tour around Iceland

Our next choice is the road circling Iceland. It’s a 1,332-kilometre-long route that connects the capital city, Reykjavik, to many uninhabited areas in the east and north of the country. The main attractions along the route include the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, and Jökulsárlón, a lake formed from a melting glacier. Experience the raw beauty of Icelandic nature and the country’s most scenic landscapes.

Troll’s Path, Norway

Trollstigen, or ”Troll’s Path”, consists of several hairpin bends, many with turns of almost 360 degrees. This is one of Norway’s biggest attractions. Set close to the majestic Norwegian fjords, the road is usually open only from May to October. It descends 850 metres with an average gradient of 9%. In early spring, when snow melts from the mountain peaks, the waters from Stigfossen Waterfall reach the road bridge and lightly splash the passing vehicles.

Adriatic Coastline, Croatia

More than just a road, the “Adriatic Highway” stretches from Dubrovnik to Rijeka along Croatia’s coast and offers the most scenic seascapes in the whole of Croatia. This road will lead you through phenomenal landscapes, passing along local beaches and towns built on the rocks just above the Adriatic Sea. When it gets too hot during a drive, take a break for a swim in the Adriatic or have a picnic on one of the many unspoiled beaches in Croatia.

Amalfi Coast Road, Italy

The route stretches along the beautiful Italian Amalfi Coast on the southern side of the Sorrentine Peninsula. It starts in the city of Positano, ends in Vietri sul Mare, and runs through numerous small towns, making it a great choice for a getaway that can be combined with sightseeing near Naples. A journey along the narrow road just above the turquoise sea on a warm summer’s day is one of life’s great experiences.

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