In a recent blog post, we counted down five of the UK’s must-drive roads. But why stop there? With spring just around the corner, your thoughts will naturally turn to awakening the treasure beneath the tarpaulin – so stretch your car’s legs in style with a trip to Europe’s high-altitude runs. Here are 10 favourites chosen by Windrush’s long term car storage team.
Col de la Bonette, Alps Maritimes
Peaking at a dizzying 2807m, the prospect of driving Europe’s highest road might seem daunting, but with its high-quality surfaces, the Col de la Bonette should be testing – rather than terrifying – for seasoned drivers. Reach the summit and you’ll have a panorama that feels like looking down on creation.
Susten Pass, Swiss Alps
The least trumpeted of the Swiss Alps’ near-mythical ‘big three’ (the others being Furka and Grimsel), Susten is the connoisseur’s choice, sweeping through fairytale forests, over ancient stone bridges and ever-upwards to an elevation of 2260m. Park up at the foot of the Stein Glacier for coffee, and pinch yourself that a view could be so beautiful.
Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austrian Alps
Avoid the tourists by visiting before mid-June, make an early-morning start, and you’ll have this skyscraping mountain pass practically to yourself. The rise to the summit is most spectacular if you approach from the south – and don’t forget to park up at Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe for views that beggar belief.
The Albula Pass, Swiss Graubunden Alps
There’s nothing gentrified about this rugged pass, which flows past forests, meadows and viaduct bridges before peaking at a glorious 2400m summit. Just be warned: that unreconstructed vibe means the surfaces can get a little bumpy as you ascend from the south side.
Gorges du Verdon, National Park Verdon, Alps Maritimes
Often dubbed the ‘French Grand Canyon’, the Gorges du Verdon lives up to the billing with 800-metre plunges that mean it’s not for the fainthearted. In fact, there’s a choice of two routes: the north ‘A’ road is tighter and trickier, while the south ‘B’ is enjoyably fast but far easier to stop and drink in the view.
Connecting Novaci to Sebeş through the bleak beauty of Romania’s Parâng Mountains, the 148km Transalpina throws out steady challenges, from acute hairpins to hillclimbs that pin you to your seat and some stomach-lurching descents. Fortunately, the recently re-tarmacked surface ensures you never feel out of control, while the shrubland wilderness is unspoilt beauty itself.
Furka Pass, Swiss Alps
f you’re wondering why this 35km stretch feels familiar, that’s probably because the Furka Pass was the backdrop to the classic chase scene from 1964’s Goldfinger. Check your Aston Martin out of Windrush long term car storage, beat a path to the Swiss Alps and awaken your inner Bond.
Famously, this was the stretch that Jeremy Clarkson declared “the world’s best road” (knocking Italy’s Stelvio Pass off the podium). You see his point: with twists, turns, ducks, dives, a 2000m-plus summit and distractions that include waterfalls and shimmering Lake Bâlea, Transfagarasan demands to be seen and driven.
Schwarzwaldhochstrasse, Black Forest
Whether you take a lazy wind through the Black Forest’s seemingly endless supply of chocolate-box villages, or go hard and fast on the B500’s sweeping stretches, there’s something otherworldly about the Schwarzwaldhochstrasse. Start at Baden Baden in the north and keep your eyes wide open.
Hahtennjoch Mountain Pass, Austrian Alps
With a brutalist landscape like the pitted surface of the moon and the roar of your engine echoing off the canyon walls that surround you, there’s something deeply cinematic about driving Austria’s best-loved pass. Just remember to approach from the north – and watch out for the occasional pack of jaywalking cattle.
Then back down to earth with Windrush classic car storage
After satisfying your wanderlust, return your vehicle to the safety of Windrush prestige car storage in the Cotswolds and London. We’re experts with every model and vintage, and our long-term car storage service covers everything from protecting the mechanics to buffing the paintwork.
The UK’s most discerning classic car storage service starts with our twelve-step induction process and your vehicle settling in its own dedicated storage bay. But we don’t stop there, with our team creating a tailored long-term car storage maintenance programme that continues for the length of your stay.
Learn more about Windrush luxury car storage by dropping the team an email on firstname.lastname@example.org