At Auto Curators, many clients visit our Hampshire detailing studio before or after a great road trip. One of those clients is Pete Osborne. Pete, co-owner of Petrolhead Tours, has visited and driven in around forty countries. Petrolhead Tours offers tours in Europe, Canada, the US, New Zealand and the UK. So, when we wanted to know the best driving roads in the world, Pete seemed the man to answer that question!
The Best Driving Roads in the World:
Serra de Estrela, Portugal
This one I discovered after watching a Henry Catchpole video. In all honesty, everyone who has driven it on one of our tours since understands why we go there. The tarmac, the traffic, the views, the variability of the driving… You’ve got elevation changes, wide-open sweepers, and tight twisty sections through the trees, all surrounding one particular mountain range.
Susten Pass, Switzerland.
This one has long been one of my favourites though I rarely get to go anymore – the Swiss are not very friendly towards sports car tourism. They don’t like noise, pollution, or even perceived speed – though actually going fast on tight twisty roads is hard work, so you will rarely actually break the speed limit! Such a shame because Susten is one of many passes in the immediate area, all of which are a lot of fun. Again both the tarmac and scenery are just incredible.
Col de L’Iseran, France.
Whilst not the best tarmac around, the scale of this pass (the highest paved pass in
Europe) makes it worthy of mention. Whichever way you climb it, you’ll get amazing views, but you have to be very aware that you’re never more than a couple of feet of grass away
from a very big drop… Possibly even hundreds of feet. Certainly focuses the mind! Keep
the tyres on the tarmac, though, and you’ll be fine. If you’re worried, just go slower and take lots of pictures.
Mont Ventoux, France.
This one is very special to cyclists because of the famous climb on the Tour De France. Again the tarmac is very well looked after here for that reason, and so it lends itself to a good drive too. It’ll burn a lot of fuel on the way up and eat brakes on the way down, so some caution is required, but as it’s busy with cyclists all day long and all year round, you have to pick your moments to get maximum enjoyment without inconveniencing anyone else. The view from the top? Glorious!
Angeles Crest, California.
A well-known road in local circles, especially with bikers and the modified car community (think Fast & Furious), this road leads you away from Los Angeles and towards the high desert in the direction of Las Vegas. It’s very busy on most weekends but not so much during the week. Lots of rock falls to watch out for, and, sadly, the area is well known for forest fires too, which can cause havoc. But, on the right day, this road can be savoured. You don’t even need a particularly fast car. Much of the crest can be driven with “flow”; just find the rhythm of the road and stay away from the accelerator and the brakes, and simply glide from one corner to the next – feel the tyres load up and unload, use the weight of the car and let the momentum carry you. The views aren’t bad, either.
If you’re planning a road trip, Pete’s top tip is to do your research. He says, “The more you can learn about what you are doing and where you are going, the more you will be able to enjoy the trip rather than stressing about the unknown variables.”
Of course, if you want to take away all the stress and just enjoy the driving, book yourself on a Petrolheads Tours tour. You can view their tour calendar HERE.
Finally, if you need your car to look its very best either before or after your tour, we can help at our Hampshire detailing studio. Get in touch HERE.