Et doesn’t always have to be a trip on Route 66 through the USA, the tour around the Italian boot or a crossing of Africa. Especially not when the travel time is limited. But even on mountain or beach holidays there is time for a little car hike. And this is also worth it. If you choose the right path, you will collect long-lasting memories, even on short journeys. We present five short dream roads from all corners of the world:
Atlanterhavsvegen in Norway
Anyone who has seen the last James Bond film “No Time to Die” should still have it in mind: With the chase between Bond actor Daniel Craig and the Specter henchmen, the Atlantic Road has finally put itself on the longing lists of many car vacationers.
Although there is Norway from Trollstigen to Aurlandsfjellet, dozens of dream roads between fjords and fells, not to mention the spectacularly illuminated tunnels. But nowhere is the density of aaahs and ooohs per kilometer greater than on the Atlantic Road. As part of national road 64, it connects six islands between the coastal towns of Molde and Kristiansund over a distance of less than ten kilometers.
The road swings over adventurous bridges, some of which rise steeply into the sky and meander in wild curves.
And even if the journey on the passage, strictly speaking, only takes a quarter of an hour, you should plan at least half a day for it. Because there are numerous opportunities for walking paths and information boards along the way, and because the route makes a completely different impression depending on the wind and weather and especially the tides.
Key data: Country: Norway – Route length: 8.3 kilometers – Toll: free – Best travel time: all year round – Ideal vehicle: In summer a convertible, in winter a station wagon and in Norway it is generally best to have an electric car – Nearest airports: Molde and Kristiansund – Do not miss: coffee and cake, or even better waffles, in Eldhuset–Atlanterhavsveien Cafe at the foot of the most imposing bridge.
Additional Information: nasjonaleturistveger.no
17-Miles-Drive in den USA
The road winds in tight curves through the bays and forests of the Monterey Peninsula. After every bend there are new views that take your breath away. The waves of the Pacific are beating against rocks, pine trees spiral mystically towards the sky. And on the golf courses with the adjoining dream villas, high society flaunts its wealth. Once a year, the finest vintage cars in the world stroll here to the Pebble Beach “Concours d’Elegance”.
Driving fun is limited during the 30-minute lap. Because there is a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour (around 40 km/h), which is strictly monitored by the security service of the private resort. After all, you can enjoy the views better that way. And if you’re in a hurry, you’ll be at the Laguna Seca race track half an hour later.
At the southern end of 17-Miles-Drive, the equally elitist and dreamy town of Carmel-by-the-Sea lures you in for a longer break. To the north is the port of Monterey with the tourist traps on the famous Cannery Row. Whale-watching tours from various providers also start from here.
Key data: Land: USA – Route length: 27 kilometers – Toll: 11.25 US dollars (around 10.50 euros) – Best travel time: All year round – Ideal vehicle: Anything that is open – Nearest airport: San Francisco – Don’t miss: A round of golf on a of the seven championship courses along the route.
Additional Information: pebblebeach.com
Chapman’s Peak Drive in Südafrika
admittedly South Africa you probably don’t visit for driving. But even those who are only in for a short time Cape Town is involuntarily drawn to that almost mystical promontory that seafarers respectfully call the Cape of Good Hope. And the way becomes the goal.
The combined tour, which is less than 200 kilometers long, is one of the most beautiful and spectacular routes that Africa has to offer. And the most beautiful section of it is the Chapman’s Peak Drive between Hout Bay and Noordhoek: the toll road winds its way through 114 bends over nine kilometers to Chapman’s Point, which is almost 600 meters high, and then back down to sea level.
And if you can take your eyes off the road even a little bit despite unusual left-hand traffic, you will literally drown in the panorama that spreads out in front of you. Rough rocks, crashing surf and the Atlantic, as far as the eye can see. The journey could actually continue to the end of the world. And as if that weren’t enough, with a bit of luck Table Mountain will appear in the rear-view mirror.
Key data: Country: South Africa – Route length: 9 kilometers – Toll: 57 South African Rand (around 3 euros) – Best travel time: all year round – Ideal vehicle: Anything that has a bit of power – Nearest airport: Cape Town – Don’t miss: visiting the penguins on Boulders Beach from Simon’s Town am Indian Ocean on the way back to Cape Town.
Additional Information: chapmanspeakdrive.co.za
Stelvio Pass in Italy
There are many Alpine passes, and most of them have it all. But hardly any other gets the pulse so high as the mountain ridge that the South Tyrolean Stilfser Joch and the Italians call Stelvio.
As if his 2757 meters, which take him after the Col de l’Iseran in France to the second highest road crossing in the Alps not imposing enough are the entrances and exits after Bormio on one side and Prad on the other an endless and narrow meander. Alongside the road, it often goes hundreds of meters down the valley.
On this section of the Strada Statale 38 dello Stelvio you can hear the lure of performance and you are always tempted to turn off your engine, drive faster, brake later and shave the radii even tighter. But because the road hardly forgives a mistake, it is better to take it slow and enjoy the panorama instead.
And if you really want to do sports here, it’s best to just take the bike. Sufficient condition and willingness to self-torment provided.
Key data: Land: Italy – Route length: around 50 kilometers – Toll: free – Best travel time: June to November (observe winter closure) – Ideal vehicle: a sports car, preferably open – Nearest airports: Bergamo, Milan and Verona – Don’t miss: an overnight stay in one of the many Mountain hotels at the entrance and exit, with pasta and the necessary glass of red wine to calm your nerves again.
Additional Information: nationalpark-stelvio.it
Nurburgring Nordschleife in Germany
If you want to get through hell, you have to be a devilishly good driver. This not only applies to the racing drivers, but also to the horsepower tourists who want to circumnavigate the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring once in their lives.
Almost exactly 100 years ago (1925-1927) it was concreted as a race and test track like a rollercoaster in the Eifel. The English racing driver Jackie Stewart gave it its notorious and justifiable nickname: “Green Hell”.
She has made racing drivers like Rudolf Caracciola and Juan Manuel Fangio immortal, and she has cost the lives of many others. Also unforgettable is Niki Lauda’s serious accident in 1976.
The circuit consisting of 33 left-hand and 40 right-hand bends was made into a myth, some sections of the route such as the Brünnchen, the Karussell or the Adenauer Forst have a reputation like Donnerhall.
The operators cherish and maintain this fame – and let the whole world share in it. Because where otherwise only professionals are allowed on the racetracks or participants in driver training courses, the Nordschleife is open to everyone many days of the year.
If you have a driver’s license and the car is registered, lead feet can drive like hell themselves. The downside: accidents, some of them serious, happen again and again. Therefore, a healthy amount of self-assessment is more than advisable when driving through the Green Hell.
Key data: Country: Germany – Route length: 20.8 kilometers – Toll: 30 euros during the week, 35 euros on weekends and public holidays – Best travel time: Summer – Ideal vehicle: Anything that is fast – Nearest airport: Cologne/Bonn – Don’t miss: The snack afterwards in the Pistenklause, where Schumi & Co have already eaten their currywurst.
Additional Information: nuerburgring.de