Austria is well known for its buttercream roads, and the Silvretta is no exception. This road boats 30+ sweeping hairpin turns, a grade up to 12%, and the ride is a silky pleasure. Many amenities are on the road, so bring the whole family to enjoy a meal and the incredible granite-topped mountain peaks that surround this pass. Silvretta's negatives are the thin lanes on the switchback portion, mid-day tourist traffic, an entrance fee, and the road's location makes travelling there a bit "out of the way." The Silvretta isn't really on the way to anywhere, and to travel into bordering Switzerland is a trek by car, even though the distance is short as the crow flies. It's still well worth the trip though, have a look for yourself at the great roadside and drone video below this text.
The Austrian's have done it again with another beautifully-paved mountain pass making our Best of Europe List. The Nockalm Road doesn't have the awesome scenery of the Grossglockner and Hahntennjoch to make the gold list, but it carries its own by being one of the best cruising roads in Europe. The sweeping hairpins and clearly-marked lanes makes driving, cycling, boarding, or riding this road a true pleasure. You'll also enjoy gentle mountain scenes and beautiful forestry with the limited traffic found here. The family can enjoy the vast wildlife, hiking trails, historical sights, and pull-offs for a picnic or photo session.
The Trollstigen makes our Silver list due to its gnarly 11 hairpin turns, challenging 9% grade, and it's flat-out one of the most beautiful roads in the World. Search for this road on Instagram; you'll see tens of thousands of absolutely stunning shots of the Trollstigen. It has bends, steep mountains, waterfalls, and even statues of trolls. It's as if this road was made for the camera. As for conquering the road, it has narrow lanes, the fun bits of the road are quite short (less than 5 miles), achieving speed is near impossible, and traffic can be immense as the Trollstigen is one of Norway's prized tourist attractions. But travelling this road in-between fjord ferry tours and horned-helmet museums is worth it, even for just a stop at the cafe at the peak, or for that mandatory selfie.
This road is for our bicyclists. The Bealach na ba is a dream to cycle thanks to the sheer challenge of its length and grade. Cars and motorcycles can enjoy too, but beware of the razor thin lanes and the series of sharp curves at the pass. Scenery is some of the best in Scotland, with a carved canyon surrounded by mountains filling the eye. Lush grasslands are present in the spring and summer, and traffic is rarely a bother. The Bealach na ba is certainly a place on the map to mark in your trip to Scotland, just be sure to eat a good breakfast to make it to the top.
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