As the snow begins to fall in Britain, the country roads close, the motorways come to a standstill, and the Mums across the country complain they can’t get their hatchback off the drive. But for hundreds of drivers, they are heading out to enjoy some of the world’s fantastic winter drives.
Driving across the snow-kissed landscapes of the United States, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe are becoming increasingly popular for keen motorists and it’s hardly surprising. The ice-capped spires, long, sparkling lakes, and crisp, blue skies draw your breath like nothing else as you pass along the winding, mountainous roads, in what can truly be an unforgettable experience.
Of course if you’re looking to spend some time touring the world’s best winter roads this season, a 4×4 is necessary, whilst winter tyres are a must. Before you head out on a journey through the snow-capped wonderlands, chains and winter tyres should be fixed to your vehicle, as ice can be challenging for even the most experienced drivers.
The challenges are certainly worth it however as you pass through the small, picturesque Icelandic towns, and with cheap tyres from clickontyres.co.uk available online, you’ll be ready for the snow in no time.
And it’s Iceland that has some of the most beautiful winter drives. The Northern Lights can frequently be seen throughout the winter and by taking to the roads outside of the bright lights of Reykjavik, you can discover them in all their hypnotic majesty. With greens, blues and purples glowing in the night’s sky it’s truly a once in a lifetime moment.
There is a lot more to Iceland on the roads too. Relatively straightforward to navigate through, light plays a huge part in the country’s beauty. Alongside the Northern Lights, a sunrise on the road can be truly spectacular, though days can be as short as six hours during the later months.
Across the country there are plenty of unforgettable sights with each region offering something completely different to the next. A drive down the east coast will allow you to be at one with nature. Reindeer are very prominent, particularly around the highland farms, forests and woodlands of Fljótsdalshérað, and are part of a wonderful backdrop that typifies winter in the country.
Similarly, a winter cruising through the Canadian Rockies can be just as majestic. Swapping reindeer for moose and bears, the roads of Canada are generally well maintained and the white-tipped, jagged mountain ranges are passable all year round.
And whilst you don’t necessarily need a four-wheel-drive vehicle to capture the stunning scenery, premium tyres are advised if you’re wanting to take in the Rockies’ most exquisite features. A journey down to Lake Louise will give you a view fit for a postcard. Known as Canada’s ‘Diamond in the Wilderness’, the area is a perfect drive down to, and a place where you can leave the car and take in some hiking.
Although the journey can be a very long one, especially from the major cities such as Vancouver. It’s an eight hour drive from Vancouver, but a drive that nonetheless is worth it. Taking in some of the country’s infamous sights, ending at Lake Louise, is just about the most faultless final point.
Heading south and there are hundreds of great roads to discover in the United States during the colder months. Whilst Route 66 tells the story of the American heartland, drives such as the Peak to Peak in Colorado almost replicate a fairytale. The 55 mile byway begins in Central City and travels all the way to Estes Park, taking in curvy roads that pass through the Arapaho National Forest and the Rocky Mountain National Park.
Mixing the sharp, greys of Mount Meeker with the lush green of the alpine forests, the route is awash with wildlife including elk, coyotes and deer that inhabit the area.
But Colorado isn’t the only drive in the US, and one that plays total contrast to the 13,000-foot high Indian Peaks is the Pacific Coast Highway. Away from the snow and moose laden landscape of the mountains, the highway doesn’t suffer harsh winters so its mild climate is perfect for those without the luxury of winter tyres. The coastline is as dramatic as the mountain ranges, whilst the ocean rolls in alongside the road, where if you’re lucky whales will crash around in the distance.