Tag Archives: Outdoors

Top Driving Locations in Europe

Sometimes, the act of driving itself beats the anticipation of arriving at a final destination. There’s nothing better than those magical stretches of road, which seem to have been designed for fantastic driving. That’s why we’ve done our research, pooled our thoughts and created this guide to our favourite driving locations in Europe.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your keys and head off in pursuit of some of the best driving routes the continent has to offer.

road trip in Italian alps

S26, Italian Alps

The name may not be very familiar, but we’re sure that you’d instantly recognise this particular road in the Italian Alps if you saw it. Still not sure what we’re talking about? Imagine listening to Matt Monro’s ‘On Days Like This’ as you drive this winding route through the mountains with your shades on…

Of course, this was the road used in the opening scenes of the classic 1969 film The Italian Job. It’s famous twists and turns have made it something of a bucket list item when it comes to European driving and it attracts travellers from all over the world. Take a look at this article from USA Today, for some great ideas about touring the Italian Alps using this majestic route, including things to see along the way.

Adalucia, Spain

Spain is a country that just begs for a road trip. And with so many fantastic routes to choose from, you’re more than spoilt for choice.

If you have two weeks to spare, nothing beats a comprehensive tour of Southern Spain and Andalucía. A great place to begin is Malaga, where you can pick up a rental car from the airport. Arrange this in advance to secure the best deal, using a company such as Economy Car Hire, which offers affordable car hire in Spain.

Collecting a rental car is a much better option than driving your own car to the southern tip of Spain. By the time you get there, the novelty of driving may well have worn off and you’ll resent the amount of time you’ve already spent behind the wheel. Take a short flight and collect a car feeling happy and relaxed. This will make embarking on a trip to discover Spanish delights such as Nerja – heralded as the scuba diving capital of Spain – and the gorgeous beaches of Cabo de Gata, all the more enjoyable.

Germany’s Black Forest

It has to be one of the most popular routes in Germany, if not Europe: yet the iconic Route 500 through the Black Forest can often be deserted for enormous stretches, leaving just you and the road.

Ultimate Driving has some great tips for driving on Route 500, including which parts of the route can get busy at different times of the day.

A highlight along this route is the abundance of hot natural springs, which has resulted in a wealth of spas and health resorts springing up along the way. After clocking up some serious miles driving through Germany’s biggest nature reserve, we can’t think of a better way to relax than sitting in the bubbling waters of a natural thermal bath with a few German beers. Take in the gloriously clean air and indulge in some traditional German fare – as much as you love the driving experience, we’re sure you’ll find it difficult to drag yourself away from so much pampering!

There you have it! some of the best driving locations in Europe to enjoy your next road trip.


A guide to dressing for the different conditions on the Inca Trail

Although the Inca Trail in Peru isn’t a particularly long trek (typically it takes four days to complete), you’ll experience varied conditions along the route. This means you need to be well prepared for your hike and make sure you pack appropriately.

We’re going to give you a brief rundown of the different weather you’re likely to encounter while on the Inca Trail, as well as make packing recommendations. If you’d like to know more about what you’ll see along the way, check out Walks Worldwide for detailed itineraries.

hiking the Inca trail in Peru

Weather on the Inca Trail

The main season for trekking the Inca Trail is from April to October, as these are the driest months. It’s still possible to hike during November and December, but these tend to be wetter and also warmer.

Even if you travel between April and October, you shouldn’t expect the rain to hold off – it is not uncommon to encounter wet weather at any time of the year in the Andes, so make sure you’ve got waterproofs in your luggage.

One of the other important things to remember is that temperatures vary widely between the day and night. Once the sun goes down the temperature can drop to below freezing, while during the day it can be warm and humid. This means you need to be prepared for a variety of conditions.

Essential items to pack

No matter where in the world you are trekking, one of the most important things to have is a pair of comfortable, well worn hiking boots. Knowing that your shoes won’t give you blisters or cause you pain when you’re walking for long hours over the course of several days is a godsend.

Of course, it never hurts to take blister plasters in your daypack just in case, but wearing shoes that fit you and that you’ve hiked in before is the most important thing. Thick, good quality walking socks are another item you’ll want to bring. It’s worth taking spare pairs with you in case your feet get wet and you need to change your socks.

Waterproofs are another essential – a poncho that you can throw on quickly if you get caught in an unexpected downpour is a good addition to your daypack, while taking a breathable waterproof coat is also a sensible idea.

In terms of clothes, the key is layers to allow you to effectively regulate your temperature. Peru has some of the most variable weather in South America. Choose garments in a moisture-wicking fabric to wear against your skin and pack thermals for the evenings. Gloves, scarves and hats are other things you should take – you’ll be glad for them when you’re crossing Dead Woman’s Pass, the highest point on the trek.

Mosquito repellent, rehydration salts, hand sanitiser and wet wipes are just a few of the other things you should have with you at all times.

A word about packing

Although you need enough clothes to keep you dry and warm on your trek, remember that it only lasts for four days. You will be limited to taking 8 kg worth of luggage with you, as this prevents the porters from being overloaded.

If you have more gear than this, you can usually leave the things you don’t need at your hotel in Cusco and collect them once you’ve completed the hike. As an extra precaution from the rain, pack your clothes in plastic bags inside your main backpack to help prevent them from becoming damp.