europe road trips

There are drives that get you to your destination, and then there are drives that are the destination.

1. Davos, Switzerland to Trafoi, Italy

The road

At more than 9,000 feet high, the Stelvio Pass is the eastern Alps’ highest paved road, a 15-mile-long ribbon of 48 hairpin turns with spectacular mountain views.

Photo: AGF Srl / Alamy

The car

With the 2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, you’ll get to 60 MPH in three seconds and still leave time for everyone to admire its low-slung frame on the turns.

Photo: Courtesy Ferrari

Where to rent it: Europe Luxury Car Hire, Davos (; starting from $1,570 a day)

2. Nice, France to Monte Carlo, Monaco

The road

An hour north of Nice is the famed Col de Turini, a 19-mile-long mountain pass with 34 switchbacks that test drivers as part of the annual Monte Carlo Rally.

Photo: Ogen Perry / Getty Images

The car

The 1971 Lancia Fulvia HF Coupe combines the best of Italian sedan styling with rally-car performance—this model tamed the Turini in 1972 en route to a championship.

Photo: Martin Lehmann / Alamy

Where to rent it: Rent a Classic Car, Nice (; starting at $260 a day)

3. Bucharest to Bâlea Lake, Romania

The road

Make the three-hour trip to the mountains, where the Transfagarasan Highway’s extra-long S curves evoke a racetrack fantasyland threading the two highest peaks in Transylvania’s southern Carpathians.

Photo: Catalin Petolea / Alamy

The car

Sure, you could go with a supercar, but the Audi A6 excels between 30 and 50 mph, the ideal range to accelerate out of these legendary curves.

Photo: Courtesy Audi

Where to rent it: Euro Car, Bucharest (; starting at $50 a day)

4. Sorrento to Salerno, Italy

The road

Channel your inner Marcello Mastroianni on the Amalfi Coast along the southern end of the Sorrento Peninsula: Just add Ray-Bans, a pair of Canali pants, and a comely passenger.

Photo: David Richards / Alamy

The car

The 1967 Alfa Romeo Spider Duetto, a Pininfarina classic, is a near-perfect blend of style and substance—making this convertible the ultimate coastal roadster.

Photo: Cristina Fumi / Alamy

Where to rent it: Spider Life Style, Sorrento (; starting at $280 a day)

5. Mönchengladbach to Nürburg, Germany

The road

Take one of the straightest (read: fastest) sections of the Autobahn to practice for the challenging Nürburgring racetrack, open to any driver.

Photo: imageBROKER / Alamy

The car

A Teutonic anvil of a convertible, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster pumps out more than 500 hp with a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox.

Photo: Eugene Sergeev / Alamy

Where to rent it: Pegasus Group, Mönchengladbach (; starting at $1,110 a day)