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Europe's Top Ten Adventurous Roads

Get off the beaten track with our list of the top ten Adventurous Roads in Europe. These routes will spit you out on top of the world, twist you through deep valleys on crumbling tarmac, challenge your riding skill in the dirt, and test your nerve with steep cliff-side drops.

You can use any of these roads in our very own Trip Planner. Get inspired and plan your next trip for free.

D76, COMBE LAVAL
Cliffs, Steep Drops, Epic Views

"Beautiful view from road D76, Combe Laval, France"

 

Location: France
Length: 16km
View: 5/5
Surface: 2/5
Pleasure: 4/5

The Vercors Massif is an almost alien plateau and mountain range, the ridge of which juts out of the surrounding countryside on a monolithic scale. Tiptoeing through its mountainous wake to the west, the D76 rises almost 300 metres above the valley floor along a cliffside road that will make even the hardiest of motorcyclists shudder. The view north into Col Gaudissart and the River Cholet is both breathtaking and terrifying at the same time. Ride the road south to north, starting at the town of Die, taking in the switchbacks of the D518, turning onto the D76, riding the cliffside, and then coming down into the town of Saint-Jean-en-Royans.

See the road here.
 


 

E65, ROJAZE - VITKOVICE
Fast, Mountainous, Military Borders

"Beautiful nature at the Serbian / Kosovo border route"

 

Location: Montenegro to Kosovo
Length: 45km
View: 4/5
Surface: 4/5
Pleasure: 4/5

Despite the tumultuous history of the 1990s, this border route is quiet, peaceful and smooth. Other than the UN-manned border crossings that is. Expect soldiers, guns and tanks at the Serbian / Kosovo border, but beautiful, sleepy nature throughout. The road itself starts in Montenegro's Rojaze and follows the river Ibar north east as the E65. Its name is changed at the Serbian border to Route 22, and then Route 31 along the shores of a reservoir. If you plan to keep on riding into Kosovo, the name changes once again to Route 31.

See the road here.
 


 

SP92, ETNA MAIN ROAD
Volcanic, Curves, Hillclimb

"Road SP92 in Sicily, Italy"

 

Location: Sicily, Italy
Length: 34km
View: 4/5
Surface: 2/5
Pleasure: 3/5

Beware Etna, a volcano that is most definitely still active. Minor eruptions regularly bring down lava rain on the SP92's road surface, covering it in gravel – as dangerous to motorcyclists as the hot stuff itself. Even so, the main road built to ascend Etna is of good quality with only minor cracks to its surface. Ride in Spring or Autumn to avoid tourist buses.

See the road here.
 


 

BARDENAS REALES ROAD
Badlands, Maze, Dirt Track

"Riding the desert road, Bardenas Reales, Spain"

 

Location: Spain
Length: 36km
View: 4/5
Surface: 2/5
Pleasure: 3/5

Keep to the speed limit and stay on the road, and park rangers will be friendly towards you. Yes, this completely off-road route cuts straight through the Bardenas Reales badlands in Spain's Navarra region, bordering Aragon. Ride south on the NA-128 from Carcastillo and turn onto the dirt track before the junction to Figarol. You are now in a maze of tracks that criss-cross the badlands. We'd only suggest getting lost if you have GPS to escape with!

See the road here.
 


 

D918, COL DE L'AUBISQUE
Panoramas, Mountains, Twisty Pass

"Beautiful view and good quality road surfaces on the Aubisque Pass"

 

Location: France
Length: 28km
View: 4/5
Surface: 3/5
Pleasure: 5/5

Quality road surfaces come and go on the Aubisque Pass. Delicious curves of near-perfect tarmac greet you on your ascent from Eaux-Bonnes. Ride this section again if you have time, as later on the views become more spectacular but you need to keep one eye on the road. Throw in gaggles of cyclists, and the experience is tough, requiring your absolute concentration, but ultimately rewarding with very snappable panoramas.

See the road here.
 


 

ROUTE 38, LAMIA - AGRINO
Hills, Forests, Countless Corners

"Switchbacks, curves and S-bends on route 38, Greece"

 

Location: Greece
Length: 146km
View: 5/5
Surface: 2/5
Pleasure: 4/5

An epic Greek experience, and with a length to rival Homer's Odyssey. The total length of the route is 146km, but every one is worth doing. Start at Lamia and ride west on Route 38. Treat the initial stage as a warm-up, drinking in the views, or using the breeze to cool you down in the sweltering weather. The first switchback will arrive out of nowhere, on a right-hand bend approaching the village of Tymfristos. After a little tunnel and the town of Karpenissi, the road becomes a real headbanger – switchbacks, curves, S-bends and more all following a crazy double white centre line.

See the road here.
 


 

DN67C, TRANSALPINA
High Pass, Mountains, Resurfaced

"Road DN67C, Transalpina"
Thanks to Community Member Zsozsoo for submitting this great road

 

Location: Romania
Length: 131km
View: 4/5
Surface: 4/5
Pleasure: 3/5

Our thanks to user Zsozsoo who uploaded this Romanian gem. Local legend tells that the more famous Transfagarasan Road was built by during Romania's Communist regime explicitly to surpass the Transalpina. Now, the Transalpina has the benefit of being an underdog, less exposed to tourist traffic, and all the better for it. The Urdele Pass is the Transalpina's highest point at 2,145 metres, higher than a significant number of famous Alpine Passes.

See the road here.
 


 

COL DU PARPAILLON
Off-Road, Spectacular, Mountain Pass

"Off-Road through the Cottian Alps"
Thanks to Jess Sjiriki Zekusn for uploading the impressive Col du Parpaillon

 

Location: France
Length: 26km
View: 5/5
Surface: 3/5
Pleasure: 4/5

Motorcycle Diaries user Jess Sjiriki Zekusn pushed her bike to the limits of Alpine adventure to bring us inspiring pictures from the Col du Parpaillon's dirt track. We suggest you at least fit semi-knobbly tyres to attempt this 26km route through the Cottian Alps. A choice awaits you towards the summit: either ride to the crest of the pass at 2780 metres above sea level, or take the daunting 520-metre long tunnel instead. Its arched construction was the work of the French army who completed it in 1911. If you do rise to the challenge, expect a completely black interior thanks to metal doors at each end that block out the light.

See the road here.
 


 

Rv258, GROTLI SHORTCUT
Mountains, Gravel Road, Abandoned Village

"Road Rv258, Grotli Shortcut"

 

Location: Norway
Length: 28km
View: 4/5
Surface: 2/5
Pleasure: 4/5

Turn off the pristine Route 15 between Hjelle and the abandoned village of Grotli to discover a Norwegian road from the age of gravel surfaces. The Rv258 shortcut might actually take longer to traverse than its younger brother, but this means fewer vehicles and more of that feeling of isolated exploration that comes with riding motorbikes off the beaten path. Grotli is definitely worth exploring, especially if you stumble across the downed Heinkel bomber from the Second World War.

See the road here.
 


 

GRAVEL ROAD, MALI ALLEN PASS
Challenging, Rocky, Dirt Track

"Challenging Gravel Roads Mali Allen Pass, Croatia"

 

Location: Croatia
Length: 30km
View: 4/5
Surface: 3/5
Pleasure: 4/5

Croatia is a land of contrasts. Most motorcyclists would head there for the delectable coastal route that winds along the country's Adriatic headlands, but further inland things become a lot more challenging. The Mali Allen Pass starts only ten kilometres from the sea, but fast becomes a wild moonscape of scrubland, white rocks, and towering stone spires. The dirt and gravel surface is easy enough to attack on a large trailie, while experienced off-roaders will soon be drifting through the switchbacks.

 

See the road here.
 


 

Do You Know an Adventure Road?

"Off-roading heaven on the Mali Allen Pass"
Off-roading heaven on the Mali Allen Pass

 

Share your favourite roads with the Motorcycle Diaries community by adding them to our road atlas. Upload inspirational photos and a short description and you could be in with a chance of winning our monthly competition.

Each month we give away Arai helmets or sets of Bridgestone tyres to the users who submitted the best two roads that month. The author of each road wins either a set of Bridgestone tyres matching their bike, or a brand-new Arai helmet. This competition happens each and every month, so every month you have a new chance to win.

Get started here!

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