Lonely Planet Writer

Norway’s twisted Atlantic Ocean Road is named best summer drive in Europe

The beautiful and twisted Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway has been named as the ultimate summer driving experience in Europe following a survey designed to identify what appeals most to travellers.

The Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway has been named the best summer drive in Europe
The Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway has been named the best summer drive in Europe Image by Håvard / CC BY 2.0

The 5.2 mile stretch of scenic coastal road was chosen as top pick by Psychologist Dr. David Holmes who looked at key elements of the driving experience when planning a summer route. Taking insights from a study taken by TomTom of 14,000 drivers from across Europe, Dr. Holmes developed the ultimate summer drive formula to help travellers choose the best destinations.

The drive spans a series of coasts and islands, including an unsheltered look at the Norwegian sea
The drive spans a series of coasts and islands, including an unsheltered look at the Norwegian sea

Factors included the number of bends and hills in a drive, volume of traffic, surrounding scenery, remoteness of the road and even the weather.

The top five pics included the Estoril Ocean Drive in Portugal, Lake Como in Italy, The Peloponnesus in Greece and the North Coast 500 in the Scottish Highlands.

Kylesku Bridge on the North Coast 500 in Scotland
Kylesku Bridge on the North Coast 500 in Scotland Image by Richard Wiseman / CC BY 2.0
Lake Como in Italy was also a top pick.
Lake Como in Italy was also a top pick. Image by Edwin van Buuringen / CC BY 2.0

The top pick, which passes through an unsheltered section of the Norwegian sea, came out on top when mapped against the formula, offering spectacular views, quality roads and perfect lighting conditions throughout the summer.

Commenting on the formula and the top picks, Dr. Holmes said: “Holiday driving can combine the thrill of the new and novel with a sense of adventure, unlocking a sense of excitement and freedom. Planning a route using my formula before you embark on your summer adventure will help you make the most of your drive and enhance your overall holiday experience.”

Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way was was mentioned as a top road trip destination.
Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way was was mentioned as a top road trip destination. Image by Doug Kerr / CC BY 2.0
The Stelvio Pass in Italy was included as a recommendation for Best Mountain Road.
The Stelvio Pass in Italy was included as a recommendation for Best Mountain Road. Image by absoluteczech / CC BY 2.0

Other Categories of the study included, “Most Epic Road Trip Drives” with popular destinations like Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way and Route One in Iceland getting a mention as well as “Best Mountain Roads” that named the breath taking stelvio pass in Italy as a must visit this summer.