THE ALPS – INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA TO INTERLAKEN, SWITZERLAND
What: While the most famous Alpine road is the Stelvio Pass in Tyrolean Italy, in reality the mountain route is extremely congested, no thanks to its reputation. Fortunately, there are better options. This two-day route is a sampling of central Europe’s best mountain passes. In other words, hairpins galore.
How: Book yourself into the five-star InteralpenHotel Tyrol near the renowned ski resort of Innsbruck, Austria; you would need a good night’s rest to recover from jetlag for the challenging roads the following days. Begin the morning with a leisurely loop around Naturpark Karwendel, before enjoying a wiener schnitzel, lakeside, at Hotel Post am See. Then cross over to Italy on the Brenner Pass – a relatively easy and highly picturesque mountain pass, which leads to the main course of the day: the little-used, 20-turn, 40km Jaufen Pass. Overnight, soak your weariness away at the spa then head to bed at Hotel Terme Merano, before continuing your adventure towards Switzerland. En route, you’ll drive over no fewer than four mountain passes – Ofen, Julier, Oberalp and Susten – all of which will take you from elevations of about 1,000m to over 2,000m and down again, over steep inclines of over 10 per cent. Catch the sunset at the top of the mountain, before pressing on through the fog towards your suite at the Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa to pore over maps at leisure. Where to next?
Car: Audi RS4. A compact sports sedan with quattro all-wheel-drive and excellent handling to stay planted on the often-slippery roads. Europe's alpine curves offer corner after corner of motoring fun.