THE WILD Atlantic Way on the west coast of Ireland has been named the best road trip in Europe, according to new research.
The research from car parts specialists Euro Car Parts looks at existing road trips and compares elements such as length of the journey, popularity on social media and the best time to go to create the top-five list.
The 1,600 mile Wild Atlantic Way came out on top with a time allocation suggestion of 2-3 weeks.
Starting in Inishowen Peninsula in Co Donegal, the route takes travellers through some of Ireland's most stunning landscapes before finishing in Kinsale, Co Cork.
The drive takes the top place due to its lengthy route, giving visitors plenty to do along the way, and its existing popularity with other explorers. Data from Instagram and TikTok shows the route has been mentioned over 48,500,000 times through hashtags, proving its already a favourite amongst visitors.
The Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland also made the list in fifth position.
This rugged coastal route shows off some of Northern Ireland’s most beautiful scenes along its 130 mile rout. Starting in Belfast, the trip goes along the coastal road around Northern Ireland before finishing in Derry.
The route is another popular one for social media users with data showing over two million posts for the journey and over one thousand average Google searches per month.
Travellers can expect to see a wealth of incredible landmarks along the way, including the likes of the charming Dark Hedges road, of Game of Thrones fame, and the dramatic Giant’s Causeway.
In second position was The Transfăgărășan Road Trip in Romania, which was once called the ‘world’s best road’ by Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear fame.
At just 56 miles and 7 hours these winding roads through the Romanian mountainside pack in a lot to see despite the shorter length. The journey starts in Cartisoara and ends in Bascov, and whilst the drive from start to finish may only be a few hours, the surrounding beauty will have you stopping regularly to get the full experience.
It is recommended to undertake the journey over the summer months, with July proving to be the best month as it has an average of 310 sunshine hours.
For those looking to go later in the year, the roads are usually closed between 1st of November and 30th of June due to weather conditions.
Scotland's North Coast 500 is the UK's top choice, and is said to be the country's answer to Route 66.
Starting and ending in Inverness, travellers see the country’s stunning coastal scenery along the spectacular 516-mile loop.
Despite being third on the list, the North Coast 500 actually beats out the top two routes when it comes to Google searches, amassing a massive 40,500 searches on average each month – suggesting the trip is grabbing the attention of many potential explorers.
Those that have visited the route, which has a recommended time of 1-2 weeks, are also quick to share their journey with the trip’s hashtag being used over 41,000,000 times across Instagram and TikTok.
The 20-mile Furka Pass in Switzerland finishes in fourth position, residing amongst the Swiss mountains and offering views like no other thanks to being 2,429 metres above sea-level.
The route is often done as part of wider trips but the official trip starts in Andermatt, and finishes in Gletsch in the Valais. Along the way drivers have the chance to spot Hotel Belvédère, which gained fame from appearing in the James Bond film, Goldfinger.
The research also revealed this to be another sunny spot, where visitors in July can expect an average of 238 sunshine hours across the month.
Speaking on the findings, Helen Robinson, Corporate Communications Director of Euro Car Parts said:
"Having access to these stunning roads across the UK and Europe makes the prospect of travelling around in your car all the more exciting. With so much choice, we hope our research makes it a little easier for people to choose their next destination.
"Once the choice has been made it’s also vital to ensure your car is in good working condition before you set off so that you can fully enjoy the experience without worrying about car troubles.”
Other routes that narrowly missed out on the top five places include the Atlantic Way in England, Route des Crêtes in France and Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Austria.