DRIVING ADVENTURES: EURO-TRIP – 11-30 September 2017
Check out a slide show of our European Tours here.
After hugely successful Tours of Europe every year since 2012 we are ready to run an improved version again in 2017. The concept of the tour has not changed and that is to hit as many of the motoring icons as we could in one trip while still allowing time for side trips, shopping, the odd day to chill out and rest, and some superb dining, in fact the dinners have become such a highlight that there has been a suggestion the we change our name to Dining Adventures.
In no particular order this tour visits; Ferrari, Siena, Porsche, Goodwood, Portofino, Sirmione, Cannes, Spa, Col de Turini, Nurburgring – Nordschleife, Route Napoleon, The Pistenklause, Cinque Terra, Stelvio Pass (twice), St Bernard Pass (both), Furka Pass, St Moritz, Cortina, Mercedes Museum and so many special little places that you will have to come along to find.
As with all Driving Adventures tours this trip is all about having a good time. Nice cars, good friends, brilliant roads in some of the most beautiful locations on earth in company with like-minded adventurers. The tour represents the highest standards of organization, first-rate hotels and exquisite dining. There are even road books, detailing the exact route (although an up to date Sat-Nav system is essential). I will also be there as a guide to smooth the way and ensure that each guest has the best experience possible.
These are events organised as rallies, but without the restrictions and limitations of a competition event. There is no competition timing. Guests are given detailed road books that explain the correct route as well as a short history of the areas traveled. Roads are selected for the driving enjoyment. Unlike competition events, guests will be free to set their own agenda for the day. You can choose between a sleep-in and a leisurely breakfast or an early start with stops along the way to more closely inspect the local colour or you could short-cut the scheduled route and hurry to you destination for a swim or spa before dinner with the group. You can even arrange to skip a night or two to take in a special side trip. It IS your holiday. The tour package includes, all Hotels and breakfast each morning, Options you may choose include, a new Renault RS or Peugeot lease car or the special Goodwood package that includes, entry tickets into the Goodwood Revival, Grandstand seating for all 3 days, Lunches and Accommodation close to the event.
A Rough Guide to Our Route
The schedule is:
Monday 11 September – 30 September (Optional)
The Goodwood Revival. Simply the best, most amazing, Historic Car gathering on the planet. Everyone dresses in period costume, The racing is amazing, some of the best drivers in the world racing wheel to wheel in priceless icons such as GTOs, Cobras E Types.
Monday 11 September – Goodwood – Stavelot
We move to Stavelot on the doorstep of the Spa circuit. Most will spend the day travelling so there is nothing major planned. However, our hotel is a small family run establishment with an amazing restaurant, the welcome dinner for the group will be one to remember and set the tone for some wonderful dinners to follow.
Tuesday 12 September – Stavelot
There is time for a leisurely breakfast before we head to the Spa Circuit. We will do a few laps of the circuit behind a pace car so you can get an appreciation of how special this circuit is. Afterwards we have a tour of the facilities and travel along the public roads that made up the old 14 Km circuit. Afterwards there is time to visit the Museum in Stavelot before another brilliant dinner.
Wednesday 13 September – Stavelot – Nurburg – 162 Km
The only way to follow up Spa is to head to the Nurburgring. The plan is to head through the Ardenne Forest to the village of Nurburg and the Dorint Hotel which overlooks Europes most famous racetrack. We will do a tour of some of the spectator points around the Nordshleife before heading onto the 20 km Green Hell for a few fast laps. Dinner is set amongst the memorabilia of countless races at the legendary circuit.
Thursday 14 September – Nurburg – Stuttgart – 318 Km
Now that you are warmed up it is time to hit the Autobahn for quick unrestricted run to Zuffenhausen and the Porsche museum, home to an amazing array of cars that trace the history of Porsche, this museum never fails to impress.
Dinner tonight will be the famous Restaurant Christophorus within the Porsche Museum.
Friday 15 September – Stuttgart – Salzburg – 380 Km
Before leaving Stuttgart there is time to visit the Mercedes Museum. A stunning exhibit that brilliantly places the history of Mercedes and the car in context with world history. Afterwards we take to the Autobahn and head into Sound of Music territory. I have not added any of the Julie Andrews sites into the schedule (although there will be time if you so wish) instead we are going to Hanger 7 at Salzburg airport, home of Red Bull and the Restaurant Ikarus. This is where Red Bull display their cars and aircraft in what is probably the worlds most stylish hanger. If shopping is more your thing there is a factory outlet centre right behind our hotel.
Saturday 16 September – Salzburg – Cortina d’Ampezzo – 280 Km
At last we take to the Alpine Passes. 1st up is one of the great passes, The Grossglocknor. This is a toll road that skirts the sides of the highest mountain in Austria and a road that has influenced the DNA of every Porsche ever made. We then head into the amazing landscapes of the Dolomites and Cortina d’Ampezzo. Our hotel is an easy stroll into the pedestrian centre of town, home of an impressive array of restaurants. We will introduce you to a couple of our favourites.
Sunday 17 September – Cortina d’Ampezzo – Rest Day
After a week on the road I figured a day off was called for, and Cortina has to be one of the great locations to kick back and enjoy yourself for a day. Lovely scenery, great shopping, brilliant restaurants.
Monday 18 September – Cortina d’Ampezzo – Sirmione – 310 Km
This morning we tackle some more very special roads through the Dolomites the Falzrego, Porodi and Sella passes are all over 2,000 metres and on the route 1st thing this morning. You then have the choice of blasting down the Autostrada or taking the roads around to Lake Garda, either way you end up at Sirmione one of the finds of recent tours. The town is dominated by the 13th century castle but it’s history goes back to 5,000 BC. Our hotel is right on the shore of the Lake and in the heart of the maze of cobblestone laneways and restaurants that make up this fascinating town.
Tuesday 19 September – Sirmione – Maranello – 160 Km
A short day today as we wander through the Italian countryside towards Modena and the brilliant new Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari. It is then onto Maranello the home of Ferrari. There is time to visit the Ferrari museum before checking into our hotel. Dinner is at one of the local cafes on the edge of the town square. This is where the locals eat not the tourists.
Wednesday 20 September – Maranello – Borgo Scopeto – 230 Km
Today we take to the mountains on a brilliant drive into Tuscany. We will use an old Ferrari test route through Abetone. This is a wonderful drive on Italian back roads. We wind our way through plenty of mountain villages before we drop down into Tuscany on our way towards Siena and a very special hotel 16 km north of the medieval city. The beautiful Realis Borgo Scopeto, my favourite place in the world. A converted winery, parts of which are over 1,000 years old. It famously stared as a country estate in the movie Letters to Juliet. Every year this has proven to be a highlight, the accommodation, the setting, the food and the staff will have this on your list of all time favourites. Kick back and relax by the pool, walk or cycle through the vineyards to the winery, have a spa & massage, a great place to spoil yourself.
Thursday 21 September – Borgo Scopeto – Rest Day.
Friday 22 September – Borgo Scopeto – Portofino – 315 Km
Back on the road through the Tuscan countryside. The route winds a little more than necessary thanks to the rather unique Italian mapping system but we do manage to drive around the walls of San Gimignano. There is then some brilliant driver’s roads before hitting the Autostrada around Pisa.
Next stop is a lovely little café overlooking La Spezia Harbour just before the brilliant stretch of coast that is the Cinque Terre. We then continue onto the Hotel Splendido in Portofino. If you are going to spoil yourself. This is the place, home to the rich and famous and us for a night. We have dinner down on the quayside of the harbour that will be hosting a number of super-yachts
Saturday 23 September – Portofino – Cannes – 262 Km
A nice short day. There is plenty of time to soak up the Hotel Splendido or wander around Portofino village. Then blast up the Autostrada to Cannes and the heart of the Riviera. We have booked 2 nights at the famous Grande Hotel. For dinner we have a favourite restaurant in Le Suquet, the original fishing village area of Cannes.
Sunday 24 September – Rest Day.
Explore Cannes, do a little shopping OR take a drive on some famous Monte stage roads, up the Col de Castallino and Col de Turini in the mountains behind Monaco. The last couple of years our visit here has been at the same time as the Monaco Boat Show, the largest, glitziest flotilla of Super-yachts on Earth and worth a look to see how the other half live.
Col de Turini
Monday 25 September – Cannes – Grenoble – 317 Km.
This is one of the world’s great drives, The Route Napoleon to Grenoble is so named because Napoleon marched this route on his way to Paris, after his escape from Elba in 1815. He may not have appreciated it at the time but this is a rollercoaster of wide sweeping corners. It is lightly trafficked, has brilliant scenery and is more fun than should be allowed. The only problem is talking yourself into stopping to take pics and soak in the scenery at little towns like Castellane. We do take a side-trip to the little known Col du Corobin, a stunning little back road.
Tuesday 26 September – Grenoble – Martigny – 300 Km
Into the Alps at last. The day starts with a run up the heavily Policed Autobahn to Albertville before taking to the Alps along a very scenic drive through Beaufort. We drive both St Bernard Passes, Petit then Grande, on the way to Martigny. Remember the Muira at the start of the original Italian Job? Well, this is the road. Martigny is a picturesque little town nestled in a glacial valley surrounded by alpine peaks. Dinner tonight is a real treat, a small local hotel that is always bemused to have tourists stumble in. Nobody speaks English and the food is fantastic.
Wednesday 27 September – Martigny – St Moritz – 315 Km
The day starts with an easy run down a stunning glacial valley. Mountains loom on either side sprinkled with castles and ancient battlements, you are not at home now. We pass through the Sion district, centre of the Swiss wine growing industry before heading along a long valley to the highlight of the day, the mighty Furkapass, followed up by the Oberalppass on our way to St. Mortitz. Lunch is at a small café with a sundeck that offers an unforgettable view of the alps.
Thursday 28 September – St Mortiz – Bormio – 215 Km
This is THE day, if there is a hint of petrol in your blood, this is the day you will talk about for years. Leaving St Moritz we warm up on the 2,315 metre Albulapass. Next stop is Davos, where we pick up the road that Top Gear made famous. The Fluelapass climbs to 2,383 metres, Ofen Pass takes you 2,149 metres but they are just warm ups for the 2,757 metre Stelvio, and yes it is everything they say it is. Just below the Stelvio is the Ski Resort of Bormio where we will recover for the night.
Friday 29 September – Bormio – Igls – 202 Km
In case you didn’t get enough yesterday, we are straight back over the Stelvio before heading into Austria. There is a short cut but the scenic way is still only 200 Km and takes you through the German speaking province of Italy, over both the Jaufen and Brenner Passes. Igls is a lovely little village on the outskirts of Innsbruck. The Sport Hotel has a spa and relaxation centre so you can soak up a little luxury.
Saturday 30 September – Igls – Journey Home
An easy 500 Km run on Autobahn will get you to Frankfurt a bit further to Paris in fact most of Europe is within reach if you wish to continue your Adventure.
Driving Adventures is David Thomas. David has been passionate about driving since he was old enough to hold a steering wheel. He has driven from London to Sydney, through the Andes and much of South and Central America, across deserts and deep into rainforests. He has won rally stages in the Himalayas. Raced successfully at Bathurst and taught thousands of people advanced driving skills through his own school and as head of the NSW Police Driver Training School. He has driven in movies and videos and has been organising and conducting tours since 1990. If anyone can show you how to have a good time in a car, it is David.
One of the real lessons of our recent tours was the sense of leasing the amazing Renault Megane RS275 for the tour, picking up when you arrive in Europe and dropping off at the airport on your way home, they are both a brilliant choice, fun to drive, handle well, goes well have plenty of luggage space and proved to be a great choice for the tour. A brand new, fully insured Megane registered in your name can be had for as little as $3,500.
If you after something a little more exciting, we can also offer a buy-back scheme for the car of your choice. In recent years we have sourced a Ferrari 360 and 575, a BMW M3 and 750i, a Porsche Cayman S and 2 Maseratis to the delight of drivers. Give me a call and I will discuss how this can work for you.
I have found most tour members like to make their own flight arrangements however if you wish to receive a quote for flights we are happy to arrange this for you.
The tour, includes all accommodation, a cooked breakfast each morning, a comprehensive road-book and myself to lead and smooth the way for you.
The tour is priced at $11,000/person/twin share or $22,000 per car. The Goodwood option we will work out for you as accommodation can be scarce if you leave it too late.
Every effort will be made to maintain the advertised pricing but any large movement with the exchange rate may require an adjustment.
Bookings: As there are very limited places available, places on the tour will be allocated on a first in basis. Initial 50% deposits are due now with a further payment of 50% due on 15 July 2016.
Contact: For any further information, please contact David at any time.
David Thomas +61 418 473 916