The Highest Paved Roads in Europe

The Ötztal Glacier Road, in Austria, is one of the highest paved roads in Europe.
The Ötztal Glacier Road, in Austria, is one of the highest paved roads in Europe.

Europe is one of the leading continents with the best infrastructure, particularly road and railways. Paved roads form the bulk of road networks in Europe covering several miles across the continent. Paved roads feature durable surface material laid down to sustain either motor or foot traffic such as roads and walkways. Most of the modern paved roads are constructed using asphalt or concrete laid on a compacted base course. These roads are marked to guide the traffic, especially in areas in high-impact roadways and walkways. Highest paved roads in Europe include roads that are over 0.6 miles long, and whose culminating point is over 6,562 feet above the sea level. Europe's highest paved roads are often associated with spectacular scenery and thus are popular with drivers, bikers, and cyclists.


Veleta is one of the highest peaks in the Iberian Peninsula. It is the second highest peak in the Sierra Nevada with an altitude of 11,135 feet above the sea level. It can be seen from Granada while its northern slope is home to Sierra Nevada Skiing station. The access road that takes one to the summit of Veleta peak is one of the highest paved roads in Europe. The road crosses the mountain from Granada to western Alpujarras. The road was constructed in 1999 but is currently closed to the general public beyond Hoya de la Mora. Only employees of the ski station, park rangers, and cyclists are permitted.

Ötztal Glacier Road

Ötztal Glacier Road is located at height of of 9,285 feet above the sea level ranking it as the second highest paved road in Europe. The road links Solden to the Rettenbach glacier in Otztal Alps. Ötztal Glacier Road was constructed in 1972 as an extension of the existing Hochsolden Road. It ascends the Rettenbach Valley from Solden in Otztal Valley. The road turns south near the top of Rettenbach Valley and continues with the ascent through ski tunnel where the road reaches its highest point. From the tunnel, the road descends to the ski station which is located at the foot of the Tiefenbachferner glacier.

Col de l'Iseran

Col de l'Iseran is part of the paved roads in the Alps. The 9,068-foot mountain pass form a portion of the Graian Alps located next to the France-Italy border. Col de l'Iseran is part of the Route des Grendes Alpes connecting the valley of Isere to Arc River. The northern part of the road is fairly developed with several tunnels. Col de l'Iseran is also a famous ski resort of Tignes, especially on the northern side. Col de l'Iseran is accessible by road and off-roads during the summer month. During winter, the pass falls within the Espace Killy ski area.

Stilfserjoch Stelvio Pass

Stelvio Pass is a road in northern Italy, a paved mountain pass in Eastern Alps. It is located at an elevation of 9,045 feet above the sea level at the Ortler Alps. The pass is about 47-mile long from Bolzano. The road was originally built between 1820 and 1825 by the Austrian Empire. The road was meant to connect Lombardy to the rest of Austria. Since then, the road has changed a little with minor upgrading and renovations. There are large skiing areas adjacent to the Stilfserjoch Stelvio Pass while several mountains including Ortler and Piz Umbrail can be seen from the road.

Which Are The Highest Paved Roads In Europe?

RankHighest elevationNameMountainsCountry
13300 mVeletaSierra Nevada Spain
22845 mIRAMSierra Nevada Spain
32830 mÖtztal Glacier RoadÖtztal Alps Austria
42802 mCime de la BonetteFrench Alps France
52770 mCol de l'IseranGraian Alps France
62757 mStilfserjoch Stelvio PassOrtler Alps Eastern Alps Italy
72750 mKaunertal Glacier RoadTyrol (state) Austria
82744 mCol Agnel Colle dell'AgnelloCottian Alps France Italy
92715 mCol de la BonetteFrench Alps France
102645 mCol du GalibierDauphiné Alps France

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