Grab your passport, grip the steering wheel of your new Macan GTS and take off with us as we embark on an unforgettable globe-trotting road trip, to give you more of what you love about driving holidays.
Every great journey needs a starting point, and this one begins somewhere a little unexpected – the car-free city of Venice. But the city’s enduring Renaissance grandeur ensures it remains a world marvel – and a perfect springboard into the postcard-ready peaks of Slovenia’s Julian Alps.
The Julian Alps may not be as renowned as their Swiss cousins, but they can easily match them for sheer spectacle and daring driving opportunities. Take control of an engine with a whole stable’s worth of horsepower, and surge towards the cloud-topping Vršič Pass. The Macan easily handles these blood-pumping zigzags which boast otherworldly views of the Mojstrovka and Prisjonik mountains, before allowing you to then pick up some speed along the A2 on your way to Lake Bled and its fairy-tale-like castle.
Slovenia offers plenty more for the discerning explorer, not least the stunning waterfalls and turquoise lakes of nearby Vintgar Gorge. Hiking is essentially Slovenia’s national pastime, so step out of your Macan GTS for a few hours and trek up to the Ojstrica lookout for a panorama you won’t forget. Family not up for the walk? Fear not: enjoy the vista from the comfort of a spacious interior with three-zone automatic climate control. Perfect for cold little toes.
Descend from the mountains and on to the cobbled streets of the lushly forested Ljubljana. The city is home to a booming cultural scene, but it’s also something of an artwork in itself: baroque cathedrals stand alongside the beguiling early modernism of architect Jože Plečnik, whose visionary buildings and public spaces have done for Ljubljana what Gaudí did for Barcelona. After you and the family have finished exploring the capital city, it’s time to head for the Adriatic coast. Expect rolling hills and wide-open roads as you speed across the border to the port city of Rijeka and then onwards to Jadranska Magistrala: Croatia’s section of the legendary Adriatic Highway.
Also known as D8 on the maps, this asphalted wonder is regarded as one of the best coastal drives in the world. Offering more than 600 kilometres of serpentine twists and turns, sheer white cliffs, jagged mountains and jaw-dropping views across the Adriatic Sea’s endless procession of islands, the Magistrala takes you all the way from Rijeka to Dubrovnik, via some of Croatia’s most beautiful towns.
Next, take a little detour inland to the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Famed for its waterfalls and emerald lakes, flanked on all sides by magnificent primeval vegetation. Set up camp or stay in one of the park’s plentiful homestays, though it’s also an excellent daytrip for restless legs.
Continue on down to Split, making sure to stop off at the picturesque whitewashed village of Primošten, and relax on some of the Adriatic’s best swimming beaches. Split itself offers visitors a remarkable fusion of old and new, a teeming labyrinth of bars, shops and restaurants woven around the 4th-century ruins of Diocletian’s Palace. Explore the Pazar farmers` markets and then head up Marjan Hill for unrivalled views of the city and ocean beyond.
On your way to the seaport city of Dubrovnik, which is a World Heritage site, stop for a riverside lunch of traditional Dalmatian fare at Radmanove Mlinice, or rest a while on the shores of the sheltered pebble beaches of Brela. The final stretch to Dubrovnik is everything a Macan GTS driver craves – narrow winding roads, spectacular views and long coastal drives. Rounding the last corner, you’ll see the mighty stone walls of Dubrovnik’s Old Town jutting into the ocean. It’s the perfect coda to your journey, as the city’s tangled limestone streets, sumptuous seafood and world-famous City Wall walk ensure you complete your family trip on a high.