INTERNATIONAL DESTINATIONS FOR CAR ENTHUSIASTS

The concrete asphalt gently caresses the rubber casings around polished, metallic rims as the vibrations of the road travel through each inch of your car until you can feel them pulsating through the smooth leather on your steering wheel. Your heart beats a little bit faster. The tiny hairs on your skin start to rise. To most, a road is nothing more than a means to a destination. To you, it’s an arena. It doesn’t matter how far, how fast or how long you’re driving. Every journey counts.

Only those who have gasoline flowing through their veins and engines roaring in their hearts can truly appreciate the intricacy and delicate beauty of a luxury automobile. The car culture was born in 1885 when Karl Benz invented the first true automobile and has continued to grow and evolve the same way the vehicles that inspire it have. It has spread throughout the world creating unbelievable travel destinations for the automotive inclined. France, Germany, Cuba, Italy and Switzerland are just a few among many lavish destinations that all car connoisseurs must see within their lifetimes.

shutterstock_113483572Racing through a cobblestone street as you round tight corners and shift between gears with effortless ease. If there was ever a city that could make you feel like James Bond, Monaco is that city. Known for its lavish casinos and yacht-lined shores, Monaco has become a favoured destination for travellers worldwide. Monaco is the second smallest city in the world, beat only by the Vatican City, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in indulgence. Between the Casino de Monte Carlo, the world-renowned Musée Océanographique de Monaco aquarium and the million dollar views at the Le Nautique restaurant, Monaco belongs on everyone’s bucket list. However, it is particularly appealing to those who have an appreciation for the sport of racecar driving as the city truly comes alive during the Monaco Grand Prix.

shutterstock_299559764The Monaco Grand Prix is an annual Formula One race that takes place on a very intricate course called the Circuit de Monaco. It is widely recognized as one of the most prestigious races in the world, held in the same regard as the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The narrow course is 2.074 km long and weaves right through the core of the city itself with extremely difficult corners and many changes in elevation. Since the Monaco Grand Prix was established in 1929, it has become a race that drivers dream of winning. Ayrton Senna of Brazil currently holds the record for most wins with a total of 6. McLaren Racing Limited, the British Formula One team holds the record as a constructor at 15 total wins. Next year’s race will be the 75th time the Monaco Grand Prix is held. If you were ever planning to visit this magnificent city, that would be the time.

shutterstock_425984452Innovative, modern, cutting-edge. These words are as synonymous with the Mercedes-Benz brand as luxury. Germany is often considered a hub for forward-thinking and cutting-edge designs and innovations. At the heart of that is the Mercedes-Benz Museum in the nation’s capital city of Stuttgart. Designed by UN Studio, the building itself was inspired by a unique cloverleaf concept consisting of three overlapping floors. The centre of the building was removed to transform the middle of the building into an atrium resembling the shape of the iconic Wankel engine. The Wankel engine was originally designed by Felix Wankel and can be found inside a number of Mercedes models both past and present.

shutterstock_295937351Inside the striking walls of the Mercedes-Benz Museum, visitors will be greeted by over 130 years of automotive history. With 16,500 square metres of exhibition space, guests can peruse more than 160 vehicles, some of which date back almost as far as Carl Benz’s first automobile invention. There are audio tours available in a variety of languages for increased accessibility. Visitors can also visit the nearby Untertürkheim engine factory to see where some of Mercedes-Benz diesel engines are still crafted today.

shutterstock_328481705On the other side of our vast earth lays an audacious haven of history, adventure and rhythm. The energy that resides inside Havana, Cuba cannot be explained, only experienced. Walking down the dilapidated alleys, surrounded by buildings barely standing while a guitar plays salsa notes softly in the background and Che Guevera eyes you from a nearby pub wall—this is Havana. Entering the city is like travelling back in time—automotive time that is.

shutterstock_65980618Havana has become known as a rolling car museum. The reason behind this is buried in the country’s tumultuous history with the United States. Fidel Castro, Cuba’s late leader, had held a grudge against their American neighbours for over 40 years. Fidel placed a ban on all foreign vehicle imports making it nearly impossible for Havana residents to replace their cars. And while foreign feuds are rarely positive, the result of this particular international dispute is fascinating. Lining the streets of the antique city are vintage cars straight out of the 1950s that look as if they were bought yesterday. Chevrolet, Ford, Buick and Chrysler are among the most predominant vintage automobiles found in Havana. If classic cars are what interest the car lover inside you, you should visit soon as the artifacts within this live museum may not last much longer. With Fidel’s brother Raúl Castro now in charge, the ban against foreign vehicles has been lifted for the first time since 1959, which could result in some more modern vehicles populating the streets.

shutterstock_344052911Italy is a country known for its exquisite taste and style. Its residents are always ahead of the times when it comes to fashion, design and style. The Italian automotive industry is no exception. Italy was the birthplace to what is known as one of the world’s most powerful automotive brands, Ferrari. The stallion icon is known world wide and tied to a reputation of excellence, durability and ingenuity. Based out of the northern Italian town of Maranello, the car was first designed and constructed in 1940 by Enzo Ferrari. Since its inception, Ferrari has only continued to grow and astound members of the car culture. The brand set a world record in 2012 for manufacturing the most expensive car in history. It sold for just over $38 million in a private transaction.

shutterstock_453324964Car enthusiasts around the world have marvelled at Ferrari’s achievements in road cars, motorsport vehicles, supercars, concept cars and much more for decades. It seems only fitting that a company museum should exist to showcase all of these brand achievements. If you are travelling abroad to sip wine, indulge in the finest foods and browse the latest fashions in downtown boutiques, you must schedule a visit to the town of Maranello to visit Museo Ferrari. Right next to the actual Ferrari factory is a 2,500 square metre museum housing not only cars, but trophies, photographs and other historic memorabilia. The most iconic road and track cars can be found on display at Museo Ferrari. The destination attracts an average of 180,000 visitors a year.

Nestled comfortably between the Alps and the Jura Mountains along the shores of Europe’s largest lake is a city unlike any other. Geneva is the epitome of class, sophistication and poise. The city is populated with people from all over the world. Wandering down the sun-soaked streets one will overhear casual conversations in a long list of languages. It is often mistaken for Switzerland’s capital, despite being only the third largest of its cities. Visitors can take advantage of fine international cuisine, luxury jewellers and world-renowned chocolate shops. Visiting Geneva leaves a lasting impression on the soul.shutterstock_251906689

shutterstock_97607006Once a year, the elegant streets of the city are heavily populated by the elite members of the car culture. The Geneva International Motor Show is an annual automotive event that takes place at the Geneva Palexpo. Since its inaugural year in 1905, the Geneva International Motor Show has been the host to nearly every major automotive brand in the history of the automobile. From internal combustion models (road vehicles) to benzene and steam-powered cars, to exotic supercars and never-before-seen prototypes, this show has it all. Last year, the iconic Aston Martin brand used the Geneva International Motor Show to unveil its first new model in 13 years, the DB11. Other world-renowned brands including Audi, Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Porsche and Lamborghini also use the show as a platform to debut new models. Beyond just cars, this event has become a forum to announce technical breakthroughs, new business partnerships and to discuss social and political debates that directly affect the international automotive industry.

Whether you are travelling to one of these automotive havens, or just looking to explore a new, exciting destination, Tully Luxury Travel in Mississauga is one of the best resources available to you. Established in 1987, the brand has long-standing relationships with the finest travel and tourism providers in a long list of countries around the world. The company’s outstanding customer services has lead to its three umbrella brands, Cruise Professionals, African Dreams and Private Travel Designers to be recognized by a number of different media outlets. Founder and CEO Mary Jean Tully is a board member on a number of cruise lines and hotels and her expertise in luxury travel is highly regarded worldwide. If you are looking for a vacation that is out of the ordinary, contact Tully Luxury Travel.

For more information, visit: www.tullyluxurytravel.com

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