1. Highway 1, aka “Big Sur”
Where: California, USA
This stretch of Highway 1 chases the ragged central California coastline through Big Sur, which runs from San Simeon to Carmel. The Pacific Ocean’s whitecaps are revealed when you drive along this stretch. During peak hours, though, things move at relatively much smaller pace. If it so happens that you’re going at less than a snail’s pace, simply take a detour through the nearby but less-traveled Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, you’ll get a crazy view of the coast below.
- Arguably the most amazing road in the world.
- Avoid peak hours and have the time of your life.
2. Deals Gap, aka “Tail of The Dragon”
Where: Tennessee, USA
Now this is one good road if there ever was one! This stretch of U.S. Route 129 offers some of the sweetest curves outside of the Atlantic coast, with no fewer than 318 turns in the course of 11 miles. This forest lined thoroughfare isn’t disrupted by any intersections or driveways but you won’t avoid peg-scraping cruisers knocking down your average speed. You’d love the Tree Of Shame, where crashed motorcycle bits adorn the tree and dangle its branches as a reminder of the road’s dangers.
- 11 miles of sheer road madness!
- The Tree of Shame!
4. Nurburgring Nordschleife
Its hard to imagine the most notorious racetrack in the world with 12.93-mile loop of tarmac being available for anyone with a need for speed at 24 euros as it’s also operated as a toll road. Racer Jackie Stewart once called the Nurburgring “the green hell,”. It features treacherous landmarks, including the Caracciola Karussell (the Carousel) and Flugplatz (also known as “the Airport,” for its tendency to launch vehicles airborne). It’s advisable to keep the race car driver in you in check: This series of 154 turns has a nasty reputation for humbling even the most seasoned drivers.
- Find out how good a driver you really are.
- Remember it is the most dangerous race track!
5. White Rim Trail
Where: Utah, USA
Off-roading meccas are just that but let’s talk about the lesser known White Rim Trail. It has actually been rated moderately difficult but for high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles. According to the National Park Service, this 100-mile loop slices through the Canyonlands National Park. When you’re at it, white-knuckling your way through a broad array of views and terrains, from arches and canyons to basins and stunning plateaus; be sure to take plenty of water, as signs of civilization are few and far between…
- A hundred miles of riding and driving pleasure.
- Try and only use high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles.
7. Ruta 40
The Argentinian Ruta 40 stretches for about 3000 miles. That makes it one of the longest highways in the world. It connects 20 national parks and is home to countless passes through the Andes mountain range. If you cannot make it through the entire span, you could take a detour bypassing the tourist-clogged southern portion and exploring the harrowing and gorgeous upper elevations, where Ruta 40 climbs as high as 16,000 feet above sea level.
- Enjoy one of the longest and prettiest expressways.
- Be one with Nature for the duration
8. San Juan Skyway
Where: Colorado, USA
The San Juan Skyway (236 miles), will take you through some of the most breathtaking mountain passes in North America. The Million Dollar Highway is a sight to behold when Skyway negotiates crusty mining towns and dizzying drops, offering its most impressive views. Between Durango and Ridgway will you find spine tingling hairpin turns as well as a daredevil’s delight; no guardrails.
- Travel and live the meaning of “The Million Dollar Highway”.
- The state of Colorado
10. Conor Pass
You only need to stay on your side of the road while negotiating Irish roads. You’ll seek the Conor Pass for your typical Emerald Isle drive. This narrow road snakes through the southern end of the Dingle Peninsula towards Brandon Bay.
- The view of the lakes below is something straight out of fairy tales.
- Drive in Ireland!
11. Great Ocean Road
No one’s a stranger to the Big Sur. How about a nicer and quainter version in the southern hemisphere! The Great Ocean Road passes arresting natural rock formations such as Loch Ard Gorge and the twelve apostles. It’s a 151-mile coastal thruway not to relaxed road trippers who simply can’t get enough clear skies–and exotic roadkill.
- It’s a lot like the great Big Sur
- Unique natural rock formations greet you along
13. Touge Roads of Mount Fuji
Amazingly beautiful tree lined roads take you right up to the caldera of Mount Fuji. Believe it or not but this is where drifting was born. It doesn’t mean that you’ll get in the next rear wheel drive and get up there. Climb the tallest mountain in the country and have the time of your life.
- The birthplace of drifting
- Go right up a volcano!
14. Karakoram Highway
Where: China to Pakistan
The Friendship highway took 27 years to complete. However, your attention wavers for a second and you’ll be on your way to the heavens above before you bat an eyelid. Linking China and Pakistan through the Karakoram mountain range, this 800-mile highway is one of the highest paved roads in the world.
- The romantic stretches along the ancient Silk Route
- Abbottabad, where Osama Bin Laden was killed
15. Stelvio Pass
The Stelvio Pass is at a height of 9000 feet up in the Italian Alps. It packs 48 switchbacks (numbered by stone markers) into 15 miles. The turns pose a challenge like little else can especially for adventure-seeking drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists.
- Make sure your engine is tiptop
- Be prepared for one of the highest altitude runs through the Alps
16. Transfagarasan Highway
Linking Transylvania and Walachia through a series of tunnels, bridges and viaducts is this dynamite-forged highway Built by Nicolae Ceausescu in the 1970s. The guys at “Top Gear” went all gaga about this highway too.
- Relatively completely uncrowded
- The sheer beauty of the stretch
18. Col de Turini
The Tour de France and Monte Carlo Rally share this breathtaking mountain pass in the French Alps. The Col de Turini is a stage of the legendary Monte Carlo rally and it has the distinction of having been featured in three tours.
- Breathtaking view of the French Alps
- Its challenged everyone from Blomqvist to Sebastien Loeb
19. Khardung Pass
Sitting cool at 17,582 feet, the Khardung La Pass is the highest motorable road in the world. Its originally a caravan route travelled by camels and horses. This nosebleed inducing series of twists and turns has it all: glaciers, craggy peaks and all manner of mammalian and mechanized traffic.
- Make sure that you’re in the pink of health
- Do a little homework about India
21. Amalfi Coast
Perfectly picturesque coastal towns like Positano, Ravello punctuate the Amalfi Coast through which goes SS163, a snaking two-lane road that hugs the jagged hills that meet the sparkling Tyrrhenian Sea.
- Meet fellow tourists any time of the year
- Enjoy the seaside trattorias and gelato stands.
22. Guoliang Tunnel Road
This road is not notorious for its dangerous curves or its twists and turns. However, its fame is credited to the sheer visual impact. The tunnel is three fourths of a mile and is nestled in the Henan province of China. It was built to connect the village on top of the mountain.
- Its path is carved through the edge of the Taihang Mountains.
- The views are truly magnificent!
24. Sani Pass
Where: South Africa
Many South African roads will remind you of California but Sani Pass is in another league altogether. Connecting KwaZulu-Natal with Lesotho, these roads are littered with vehicles which made it to a certain point but end up like carcasses on either side. But sufficiently skilled drivers with the right equipment will have an experience of a lifetime.
- Have the time of your life!
- Take the best car possible.
25. West Coast of the South Island
Where: New Zealand
Peter Jackson’s trilogy Lord of the Rings was almost completely shot here. The beautiful landscape will almost say it out aloud. And you as sure as hell will encounter untouched seaside vistas along the Tasman side.
- Amazing glimpses of the New Zealand Alps
- Location of a major Hollywood blockbuster series
27. Trollstigen, aka “Troll Ladder”
The “Troll Ladder” is very famous for the fabulous views of the Stigfossen waterfall. When you actually get to see the valley below, it’s as if you’ve been transported to another dimension altogether. The Troll Ladder is an apt name after all. The eleven hairpin turns will certainly do it for you.
- The Trollstigen lives up to its larger than life scale
- It has a 9 percent gradient!
28. Denali Highway
Where: Alaska, USA
The Alaska Route 8 will take you through 135 miles of sheer raw beauty of Alaska (undeveloped land mostly). You’ll need to accustom yourselves to the gravel surfaces and hardly any services at all and in no time shall you be treated to grand vistas of the beautiful Mount McKinley. The big game is all but gone now because of the hunters that once roamed these plains freely. There is still ample natural eye candy for adventure seeking motorists.
- Make do with whatever little services!
- The mountain alone shall make it worth your while.
30. Rohtang Pass
Landslides could make it or break it when it comes to this trip in the Himalayas. Once, however, you get there, you will see some of the most beautiful glaciers, rivers and clouded mountaintops in the world.
- Take all the necessary precautions.
- The most scenic route ever!
31. Chapman’s Peak Drive
Where: South Africa
The road is outstandingly pleasant. It overlooks the sea and will make you feel like you’re travelling alongside a mountain’s edge. It stretches for five miles and you will encounter 114 curves along the way. Some attentive driving is required but the views make it worth your while.
- Keep your eyes on the road!
- Lookout for the curves.
33. State route 1, Big Sur
The State Route 1 takes you through most of the Californian Pacific coast. It epitomizes West Coast beauty, the green valley like landscapes and the mind boggling spectacles of the ocean will make you want to stay and never go away.
- The most beautiful of all places
- Few things better than cruising down SR 1, windows down and surf-rock playing on a sunny day.
34. A82 Road
Off to Scotland? Looking for a route that shows the best countryside ever? The one that’ll take you through the best scenic areas is the A82 Road in Glencoe. Lookout for the historical bridges!
- Even the overgrown grass on rocks is to watch out for!
- You really do need to lookout for the bridges.
36. Hana Highway
Hawaii is outstandingly beautiful. So are all the roads. The landscape is lush throughout the island. The Hana Highway shall show you sweeping waterfalls, sights of the ocean, diverse sights of rainforests too!
- The rainforests are hard to describe, amazing!
- Lush green everywhere
37. Blue Ridge Parkway
Where: North Carolina/Virginia, USA
Are you looking for a view of the Appalachian Highlands? Interested in it’s colourful beauty? The parkway extends from North Carolina to Virginia and you’ll never forget its sheer beauty!
- Watch out for the landscapes!
- Glide through the two beautiful states!
39. Atlantic Road
This is one road that captures Norway’s beauty. Marine life like seals and whales are busy swimming in the blue Atlantic Ocean waters while you’re driving.
- A blissful ride!
- The rocky horizon in the distance is awesome
40. Valley of Fire Road
Are you fond of the colour red? If you are then you’re probably reading about what would be your favourite road in the world. The road is chock-a-bloc with beautiful red sand stones.
- The sand stones look as if they’re on fire when under sunlight
- Watch the road live up to its name!
42. Milford Road
Where: New Zealand
The Milford Road beautifully captures the amazing views of New Zealand for which the cult classic series Lord of The Rings was shot there.
- The majestic Southern Alps!
- The road reflects the beauty of the country as a whole
43. North Yungas Road
Its widely known as probably the world’s most entrancing road on the planet. Thick fog may not allow you fully realise the scenery but its still an amazing sight.
- Deep green beauty surrounds the drive.
- It isn’t, however, one of the fastest roads.
45. Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road
Where: Abu Dhabi
Among the most glorious sights the world over is the sunset at the summit of the Jebel Hafeet Mountain. The right time of the day to visit is late afternoon.
- Its definitely an experience of a lifetime.
- Enjoy your drive and have a lot of fun.
46. Great Ocean Road
The national parks, rainforest add to the splendour of the Australia. The limestone stacks or the “Twelve Apostles” make this road a choice of millions.
- Amazing ocean views
- The most scenic road ever.