Driving should not be all about red lights, stop signs, bumper to bumper traffic and angry drivers ready to throw fists when things don’t go their way. Even though roads have been built to serve an utilitarian purpose, there’s joy to be found when driving on a select few stretches of road. Whether it’s the landscape, the roadside attractions or simply the freedom-inspiring stretches of road, here’s a list of the best 10 driving roads in the world.
Known as the Seven Mile Bridge, the construction is found in Florida Keys, Monroe County, USA. At the time it was built, the bridge was one of the longest of its kind. The Seven Mile Bridge connects Knight’s Key to Little Duck Key. It’s one of the several bridges connecting the Keys, altogether forming the rod known as the Overseas Highway.
As you’d expect from an overseas highway, the views are nothing short of spectacular. During summer days (although Florida is always sunny), you have the heat being tamed down by cool a ocean breeze, alongside a beautifully paved, straight road over the bridge.
Although everything wants to kill you in Australia, some of the Aussie roads are to die for. Take for instance the Great Ocean Road, 151 miles of crystal-clear skies, beautiful shorelines and accompanying waves. Along the way, drivers will meet the Loch Ard Gorge and Twelve Apostles rock formations. Just make sure to avoid any adventurous ‘roos that may test your attention.
The ascending twisted roads of Mount Fuji in Japan look like a peaceful, never ending streak of lines connected by tight arches. However, this is the birthplace of drifting and Touge racing. Courageous drivers in rear wheel drive sports cars go side by side, descending the mountain, trying to be the first one to reach the bottom through the sharp turns.
While it’s highly illegal to perform racing activities here, especially during the night, you can still get to enjoy the layout and the views while driving up Japan’s tallest mountain.
Travelling alongside most of the Carolina coastline, State Road 1 highway is highly sought after by tourists and locals. State Road 1 gets you driving alongside some of the best coastline landscape in America, rightfully receiving the name of “The all American Road”.
The highway starts off around the Big Sur region and travels through multiple coastal parks, then briefly departs the coastline to pass through the Big Sur River valley redwood forest. Built almost 100 years ago, State Road 1 also passes over multiple historic bridges.
Opened to the public in summer of 1989, Atlantic Road is one of Norway’s main tourist attractions. Although it’s just 8.3 kilometers (5.2 miles) long, the road connects multiple small islands and skerries through 8 bridges. Atlantic Road received the Norway’s Construction of the Century award in 2005 and has since gathered large crowds driving between the towns of Kristiansund and Molde.
Built during the 70’s under the communist dictatorship, the Transfagarasan Highway was praised by Top Gear presenters, as Jeremy Clarkson named it “the best road in the world”. Transfagarasan links Transylvania to the southern part of the country through tunnels, bridges and viaducts. The road cuts heavily through the Carpathian Mountains, with tones of dynamite being used to carve a path.
Transfagarasan is usually opened to traffic only during late spring and summer months, as the winter snow makes it impossible to travel. And while weekends find the high-altitude bends of the Transfagarasan packed with cars, driving the 80km stretch of road mid-week will feel blissful.
Rising to 5.3 kilometers above sea level, the Khardung Pass in India encapsulates a wide variety of features. Driving along the sickening series of twists and turns, you will be greeted by glaciers, questionable quality peaks and plenty of camel and horse caravans.
Opened to vehicles in 1988, Khardung La pass is one of the highest vehicle-accessible roads in the world. Unlike most of the roads on the list, the road of Khardung La Pass is not paved. Instead, you will have to test your skills against a mix of dirt, ice and mud. Definitely not a trip for the faint of heart.
With 1,322 kilometers (828 miles) of desolate landscapes, Iceland’s Ring Road can be accurately described as an epic adventure. If you plan on taking a trip, make sure to set aside several days for this. The Ring Road takes you and your car through most of Iceland’s inhabited parts, mixing volcanoes, glaciers, waterfalls and hot springs into a marvelous landscape.
Circumventing most of the island, a Ring Road trip is one of the best ways to meet the rough, wild beauty of Iceland, starting in Reykjavik and travelling clockwise. Plan your trip for September or April and get treated to the awe-inspiring Northern Lights.
Want to feel like you’re out on a deserted planet? Just skip the weekend in Vegas for an 80m (50 mile) trip across the Valley of Fire Road in Nevada. Going northeast of Las Vegas, the road takes you through the Valley of Fire State Park. The eye-catching sand formations will keep you entertained for the ride, with plenty other natural features to marvel at while the blistering sun drops waves of heat onto the ground.
Valley of Fire hosted various film sets, including Star Trek and Total Recall – unsurprising given the alien landscape. Keep in mind that there’s a road toll to be paid in order to drive through Valley of Fire Road.
Known as one of the most dangerous roads in the world, Dades Gorge cuts through the Dades Valley of the High Atlas Mountains. The road packs a heavy dose of thrill, matched only by its breathtaking beauty. There are plenty tight turns and no barriers towards the edge of the cliffs to keep your car from going off.
However, by limiting your speed and keeping your wits about you, this unique drive will provide a great kick as well as treat you to some of the most beautiful landscapes in Morocco.
Posted by John Holmes