12 of The Most Beautiful Roads In The World
Commuting, getting stuck in traffic or just a boring route, sometimes going for a drive can be a real drag so it is a real experience when you find yourself on the open road with stunning views ahead of you and nothing but you and your machine to keep you going The world is a magical place and technology and globalization has meant that roads are now everywhere, through all sorts of terrain.
Here we look at some of the most stunning, exciting and just downright beautiful in the world.
1. The Great Ocean Road - Australia
As the name suggests, this road offers up some stunning views of the ocean as it spans over 300km of coastal views where you can whizz by stunning vistas of sandy beaches, imposing cliffs, waterfalls, rainforests, and the famous Twelve Apostles limestone formations. Built by WWI service men and women, the road is kept in pretty darn good condition.
Part of Australia’s National Heritage List it goes right past the Great Otway National Park.
2. Karakoram Highway - China/Pakistan
Being well over 4000km in altitude, this is the highest road in the world and driving at such height has to be undertaken with great care and preparation. If you are able to do it you will be provided with delectable views of mountains and glaciers as you rise above the rest of the world on part of the world-famous Silk Road trade route.
Constructed over the course of 20 years it is 4,700km above sea level at its highest point.
3. Milford Road - New Zealand
New Zealand is a country filled with jaw-dropping beauty throughout so taking any road through this amazing country is sure to offer up something stunning but the Milford road passes through the country's mountain range called the Southern Alps. What's more, the road can be done in about two hours but you may wish to set aside more time to stop off at the many wonderful sights.
The Earl Mountains and the Cleddau River, complete with jaw-dropping waterfalls, can all be seen along the route.
4. Route 163 - United States
Aside from the cross country road Route 66, this road is perhaps the most iconic in America, even appearing in films such as Stagecoach and Easy Rider. Sliding through Arizona and Utah this road goes through the valley of the monuments and the magnificent red rock desert. Beauty surrounds you on all sides as you get to really take in the size and immensity of this massive country.
After blasting through Navajo Country you can cross the San Juan River via the suspension bridge.
5. Strada Statale 163 - Italy
It would seem that 163 is a lucky number when it comes to roads as this winding, twisting highway takes in the stunning UNESCO World Heritage-listed Amalfi Coast as you stream through the Sorrento Peninsula with imposing white cliffs on side of you whilst the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea are on the other.
Picturesque coastal villages and hillside houses top off the site-seeing on this auspicious and glamor filled route.
6. Tiananmen Mountain Road - China
Just 6 miles in length this short but sweet road packs in a lot as it rises a breathtaking 1,100 meters to the Tiananmen cave, a natural rock arch that towers above the world and is often referred to as the gate to heaven. However, with 99 hairpin bends in it, they make it one of the most dangerous roads in the world.
Not for the faint of heart or the casual driver.
7. The Atlantic Road - Norway
Linking tiny villages through an archipelago of small islands in amongst the North Sea, this road twists and turns through a part of the world susceptible to storms and harsh winds. That aside, the views are truly breathtaking and will take you right out to the ocean’s edge with a stunning contrast between the calm, sun-drenched waters of summer and the vicious foam of coming storms.
Majestic, with many great engineering feats like the Storseisundet Bridge.
8. Ruta 40 - Argentina
At a staggering 3,195 miles long, Ruta 40 goes almost the entire length of Argentina as it meanders through the awe-inspiring Patagonia region and is flanked by the Andes mountain range, it takes in lakes and cities on its way as it rises to an eye-watering 4,952 meters above sea-level in a true show of the diversity of Argentinian landscapes.
Beautiful, and immense, little else compares to this road.
9. Chapman's Peak Drive - South Africa
A five-and-a-half mile route skirting the side of its mountain namesake, this road takes in the glory of Chapman's peak as well as the Southern coastline of the country with its 114 curves and various plunging drops. Nail -biting, hair-raising and breathtaking, this route has stop off points that overlook the ocean where you can break and do some whale watching.
It's a ride that will have you on the seat of your pants at all times but it is well worth it just for the things you'll see.
10. Highway One - United States
Running the length of the California coastline, Highway One has some of the most scenic routes of any road as it passes through rugged coastlines and seaside havens taking in cliffs, giant redwood trees and the famous Bixby Creek Bridge and all through the famous state. The Monterey region may be it's most scenic but it rides through the iconic LA as well as Mendocino County in the north.
Both beautiful and legendary, this road has it all.
11. Blue Ridge Parkway - United States
One of the National Park Service’s most visited attractions, this road is incredibly popular with tourists as it creeps around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, through the cavernous mountainside stretching 469 miles. the steep climbs up the mountains offer panoramic views of the parks all around.
Rugged and wild, this is one ride not to be missed.
12. Route 1 - Iceland
The tiny Island nation of Iceland has a small population but is filled with stunning scenery. Its juxtaposes natural wonders include, amongst other things, glaciers and volcanoes which have earned it the moniker 'Land of Fire and Ice'. Route 1 is a ring road that goes right around the country leading out from the cosmopolitan capital through plains of wild ponies and deer and tiny fishing villages.
Waterfalls, fjords, lakes, hot springs, and lagoons are all on the journey and can all be stopped off at.