Top 25 driving roads
World’s best driving experience
World’s best driving route
Road: Peso da Régua to Pinhão
Avis driving ratio (ADR): 11.3:1
The N-222 route connecting Peso de Régua to Pinhão traverses the heart of the Douro Valley, providing breathtaking vistas of the terraced landscapes. This road closely aligns with the optimal driving ratio (ADR) of 10:1 (10 seconds on straight sections for every 1 second on bends), boasting a ratio of 11:1. This results in an unparalleled driving experience on a 27km stretch, encompassing 93 bends that demand drivers’ attention, allowing them to fully engage with their vehicle’s handling capabilities. Along the journey, the road follows the contours of the Douro River, offering splendid panoramas of the vineyards adjacent to the water, culminating in the charming wine-centric town of Pinhão. Notably, the Douro Valley holds significance as the birthplace of Porto wine, with its distinction as the world’s inaugural demarcated wine region. Acknowledging its cultural importance, UNESCO designated the Douro winemaking region as a World Heritage Site in 2001.
Pacific Coast Highway
Road: Highway 1 from Castroville to Big Sur, California
This segment of Highway 1 traces the rugged central California coastline, leading to Big Sur and passing through the picturesque town of Carmel. Famed for its breathtaking vistas along rocky cliffs, it unveils the frothy whitecaps of the Pacific Ocean swiftly gliding past imposing dark boulders. The journey combines graceful curves, straight stretches, and a few challenging twists and turns. However, it’s the boundless ocean panoramas that will entice you to repeatedly embark on this road, each time captivated by its allure.
The Cheshire Drive
Road: A535 from Holmes Chapel to Alderley Edge
Commencing in Holmes Chapel, this charming roadway initially winds through urban settings before revealing expansive countryside vistas. Its path transforms into a meandering, rolling terrain for several miles, only to transition into a mile-long stretch of straight road. Soon, you’ll encounter the iconic highlight of this route: the renowned Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank, a Grade I listed structure spanning 76 meters in width and towering 90 meters in height. The journey persists with more extended straight sections towards the conclusion, granting drivers the chance to settle into the rhythm of the road and allow their vehicles to weave their enchantment.
The Flüela Pass
Road: Flüela Pass from Davos to Susch
Savor the exquisite journey starting in the Alpine town of Davos, as it ventures across the Flüela Pass en route to Susch, all amidst the awe-inspiring mountain landscapes. The roads ascend and descend, adorned with serpentine twists, although several of these bends narrow toward their conclusions on the broader sections of road. This route serves as a true test of your driving expertise. Upon reaching the pinnacle of this splendid drive, a parking bay awaits, granting the opportunity to bask in the breathtaking vistas of Lake Davorsee and its encircling terrain.
Road: B3515 from Cheddar to Ashwick
Embark on a picturesque drive along the B2515 from Cheddar, covering a delightful span of 14 miles across Somerset’s countryside to reach Ashwick. The route unfolds in three distinct segments. The initial part, marked by its demanding nature, presents captivating landscapes. The road winds through towering cliff faces, guided by the twists and turns dictated by the gorge. Careful navigation is essential, with the road’s placement crucial due to the gorge’s influence. Agile maneuvering is paramount over raw power.
Approximately four miles ahead, the gorge gives way to the second section. Here, trees replace rocks, and the once-tight turns transform into graceful sweeping curves. Finally, the last stretch concentrates on lengthy straight paths and gradual shifts in elevation. This phase grants drivers the opportunity to soak in more of the surrounding panorama, offering a chance to appreciate the view to the fullest.
Germany’s Black Forest
Road: Titisee to Bad Krozingen via L126
Embark on a captivating journey along Germany’s L126, traversing the southern region of the Black Forest, and you’re in for an unforgettable experience. The landscape presents a stunning spectacle, adorned with a harmonious mix of trees, rivers, and lakes. However, what truly quickens the heartbeat is the exhilarating drive, as it weaves through the mountainous expanse with its daring hairpin bends.
The Lake District
Road: A591 from Kendal to Keswick
Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the Lake District National Park with a remarkable 30-mile route along a winding portion of the A591. This stretch boasts unparalleled vistas of the Lakeland fells and the picturesque shores of Lake Windermere and Lake Thirlmere. Renowned poets Wordsworth and Coleridge drew inspiration from this very drive. As you journey, you’ll catch glimpses of two former residences of Wordsworth, situated in the charming village of Grasmere.
Great Ocean Road
Road: Great Ocean Road from The Twelve Apostles to Apollo Bay
Embark on a journey along one of Australia’s most iconic coastal routes, offering unparalleled scenic beauty. This segment of the drive guides you past the renowned Twelve Apostles, tracing the cliff tops and sandy shores, as well as winding through verdant forests. A keen eye might spot koalas nestled in the treetop canopies above. Traverse the Great Otway National Park, where you can pause to appreciate serene lakes and cascading waterfalls. Soon, you’ll return to the coastal road, where its twists and turns follow the curvature of the land, providing a captivating driving experience.
Route de Napoleon
Road: Route de Napoleon
The Route de Napoléon presents a captivating roadway, encompassing a diverse array of features, from swift straight sections to challenging curves. This journey encompasses a blend of cambered corners, granting not only exhilarating vistas but also an opportunity to truly relish your car’s capabilities. Despite its passage through the imposing Alps, the road is skillfully crafted for speed, inviting drivers to fully embrace their vehicle’s performance. Originally tracing the path taken by Napoléon in 1815 during his march from Elba to Grenoble, this route winds through the majestic Alps, treating travelers to breathtaking panoramic views.
The Karamea Highway
Country: New Zealand
Road: The Karamea Highway
Abundant in picturesque landscapes and charming towns, this road defies its apparent dead-end status by offering a journey full of vibrancy. Its culmination is truly spectacular, as the road seamlessly transforms into the renowned Heaphy Track pathway. Throughout the drive, numerous bends keep drivers engaged while traversing through captivating sub-tropical rainforests. A lengthy straight stretch along the coast then unveils a panoramic vista, stretching miles away to the mesmerizing Tasman Sea.
Road: San José (Almería) to Cabo de Gata via the ALP-822
This scenic route winds through untouched mountainous landscapes, devoid of extensive buildings for a significant stretch, before unfurling into a stunning coastal straightway. The drive presents boundless ocean panoramas as it descends towards Cabo de Gata. The village itself lives up to expectations; formerly a humble fishing village, it has blossomed into a tourist haven, largely owing to the exquisite Cabo de Gata-Níjar National Park that graces the surroundings.
The Saxony Drive
Road: S165 from Hohnstein to Bad Schandau
Embarking on this scenic drive offers not only beauty but also a test for the driver. Straight sections are a rarity on this route, requiring the constant engagement of the driver due to its narrow width. Even the most composed drivers will find their breath taken away by the occasional glimpses of the captivating view and the meandering River Elbe.
The Basque Country
Road: Zumaia to Zarauz via the N-634
Among the stunning coastal roads of Spain, a true gem lies between Zarautz and Zumaia: the N-634. Nestled within the Basque Country, this road lives up to its reputation, treating travelers to breathtaking vistas and an abundance of thrilling twists and turns. The route is a true delight for driving enthusiasts, featuring a variety of bends that cater to every preference, accompanied by frequent changes in elevation, especially when passing through the charming coastal towns and villages along the way.
Sintra- Cascais Natural Park
Road: N247/Avenida do Atlântico, Sintra to Praia das Maças
Descending from Sintra to the inviting shores of Praia das Maças, this charming drive follows the tram route. Beginning close to the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, where rich mountain valleys and wooded slopes unveil the enchanting town of Sintra at its core, this route holds a fairy-tale allure. After soaking in the picturesque landscapes, continue your journey to the beach, where the captivating coastline awaits. Balancing a mix of tight corners and graceful curves, the drive gradually transitions to extended straight stretches as you approach the ocean. Undoubtedly, this journey promises an exceptional driving experience.
Aragon Mountain Drive
Road: Escalona to Rios Bellosvia the HU-631
The HU-631 presents a breathtaking high-altitude road spanning 34.3 km, beginning its journey in Escalona. This famed route unfolds as a narrow, one-way path, characterized by a series of tightly wound hairpin turns and uneven surfaces. It’s a mesmerizing drive through the mountains, featuring sharp bends, blind corners, and intricate hairpin switchbacks that guide drivers across the peaks. The road incorporates steep inclines and occasional narrow stretches, sometimes barely accommodating two vehicles side by side.
Road: N267 São Marcos da Serra to Monchique
Meandering through quaint traditional villages, this narrow rural road within Portugal’s Silves municipality provides an engaging and pleasurable experience for drivers, rewarded with remarkable vistas. As you navigate the route, consider pausing in the charming town of Alferce to explore the idyllic church and remnants of ancient farm structures nestled on its outskirts. On clear days, extend your journey by continuing through Monchique, reaching the radio mast-adorned peak at Fóia, which offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the Algarve coastline. For those starting at Lisbon Airport, São Marcos de Serra is approximately a 2.5-hour drive away.
Nihon Romantic Highway
Road: Nihon Romantic Highway from Chugushi to the 120 road split
Contrary to its name, the Nihon Romantic Highway offers little romance but plenty of exhilaration. Renowned for its astonishing array of turns, corners, and twists, even the most skilled drivers are left in awe. Once you’ve managed to catch your breath from navigating the constant sharp bends, don’t miss the chance to appreciate the surroundings. The route meanders past some of Japan’s finest hot springs and remarkable volcanoes, adding a touch of natural beauty to the adrenaline-pumping experience.
Road: D81 from Piana to Porto in Corsica
Linking Porto and Piana, the D81 is a slender and sinuous route that intimately follows the striking red cliffs of Piana Calanche, gifting unending vistas of the sea. Tread cautiously when traversing this road, as in certain stretches, it’s so narrow that vehicles barely squeeze through. Nevertheless, the stunning location justifies the careful navigation. The optimal time to embark on this drive is during sunset, when the rocks transform into an even deeper hue of red, casting angular, jagged shadows across the landscape.
The Portofino Peninsula
Road: Portofino (GE) to Portofino Vetta (GE)
The coastal village of Portofino holds an exclusive allure for tourists, and the journey from there to Portofino Vetta, a prominent high point of the peninsula, epitomizes why visitors are drawn back repeatedly.
The expedition commences at Portofino’s quaint harbor, winding its way toward Paraggi along a serpentine road that clings to the rugged shoreline, enveloped by the fragrant Mediterranean flora and fauna and the redolence of pine trees. Upon reaching the sophisticated town of Santa Margherita Ligure, the route takes a left towards the “Monte.” After navigating a few bends, Portofino Vetta nearly unveils itself. The vista that unfolds is truly magnificent: the panorama stretches from the seamlessly integrated Camogli, nestled into the cliffs far below, to the striking Cinque Terre in the distance.
Road: The Transfăgărășan aka the DN7C
The Transfăgărașan, also known as DN7C, holds the distinction of being Romania’s second-highest paved road, surpassed only by Transalpina. Stretching across 90 km, the road begins near the village of Bascov and concludes at the crossroad where DN1 meets Sibiu.
Originally designed as a strategic military route, this road traverses the tallest segments of the Southern Carpathians, running from north to south. It serves as a link between the historic regions of Transylvania and Wallachia, as well as connecting the cities of Sibiu and Pitești. The journey unfurls with a series of breathtaking twists and turns, winding its way around mountainsides. Drivers are presented with challenging hairpin bends and vertiginous drops, all while being treated to awe-inspiring scenery that leaves a lasting impression.
The Lysebotn Road
Road: The Lysebotn Road
Constructed as a works road during the development of the Tjodan hydroelectric power station, this roadway officially debuted in 1984. The initial 20 miles of this mountainous path welcome you with tight corners and bends that curve the opposite way, providing an early challenge. Yet, it’s the concluding stretch that truly puts even the most adept drivers to the test. Amidst breathtaking vistas, this segment boasts an astonishing 27 consecutive hairpin bends.
But that’s not all—this road doesn’t stop at hairpins. Descending nearly 1,000 meters, it culminates in a remarkable tunnel, winding a striking 340 degrees before ushering you into the tranquil town of Lysebotn. Your senses may whirl by journey’s end, but this is the epitome of exhilarating driving.
The Amalfi Coast
Road: The Amalfi Coast route
Earning its status as one of Italy’s most renowned scenic routes, the Amalfi Coast rightfully secures its spot among National Geographic’s list of the 50 most exquisite roads worldwide. Notably, this road also holds the esteemed title of a World Heritage Site, a distinction you come to truly appreciate while journeying along it.
This highway winds its way through charming villages nestled near towering, precipitous cliffs. However, what sets the Amalfi Coast apart is its ability to showcase distinct cultural traditions from various countries, all beautifully interwoven. The stages of the drive in Amalfi, Positano, Scala, and Vietri sul Mare are not to be overlooked. Indeed, embarking on this trip is a must at least once in your lifetime, as it reveals a symphony of captivating experiences.
Tail of the Dragon
Road: Tail of the Dragon, North Carolina
This notorious segment of U.S. Route 129 presents an unparalleled abundance of curves, boasting an impressive 318 turns across an 11-mile span. With a backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest, this forest-fringed route remains uninterrupted by driveways or intersections.
The Dragon’s many sharp bends bear evocative names like Copperhead Corner, Hog Pen Bend, Wheelie Hell, Shade Tree Corner, Mud Corner, Sunset Corner, Gravity Cavity, Beginner’s End, and Brake or Bust Bend. The road earned its moniker due to its undulating curves resembling a dragon’s tail. This route guarantees an exhilarating experience, offering thrills at every turn, and even the most skilled drivers will find themselves challenged by its twists and turns.
Road: Ruta 40 from Cuesta de Miranda to the La Rioja/San Juan province borderline
Ruta 40 beckons the daring adventurers, and this mapped northern section holds a mix of expansive straight stretches that grant drivers the chance to soak in the sunlit valleys, followed by the captivating Cuesta de Miranda. This winding mountain corniche carries you through serpentine paths. As you journey, the landscape unfurls with exceptionally breathtaking countryside. It alternates between dramatic and fascinatingly remote, making for an extraordinary driving experience.
The Overseas Highway
Road: The Overseas Highway from Long Point Key to Florida Keys
The Overseas Highway primarily traverses over water, providing an opportunity to revel in the stunning surroundings, the vast ocean expanse, and the mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets, depending on the time of your drive. This leisurely journey enables drivers to ease into the driving experience and fully appreciate the scenery as they seamlessly transition from one island to the next, journeying over the tranquil sea.