Off the beaten track

9 of the best adrenaline pumping roads to take you off the beaten track

Adrenaline junkie? Then these 'off the beaten track' roads are for you! Have you got the fire to tackle the Tail of The Dragon in North Carolina? Or maybe negotiating through mountainous catacombs in the Strada Della Forra in Italy is what drives you. Whatever your passion, bring your wits and driving expertise when you tackle these routes.

Agree with our list? What's the best 'off the beaten track' road you've ever driven? Tell us with #AvisBestRoad
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Country: New Zealand

ADR: 5.0:1

Road: The Karamea Highway

The Karamea Highway

This road is rich with scenery and little towns along the way and despite its physical dead-end status, this drive is anything but dead-end.It finishes spectacularly as the road turns into a pathway, the Heaphy Track. The drive has plenty of bends to keep drivers on their toes as they journey through the beautiful sub-tropical rainforests, and then a long straight along the coast opens up the view for miles out to the Tasman Sea.

length /km
53
Bends
68
Hairpin Bends
17
Fast Straights
48
Accelerating %
04
Cruising %
82
Braking %
02
Cornering %
12
length /km
53
Accelerating %
04
Bends
68
Cruising %
82
Hairpin Bends
17
Braking %
02
Fast Straights
48
Cornering %
12

Would you like to drive this road yourself? Then click below.

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Country: Portugal

ADR: 2.1:1

Road: N267 São Marcos da Serra to Monchique

Traditional Portugal

Winding through small traditional villages, this small country road in Portugal’s Silves municipality offers an enjoyable challenge for drivers, with some exceptional scenery as the payoff. It’s worth stopping as you pass through the small town of Alferce to explore the picturesque church and overgrown ruins of ancient farm buildings scattered around the outskirts. On a clear day extend your drive through Monchique to the radio mast-covered summit at Fóia for a spectacular view across the Algarve coast. São Marcos de Serra is about a 2.5 hour drive from Lisbon Airport.

length /km
36
Bends
83
Hairpin Bends
30
Fast Straights
59
Accelerating %
07
Cruising %
63
Braking %
04
Cornering %
26
length /km
36
Accelerating %
07
Bends
83
Cruising %
63
Hairpin Bends
30
Braking %
04
Fast Straights
59
Cornering %
26

Would you like to drive this road yourself? Then click below.

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Country: Romania

ADR: 1.9:1

Road: The Transfăgărășan aka the DN7C

The Transfăgărășan

The Transfăgărașan or DN7C is the second-highest paved road in Romania after Transalpina. The road starts near the village of Bascov and ends on the crossroad between DN1 and Sibiu.

It was built as a strategic military route that stretches 90 km with twists and turns that run north to south across the tallest sections of the Southern Carpathians and connects the historic regions of Transylvania and Wallachia, and the cities of Sibiu and Pitești. This spectacular road snakes around mountainsides, challenging drivers with hairpin bends and sheer drops, and scenery that will take your breath away.

length /km
24
Bends
73
Hairpin Bends
36
Fast Straights
53
Accelerating %
11
Cruising %
57
Braking %
06
Cornering %
26
length /km
24
Accelerating %
11
Bends
73
Cruising %
57
Hairpin Bends
36
Braking %
06
Fast Straights
53
Cornering %
26

Would you like to drive this road yourself? Then click below.

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Country: USA

ADR: 1.1:1

Road: Tail of the Dragon, North Carolina

Tail of the Dragon

This infamous stretch of U.S. Route 129 offers some of the best curves around, with no fewer than 318 turns in the course of 11 miles.No driveways or intersections interrupt this forest-lined thoroughfare, which is bordered by the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest.

Some of the Dragon's sharpest curves have 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 name from its curves being said to resemble a dragon's tail. This one’s a thrill a minute, and a challenge for even the most experienced of drivers.

length /km
15
Bends
57
Hairpin Bends
21
Fast Straights
35
Accelerating %
13
Cruising %
45
Braking %
07
Cornering %
35
length /km
15
Accelerating %
13
Bends
57
Cruising %
45
Hairpin Bends
21
Braking %
07
Fast Straights
35
Cornering %
35

Would you like to drive this road yourself? Then click below.

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Country: South Africa

ADR: 2.4:1

Road: Sani Pass

This stretch of the Sani Pass is an awe-inspiring mountain road, packed with steep and tight corners. The full road starts at 1544m and climbs to 2876 meters high. Set in stunning scenery, the challenging road was built circa 1950 and was originally just a dirt road. It has featured in multiple car adverts as well as documentaries and most of the hairpin bends are around 180 degrees, so as you climb higher and higher the jaw dropping views envelope you from every side.

length /km
05
Bends
28
Hairpin Bends
14
Fast Straights
18
Accelerating %
22
Cruising %
51
Braking %
12
Cornering %
14
length /km
05
Accelerating %
22
Bends
28
Cruising %
51
Hairpin Bends
14
Braking %
12
Fast Straights
18
Cornering %
14

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Country: Italy

ADR: 4.2:1

Road: Stelvio Pass - Bagni di Bormio - Trafoi

The legendry Stelvio Pass is a spine-tingling mountainous road located in northern Italy. At 2,757 m (9,045 ft.) above sea level, it is the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps. Originally built in 1820, the road cascades down the mountain treating drivers to a continuing provision of tight corners and breath-taking views. Twisting up and down the mountain, the drive is both dramatic and rewarding.

length /km
33
Bends
83
Hairpin Bends
77
Fast Straights
71
Accelerating %
15
Cruising %
69
Braking %
8
Cornering %
8
length /km
33
Accelerating %
15
Bends
83
Cruising %
69
Hairpin Bends
77
Braking %
8
Fast Straights
71
Cornering %
8

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Country: UK (Scotland)

ADR: 5.4:1

Road: Bealach na Ba pass - Russel - Applecross

Meaning ‘pass of the cattle’, the Bealach na Bà is an historic pass through the towering Applecross peninsula. Originally used to drive cattle from Applecross to other parts of the Highlands, the pass rises to 626 meters and gradients can approach 20% in some parts and due to its location, the road is completely impassable in wintry conditions. This single-track road has Alpine-like hairpin bends and drivers are treated to breath-taking scenery and stunning views of rolling hills and beautiful lochs.

length /km
17
Bends
26
Hairpin Bends
08
Fast Straights
20
Accelerating %
05
Cruising %
81
Braking %
3
Cornering %
10
length /km
17
Accelerating %
05
Bends
26
Cruising %
81
Hairpin Bends
08
Braking %
3
Fast Straights
20
Cornering %
10

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Country: France

ADR: 3.5:1

Road: Route De Presles - Presles - Metrière

Punctuated with serpentine-like tight twists and rolling turns, this thrilling road is carved directly into the rock with sheer drops at the roadside to the valley below. Located in the Isère department in south-eastern France, Route de Presles is a stunning road that features open tunnels and passages and incredibly narrow lanes. The views of the surrounding countryside are spectacular, but it’s the road itself that really is a photographer’s dream.

length /km
09
Bends
22
Hairpin Bends
06
Fast Straights
20
Accelerating %
10
Cruising %
70
Braking %
5
Cornering %
15
length /km
09
Accelerating %
10
Bends
22
Cruising %
70
Hairpin Bends
06
Braking %
5
Fast Straights
20
Cornering %
15

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Country: Italy

ADR: 9.7:1

Road: Pieve - Riva Del Garda - Strada Della Forra

Apparently named as the eighth wonder of the world by Winston Churchill, Strada Della Forra is an adrenaline pumping road that burrows its way through the mountain in the ravine formed by the river Brasa. The road has legendary status and is located in the province of Brescia, near the shore of Lake Garda. Nestled in the depths of the mountain, expect incredible rock formations overhead, very tight turns to navigate and spine-tingling sheer drops.

length /km
21
Bends
21
Hairpin Bends
09
Fast Straights
15
Accelerating %
04
Cruising %
89
Braking %
02
Cornering %
05
length /km
21
Accelerating %
04
Bends
21
Cruising %
89
Hairpin Bends
09
Braking %
02
Fast Straights
15
Cornering %
05

Would you like to drive this road yourself? Then click below.