The top 25 driving roads

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The World's Best Driving Road 2015 - 1st Place

Country: Portugal
Road: Peso da Régua to Pinhão
Avis driving ratio (ADR): 11.3:1

World's best driving route

The N-222 from Peso de Régua to Pinhão cuts right through the heart of the Douro Valley, offering amazing views of the terraced hillsides. This road most closely matches the ideal ADR of 10:1 (10 seconds on a straight to every 1 second spent on a bend) with a ratio of 11:1, and offers the world’s best driving experience.

The road takes drivers along a glorious road that hugs the River Douro, enjoys spectacular views over the vineyards near the river, and finishes in the picturesque wine town of Pinhão. The stretch of 27km mapped includes 93 bends keeping drivers on their toes and allowing them to experience the car’s handling power, whilst offering frequently changing viewpoints. The Douro Valley is the home of Porto wine, and this region became the world's first wine region to have a formal demarcation. The Douro winemaking region was declared a World Heritage Site in 2001, by UNESCO.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
Portugal Peso da Régua to Pinhão 27 93 11.3

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2nd Place
 

Country: USA

ADR: 8.5:1

Road: Highway 1 from Castroville to Big Sur, California

Pacific Coast Highway

This stretch of Highway 1 chases the ragged central California coastline to Big Sur, going via the picture perfect Carmel. This drive is renowned for its sensational views over rocky cliffs, revealing the Pacific Ocean's whitecaps as they rush past staggering dark rocks. This drive features a mixture of sweeping curves, straights and some more tricky bends to navigate, but it’s the endless views out over the ocean that will make you want to drive this road time and time again.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
USA Highway 1 74 36 8.5

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3rd Place
 

Country: UK

ADR: 8.5:1

Road: A535 from Holmes Chapel to Alderley Edge

The Cheshire Drive

This picturesque road begins in Holmes Chapel, passing through an urban area but then opens up into glorious countryside. The road becomes twisty and undulating for a couple of miles before moving into a mile-long straight.

Then you’ll come to the most famous landmark along this stretch of road, the 76 metre-wide, 90 metre-tall, Grade I listed Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank. The road continues with some long straights to finish, allowing drivers to relax into the road and let the car work its magic.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
UK A535 16 19 8.5

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4th Place
 

Country: Switzerland

ADR: 7.7:1

Road: Flüela Pass from Davos to Susch

The Flüela Pass

Enjoy the beautiful drive from the Alpine city of Davos across the Flüela Pass to Susch through breath-taking mountain scenery. The roads climb and descend with winding curves, although many of these curves on the wider stretch of road soon become narrow towards their end, so this route will put your driving skills through their paces. When you reach the peak of this magnificent drive, you can stop off at a parking bay and enjoy the stunning visuals of Lake Davorsee and its surrounding area.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
Switzerland Flüela Pass 28 37 7.7

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5th Place
 

Country: UK

ADR: 7.5:1

Road: B3515 from Cheddar to Ashwick

Somerset countryside

14 glorious miles of Somerset countryside lie between you and your destination at Ashwick as you embark on your drive along the B2515 from Cheddar.The route can be split into three main sections. The first section is the most demanding but offers stunning scenery, with cliff faces rising either side of the road and twists and turns a-plenty due to the gorge dictating the route. Take care cornering, as placement of your car is vital: think agility not power.

After four miles or so you’ll exit the gorge and begin the second section. Trees take the place of rocks, and the tight turns relax into sweeping bends.The final section focuses on long straights and gentle changes in gradient, giving drivers the chance to take in more of the view.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
UK B3515 23 22 7.5

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6th Place
 

Country: Germany

ADR: 7.1:1

Road: Titisee to Bad Krozingen via L126

Germany’s Black Forest

Drive the L126 through the southern part of Germany’s Black Forest and you won’t be disappointed. The scenery is breathtaking, with trees interspersed with rivers and lakes, but the drive with its hairpin bends coupled with the mountainous terrain will really set pulses racing.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
Germany Titisee to Bad Krozingen via L126 61 55 7.1

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7th Place
 

Country: UK

ADR: 14.3:1

Road: A591 from Kendal to Keswick

The Lake District

This spectacular 30-mile stretch in the Lake District National Park features a winding section of the A591, offering unmatchable views of Lakeland fells and the banks of Lake Windermere and Lake Thirlmere. This drive provided inspiration for poets Wordsworth and Coleridge, and whilst en route, you can even see two of Wordsworth’s former houses, in the pretty village of Grasmere.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
UK A591 47 24 14.3

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8th Place
 

Country: Australia

ADR: 5.2:1

Road: Great Ocean Road from The Twelve Apostles to Apollo Bay

Great Ocean Road

One of Australia’s most scenic and iconic coastal drives, this section of the route takes you past the iconic Twelve Apostles along cliff top sand through lush green forests where if you look carefully you may spot koalas up in the canopies above you. Cruise through Great Otway National Park and stop off to admire the waterfalls and tranquil lakes, before heading back out on the road to the coast as the road curves and swoops round bends.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
Australia Great Ocean Road 85 48 5.2

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9th Place
 

Country: France

ADR: 15.1:1

Road: Route de Napoleon

Route de Napoleon

The Route de Napoleon is a stunning stretch of road that has a mixture of everything from fast straights to tight corners.This drive offers cambered corners paired with fantastic views and despite its route through the imposing Alps, the road really is designed for speed and allows the driver to really appreciate their car’s performance. The road follows the route taken by Napoleon in 1815 on his march from Elba to Grenoble, and meanders through the imposing Alps offering wonderful scenery.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
France Route de Napoleon 63 17 15.1

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10th Place
 

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.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
New Zealand The Karamea Highway 53 68 5.0

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11th Place
 

Country: Spain

ADR: 5.0:1

Road: San José (Almería) to Cabo de Gata via the ALP-822

Picturesque Andalusia

This picturesque drive twists and turns its way through unspoilt mountainous terrain devoid of many buildings for miles before opening out on a gorgeous straight along the coast. Offering endless views out over the sea as the road heads down into Cabo de Gata, the village itself doesn’t disappoint. What was once a small fishing village is now a tourist hub due to the beautiful Cabo de Gata-Níjar National Park.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
Spain San José (Almería) to Cabo de Gata via the ALP-822 24 30 5.0

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12th Place
 

Country: Germany

ADR: 3.8:1

Road: S165 from Hohnstein to Bad Schandau

The Saxony Drive

This is a beautiful drive to take, whilst challenging the driver behind the wheel. There are virtually no straights on this route, and it demands the attention of any driver due to the narrow width. Glimpses of the view and the River Elbe are guaranteed to take even the steeliest of drivers’ breath away.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
Germany S165 from Hohnstein to Bad Schandau 43 63 3.8

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13th Place
 

Country: Spain

ADR: 3.7:1

Road: Zumaia to Zarauz via the N-634

The Basque Country

One of the most beautiful Spanish coastal roads falls between the villages of Zarautz and Zumaia: the N-634. It’s one of the many excellent roads in the Basque Country, and this one doesn’t disappoint with its exceptional views and multitude of twists and turns to navigate. There are superb bends of all flavours plus lots of elevation changes especially when passing through the coastal towns and villages along the route.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
Spain Zumaia to Zarauz via the N-634 12 22 3.7

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14th Place
 

Country: Portugal

ADR: 2.6:1

Road: N247/Avenida do Atlântico, Sintra to Praia das Maças

Sintra- Cascais Natural Park

This pretty drive heads down from Sintra to the sands of Praia das Maças alongside the tram route. The route starts near the Sintra- Cascais Natural Park with its lush mountain valleys and wooded hillsides which reveal the hidden fairy-tale town of Sintra at the centre heart. Once you’ve had your fill of the picturesque scenery, head down to the beach to take in the stunning coastline. With its balance of tight corners with sweeping curves and eventually longer straights as you head towards the ocean, this really is a great drive.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
Portugal N247/Avenida do Atlântico, Sintra to Praia das Maças 12 24 2.6

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15th Place
 

Country: Spain

ADR: 2.2:1

Road: Escalona to Rios Bellosvia the HU-631

Aragon Mountain Drive

The HU-631 is a spectacular high mountain road with a total length of 34.3 km and is one-way, starting in Escalona. This renowned road is tightly hairpinned and bumped, but is an exquisite winding mountain drive with sharp and blind curves and hairpin switchbacks leading the driver over the mountains. The road includes some steep sections and at times is very narrow, barely wide enough for two cars.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
Spain Escalona to Rios Bellosvia the HU-631 27 73 2.2

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16th Place
 

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.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
Portugal N267 São Marcos da Serra to Monchique 36 83 2.1

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17th Place
 

Country: Japan

ADR: 2.0:1

Road: Nihon Romantic Highway from Chugushi to the 120 road split

Nihon Romantic Highway

Despite its name, there’s very little romantic about the Nihon Romantic Highway. It is best known for its incredible turns, corners and twists that impress even the most experienced drivers. When you’ve caught your breath from the relentless sharp bends, take in the scenery as you pass by some of Japan’s best hot springs and volcanoes.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
Japan Nihon Romantic Highway 7 34 2.0

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18th Place
 

Country: France

ADR: 2.0:1

Road: D81 from Piana to Porto in Corsica

Corsican Calanches

The D81 is a narrow, winding road connecting Porto and Piana that hugs the impressive red rocks of Piana Calanche, giving endless views out to sea. Caution is required when driving on this road, as in parts it's so narrow that cars can only just pass through - but the location is worth it. The best time of day to drive is at sunset, when the rocks become an event deeper shade of red, casting sharp, jagged shadows over the landscape.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
France D81 from Piana to Porto in Corsica 12 39 2.0

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19th Place
 

Country: Italy

ADR: 1.9:1

Road: Portofino (GE) to Portofino Vetta (GE)

The Portofino Peninsula

The seaside village of Portofino is an exclusive tourist destination, and the drive from there to Portfino Vetta, one of the highest points of the peninsula, shows why people visit time and time again.

The route starts from Portofino’s small harbour and heads out to Paraggi along the curving road that clings to the rugged coastline, surrounded by Mediterranean flora and fauna and the scent of pines. Upon reaching the sophisticated Santa Margherita Ligure, it turns left in the direction of the "Monte" and after a few bends, Portofino Vetta is almost in touching distance. The landscape that opens up is incredibly beautiful: the view extends from the beautiful borderless Camogli built into the cliffs far below to the Cinque Terre.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
Italy Portofino (GE) to Portofino Vetta (GE) 13 61 1.9

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20th Place
 

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.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
Romania The Transfăgărășan aka the DN7C 24 73 1.9

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21st Place
 

Country: Norway

ADR: 1.7:1

Road: The Lysebotn Road

The Lysebotn Road

This road was built as a works road during the building of the Tjodan hydroelectric power station and was officially opened in 1984. Tight corners and reverse camber bends greet you for the first 20 miles of this mountainous road, but it’s the last section of the road that will really challenge even the most experienced of drivers. Along with stunning views, it features no less than 27 hairpin bends in a row.

Not content with offering hairpins alone, the road drops nearly 1,000 metres before finishing off with an impressive tunnel that turns 340 degrees before you emerge in the quiet town of Lysebotn. Your head may be in a spin by the end, but this is as good as it gets.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
Norway The Lysebotn Road 16 48 1.7

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22nd Place
 

Country: Italy

ADR: 1.3:1

Road: The Amalfi Coast route

The Amalfi Coast

As one of the most famous scenic roads in Italy, the Amalfi Coast deserves its place in the National Geographic as one of the 50 most beautiful roads in the world. This road is also a World Heritage Site and driving along it, you figure out why.

The highway passes through pretty villages close to high and steep cliffs but what makes the Amalfi Coast extra special is how the distinct traditions from different countries are clearly visible. Not to be missed are the stages or the drive in Amalfi, Positano, Scala and Vietri sul Mare. It’s a trip that has to be made at least once in your life!

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
Italy The Amalfi Coast route 17 75 1.3

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23rd Place
 

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.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
USA Tail of the Dragon 15 57 1.1

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24th Place
 

Country: Argentina

ADR: 23.7:1

Road: Ruta 40 from Cuesta de Miranda to the La Rioja/San Juan province borderline

Argentinian Countryside

Ruta 40 is a drive for adventurers, although the northern section mapped here includes several long sections of straights that allow drivers to take in the sunny valleys before moving into the Cuesta de Miranda, a serpentine corniche winding through the mountains. The drive offers extraordinarily beautiful countryside, which is at times dramatic – and can even be described as fascinatingly remote.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
Argentina Ruta 40 112 32 23.7

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25th Place
 

Country: USA

ADR: 1240.0:1

Road: The Overseas Highway from Long Point Key to Florida Keys

The Overseas Highway

The Overseas Highway is mostly over water, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the ocean and of course, the incredible sunrises and sunsets depending on when you’re driving. This low intensity drive allows for the driver to settle into the car and drink in the views as they pass from island to island over the sea.

Country Road length /km Number of bends ADR
USA The Overseas Highway from Long Point Key to Florida Keys 87 3 1240.0

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