- Heath Grayson
THE 10 BEST DRIVING ROADS IN THE WORLD
Where we are Going, We Do Need Roads
Let’s face it, man and road were meant to be together since the beginning of time. The art of driving has transformed from a means of transportation, to a way of life showing style and sophistication. A well-made car only deserves the best road for it to grace its presence on, and while there are many out there only few meet the standards it desires. From costal highways, mountain passes, dessert stretches, and scenic routes through the forest nothing beats getting behind the wheel. We set out to find the best roads to set four wheels on. After extensive research, we have compiled a list of some of the most beautiful, challenging and unforgettable roads in the world, some of which you can drive on our écurie25 Driving Tours! We can all agree that there is nothing like punching the gas and letting the engine roar, and these roads will allow you to do just that. The supercar experience is unparalleled, and one that only a few people will get to enjoy, and you could be one of those people. These roads are more than just pavement; they are a platform to create memories on that will never be forgotten. With that being said, take a look at them and get your pen out to update your bucket list.
1. US Route 550, USA
U.S. Route 550 is a spur of U.S. Highway 50 that runs from Bernalillo, New Mexico to Montrose, Colorado in the western United States. The section from Silverton to Ouray is frequently called the Million Dollar Highway. The Million Dollar Highway stretches for about 25 miles (40 km) in western Colorado and follows the route of U.S. 550 between Silverton and Ouray, Colorado. It is part of the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway. Between Durango and Silverton the Skyway loosely parallels the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Though the entire stretch has been called the Million Dollar Highway, it is really the twelve miles (19 km) south of Ouray through the Uncompahgre Gorge to the summit of Red Mountain Pass which gains the highway its name. This stretch through the gorge is challenging and potentially hazardous to drive; it is characterized by steep cliffs, narrow lanes, and a lack of guardrails; the ascent of Red Mountain Pass is marked with a number of hairpin curves used to gain elevation, and again, narrow lanes for traffic—many cut directly into the sides of mountains.
2. Going to the Sun Road, USA
Going-to-the-Sun Road was completed in 1932 and is a spectacular 50 mile, paved two-lane highway that bisects Glacier National Park east and west. It spans the width of the Park, crossing the Continental Divide at 6,646-foot-high Logan Pass. It passes through almost every type of terrain in the park, from large glacial lakes and cedar forests in the lower valleys to windswept alpine tundra atop the pass. Scenic viewpoints and pullouts line the road. In 1983 Going-To-The-Sun Road was included in the National Register of Historic Places and in 1985 was made a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
3. Stelvio Pass, Italy
The Stelvio Pass, located in Italy, at 2757 m (9045 feet) is the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps, and the second highest in the Alps, slightly below the Col de l’Iseran (2770 m, 9088 feet). Stelvio was also picked by the British automotive show Top Gear as its choice for the “greatest driving road in the world”, although their search was concentrated only in Europe. This conclusion was reached after the team went in search of a road that would satisfy every “petrolhead’s” driving fantasies in the premiere of the show’s 10th season. Top Gear later decided that the Highway in Romania was possibly a superior driving road.
4. Chapman's Peak, South Africa
Chapman’s Peak Drive winds it way between Noordhoek and Hout Bay on the Atlantic Coast of the south-western tip of South Africa. The 9km route, with its 114 curves, skirts the rocky coastline of Chapman’s Peak (593m). The drive is affectionately known as “Chappies” and offers stunning 180° views with many areas along the route where you can stop and take in the exquisite scenery.
5. US 1 in Florida Keys, USA
The Seven Mile Bridge is a famous bridge in the Florida Keys, in Monroe County, Florida, United States. It connects Knight’s Key (part of the city of Marathon, Florida) in the Middle Keys to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys. Among the longest bridges in existence when it was built, it is one of the many bridges on US 1 in the Keys, where the road is called the Overseas Highway.
6. Tianmen Mountain Road, China
Tianmen Mountain is a mountain located within Tianmen Mountain National Park, Zhangjiajie, in northwestern Hunan Province, China. A cable car operates from nearby Zhangjiajie railway station to the top of the mountain. It features 98 cars and a total length of 7,455 meters and an ascent of 1,279 meters. The highest gradient is an unusual 37 degrees. There is also an 11 km road with 99 bends that reaches the top of the mountain and takes visitors to Tianmen cave, a natural hole in the mountain at a height of 131.5 meters.
7. White Rim Road, USA
The 100-mile White Rim Road loops around and below the Island mesa top and provides expansive views of the surrounding area. Trips usually take two to three days by four-wheel-drive vehicle or three to four days by mountain bike. All vehicles and bikes must remain on roads. ATVs and non-street legal dirt bikes are not permitted. Pets are also not permitted, even in vehicles. Under favorable weather conditions, the White Rim Road is considered moderately difficult for high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicles. The steep, exposed sections of the Shafer Trail, Lathrop Canyon Road, Murphy’s Hogback, Hardscrabble Hill, and the Mineral Bottom switchbacks make the White Rim loop a challenging mountain bike ride, and require extreme caution for both vehicles and bikes during periods of inclement weather.
8. Atlantic Road, Norway
Opened on July 7, 1989, the Atlantic Road is a National Tourist Route and was honoured as Norway’s Construction of the Century in 2005. The Atlantic is an 8.3 kilometer (5.2 miles) section of Country Road 64 which runs between the towns of Kristiansund and Molde, the two main population centres in the county of More og Romsdal in Fjord, Norway. The road is built on several small islands and skerries, which are connected by several causeways, viaducts and eight bridges. For more information check out this featured post on the Sifter.
9. Furka Pass, Switzerland
Furka Pass (el. 2429 m.) is a high mountain pass in the Swiss Alps connecting Gletsch, Valais with Realp, Uri. The Furka Pass was used as a location in the James Bond film Goldfinger.
10. State Road 1, USA
State Route 1 (SR 1) is a major north-south state highway that runs along most of the Pacific coastline of the U.S. state of California. The highway is famous for running along some of the most beautiful coastlines in the USA, leading to its designation as an All-American Road.Highway 1 enters the Big Sur region crossing the San Carpoforo Creek just south of the Monterey County line. For about 90 miles (140 km) from the San Carpoforo Creek to the Carmel River, the road winds and hugs the cliffs of Big Sur, passing various coastal parks in the area. The road also briefly leaves the coast for a few miles and goes through a redwood forest in the Big Sur River valley. This segment of the highway, built between 1919 and 1937, also crosses several historic bridges, including the scenic Bixby Creek Bridge shown above.
Now, pick your favorite and go drive!