Going for a long drive with your loved ones or even alone is the best way to replace the familiar and dull everyday commuting with some refreshing air. And when those paved tar creations under your wheels transforms into challenging and complicated bends, long fast straights, little to no traffic and especially with beautiful view, then it makes your drive the pleasure of a lifetime clocked with elucidate thrill.
Here is list of 10 gorgeously mythical highways around the world that inspires you to hit the road!
The stunning 205.2 km highway soars from island to island across 42 bridge southwest through Florida Keys over an extraordinarily blue ocean. The road was built in 1938 on the former right-of-way of the Overseas Railroad which got destroyed in a hurricane.
Most part of this long highway stands on water and it’s a pure pleasure to drive about 5 hours to reach the next island. If you started your drive early morning or early evening you will be blessed to see the incredible view sunrise or sunset.
For most of the year this highway is free of traffic, but if you came here in the holiday season chances are there that you might witness some traffic. But with that spectacular scenery around and marvelous engineering ahead you will love to stay on this road forever!
9. Red Rock Scenic Road – U.S.A
The Red Rock Scenic Road is often called as the “museum without walls” and when you are on this road its name becomes clearer to you. The road wind through Sedona’s Red Rock Country and provides a breathtaking view of beautiful red rocks which elites your soul inspiring your life.
On this road trip on Red Rock Scenic byway you will also come across Montezuma Castle National Monument and the naturally blessed Coconino National Forest which makes you come closer to Mother Nature.
8. Iroha-Zaka – Japan
This winding road of Japan interlinks central Nikko and Oku-Nikko. Those 48 curves on the road looks deadly, but they are thrilling and glorious to drive through. Actually this magnificent Iroha-zaka byway is made of two roads, one to come down and another to go up and they both have 48 curves.
Each bend of the 48 curves in this road is matched with 48 letters of the ancient Japanese alphabet, starting in alphabetical order from I-ro-ha which also gave this road’s name.
7. Highway 1, Big Sur – California
Highway 1 aka ‘Bur Sur’ is stretched across the rugged central California coastline through Big Sur. This superb road runs from beautiful San Simeon to equally stunning Carmel. On the road you will witness extremely dangerous cliff drops with awe-inspiring views and impulsive glimpses of the whole Pacific Ocean in all its glory rushing past immense dark rocks.
There are few peak traffic hours during which you should try to avoid this road. But the traffic doesn’t seem that troubling with those sobering views around to please your eyes and heart. To skip the slow moving traffic there is a bypass through the nearby less-traveled Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, which cuts east and offers an amazing bird’s-eye view of the coast below.
6. Khardung Pass – India
For those who don’t know, the world’s highest road is in our country! The Khardung pass exist at a peak of 17,582 feet above sea level and it is the highest altitude roads that can be driven in a four-wheeler. This road is situated so high that the pressure difference might induce nose-bleeds, so even before your eyes feels the difference your nose will feel it.
All these pains are worth taking for those magnificent glaciers, crazy turns, huge peaks and glorious hills which makes you breathless both in terms of beauty and altitude. You can also see all manner of mammalian and mechanized traffic on the way. As a word of advice, drive slow, steady and familiarize yourself.
5. Ruta 40 – Argentina
The Ruta 40 is one of the longest highways in the world. You can dare to image its length when we say it connects 20 National parks and covers numerous passes through the Andes mountain range. The highway is around 3000 miles long and there are surprises all through the way.
If you feel like the length of this highway is too long then catch the bypass to the touristy southern portion and have a good time exploring the gorgeous upper elevations. To the south the Ruta 40 reaches as high as 16,000 feet above sea level!
4. Karakoram Highway – China to Pakistan
China took 27 years to build this so called ‘Friendship Highway’ though the Karakoram mountain range to link Pakistan with China. This highway is a beauty, but be very patient and careful with this beauty as it has the power to make you meet your maker within a blink of an eye.
This 800 miles long tar creation is paved through Himalayas and on the way you will come across several dramatic sceneries. You will be crossing the splendid stretches of the ancient Silk Road and will also pass some desolate locales like Abbottabad, where Osama bin Laden met his demise.
3. Guoliang Tunnel Road – China
Believe it or not, this marvelous tunnel road was built by 13 local villagers in just five years in the Taihang Mountains in the Hunan province of China. During the construction of this road many villagers have lost their life in accidents and at last it was in 1977 when the road was open for traffic.
This mountain carved tunnel runs 1,200 meters long, 5 meters high and 4 meters wide. This is one of the most dangerous roads in the world and is also called as “the road that does not tolerate any mistakes”. Glimpses of scenic beauty which you will witness while passing the tunnel make it a trip of a lifetime.
2. Stelvio Pass – Italy
This highway of Italy is 9000 feet up in the Italian Alps and connects the Valtellina with Merano and the upper Adige valley. This is the second highest paved mountain road in the Alps and packs 48 switchbacks (numbered by stone markers) into 15 miles.
Stelvio Pass has one of the best continuous hairpin routes in the world and its 48 thrilling turns are meant for adventure loving souls. The road gets very narrow at some places and is very steep at some points. The scenery throughout this pass is absolutely stunning.
1. Transfagarasan Highway – Romania
Top Gear has honored this road of Romania as the best road in the world! This road was built between 1970 and 1974 by former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu as a strategic military route to connect historic regions of Transylvania and Wallachia, and the cities of Sibiu and Pitesti.
The Transfagarasan Highway runs from North to South across the tallest sections of the Carpathian Mountains and has 90 km of twists and turns. On the way you will come across Balea Lake, a glacier lake which has been here for thousands of years. There is a 1 km long straight tunnel which makes the ride more exciting.
The northern end of the road is said to be the most beautiful with steep hairpin turns, long S curves and sharp descents. In winters this road is covered by snow, so only during the summers this road is available for all the driving freaks.