Although the world is full of natural wonders which would take a lifetime to explore, there are other amazing spots which were created by man rather than by nature. There are some breathtaking roads around the globe, some of which date back to ancient times and are still there today.
All over the planet are roads of different descriptions which seem to defy nature and gravity. These roads have been constructed in fascinating ways and have somehow stood the test of time.
Let’s take a look at some of the most incredible roads you can visit:
The Atlantic Ocean Road, Norway
Head across to Scandinavia and discover this amazing highway. Some of it has been built into the mountain side while other parts stretch through and over the sea.
You should take care when driving along this beautiful road because sometimes massive waves from the wild Atlantic can splash over the road and even engulf it. Driving along the beautiful Atlantic Ocean Road is an experience you’ll never forget. It’s like exploring a cross between a science fiction movie set and a charming log ride with gorgeous mountain scenery as a stunning backdrop.
The Canning Stock Route, Australia
This incredible road dates back a century and was constructed by tradesmen so they could walk livestock from one place to another. This is the longest stock route on the planet and stretches an impressive 1,150 miles.
It’s not a route for the faint-hearted however with the reason being it isn’t leveled. This means you’re going to be in for a bumpy ride! There are no pit stops or fuel stops on the route either so unless you have a 4×4 you probably shouldn’t attempt this one.
The Caucasus Road, Georgia
Also known as the Georgian Military Road, the Caucasus Road has a colorful history and is certainly one of the most beautiful roads there is. Historically it goes back to Roman times. Invaders trying to take control of Russian and Georgian lands used it along with tradesmen throughout history.
The Caucasus Road goes from Vladikavkaz, Russia to Tbilisi, Georgia. Travel on this road and you will see a wealth of stunning rural areas in both Russia and Georgia.
The Zoji La Pass, India
This is one of the most striking roads found anywhere and is 11,000 feet above sea level in parts. The road is constructed along some of the Himalayas’ highest peaks. You will be above the clouds for some of the drive which offers plenty of stunning photography possibilities.
The word ‘la’ means mountain pass in India, while ‘Zoji’ means snowy. You are guaranteed to see some of the most spectacular views you ever saw. This pass is only open during the summer months because in winter there is a risk of avalanches and it’s completely buried under the snow.
Guoliang Tunnel Road, China
Is this a rollercoaster or a road? Actually it’s a little of both! It goes through the side of the majestic Taihang Mountains in the Henan Province, China. Expect a thrilling and intense drive. This is one of the steepest roads on the planet and it has the nickname ‘the road that tolerates no mistakes’. You can see why! Driving it is a bit of a white-knuckle adventure and not for the timid.
Guoliang Tunnel Road was carved by a team of 13 workers in the 1970s. Impressively they only had chisels and hammers, no drills or power tools at all. The road connects Guoliang, a remote village, with the rest of China.
The James Dalton Highway, Alaska
This is one of the United States’ most remote roads. It is recommended that you only use trucks on the Dalton Highway and bring survival gear along just in case. If that sounds scary to you, it might be worth skipping this one. Most of the road surface is gravel.
Also known as the North Slope Haul Road, this highway was constructed in 1974. Its purpose was to offer support for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. This is one of the biggest pipeline systems ever. This 414 mile long road runs parallel to the pipeline, all the way from Deadhorse to Fairbanks.
The Hana Highway, Hawaii
This is a great road to explore if you want to see some amazing natural views like soaring sea cliffs and sparkling mountain streams. Everything up here is so fresh, clean and pretty.
The Hana Highway runs nearly all the way around Hawaii’s eastern coastline. It’s a meandering road with many twists and turns, so you will need to take your time with this drive. The gorgeous scenery you will see along the way makes it very worthwhile.
The Karakoram Highway, China
Also known as the China-Pakistan Friendship Highway, this road is an impressive 800 miles in length. It runs from the Kashgar province in China to the Hasan Abdalof province in Pakistan.
The Karakoram Highway is one of the world’s highest paved roads. Its maximum elevation is 15,466 feet above sea level. This road runs through the Karakoram mountain range and is known as the 8th wonder of the world. With incredible views like this, you can see why.
The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, Japan
This road is only 23 miles long which is less than some other roads but it’s still well worth seeing. There are many stunning, incredible sights to see along the road. It goes over the Kurobe Dam which is a popular walking trail with plenty of amazing vistas.
You will also see the Snow Walls, crisp white walls of snow about 50 meters high, lining either side of the road. It’s like driving through a snow white maze since all you can see is the blue sky and the pure white snowy walls, making for a delightfully different driving experience.
The Kabul-Jalalabad Highway, Afghanistan
Believed to be one of the hardest and most challenging roads to drive on, Afghanistan’s Kabul-Jalalabad Highway isn’t for the faint-hearted. This road offers 40 miles of eye-popping scenery. Expect to see gorges, vertical rock cliffs and mountains. This road stretches from Jalalabad to Kabul. Take an experienced driver with you and preferably a truck, and you are sure to enjoy the stunning scenery along the route.
The Killar-Pangi Road, India
This gorgeous but dangerous road connects Pangi and Killar, two Indian towns. It passes through Kishtwar as well as the remote regions of Kashmir and Jammu. At the end of this unusual road you will see Pangi, a pretty valley between the Zanskar and Pir Panial ranges of the Himalayas.
There is no other road to Pangi during the colder months since they will be buried in snow. Because this road can be perilous and has sharp bends, narrow lanes and uneven ground, it probably won’t be your first choice if there are other alternatives open.
The Kolyma Highway, Russia
Also known as the Road of Bones and the coldest road on the planet, the Kolyma Highway gives you fascinating views of Russia. It isn’t a dangerous despite the nicknames. They actually refer to how the road was built and not how hard it is to navigate.
Oymyakon is considered the coldest place on Earth and this is one of the closest towns to the highway. Temperatures can reach a bracing -58 degrees F. This results in smooth ice and a solidified rocky surface, which actually makes it safer to drive on. Don’t forget to wear your thermals!
The Apache Trail Scenic Drive, Arizona
Also known as Arizona State Route 88, its official name, the Apache Trail Scenic Drive is 40 miles in length. It stretches from Apache Junction to the Theodore Roosevelt Dam. The name comes from the Apache Native Americans who would travel this trail via the arresting Superstition Mountains. These days it’s mainly used by coaches and trucks.
It’s a well-maintained trail. However, there are some surprisingly sharp twists and turns and not all the surface is paved. This isn’t a road designed for inexperienced drivers because you can never be quite sure what’s around the next bend.
The Cotopaxi Volcano Road, Ecuador
This road certainly promises an exciting ride if you find yourself in Ecuador looking for a thrill. Crossing the Cotopaxi Volcano Road is something of a wild experience. The whole 25 miles are unleveled dirt and there are potholes all over it. There are twists and turns around streams and rivers.
Also this road runs underneath the Cotopaxi Volcano which is a live volcano and often erupts, covering the road in molten lava. Although you need to be a daredevil to risk your life attempting this trail, the views you can expect to see are incredible.
The Sichuan-Tibet Highway, China
This area is so beautiful it’s hard not to tear your eyes from the road to enjoy the vistas. That’s why most accidents on this road happen, according to rumor. Once you see the surroundings for yourself, you will understand why. It’s just too easy for your eyes to drift away from the road when surrounded by such pretty scenery.
This beautiful stretch of road runs from Zhangmu in Tibet, next to the Nepalese border, to Shanghai, China. This 3,403 mile long road is definitely one of the most stunning roads on the planet. Expect to see vast, open landscapes and heady mountain heights.
Skippers Canyon, New Zealand
Although the name suggests a huge, roomy road, the reverse is actually true. It’s a 16 mile long dirt track which was carved by hand by 19th century miners. You can barely fit a car on the trail and on one side is a steep cliff, so you need to be somewhat brave to tackle this drive.
However, as you might expect, you will be rewarded with some stunning views and the high vantage point means you can admire the landscapes all around and see for miles.
Stelvio Pass, Italy
This mind-boggling mountain pass features many zigzag type twists and turns. It’s wild and beautiful and boasts plenty of stunning scenery. It isn’t a drive for the fainthearted because of all the sharp turns.
If you don’t mind the crazy zigzags though, you can expect awe-inspiring scenery between Bormio and Stelvio in northern Italy. The pass is 9,000 feet above sea level, making it the Eastern Alps’ highest paved mountain pass and the second highest in the whole Alpine region.
The Taroko Gorge Road, Taiwan
Carved into the cliff side rocks, this gorgeous mountain road offers some jaw-dropping views. It’s narrow and winding and can only fit one line of cars. The views make it well worth exploring however.
Enjoy the natural rock formations of schist, gneiss and marble while cutting through the sharp mountain road. The landscape changes often in this area due to the seismic shifts in the rock. This makes it perilous for drivers and the rain and flooding that sometimes occurs here doesn’t make it any easier to travel.
The Tianmen Mountain 99-Bend Road, China
This fantastic road looks like something from a sci-fi movie. With its dizzying array of twists and turns, this mountain road is certainly unique. Located in the Tianmen Mountain range in the middle of China, this bendy road even loops under itself at one point.
There is a total of 99 sharp bends from beginning to end. The Chinese say this number is symbolic of the 9 palaces of heaven.
North Yungas Road, Bolivia
Perhaps you have seen the North Yungas Road on a documentary or TV show. It’s one of the trickiest roads to traverse thanks to the sharp bends and narrow paths. Also known as The Death Road (not a name to inspire confidence!) this trail is both scary and difficult to travel, especially since on one side there is a steep cliff edge falling away and the road itself is pretty narrow as well.
However if you do want to see some of the most awe-inspiring sights in Bolivia, you are guaranteed this is an experience you will never forget.
The Highway of Death, Brazil
This road gets its cheerful moniker from the very adverse weather conditions it often gets. It’s a common occurrence in Brazil to get enormous amounts of rain during the winter and strong, dry heat during the summer. Add in the poor road maintenance and you have a highway with a lot of cracks and potholes.
In addition there are said to be bandits and gangs around every corner who will carjack you, rob you and worse. The sights you will see from the Highway of Death might be amazing but this road definitely entails a fair amount of risk!
Fairy Meadows Way, Pakistan
This prettily named road certainly offers a magical and special experience. It’s more than 10,000 feet above sea level, so you can be sure of incredible mountain views. Bring a camera with you so you can capture memories of this amazing drive.
However, the combination of unstable surfaces, narrow paths and high altitude makes it perilous even for experienced motorists. This road is strictly for experienced drivers and sturdy vehicles only.
Luxor-al-Hurghada Road, Egypt
Running for 188 miles and connecting Luxor with other main Egyptian cities, the Luxor-al-Hurghada Road is very scenic. The bright and dry desert landscape is pleasant to traverse but there are some risks. For example, the road surfaces are uneven and there are some bad drivers on there, along with possible militia and bandits hiding around some bends. Luxor boasts a fascinating history along with some of the world’s best scuba diving.
The Passage Du Gois, France
Look at this amazing road. It might look like it heads right into the ocean but in fact it runs to Noirmoutier, an island off of France’s westerly coast. This is a naturally occurring path. The road used to be made from sand banks and the paving has been added from the 1800s until relatively recently.
It’s fair to say this road is a unique sight but there is one condition to follow if you want to walk it and that’s to get the time of day right. The entire path is under water during high tide and you won’t want to get stuck in the middle!
The Commonwealth Avenue, Philippines
At first glance, you might be wondering what’s so special about the Commonwealth Avenue in the Philippines. However what is impressive about it is the sheer size. It spans a total of 18 lanes and is impressive for that very reason.
It might not be the easiest road to navigate successfully and there is the potential for danger since there are thousands of other cars all around you and driving abilities vary considerably.
Moki Dugway, Utah
This road has to be the pictorial definition of ‘road tripping’. Just look at that view! This huge, dusty path stretches through mountain vistas, valleys and crags for miles.
It might look like a relaxing drive and certainly offers incredible panoramas but before you jump in the car and take off, be warned it isn’t the easiest road to drive. There are steep drops and sharp turns that require the full attention of an experienced driver.
Shafer Canyon Road, Utah
This might resemble a hellish motocross track designed by a crazy person but honestly it’s a road! The hot weather conditions and sharp, steep corners aren’t especially suited for safe trucks. The panoramic vistas are exquisite, as you can imagine, but there’s nothing safe about the road itself, so for that reason it’s only for the brave who are looking for a white-knuckle experience.
Engineer Pass, Colorado
Colorado’s Engineer Pass is famed for its tricky driving conditions as well as its beauty. It’s one of the highest mountain roads in Colorado, standing 12,800 feet above sea level.
The panoramic views will take your breath away but considering the weather conditions can be treacherous including snow, ice, landslides, and avalanches, as well as the fact the dirt paths can be uneven, you might not want to risk this road.
Sa Calobra Road, Majorca
If you’re looking for some of the most impressive views on the planet, the Sa Calobra Road does offer that. Directly translated as ‘the snake’, this road is as slippery and wily as it is snakelike in shape. This road has a high vantage point so you can enjoy miles and miles of beautiful landscapes around every bend.
As well as trucks and cars you are likely to see cyclists from all over the globe. However, seeing as the altitude starts at more than 2,000 feet and descends at a 7% gradient, only the real daredevils with nerves of steel are likely to want to attempt this serpentine trail!
Trollstigen Mountain Road, Norway
This beautiful Norwegian road stretches for 3.7 miles and takes you through some of the prettiest landscapes in the world, including waterfalls, valleys, fjords, and mountains. Thousands of visitors flock here each year because it’s so pretty. However it can be tricky to traverse.
‘Troll’s Road’ is another name for this trail because it has a total of 11 hairpin bends and a very steep 9% incline. Vehicles more than 41 feet long are banned from driving on Trollstigen Mountain Road because it’s so hard to navigate.
Los Caracoles Pass, Chile
Chile is home to this pretty trail which lies between Argentina and Chile. This South American road has been dubbed the ‘Snail’s Pass’ by locals because it’s really tricky to drive and the only way to traverse it is slowly and snail-like!
There are plenty of dizzyingly steep slopes known as switchbacks on this beautiful strip of road and the highest elevation is almost 10,500 feet up in the clouds. Most of the year sees Los Caracoles Pass covered in a blanket of snow, although you can see large trucks on it throughout the year.
Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria
This whole region was closed off to everybody apart from mountain climbers until 1935. The steepness of the road ensures you will experience both fear and captivation with the incredible views.
This is Austria’s highest mountain pass road. It connects the towns of Heiligenblut, Salzburg, Bruck, and Carinthia in the south of Austria. The Romans and Celts have tried to traverse this pass over 3,500 years ago.
The Widow-Maker in the United Kingdom
Located in England’s Peak District, the A537 offers an unusual driving experience in more than one way. The views of the Peak District are amazing but the road is challenging. It is full of sharp bends. You will certainly love the panoramic views but the steep curves make it terrifying for all but the most experienced drivers.
Highway 1 in Florida
This long, straight road might look easy to drive compared to some of the more perilous looking roads in this list, although that’s not always the case. This is a beautiful road, there’s no doubt about it. But it’s common to lose concentration when driving such a straight road or veer off course into the wall. The surrounding panoramas are impressive but you will want to make sure the designated driver is caffeinated and focused before setting off!
The Million Dollar Highway in Colorado
This impressive and beautiful road is known as the most dangerous trail in Colorado. Although the views are exceptional, it’s a treacherous road to traverse. It spans 3 mountain passes of 10,000 feet each and winds over the steepest of cliffs. There isn’t even a single guardrail between the road and the sheer cliffs, making it a hair-raising experience.
There are also lots of sharp hairpin curves. It’s believed the name of the road is because a driver said she wouldn’t drive down there again for a million dollars.
Adriatic Coastal Roads, Croatia
This road initially looks gorgeous. Look at the impressive views and incredible vistas. You’d be right about those but you also need to know it’s not the easiest road to drive on. The twists and turns are plentiful and there is no safety barrier or hard shoulder in sight between the road and the sheer cliff faces.
In addition to that, the road is very narrow and has traffic going in both directions at once, so it’s definitely a hair-raising adventure.
Eshima Ohashi Bridge, Japan
This scary-looking rollercoaster of a road looks like a nightmare at first glance. Who would want to be stuck in traffic at the highest point or having your car break down halfway up?
Despite first appearances though, this bridge isn’t so daunting. When up close, the rise and drop don’t seem as dramatic as this photo seems to make it look. But you’d have to try it yourself to decide whether that’s in fact the case!
A44, United Kingdom
It might not seem like this road is anything out of the ordinary at first glance. It’s a road in rural England and Wales, running from Oxford in the English south to Aberystwyth in Wales. Although you might assume a leisurely drive with the occasional sheep or cow is what’s in store, this road isn’t quite as simple as you’d imagine.
To begin with, it has some of the tightest bends in the whole of Great Britain, which means it’s difficult to overtake but easy to get stuck. Also, the directions of the lanes are switched up randomly which can lead to puzzlement and risky situations unless you’re familiar with the road.
US Route 431, United States
There are plenty of roads in the United States which are thought to be among the most dangerous in America. However, Route 431 takes the danger up another notch. This road has the moniker ‘Highway to Hell’ which isn’t the most reassuring name. It’s packed with super-quick lane changes, hairpin bends and narrow lanes just to keep things interesting.
This road runs 556 miles, all the way from Alabama to Kentucky. The views are impressive but it’s vitally important that you keep your eyes on the road and not lose concentration!
Ruta 5, Arica to Iquique Road, Chile
Despite not having any sharp bends, winding curves or steep drops, this is still one of the world’s more dangerous roads. The reason behind that is it’s so boring to drive. It’s long and straight and driving like that can send even the most alert driver into snooze mood.
The Arica to Iquique Road offers dry, dusty landscapes as far as the eye can see. But anyone driving it has to take regular breaks because of the tedium of driving such a long, straight and unchanging road.
Transfăgărășan, DN7C, Romania
Trying to pronounce Transfăgărășan is hard enough but driving along it is a whole other challenge! You have to be an experienced and confident driver to view the spectacular vistas safely. There are also sharp turns and steep drops throughout the trip. This gorgeous road might offer plenty of photo-worthy views but ensure you take a lot of care when driving along it.