If you fancy yourself as a bit of an enthusiast when it comes to driving then read on to see ten of the most amazing and – in some cases – dangerous roads you must experience in your lifetime. With many car rental options that offer luxury or sports cars as an option then these roads are not as out of reach as you might think. Read on as we’ve saved the best for last, be warned, these roads are not for the faint of heart!
- Selvio Pass, Italy
The Selvio Pass is a truly spectacular piece of road infrastructure in the Italian Alps north of Bormio and close to the Swiss border. The section of road seen in the photo above is a climb with 48 hairpin turns. The road peaks at an ear popping 9,054 feet (2,754 meters) so expect to feel the temperature drop as you climb. While the scenery may be spectacular this is a road where your eyes need to be on the road at all times.
- San Bernardino Pass, Switzerland
Only open during the summer months due to heavy snow in the winter this road in the Swiss Alps combines perfectly smooth asphalt, sweeping turns and stunning scenery of mountains and lakes.
- Col De Turini, France
Be thankful you are doing this in a car and notcycling. This pass is built on a mountain that does not exactly lend itself to road building but is achieved by what feels like an endless set of hairpin bends. Make sure you stop off at the viewpoints along the way to give your brain a rest and to soak up the breathtaking views.
- Transfagarasan, Romania
Take a huge mountain range, 6 million tons of dynamite, an army of men and millions of cubic metres of asphalt and this is what you get… the Transfagarasan road in Romania.
- Los Caracoles Pass – Andes
Probably not too fun in a coach or a car with a small engine if you get stuck behind the big trucks slugging their way through. Combining the sharp hairpins along with the extremely steep decline, you’ll need a good amount of stamina and perseverance to endure this road.
- Lysebotn Road, Norway
Dropping 800 metres in 8 kilometers this summer only road in Norway has switchbacks, narrow stone tunnels and narrow lanes to negotiate.
- Guoliang Road Tunnel, China
Road cut into the cliffs and has no barriers in parts. The road is located in Hunan province and is considered one of the most dangerous tunnels in the world.
- Chapman’s Peak Road, South Africa
Hugging the near vertical red cliff face, Chapman’s Peak Road in South Africa has to be one of the most spectacular coastal roads in the world. Long winding curves in and out of bays with rock face on one side and ocean on the other is an amazing combination and true driving heaven.
- Tuktoyaktuk Winter Road and Ice Highways, Canada
You probably already know that things get pretty cold in Northern Canada during the winters and some of the major waterways that get frozen over become ice highways that people use with snow and ice tires. There’s plenty of room so don’t tailgate here, you will find stopping distances are a bit longer than normal.
- ‘Road of Death’ , Bolivia – maybe leave till last… just in case!
You can do the other roads in any order but you may want to save this one till last. Not for the faint of heart, the nickname ‘Road of Death’ is one that the North Yungas Road in Bolivia sadly lives up to, claiming the lives of around 200-300 people every year. Cars share the narrow two way road with trucks and coaches with shear cliff faces along much of the road.
To make things worse the road is not fully paved, is subject to frequent landslides and has no barriers on most of the route. Despite this, thousands of backpackers do the trip every year. Do this one at your own risk, not one we would recommend!
Share your experiences
Have you experienced any of these roads? Let us know how the experience was for you. Also, do you have any other suggestions for world’s best (or worst) roads?
If you need a car then car hire is available through Liberty Travel for destinations worldwide including the options to upgrade to something a bit fancy if budget permits.
This blog post was originally written by our friend Richard Greenwood, keen traveler and car lover.