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Monday, March 12, 2012

Most Beautiful Roads in the World

Most Beautiful Roads in the World

The greatest driving roads in the world should have a perfect
mixture between challenging and complicated bends, long fast straights,
little to no traffic and especially breathtaking views!

These roads might have enough twists and turns to give you a
headache but you’ll feel incredible after you’ve conquered them and
you’ll surely want to try it again and again and again.

Here is a list with the 15 Most Beautiful Roads in the World to drive on and another five honorable mentions that you’ll surely like. Enjoy!

15. The Overseas Highway – Florida Keys

The Overseas Highway leaps from island to island across 42 bridges
southwest through Florida Keys and it was built in 1938 along the
course of an old railroad that has been destroyed by a hurricane. The
highway is mostly over water and in about four hours you can enjoy the
beautiful scenery and the ocean and of course, the incredible sunrises
and sunsets if you come here at the right time. During holidays the
traffic will make journeys through this highway a bit longer but I’m
sure everyone would love to stay on this road as long as possible.

14. Red Rock Scenic Road – USA

The Red Rock Scenic Road winds through Sedona’s Red Rock Country,
often called a “museum without walls”. The road provides a splendid
view of the stunning red rocks which seem alive like a timeless spirit
that captivates and inspires everyone. The Red Rock Scenic byway also
passes through the Montezuma Castle National Monument and the Coconino
National Forest giving every driver an amazing sense of intimacy with

13. Iroha-zaka – Japan
Iroha-zaka is a winding road from Japan which connects central Nikko
and Oku-Nikko. The road comprises of 48 curves and each corner has an
ancient Japanese alphabet, starting in alphabetical order from I-ro-ha
which also gave this road’s name. Iroha-zaka is actually made of two
roads, one to come down and another to go up and they both have 48
curves matching the 48 letters of the ancient Japanese alphabet.

12. Atlantic Road – Norway
The Atlantic Road was voted as the Norwegian construction of the
century and it’s a five mile long stretch of road connecting Molde and
Kristiansund in this country. The road rides above some rough and
uneven surfaces and it’s spectacular because it rises itself and falls
at many places like a sea at the time of a rough tide. Apart from the
incredible road itself, the scenery surrounding it could give any
driver shivers.

11. Oberalp Pass – Switzerland
The Oberalp Pass in an incredible road in the high Swiss mountains
that’s an important link between Central Switzerland and the Graubunden
Oberland. The road is really popular for all drivers from Europe but
it’s only open during summer months. In winter this pass is closed for
road traffic and the road itself is used as a ski slope, toboggan run
and hiking trail!

10. North Yungas “Road of Death” – Bolivia
The North Yungas Road is a 43 mile road connecting La Paz and
Coroico deep into the Bolivian Andes. The road is name by the locals
“El Camino de la Muerte” or the Road of Death and it was named the
world’s most dangerous road in 1995. The road, famous for its extreme
danger has a single lane width with terrifyingly drop offs, tight
hairpins, narrow passages and almost no guardrails at all. The fog and
rain can make visibility poor and the road surface muddy which adds
even more dancer to any journey on this road. On average, there is a
fatal accident every couple of weeks on this road and it is estimated
that 200 to 300 travelers are killer per year on this treacherous road.
Today however, the Youngas road has less traffic and it used mostly by
travelers who want to feel its thrill.

9. Trollstigen – Norway
One of the most notable attractions from the Fjord in Norway is the
Trollstigen road, a steep winding mountain road located in the Rauma
region. The word Trollstigen means the Troll Ladder in English and it
represents a series of stunning roads with a breathtaking view and a
couple of incredible waterfalls. This road is very narrow and leaves
very few possibilities for vehicles to pass each other and with its
steep 9% gradient and 11 hairpins it’s really, really challenging. But
it’s all worth it if you get to the top where you’ll see this amazing
road from above and the Stigfossen waterfall, a 320 m waterfall which
falls down the mountain side.

8. Guoliang Tunnel Road – China

The Guoliang Tunnel Road was built by 13 local villagers headed in
only five years in the Taihang mountains in the Hunan province of
China. Many villagers lost their lives in accidents during the
construction of this tunnel but in 1977 it was opened to traffic. The
tunnel carved from the mountains is 1,200 meters long, 5 meters high
and 4 meters wide and its also one of the most dangerous roads in the
world. This extremely beautiful scenic route was dubbed as “the road
that does not tolerate any mistakes” and its a key destination on the
Chinese tourism map.

7. San Bernardino Pass – Switzerland
Another high mountain pass across the Swiss Alps is the San
Bernardino Pass and the road that goes through it and connects the
Swiss towns Misox and Hinterrhein is also one of the world’s greatest
roads. The pass is located at 2,065 meters and the road has incredibly
smooth roads, a lot of hairpins and challenging bends and of course,
amazing scenic views. The road also goes through an impressive 6.6 km
long tunnel.

6. Los Caracoles Pass – Andes
Los Caracoles Road passes through the harsh terrain of the Andreas
Mountains from the Andes on the way between Chile and Argentina. The
road has many hard switchbacks on an extremely steep incline and
numerous hairpins without any safety guard rails. For the most part of
the year, this pass is covered by snow and that makes it incredibly
hard to negotiate. Despite the fact that it’s one of the most
challenging roads in the world, the Los Caracoles Pass has a strong
safety record.

5. Col de Turini – France
The Col de Turini is situated in a mountain pass in the south of
France in the Alps at more than 1 mile above sea level. The road is
included as part of a 20 miles rally stage every year of the Monte
Carlo Rally in the World Rally Championship and it combines 34 hairpins
and long stretch lines where cars can reach top speeds of over 110 mph.
This stage is one of the most challenges stages from the WRC and apart
from the wonderful road, the scenery also makes it one of the most
attractive and exciting roads on Earth.

4. The Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road – UAE

The Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road in the United Arab Emirates extends
for 7.3 miles with 60 turns up the mountain of a height of 1,219 m. The
UAE road scales the mountain with a beautiful view of the desert below
and ends at a parking lot with only a hotel and of course, a palace,
belonging to the country’s rulers. The road is a mixture of fast
straights and sweeping curves that merge perfectly from one to another
forming this amazing driving road in the middle of the desert.

3. Lysebotn Road – Norway
The Lysebotn Road is considered one of the most breathtaking roads
in Europe and it all starts with the narrow road up the steep walls of
the Lysefjord, Norway. The road includes 27 challenging hairpins and a
1.1 km long tunnel at the bottom which also has 3 switchbacks inside to
make things even more interesting. The surface of the road is perfect
and the ones who were already on this road think of it as a
rollercoaster. It’s probably the most fun road from Norway and its last
30 km to Lysebotn will put a smile on every driving enthusiast’s face.

2. Stelvio Pass – Italy
From the Eastern Alps in Italy, the Stelvio Pass Road connects the
Valtellina with Merano and the upper Adige valley. This is the second
highest paved mountain road in the Alps and its situated at an altitude
of around 1.7 miles (about 2,757 meters) above sea level. The Stelvio
Pass is one of the best continuous hairpin routes in the world and its
fame came from the presence of 48 hairpin bends and the fact that the
road becomes very narrow at some points and it has a couple of very
steep inclines. This road is regarded by many car enthusiasts as one of
the most challenging roads in the world and it’s scenery is absolutely
breathtaking and spectacular.

1. Transfagarasan – Romania
The Transfăgărășan (that’s the exact spelling) is the highest and
most dramatic paved road from Romania. Built as a strategic military
route by the former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu between 1970 and 1974,
this road connects the historic regions of Transylvania and Wallachia,
and the cities of Sibiu and Pitesti. The Transfagarasan represents 90
km of twists and turns run North to South across the tallest sections
of the Carpathian Mountains between the highest peaks of the mountain
in this country.

On top of the mountains this road provides access to Balea Lake, a
glacier lake which has been here for thousands of years and it also has
an almost 1 km long tunnel straight through the mountain’s top. The
road was built at a high cost both financially and from a human
standpoint with more than 6 million kilograms of explosive being used
on the northern face and official records of 40 soldiers who lost their
lives while building it. Unofficial records however mention that only
the tunnel took about 400 lives.

The north end of the road is the most spectacular and it’s dotted
with steep hairpin turns, long S curves and sharp descents combined
with an absolutely stunning view! Between October and June this road is
under the snow and usually closed so… that means only a couple of
months in the summer it’s available to enjoy a pure driving pleasure.
Top Gear also named this road as the best road in the world !

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