Traversing breathtaking scenery, these out-of-town highways will have you struggling to keep your eyes on the road.
Pacific Coast Highway – California (USA)
Trailing, and in many parts hugging, the California coast, this All-American road weaves its way past the ocean, over epic bridges (notably Bixby Creek) and through redwood forests and chilled seaside towns. The 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach has to be one of the most beautiful and calming stretches of highway on the planet.
Col de Turini – Alps (France)
The gradient on this Alpine slope was so steep, the planners had to throw in 34 hairpin turns just to make it passable. Storied in sport, it has featured in a stage of the Tour de France three times and countless times in the Monte Carlo Rally.
Guoliang Tunnel Road – Taihang Mountains (China)
Local villagers looking to connect with the world had no choice but to cut a 3/4-mile long, 12×15-foot tunnel out of the side of a sheer cliff face. With more than two dozen windows cut into the cliff face, it’s as stunning to view from the side as it is to drive.
North Yungas Road – Andes (Bolivia)
Locals nicknamed this 43-mile mountain pass connecting La Paz and Coroico “El Camino de la Muerte” – the Road of Death. It’s considered the world’s most dangerous road for reason. Dug into the mountainside, its narrow lane is squeezed between steep cliff faces on one side and unguarded sheer drop-offs on the other. On average 200-300 people perish here every year.
Iroha-zaka – Nikko (Japan)
Trust the safety-conscious Japanese to come up with this. There’s one winding highway to go down this slope, and one to go up it. This name of this stretch of Route 120 is connected with the 48 hairpin turns along it. The old Japanese alphabet had the same number of turns – the name comes from the first three i, ro and ha.
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…
(Image: Horia Varlan)