The 10 Best Driving Roads in the World
Driving enthusiasts often argue about what makes a particular road "great". Is it the smoothness of the pavement, the amount of turns it has, the length of the straight-aways, the surrounding beauty, or something entirely different? The guys of TopGear would probably say that a great road is one where you can unleash your car's true potential by testing its power, performance and handling. Others may argue that a great road is one that allows you to just get away from it all and enjoy the amazing scenery.
No matter what you consider to be the defining characteristic of a great road, you're sure to find plenty of examples of it among our list of the best driving roads in the world. With smooth paths, hundreds of curves and miles of straight-aways, these roads are guaranteed to take your breath away.
1. Col De Turini (France):
Located in the Alps in the Alpes-Maritimes region of France, the location is famous for being a stage in the Monte Carlo Rally, as well as for having very tight hairpin turns. Drivers and riders can enjoy the lush green surroundings of the Alps while tearing around the never-ending turns on this historic road.
2. Nurburgring North -Toll Road (Germany)
When you hear the word Nurburgring or "The Ring", you can't help but think of some of the greatest race tracks of all time. What most people don't know is that "The Ring" has a one-way toll road that has been open to the public for nearly 80 years. Nordschleife, as it's called, is where true racers go to test their skills in Germany and where the auto industry goes to test their latest sports and supercars.
3. "Tail of the Dragon" (Tennessee, US)
Located on Route 129 in Blount County, Tennessee, this 11-mile stretch, in mostly forested areas, contains over 318 curves (some resemble a dragon's tail, which is how the road got its name) and sits in an undeveloped area - making it safer to drive "enthusiastically". Although the speed limit is 30 mph, driving enthusiasts will have to take their eyes off of the gorgeous scenery to notice their speed gauge.
4. Conor Pass (Ireland)
Situated in the Dingle Peninsula, Conor Pass offers drivers the breathtaking, cliff hanging experience of navigating through Ireland's highest mountain pass. The quiet countryside surrounded by corrie lakes makes it a beautiful drive worth experiencing by everyone (not just someone with a two-seater).
5. Touge Roads of Mount Fuji (Japan)
If cornering and car control is your gig, then look no further. Credited as the birthplace of "drifting", the roads leading up to Mount Fuji contain nothing but amazing, deep turns and smooth passes. While these roads are mostly driven by locals and tourists on their way to see Japan's tallest mountain, Japan's youth have recently taken them over as a practice course for their cars.
6. Transfagarasan Highway (Romania)
Rated as the #1 road by TopGear, this Romanian highway is the most dramatic (steepest) and second-highest paved road in all the country. Originally used by the military as a strategic route, today this road is a driver's heaven filled with countless S-curves and dramatic descents. Unfortunately, this road is closed between the months of October and June due to snow. But when the snow melts, take out the car and start the course from the North.
7. Trollstigen - Troll Ladder (Norway)
Located in Rauma, Norway, this mountain road includes a 9 degree incline and 11 hairpin turns, making it a driver's dream. The road was widened and repaired for safety reasons in 2005, making it much safer to drive (and with less of a chance of falling rocks ruining your day). At the top of the mountain, drivers can enjoy a scenic walk to a bridge overlooking the road and the beautiful Stigfossen waterfall.
8. Mulholland Dr. (Between Bel-Air and Hollywood, California)
Situated in the Santa Monica mountains, Mulholland Drive is another mountain top road that is in a prime driving location: California. With beautiful weather year-round, Mulholland Dr. is never closed (unless they're doing some construction) and spans miles of great views and sweet turns. Just watch out for those LA cops - always out to get ya!
9. Stelvio Pass (Italy)
Stelvio Pass is the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps and the second highest in the Alps, just under the Col de l'Iseran at 9,088 feet. Italian motorcycle manufacture Moto Guzzi named a bike after the famed pass in 2008. This course should only be attempted by skilled drivers that want to tackle the highest roads in the Alps.
10. The Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road (United Arab Emirates)
With 21 corners and two lanes climbing the mountain, this 7.3 mile road is considered by some to be the best driving road in the world. Its peaceful surroundings and seemingly never ending, swooping turns give this road a hypnotic feel. Located in the United Arab Emirates, the road ends in a parking lot in front of a palace and hotel, both owned by the country's rulers.
Any one of these roads could rightly be called "the greatest driving road in the world" - and there are dozens more that could have made the list as well. When it comes to driving, people tend to enjoy beautiful roads for different reasons. Each of these roads is unique and perfect in its own way, making it nearly impossible to call one greater than another.
In fact, the only way that you're going to be able to make that judgment is buy driving them all yourself and making up your own mind. Stay safe and enjoy the drive!