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World’s Most Scenic Drives: From Coastal Highways to Mountain Passes

Get ready for an epic journey! We’re diving into the world’s most scenic drives – from coastal highways to mountain passes. Think Australia’s Great Ocean Road or Switzerland’s Furka Pass. These roads aren’t just about getting there; they’re about soaking in nature’s beauty.

Buckle up for an adventure of a lifetime! we have listed amazing 11 road drives that will leave you mesmerized for entire life.

1. The Great Ocean Road, Australia

This iconic road stretches 243 kilometers along Australia’s southeastern coast, offering stunning views of the rugged coastline, sandy beaches, and iconic rock formations like the Twelve Apostles.

Highlights include the Bay of Islands, Loch Ard Gorge, and the opportunity to spot wild koalas near Kennett River.

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  • Length: 243 km (150 miles)
  • Tip: Stay in Lorne, Apollo Bay, or Port Campbell for at least two days to fully appreciate the scenery.

2. Mount Carmel Highway – Zion National Park, USA

2. Mount Carmel Highway – Zion National Park, USA
2. Mount Carmel Highway – Zion National Park, USA

Located in Utah, USA, this highway provides access to the majestic Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon. Highlights include Checkerboard Mesa and the Canyon Overlook Trail, offering breathtaking views of the park’s unique landscape.

  • Location: Utah, USA
  • Tip: Perfect detour between Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon, or when traveling from Las Vegas to Page, AZ.

3. Calanques de Piana, Corsica, France

The drive along road D81 from Piana to Porto offers a glimpse of the stunning coastline of Corsica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The narrow coastal roads wind through dramatic cliffs and azure waters, providing unforgettable views.

  • Route: D81 from Piana to Porto
  • Tip: Stay nearby to avoid driving back and forth on narrow roads; consider making Corsica a road trip destination.

4. The Garden Route, South Africa

4. The Garden Route, South Africa
4. The Garden Route, South Africa

Stretching 300 kilometers along South Africa’s southern coast, the Garden Route is renowned for its diverse landscapes, including national parks, pristine beaches, and charming towns like Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.

  • Length: 300 km (186 miles)
  • Tip: Knysna serves as the best base for exploring the Garden Route; visit during spring for blooming flowers.

5. Milford Road, New Zealand

5. Milford Road, New Zealand
5. Milford Road, New Zealand

Winding through Fiordland National Park, this road offers breathtaking views of rainforests, lakes, waterfalls, and snow-capped peaks. It’s not just a drive but an immersive journey into New Zealand’s natural beauty.

  • Length: 230 km (144 miles)
  • Tip: Plan for a journey, not just a drive; immerse yourself in the natural wonders along the road.

6. Tianmen Mountain Road, China

6. Tianmen Mountain Road, China
6. Tianmen Mountain Road, China

Located on Tianmenshan Mountain, this road features dramatic hairpin bends and leads to Tianmen Cave, a natural rock arch known as the “Gateway to Heaven.” It’s a thrilling drive offering stunning views of the mountainous landscape.

  • Location: Tianmenshan Mountain, China
  • Tip: Experience the road by bus or cable car; admire the breathtaking scenery and the challenging road bends.

7. Leh-Manali Highway, India

7. Leh-Manali Highway, India
7. Leh-Manali Highway, India

Passing through the Himalayas, this highway offers awe-inspiring views of towering peaks, rugged terrain, and high mountain passes. It’s a challenging yet rewarding route for adventurous travelers.

  • Length: 298 miles
  • Tip: Visit in summer to avoid harsh weather conditions and altitude sickness; road conditions have improved in recent years.

8. Transfagarasan Highway, Romania

8. Transfagarasan Highway, Romania
8. Transfagarasan Highway, Romania

Cutting through the Fagaras Mountains, this highway is famous for its steep slopes, hairpin bends, and panoramic views. Highlights include Balea Lake and encounters with local wildlife like sheep.

  • Length: 56 miles
  • Tip: Take a day trip to admire the steep vistas and hairpin bends; be prepared to encounter sheep along the way.

9. Furka Pass, Switzerland

9. Furka Pass, Switzerland
9. Furka Pass, Switzerland

Rising to an elevation of 7,967 feet, Furka Pass offers breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps, glaciers, and forests. It’s a scenic route immortalized in popular culture, perfect for those seeking alpine glamour.

  • Elevation: 7,967 ft
  • Tip: Channel your inner James Bond and enjoy the mountain panorama; take in the alpine glamour of the Swiss Alps.

10. Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana, USA

This scenic road winds through Glacier National Park, offering views of glacial lakes, cedar valleys, and majestic peaks. Wildlife sightings, including grizzly bears and mountain goats, are common along the route.

  • Location: Glacier National Park, Montana, USA
  • Tip: Keep an eye out for grizzly bears and mountain goats while driving through this stunning national park.

11. Amalfi Drive, Italy

Running along the picturesque Amalfi Coast, this road offers views of turquoise seas, colorful villages, and lush hillsides. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its coastal beauty and Mediterranean charm.

  • Route: Sorrento to Positano
  • Tip: Rent a luxury car and enjoy the glamour of the Italian coastline; marvel at the pastel villages and plunging cliffs along the route.

Conclusion

In summary, the world’s most scenic drives offer travelers breathtaking vistas and unforgettable experiences. From Australia’s Great Ocean Road to Switzerland’s Furka Pass, each route showcases the natural beauty of its region.

Whether navigating coastal cliffs or winding through mountain passes, these roads inspire exploration and leave lasting impressions on those who journey along them.

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