27 Jun 2012 - By
The Most Spectacular Roads in the World | (Article)
1. Heaven Linking Avenue - Hunan Province, China
This truly is a path to heaven, with 99 turns to symbolise Heaven's nine palaces, leading you on a windy upwards road directly into the clouds. Despite its beautiful title (and ironically perhaps), it is in fact China's most dangerous road. Is this your idea of heaven or hell?
2. China's Guoliang Tunnel - Taihang Mountains, Henan Province, China
It seems China is the place to visit if you're looking for extreme roads. This road was carved through a mountain and was dug out by 15 villagers, taking them five years to finish the 0.8 mile stretch. It's not quite "heaven" like the first road but I can imagine it would be a thrilling experience and a very scenic one at that! Just don't look down!!
3. Stelvio Pass - Eastern Alps, Italy
This road is situated on a beautiful mountain landscape and has 48 hairpin turns - maybe not the best idea to travel it if you experience motion sickness! It is however a very picturesque route, and another intimidating one too. Maybe they come hand in hand?
4. Yungas Road - Bolivia
This doesn't quite have the beauty appeal like some of the other roads on this list however it certainly has the "wow" factor - as in "wow people actually drive on that!?" With no barriers and literally nothing stopping you from plummeting a long (long) way down, it has been deemed the most dangerous road in the world and has even been given the name "Death Road". One estimate is that 200 to 300 people are killed yearly along the road. It's maybe not worth a visit but it's definitely worthy of being on this list!
5. Route 163 - Utah, USA
Ok, now you can relax, we have a nice peaceful road for you to look at! This is a 64 mile highway that cuts through Monument valley and has been featured in films such as Forrest Gump. It's an open road... perfect for cruising along and taking in all of the sites.
6. The Atlantic Road - Norway
This is a 5 mile stretch of road connecting the towns of Kristiansund and Molde. This road has been awarded the status of national tourist route due to its panoramic views and its architecture. On this road you could experience anything from birds to whales. Even without that, the views of the Atlantic Ocean are breathtaking! If you're feeling extra daring then you should visit it during the autumn so that you can experience the road as powerful storms strike the road!
7. Big Sur - California, USA
"Big Sur", meaning "the big south", is a fantastic drive with a road that twists and turns for 90 miles along the Californian coast. It is part of Highway 1 and the views are truly stunning! If you're looking to get that convertible out on the road then here's the place to do it! How very California chic!
8. Thunersee Road, Switzerland
This is another "on the edge" road, with spectacular views of Lake Thunersee. In this area you can also stop by and visit one of the many castles... scenery and culture, what more could you want?
9. Grossglockner High Alpine Road - Austria
Another windy road for you! This one leads you to the highest mountain in Austria, the Grossglockner and its glacier, the Pasterze. Enjoy the 36 bends as you witness nature at its best!
10. The Blue Ridge Parkway - USA
We're going to finish this list with a nice tranquil road. It's a National Scenic Byway and All-American Road, which runs for a grand total of 469 miles. This connects Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It's a long stretch of road so if you find yourself getting bored (unlikely) then counting trees should keep you fairly busy...!
Images Courtesy of: Mark, Wilson, Marino, Harris, Hill, Getty, Gray, Globetrott, Ferraz and OTR.