Super Scenic Drives for 2013
For some, driving is the monotonous task of getting from A to B, but there is a breed of people that welcomes and revels in the thought of driving on challenging roads and getting the most out of their vehicles, all while surrounded by breath-taking views. Some roads are holidays in themselves, snaking passes that take you across borders and over mountains, through scenery that changes constantly. Here are some of the world’s most amazing roads you and your car can experience:
Stelvio Pass – Italy
The Stelvio Pass in Italy is an amazing road, 15 miles long with 48 switchbacks and marked off by stone numbers. It’s situated in the Italian Alps, over 9,000 feet above sea level. Its tight turns have given it real “adrenalin-seekers’” status, with drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists returning again and again to test themselves. It’s not just a thrilling drive – the surrounding mountain views are stunning too. If, however, you are cycling up it, you may be too out of breath and in pain to even notice the wonderful views: This is the highest-altitude route running through the Alps.
Col de Turini – France
This road in France is also world-renowned road for drivers, due to its many hairpins. The Monte Carlo Rally uses it for one of its stages, and the thrills are not confined to cars: The Tour de France has featured the Col de Turini in three of its stages. Television program Top Gear also featured this mountain pass in an episode on the world’s greatest driving roads. Rivers, waterfalls, and remote villages line the route, and there’s a fantastic view of the Mercantour national park.
Red Rock Scenic Road – USA
This magnificent road snakes through Sedona’s Red Rock Country, also referred to as a “museum without walls”. It’ll only take you 20 minutes to drive it, but you should allow hours for all the activities along the route. The road offers an amazing view of the beautiful and inspirational red rocks. You’ll also pass through the Montezuma Castle National Monument and the Coconino National Forest, giving you an incredible driving experience at one with nature.
Iroha-zaka – Japan
Iroha-zaka is a winding road that forms the main access route connecting central Nikko and Oku-Nikko in Japan. In the past, its 48 curves told a story: The ancient Japanese alphabet consisted of 48 letters, and ever since the Showa era, people have called the road Iroha-zaka, with every corner representing a letter, starting in alphabetical order from I-ro-ha. Today, the road has only 30 corners, as it was improved in 1954. This does not detract from the experience, however, nor from the scenic views of waterfalls, bamboo groves, and old buildings.
The Great Ocean Road – Australia
If you are looking for a longer route, this legendary coastline road is a 170-mile stretch that follows the curves of Victoria, Australia. Along the entire route you only have to look out your window to view the beautiful natural limestone and sandstone rock formations – keeping your eyes on the road, of course! You’ll pass the cliffs at Port Campbell National Park, pass a historic lighthouse, and come across amazing animals, such as kangaroos, parrots, koala bears, and even penguins in the freezing clear surf.
I hope you took inspiration from some of the most inspirational places on earth to consider packing up and loading your car. Whether you’re screaming up the Italian Alps in a Ferrari or cruising the Australian coasts in a Rugged Subaru Forester, there are roads out there to suit every need.