The Most Beautiful Scenic Roads In The World

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The World’s Most Beautiful Roads

These are some of the most beautiful roads in the world. From Ruta 40 in Argentina to the winding roads of the Amalfi Coast in Italy, they show that the journey is sometimes more important than the trip itself.

Atlantic Ocean Road, Vevang, Norway | Photo by Barnabas Davoti on Unsplash
Atlantic Ocean Road, Vevang, Norway | Photo by Barnabas Davoti on Unsplash

Highway One, Monterey County, California

Highway One is one of the most beautiful roads in the United States. It goes almost the whole length of California’s coastline, from south of Los Angeles to Mendocino County in the north. However, the most beautiful part of the road is in the Monterey area. Highway One goes south from Monterey through the lovely seaside town of Carmel-by-the-Sea and then to California’s rough Big Sur coastline, which has amazing rocks, tall redwoods, and the famous Bixby Creek Bridge, which is just one of Monterey County’s beautiful arch bridges.

Norway’s Atlantic Road is a dream for car lovers. It goes between the villages of Vevang and Kårvåg and goes through a beautiful archipelago and a number of low-lying bridges. This beautiful route is often mentioned as one of the best road trips in the world. This is not a road for the faint of heart. The Atlantic Road winds and turns through one of Norway’s most dramatic and stormy seas and over the amazing Storseisundet Bridge, which is the tallest of the road’s eight bridges and looks like it drops straight into the water from some angles.
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Ruta 40, Argentina

Quebrada de las Flechas, Ruta Nacional 40, Salta Province, Argentina | Photo by Ryan Ancill on Unsplash
Quebrada de las Flechas, Ruta Nacional 40, Salta Province, Argentina | Photo by Ryan Ancill on Unsplash

With a length of 3,195 miles, Ruta 4 is not only Argentina’s longest highway (it goes almost the whole country), but also one of the longest roads in the world. From Cabo Vírgenes in the south, Ruta 40 winds its way through the remote lands of Patagonia, heading north. To the west, the beautiful Andes mountains stand in its way. It goes by beautiful lakes and busy cities before hitting its highest point at Abra del Acay, which is 4,952 metres above sea level. It ends in the border town of La Quiaca, which is a great example of how diverse Argentina’s landscape is.

Milford Road, New Zealand

Milford Sound, Southland, New Zealand | Photo by Eddie Bugajewski on Unsplash
Milford Sound, Southland, New Zealand | Photo by Eddie Bugajewski on Unsplash

The Milford Road starts in the seaside town of Te Anau and goes straight to Milford Sound on the South Island, which is one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand. The Milford Road is a truly epic drive that goes through the beautiful Southern Alps of New Zealand. It only takes two hours to finish. Before getting to Milford Sound, drivers should allow extra time to see the sights, such as the stunning Mirror Lakes, which reflect the Earl Mountains exactly, and the Cleddau River, which has some of the most dramatic waterfalls in the world.

Karakoram Highway, Pakistan/China

Hunza River and Karakoram Highway | Photo by Pakistan Tourism on Unsplash
Hunza River and Karakoram Highway | Photo by Pakistan Tourism on Unsplash

This is one of the world’s highest paved roads. It starts just north of Islamabad in Pakistan and ends just over 800 miles later in Kashgar, which is in China’s Xinjiang area. Twenty years were spent building it, and the highest point was about 4,700 metres above sea level. The highway goes through some of the toughest and most beautiful scenery on Earth. It goes through the glacial Karakoram Mountains and into China, following an old Silk Road route.

US Route 163, Arizona/Utah

US Route 163 is one of the most famous roads in the United States. It has been in many films, from the western Stagecoach in 1939 to the cult hit Easy Rider. The road goes through Monument Valley and the red rock desert, as well as the beautiful spires of Utah and Arizona’s Navajo country. It crosses the San Juan River on a suspension bridge and ends in the tiny town of Bluff, which is set in the middle of 300-foot-high sandstone cliffs and is full of history.

Strada Statale 163, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Strada Statale 163 is one of the most beautiful roads in Europe. It winds along the Amalfi Coast, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. From the beautiful city of Salerno, Strada Statale 163 winds west along the Sorrento Peninsula. On one side, it is a dangerous drive with high rocks, and on the other, it has the beautiful blue of the Mediterranean Sea. On the coastal part of the road, drivers will see cute, pastel-colored towns like Amalfi and Positano that are perched high on cliffs.

Tianmen Mountain Road, China

Tianmen Mountain Road winds its way dramatically up the side of China’s Tianmenshan Mountain. It’s just under six miles long, but it climbs an amazing 1,100 metres in that short distance. The road to Tianmen Cave (or “Gateway to Heaven”), a natural rock arch cut into the mountain that you can reach by climbing 999 steps, is sometimes called the “heaven-linking avenue.” Tianmen Mountain Road is one of the most dangerous roads in the world, with 99 sharp turns. It can be reached by bus. However, you can also see the road from a cable car, which takes you 1,279 metres above the valley and is just as beautiful.

Great Ocean Road, Australia

Great Ocean Road, Anglesea VIC, Australia | Photo by Jack French on Unsplash
Great Ocean Road, Anglesea VIC, Australia | Photo by Jack French on Unsplash

In Australia, the Great Ocean Road goes along one of the most beautiful stretches of shoreline. It’s over 150 miles long, running from Torquay in the east to just outside of Warrnambool in the west. The road was built by Australian soldiers and finished in 1932. It is a memorial to the men and women who served in the area during World War I and was recently added to Australia’s National Heritage List. People on road trips can see places like the Great Otway National Park, which has beautiful waterfalls and the Twelve Apostles, which are tall stacks of rock.

In South Africa, on Chapman’s Peak Drive

Chapmans Peak Drive, Outside Cape Town, South Africa | Photo by Sebastian Staines on Unsplash
Chapmans Peak Drive, Outside Cape Town, South Africa | Photo by Sebastian Staines on Unsplash

Chapman’s Peak Drive is a five-and-a-half-mile road that winds from Noordhoek, a suburb of Cape Town, to the town of Hout Bay. It follows the side of its namesake mountain and has some of the most beautiful views of South Africa’s shoreline. With its 114 turns and views of both tall mountains and the Atlantic Ocean below, Chapman’s Peak Drive is a thrilling road. It goes by a number of camping areas and places to watch whales, providing a welcome break from the nerve-wracking driving.

Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina/Virginia

Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville, United States | Photo by Ashley Knedler on Unsplash
Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville, United States | Photo by Ashley Knedler on Unsplash

The Blue Ridge Parkway is known as “America’s Favourite Drive” because it is one of the most popular National Park Service sites. The parkway goes through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, from the edges of North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the edge of Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. The Blue Ridge Parkway goes for 469 miles through the rough mountains and rolling fields of the Appalachian Mountains. Along the way, it goes by small mountain towns and scenic overlooks with wide views of the beautiful scenery.

Route 1, Iceland

Lake Mývatn View Point, Route 1, Reykjavik, Iceland | Photo by Antonio Morillas on Unsplash
Lake Mývatn View Point, Route 1, Reykjavik, Iceland | Photo by Antonio Morillas on Unsplash

Route 1 in Iceland goes around the outside of the island country and through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Starting in Reykjavik, Iceland’s modern capital, and going east, Route 1 takes drivers on a magical tour of the country, taking them past beautiful fjords, mountains, small fishing towns, and wild reindeer. There are many places that everyone should see, but the stunning Seljalandsfoss waterfall, the lovely Lake Mývatn and its hot springs, and the Jokulsárlón glacial lake are some that should be on everyone’s list.

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