The world is full of spectacular roads that wind and stretch, extending from our boring highways and traffic-congested cities to majestic mountains, sea coasts and the far reaches of exotic lands. These roads remind us of the joys of owning a vehicle that go beyond the grind of paying off your Impala or getting that 4Runner checked up again. Sometimes you just want a vessel and the freedom to explore, which is what these roads are all about.
Icefields Parkway: Alberta, Canada
Cutting through the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Icefields Parkway is a perfect road for northern travellers seeking untouched wildness. Connecting between two of Alberta’s tourist hotspots and national parks, Icefields Parkway offers those passing by a permanent memory of the vast landscape of mountains, lakes and glaciers, as well as occasional encounters with moose, elks, caribous and bears. There aren’t many roads in Canada that offer such a variety of photo opportunities and breathtaking views, which truly capture the essence of being Canadian.
Lombard Street: California, USA
Eight hairpin turns lead you from the top of Hyde Street down to Leavensworth Street in hilly San Fran. World famous for forcing travellers to slow down and enjoy its narrow complexity, Lombard Street reminds drivers to indulge in the novelty of the mundane. Cars venturing down this one way street become participants of this obstacle course of a road as spectators watch on with fascination. And upon completion, drivers will be sure to breathe a sigh of relief, having achieved the thrill of that suburban challenge.
West Coast of the South Island: New Zealand
This six and a half hour road trip along the scenic coast of the Middle Earth replica allows drivers to appreciate the majesty of land and ocean and the convergence of the two. Slipping through small towns and farmlands, and up into the great heights of New Zealand, one could only image the exhilaration of being a trail blazer, setting eyes on the pristine world for the first time.
Trollstigen (Troll’s Path): Norway
Road tourist will need to take a trip to Norway and experience the serpentine road eerily named the Troll’s Path. The steep mountain side road will test the driver’s tact as he or she pilots the vehicle towards a plateau overlooking a waterfall and the navel of Scandinavia. During the height of tourist season, Trollstigen receives over 2,500 daily visitors, but the roads are subjected to close during unruly weather conditions and during the winter months.
Guoliang Tunnel Road: China
Considered to be the most dangerous road in the world, Guoliang Tunnel Road in China is a free-for-all path that hangs off of a mountain ridge. Twisting and turning through the tunnel as pockets of light seep in from stone windows and blend with the sudden darkness of the burrow, drivers narrowly dodge each other as they make their way through the prehistoric road of the Taihang Mountains.
Los Caracoles Pass: Chile to Argentina
Choosing the Los Caracoles Pass to cross the vast Andes Mountains of South America takes you through a topographically diverse landscape, from the vine yards of Argentina up to the rocky and icy desolation and down to the green valleys of Chile. Truly such a trip makes even the largest vehicle seem insignificant in comparison.
Orchard Road: Singapore/Las Vegas Strip: Nevada, USA
Not every great road needs to be carved into a mountainside or branched off into the ocean. Orchard Road in Singapore and the Las Vegas Strip incorporates all the urban wonders that make night time driving so exhilarating. Neon and marquee lights dance down the avenue as you pull into a snazzy place for a meal or just a little spot to rest up and prepare for the next leg of your trip.