Sometimes you don’t need to get out of the car, especially during a pandemic, to go for an adventure, as these terrifying, exhilarating drives prove. Just make sure you buckle up your seatbelt and find the closest road to you.
Bealach-na-ba, which means ‘Pass of the Cattle’ in Gaelic’ is one of the UK’s longest stretches of road. Carving through the Applecross peninsula, its tarmac is a single twisting ribbon through the Highland mountains with a few passing places for oncoming traffic. Drivers are rarely permitted to drive faster than 30 mph. It boasts the greatest ascent of any road climb in the UK, rising from sea level up to 2,054 ft.
Charmingly known as “death road” thanks to its fatal twists and turns, North Yungas Road in Bolivia is definitely not for the faint hearted. On one side is solid rock, the other is an almost 2,000 ft drop into a rocky abyss, with most of the road being just 11 ft wide. Many sections of the road, which is cut into the side of the Cordillera Oriental Mountains, are unpaved without guardrails. Although everyone drives on the right in Bolivia, here vehicles drive on the left, in order to have a better view of the edge of the road.
The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is a must-do for any visitors to Austria wishing to view the spectacular black Grossglockner mountain–which used to only be accessible to skilled mountaineers. The road connects Bruck in Salzburg with Heiligenblut in Carinthia, and it’s the highest paved mountain pass road in the country. Passing colorful flower meadows, mountain pastures, glacial lakes, and more, the road runs through the heart of High Tauern National Park.
Formerly the only road between Agadir and Marrakech, the tortuous Tizi n’Test weaves through the Atlas Mountains. You’ll pass camels, local food sellers,and the odd crazy cyclist on your way, as well as overhanging cliffs and perilous drops.
Trollstigen–Trolls’ Ladder–Mountain Road is one of Norway’s most dramatic stretches of road. There are 11 hairpin bends which wind past the Stigfossen Waterfall. Because of the high risk of accidents, the government shuts the road once snow starts to fall and reopens it around late May. Visitors who brave the road, which took eight years to build, will be treated to panoramic views of snow-capped mountain peaks, rivers, and gorges.
The sea-to-sky highway in British Columbia pretty much does what it says on the tin. Glacially-capped peaks, coastal rainforests, stunning ocean views, and a waterfall are just some of the majestic scenery you’ll pass on the road that ticks all the boxes. The legendary route from Vancouver to Whistler only takes two hours, but with so much to see you’ll want to make a weekend out of it.
This road isn’t nicknamed “tail of the dragon” for nothing. Said to have 318 curves in just 11 miles, the road is bordered by the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest that just winds and winds and winds. The Deals Gap Mountain pass stretches along the North Carolina and Tennessee state line and is fringed by beautiful forests and mountain views.