Incredible Scenic Drives
There is nothing more exciting than picking up the keys to your convertible from the rental car counter. Getting some wind in your hair while driving along the most scenic drives in the world is an experience you’ll never forget.
Many routes live up to the expectations, but to me, the following ten are the most amazing. Check them all out.
1. Snaefell Mountain Road, Isle of Man
The Isle of Man is famous for its TT motorcycle racing circuit that takes you through mesmerizing landscapes at dizzying speeds. But trust me, the view is as amazing from a convertible as it is from two wheels.
Start from the Ramsey Hairpin and drive your way to Douglas in a series of snaking bands, twists and turns, and perpendicular handers. Admire the flawless countryside landscape or give it some gas and enjoy the emotions of driving full speed.
Remember to stop at the TT viewpoint, called Gooseneck by the locals. From here, the entire isle gets a new flavor that is hard to forget.
2. Stelvio Pass, Italy
Stelvio Pass is no doubt one of the most scenic routes. And not only. This splendid driveway is ranked as the ultimate driving test for the four- and two-wheel enthusiasts. It boasts 60 hairpin bends that stretch for 15 miles over the chilly peaks of the Alps at the border with Switzerland.
The view is breathtaking as the road goes up to 9,045 feet. Bend after bend, this incredible route offers dramatic sceneries from the summit, picturesque views on the slopes and a feel of Northern Italian beauty.
This drive is best approached from the north. Admire the stunning Stelvio National Park, then continue your ascent to the Pass. In the end, let the attractive descent to Bormio thrill you.
3. Transfagarasan, Romania
What could make better gifts for car lovers than driving along one of the most beautiful roads in the world? A less known one lays in mystical Romania, hidden in a stunning and often underrated land.
Named ‘the best road in the world’ in the famous Top Gear show, Transfagarasan impresses with its 60 miles of hairpin bends, twists, and scintillating corners. Uncontaminated nature that rises to 6,700 feet.
Like Stelvio Pass above, this route is best approached from the north. Spend a night in the fascinating citadel of Sibiu and start your journey early in the morning to get the most out of your drive. Let the wind caress your hair as you drive all the way up to Balea Lake, then enjoy the stunning views on the descent.
4. Yukon Golden Circle, North America
Start your Gold Rush treasure seeking in this remote, scenic area that will daze you with high-altitude passes and snow-capped mountains overlooking historical towns. Defined by many as the road trip nirvana, the Yukon Golden Circle is no doubt one of the best drives in the world.
Stretching at the frontier between Alaska and Canada, the craggy mountain scenery awaits the speed enthusiasts but also the wanderers who enjoy a slower pace. Start on the Canadian side of the Alaska Highway and follow the Dezadeash River towards the glacial peaks.
Drive your way up to the mesmerizing Haines Junction and join the winding Highway 3 to the south. Let the silence of the lonely Chilkat Pass enchant you, then start the 4,000 feet descent towards Haines port.
5. Garden Route, South Africa
Not all top 10 scenic drives in the world are easy to reach. This one requires a mini road trip before the trip, from Cape Town to Mossel Bay, where the journey begins. Car gadgets like a GPS system can help you get to the start point with ease, and on the road, you can prepare to live one of the best experiences of your life.
This mesmerizing drive is cradled between a winding coastline and high mountain peaks and stretches along 120 miles, showcasing the best of South Africa.
From lagoons to deserted beaches, forests and lakes, lively towns and quiet villages, this scenic drive has it all. Start in the old city of Mossel Bay and head to north-east towards George town where colonial buildings await you.
From here, change the mood and enter the lush Wilderness National Park to admire pure nature, wetlands, and teeming bird life before reaching the resort of Buffalo Bay that can teach you all about nightlife and good food. Then, just enjoy the road trip again on your way to Cape Town.
6. Costa Verde, Brazil
Who doesn’t love hitting the gas of a convertible, with the wind caressing the hair and the sun caressing the skin, along the coastline of one of the most romantic countries in the world? Expect lively cities filled with the South American energy, exotic islands, and stunning sceneries in this five-day road trip from Santos to Catcuba.
This 370-mile adventure involves amazing drives, stretches on ferries, nights spent in mesmerizing towns and a stop in one of Brazil’s most characteristic cities to discover colonial houses, cobblestone streets, good food, and nightlife together with lush boutique hotels and attractive beaches.
When you’re too tired of driving, just stop and hike, enjoy a relaxed lifestyle on one of the beaches along the route or admire local culture and life in one of the many cafes. And forgive the spoiler, but you’ll even get a taste of the flamboyant Rio and legendary Copacabana itself.
7. Big Sur, California
Who said you have to travel the seven seas to find the most beautiful drives in the world? A mesmerizing one awaits in California with clinging mountain cliffs, twisting bends and turning motorways from Monterey to Morro Bay.
The Big Sur takes you to the historic Cannery Row from where it drives you towards south along the blue Pacific enchanting your view. Don’t be afraid to stop in touristy Carmel to get a taste of the local lifestyle, then reach the Big Sur.
Immerse yourself in redwood groves and wave-pounded beaches, pass the Cross Bixby Creek Bridge, then drive alongside Big Sur River to reach Morro Bay. From here, head to San Francisco where another adventure awaits.
8. Brittany, France
The Old Continent has always fascinated wanderers, and it’s hard to deny France has a particular charm. It only makes sense, then, to live at least one road trip experience in this mystical land immersed in history and legends.
One of the most scenic roads in the world lays in Brittany and stretches from St. Malo to ancient Douarnenez. Five hundred miles scattered with historical half-timbered houses, fantastic white sand beaches, and craggy coastlines will take you about five nights to complete.
Natural beauty intertwines with history and French lifestyle among medieval settlements and National Parks.
9. North Coast, Scotland
A ferry and few hours’ drive away from Brittany stretches fantastic Scotland, a land renowned for uncontaminated nature, one-of-a-kind views and breathtaking scenic routes. Choosing the one to follow is far from easy, but the North Coast perhaps is the most atmospheric.
This circular tour starts at Inverness and lets you enjoy the most remote roads of this place that seems to take you to the end of the world. Not even the bravest poets succeeded to describe the beauty of this territory in a way that did it justice, as the roads intertwine with the Highlands up to the craggy west coast, to then just take you up north for even more mesmerizing sceneries.
Twisting roads can give you a taste of the drama on this 500-mile route. Look out and find the mysterious Grey Cairns of Camster on your way, admire the ocean and smell the cold salty breeze that perfumes of… just Scotland.
10. Great Ocean Road, Australia
From one end of the world to another, the next scenic drive and the last I propose is the Great Ocean Road, Australia. Set against the backdrop of the rainforest and stretching along near-deserted beaches, this coastal road strikes with unique rock formations, jaw-dropping scenery, and wildlife.
This splendid sunny route begins at Torquay in a lively beach town atmosphere. Watch out the surfers or enjoy the waves yourself before diving with your car on a road that will bring you in close contact with your inner self.
From here, follow the road through 150 miles of virgin landscapes while going up mountains on the winding driveway. The 25-mile section to Apollo Bay is perhaps the most touching, driving you through the rainforest-rich Otway Ranges at 1,417 feet.
Stop and admire Cape Otway Lighthouse, then continue your trip through the sensational Port Campbell National Park where the Twelve Apostles – magnificent rock pillars rising up to 200 feet high – will wish you farewell as you pass along the coastline.
Continue your drive towards Warrnambool, admiring the landscape while planning your next trip.
There are countless scenic drives in the world, and all await you. It’s hard to tell which is best, the most beautiful, or the most challenging. All of these drives come with their own twists, and they all challenge you in one way or another.
Don’t wait anymore. Pick the route that inspires you from the top ten above and start from there, just you and your car, to make your own ranking of the most incredible scenic drives in the world.