Aerial view Cars driving on Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia | Source: RACQ

Full Throttle: The Greatest Roads Every Motoring Enthusiast Needs To Drive On

Not all roads are built equal. While most are built as a means to get from you from A to B – there are some roads every motoring enthusiast must experience. Some roads are simply designed more for pleasure than practicality. And, believe it or not, some roads around the world attract as much attention as popular race tracks for their beauty, driving feel, and history. Sometimes so much so that racing series turn them into street circuits. Here is a look at some of the greatest roads every car lover needs to drive on at some point in their life.

Furka Pass

Location: Switzerland

Famous for the scene in Sean Connery’s 1963 Bond film Goldfinger, a corner on the east side of the pass is even named “James Bond Strasse”. Cruise through the clouds at 2,429m above sea level. The stunning mountain pass in the Swiss Alps joins Gletsch, Valais with Realp, Uri. The typically perfectly surfaced Swiss road is a thrilling experience of steep slopes, hairpin bends, switchbacks and sharp, blind curves.

Stelvio Pass

Location: Italy

Named by Top Gear as the “greatest driving road in the world”, in 2008, Stelvio Pass pacifies every petrolhead’s driving fantasies. Originally built from 1820–25 by the Austrian Empire, Stelvio Pass is the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps and the second highest in the Swiss Alps. The hair-raising 48 hairpin turns line the borders of South Tyrol and Sondrio provinces at 2,757m above sea level.

The Great Ocean Road

Location: Victoria, Australia

Opened in 1932, The Great Ocean Road is not only one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives, but it’s also the largest war memorial on the planet. The national heritage listed highway stretches 243kms between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford along the south-eastern shores of Australia. Journey along the winding road and pass the famous 12 apostles, stunning seaside cliffs and brilliant green countryside – an iconic road trip.

Valley of Fire Road

Location: Nevada, USA

Don’t think for a second a desert can’t be the ultimate driving destination. The Valley of Fire Road in Clark County, Nevada proves striking red rocks and bright desert landscape is the perfect backdrop. The 80kms of wild beauty cuts through the 46,000-acre Valley of Fire State Park, to the northeast of Las Vegas. If this road looks familiar it’s probably because of the famous stretch of tarmac stars in movies including Total Recall, Star Trek: Generations and Transformers.

Seven Mile Bridge

Location: Florida Keys, USA

A stunning section of the 177km Overseas Highway, the Seven Mile Bridge floats over the turquoise waters and coral reefs of Florida Keys. Featuring in Hollywood blockbusters 2 Fast 2 Furious, Mission Impossible III and Licence to Kill, the over 100-year-old bridge looks even more beautiful in person. One of the longest bridges in the world – drive from Miami to Key West, enjoying Florida’s best-kept secrets like Key Largo, Islamorada and Marathon. 

Atlantic Road

Location: Norway

As Norway’s construction on the century in 2005, the magical Atlantic Road in Norway is a must-visit driving destination. Far from your regular road, there’s so much to explore here you’d be forgiven for spending as much time outside the car as in it. The engineering masterpiece snakes over an 8.3km stretch of small islands, skerries, causeways, viaducts and eight bridges. Float over pristine blue waters, gliding through Norway’s breath-taking scenery – this is a road trip that has to be seen to be believed.

Millau Viaduct

Location: Southern France

An engineering marvel, a work of art or a spectacular stretch of tarmac. The world’s highest bridge is taller than the Eiffel Tower at 336m costing approximately A$424 million to construct. Opened in 2004 the incredible structure spans across the Gorge Valley of the River Tarn in southern France, consistently ranking as one of the greatest engineering achievements of modern times.

Milford Road

Location: New Zealand

The ultimate scenic road journey awaits through the lush landscape of New Zealand’s South Island. Hidden deep in the beautiful Fiordland National Park, the 120km snowy road passes long grand mountain ranges, glacial lakes, babbling creeks and thick native bush. Journey from Te Anau to Milford Sound through the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage area and soak in history. Milford Road is carved out of solid granite in the 1920s.

The Nurburgring

Location: Germany

While named ‘the world’s toughest race track,’ a list of the greatest roads in the world wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the hallowed tarmac of the Nurburgring. The 150,000 person capacity motorsports complex features a Grand Prix race track built in 1984 and a 20.8 km ‘North Loop’ track built in the 1920s. The loop winds around the village and medieval castle of Nürburg in the Eifel mountains and is used by many car manufacturers to test its new releases.

Ring Road

Location: Iceland

Iceland’s legendary Ring Road is a car enthusiasts dream. The national 1,322kms of road runs around the whole island connecting its most popular tourist attractions including; Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, Dyrhólaey and the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. An epic adventure awaiting any four-wheel enthusiast, travel across beautiful landscapes, past majestic scenery, snow-capped mountains and lava fields as you soak in this incredible country.

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