These are the roads that are guaranteed to rev up any holiday.
They are stretches of tarmac, from LA to Australia, that lie in jaw-dropping scenery.
Scroll down and gear up for planet earth’s most thrilling drives.
2. TRANS CANADA AND YOHO VALLEY ROAD
At 4,860 miles, the Trans Canada Highway is one of the world’s longest, most spectacular road trips.
It’s hard to do it all but why not fly into Vancouver and cross the Rockies on the 600-mile stretch to Calgary?
And for an adventurous detour on the way, take a short drive north from the Highway at Kicking Horse Pass, west of Banff. You’ll head into Yoho National Park and discover why Yoho is Cree for ‘awesome’.
3. SERRA DO RIO DO RASTRO ROAD, BRAZIL
This dramatic road in the south east is only 16 miles long but motorists come from all over the world to drive its winding route through jungle covered peaks.
The SC390 twists up cliffs, round rock pinnacles and past deep rainforest chasms to reach a plateau that’s a popular ecoresort. Locals enjoy regular driving festivals on the route – there are 250 hairpins to fear or enjoy, depending on your taste.
4. THE TRANS ANDEAN HIGHWAY, VENEZUELA
The Transandean Highway runs for 1,000 miles across Venezuela. If you haven’t time for such a marathon trip, the central section across the northern Andes is the best bit. The 400 miles between two international airports at San Cristobal and Barquisimeto crosses the country’s highest mountain pass, Collado del Condor, at a breathless 13,510ft. At the top of the pass there’s a chapel, cafe, gift shop… and a bronze monument of a condor.
5. ROAD TO HEAVEN, CHINA
Road signs warn: ‘Don’t drive up here if you are prone to carsickness.’ But if you can stomach scores of hairpins up Tianmen Mountain, you’ll experience one of the world’s most remarkable roads.
The mountain is an interesting 200-mile drive west through forests from Changsha airport. But it’s the final six miles that you’ll remember. It’s so ridiculously bendy that tourists visit just to watch people trying to drive up it. If you reach the top of this helter-skelter you can park and climb 999 steps to a natural rock arch, beautiful old temple and glass ‘skywalk’ above a canyon that’s almost as scary as the road.
6. THREE LEVEL ZIGZAG, INDIA
Drive 100 miles north of Bagdogra to find the pretty Sikkim village of Nimachen. From here, the drive to the spectacular Lungthung viewpoint near the Chinese border is only 20 miles – but on the map it seems like a printing error. The road turns into a big squiggle. It was once part of the ancient Silk Road, connecting Japan to Europe, and traders travelled the zigzag by mule. Today it criss-crosses the Himalayan foothills in a breathtaking serpentine tangle. There are incredible mountain views, including Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak.
7. KAIKOURA COASTAL ROAD, NEW ZEALAND
After the 2014 Kaikoura quake traffic has been haltingly returning to the Christchurch to Picton road. It’s high time to consider a road trip on Highway 1, which is no less remarkable for the repairs done to the craggy coastal route.
This ‘Nature Coast’ is renowned for sealions and cruising pods of orca. It’s perhaps equally famous for its delicious crayfish. Stop off for a bite to eat with a coastal lookout for passing humpback whales.
8. THE GARDEN ROUTE, SOUTH AFRICA
It’s a short drive from Cape Town to this 120-mile strip of Western Cape coastline between Mossel Bay and Storms River. Take the well-signed route with the Tsitsikamma and Outeniqua mountains on one side and a sequence of wild rocky coves and sandy beaches on the other. Along the way enjoy a few lakes and lagoons, too. You’ll drive through forests, mountain passes and dramatic gorges.
9. THE STONE ROAD, TURKEY
To drive from Kemaliye through the Munzur Mountains to see Divrigi mosque, you can take the easy journey on modern roads round the mountains… or a direct route right through them. This is Turkey’s ‘Stone Road’ that took more than a century to build. Labourers toiled for lifetimes, cutting and tunnelling through cliffs by hand. It’s not for the faint-hearted as it is a narrow, unpaved route through the deep canyon of the River Euphrates. It’s humbling to reach the monument honouring workmen who died building the road.
10. ROUTE ONE, ICELAND
celand’s national ring road runs for more than 800 miles, right around its coast.
It offers a drive through extraordinary landscapes of glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls, geysers, lakes, mountains, sea stacks, fjords, islands and icebergs. Allow a couple of weeks… and keep watch for boiling blue geothermal mud pits, fresh lava flows and inquisitive reindeer.