The wait for the next edition of incredible roads is over. Create some of your best driving memories with part 2 of Carquirk’s compilation:
Guoliang Tunnel Road – China
This visually stunning road has been carved directly into the Taihang Mountains! Situated in the Henan province of China, the road is just 1.2km (0.75 miles) long. The history of this path through the mountains is worth mentioning. Thirteen residents of the Guoliang village began the building of this road in 1972 without any power tools and managed to build the tunnelled mountain pass mostly with hammers and chisels in 1977.
Osado Skyline Drive – Japan
The island of Sado is situated north of Japan’s largest cities and is the sixth largest island in the archipelago. The 30km road takes you through the island’s mountains from shore to shore. The quaint island will make for a memorable drive with its scenic rural landscape of green hills, golden paddy fields, rocky coasts and traditional Japanese architecture. The highest point on the road (942m above sea level) offers a panoramic view of the entire island.
California State Highway 1 “Big Sur” – USA
The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) hugs the Californian coastline and offers staggering views of the perilous cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The 1,055km (659.4 miles) Highway 1 is well known for its scenic beauty but is also infamous for the frequent landslides and erosion along the coast. The most spectacular point of this road is the Big Sur section from San Luis Obispo to Carmel, which is an official National Scenic Byway.
Ruta 40 – Argentina (Patagonia)
Ruta 40 (as it is known in Argentina) is one of the most famous roads in the country stretching about 4,800km (3000 miles) from La Quiaca in the north and Rio Gallegos in the south. The route to Patagonia takes you from some of the highest peaks in South America to massive glaciers, and some spectacular plains in between. Besides the wondrous landscape, the local flora and fauna is also a rarity not found anywhere else in the world.
The Atlantic Ocean Road – Norway
Originally proposed as a railway line, this road is now known for its unique beauty and island hopping. It spans 8.3km (5.2 miles) as part of County Road 64 in Norway. The road connects several islands via causeways, viaducts and eight bridges—the most prominent being Storseisundet Bridge. There are more than a few tourist spots along the way as well.
Stelvio Pass – Italy
While the Transfagarasan Highway in Romania gets most of the good publicity thanks to various car shows, Italy’s Stelvio Pass offers more in terms of the view (and was featured on Top Gear’s 10th season). The second highest mountain pass in the Alps (9054ft/2757m), the pass is a well-known spot for sporting events including skiing, cycling, and motorsport. The scenery in the Alpine mountains is truly breathtaking.
The Garden Route – South Africa
The Garden Route runs from Durban to Cape Town along the south-eastern coast of South Africa. The route is sandwiched between the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains and the Indian Ocean, which makes it an ecological rarity offering some of the most exotic wildlife (particularly birds) on the continent. From the road, the view of the ocean is spotted with coral reefs and is home to, dolphins, seals, whales and a host of other marine life.
Star Wars road trip – Tunisia
Tunisia was George Lucas’ inspiration for creating the desert planet Tatooine. If you’re a Star Wars fan, head to South Western Tunisia to indulge in a bit of movie nostalgia. Start at the beautiful island of Djerba where you can enjoy the scenic coastlines, and head towards the small town of Ajim on the island. This is where Lucas shot the Mos Eisley scenes including the famous cantina reel in 1976. Ben Kenobi’s house on the edge of the Dune Sea is also on the island of Djerba. Travel along the C115 for about 150km (94 miles) to the south and you’ll find the city of Tataouine where scenes from Episode I: The Phantom Menace were shot. The underground housing, the otherworldly deserts, and the majestic coasts are definitely worth seeing.
Alice Springs to Uluru and Kings Canyon – Australia
Thanks to an airport recently constructed just 30 minutes away from Uluru (alternatively known as Ayer’s Rock) this route (National Highway 87) has become the road less travelled. The route from Alice Springs will cross the (almost always) dry Finke River, the massive Henbury meteorite craters, the impressively beautiful Kings Canyon and finally Uluru, the largest rock in the world. The 1,000km (600 miles) journey through the centre of Australia is an unbelievable collection of barren landscapes, otherworldly impressions, and majestic canyons.
Stay tuned for more incredible roads from around the world that should be added to your bucket list.