Corporate / Lifestyle

The Best Driving Roads in the World December 27th, 2011

“Life is a journey, not a destination.”

This quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson pretty much sums up how we feel about driving. For car enthusiasts, driving isn’t about getting from point A to point B. It’s about enjoying the ride. Today, we’ll be taking a cruise through a few places that are famous for having some of the world’s best driving roads.

Ilju Road, South Korea

Kicking off the tour in the home of Kia Motors, Ilju Road is a course with Jeju Island’s coast on one side and volcanic sites on the other. It’s also the island’s oldest road. The road wraps around the island’s coast and connects with other coastal roads down to the shore.

Along the road, drivers can enjoy a wonderful view of the black lava shoreline, sparkling waves and rare wildflowers. Traffic is usually light, providing a pleasant and peaceful drive.

<Volcanic rocks on Jeju Island>

Iroha-zaka, Japan

Korea’s neighbor, Japan, also has a famous driving course, the Iroha-zaka.

The winding road connects central Nikko and Oku-Nikko. Its name comes from its 48 corners, as the ancient Japanese alphabet was made up of 48 letters. A letter is seen on each corner, in alphabetical order, along with a drawing of an Azalea Blossom (the flower of Nikko).

Iroha-zaka is known for its challenging, sharp turns and steep slope, as well as its beautiful crimson leaves in the fall.

<Iroha-zaka in fall>

Great Ocean Road, Australia

Now let’s make our way to land down under, Australia!

The Great Ocean Road is located in the south-western region of Victoria and stretches over 200 kilometers. It’s perfect for a leisure drive anytime of the year. Visitors can experience the beauty of nature as the road passes through volcanic lakes, indigenous wildlife, waterfalls and rainforests. There are also many historical sites, especially in the town of Queenscliff, which has an impressive fort, quaint historical buildings and the Bellarine Railway.

<Part of the 12 Apostles, seen by the Great Ocean Road>

Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road, United Arab Emirates

Heading over to the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates is home to the Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road, which is considered by many to be the greatest driving road in the world. It stretches for 7.3 miles and is almost 4,000 feet high. Its home is the Jebel Hafeet Mountain, which is the highest peak in the United Arab Emirates, and boasts a view of the country’s vast desert landscape.

The road is made up of three highway lanes that are sketched into the mountain in a big wavy line. It offers a thrilling driving experience with 60 corners, a racetrack-smooth surface and a great mix of fast straights combined with sweeping curves.

<Green Mubazzarah, the park at the bottom of Jebel Hafeet Mountain>

Atlantic Road, Norway

Accelerating to the west, we find another great driving road in Norway.

The Atlantic Road expands 8 kilometers and zigzags across low bridges that look over the nearby sea, connecting the islands between the cities of Kristiansund and Molde. The road was selected as “Norway’s Construction of the Century” in 2005 and has been recognized as the national tourist route for its beautiful road and bridge architecture, as well as the magnificent coastline it passes through.

The Atlantic Road features a fantastic view of the Atlantic Ocean, which features rich bird and marine life. In calm weather, you may even be able to spot whales and seals. Driving here in less than ideal weather conditions also has its perks. Many tourists travel here in the fall to experience the dramatic storms that pound the road.

<Magnificent bridge along the Atlantic Road>

Col de Turini, Italy

Also west is the magnificent Col de Turini. The World Rally Championship has been held on this road for the last 50 years. It runs 30 miles and rises 5272 feet.

The Col de Turini is narrow, curvy and dangerous. In short, this road isn’t for the fainthearted. While daredevil drivers may have the urge to race down, they’d miss out on some spectacular scenery. In the midst of a series of hairpin turns, there are wild rivers, steep rock sculpture and the splendor of the Alps.

<The curves of the Col de Turini>

Well, that wraps some of the best driving roads in the world. We hope you enjoyed our short “tour” around the world. Tell us, which one is your favorite or suggest a driving route not listed. : )

  • Sadiej

    Nice driving feature, but would like to see a more dynamic pic of the Norwegian highway. Not only would it illustrate the SPECTACULAR road, but would also show how ‘spot-on’ Ks for recommending the amazing road. Perhaps it’s the same with your other ‘recs’ too.

    Thx for ideas, Kia.