Everyone should have an opportunity to travel around the world at some point in their life. There’s more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done. You know all the most popular cities and tourist destinations, but don’t limit yourselves to them. There’s beauty everywhere in the world and you should try and explore as much as you can.
The most obvious tourist attractions are beaches, monuments, works of art, or mountains and caves. But you know what is a wonderful idea if you feel like experiencing something new? Roads! Yes, roads aren’t just a means to an end. They are not there to just lead you from one point to another. There is beauty in roads: they allow you to enjoy a breathtaking view, or offer a sense of adventure when you discover one hidden away in a strange place. So, why not drive down one of these roads?
Here are some of the most amazing roads that everyone should see before they die. Just be careful. Some roads can be extremely dangerous, and even deadly. The list was compiled by Aunty Acid Buzz.
1. Atlanterhavsein – Norway
The Atlantic Road is also known as ‘The Road in the Ocean.’ Located in Norway, it’s 8.3 km long and it connects the island of Averøy in the Norwegian Sea with the mainland. The road, which has seven bridges connecting an archipelago of small islands, was opened in 1989. Some consider it the most beautiful roadtrip in the world, and it offers a spectacular view of the Norwegian moorlands, the fertile lands and the weather beaten bays. It is also a popular fishing destination. But driving off this road will mean falling right into the water, so drive carefully.
2. Stelvio Pass – Italy
The Stelvio Pass is located between the provinces of South Tyrol and Sondrio, in northern Italy, just 200 meters from the Swiss border. At an elevation of 2,757 m above sea level it’s the second highest paved road in the Alps. It’s a popular cycling destination and has often been a part of the Giro d’Italia. The Stelvio pass has 60 hairpin turns, which makes it a tough road to navigate, but the view it offers at some points is simply stunning.
3. Sichuan-Tibet Highway – China
This highway starts at Chengdu of Sichuan in central China and leads west to Lhasa in Tibet. Opened in 1954, this road is a regular route for truck drivers. It’s 2,142 km long, not properly paved, prone to rock avalanches and landslides and it features extremely sharp, hairpin turns. But it’s an unforgettable experience to pass from the warm spring scenery, through majestic open landscapes and forests, across numerous rivers and deep gorges, to the cold winter of the snowy mountain peaks.
4. Leh Manali Highway – Northern India
The Leh Manali Highway is located in northernmost India. It stretches for 490 km across the Himalayan mountain range and at 5,328 m above sea level it’s the highest road in the world. Parts of this road are basically dirt patches, which makes driving very dangerous, even more so when we take into consideration that driving off the road means plunging in ravines hundreds of meters deep.
5. James Dalton Highway – North Alaska
The James Dalton Highway in North Alaska is 666 km long supply road mainly used by oil trucks. Built in 1974, and named after James Dalton, the engineer who oversaw its construction, this highway is one of the most dangerous roads in the world. The cold climate and the snowy weather, as well as the gravel surface, make for tricky driving conditions.
6. Karnali Highway – Nepal
This road is located in one of the least developed regions in Nepal, Karnali. It’s 232 km long and incredibly narrow, but vital for the everyday life of the rural inhabitants. It’s the only link between the towns of Jumla and Surkhet in western Nepal, so people are forced to traverse it, even though it’s so dangerous that it causes around 50 deaths a year.
7. Skippers Canyon – New Zealand
Skippers Canyon is a 22 km long scenic route in the south-west of New Zealand’s south island. The gravel road was carved by hand by gold miners around 140 years ago. Extremely steep and narrow, this road offers breathtaking views, but it’s extremely dangerous because of the possibility of falling down the sheer sides hundreds of meters and plunging to your death.
8. Commonwealth Avenue – Philippines
The Commonwealth Avenue is a 12.4 km long asphalt road in the Philippines with almost non-existent traffic regulations. It’s 18 lanes wide, always jam-packed with traffic, and used by pedestrians and cyclists as well, which is a very common cause for accidents.
9. Eshima Ohashi Bridge – Japan
This road was opened for traffic in 2004. Built like a terrifying roller-coaster in order to allow fishing boats to pass underneath, it connects the cities Matsue and Sakaiminato over the lake Nakaumi on Japan’s main island, Honshu. It looks steeper than it actually is, but with a gradient 5.1% on one side and 6.1 % on the other, it’s a scary experience even for the most experienced drivers.
10. North Yungas Road – Bolivia
Also known as Road of Death and Road of Fate, the North Yungas Road is located in the western part of Bolivia, and it connects its capital, La Paz, with the town of Coroico. It’s a 56 km long route, where on one side there are sheer cliffs and on the other a 600 m deep ravine. The bad weather conditions, like rain and fog, make travelling down this road even more dangerous and it is estimated that around 200-300 people fall to their deaths yearly.
11. BR-116 – Brazil
At 4,385 km, BR-116 is the second longest highway in Brazil. It connects the north with the south and passes close to the eastern coastline. The sharp turns, numerous potholes, and overall poor maintenance make this road very dangerous. It is the most frequented road by truckers in the country. The Curitiba—São Paulo section of the highway is nicknamed “Rodovia da Morte” (Highway of Death), due to its many accidents caused by the unstable weather conditions of the region.
12. Kabul-Jalalabad road – Afghanistan
This road connects Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, with Jalalabad, the largest city in the eastern part of the country. 143 km long, it was an asphalt road when first opened in 1969, but has since deteriorated and now it’s just gravel. The danger here is not only the terrorist violence, although that is an issue too, but also the overspeeding. Accidents happen so often that no-one actually keeps track anymore.
13. Guoliang Tunnel – China
The Guoliang Tunnel is 1.2 km long and it is located in the province of Henan, in central China. It was built in 5 years by 13 inhabitants from the village of Guoliang, which, being situated high in the Taigang Mountains, had no other connection to civilization. The construction was completed in 1977, and nowadays it’s a popular tourist destination, with lots of people choosing to travel along the creepy tunnel on foot and enjoy the spectacular views.
14. Trollstigen road – Norway
This road is located on the western coast of Norway, and it’s one of Norway’s most popular tourist destinations. It’s 55 km long, has an incline of 9%, and 11 hairpin turns. It’s made even more dangerous by the poor visibility and slippery surface which are the result of rain and fog. Known as the ‘Troll’s Path,’ this serpentine mountain road offers magnificent opportunities for photographing the lush valleys and the fjords below.
15. Zoji Pass – India
The Zoji Pass, also known as Zoji La, is a 9 km long mountain pass in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in northern India. It lies 3,528 meters above sea level, and it connects Ladakh with the valley of Kashmir. Due to intense snowfall, the road is closed in winter. Even in favorable weather conditions, the narrowness of the road, and the steep drop on the side make it one of the most dangerous passes in the region.