"The important thing is not the destination but the journey itself! ». What if, as Robert Louis Stevenson said, landing in an airplane somewhere makes you lose the infinite beauty of the landscapes you've travelled through? To make you want to get behind the wheel, turn on the car radio and soak up some of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet, the Petit Futé has selected the 10 most beautiful roads in the world to do at least once before handing in your licence! Beware, some of them are dizzying and require concentration at the highest level, but the effort is worth it!
Route 66 (United States)
This is the one that few have never heard of. "The Mother Road" is a true myth and connects Chicago to Los Angeles for nearly 4,000 km, crossing three time zones and eight states. Route 66 is an opportunity to see some of America's great sites and monuments, stop for dinner to recharge batteries over a burger and fries and spend a few nights in motels. And then, at the end of the trip, there is Arizona and the famous national parks, before reaching California and Santa Monica Pier to simply beach yourself and contemplate the immensity of the Pacific Ocean.
The Atlantic Route (Norway)
8.3 km long, this marvel that links the towns of Molde and Kristiansund (in the western fjords) was built on several islets and reefs and has 8 bridges and several viaducts. This scenery gives the impression of driving on water... This resolutely picturesque route also offers the opportunity to discover coastal life, and for this you should not hesitate to stop to rent fishing equipment, to ask the local fishermen to go for a walk at sea or to spend the night in one of the accommodations for the pleasure of waking up in the middle of an exceptional natural setting. Note that it is also possible to go diving and see some of the wrecks that lie on the bottom of the sea
The Karakorum Road (Pakistan)
This international road, located at an altitude of 4,693 m on the border between China and Pakistan, is the highest asphalt road in the world. It is easy to understand why it is unofficially nicknamed the "Eighth Wonder of the World". From Kashgar in China to Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, the crossing reveals immense glaciers and a large number of dizzying peaks that one cannot tire of photographing. In any case, it is advisable to be careful once you arrive in the mountains and if you want to listen to music while driving, remember to take a CD, the radio is playing badly!
Highway 1 (California)
The Pacific Coast Highway or California Dream Highway is the American dream from start to finish. Running along the Pacific coast from northern California, this highway stretches for 882 kilometres. It offers magnificent panoramas and passes through star cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. Along the way, dozens of spots offer simply incredible views of the cliffs and the ocean, and how not to mention the unmissable Bixby Bridge and Pfeiffer Beach? You will also come across many animals, including sea lions and a multitude of birds. The light that changes with the hours of the day adds a certain charm to this fascinating route
Sani Pass (South Africa)
Beautiful but dangerous, this winding road is 9 km long at the western end of the province of KwaZulu-Natal, crossing the border with neighbouring Lesotho. The route is done in a good 4x4, at an altitude of nearly 2,800 m, but be careful not to squeeze too close to impressive precipices. Here, the road is sometimes largely dusty and offers an experience worthy of the best nature adventure films. But the steep cliffs of the Drakensberg and the mountainous kingdom of Lesotho are incredibly beautiful and offer the most beautiful panoramas in South Africa
The Tianmen Road (China)
99 bends, some of which are 180°, all over 11 km, vertigo is assured and it is recommended to have a good heart to be able to travel this road serenely! Also called the Road to Heaven, it crosses two bridges and reveals breathtaking panoramas of the 9 surrounding mountains, steep cliffs and ancient trees. Driving the Tianmen Road means setting off for forty minutes of thrills and an unforgettable experience. In addition, beautiful reward at the top of the mountain, in the north of the Chinese province Hunan with the Tianmen caves, a natural hole at 1 200 m altitude.
Dades Gorge (Morocco)
To the east of Marrakech in the High Atlas, these mountain loops that follow the gorges to Agoudal, at the head of Todra, are very popular with tourists... Desert road then mineral road, an unexpected meeting with the shepherds will make you goat! The Dades River has carved breathtakingly beautiful gorges and there is no better way to discover them than by car, motorbike or camper van. The panoramas offered on the Tissandrine ravine and the steep cliffs of the High Atlas are as many reasons to go there, as well as to stop in the villages where the dwellings merge with the orange-coloured rock and the Oued
The Great Ocean Road (Australia)
Along Australia's south-east coast between the world-famous surfing towns of Torquay and Allansford, the route is a National Heritage Site. During a stay in the country, it is a must for all those who love to drive and enjoy breathtaking scenery, between steep cliffs, deserted beaches and other tropical forests. The Great Ocean Road is nature in all its diversity and the opportunity to engage in many activities: hiking to admire the fauna and flora, moments around gastronomy in fishing villages and wineries, and moments of contemplation of the sea punctuated by swimming and surfing for the fans
Route 40 (Argentina)
One of the longest roads in the world with its 5,500 km: parallel to the Andes Cordillera, it crosses 20 national parks, 18 rivers and at least as many magnificent landscapes. We cross deserted and wild areas, multicoloured mountains in the extraordinary Quebrada de Humahuaca, a salt desert, vineyards, regions where cacti flirt with mountains from afar, lakes, forests and then the glaciers and estancias of Southern Patagonia. Route 40 is a festival of landscapes and it takes about a month to travel along it in complete serenity
Cape Town Bay (Mauritius)
When travelling in Mauritius, one should not hesitate to rent a car to travel along its most beautiful tourist routes. In the south of the island, between Flic-en-Flac and Bel Ombre, the Baie du Cap is a comfortable and safe road that offers the opportunity to take a look to the right, to the left, on the sea and the elements that make up the coastline. Don't miss a stop in the inverted U-shaped bend at Macondé. This is where you will find an unmissable viewpoint accessible via a staircase. It offers a sublime panorama on the bluish reflections of the ocean and the mountainous reliefs, the camera is then de rigueur. Ready for a little tour?