Ah, the fun of relaxing long drives! Loved by people around the world, drives can be wonderfully calming and a great way to beat stress. However, if you’re heading out in the direction of any of these roads around the world – beware and buckle up, for this will probably not be a pleasant one for most!
11Los Caracoles Pass, Chile
Difficult turns meet unfenced sides on this dangerous, yet beautiful drive of Chile. Located in the Andes, this one is a crucial transport link as it connects the Chilean capital to Mendoza city in Argentina. As if the steep slopes and sharp turns weren’t enough, the route is often covered by snow which only adds to the danger on this pass.
10The Stelvio Pass, Italy
This stunning mountain pass lies at an elevation of 9,045 feet about sea level and is one of Europe’s highest mountain roads. With 48 hairpin bends, steep inclines and uber-narrow roads at certain points, this scenic drive is surely a challenging one. The concrete barriers along the road are pretty short which means drivers must maneuver their way around 180 degree turns carefully in order to avoid falling over these Alps mountains.
9The Guoliang Tunnel Road, China
This surreal looking tunnel road, carved out by villagers, is situated in Taihang Mountains in China. Apart from being extremely steep, the road has some extreme cliff drops and there are no fences on the side of the road at many points. Just around 4 meters wide, this road’s dangerousness is severely affected by the weather. During the winter, fog can hamper visibility, monsoons bring in muddy and slippery tracks while in summer, the road is prone to occasional rockfalls and limited visibility due to dust. This dangerous road is popularly known to be one that does not tolerate mistakes.
8Skippers Canyon Road, New Zealand
Gorgeous and terrifying is the perfect way to describe this dangerously winding road. Wide enough for just about one vehicle, driving on this slippery road requires a special permit. Once that is sorted, you’re on your own!
7Atlantic Ocean Road, Norway
You’ve probably seen pictures of this iconic road, they’re incredibly popular and understandably so. The 8.3-kilometre-long road passes through unsheltered Norwegian Sea is built on several small islands and rocky reefs. The road is home to 8 connecting bridges with the most popular one being Storseisundet Bridge which has a unique winding shape. The waves from the sea often crashes over to the road, giving this one an easy spot on our list of dangerous roads.
6James Dalton Highway, USA
This one is one of the most isolates roads in USA and it’s genuinely terrifying how anyone driving on the road is literally in the middle of nowhere. The 666 kilometre road is home to only three towns on the way and three fuel stations. The road isn’t in prime conditions all throughout though with it being primarily gravel in a lot of places. Not only is the James Dalton Highway extremely isolates, but it also experiences strong winds which is known to fling rocks at the vehicles. Humongous potholes and -60 degrees Celsius only add on to the difficulty in driving. Going slow is key (speed and icy roads isn’t the best of combinations) and headlights are supposed to be on at all times. Small vehicles are highly discouraged from using this road.
5The Nanga Parbat Pass- The Road To Fairy Meadows, Pakistan
As pleasing as the Road to Fairy Meadows sounds, it’s quite the opposite – Terrifying, dangerous and not for the faint hearted. The 10 mile road stretch is situated 10,000 feet above sea level. Narrow width, absence of guard rails, gravel surface and steep ascent all come together to make this one a terror to drive on.
4North Yungas Road, Bolivia
Also known as ‘The Death Road’, the North Yungas Road in this South American country is known to be one of the most dangerous roads in the world. Some estimates say that the number of fatalities on this road is between 200 to 300 annually. Sharp turns, no guard rails and terrible condition of the road all contribute to this road being a super dangerous one.
3Leh – Manali Highway
This mountainous highway spanning over 490 kilometers in the Himalayas is not open throughout the year due to climate conditions. While several stretches of this highway are relatively safe, many of them are not for the faint-hearted individuals. The road is all dirt and gravel at several places and the absence of rail guards, steep ascents/descents and narrow roads certainly add to the terrifying drive. What more? The altitude can cause sickness in many and at times, the route if often isolated and far away from civilization.
2La Pista De L’Amite, Maritime Alps, Franco-Italian Border
This road demands respect and how. A rugged terrain coupled with a zig-zag and winding route doesn’t make this an easy drive. The road is extremely narrow – so much so that a car may have to reverse by up to a kilometre in case it comes face to face with another one on this terrifying road. There is no rail guard and one peek over the edge will tell you that it is indeed a scary vertical drop next to the road. As if all of this wasn’t terrifying enough, the area is also prone to avalanches, snowfalls and landslides.
1Zojila Pass, India
A mountain pass at an elevation of over 11 and a half thousand feet, this road is for only the best of the best drivers. Often closed during winters, this strip of road is vital for Leh and connects the region to Srinagar. An unpaved road full of gravel and dirt, brutal weather conditions and steep drops make this road an easy one to put on our list. Oh, and let’s not forget the blind turns, shall we?