Top Ten Unusual Drives on Earth
There's a reason the road less travelled is less travelled! The world's steepest roads, the world's narrowest roads, the world's most bizarre roads - here's ten reasons to take out extra insurance on your next rental car!
1. The World's Steepest RoadBaldwin Street is just your average suburban street in New Zealand, only it rises 230 feet over its short 1150 feet distance! Locals challenge the fittest visitors to run it, and they've never met an athlete it couldn't beat!
2. The World's Iciest Road
The McMurdo South Pole Highway is a 900 mile stretch of unpaved highway linking the U.S. Antarctic McMurdo station to the Amundsen-Scott station basically it's a series of flags patrolled by snow plows! The road is extremely dangerous, tedious and of course, very very isolated!
3. The World's Most Dangerous Road
The North Yungas Road in Bolivia has got to be the world's most dangerous road. It's a forty odd mile road from the Bolivian capital La Paz through mountains to Coroico and claims the lives of 200 to 300 travelers every year. Locals nickname it 'death road'.
4. The World's Sharpest Corners
The Grimsel Pass in the Swiss Alps may not rival the death road, but don't get too caught up in the breathtaking views as the corners are arguably the sharpest in the world.
5. Most Unusual Bridge
The Trans Tokyo Bay Motorway (also known as The Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line) has visitors to Tokyo scratching their heads as it disappears half way across the gigantic Tokyo Bay. This 6.2 mile long motorway is part bridge part tunnel, with a gigantic floating car park right in the middle; talk about convenient parking!
6. The World's Longest Road Tunnel
Travel from Laerdal to Aurland in Norway 15.2 miles of tunnel through mountains nearly 6000 feet high! The tunnel cost a whopping US$125 million and was built to combat the heavy winter snowfalls that caused havoc with Norwegian commuters.
7. The World's Longest Continuous Road
The Pan American Highway is recognized as the longest continuous road, spanning 29,800 miles from Prudhoe Bay in North Alaska right across Canada, the U.S., Central and South America all the way to Ushuaia on the southern tip of Argentina. Driving it will take you through just about every climate the world has to offer and some of the prettiest spots on Earth. Click here for rental car options in North America.
8. World's Highest Bridge
The Millau Viaduct spans the river Tarn in France stands 1,125 feet high let's get that into proportion, it's a bridge higher than the Eiffel Tower! It is so high that special engineering was needed to combat the 95 mph winds! Click here for car hire options in France.
9. World's Most Picturesque Road
The Dalmatian Coast Road in Croatia is arguably the most picturesque in the world (and let's not get into a big argument about it). With views of the Adriatic Sea and islands to one side and picturesque fishing towns, mountains and classical architecture to the other, it's Europe's best kept secret. Even better, it's one of Europe's most affordable destinations and not too far to drive from Italy! Click here for car hire options in Italy.
10. The World's Narrowest Road
The Fairy Meadows road in Pakistan might be the narrowest and most dangerous road on earth. The road was named by German climbers. It's located 3300 meters above the sea level with a length of about 15km to Nanga Parbat (The Killer Mountain). Fairy Meadows was declared a National Park in 1995.
Okay, you can't have the world's most picturesque without the world's most boring!
The Eyre Highway across the Nullarbor Plain in Australia's south west is deemed as the longest straight stretch of road in Australia and one of the longest in the world. And while you get the occasional breathtaking view of the coast line, there are still over a thousand miles of, well nothing at all, but dust and a very straight flat road. In summer the temperatures along the road easily exceed 100 degrees and the dust gets, well, very very dusty! Towns are around two hundred miles apart and are you guessed it, hot and dusty. Urban legend has it that several tourists have needed rescuing after underestimating the distance and attempting the road on bicycles!
Do it the safe way - click here for car rental options in Australia.
Do you know other unusual and challenging drives that might surprise us? Let us know in the comments!