Where is the World’s Best Scenic Drive?
We’ve cruised Italy’s Lakes Region, Australia's Great Ocean Road and Hawaii’s Big Island Belt Road in the United States. Where do you think the world’s best, most scenic drive is?
Great cars and great roads have a way of bringing out the inner child in all of us, especially when travelling to areas of spectacular scenic beauty. There is no shortage of breathtaking drives from one end of the world to the other, but these are some of the best.
Lake Garda, Italy’s Lake Region
Super agent James Bond never just drives; he screams around turns, tires squealing, usually in an Aston Martin or Lotus. But no matter how many enemies pursue him, stylish Bond makes sure his epic chases occur on the world’s most scenic roads, which is why the 15-minute adrenaline-charged opening sequence of the latest Bond film, Quantum of Solace, was shot on the eastern shore of beautiful Lake Garda in Italy’s Lake Region. The lake level road alternates tunnels and stunning panoramas as it hugs the water’s edge, before circling the north end of the lake and climbing into the steep foothills of the Tremosine overlooking Garda’s west coast.
Big Island Belt Road, Hawaii
Hawaii has many famed drives, but nothing beats the Big Island for, well, big variety. Heading south from the Kona coast you’ll pass through the only coffee country in the United States, and past Kealakekua Bay, where intrepid explorer James Cook’s travels abruptly came to an end, before traversing a long stretch of lava fields en route to Volcanoes National Park. From Hilo, the main town on the opposite side of the island, the loop back includes a viewpoint overlooking the famed Waipio Valley, an 850-foot (259-metre) deep Eden widely regarded as one of the most beautiful spots in the country. Return across the island’s north shore, through ranch country, past grazing cattle and paniolo, Hawaiian cowboys, and through the charming town of Waimea.
Great Ocean Road, Australia
A consensus pick, the Great Ocean Road, a 150-mile (241-kilometre) stretch of road on the south shore of Victoria, is so compelling that for driving buffs it is one of the must-do’s of any trip Down Under. It lives up to its name, hugging the coast with endless views of the Southern Ocean, as well as climbing headlands, brushing beaches, crossing river estuaries and occasionally diverting into lush rain forest. One of the many highlights is the Twelve Apostles rock formation, comprised of a dozen limestone towers, within Port Campbell National Park.
These are just a few of the many scenic roads for travelling drivers around the globe. What’s your favourite?