By STEPHANIE ARMAND
You have the car, and some free time. So where to go? Here are a few of the world’s top roads to enhance the driving experience (make sure you do the research and lock down accommodation and restaurants before heading out). A tip: look for the right mix of twists in the road (resulting in the best views).
The Icefields Parkway is 230 kilometres of roadway from Banff to Jasper with views of the Rocky Mountains seemingly at every turn and an endless montage of nature on display – wildlife, ridges, water falls, ice fields, lakes. Postcards that come to life. Image: Photoboom.ca.
The Transfagarasan is a high-altitude mountain road (it climbs to 2,034 metres altitude, making it the second highest paved road in Romania after Transalpina) with breathtakingly beautiful views and hair-raising hairpin turns all along its 90-kilometer route. A killer drive – it will even take you through the ruins of Vlad III the Impaler’s castle, the Romanian prince who inspired Dracula.
THE MASCA LOOP
Tenerife might be the most populated island of the Canary Islands of Spain, but the roads you find there are some of the most secluded. It’s where the cycling pros go to train, attracted by its high altitude, very little traffic and Lunar-like landscapes — things a motorist will appreciate, too. The Masca loop in the Teno mountain range is considered one of the best rides on the island, with plenty of hairpin bends and the Atlantic in sight.
BIG SUR COAST
Not exactly a new flash: The Big Sur Coast, the rugged stretch of California coastline between San Simeon and Carmel, is world renowned as one of the top scenic drives, anywhere. Come prepared – research where to stay, and where to dine, beforehand (we recommend the Post Ranch Inn over Ventana, in the image — doubles from $675 — and dining at the quaint Nepenthe, with its relaxed atmosphere), so you get more out of the drive. And slow down – if you’re in a rush, take the freeway.
Fans of the James Bond movie Goldfinger will remember this road, where Bond drove the famous Aston Martin DB5. The Furka Pass is 2,429 metres and is a high mountain pass that runs through the Swiss Alps, connecting Gletsch, Valais with Realp, Uri. Image by Oberwald Belvedere.