By M. W. Byrne

Long & Winding: The 17 Best Roads in the World to Drive

These roads should be well-maintained, have a minimum of daily traffic, and be easy to use and enjoy without fretting over potholes or busted blacktop. To see it done right, here’s the 17 best roads to drive anywhere on our home planet.

Highway 1, Big Sur, California

You’ll hit multiple historic bridges, have incredible views over the crashing waves, be dappled in sunlight the entire way, and any car feels natural as it wends along the twists.


North Coast 500, Scotland

You’ll see heartbreaking coasts of jagged stone, true castles, locks, and can log loads of laid back miles that are great fun in a sporty coupe.


Hells Canyon Road, Idaho

For 22 miles this follows the Snake River. beginning in the green land of Oregon and terminating at the Hells Canyon dam, the road begs for small vehicles to run the track.


Seward Highway, Alaska

You’ll see a bit of the Turnagain arm alongside the peaks of the Chugach Mountains. It’s as isolating a drive as there is, so bundle up and have some cozy music to keep you company.


N-222 from Peso da Régua to Pinhão, Portugal

The winding road has a specific makeup, with 10 seconds of straightaway for every single second spent going through a turn. It’s a natural performance track running right through the Douro Valley.


Hana Highway, Maui

Here there’s immense mountains, there’s a stand for fresh banana bread. Then there’s a bunch of seal pups sunning themselves. It’s magical and requires savoring.