This blog post was updated on January 17, 2022.
You don’t carry an umbrella in the rain, courageously wear a fanny pack, and have never played Pokemon Go. Yes, you’re a certified badass. And that’s just why a regular road trip with your besties just won’t cut it. What you need is something that pushes you to the edge … like fall-off-the-cliff edge … literally.
So go ahead — start looking for some cheap international flights, because we’ve searched out 10 hair-raising, quirky, downright dangerous road trips on some bizarre roads around the world that you can take on, at your own peril (PS: We really really hope you’re insured).
Yungas Road – Bolivia
Is there a reason it’s called El Camino de la Muerte (“The Road of Death”)? Yep. This road between La Paz and Coroico is something straight out of an Indiana Jones movie. A narrow road, sections of dirt and mud, a lack of guardrails, terrifying cliffs, and potential landslides all make for one heck of a drive. But on the bright side, if you do survive the drive, you can grab some Instagram-worthy shots of rainforests and clouds.
TIP: You’ll need to switch to the LEFT side of the road, in order to get the best view of oncoming vehicles. Also, watch out for speeding mountain bikers who frequent the road.
The Transfagarasan – Romania
Constructed under Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu in the 70s, at a great financial and human cost, this winding road is known for its numerous sharp hairpin turns through the picturesque Fagaras Mountains. Drivers from all over Europe love to test themselves on the 93-mile highway, at the heart-pounding max speed of 25 mph.
TIP: The road’s open only from June – October. Make sure you stop over at Curtea de Arges, a small town about 24 miles north of Pitesti, which is home to the 14th century Curtea Domneasca ruins.
Amalfi Coast – Italy
The Italians make great cars, and so it’s obvious they need challenging roads to test them. With its blind corners and asphalt lanes, this road hugs the beautiful Amalfi Coast, taking you through pristine small towns overlooking the clear blue Mediterranean sea. But don’t be distracted by the scenery – you’ll have to contend with its numerous twists while also keeping an eye open for exuberant Italian drivers.
TIP: The less touristy mid-September to October and May period is the best time to look for cheap international flights to get you on the road here. Stop at Ravello, one of the most idyllic Italian villages that looks like it’s straight out of a Hollywood movie.
Gotthard Pass – Switzerland
Who said the Swiss are good at just army knives and chocolates? They make some amazingly thrilling roads to drive on too! Soaring mountain views and sharp turns make for a pleasantly doable drive, but don’t relax too much, as this road will certainly test your braking and handling skills – just say a quick prayer to the road’s patron saint (St. Gotthard) for good luck.
TIP: Watch out for the route’s most famous stone bridge known as the Teufelsbrücke (or Devil’s Bridge).
The Autobahn – Germany
While there is a “recommended” maximum speed limit of about 81 mph on the Autobahn, some areas have less traffic and regulation, allowing drivers to go hell for leather. A notable stretch, which happens to be scenic as well, is the 121-mile stretch from Gottmadingen to Weinsberg.
TIP: Overtaking is allowed on the left ONLY. Let really fast vehicles pass on your left – stick to the right if you want to go a bit slower.
Atlantic Road – Norway
For an out-of-this-world driving experience, this road takes the cake. Slithering across several small islands and skerries, and connected by causeways and bridges, the 5.2-mile long road between Norway‘s Kristansund and Molde lets you live on the edge, with some parts totally unprotected from the ocean.
TIP: Watch out for a great photo op at the prominent, looping Storseisundet Bridge.
Kemaliye Tas Yolu – Turkey
You must have looked at some of these European roads and thought “Well that doesn’t look too challenging.” You want badass? We’ll give you badass. Check out the Kemaliye Tas Yolu in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. This white-knuckle drive comprises a green-river gorge surrounded by steep rocky mountains, no guardrails, and tunnels so deep and dark they never see sunlight.
TIP: A 4×4 vehicle or a motorcycle are the best ways to see this very rocky route.
Guoliang Tunnel Road – China
While being just under a mile long, this hand-carved tunnel road (13 villagers worked on it with basic tools for 5 years) is one of a kind. It’s one of the steepest roads in the world, and you’ll also get a chance to take a shot out of one of the 30 “windows” carved into the tunnel walls. Drive with care — one small misstep could cause a major accident.
TIP: Stop by the secluded village of Guoliang. It’s beautiful during the autumn months, as its lush foliage takes over.
Abano Pass – Georgia
At 2,950 meters, this breathtaking route is the highest drivable mountain pass in the Caucasus. Connecting Georgia’s southern Kakheti with the northern Tusheti region, you’ll witness deep gorges, green mountains with sprawling wild flowers (in the spring/summer season), and numerous twist and turns that need to be taken painstakingly slowly. Not for the faint of heart or those with any form of car sickness!
TIP: The road is closed from mid-October to the end of June. We highly recommend a 4×4 vehicle for the route due to the condition of the road.
RELATED: Here are some useful tips for the road and why taking a road trip is the best way to experience a new country!
Skippers Canyon Road – New Zealand
New Zealand is known as a hot spot for adrenaline junkies, and it’s no different if you want a cliffhanger of a road trip. Completed in 1890 to accommodate a gold rush in the area, the road hasn’t changed much over the last century, with the narrow gorge and gravel surface offering up a stiff challenge. Numerous tour companies now offer chauffeured 4×4 tours — take our word for it; just grab a flight here and then leave the driving to the professionals!
TIP: Drivers need to apply for a permit to drive the road well in advance. Skippers Canyon has appeared in Lord of the Rings movies as the river Bruinen (Loudwater), so you might be able to snap your best Frodo pose while traveling through!
Ready to test your nerve on these crazy roads? Well, if you think you’ve got what it takes then start searching for cheap flights to get you to one of these locations ASAP!
Know of any other badass road trips from around the world? Be a badass and chuck a few at us in the comments below.