Who doesn’t like to be beside the seaside, especially when you’re cruising along in the comfort of a Mercedes GLC or letting in the sky at the wheel of a convertible BMW 4 Series. Whether you’re looking for some inspiration for your next trip away, or you just feel like getting lost in the thought of the open road for a while, read on to discover seven of the most stunning coastal roads anywhere in the world.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
You’re going to expect any coastline that’s been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site to be impressive, and the Amalfi Coast certainly doesn’t disappoint. Meandering along the Sorrentine Peninsula just to the south of Naples, you’ll gaze out over the Mediterranean Sea on one side of Strada Statale 163, while your other flank will throw up stunning views of towering cliffs that are at times barley interrupted by the snaking tarmac.
California State Route 1
A road that stretches for around 650 miles along most of California’s Pacific coastline, SR 1 is almost as famous as it is beautiful. A perennially popular place to hire a drop-top American muscle car for an unforgettable road trip, the part of the road known as the Pacific Coast Highway has all the typical SR 1 characteristics of sweeping sea views, plunging cliffs and golden sandy beaches that seem to beg you to pull over and take a quick break.
Ruta 40, Argentina
Another road where the sheer scale is part of its stunning nature, Ruta 40 is one of the longest roads anywhere in the world and extends for more than 3,000 astonishing miles. Spanning almost the entire length of Argentina from La Quiaca in northern Jujuy to Cabo Virgenes in southern Santa Cruz, you can dive across into Chile to take the coastal route and blend your spectacular Patagonian vistas with Andean mountains and the sparkling expanse of the South Pacific.
Great Ocean Road, Australia
An iconic coastal road, the clue really is in the name with this one. Winding its way along some 150 miles of epic Victorian coastline in the southeast of Australia, the great in its name is certainly deserved. Countless motorcyclists attest to its charms on a daily basis, while there are many spots to pull over and take in the incredible scenery, not least at the majestic Twelve Apostles near Port Campbell.
Chapman's Peak Drive, South Africa
With its distinctive coastline and Table Mountain rising high above the city, Cape Town quite rightly has a reputation for being one of the best-looking destinations in the world. And just south of the city you can drive along one of the most magnificent roads you could ever hope for. Chapman's Peak Drive snakes for around five and a half miles along South Africa’s Atlantic Coast between Hout Bay and Noordhoek, and hugs the near-vertical face of the striking mountain it’s named after.
Atlantic Ocean Road, Norway
Like Chapman’s Peak Drive, you’ll probably be left wishing this road lasted for a little longer. It’s only a five-mile section of County Road 64 which runs between the towns of Kristiansund and Åndalsnes, but it’s sure to leave a lasting impression. A range of amazing bridges carry you over an array of islands along the route, with none more impressive than the dramatic Storseisundet Bridge.
Route 1, Iceland
A short hop over the Norwegian Sea and you’re in Iceland for another breathtaking drive. Also known as the Ring Road, Route 1 has a total length of over 800 miles, so you’ll certainly need to stop at a few places along the way. In all honesty you could easily spend weeks on end exploring the perimeter of this remarkable country, as you stop at dazzling spots like the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and volcanic lake Mývatn with its geothermal spa.