Best Road in the World

The 40 Best Roads In The World To Ride Your Bike

There’s something about mountain roads that really get me excited. Perhaps it’s the grand views in combination with the challenge of getting my bike to the top. For many of the below roads, I’m still indecisive about whether I’d rather enjoy the view slowly on the way up, or fast on the way down!

I didn’t want to just give you road names and photos so I’ve made an interactive map too. You now have no excuses to go out and explore them. 😀

Without further ado, here’s my list of the best roads in the world!

Zigzag Road to Zukuk, India

Best Road in the World
Zigzag Road to Zuluk, India.

There are not many roads as crazy as the zigzag road to Zukuk. Tucked away between Nepal and Bhutan in the Himalayas, this road makes the most of the super steep mountainside to get you between small villages. This road is actually known as the ‘Old Silk Road’ as it was once a major trading route from China to India.

Tianmen Mountain Road, China

Best Road in the World
The Tianman Mountain Road, China.

The Tianmen road is world-famous, taking you on a journey of 99 bends over 11km (6.8mi) to Tianmen cave, a natural hole in the mountain with a height of 131.5 metres (431 ft). Alternatively, you can take the 7.5km (4.6mi) cable car trip to the top for the most stunning views.

24 Zig Zag Road, China

Best Road in the World
24 Zig Zag Road, China.

The 24 zig-zag gravel road in China played an important role during WW2 to help the Chinese resist the Japanese invasion. Currently, it is not well maintained, making it a perfect climb on your bike!

Aizhai Winding Road, China

Best Road in the World
Aizhai Winding Road, China.

Gaining elevation on steep hillsides seems like a favourite pastime for the Chinese! The Aizhai winding road has stunning views the whole way up. These days the road is a bit less popular due to the construction of a gigantic bridge which connects both sides of the valley.

Jacob’s Ladder, Australia

Best Road in the World
Jacob’s Ladder, Australia. Image: NorthSouth.cc

Jacob’s Ladder in Tasmania goes right up to Ben Lomond Mountain. This dirt road climb is infamous in Australia – the towering dolerite cliffs dominating the landscape on either side.

Burr Trail, USA

Best Road in the World
Burr Trail, USA.

Wedged between red sandstone cliffs, the Burr Trail was constructed by a rancher named John Atlantic Burr who wanted move his cattle between summer and winter grazing grounds.

Shafer Canyon Road, USA

Best Road in the World
Shafter Canyon Road, USA. Image: Kevin Buettner

This Hollywood-famous road descends from the rim of the Shafer Canyon. At the top of the canyon, you enter the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands National Park, a huge mesa with great views of the surrounding canyons.

Mineral Bottom, USA

Best Road in the World
Mineral Bottom, USA. Image: Dustin Baugh

Another Utah scenic road, Mineral Bottom ascends 250m (800ft) up a series of switchbacks to get to the top of the canyon.

Gata Loops, India

Best Road in the World
Gata Loops, India.

The Gata Loops are a climbing section of the famous Menali-Leh Highway. There are 22 switchbacks in total, but the biggest challenge is perhaps trying to climb your bike when you’re up at over 4000m (13123ft)!

Moldo Ashuu Pass, Kyrgyzstan

Image: aaa
The Moldo Ashuu Pass, Kyrgyzstan. Image: OffRoadKazan

There are too many amazing roads in Kyrgyzstan to include in this page! But the Moldo Ashuu Pass is considered one of the most beautiful, with its constant views across the Naryn Valley as it winds its way up to Lake Song-Kul at 3200m (10498ft).

Dizin Road, Iran

Best Road in the World
The road to Dizin, Iran.

The Dizin Ski Resort is one of the biggest in Iran and has a great winding road to get you there. Given the high elevation of this road, it’s under snow for over six months per year!

Lawdar Mountain Pass, Yemen

Best Road in the World
Lawdar Pass, Yemen.

The Lawdar mountain pass is in the unsuspecting country of Yemen. This road features 34 switchbacks which take you up to 2267m (7437ft). Given the lack of vegetation, the views are spectacular!

Sani Pass, South Africa

Best Road in the World
Sani Pass, South Africa. Image: Ayres Adventures

The Sani Pass climbs to the border between Lesotho and South Africa. This dirt road hits a maximum of 2876m (9400ft) elevation, and is only allowed to be driven by 4×4 vehicles.

Serra da Leba, Angola

Best Road in the World
Serra Da Leba, Angola. Image: Rob Whittaker

The Serra da Leba asphalt climb features seven tight switchbacks near the top of the pass (1845m/6053ft). It is one of the only areas of the region that can experience snow fall.

Gorges du Dadès, Morocco

Best Road in the World
Gorges du Dades, Morocco. Image: SeriousA

This famous picturesque road in Morocco is built into a unique rocky gorge landscape. It’s a popular destination for tourists to stop and enjoy the views.

The Transfagarasan, Romania

Best Road in the World
The Transfagarasan, Romania.

The Transfagarasan high is 90km long and is one of the highest paved roads in Romania. It features dozens of stunning switchbacks and some unlit tunnels which are almost a kilometre long!

The Transalpina, Romania

Best Road in the World
The Transalpina, Romania. Image: Bereczki Barna

This winding road in Romania has just been resurfaced to be a modern highway which stretches 148km through the Carpathian Mountains. It was originally constructed in 200AD by the Roman legions and was used to defeat the local forces.

Leqet e Hotit, Albania

Best Road in the World
Leqet e Hotit, Albania. Image: Tonin Demaj

This climb winds through the rocky landscape of the Albanian mountains along the Montenegrin border. It has recently been sealed to make the view-friendly ride more pleasurable.

Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria

Best Road in the World
Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria. Image: Imre Lakat

The Grossglockner Alpine Road is the highest sealed road in Austria, reaching a maximum of 2504 m (8215ft). It has been named after Austria’s tallest mountain.

Forcella di Lavardet, Italy

Best Road in the World
Forcella di Lavardet, Italy. Image: Alsardin

These 14 sharp hairpin turns are some of the most famous in the world. As Forcella di Lavardet is an old military road, the gradient is as low as possible to get heavy machinery up and over the pass.

Passo San Boldo, Italy

Best Road in the World
Passo San Boldo, Italy.

Passo San Boldo is a unique climb because of the seven hairpin turns that have been tunneled into the earth. Amazingly, this road was built in just 100 days by the Austro-Hungarian army during WW1. Due to time constraints, they ended up bringing in prisoners of war, the elderly and children to help out – 1400 workers ended up completing the project!

Passo Dello Stelvio, Italy

Best Road in the World
Passo Dello Stelvio, Italy. Image: Mario.J

The Stelvio would have to be one of the most photographed roads in the world. This mountain pass reaches a maximum elevation of 2757m (9045ft) after you’ve ascended all 48 hairpin bends.

Old Gotthard Pass, Switzerland

Best Road in the World
The old Gotthard Pass Road, Switzerland.

The windy Gotthard Pass road was first constructed in 1830 to connect towns on either side of the mountain range. These days rail and road tunnels go right through the middle, but that doesn’t stop keen cyclists and drivers to enjoy the wild road up and down the mountain.

Furka Pass, Switzerland

Best Road in the World
Furka Pass, Switzerland.

This Swiss mountain pass drops into the valley and back up the other side to a maximum elevation of 2429m (7969ft). Like other Swiss passes, there are now tunnels which go straight through the base of the mountains to make this road a great option for cyclists.

Col de Tende, France

Col de Tende, France. Image: Giuntas
Col de Tende, France. Image: Giuntas

This 7 km long stretch of road features 48 switchbacks on the border between France and Italy. The first part of the pass is asphalted, but the second half of tight turns is all dirt. There are forts along the ridgeline in both directions.

Col du Turini, France

Best Road in the World
Col du Turini, France.

The Col du Turini is famous as it employs walled switchbacks neatly stacked on top of one another to ease the gradient. The walls actually doubled as a medieval fortress back in the day!

Col de Braus, France

Best Road in the World
Col de Braus, France.

This neat switchback climb in France reaches a maximum elevation of 1006m (3287ft) and is said to never be too steep.

Colle Del Sommeiller, Italy

Colle Del Sommeiller, Italy. Image: Cycling Challange
Colle Del Sommeiller, Italy. Image: Cycling Challange

The Colle Del Sommeiller mountain pass is the highest valley pass in Italy at 2993m/9819ft, and if you descend the other side you’ll find yourself in France. This 26km climb will flick from sealed road to dirt, as you ride through the varied landscapes.

Lacets de Montvernier, France

Best Road in the World
Lacets de Montvernier, France. Image: Steephill.tv / Sirotti

This rather unbelievable road of 18 hairpin turns climbs up the valley over 3.4km (2.1mi). The tight twisty section of the climb averages a 180 degree turn every 120 metres (393ft)!

Sierra Nevada Road, Spain

Best Road in the World
Sierra Nevada Road, Spain. Image: Piotr Zycki

The road up to Pico de Veleta (3392m/11128ft) from Sierra Nevada Ski Resort is a beauty! This winding dirt road navigates around the ski resort infrastructure and across the high alpine plains to provide an amazing view.

Lysevegen Road, Norway

Best Road in the World
Lysevegen Road, Norway.

Lysevegen Road is a popular 29km (18mi) long stretch that was constructed in order to piece together the Tjodan hydroelectric power station. Prior to this 27 hairpin-road, the only access to the small town of Lysebotn was by boat!

Trollstigen, Norway

Best Road in the World
Trollstigen, Norway.

In the height of summer, the Trollstigen in Norway can experience 2500 cars daily! It’s popular due to its steep gradients, 11 hairpin corners and unobscured views across the valley.

Portachuelo de Llanganuco, Peru

Best Road in the World
Portachuelo de Llanganuco, Peru.

This ultra-high Peruvian Pass (4767m/15639ft) is surrounded by snowy mountain peaks and crystal blue lakes in the lower sections. 28 hairpin turns allow you to gain 527m (1729ft) over 8.5km (5.3mi) to access the Huascaran National Park.

Road 663, Peru

Best Road in the World
Road 663, Peru.

Road 663 is a relatively unknown single-lane dirt climb that is particularly dangerous due to its lack of guardrails and sheer drops into the valley. You’ll be rewarded with excellent views over the valley if you choose to take it on!

The Road To Cotabambas, Peru

Best Road in the World
Road to Cotabambas, Peru.

Straight up the side of a mountain, the gravel road (route 3SF) to Cotabambas climbs for 9.8km (6.1mi) and features 24 hairpin turns. You’ll gain almost 639m (2096ft) elevation to reach a maximum of 2900m (9514ft).

Collpani Pass, Bolivia

best roads in the world
Collpani Pass, Bolivia. Image: Elijah Mayr

Near Collpani in Bolivia is a dirt road climb that features 52 hairpin turns over 10.4km (6.5mi)!

Paso de los Caracoles, Chile

Best Road in the World
Paso de los Caracoles, Chile. Image: Edison Zanatto

This pass connecting Chile with Argentina (3200m/10500ft) is one of the more famous roads in the world. The name of this pass actually translates to ‘snail’s pass’, which give you an indication for how fast you’ll be moving when you attempt to ride up this!

Cuesta del Diablo, Chile

Best Road in the World
Cuesta del Diablo, Chile.

On the 1240km long Carretera Austral highway you’ll find this 6km (3.7mi) twisty road dropping past the glacier and basalt walls of Cerro Castillo (2675m/8775ft).

Serra Rio Do Rastro, Brazil

Best Road in the World
Serra Rio Do Rastro, Brazil. Image: Mateus Pabst

The Serra Rio Do Rastro is a lush Brazilian road that winds its way up to 1460m (4790ft) from sea level. Despite being 100km (62mi) from the ocean, from the top you can make out the water on a clear day.

Gangwon Do Road, South Korea

Best Road in the World
Road in Gangwon Do Province, South Korea.

This serpentine road in South Korea winds its way up a steep valley. A viewing platform at the top allows you to look down over what you have accomplished.

Have You Ridden Any Roads That Should Make This List?

  1. Here’s one that goes to a ski resort in Japan. Mount Iwaki ,access road from the highway to the bottom station is 9.4 klm roughly 63 switchback bends .

  2. Nice one AIee!

    I might be tempted to add the descent into Villa Cerro Castillo on the Carretera Austral. 6km of “dangerous curves” dropping past the glacier and basalt spires of Cerro Castillo. It’s not crazy crazy switchbacks like Mount Iwaki, but it is a *truly epic* descent (heading S).

  3. I have only two (albeit small) issues with your list: a) None of the roads are truly straight allowing for monstrous top speeds; and b) None of them are in the United States or Canada. Tossing in a small one from the U.S. would be Townes Pass in Death Valley – either side (but not in July – too hot). Otherwise, it’s a GREAT list. Now, where did I put my plane ticket(s)???

  4. Thanks for the list. Very inspiring list to read in the office on Friday…!
    Another recommendation. The Gata Loops, iin the Manali-Leh Highway. “Only” 21 bends and 500mts gain, but considering you start at nearly 4200mts, it’s hard enough.

  5. Some roads are truly amazing… Just one remark: the Furka picture is actually taken from the flanks of the Grimsel. It’s not one and the same, going down into the valley and back up the other side. The buildings in the bottom right are in Gletsch, where – if you start in Oberwald – the Furka goes to the right (Hospental) and the Grimsel to the left (Guttannen/Innertkirchen)…

  6. There is a little error in the description of Furka Pass (Switzerland). The switchbacks are those of Grimsel Pass. Furka is to be seen in the background. And there are no tunnels under these two passes – except a railway tunnel under Furka.

  7. I ad one more. “Cuesta de Lipán”, 4.170 meters above sea level, in northern Argentina. Getting from the beautiful village of Purmamarca to the “Salinas Grandes” ( a salt flat that covers an area of 6,000 km2!!!)

  8. I could recommend Rionda in Switzerland near Martigny. From the top you have nice views of both Lac Leman and Mont Blanc. I do not quite know how hairpin bends there are, but it should be above 40 and the first 25 or so are nicely marked. A bit above half-way up it turns to gravel. It is a quite steep and long climb. See: http://cycloclimbing.com — see number 69 on the first link of my list of “worthwhile climbs in the alps”.

  9. Hi Rik, you’re talking about “La cuesta del diablo” which is on the list.. And yeah you’re right, it’s truly epic 🙂

  10. “El camino de la muerte”, “Death road” or “Yungas road” in Bolivia should be the very first to come to mind.. Descending from 4650 meters to 1200 in 56 kilometres it’s mind blowing and breathtaking. It crosses many small waterfalls and is arguably considered the most dangerous road in the world.

  11. muy buena, otras Cuesta del Obispo, vieja subida al Cristo Redendor, el paso del Acay, cuesta de Zapata en Catamarca, Cuesta de Capillitas rumbo a Andalgalá, El infiernillo en Tafi, Villavicencio y Cruz del Paramillo.

  12. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6e2708de54d664e45ecceddc659b529f377899692488afe6ff47d6a1c9f03a87.jpg The Serra do Rio do Rastro is amazing, I am from Brazil and can advise anyone thinking of going there that a 2 weeks trip there would be an amazing experience and a once in a life time adventure it wont be easy nor cheap but it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life, after flying to Sao Paulo you will need to take a connection flight to the beautiful city Florianopolis (45minutes) you can take the day to explore this Island as it is one of the most beutyfull places in Brazil, then to save time take a Bus from Florianopolis to the city of Tubarao (1 1/2 hours) and from there you will cycle up the beautiful road SC-390 true the “Serra do Rio do Rastro” then change to the SC-416 to the small town of Sao Joaquim then from there to Sao Jose dos Ausentes and Cambara do Sul where you will travel on a mix of dirt roads true the RS-020 and visit amazing places like “The Aparados da Serra National Park”(pictured above) where you will stay at the most amazing B&B’s you can imagine in Cambara do Sul at a bargain price and eat the best foods you will ever find anywhere in the world, travel from there on a mixed of tarmac and dirt roads to the town of Lajeado Grande then take the dirt road RS-476 to the towns of Canela (visit Caracol National Park) and Gramado that in my opinion are the most beautiful towns in south Brazil where you will feel like you are in Europe but with the green and worm tropical weather of Brazil (if you travel there in the summer months), from there is an Amazing 100km down hill hide true amazing scenery down the RS-273 “Rota Romantica” (romantic route) true beautiful town like Santa Maria do Herval, Morro Reuter and Dois Irmaos all the way to the beautiful city of Porto Alegre (where I am from) and is where your trip ends and you get the plane back to wherever in the world you came from with a belly full of gauchos steak and a smile on your face.

  13. Hey discussion . I learned a lot from the
    specifics – Does someone know if my company would be able to find a
    blank SC 416 form to use ?

  14. Tizi n’Tichka and the Tizi n’Test, Morocco?!.. Maybe not as photogenic in an ‘endless switchbacks’ kinda way as most of your examples but the first, a 2100m pass with an stunning, winding with a tight switch-back section in the middle, high-speed descent to the plain below and the the latter 25 miles of downhill into the desert from an even higher 2260m pass..

  15. Great list! The road from Kotor (Montenegro) to the Lovcen ist also awesome to cycle with a beautiful view over the coast and bay

  16. The Denali Park road. Almost no traffic except for occasional tour buses. Bears, moose, Dall Sheep, eagles, and yeah Denali National Park has mountains too. BTW if you only want to ride it once the buses give free rides back.

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