Driving a car can be a relaxing experience, especially if you travel on a route with natural scenic beauty, such as a coastal drive. The sight of the waves rolling into the beach is enough to make your blood pressure drop. View the seven best coastal drives around the seven seas.
1. Hana Highway, Maui, Hawaii
The road to Hana, in Maui, is a gorgeous drive that enables you to see a tranquil part of Hawaii that’s far from the crowded touristy areas. This winding coastal drive features over 600 hairpin turns and 50 one-lane bridges. For your efforts, you’ll be treated to stunning ocean views, beautiful beaches, waterfalls, and lush vegetation.
2. Pacific Coast Highway, California
The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) runs along the majority of the coast of California. The most spectacular section of the PCH is in the Big Sur area, with winding roads that wrap around the cliffs that slope into the sea. If you can time your drives around the sunset, then all the better. Be cautious when driving the PCH during the winter, for landslides are an occasional problem.
3. Ruta 1, Chile
Ruta 1 in northern Chile is an unforgettable coastal drive. On one side of the road, you’ll have great views of the South Pacific, and on the other side, you’ll see the striking scenery of the Atacama Desert. Ruta 1 is also a great drive to catch a sunset.
4. Great Ocean Road, Australia
The Great Ocean Road is a magnificent coastal drive. Located on the southeast coast of Australia, the Great Ocean Road spans 243 miles and features idyllic beaches, as well as stunning rock formations and limestone cliffs.
5. Makran Coastal Highway, Pakistan
The Makran Coastal Highway is not only one of the world’s most beautiful coastal drives, but it’s also one of the most dangerous, as detailed by Dangerous Roads. Running along the Arabian Sea, the Makran Coastal Highway spans 373 miles and features numerous twists and turns. The steep mountains by the coastline dramatically rise up to 5,000 feet, and some parts of the drive feature strange rock formations and landscape that looks like the moon.
6. Overseas Highway, Florida
No list of coastal drives would be complete without a highway that’s mostly over the ocean. The Overseas Highway runs from South Florida and connects the Florida Keys through a series of long bridges. It’s a tremendous feat of engineering and architecture. Driving on the bridges of the Overseas Highway is a surreal experience, for it seems at times like you’re on a boat cruising over the water.
7. Atlantic Ocean Road, Norway
The Atlantic Ocean Road is a gorgeous drive on the western coast of Norway. While it’s fairly short (a little over five miles), it packs a lot of punch with its eight bridges and breathtaking scenery. The Atlantic Ocean Road links the Fjord towns of Kristiansund and Molde, and along the way, you’ll take your car on a winding roller coaster ride along and over the ocean.
Best beach drives in the world
There are far too many great beach drives in the world, so it would be impossible to mention all of them. However, some honorable mentions for coastal drives include Ano Meria – Agios Georgios (Greece), Causeway Coastal Route (Ireland), Adriatic Road (Croatia), Chapman’s Peak Drive (South Africa), ER101 Antiga (Portugal), GC-200 (Spain), and Over-Water Highway (China).