As any driver will tell you, it’s both the greatest and the worst thing in the world. On the one hand, you’ve got that glorious, liberating feeling that comes with driving. You can head off on a road trip, with absolutely no particular destination in mind, just revelling in the journey itself.

Throw in some friends and a lot of great snacks, and you’ve got the recipe for one of the best dang afternoons this wide world of ours can offer. Let’s not romanticize driving too much, though, because it doesn’t always work out that way. Cars are temperamental and expensive contraptions, and that’s not the greatest combination.

One of those many fickle parts will fail you at the least opportune moment possible, and it will cost a fortune to repair. Still, we shouldn’t get hung up on that. The calls to the roadside service are just the bits in between, after all. What really matters is this: however much of your life you may spend in traffic jams, driving is fantastic.

This planet of ours is an incredible place, and one of the greatest ways to see it is by car. Just hopping in and cruising along a scenic and majestic highway, in an all-new part of the world… nothing beats that feeling.

But which roads are the best? That’s where this rundown comes in. From Germany’s world-famous Autobahn to the unparalleled Great Ocean Road of Australia, join us for a world tour of some of the greatest and fastest roads in the world.

20 Ma-10? 10/10!

Our first stop is the Balearic Islands, where Majorca plays hosts to a truly magnificent stretch of road. According to Red Bull, the Ma-10 is one of Darren Turner (World Endurance Championship racer)’s favourite on the planet.

Beginning at the town of Andratx, this road runs along the island’s west coast, all the way to Port De Pollença. The seaside scenery is breathtaking as you pass higher into the mountains, Turner explains, and the path becomes super narrow in places.

I’ve been to the Balearic Islands many times, but I’ve never rented a car while there. If I do, you can bet that Ma-10 is going to be one of my first stops.

19 Almost Heaven, Drivin’ In Virginia

When it comes to romanticised images of road trips, it’s tough to beat the USA. That’s what you picture, really: a classic car passing along the highway, admiring the range of varied and glorious scenery that the United States boasts.

For another World Endurance Championship racer, Andy Priaulx, there’s nowhere finer to drive in the states than Virginia. With a backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Chesapeake Bay and such, this is a road trip to savour.

With a fast car, good company and Take Me Home, Country Roads playing on the stereo, this is about the pinnacle of road tripping.

18 Movie-Quality Action

While we’re in the United States, let’s cross over to Florida and check out another fantastic place to drive. If you’ve never been to the Florida Keys, you may still recognise the region’s famous Seven Mile Bridge.

One of the world’s largest bridges (at the time of its creation in 1912), this overseas highway links Knight’s Key and Little Duck’s Key.

As Hostel World reports, it’s been featured in climactic sequences in big action movies like Mission Impossible III and 2 Fast 2 Furious, which probably tells you all you need to know about its calibre as an excellent place to drive dang fast.

17 A Pretty, Perilous Path

For a truly great drive, of course, it’s about more than the car and tarmac itself. Granted, these are crucial elements, but if you want a truly world-beating road experience, the scenery’s got to be just perfect as well.

On that note, then, you’re going to be hard-pressed to top the Dadès Gorges mountain path. Situated in Morocco, this route passes through the Dadès Valley, taking in the Atlas Mountains along the way. It’s a landscape of amazing contrasts; boasting snow and desert!

If you head towards Todra Gorge along the way, you’ll also be treated to a thrilling, twisted loop of a track.

16 An Amazing Arthurian Adventure

If you’ve been fortunate enough to visit New Zealand, you may well have taken the time to stop and enjoy the Arthur’s Pass National Park. This mountainous wonder also offers contrasting terrain, with a dry riverbed on the east and thick rainforest to the west.

To truly appreciate this landscape, it’s back into your car you go. The mountain pass of the same name passes through the area, offering passage through South Island’s Southern Alps. It’s a coast-to-coast ride from Christchurch to Greymouth, taking in the splendid views of the Otira Viaduct along the way. This is one you don’t want to miss if you’re in the area.

15 It’s A Hardknott Life For Us

Over to Britain for our next entry. The country is known for its rolling hills and lush green countryside, and nowhere is this natural beauty more evident than in the Lake District. Found in Cumbria in the northwest of England, the Hardknott Pass makes its intentions clear to visitors right from the get-go.

Signs at the beginning of the path, The Telegraph reports, simply read, “Extreme caution. Narrow route. Severe bends.” Naturally, that’s just catnip to eager drivers.

Does it sound like a difficult drive? That’s because it is. It’s worth it, though, taking in some of the regions greatest sights along the way (such as Windermere).

14 The Scottish Route 66

If narrow mountain roads are your thing, then stay right with us here in the UK. Next up, we’re heading further north into Scotland, where one of the country’s most fabled roads awaits.

According to The Telegraph, Scotland’s North Coast 500 is a real rival to America’s legendary Route 66. If you’ve ever been, you’ll know that they’re not dang well kidding. This circular route offers up some typically Scottish, fantastic landscapes; ruined castles, beaches and vast stretches of glorious greenery. The Highlands are known for their narrow, twisting, remote roads with sights that make the experience worthwhile, and North Coast 500 exemplifies all of that.

13 Germany’s Fabled Autobahn

Ah, yes. Here we see the polar opposite of tiny, remote mountain roads. We’re taking a flight over to Europe now, where Germany’s acclaimed Autobahn awaits us.

Officially known as the Bundesautobahn (federal motorway), this network is one of the world’s densest (and longest at over 8000 miles) controlled-access systems in the world. While parts of the network have different regulations, the autobahn is primarily known for one thing: only a third of its area carries a permanent speed limit.

Over half of the network operates under an ‘advisory’ limit, which is a recipe for dang fast driving. A study conducted by the state of Brandenberg recorded an average speed of 142 km/h (88 mph). The advisory limit? 130 hm/h (81mph).

12 I Don’t Know Who Stuart Is, But He Drives DANG Fast

Next up, for a dramatic change of scenery, we’re taking a long-haul trip to Australia. In a country known for wide-open spaces and peerless scenery, you’d expect something dang special of Australia’s major roads. Fortunately, Stuart Highway does not disappoint.

This vast route travels from the very north to the very south, from Darwin to Port Augusta. That’s a journey of almost 3000 kilometers, or 1761 miles. You’re not going to be dawdling on the trip, either, that’s for darn certain.

Before 2007, there was no true speed limit. After some legal wrangling, the Northern Territory settled on an autobahn-esque limit of 130 km/h (81 mph), while the Southern Territory must keep to 110 km/h (68 mph).

11 Back Up Into The Mountains We Go

Now, the important thing to remember about all of this is not to be reckless. Speed is one thing, but you’ve got to be super careful not to endanger yourself or others in the process. This is what the autobahn and Stuart Highway limits are all about.

Back In Europe now, Italy’s Stelvio Pass is one road you do not want to take lightly. It’s a big hotspot for motorcycle rallies and various races, but competitors have to take care: this perilous mountain path is made up of over 60 hairpin turns, and is one of Europe’s highest roads (snaking through the Eastern Alps at 9000 feet above sea level, as Fox News reports).

10 Of Course It’s Beautiful, It’s Canada

Some countries are just made to be the backdrops of amazing road trips. Scotland, with its glorious winding routes and Highland scenery, is one of them. Canada is another. Let’s stop off there now, for a look at the Cabot Trail.

This 185-mile route follows the northernmost area of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. It boasts a long, thickly-forested area, which visitors will want to pass through at the right time of year for best effect (the leaves changing colours are a truly magnificent sight). There are numerous amenities along the way, and alternative routes to forge your own path through this fantastic landscape.

9 Bulgaria: Getting Highways Right The First Time

By contrast, Bulgaria is not a country that you’d expect to be home to vast highways. At present, in fact, it’s home to only one, the Trakia Highway. Man oh man, have they made it count though.

The Trakia motorway connects the capital city, Sofia, with cities of Plovdiv and Burgas. It took 40 years to construct this 220-mile highway, which takes in some truly fascinating sights along its route. Sights are one thing, but it’s also a fantastic and underrated place to really put your foot down.

The speed limit around here? 140km/h (87mph), as is becoming a bit of a standard in this rundown.

8 Daredevil-Drivin’ In Dubai

Speaking of speed limits hovering around the 140 km/h zone, maybe that’s not quite enough for you. Maybe you want a route that once boasted a limit of 100 mph. If that’s the case, then the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Highway is for you.

That is to say, it used to be. The 100 mph limit was tamed a little in recent years, following some quite alarming mishaps on Dubai’s busier roads. Nevertheless, this road is a great one for speedy driving, passing through some of the most scenic parts of this opulent area (linking the two biggest cities of the UAE, Abu Dhabi and Dubai).

7 The Real Tour De France

Now, this is a tour of France, right here. If you’re totally on board with all of the hazardous, hairpin turns we’ve been looking at so far, then this one’s for you. If you’re not… well, it totally, totally isn’t.

The Col de Turini road is found in the south of France and is the setting of the Monte Carlo Rally race. It’s a long and winding circuit through the Alpes-Maritimes, which reaches frankly dizzying heights of 5,200 feet. If you’re still on board with this, you’re sure to enjoy the trip, which ends in the picturesque Sospel region. Keen (and fearless) drivers, this one’s for you.

6 Nobody Does Ocean Roads Like Australia

Now, this was always going to be something special. As we’ve already seen, Australia is the setting for some truly stunning drives. You’d expect nothing less of a country world-renowned for its glorious beaches and hot climate. What better setting for a route named the Great Ocean Road?

There is no better setting, is the answer to that question. The Great Ocean Road proceeds from Torquay to Warrnambool in Victoria, offering fantastic ocean vistas throughout. Along the way, you’ll also enjoy a range of amenities, not to mention a glimpse of some of the finest attractions in the area (the Great Otway National Park and Apollo Bay among them).

5 One Of The Fastest Roads In The USA

As Peter Parker’s dear old Uncle Ben once said, with great speed comes great responsibility. Yep, that’s exactly what he said. Don’t @ me.

This is certainly the case when it comes to these high-speed roads. Arizona’s Route 79 is a great example of this. While the speed limit is a relatively modest 75, CJ Pony Parts reveals that the average driver on Route 79 drives at 87-90mph.

It’s a speedster’s nature home, in short, and certainly boasts the freedom to do so. Extreme care should be taken though. Another frightening statistic is that the highest speed police ever clocked on this route was 115mph!

4 (Not Quite) Just Trucking Along In Texas

Here’s an interesting trivia question, should you ever feel the need to just pluck one of nowhere: Which state is home to the fastest posted speed limit in the USA?

The answer to that one, for the curious, is Texas. The road in question is the Texas State Highway 130, which is also known as (here’s some more fantastic trivia for you) Pickle Highway. It runs for 131 miles east and south of Austin and boasts a super-high speed limit of 85 mph (137 km/h) in a particular tolled area. Yep, that is indeed a current record for the country.

3 The World’s Most Beautiful Road

Next, we’re crossing over to Austria, and a road that just embodies everything about the routes on this rundown so far. Majestic views, invigorating twists and turns, dizzying heights… this one’s got it all, friends.

The Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse passes through the Hohe Tauern National Park, proceeding upwards steeply. The mountain views are simply extraordinary, with a total of 36 hairpin bends along the way. Visitors will reach the grand height of 8,215 ft, where they can enjoy the Alpine Nature Show Museum. If you’ve ever visited this wonderful place, you’ll completely understand the bold claims to fame for being The Most Beautiful Road In The World.

2 The Motorcycle Rider’s Dream

Now, by this point in the countdown, you’re almost certainly feeling some type of way about these roads. For some of us, their precarious, winding, high-speed nature is enough to have us instantly rule them out for life. For others, that is the selling point in and of itself. They’re not destinations for everyone, that’s for certain. Still, that’s the whole beauty of travel.

If this sort of experience is for you, the Isle of Man’s Snaefel Mountain Road is an essential stop. This is the home of the Isle of Man TT, the world’s best-known and most popular motorcycle racing circuit. It’s just that fast and furious.

1 This Track’s Got Some… Bite

As the final stop on our world road tour, we’re heading back to the United States one more time. I just couldn’t finish this rundown without mentioning my personal favourite (and many others’), Beartooth Highway.

So named for its position in the Beartooth Mountains, this road runs between the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park and Red Lodge. Heavy snowfall on the mountains means it tends to be open only from May to October each year; it’s temperamental depending on the weather conditions.

If you get the opportunity to pass through, though, you should certainly take it. there’s no doubt that this is one of the most scenic routes in America.