10 Best Most Beautiful Coastal Drives In The World

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Fresh air, great scenery, and a wide open road are the ultimate expression of freedom for any traveller – and it’s there for anyone with a set of wheels.

From Australia’s Great Ocean Road to the U.S. California’s State Route 1, there are plenty of beautiful drives in the world for you to enjoy and explore. We take a look at 10 most scenic and beautiful coastal drives in the world, that offers you the most rewarding, breathtaking and relaxing driving experience.

10. D512 Road, Croatia

Beautiful Coastal Drives in the World

This narrow, winding hill road starts in Makarska, one of the best tourist destinations on the Croatian coast and ends in the Road 62 near Vrgorac, a town in the Split-Dalmatia County.

The road is 19 miles (30.6 km) long and carries substantial tourist traffic in summers. This beautiful winding track connects Makarska and Ravča on D62 state road and offers one of the most beautiful coastal driving experience on the Adriatic coastline of Croatia.

9. Slea Head Drive, Ireland

Beautiful Coastal Drives in the World

The Slea Head Drive is a circular route, beginning and ending in Dingle, that takes in a large number of attractions and stunning views on the western end of the peninsula.

Forming part of the Wild Atlantic Way, the 30-miles-long (47 km) drive provides some of the most scenic landscapes on the western end of the Dingle Peninsula.

8. 75 Mile Beach, Australia

Beautiful Coastal Drives in the World

Located on the World’s largest sand island – the Fraser Island – off Australia’s eastern Queensland coast, the 75 Mile beach is a beautiful coastal drive and a must visit for 4WD enthusiasts.

The 75-mile-long (120 km) smooth, the sandy track is part of the Bruce Highway and is sometimes also used by light aircraft as a landing strip.

7. Queen Charlotte Drive, New Zealand

Beautiful Coastal Drives in the World

This 20-mile-long (32 km) road connects Havelock to Picton in New Zealand’s South Island. The naturally beautiful drive lets you experience the extensive sea-drowned valleys of Marlborough Sounds without any boat.

Popular with cyclists and motorists alike, the road has plenty of hairpin turns and offers fantastic views of ferns and turquoise bays.

6. Chapman’s Peak Drive, South Africa

Beautiful Coastal Drives in the World

Running alongside the Atlantic Ocean, Chapman’s Peak Drive connects Noordhoek to Hout Bay. The route has more than 110 curves and is 5.59 miles (9 km) long. It provides stunning 180-degree views of the Atlantic coast and is flanked by tall mountains and steep drops, passing through beautiful vistas.

5. D81-Calanches De Piana, France

Beautiful Coastal Drives in the World

Running through Calanches de Piana in France, the D81 is one of Europe’s most scenic drives. The 7.27-mile (11.7 km) road connects Porto and Piana. The beautiful red granite cliffs along the side have been carved into beautiful shapes by winds and water over the years and are called Calanche of Piana.

It is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the road narrows down at some stretches, enough for just one vehicle to pass through.

4. California State Route 1, United States

Beautiful Coastal Drives in the World

Covering most of the Pacific Coastline in California, this longest route of the Golden State is about 655.8 miles (1,055.4 km) long. The highway connects the City of Dana Point in Orange County to Leggett in Mendocino County and passes through some of the most beautiful Californian forests, beaches, and coves.

3. Hana Highway, United States

Beautiful Coastal Drives in the World

Hāna Highway is a 52-mile-long (84 km) stretch of road connecting Kahului with the town of Hāna in Maui, Hawaii’s second biggest island. The highway includes more than 50 one-lane bridges and 620 curves.

Along the way, you will also find many waterfalls, steep cliff drops, hairpin turns and spectacular ocean views.

2. Captain Cook Highway, Australia

Beautiful Coastal Drives in the World

Located in Queensland, this is a beautiful 47-mile (75 km) stretch of asphalted road alongside the coast and is surrounded by lush green tropical seaside rainforest. It connects Cairns (considered the gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef) with the town of Port Douglas.

1. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Beautiful Coastal Drives in the World

Previously known as Strada Statale 163, this drive connects the southern Italian towns of Sorrento and Amalfi. Originally constructed by the Romans, the route is known for hairpin bends along with magnificent views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. It’s 50 miles (80 km) long.