Touring a scenic route on a motorcycle is a completely different experience to driving a car, or even walking. Many accomplished motorcyclists will prefer routes with as many sharp and dangerous turns as possible, while some believe a long stretch of straight road is the key to true bliss. Whether you’re just a beginner on a bike or you threw away your car keys years ago, there’s bound to be a track in this list that will have you saving up for a future trip.
Tranfagarasan Road, Romania
This route was proclaimed the ‘greatest driving road in the world’ by the hosts of BBC’s Top Gear in 2009, and has enjoyed a considerable amount of popularity since. Originally constructed as a strategic military route, this road follows 90km through the Carpathian mountains and reaches an altitude of 2042m. This route features a tunnel that will plunge you into complete darkness, a potential pitstop at the castle of Vlad the Impaler and a dangerous lack of cliffside barriers. For this reason, you should probably check that your insurance is up to date before you attempt to drive this road – click here to get a quote.
The Great Ocean Road, Australia
Blessed with one of the seven wonders of the world (The 12 Apostles), this stretch of Victoria’s coastline is one of the most impressive and enjoyable motorcycle rides in Australia. Around 250km long, this track will lead you through rainforests, mountains and coastal cliff sides. This is a pure road route, so you don’t have to worry about going off-road because your bike isn’t up to the task. You might want to avoid making the trip on weekends though, because the area is often congested with tourists – and for good reasons!
Trollstigen (The Troll’s Ladder), Norway
The Troll’s Ladder road is located in the Rauma region, halfway between Bergen and Trondheim. It snakes over the sides of the mountains, offering a number of sharp turns and a steep 10% incline to adrenaline-junkie motorcyclists. The construction of the road dates back to the 1920’s, and it was first opened in 1936. At the height of the tourist season, 2500 vehicles pass over the road daily. This road also presents a sweet reward at the top – 858m above sea level there is a stunning viewpoint, a restaurant and a museum.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
The Amalfi Coast has long been one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy, and the motorcycle route offers some of the most impressive coastal scenery in the world. The route typically starts in Sorrento, and tracks the coastline through picturesque villages and chiselled rock tunnels. Riding the Amalfi Coast might reveal to you some of the lesser known hidden gems of scenery not as popular with tourists, and there’s bound to be places to stop for lunch along the way. If you go towards the end of the day, you might witness one of the most spectacular sunsets you’ve ever seen.
Rota Romantica, Brazil
The ‘Romantic Road’ has been named as such for a few reasons. Firstly, for the beautiful trees and plants that flower in earth-toned colours in springtime and provide an idyllic atmosphere. Secondly, because the route passes through romantic locations like vineyards, canyons with waterfalls and picnic spots. Thirdly, because there are a number of hotels and motels to stop off at anywhere along the way if you find yourself needing a bed. The route is 184km and goes through the Rio Grande do Sul from Sao Leopoldo to Sao Francisco de Pallia, and is also lined with examples of traditional German architecture.
San Bernardino pass, Switzerland
This route is thought to have originally been used as a mule track in the fifteenth century, and was named after the San Bernardino mountain village. This track provides both water and mountain views in a stunningly picturesque landscape, as well as 40 hairpin turns that will please the daredevil enthusiasts while still being manageable for an inexperienced rider. Possibly the best thing about this road is that after you’re done, there are a number of other incredible Swiss alpine passes waiting for you to take on next – like The Furka Pass, which you might recognise from the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger.