When sales consultant Lucy returned from a Norwegian Fjords cruise with P&O Cruises, we couldn’t wait to take a look at her photos. Amongst our favourites were those of Gerainger and the Sognefjord, but it was the view from the Sognefjellet Mountain Road that really stood out; as the highest mountain pass in Northern Europe it is home to some pretty spectacular scenery.
We decided to compile a list of our eight most scenic roads in the world – some of them within easy reach of a cruise port, others within reach via road trip, but all of them offering views to take your breath away.
Sognefjellet Mountain Road – Norway
The Sognefjellet Mountain Road stretches just under 70 miles and thanks to its position 1434m above sea level is the perfect vantage point from which to take in some of Norway’s finest sights. The standout view is of the Sognefjord; the second largest fjord in the world. You’ll also come across views of mainland Norway’s largest glacier Jostedalsbreen and the country’s highest mountain, Galdhøpiggen. The idyllic 218m high Feigumfossen waterfall is another natural wonder within clear sight of the scenic mountain road.
The best thing about Sognefjellet Mountain Road? You can experience it as part of a Norwegian Fjords cruise. P&O Cruises’ Sognefjell Mountain Scenery excursion will take you along the road to its best sights and you’ll have plenty of time for photographs along the way.
Overseas Highway – Florida
Stretching from Florida’s mainland to the Florida Keys, the Overseas Highway is the closest you’ll ever come to walking (or driving) on water. Stretching 113 miles and featuring 42 bridges, the road connects 100 islands, with world-class dive sites, bay side resorts and fishing harbours scattered along the way. The Atlantic sits to the left and the Gulf to the right, but all that lies ahead is turquoise water and blue skies as far as the eye can see. Time your journey at sunset and you’ll see the blue skies turn to lilac and pink as the sun drops into the sea.
Desperate to drive it for yourself? Hire a car from your cruise port in Miami and set off on the road trip of a lifetime.
Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road – Abu Dhabi
Repeatedly described as one of the world’s best driving roads, the Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road takes you 1240m up the second highest peak in the United Arab Emirates. Along the way, you’ll encounter history galore in the form of over 500 ancient burial tombs dating back over 5000 years, with fossils to be found that date back even further, helping make the area one of the most interesting archaeological sites in the world.
The views over Al Ain, or Oasis City as it is also known, are highlighted by what are reputed to be the best sunsets in the world.
Photo credit: Krista
Trollstigen Road – Norway
If you ever need a reminder of just how small we are in the grand scheme of things, Trollstigen Road is the place to go. The serpentine road weaves through 11 hairpin bends and stretches over 50 miles through snow-tipped mountains, deep fjords and green valleys. There are various viewing platforms from which to take in the sights along the way, including the spectacular and wildly popular Ørnesvigen, which offers awe-inspiring views down towards the Geraingerfjord.
Gerainger is a popular port of call on Norwegian Fjords itineraries from the likes of Fred Olsen and P&O Cruises, with regular excursions running from the town to Trollstigen Road and the Ørnesvigen viewing platform.
Atlantic Road – Norway
Yes, another Norwegian road on the list, this time far shorter but equally as amazing. Every single mile of the five miles between Kristiansund and Molde in Norway’s Western Fjords is as impressive as the last, with 7 bridges joining the tiny islands along the way. The sculptural curve of Storseisundet Bridge attracts photographers from around the world, as do the fierce storms that batter Atlantic Road with Atlantic seas comes winter. On finer days you’ll find opportunities for fishing and diving, along with whale and seal sightings if you’re really lucky.
Highway 1 (Big Sur) – California
Known as the All-American Road, Highway 1 has provided the backdrop for countless road trips, taking American adventurers through 90 miles of coastal scenery from San Carpoforo Creek to Carmel River. The iconic route winds along the cliffs of Big Sur, taking in most of the Pacific coastline of California. If you’re planning on driving the route be sure to factor in plenty of photo stops along the way and keep your eyes peeled for humpback and blue whales, as well as elephant seals that call the coastline home during mating season.
Tianmen Mountain Road (Hunan Province) – China
Even if you haven’t heard of the Tianmen Mountain Road, chances are you’ll know of the famous cliff-hanging walkway built into its summit. The mile-long walkway is suspended 4000ft above ground, with an extra glass section known as the ‘walk of faith’ on offer for those feeling extra brave.
Tianmen Mountain Road itself snakes through the near-vertical cliffs of the Hunan Province, with a reported 99 bends along the way. If you’re looking for a quicker way to the top, take the cable car. It’s the longest in the world at 4 miles and takes 30 minutes to travel 1519m to the mountain’s summit.
Amalfi Coast Drive – Italy
Sorrento and Solerno are two of Italy’s most appealing destinations, so there is little wonder that the road between the two is equally as scenic. The Amalfi Coast Drive runs 37 miles between the two, travelling along a coastline that is so impressive, it has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Europe’s most scenic stretch of coastline takes in emerald seas, pastel houses, palatial villas and vibrant greenery and the resorts visited along the way are just as picture postcard pretty as you expect them to be.
Cruise lines including Celebrity Cruises offer Amalfi Coast drives amongst their shore excursions.