Are these the world's most beautiful roads?

Road Trip

A good road trip is held in very high regard by most car enthusiasts. The open road, beautiful scenery and, of course, an enjoyable vehicle make for a winning recipe. But which roads are the most beautiful in the world? Here are some for your bucket list drives... 

The chance to drive a road that is visually appealing adds another layer to the mix, and in South Africa we have several of those. The Western Cape is known for a number of gorgeous mountain passes followed by those in Mpumalanga. If you are an off-road enthusiast, the list is even longer.

However, even a long road such as the R62 that heads from Montagu to Oudtshoorn could perfect for a road trip, as well as the stretch from Van Rhynsdorp to Upington (the R27 followed by the R357), offering some of the longest straight selections of road in South Africa. 

Which roads in the world offer the most scenic drives though? Tricky question. 

Pentagon Motor Group analysed over 7 million Instagram hashtags to find the world’s most beautiful road trip routes. They based the data on Instagram photos posted per mile of road.

They explain their methodology as follows: “We researched and compiled a list of the most popular road trips in the world, their location and the length of each route. We then used Instagram hashtag data to find how many images were associated with each route and divided that number by the number of miles that road covers to find which one had the most photos taken per mile. All data correct as of April 2021. The road trip with the most pictures taken per mile is then crowned the most picturesque in the world.”

Even a road as long as Route 66 in the USA made it onto the list with 780 pictures per mile. Impressive, especially if you take into account that the road stretches for just under 4 000 km across the USA.

Although the USA won the race with no less than seven roads in the top 20, our very own coastal road outside Cape Town, Chapman’s Peak Drive, came in at number five with 3 425 pictures per mile (1,6 km). 

Here is the full list.

Top 20 most beautiful roads

1. Great Ocean Road, Australia – 8 418 pictures per mile

Great Ocean Road

2. Big Sur, USA – 5 226 pictures per mile

Big Sur

3. Jebel Hafeet, United Arab Emirates – 4 840 pictures per mile

Jebel Hafeet

4. Hai Van Pass, Vietnam – 4 298 pictures per mile

Hai Van Pass

5. Chapman’s Peak Drive, South Africa – 3 425 pictures per mile

Chapman's Peak Drive

6. Blue Ridge Parkway, USA – 1 148 pictures per mile

Blue Ridge Parkway

7. Going-To-The-Sun Road, USA – 940 pictures per mile

Going to the Sun Road

8. Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland – 853 pictures per mile

Wild Atlantic Way

9. Olympic Peninsula Loop, USA – 798 pictures per mile

Olympic Peninsula Loop

10. Icefields Parkway, Canada – 781 pictures per mile

Icefields Parkway

11. Route 66, USA – 780 pictures per mile

Route 66

12. Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, Austria – 677 pictures per mile

Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse

13. Pacific Highway, Australia – 657 pictures per mile

Pacific Highway

14. Tioga Pass, USA – 533 pictures per mile

Tioga Pass

15. Military Road, UK – 483 pictures per mile

Military Road

16. Cabot Trail, Canada – 466 pictures per mile

Cabot Trail

17. Hana Highway, USA – 345 pictures per mile

Hana Highway

18. The Atlantic Road, Norway – 294 pictures per mile

The Atlantic Road

19. Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland – 244 pictures per mile

Causeway Coastal Route

20. North Coast 500, Scotland – 226 pictures per mile

North Coast 500

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