10 Most Spectacular Drives in the World

Dalmatian Coast, Croatia: Zadar to Dubrovnik

It is tricky to choose a single coastal drive, but it is time to shine a spotlight on Croatia's spectacular Dalmatian Coast. Hugging the Adriatic Sea, and spanning 1,000 miles, the highway offers views of the green-blue glassy waters of the Mediterranean, while you precariously perch over white-rocked cliffs. Nestled in the nooks are beautiful fishing towns.

Drive on this highway in the afternoon, and marvel as the sun sets over the water, casting pink rays of light across white-rocked cliffs, and the tiny white-walled houses that hug them.

Savannah Way, Australia: Cairns to Broome

The official Web site designates the Savannah Way "one of the ultimate adventure drives." It is more like THE adventure drive: the 2,200-plus miles of the Savannah Way start from the rainforests of Cairns, takes you through 14 national parks, and ends with the seas of the Broome's white-sand beaches.

Impressive on paper, and impressive in person: red earth meets sapphire sky as every outback fantasy comes to fruition -- witness jagged peaks and watering holes, all while roaring along on a 4x4. Not to be missed, mate.

Causeway Coastal, Ireland, Belfast to Lame

There's always space for another beautiful drive along a coast. Here you'll find the epitome of untamed landscapes, the land of the nine glens, where ferocious green leaps over the road and where cliffs cut into the wild Atlantic sea. As a bonus, it is largely ignored by tourists.

Stop by gorgeous seaside villages, and it is worth visiting some of the area's hidden treasures: Giant's Causeway (go at sunset), Mussenden Temple (balanced over green cliffs, and inpired by the Temple of Vesta in Rome), and the distillery at Bushmills.

South Africa: Cape Town to Mpumalanga

This is another country drive with a twist, spanning over 1,000 miles of gardens, peaks, and terracotta plains, and ending with the safari of your dreams.

Be sure to take enough film (or several memory cards) to capture the yawning depths of Blyde River Canyon. See Mozambique from the cliff at God's Window (on a clear day). Save one last awed breath for Kruger country and allow someone else to drive, while you liberally stare at rhinos, zebras, and elephants as they lumber along the dusty plains.

Southern India: Cochin to Kovalam

Heart-stopping and serene, the drive through South India covers it all. Channel your inner E. M. Forster: Starting at beautiful and historic coastal Cochin, the palm-tree lined road quickly descends into mystical forests that line the mountains like velvet.

Here, you'll find tea gardens and mists, rivers and wildlife sanctuaries punctuated occasionally with the explosive sounds of monkeys.

Beach Highway, Mauritania: El Mamghar to Nouakchott

Perhaps this shouldn't count, as it isn't exactly an official highway, but it is a lovely drive, nevertheless.

Located between two towns, the "highway" is simply a flat white sand beach stretching into the horizon, and can only be driven at low tide.

Find an open-top 4x4 and some sunglasses, and embrace the wind-swept mane that will no doubt result.

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