Dinner with your in-laws. A pat-down at the airport. Karaoke at the office Christmas party.
There are some experiences you want to get through as quickly as possible. Other times, you want to slow down and savour each second of the journey. For those who prefer to travel in the seat of a saddle, option two is the only way to go.
The world’s best motorcycle routes have curves. They have high-altitude climbs and dizzying descents. They have sharp twists, sheer drops and scenery that could make your heart stop. They’re meant to be relished and revelled in. These 10 motorcycle adventures are not to be missed.
Hana Highway | Hawaii, USA
The road to Hana is a legendary journey. World famous for its awe-inspiring natural beauty, the Hana Highway twists along Maui’s coastline, offering 103.6 km of scenery that would put Eden to shame. Natural wonders come in the form of mountains, ocean, tropical vegetation and towering waterfalls. The man-made attractions include over 600 turns and nearly 60 bridges, most of which are only one lane wide.
Ceuta To Marrakesh Loop | Morocco
Cruising between Ceuta and Marrakesh offers the best of two worlds. Ceuta is a cultural island – a Spanish city on the north coast of Africa. Marrakesh is a bustling maze of markets, gardens, palaces and mosques. In between, you’ll travel through a kaleidescope of Morocco’s ancient kasbahs, souks, desert societies and diverse landscapes. Hop the ferry from Ceuta to Spain afterwards to continue your adventures in Europe.
State Highway 6 | New Zealand
New Zealand’s beauty is world-renowned, making it a superb stop for motorcyclists. With the Southern Alps and its relatively insignificant traffic, many consider the South Island home to the most magnificent NZ riding. Take State Highway 6 as it stretches along the Tasman coast and its rugged scenery. If you’re willing to get off your bike, break for a visit to Franz Josef Glacier. Strap on your crampons and go exploring.
Istanbul to Anatolia | Turkey
The Eastern edge of Europe offers diverse scenery, fascinating culture and flavourful cuisine. Driving conditions vary from smooth urban motorways to rutted rural roads, but that’s part of the fun. Launch from Istanbul, cross the Bosporus and travese land scattered with the remains of ancient empires. End in the valleys and strange rock formations of Anatolia, where you’ll feel like you’ve completed a two-wheeled lunar landing.
Amalfi Coast | Italy
Italy’s Amalfi Coast needs no introduction. You know it as a popular tourist destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it also affords petrolheads the opportunity to joyride down the breathtaking Strada Statale 163. The twisting road has been carved directly out of the coastal cliffs, meaning unforgettable views and the thrilling drama of knowing death is waiting at the bottom of every precipitous crag.
Transfagarasan Road | Romania
The Top Gear crew once declared this “the best road in the world.” Built in the 1970s as a strategic military route, the Transfagarasan highway through Romania is now prized as one of the world’s most epic road trips. Its 90 km of twists and turns run through some of Romania’s highest peaks, offering S-curves, extreme hairpin turns and sharp descents along the way. Procede carefully – shepherds also use the road to drive their flocks.
Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road | Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE
Jebel Hafeet may not be the UAE’s highest mountain, but it is certainly its most well known. The road wrapped around it offers daring drivers 11.7 km of immaculate asphalt, 60 corners and a 1,219 m climb on an 8% grade. Make it to the end and you’ll be greeted only by a parking lot, a hotel and a palace belonging to the country’s rulers. The real reward for braving the journey is an otherwordly view of the desert below.
Serra Do Rio Do Rastro | Santa Catarina, Brazil
South America’s largest country is home to one of its most impressive motorcycle runs. Serra do Rio do Rastro is a mountain range in southern Brazil, and mastering it on two wheels is not for the faint of heart. Red Bull even used the spectacular serpentine road to stage a hill climb record attempt. As for you, well, you probably shouldn’t make a shot for Guinness, but there’s still plenty to love about Serra do Rio do Rastro’s 250 corners.
Ho Chi Minh Trail | Vietnam
The Ho Chi Minh Trail was once an elaborate system of mountain and jungle paths running from North to South Vietnam, through neighbouring Laos and Cambodia, during the Vietnam War. Today it’s a dirt biker’s dream. While others prefer the country’s well-worn coastal route, more adventurous motorists tackle the Ho Chi Minh Trail’s mud, rice fields, knee-deep rivers, isolated villages and stunning rural vistas.
Karakoram Highway | Pakistan to China
Conquering the Karakoram Highway between China and Pakistan is an undertaking for only the bravest and most confident motorcyclist. It’s one of the highest paved roads in the world and one of the only routes, paved or unpaved, that crosses the Himalayas. With tough terrain, tremendous elevation, unpredictable weather and exotic wildlife, the KKH is the ultimate challenge for riders with adrenaline to spare.