Winding Roads Around the World

When they said that all roads lead to Rome, they probably didn’t think about these winding roads. At first, it is not really possible to understand where these roads come from or lead to. The winding roads, or as some call them snake/snail roads have twists and curves that require the utmost attention of drivers but also give way to some impressive photography.

Passo Giau / Italy

Located on the Dolomites Mountain, Italy, the Giau Pass road is one of the winding roads in Europe. Giau Pass is more than 2,000 kilometers above sea level. The road’s construction finished in 1986 and it is fully paved but in winter, using winter tires is a must on this 20-kilometer-long winding road. Moreover, this pass was once the border between Venice and the Austrian Empire.

passo giau of winding roads

Irohazaka Road / Japan

Arguably, one of the most beautiful winding roads in the world, Irohazaka Road connects Nikko to the Okunikko region. The road is covered by trees that have a pink-green color in certain seasons. Irohazaka Road is actually a pair of roads that were the first toll roads in the 1960s. The roads have 48 slopes with sharp curves.

irohazaka winding road

Stelvio Pass / Italy

What some call the best driving road in the country, Stelvio Pass is another Italian winding road. The pass is more than 2,500 kilometers above sea level which makes the road the tallest paved road in the Eastern Alps. Furthermore, the Stelvio Pass is the finishing point of many cycling races as well. The road has been operational since the 19th century and the original road dates back to the times of the Austrian Empire.

stelvio pass another road from italy

Col de Turini / France

Col de Turini is not one of the highest winding roads but it is one of the most popular ones, especially for motorcyclists. This winding road is featured in every Monte Carlo Rally which is one of the oldest and biggest rallying contests. The road is a little more than 25 kilometers long and is also a popular route for cyclists as well.

col de turini of winding roads
Dimitri Weber

Big Gate Road / China

Although it looks beautiful and lush at first glance, the Big Gate Road is one of the most dangerous winding roads. The road is 11 kilometers long and it has exactly 99 turns. Moreover, this road leads to Tianmen Mountain which Buddhists call Heaven’s Gate. The Big Gate Road reaches so high that the temperature, and the times of sunrise, and sunset differ from the ground level.

tianmen mountain road

Trollstigen Road / Norway

Trollstigen is one of the most popular destinations in Norway. The road was opened as a tourist attraction in 1936 after 8 years of construction. Visitors can drive their cars, cycle, walk, or even camp on the road. As it can be understood from the name, people call this pass the Troll’s Road because according to legends, trolls live on these mountains and sometimes show themselves to the people on the road.

trollstigen road of winding roads

Los Caracoles Pass / Chile

Los Caracoles Pass, which translates into the Snails’ Road, is a winding road on the border of Chile and Argentina. These two countries share a border of more than 8,000 kilometers and most of it is on the peaks of the Andes. Los Caracoles Pass is just a short section of this huge border and while it looks impressive, it is quite dangerous. There are no pavements, barriers, or any safety measures along the road so drivers are advised to be highly cautious.

los caracoles pass of winding roads

Grimsel Pass / Switzerland

Grimsel Pass is one of those winding roads that fit perfectly with the nature around it. Stretching along for 38 kilometers, this road is one of the most popular Alpine roads in Europe. The road was built in the late 19th century and has been in service ever since. Although a popular destination for sure, the road is usually covered with snow from November to May which makes it impossible to pass.

grimsell pass of winding roads

The Panlong Ancient Road in China

The Panlong Ancient Road in China has over 600 hairpin corners. The highway is part of the original path of the Silk Road and climbs over 12,000ft. While most of the bends are under 180 degrees, there are some that will put your steering skills to the test as they reach a massive 270 degrees.