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The World’s 5 Most Extreme Drives

The World’s 5 Most Extreme Drives

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Feeling brave? Let’s see if you’re brave enough to take on five of the world’s most extreme roads! The following frightful freeways, located on five different continents, each attract adventurous travellers from around the world. The scenery they offer is breathtaking – but they all come with their own dangers. Drive safely!

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Karakoram Highway, Pakistan

The highest paved international road in the world, the Karakoram Highway links Pakistan with China through the Khunjerab Pass. It’s nicknamed the ‘Friendship Highway’ – but, at times, it can be anything but friendly. There are any number of challenges for the intrepid drivers who seek to conquer it. Heavy snowfall can lead to avalanches. Heavy rainfall can lead to flash floods. Landslides are also not uncommon. Then there’s the sheer narrowness of the road; at times, it can feel like your wheels are rolling precariously along the precipice. And if that’s not enough for you, beware of altitude sickness – it reaches a breathtaking (literally) 4,693 metres at its highest point.

 

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North Yungas Road, Bolivia

It’s official name is North Yungas Road, but in common parlance they call it “Calle de la Muerte” – that’s Spanish for “Death Road”. If that doesn’t tell you enough, a visit to this ghastly route should finish the job (of convincing you, we mean… not actually finishing you). All along the way you’ll see road markings for those who fell over the edge; in 2006, it was estimated between 200 to 300 travellers were killed yearly along the road. Despite all this, the road has become a popular tourist attraction for mountain bikers, who take on a 64km continuous downhill portion of the road as they seek to defy death. They’ll even give you a “Death Road Survivor” T-shirt at the bottom!

 

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Dalton Highway, Alaska, USA

Here’s a road that’s so extreme it got its own TV show: Alaska’s Dalton Highway. If you’re a fan of Ice Road Truckers, you’ll probably recognise the dangers of this road: strong winds that pound you with rocks, pot holes the size of small vehicles, white-out snow storms and temperatures as low as -60°C. It’s also one of the world’s most isolated roads: only three towns, with a combined population of 60 people, can be found along the stretch that runs from the Elliot Highway north of Fairbanks to Deadhorse on the Arctic Ocean. The road’s total length? 666km – a bad omen if ever we’ve heard one.

 

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Skippers Canyon Road, New Zealand

You know a road is extreme when your rental car refuses to insure you should you plan to drive on it. That’s the case with Skippers Canyon Road, which you’ll find on New Zealand’s South Island. Carved out of a sheer cliff face, the road is so narrow that, should you pass another car, one of you will need to back up slowly until you find a spot wide enough to pass – depending on which of you is feeling bravest. Perhaps the most famous part of the road is Skippers Canyon Bridge, a 96-metre long, 90-metre high suspension bridge spanning the Shotover River. Trust us – it’s as frightening as it is spectacular.

 

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Stelvio Pass, Italy

Its zigzags, switchbacks and inclines are famed for their appearances in professional cycling’s Giro d’Italia, but when the road isn’t being tackled by a horde of cyclists, the serpentine Passo del Stelvio is one of the most incredible and extreme roads in the European Alps. Locals drive the route with often reckless abandon; at the other end of the spectrum, inexperienced drivers often underestimate the difficulty of navigating its 48 bends. With little more than a small barrier between you and the edge, you’ll need the utmost concentration for all 48. Try not to get dizzy.

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No short cuts to safety

At Hyundai, there are no compromises when it comes to safety. All our vehicles are created using the most advanced technology to ensure passengers will get the optimum protection in any situation.

For more information on Hyundai’s safety design and innovation, click HERE.