You’ve heard the phrase ‘the journey is more important than the destination’. Now hit the road to know what it really means. Whether it’s dramatic coastlines or high-altitude Landscapes, these picturesque stretches are best experienced on the road
With spectacular views of snow-clad Himalayas, glaciers, streams and high-altitude plains, this winding 490-km-long highway epitomizes adventure at every step. It’s covered in snow for most of the year, and only opens during the summer months, between June and October. Keep your camera ready for some hairpin bends as well! The two-day drive will take you through five mountain passes, including favourites like Rohtang La and Taglang La, the highest point in the journey.
If you’re looking for a high-speed blitz, there’s no better stretch than the 165-Km Yamuna Expressway. A ride on India’s longest six-lane highway will take you from Greater Noida in the National Capital Region to tourist mecca Agra, in just over two hours. There are open spaces, green fields, and sundry villages on either side, but the countryside is little more than a backdrop to the smooth tarmac in front. With a speed limit of 100km per hour, the only interruptions on the straight-as-an-arrow road are the five toll plazas.
EAST COAST ROAD
Lined with rice fields, swaying coconut palms, fishing villages and glimpses of the Bay of Bengal, this stats highway in Tamil Nadu runs along the Bay of Bengal, connecting Chennal with Cuddalore. Starting with the quaint Cholamandal Artists’ Village, the Kalakshetra music and dance school and Dakshinachitra crafts centre on the outskirts of Chennai, it has enough to delight both nature lovers and culture vultures. Travel back in time at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mamallapuram, soak in Puducherry’s unique French ambience, stroll on the pristine beaches of Tharangambadi, or go boating through Pichavaram’s mangrove forests and backwaters.
MUMBAI- GOA HIGHWAY
The journey to everyone’s favourite beach getaway is both smoth and picturesque, though at 600 km, it can get a bit tiring. NH17 runs from Mumbai to Thiruvanan-thapuram, winding its way through the Western Ghats and caressing the Konkan coastline. On the way, there are numerous attractions: On the way, there are trekking at the Karnala Bird Sanctuary, panoramas of Vashishti River meandering through the Western Ghats, and the pristine beaches of Ganpatipule, Diveagar and Tarkarli. The surrounding cloud-kissed hills are at their greenest during the monsoon. The steep turns only add to the thrill.
ATLANTIC ROAD, NORWAY
This 8-km long zigzag road on the Norwegian coastline passes through seven bridges, connecting the i s l a n d s between the towns of Kristiansund and Molde. The most famous of t h e s e S t o r s e I s u n d e t Bridge, is known for its thrilling turn that gives incoming visitors the illusion of the road ending in mid-at The ride comes with breathtaking views of the Westfjords, and the surprising glimpses of seals, whales and exotic birds along the way are an added attraction. Daredevils head here during autumn to experience the spectacular storms, but the seaside is equally in calmer weather, thanks to its numerous fishing spots.
INTEROCEANIC HIGHWAY PERU-BRAZIL
Completed in 2011, this 2,600-k m – l o n g transcontinental highway links the south American countries of Peru and Brazil, and passes through several dramatically contrasting landscapes. It runs along the Peruvian coast, through remote stretches of the Andes and dense Amazonian rainforests. Stop at the lncan and Spanish colonial capital of Cusco for a slice of history- from here, you can take a diversion to the famous ruins of Machu Picchu.
THE AMALFI COAST, ITALY
The Amalfi coast in Southern Italy’s Sorrento Peninsula is home to one of the most legenday drives in the world. It is, in UNESCO’s words, ”An outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape.” Expect stunning sights all along its 50-km sweep, with cliffs, towns and historic terraced villages on one side and mesmerising vistas of the Mediterranean Sea on the other. Stop en route to a d m i r e Positano’s stack of pastel houses, Amalfi’s grand cathedral and town square and Ravello’s hilltop gardens. Don’t forget to taste the local citrus liqueur, limoncello, at the lemon groves in between.