National Road 5, Madagascar
It usually takes about 24 hours to cover this 200km stretch of road. Featuring sections of sand, solid rocks and bridges that require inspection before crossing, the road becomes impassable in spots during the wet season. It does have great views of the white sand coastline of the Indian Ocean though!
Flickr: Arne Kuilman
Rohtang Pass, India
Located in the Himalayas at almost 4,000m, Rohtang Pass remains off limits for five months of the year due to heavy snows. For the rest of the year, the pass is famous for long traffic jams lasting up to 12 hours. The Pass offers beautiful sights of glaciers, peaks, LahaulValley and the ChandraRiver to keep you distracted during these waits.
North Yungas Road, Bolivia
Also known as “Death Road” this climbs up to over 4,500 metres and is legendary for its extreme danger. Around 26 vehicles plummet over the edge each year. Despite this, tourists flock here to experience the thrill of cycling down this 3m-wide road with constant sheer drops of at least 600m without any barriers or guard rails.
Transfăgărășan Road, Romania
It This highway is only open a few months of the year due to snowfall. The dramatic hairpin turns have made this road popular with motoring enthusiasts but if you aren’t a fan of changing in low gears, this challenging 90km isn’t for you.
Flickr: Antony Stanley
Eyre Highway, Australia
The danger here on the Nullarbor (beyond the sheer endurance of the extremely long stretch) is the animals. You will see Kangaroos, emus and even camels and the most dangerous times of day are dawn and dusk when the creatures are harder to spot.
Patiopoulo-Perdikaki Road, Greece
A road used by pedestrians, livestock, trucks, buses and cars that has gravel for grip in most places and no lines to let you know where the edge is. With sheer drops on both sides, caution is definitely advised.
Prithvi Highway, Nepal
Littered with broken-down trucks and the evidence of crashes, landslides and road cave-ins during the rainy season are common on this narrow road with heavy traffic linking Kathmandu to Pokhara.
Flickr: Lori Branham
Kolyma Highway, Siberia
Also known as “Road of Bones” because of the many people who died building it during the Stalin era, the 2,000-km long Kolmya Highway offers extreme cold, bad road maintenance and wild nature (including wolves and bears). The world’s coldest road is not for the faint-hearted.
Flickr: Maarten Takens
Guoliang Tunnel, China
Constructed in the cliffs of the Taihang Mountains, this tunnel was dug by the local villagers to connect them with the rest of the world. The road surface and tunnel walls are very rough due to the primitive tools the workers were using. The rough, narrow and steep road is very dangerous in wet conditions.
The James Dalton Highway, Alaska
Made famous by the reality TV series Ice Road Truckers, this highway is the only land link between the Arctic Sea oil fields and, well, the rest of the world. During winter Arctic winds batter the highway and it can turn into treacherous long sliding runs. During the summer, beware the rocks and dust kicked up by the speeding trucks, and keep a close eye on your fuel gauge: services out here are nearly nonexistent.