Travel Picks: Pedal to the metal - top driving routes

Fri May 14, 2010 7:29am EDT
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SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - Life's a journey, and for those of travelers who prefer to make this trip in a car, website has come up with a list of the world's top 10 international driving routes outside the United States.

"Being behind the wheel is at once relaxing and invigorating. Factor in lenient or non-existent speed limits plus great geography, and it enriches the soul," the website ( said.

This list is not endorsed by Reuters.

1. Baja California Sur, Mexico

This route is not for the casual driver. In fact, if you have reservations about taking on a narrow, two-lane highway full of hazards, unpack your bags. On the other hand, if you have a sense of adventure and are well prepared, give it a try. The best road in Baja California Sur, Mexico, is Highway 1, which isn't saying much: This isn't a route you drive to avoid crater-sized potholes (impossible) or to get to Cabo San Lucas in a hurry. Nighttime travel is not advised by some, while others suggest you keep it under 50 mph. Either way, if you are a skilled driver with a reasonably sturdy vehicle, try this route. You'll be rewarded with great weather and great sights.

2. Northern Tunisia

Northern Tunisia has some entertaining mountain roads worth a drive. This is no area for a fragile exotic car due to the likely encounter with bipolar road quality, sometimes with little warning. The P5 and P17 are generally good bets, though they're always subject to change. And even if you're driving a smooth stretch, local traffic sometimes moves with all the urgency of an arthritic tortoise. The payoff is a remarkable drive with unique scenery. Part of that is due to the frequency of Roman village ruins scattered throughout the region.

3. Western Cape, South Africa

In case you think the only driving done is in a Land Rover on safari, think again. Rural back roads notwithstanding, the country's main highways are maintained quite well. The N1, N2 and N7 in Western Cape are great drives, with 75-mph speed limits. A word of caution: Keep an eye out for animals that are inclined to wander onto the roads. Driving along the South Atlantic and Cape of Good Hope is reminiscent of the Mediterranean, with a similar climate to boot.   Continued...

<p>The Millau Viaduct, designed by the English architect Lord Norman Foster, crosses the valley of the river Tarn in Millau, December 9, 2004. REUTERS/Jean-Philippe Arles</p>