Eight alternative Great Roads you have to drive before you die
There are some roads that every discerning petrolhead has heard of: Route 66, the Grossglockner Pass, the Isle of Man’s Mountain Road. Cutting through some of the most iconic scenery, these hallowed stretches of tarmac will be top of many ‘must drive’ lists.
However, if you look a little off the beaten track, there are a plethora of alternative routes waiting to be discovered at the wheel of your Porsche 911. Here are eight lesser-known Great Roads you need to experience before you kick the bucket:
Douro Drive, Portugal
Roughly following the route carved by one of Portugal’s largest rivers, the Douro Drive has it all: stunning scenery, great weather and, on top of it all, some fantastic tarmac that almost continuously twists its way through the valleys of the country’s wine-making region.
Wild Atlantic Way
Comprising more than 1,500 miles down Ireland’s west coast, the Wild Atlantic Way has more than enough tarmac to satisfy every driver. The coastline the route traverses is, more often than not, breath-taking while the tarmac itself is pristine, allowing you to enjoy your Porsche 911 just as Ferry intended.
Marrakesh to Merzouga, Morocco
One of the world’s greatest ancient trade routes, this road through Morocco’s hugely varied countryside will take you right up the edge of the Sahara Desert via the cosmopolitan capital city, dramatic cliff-side bends and mountainous forests.
B4391, North Wales
A particular favourite of the Total 911 team, this small road, tucked away in the middle of Snowdonia, provides a stern test for all Porsche 911s (and their drivers). The views are often beautiful and the challenge is unrelenting all the way back to the English border.
Route 1, Iceland
Route 1 may well be the best ring road in the world. Circumnavigating the entire perimeter of Iceland, the greatest challenge the road prevents are the wildly changing conditions you’ll encounter. It’s worth it though, providing some gorgeous vistas of this enchanting country.
Jebel Hafeet Mountain, UAE
Possibly the world’s greatest driveway, the road up Jebel Hafeet Mountain was built as an access route for Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s unused palace. It’s only seven miles long but the road doesn’t relent, providing plentiful switchbacks and well-sighted curves.
Route 130, USA
While many of our American Great Roads are centred around California, most of those are local to Los Angeles. Route 130 however is a rare piece of automotive nirvana in the state’s northern half, twisting its way up and down through the aptly named Diablo Mountains just outside of San Jose.
Mulsanne Straight, France
A 3.7-mile long piece of French ‘Route Nationale’, punctuated by two roundabouts, just outside of a major town may not sound particularly inspiring but this is where many of Porsche’s Le Mans legends have been born. You can almost feel the heady days of 917s blasting down the Hunaudières.