7 Great Coastal Drives

From cliff-hugging towns to dramatic waterfalls, some of the world's most breathtaking landscapes are best seen from the road.

Sweden's Western Coast Route
Gothenburg to Strömstad
105 miles

More than 8,000 islands are sprinkled along Sweden's rugged western coast route. The drive takes you past orderly fishing villages where you can sample mackerel, herring, smoked eel, and the region's other delicacies. A few of the larger towns, like Skärhamn, on the island of Tjörn, are connected to the mainland by bridge. Skärhamn's rust-red cottages contrast with the contemporary Nordic Watercolor Museum, whose boxy shape seems to hover above the town's picturesque harbor. For access to other towns, such as Marstrand, ditch the car and take a three-minute ferry ride. The town's low-slung houses are clustered around Carlstens Fortress, a brooding, 17th-century castle. Photos 1 of 2

Don't think we forgot! These world-famous drives deserve a category all their own.

Australia's Great Ocean Road
Torquay to Warrnambool
151 miles

About 60 miles from Melbourne, this drive along the Southern Ocean is most famous for the Twelve Apostles, huge pillars of limestone rising from the surf. Photos 1 of 2

California's Pacific Coast Highway
San Francisco to Los Angeles
454 miles

California's Highway 1 passes through some of the country's most beautiful (and most expensive) beachfront real estate. It's hard to pick a favorite part of the drive, but the dramatic scenery around Big Sur is unforgettable. Photo 1 of 1

Italy's Amalfi Coast
Salerno to Positano
27 miles

This route threads through towns clinging to seaside cliffs, old-fashioned fishing villages, and vineyards that climb steep hillsides. Photo 1 of 1


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