The world's best road is in Portugal's wine region
Petrol heads, take note. The world's best road has just been announced. There are few things as thrilling as accelerating past breathtaking countryside views, and now we know where to find the most thrilling stretch of tarmac possible. The N-222 road from Peso de Regua to Pinhao in Portugal has been awarded the prestigious honour.
The highway has been named the best in the world for its location, cutting through the heart of the stunning DouroValley and the spectacular views it provides of the wine region below. The road takes drivers for 27 km along the River Douro and the picturesque regional wine towns of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you can't make the trip to Portugal there are, apparently, many roads in the UK to get the pulse racing.
Avis, a car rental company who collated the data, found the A591 from Kendal to Keswick in the Lake District to be Britain's best road.
The spectacular 30-mile stretch in the Lake District National Park features a winding section, offering beautiful views of Lakeland fells and the banks of Lake Windermere and Lake Thirlmere.
The road was a frequent source of inspiration for poets Wordsworth and Coleridge, and whilst en route, it is even possible to see two of Wordsworth's former houses, in the pretty village of Grasmere.
Other celebrated UK roads include the B3135 in Somerset and A535 in Cheshire.
The B3135, which runs from Cheddar to Ashwick, features 14 miles of glorious Somerset countryside, with cliff faces rising either side of the road and twists and turns a-plenty due to the gorge dictating the route.
The UK's third best road, the A535, runs from Holmes Chapel to Alderley Edge in Cheshire, on which drivers pass the iconic 76 metre-wide, 90 metre-tall, Grade I listed Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank.
The road continues with some long straights to finish, allowing drivers to relax zoom along the final portion.
According to them, there are a number of factors to take into account when determining the best driving road. They call it the Avis Driving Ratio (ADR).
In order to create the ratio, Avis recruited experts from across quantum physics, F1 track design, high performance cars and even a world renowned British designer of rollercoasters.
'There are four key phases of a drive,' said eminent quantum physicist, Dr Mark Hadley, who led the research. 'Bends, acceleration, cruising and braking.'
'A great driving road strikes just the right balance between the phases so you get the exhilaration of speed and acceleration whilst corners test your driving capabilities and long stretches allow you to enjoy the scenery.'
'In creating the Avis Driving Ratio (ADR) we have calculated the optimum balance between those components, to scientifically establish the world's best driving roads.'
The ratio has been designed to end longstanding debate amongst car enthusiasts.
To inform and develop the ADR Dr Hadley used the geometry of the road and driving style together with the average acceleration, lateral acceleration, braking times and distances of a range of the cars on offer in the Avis Prestige fleet: Porsche Carrera 911, Jaguar XKRS and Mercedes E350.
The ADR was then tested with legendary F1 track designer, Hermann Tilke and world renowned roller coaster designer, John Wardley.
'Our winning road gives drivers the right balance of tight corners with longer stretches of road. This creates a thrilling and varied driving experience that tests the driver's capabilities and provides opportunities to experience the performance of the car, whilst also giving the driver time to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views,' commented Mark Servodidio, Managing Director, Avis UK, who commissioned the research.
In second place overall was Big Sur in California. For drivers wanting more of a challenge, the Nihon Romantic Highway in Japan is full of hairpin bends, whilst in Europe, Italy's Amalfi Coast will leave drivers holding their breath as they navigate sharp bends and take in the views when they can.
The Overseas Highway in Florida is the perfect road for those looking for a low intensity yet beautiful driving experience.
What's the world's best roads?
UK - A591 from Kendal to Keswick
UK - A535 from Holmes Chapel to Alderley Edge
France - D81 from Piana to Porto in Corsica
France - Route de Napoleon
Germany - S165 from Hohnstein to Bad Schandau
Germany - Titisee to Bad Krozingen via L126
Germany - Bad Urach to Burg Hohenzollern
Austria - Melk to Langenlois
Italy - Portofino (GE) to Portofino Vetta (GE)
Italy - Strada Amalfitana
Switzerland - Flüela Pass from Davos to Susch
Portugal - Peso da Régua to Pinhão
Portugal - N267 São Marcos da Serra to Monchique
Portugal - N247/Avenida do Atlântico, Sintra to Praia das Maças
Spain - Zumaia to Zarauz via the N-634
Spain - Escalona to Rios Bellosvia the HU-631
Spain - San José (Almería) to Cabo de Gata via the ALP-822
Romania - Transfăgărășan aka the DN7C
Norway - Lysebotn Road
USA - Highway 1 from Castroville to Big Sur, California
USA - Overseas Highway from Long Point Key to Florida Keys
USA - Tail of the Dragon, North Carolina