8 Horrifying Mountain Dirt Roads In Europe You Should Never Drive
Technically Europe-adjacent, this extreme dirt road with 19 monstrous hairpin bends is called Turkey’s “Death Road” – for a good reason. It’s one of the world’s most dangerous roads, and only very experienced drivers should drive this road. Other roads on this list are rarely used for day-to-day driving. That is not the case with D-915, which is a major road for locals and deliveries. Road D-915 was built by Russian soldiers in 1916.
GC-602, Gran Canaria, Spain
GC-602 is an insane gravel road winding over a mountain chain in Gran Canaria, Spain. You’ll see a lot of fantastic nature, including Canal de Fataga and Barranco de los Vicentillos, but forget about road barriers… Do not try this “road” without a 4×4 off-road vehicle, if at all. A man fell to his death from this road in 2020.
Forcella Lavardet, Italy
Forcella Lavardet, or SP-465, is famous among bikers for its 14 sharp hairpin bends. The hairpins are the only stretch of this dirt road that is asphalted. While SP-465 still was state-road SS-465, it was called the Craziest Highway of Italy. It’s now only considered a provincial road. Sections of the road are formally closed due to recurring landslides, but enthusiasts still manage to sneak onto SP-465 without a permit since there are no barriers for entry. Each year, a few unlucky drivers are lured onto this dangerous road by their GPS, which insists on suggesting this route.
Strada delle 52 Gallerie, Italy
Strada delle 52 Gallerie, or the Road of 52 Tunnels, is not a road for cars. It was built as a military road for mule carriages during World War I. Nowadays, it’s only permitted to enter on foot. The road was previously open for biking, but that has been banned after numerous accidents.
Road 622, Iceland
Don’t drive road 622 at high tide, as parts of the road literally will be underwater. Road 622 is Iceland’s most dangerous road and even one of the most terrifying in the world. On the roadside, which is without any guardrails, is steep hillsides ending in the sea. The surface is rough gravel and is sometimes muddy. Only suitable for 4×4 off-road vehicles and very experienced drivers.
Col du Parpaillon, France
Col du Parpaillon, or road D29, is a winding mountain road with scenic views along the way. It has a lot of hairpins and steep sections, some with a maximum slope of 13 percent. The more mountainous parts of this challenging road are unpaved and only suitable for off-road vehicles, if at all. Col du Parpaillon is one of the highest mountain roads in France. At the very top of the road, at an elevation of 2,637 meters, lies the famous “Parpaillon Tunnel,” which occasionally is closed with big metal doors. D29 was once an important military road.
Abano Pass, Georgia
Infamously known as a “death road,” the Abano Pass, or road M44, has had many fatal accidents along its track. You’ll notice numerous memorials for people who have lost their lives trying to drive this route. With 2,826 meters above sea level, the Abano Pass is the highest drivable mountain pass in the Caucasus. Nature is breathtaking with its deep gorges, waterfalls, and horses running wild through iris fields. The length of the mountain pass is 84,5 km and the expected driving time is more than 12 hours. The Abano Pass has been featured in an episode of BBC’s “World’s Most Dangerous Roads.”
Strada dell' Assietta, Italy
The Strada dell’Assietta (SP-173) is a 34 kilometers long, mountainous dirt road located almost entirely above 2000 meters altitude. Some parts of this dangerous road feature steep drops to the valley below, so Strada dell’Assietta should not be attempted by drivers prone to vertigo. The road is, besides by tourists, used by a few farmers to access their land. Like most roads on this list, it’s only open for traffic during the summer. It can sometimes be closed to motorized vehicles during this time.
This list is only for entertainment purposes. We do not recommend driving on these roads. Driving on dirt roads can void your car insurance.