Stretching for 27 kilometres and compris
ing 93 breath-taking bends and jaw-drop
ping views of the Douro Valley, Avis has
crowned Portugal’s N-222 as “the road that offers the best driving experience in the world.”
According to the company, the highway was granted the prestigious title for its location and for the spectacular views it affords of the wine region below.
“The N-222 from Peso da Régua to Pinhão cuts right through the heart of the Douro Valley, offering amazing views of the terraced hillsides. This road most closely matches the ideal ADR [Avis Driving Ratio] of 10:1 (10 seconds on a straight to every 1 second spent on a bend) with a ratio of 11:1, and offers the world’s best driving experience”, Avis writes, adding: “The road takes drivers along the River Douro and the picturesque regional wine towns of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.”
The write-up explains that the road “takes drivers along a glorious road that hugs the River Douro, enjoys spectacular views over the vineyards near the river, and finishes in the picturesque wine town of Pinhão.
It elaborates that the stretch keeps “drivers on their toes and allows them to experience the car’s handling power, whilst offering frequently changing viewpoints.”
Two other Portuguese roads can be found on Avis’ list of top-25 World’s Best Roads, these being the N267 from São Marcos da Serra to Monchique, in the Algarve, and the N247/Avenida do Atlântico, from Sintra to Praia das Maças.
Hot on the N-222’s heels is the USA’s Highway 1, from Castroville to Big Sur, California, in second place, and completing the top-3 best driving experiences on the planet is the UK’s A535 from Holmes Chapel to Alderley Edge.
Other stunning routes on the list are France’s Route de Napoleon, the Italian Amalfi Coast route, and the Tail of the Dragon, in North Carolina, USA.
To compile the ratio, which was designed to end long-standing debate amongst car enthusiasts, Avis recruited experts from across quantum physics, F1 track design, high performance cars and even a world-renowned British designer of roller-coasters.
Eminent quantum physicist Dr Mark Hadley, who led the research said: “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.”
According to Avis, 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 of Avis UK, who commissioned the research.
“At Avis, we’re passionate about great drives and great driving experiences. Like so many fellow motoring enthusiasts, we’ve been debating which is the world’s best driving road probably since the day we were founded in 1946. Through our ratio we finally have a definitive answer. We’re looking forward to hearing whether people agree, or if there are other drives they think should have been considered”, he said