A road trip is one of the best ways to explore a destination, enjoying the freedom and flexibility to explore what you want to see while enjoying the scenery along the way. These are our very favourites and are sure to inspire you to pack up and look forward to getting behind the wheel.
Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
One of Australia’s most famous road trips and one of the world’s most scenic, the Great Ocean Road stretches for 150 miles along the southern coast between Torquay and Allansford. It passes spectacular beaches and unique geological formations like Twelve Apostles, rock pillars that soar up to 200 feet in height. There are many places to stop for swimming, surfing and wildlife watching, including koalas, kangaroos and penguins.
Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada
The 142-mile Icefields Parkway has been called the “Drive of a Lifetime,” tracing the Continental Divide through the Canadian Rockies between Banff and Jasper national parks. It showcases everything from soaring mountain peaks, glistening glaciers and brilliant turquoise lakes to abundant wildlife. Along the way visit Athabasca Glacier, the largest of the six “toes” that make up the Columbia Icefield, witness the power of Athabasca Falls, and take in one of the most breath-taking panoramas in Canada at the Peyto Lake viewpoint.
Ring Road, Iceland
The Ring Road is Iceland’s epic road trip, offering an adventure of a lifetime encircling the country covering over 800 miles along Route 1. While it can be completed in just 12 hours if you drive non-stop, that’s not the point. It’s one of the best ways to take in he highlights along with hidden treasures, so you’ll want to take your time, ideally at least a week, although 10 days or more is even better. Begin in Reykjavik, hitting the Golden Circle which is home to geysers.
Amalfi Coast Road, Italy
The Amalfi Coast in the southern Campania region of Italy is one of the country’s most stunning. While the Amalfi Coast Road is just 35 miles in length, allow plenty of time to soak up the incredible Mediterranean views, including charming fishing villages and towns that cling to the dramatic cliffs. Along the way, top stops include Sorrento where you can take a boat trip to the island of Capri in the Bay of Naples, and the hilltop village of Ravello for the most jaw-dropping views on the entire stretch of coastline.
Skeleton Coast, Namibia
The ominously named Skeleton Coast is one of the most famous places in Namibia, a remote, brooding stretch named for the violent storms that caused many ships to wreck – the carcasses of some 500 can be seen here. Allow at least two days for the drive to cover the 300-mile stretch, with just a few highlights including the seal colony at Cape Cross and the wildlife in Skeleton Coast National Park which includes giraffes, rhinos, lions, elephants, hyenas and more.
Southern Scenic Route, New Zealand
Arguably one of the most scenic drives you’ll ever take, the Southern Scenic Route stretches for 379 miles on the South Island of New Zealand. You’ll want at least three to five days to cover it while taking advantage of the countless photo-ops. Begin in Dunedin, finishing in Queenstown which offers enough on its own to spend a week or more. Stunning mountain vistas, pristine lakes, lush rainforest, waterfalls and remote beaches all await.
Garden Route, South Africa
You can take in a lot of South Africa on just one road trip, the Garden Route. One of the world’s top coastal drives, the gorgeous scenery includes beaches and lagoons, with hiking trails and all sorts of other outdoor adventure possibilities along the way too. Begin in Port Elizabeth, concluding in Mossel Bay to cover 227 miles over a minimum of three days. Take in scenic views of the coast with a trek on the many trails in Tsitskamma Forest, stop in Knysna for a boat excursion on the lagoon, and if you’re a thrill-seeker, bungee jump at Bloukrans Bridge, one of the deepest bungees in the world. There are canopy walks, kayaking and canyoning opportunities too.
Route 66, U.S.A.
One of the world’s most iconic road trips, Route 66 was decommissioned years ago, but you can still drive most of the original stretch between Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California, a 2,015-mile journey. Along the way, head underground into limestone caves that once served as a hideout for Jesse James in Missouri, stop at the Route 66 museum in Clinton, Oklahoma and take advantage of the many photo-ops throughout the state with its classic old Route 66 hotels, gas stations and vintage buildings. You can also detour to visit the country’s most popular national park, the Grand Canyon and take in the bright lights of Las Vegas
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