It’s about the journey not the destination. Nowhere is that more true than on an epic road trip; one of the best travel experiences you can have. There’s no better way to explore than with your own set of wheels, at your own pace and choosing your own stops. Here are our suggestions for the World’s Best Road Trips.
California Route 1, USA
Kicking off our World’s Best Road Trips is this unbeatable 655 mile stretch of road along the Californian Coast. Running all the way from the unmissable cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco.The route’s highlight is undoubtedly the unspoilt and rugged 85 mile stretch of Big Sur. Which way you travel is up to you; just make sure to splash out on hiring that convertible. Allow at least a week to make the most of this trip, you could easily spend a fortnight with a couple of days in the two cities. Must sees stops along the way are Monterey Bay and Santa Barbara.
Ring Road, Iceland
You will struggle to find a more impressive and diverse landscape than Iceland. The island’s circular ring road offers the best way to experience everything this stunning country has to offer. The drive takes between ten days and two weeks to fully experience the different sights and attractions. Time your visit between September and April for a chance to witness the captivating Northern Lights.
North Coast 500, Scotland
Mountains, castles, impressive scenery and local cuisine. Sound your thing? Look no further than Scotland’s North Coast 500. This might be a surprise inclusion but in our view it more than merits being considered one of the world’s best road trips. Only launched officially last year the NC 500 takes it’s name from the 500 mile circular route from the city of Inverness. Scotland’s answer to Route 66 is a great way to sample the best of the country, and it’s a pretty epic drive too. It can be done over a long weekend but ideally allow at least a week to get the most out of your trip.
South Island Circuit, New Zealand
If you’re a fan of the great outdoors and have a bit more time on your hands for a road trip then head to New Zealand’s South Island. It could easily take you a month to take in the amazing landscape and visit all the island’s attractions. Get involved in some hiking, mountain biking and rafting and for an unbeatable experience hire a campervan and go at your own pace.
Icefields Parkway, Canada
Another one for nature lovers. Canada’s Icefield’s Parkway is a stunning 144 mile drive through the Banff and Jasper National Parks. The route runs between the main cities of Calgary and Edmonton, winding its way through the Canadian Rockies. Regardless of which direction you travel you’re guaranteed outstanding views of mountains, lakes, ancient glaciers and cascading waterfalls.
Route 66, USA
No list of the World’s Best Road trips would be complete without this ultimate journey. The entire length of Route 66 stretches almost 2,500 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles. If you haven’t got time to tackle it in one go the route can be broken up into different portions; each with their own attractions and appeal. You can conquer the Mother Road in two weeks but that means a few hundred miles driving each day and may feel pretty rushed. For a more authentic experience and the chance to properly explore the historical route allow up to a month. This is a once in a lifetime experience and definitely one for the bucket list.
Great Ocean Road, Australia
150 miles of stunning coastal scenery along Australia’s South Eastern coastline. This is Australia’s most famous road trip and perfect for a campervan adventure along the roads topping spectacular cliffs. Spend at least a week exploring this route, hit the surf and definitely visit the iconic 12 apostles rock stacks.
Romantic Road, Germany
There are few more impressive sights than the majestic Neuschwanstein Castle, greeting you at the end of Germany’s Romantic Road. You might not recognise the name but you will almost certainly recognise it when you see it; inspiration for Walt Disney’s fairytale castle. The route lives up to it’s name and is a beautifully scenic journey through Bavarian forests and picture postcard medieval towns. This is 250 miles of idyllic scenery leading to the foot of the alps. It’s a tourist hotspot and so can be pretty kitsch in places, but well worth a long weekend trip.
Garden Route, South Africa
First off an amazing 150 mile drive through some incredible natural scenery. From Mossel Bay in the West, just past the resort town of Plettenberg Bay in the East. Where it really stands out though is the range of activities available, this is a real adventure playground. Scuba diving, paragliding, sea-kayaking, ballooning and parachuting are just some of the experiences on offer. If you’re feeling really brave why not try cage diving and get up close with the great white shark. It might not be in prime safari territory but there are a few game reserves and national parks nearby, offering you the chance to see the big five. Allow at least a week to enjoy the beaches, activities and natural beauty of the mountains, lagoons and lakes you can explore.
Costa Smerelda, Sardinia
Rounding off our list of the World’s Best Road Trips is the exclusive and beautiful Costa Smerelda region of North East Sardinia. Renowned as a millionaire’s playground it boasts some of the world’s finest beaches, with golden sands and brilliant turquoise waters. Despite the wealth that flocks to the area these numerous beaches remain unspoilt and are easily accessible by car. The main resorts of Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo are home to the glitz and glamour, with designer shops and mega yachts. Head out and explore the winding coastal roads and you’ll be impressed by the island’s beauty and the picturesque views. A long weekend is enough to explore The Costa Smerelda but be sure to venture further if you have time.
What do you think to our list of the World’s Best Road Trips? Get involved and leave a comment below!