Many people dream of heading on an epic road trip. But there is an alternative to the infamous Route 66 (which you should definitely do). Some of them are far off the beaten track but have some of the best driving routes you’ll find anywhere.
Safety should also be a top priority too. Make sure you have the right insurances in place and any roadside assistance cover that might be available in the area you’re driving in. If you’re taking your own car, take care of any maintenance that needs to be done and look at getting a repair plan or extended warranty for your car. There are a number available, but take the time to read the reviews of services like Carshield before you buy to make sure they’re right for you and your vehicle.
In most cases, unless you’re traveling by ferry or ship, then you’ll likely need to hire a car at your destination. Take the time to research exactly the right type of car you’re going to need for the trip. You’ll need to take into account the terrain and the time of year you’re traveling so you’re prepared for the weather.
Here are some of the greatest road trips in the world.
Big Sur, California Pacific Coast Highway (USA)
While the entire Pacific Coast Highway stretching across California's picturesque coast is one of the world's most amazing road trip routes, the stretch between Monterey and San Louis Obispo is certainly one of the most memorable. This section that features the iconic "Big Sur" where one side of the road drops hundreds of feet into the water below and the other shoots up hundreds of feet of solid rock. While the route can be stressful there are plenty of spots to stop and take a break and snap a few photos.
The San Juan Skyway (USA)
In just 400km, the San Juan Mountain Range in Colorado gives you a hint of everything. Whatever time of year you travel, you’ll see fields of beautiful flowers, snow-covered peaks, and a range of beautiful waterfalls and streams.
Garden Route (South Africa)
This coastal route which stretches between the Storms River and Mossel Bay, lets you see a beautiful side of South Africa. You will encounter pristine beaches and rocky coastlines and on the other side, there are stunning mountain ranges and vegetation.
The South Island Circuit (New Zealand)
Is there a part of New Zealand that isn’t breathtaking? Tour this beautiful country and take things at your own pace, stopping off to relax or even take part in some extreme sports. Between Te Anau and Milford Sound, you’ll get to see the Southern Alps which are worth the journey alone.
The Cabot Trail (Canada)
This particularly beautiful route crosses the picturesque Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. The route is dotted with friendly villages and you can see the best of what Canada has to offer. For any wildlife lovers, there’s the chance to see moose, bald eagles, and even some bears.
The Ring Road (Iceland)
Suitable for drivers who like a more rugged driving experience, the Ring Road is 1400KM long and runs all the way around Iceland. You’ll be awestruck by its landscapes which have beautiful fjords, mountains, and volcanoes. Don’t forget to take your camera.
The Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast, Sardinia)
This route runs the length of the northern coast of Sardinia, also known as the emerald coast. You’ll see some of the most perfect beaches in the world as the route takes you through both deserted landscapes and popular resorts.
The Atlantic Highway (England)
Explore the English coastline between Devon and Cornwall on the Atlantic Highway. You’ll see Exmoor National Park as well as traditional English villages and seaside towns.
The Outer Hebrides (Scotland)
Even in the UK, this single road runs throughout the Hebridean Islands takes in some of the most beautifully rugged landscapes in the world. You’ll travel by road and ferry, stopping at wonderful Scottish villages along the way.
Tasman Peninsula (Tasmania)
This part of Australia is beautiful, filled with beaches of clear water. You’ll also get to see a rugged coastline of cliffs as you explore places like Devil’s Kitchen and Tasman’s Arch.
The Columbia River Gorge (USA)
North America is filled with beautiful road trip opportunities. You could easily choose one every year and never see the same place. This one following the Columbia River Gorge is relatively short, so perfect if you’re looking for a shorter trip or to do as part of a longer vacation. Just over 110KM long, you can do it in a day or two and see the beautiful landscapes as it winds through the country and over some beautiful waterfalls.
The Karakoram Highway (Pakistan)
Pakistan boasts the highest paved road anywhere in the world. Connecting China and Pakistan, you’ll traverse the mountain ranges between both countries. If you’re looking for ruggedly beautiful landscapes, you’ll find rivers, snow-covered mountains, and deep gorges, and historical rock art that has been shown to date back all the way to 1000BC.
A road trip is an amazing way to see the world. Every country has its own spectacular driving experiences. So whether you’re looking for something close to home or want to explore the world a little, there’s something out there for you.