Hitting the road with friends, family or a loved one has long been a favourite holiday choice. Road trips allow you to really experience the country that you are exploring by offering unrivalled opportunities to see the sights and meet the locals. Here is a run-down of 10 of the world’s favourite road-trip destinations (in no particular order)…
Amalfi Coast, Italy
If eye-watering hair-pin bends and dramatic cliff edges are your thing then you really need to take a trip to Southern Italy. The Amalfi Coast has some of the best scenery in the world. Hire a convertible to take on the 50km stretch of towering cliffs, pungent lemon groves, vineyards and whitewashed villas with sea views you are not likely to forget in a hurry. Make sure you include the gorgeous towns of Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello, dodging speeding vespers and fearless coach drivers on the way.
Historic Route 66, USA
Arguably the most famous of all road trip destinations, Route 66 (or what is now left of what it used to be) winds its way through the Midwest and southwest of the USA from LA to Chicago. Choose your perfect road trip vehicle from the car hire place before you embark on your cross-country adventure. Expect dusty, deserted truck stops and the glaring neon signs of abundant roadside diners. Route 66 takes you on a journey from the golden sunshine and sands of LA, past the Grand Canyon, through Native American communities to the gritty streets of St Louis and Chicago.
California Pacific Highway, USA
This stretch of coastline between San Francisco and Big Sur runs past some of the US’s most spectacular scenery. The 123-mile route through central California takes road trippers on an exhilarating journey that encompasses coastal redwood forests, ocean cliffs and secluded coves all against the dazzling backdrop of the Pacific Ocean.
Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria
This mountain road is only open for a few months of the year but it is worth taking the time to plan a visit. The road is merely 48 kilometres long but it weaves its way through 36 bends and reaches an altitude of 2,504m. Take your time on this drive through the Hohe Tauern National Park to Grossglockner – the highest mountain in Austria standing at 3,798m.
Great Ocean Road, Australia
This 150-mile stretch of road along the southeast coast of Australia is a road-trippers dream. The road hugs the coastline of the southern ocean and traverses rainforests, beaches and dramatic cliff sides. There are a million places to stop off, enjoy the scenery and relax in the gorgeous Australian sunshine with highlights including the 12 Apostles and the infamous Bells Beach.
Seward Highway, Alaska
This deserted highway offers little in the way of tourist spots or gas stations but the waterfalls, glaciers, ocean fjords and lakes more than make up for it. Starting in Anchorage, the road winds south for 127 miles to the harbour town of Seward. Take regular stops to look out for beluga whales swimming off the coast and to take snaps of the field upon field of wildflowers.
This road, which connects the Kashmir Region of India to the Himalayas, is another one that is only open for a couple of months a year. When the snow clears, this road can transport drivers across some of the highest mountain peaks in the world.
Garden Route, South Africa
This route on the south-eastern coast of South Africa winds through forests, arty communities, wineries and mountains. Stop off at any one of the beautiful sandy beaches and enjoy the regions perfect climate. There are a number of hiking opportunities to make the most of and some truly spectacular coral reefs to explore if you need to cool off.
Queenstown to Milford Sound, New Zealand
As you depart Queenstown you will wind around the gentle curves of Lake Wakatipu against the backdrop of aptly named mountain range, The Remarkables. Next you will be lead through peaceful farmland into the Mountains of Fiordland to the shores of Lake Te Anau, the largest of the South Islands many lakes. Finally, you will find yourself driving along the densely forested Milford Road leading to Milford Sound and the breath-taking Mitre Peak.
The French Riveria
The long-time playground of the rich and the beautiful is also home to some of the best coastline in Europe. Views of the pristine blue waters and swish seaside towns are best taken in by car starting from Cassis and ending in Menton. Make sure you stop at the exclusive resorts of St.Tropez, Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo and don’t forget to also take advantage of the famous French Mediterranean nightlife and cafe culture on the way.
10 of the best road trip destinations around the world was written by Lois Derman. Lois is a freelance travel writer and has participated on many solo adventures around the world. Her favourite place to visit is New Zealand because of the diverse cultures and natural beauty and laid-back lifestyle.