Best Road Trips Around the World
The idea of lying around a pool for a fortnight isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Maybe a road trip could be more your style? Whether you’re keen for stunning natural landscapes, challenging open road driving, or a Thelma & Louise style escape from normality, the perfect road trip exists for you. We’ve put together a shortlist of the best road trips around the world to help you set your next GPS location.
The Garden Route, South Africa
Ok, let’s start BIG. If it’s meandering coastlines or imposing mountain views you’re looking for, the Garden Route in South Africa ticks every box. The 120-mile trip runs from Capetown to Port Elizabeth and takes you through all types of scenery, from beaches to forest, lakes to lagoons. Running North East though the Oueniqua mountain range, moving through the Wilderness National Park and then on to beachside driving along Sedgefield and Buffalo Bay, it finally reaches the mouth of the Storms River. You can max out on memorable outdoor activities as you make your way along this breathtaking route. Think surfing, canoeing, or swimming in the seal rich waters of Robberg Nature Reserve.
Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland
Next, don’t under-estimate what’s on your doorstep! Officially the longest defined coastal drive in the world, Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is made up of more than 2400 Km of a journey, covering 8 counties, 150 discovery points and over 1000 attractions from Malin Head to Mizen. With other-wordly scenery and Irish hospitality to look forward to, it’s worth setting aside as much time as you can to revel in the possibilities of this stunning coastal trip – and no airfares involved! Don’t miss two of the most awe-inspiring views at Slieve League and Skellig Michael when you’re mapping out your stops.
North Coast 500, Scotland
Scotland’s own Route 66, albeit with arguably more unpredictable weather (much more!) than it’s California cousin, this circular route whisks you through some of Scotlands’s most remote roads and stunning vistas. Starting at Inverness and heading up the West Coast you’ll loop back via the North East coast. Look forward to taking in mountains and lochs, castles and coasts en route. Be prepared for nail-biting single lane roads and often inclement weather conditions to challenge your driving skills (and your wet-weather wardrobe!). You’ll be rewarded with views of the Grey Cairns of Camster, the chance to haul in the creels from the North Highland waters and the constant sighting of wildlife on land, sea and across the endless and ever-changing sky.
Big Sur, California
With Pacific blue waters and sheer jagged cliff-drops on your right, a road trip on one of America’s greatest and most scenic drives is one for the bucket list. California’s Big Sur combines massive ocean views with luxurious spots to stay en route, giant redwood forests and woodland trails to hike. We’d suggest making the trip in September or October when the weather is decent and you can look forward to less crowds than throughout the packed summer months. Schedule in whale watching at Point Lobos and China Cove and a walk through the purple sands of Prefer Beach. Stunning.
St. Laurence River Wilderness, Canada
Driving from Quebec to the East coast of Canada alongside this giant waterway is quite the undertaking. Connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean, at times the St. Laurence River is wider than the English Channel and is home to rolling hills, craggy rocks and pine trees, with showstopping sunsets to remember. If you plan to cross the river, look forward to a nerve wrackingly narrow path to the ferry. Make sure you pitstop at Tadoussac for whale watching (the river has a reputation for being the place to do this) and watch the sunset at Sainte-Flavie.
West Coast of New Zealand
At 1080 Km in length, taking a toad trip on the West Coast of New Zealand is an incredible way to see the landscapes made famous in Lord of the Rings, and squeeze in a raft load of activities along the way. Start your journey at Nelson and take in the diverse scenery of the beautiful South Island on your way to Milford Sound. Expect to move from tropical scenery right through to glaciers and fjords. Make time for a stop at Franz Josef for a spot of glacier hiking or skydiving, and a boat ride when you reach Milford Sound. Wanaka is also an absolute must, with picture perfect lake views and surrounding vistas.
The Ring Road, Iceland
A road trip that circles an entire country? Count us in. This 800-mile route allows you to take in all the natural beauty of Iceland, whether it’s waterfalls or volcanic landscapes, black sands or wildlife. On our list of must-visits are Gulfoss Waterfall (if you have time for just one waterfall, let it be this!), humpback whale watching in Akureyri, Myvtan Nature Geothermal Baths, and of course the Geysers at Haukadalur.
Great Ocean Road, Australia
Built by returned soldiers and dedicated to those killed during WWI, the Great Ocean Road at the Southern tip of Australia is the world’s largest war memorial and boy, is it a stunner. Start your 250km journey in Torquay just outside Melbourne, and travel through breathtaking scenery all the way to in Allansford. Don’t be tempted to rush your journey straight to the famous 12 Apostles (incredible giant offshore limestone stack formations). Instead take your time to soak up the beautiful beaches, sleepy seaside towns and scenery along the way from rainforest to national park (we recommend Port Campbell National Park).
Abbey Insurance Brokers
Whether you choose to staycation or jet away during your holidays, our team of Abbey experts are available to answer any questions you may have about travel insurance. Get instant cover online, or contact us on 08000 66 55 44 or request a callback for a quote.