Who in the world doesn't love a good road trip? Driving around with the windows down, favorite playlist blasting, map in tow and not a care in the world...aside from knowing where the next gas station is or which turn to take next.
We asked some of our favorite fellow travel bloggers to share some of the best road trips all around the world, and the result is this list of the World's Best Road Trips! From cruising through the Garden Route in South Africa to a self-drive tour of The North Coast 500 in Scotland, this comprehensive list contains some of the most picturesque and exciting road trips in the world!
Check out this collaboration of the top road trips around the world according to travel bloggers:
One of the best ideas for a roadtrip is to rent a car in Israel and travel around this surprisingly incredible destination. I understand people are skeptical about Israel but once I was there all the misunderstandings were taken away with every kilometer we drove. People were friendly, there were no safety issues at all and we did such incredible things. We left the exceptional nightlife of Tel Aviv behind us, drove to the impressive Jerusalem to see the craziness with our own eyes and then landed on the lowest point on earth: the Dead Sea. After that we headed South into the desert. We stopped to go ATV riding in a massive crater, did a hot air balloon ride over the desert and slept in a Bedouin Camp in the middle of the desert. Then partied hard in the second biggest Burning Man Festival in the world: Midburn before returning back to crazy Tel Aviv to return our car. If you would not consider this trip for all these highlights then you might want to do it for the delicious Israeli food. It might not be on your bucketlist yet but trust me, when you travel to Israel it will be a unique journey!
Look up the term “World’s Best Road Trips” on Google or your preferred search engine, and you can almost guarantee the Pacific Coast Highway will be in there. Covering over 650 miles, it stretches down the west coast of the USA and passes through some of the best scenery California has to offer. Back in 2013, we were fortunate enough to drive the most popular part, between San Francisco, heading south, finishing in LA.
Driving North to South makes it easy to just pull off into the multitude of viewpoints and it is hard to resist them. Sea views, coastal views, Bixby Bridge, Big Sur and Elephant Seals are a few of the highlights you can look forward to as you accelerate, brake and turn your way along California Highway 1. If you are an avid photographer you are in for a treat, so be sure to have plenty of space on your memory card. And if you’re not an avid photographer, well you just may well be, after this drive.
Fill your tank, grab a camera, put together your playlist and enjoy, for the Pacific Coast Highway is surely one of the World’s Best Road Trips.
South Africa's Garden Route is easily one of the best road trips I have ever taken. The route - or at least the route I took - started in the Winelands near Cape Town before finishing at Port Elizabeth. This is an incredibly beautiful, and incredibly varied, route that includes lush vineyards, arid and desert-like terrain, as well as beautiful coastline.
But as beautiful as the Garden Route is, my favourite thing about it is that there's always something interesting to do. Drive along the Garden Route, and you won't go more than an hour or two before seeing a sign advertising zip-lining, camel riding, ostrich riding, shark diving, paragliding, mountain biking, whale watching, or port tasting. And that’s not including the incredibly variety of wildlife you can expect to see along the road like baboons, tortoises, impalas, kudu, and birds of prey, to name but a few.
Most travel blogs recommend that you spend at least a week on the garden route, but I’d say it’s possible to spend even longer without getting bored. There’s always something to do, and the garden route is home to some of South Africa’s friendliest guesthouses and hostels. In just about everywhere that I stayed, I always left wishing that I was spending another night.
To drive the Dempster Highway in Canada is to travel to the end of the earth. The road travels to Inuvik, one of the most northerly settlements in the world. A 1000 mile out and back journey on an elevated dirt road, the Dempster crosses boggy tundra, rugged mountains and endless wilderness. The barren landscape is surprisingly vibrant with animal life, with porcupines, grizzly bears and moose all roaming beside the road. A somewhat confusing (but fun) experience, the Midnight Sun allows driving and exploring the Dempster possible at any time of day in the summer.
A self-drive road trip is the ultimate way to travel Namibia. Amazing wild life and landscapes while
driving vast distances on gravel roads. The breath-taking landscapes are continuously changing between the world’s most spectacular desert ecosystems in the Namib, vast plains, rugged mountains and savannahs teeming with a large variety of African game.
Traveling this unique country by renting a 4x4 with a rooftop tent is the most popular way to do it. This is quick to set up for sleeping and animals like hippo’s and lions can’t touch you when sleeping in wild unfenced parks such as found in the Caprivi Strip or Kgalagadi.
There are many unreal places in Namibia but don’t miss; the Fish River Canyon it is the second
biggest canyon in the world, Sossusvlei the red dunes here are probably the most spectacular and famous place in Namibia and the Etosha, an amazing place to see lions, elephants, black rhinos and giraffes gathering at the waterholes.
We travelled this awesome country for 2 months to write the ultimate Namibia Road Trip Itinerary
Tasmania - Travelemming.com
From rainforests to white sand beaches to small fishing towns to rugged mountains to a bustling capital city, Tasmania offers some of the most intriguing places to visit in Australia. And with it all packed onto one island, it makes for a great week-long road trip.
A friend and I rented a tiny campervan and set out from Hobart to gorgeous Freycinet National Park, where you can visit a stunning isthmus featuring white-sand beaches. From there, the trip continues north along the east coast to the Bay of Fires, where an unusual red moss colors the rocky beaches. After a trip to the city of Launceston, we climbed to the top of Cradle Mountain, a famous jagged peak looming over the center of the island.
A long drive takes you to the tiny village of Strahan, where you can tour the rainforest by day and grab a few pints at the pub with local fisherman at night. A week later, we ended the loop back in Hobart, where you can finish off your trip by visiting the MONA - a jaw-dropping modern art museum.
Tasmania's wild backcountry and open free camping policy make it an excellent destination for your next road trip!
It's a challenge to do a road trip in the Philippines because of scattered islands, but it's entirely possible. One route is from the capital city of Manila to the Visayas region – ultimately stopping for camp in Leyte or Biliran.
I love this road trip because it allows you to see a little bit that the country has to offer in a span of a week. From Manila, drive for several hours to Bicol and see the majestic Mayon volcano. Proceed to Sorsogon and explore its beloved marine sanctuary, beaches, hot springs and the lake of Mount Bulusan. Next, ride a roro (roll-on, roll-off ship) to Samar, where you can see interesting geological formations in Biri and if time permits head to nearby towns to see cave pools, natural pools and more beaches. After Biri, it's another long drive to Leyte. Here you can either spend the next 1-2 days in Kalanggaman Island or proceed to the more secluded Sambawan Island in Biliran.
This road trip from Manila to Visayas is perfect for getting a glimpse of what it's like in the Philippines. While you're driving, you can see sprawling cities to rural communities thriving in farming and fishing. You also get to visit some of the best attractions in the country, both established and those currently up and coming.
Icefields Parkway is the most famous scenic road in Canada. During a 230 km long drive from Banff National Park to Jasper National Park; you can see enormous icefields & glaciers, turquoise lakes, countless waterfalls, mountain peaks, and wildlife.
The most photographed lakes in Canada are Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, and Peyto Lake – they are all along this road. You can easily drive the Icefields Parkway in a day with quick stops or spend 2 weeks hiking, trekking or kayaking in the area.
Apart from the mentioned lakes, other awesome activities we recommended are:
- Hiking to Bow Falls beyond Bow Lake
- Hiking Wilcox Pass with a view of Columbia Icefield
- Exploring Sunwapta Falls & Athabasca Falls
- Cliff jumping into Horseshoe Lake
- Hiking Valley of the Five Lakes
The best time for an Icefields Parkway road trip is from late May to October. The road can be difficult to drive in winter due to very low temperatures, icy roads, and occasional avalanches. Wildlife is hiding and all the beautiful lakes are covered with snow. Bears, elk, moose and mountain sheep start to appear in the spring. Seeing bear cubs playing is the best experience!
When you think about road trips you often think about roadside attractions, goofy tourist traps, luggage loaded on the top of the car, and drive-ins. I’ve been on a lot of those road trips and they’re memorable and liberating to be on. But they’re not always my thing.
All that said, my favorite stretch of highway for a different kind of road trip is through Nevada, USA, on The Loneliest Road in America - otherwise known as the Lincoln Highway, U.S. Route 50. It stretches just over 400 miles (644km) and is undoubtedly lonely, which is a good thing!
On our way through U.S. 50, my friend and I had a lot of free time to speculate about life’s questions, tell jokes, think, and soak in the gorgeous, desolate views of the barren Nevada. This highway is literally the one you would take one of those artsy, empty highway pictures in the desert.
U.S. 50 is one of those places not crammed with department stores, billboards, cell phone towers (reception here is nil), and traffic. You can really get away from civilization and clear your mind here.
Have you noticed an influx of tourists and travelers-alike heading to Iceland? You should have, being that it has experienced one of the largest influxes of tourism over the past year, let alone five years, that any country has seen. Most tourists accepting the free stop-over option by Iceland Air or WowAir, will spend five days exploring the southern coast or extending their trip to seven days to take on the Ring Road wrapping around a majority of the country.
But when it came to planning our road trip of ten days to explore the island and celebrate 13 years of friendship, Amanda and I decided to expand beyond the main roads venturing into the West Fjords and Northern Peninsulas; destinations where only 2% of tourists venture and home to the most breathtaking beauties the country has to offer including Dynjandi, Glymur, Bjorbodin Beer Spa, The Arctic Henge, and Hvitserkur. With endless beauty in diverse landscapes or a laundry list of unique experiences from camping to view the northern lights or soaking in geothermal “hot-pots”, Iceland has proven to be one of my favorite countries to have visited and my top recommendations for anyone looking to plan a road trip.
The east coast of Australia stretches over 3,500 kilometers from Melbourne to Northern Queensland where you can see the famed Twelve Apostles, the iconic Sydney Opera House, the world’s largest coral reef, and some of the most beautiful beaches on earth along the way. The best part, you ask? This route is entirely accessible by car, making it one of the most epic road trips on the planet.
There are a million places to stop and admire on this remarkable journey, so, unfortunately, you’ll have to pick and choose where to stop and where to pass by. Some of the highlights of my trip were hiking to Minyon falls near Byron Bay, surfing next to dolphins in Noosa, four-wheel driving in Fraser Island, sailing around the Whitsundays, scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef, and swimming in freshwater gorges in the Daintree Rainforest.
Although flights and tour buses are available from all major cities along the coast, driving yourself allows for spontaneous exploration and the flexibility for off the beaten path adventures. Find a friend and you can be spending under $1,000 USD each for this 30-day trip using a campervan through Lucky Rentals. It may not be a luxurious experience, but it will be one hell of a story to tell your grandkids one day!
Spanning over 2.6 million squared kilometres of varied scenery, Western Australia is a state built for road trips. With limited time up our sleeves, we decided on a condensed version of the Great South West Edge drive for beautiful beaches, outback scenery and some fascinating history.
Our first stop was Albany, a historic port town with rich World War I heritage. Nearby, the Granite Skywalk of Porongurup National Park offers scenic views of the region.
Passing quintessential Aussie bushland and canary-yellow canola fields, we journeyed along the southern coastline to Esperance. It boasts white-sand beaches, literally turquoise waters and six national parks within driving distance. Cape Le Grand National Park is home to Lucky Bay — renowned as one of the world’s best beaches, it’s often frequented by kangaroos!
Next was a rugged drive through the Golden Outback, overnighting at sleepy Hyden. It’s home to Wave Rock, a bizarre two-billion-year-old, 15-metre high granite rock formation. Nearby Mulka’s Cave, home to Aboriginal rock art and handprints, was another highlight.
A long drive to Perth via the vast open expanse of the outback, a country town or two in the Wheatbelt region (check out the Corrigin Dog Cemetery for a quirky yet moving detour), wrapped up our utterly memorable Australia road trip.
The North Coast 500 is dubbed Scotland's "Route 66". It's 500 miles through the beautiful Scottish Highlands. Most trips commence in the western town of Inverness, from there it's easy to rent a car and hit the road. Along the way, you will find the most stunning views of lochs, rolling hills, dramatic cliff faces, and thousands of sheep. And you will definitely find plenty of breweries and distilleries to stop at along the way if Scotch is your thing!
Although the route has always been there the term "North Coast 500" is rather new. It was recently coined by tourism board to promote tourism in the highlands - and it is working! When we drove on the North Coast 500 this past September there were plenty of other people to do the route. You don't just have to drive it - but you can also go in a campervan or cycle it as well. Just make sure to bring a rain jacket - Scotland's notorious for its weather.
Taking a road trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon gives you the
opportunity to experience something rather unique. The chance to see both the
extremes of the United States. Starting out in the neon jungle of the Las Vegas Strip,
and ending with the absolutely breath taking natural wonder of the Grand Canyon.
Las Vegas is a great place to start for a number of reasons. It’s a major travel
destination in and of itself so there are literally hundreds of flights a day going in
and out of the McCarran International Airport. Once you arrive you can hop in a
convertible and cruise up and down the strip for a night of great food and world-
The next morning you can hit the open road! The trip to the Grand Canyon takes about 4 hours and you will be driving right through the heart of some of the best scenery the Southwestern United States has to offer. You will even get the
opportunity to see a bonus landmark, the Hoover Dam! All ending with the beautiful canyon the Colorado river carved over the course of 6 million years!
We were headed to Vancouver for a long fall stay so decided we would take the car and drive from Toronto. We have done the trip across Canada by train so we knew much of what the Canadian route would look like. And how flat and barren the middle of the country is. We finally decided to do the road trip through the U.S. We found that gas was much cheaper, even with a weak Canadian dollar.
The U.S. hotels offered great discounts for ex-miliitary that David as a retired naval officer could use. And the scenery was much more interesting. We did several stops along the way including a visit to Mount Rushmore and two days in Spokane, WA. When we returned to Toronto 4 months later, we again went through the U.S. But took the roads a little further south to avoid December weather. A long road trip was a great way to see a great part of the country.
Surely days on end of driving through the desert couldn’t be that exciting, right? Well be prepared to be amazed by what Jordan has to offer. A relatively small country on the scale of things, in a week you can pretty much cover the country top to bottom but I would allow two weeks to do it any justice. Most visitors fly in and start their journey in Amman, I would then drive immediately south to Aqaba and the Red Sea. Not only is there amazing diving and marine life, at this corner of the world you will see where 4 countries meet – Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and Egypt! Staying at the pretty Tala Bay is like being at a European resort village but without the crowds!
Start your journey back north via Wadi Rum, and join a Bedouin guide for your desert tour. Here you’ll see some of the most amazing and fascinating desert scape of rich red rock mountains and dunes before camping with the Bedouins overnight. Petra is your next absolute must stop to see the Lost City then head along the dramatic Kings Highway for some of the most stunning cliff side views and castle exploring – Shobak and Kerak have some brilliant examples that are well worth the stop.
Finally, start your dramatic descent to 400m below sea level to visit the Dead Sea and see what its like to float in the salty waters and cover yourself in Dead Sea mud.
If time will spare, there are plenty more day trips to be had around Amman such as Mt Nebo and the ancient Roman Cities of Jerash and Umm Qais. This country is best when you can explore by road and stop at any of these fascinating sites you see. Cars can be easily hired at the airport or arrange a local tour driver for the duration of your trip.
Byway 12 Utah - The Upbeat Path
Having the once in a lifetime opportunity to drive this route will leave you wanting to come back for more. We were en route back to Connecticut after spending a month in an RV driving around the west coast. So we decided we would take our time roaming through Utah's Byway 12 before making it to Colorado and onwards to the East Coast.
Nowhere but Utah had us stopping the car every couple of minutes wanting to take breathtaking photos of Bryce Canyon, Escalante River, Dixie National Forest, and every other nook that awaits you around the corner. Time and weather permitting, we highly recommend that you stop at one of the many hiking and bike trails that are available to you along the way all across Utah. Some of the highlights of a Utah road trip include waking up early and doing a short hike to watch the sunrise through Bryce Canyon, and pulling the car over to basically see every star in the sky.
This list may be long, but we know that we have definitely left some remarkable road trips off of this list. We would love to hear from rest of you! If you're looking for even more travel inspiration, be sure to check out Ultimate Top 100 of Instagram Travel Accounts or Self-Drive Tour: Exploring Ireland by Car.