Best Driving Holidays and Road Trips
There is something quite romantic about the open road. Driving holidays and road trips are incredibly popular, and there are so many beautiful areas to see by car. Here are some of the world’s best driving holidays and road trips.
New Zealand – North to South
New Zealand is small, but it has everything that you could ever want for a driving holiday. The cities are lively, the coastline is stunning, there are plenty of vast mountain ranges and unique wildlife, plus the food is a delight. The roads are also very easy to use and there is not a lot of people around outside of the cities. In short, New Zealand is the perfect place for a road trip. In the high season, November to April, it’s really important to pre-book accommodation or you may find yourself stuck. One way to combat this is to hire a camper van. You can rent a car in almost all of the cities, making it easy to do a road trip from the North to the South islands. Some of the activities that you have to look forward to include: whale-watching, hiking, swimming with dolphins, climbing mountains, wine tasting and rafting. It’s an adventurer’s dream.
Great Ocean Road, Australia
Australia is an enormous country and it can be quite daunting to try and pinpoint an area for a road trip. If you like off-road driving, try the Kimberly route. If you prefer the wilderness, it’s Tasmania. For first-time road trippers, there’s one route that is frequently recommended – the Great Ocean Road. It is home to the 12 Apostles, a coastal rock formation. The road winds along one of the world’s most spectacular coastlines, beginning in Melbourne. From there, it’s a 243-kilometre drive to the small town of Allansford. On your way, you’ll pass cliffs, rainforests, beaches and stunning landscapes.
USA – Californian Coast
The USA contains some of the world’s most famous roads, such as Route 66 and the Great River Road. However, the 270-mile drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco has to be the winner for the most scenic of all. Driving along this coastal route, you will visit the charming towns of Malibu, Santa Monica, San Simeon, Santa Barbara and Carmel. The roads follow the route of the Pacific Coast, passing many desktop-background-worthy landscapes including the Big Sur and the Monterey Peninsula.
Iceland – Golden Circle
If you’re looking for a gorgeous driving route not too far from the UK, definitely consider Iceland. It’s only around a three-hour flight and features some of the most striking landscapes in the world. When you get away from towns, the roads are pretty much deserted and you will always be able to find accommodation. Take around a week to enjoy everything Iceland has to offer including thermal pools, active volcanoes, giant waterfalls, lagoons and lava fields. It is truly a unique destination for a driving holiday.
North Coast 500, Scotland
This Scottish road trip is often hailed as the country’s answer to Route 66. You start at Inverness, loop around the west coast then back via the north and east coasts. It’s filled with drama – tall mountains, winding roads and most likely, unpredictable weather. You will see many highlights of the Scottish Highlands including Ullapool, Orkney and John O’Groats.
Spain – Andalucia
Andalucia is one of the best places to drive in Southern Europe, thanks to the rolling mountains and breathtaking beauty of the area. Much of the land is dedicated to national parks and whichever hilly town you stop at, you’re sure to be welcomed with a delicious bowl of hearty paella. There is lots to do for those who prefer the city, too. Granada and Malaga have incredible palaces, whilst Seville and Córdoba have mosque-cathedral hybrids.
Romantische Strasse, Germany
If grandeur is your thing, this route is for you. You can take in fairytale castles, palaces, natural wonders and high-walled towns. It’s a winding journey through Southern Germany, most notably the states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. You’ll drive through medieval wine villages, bare landscapes and rivers.
Ring of Kerry, Ireland
Ireland is a beautiful country and the Ring of Kerry is one of the most famous routes. You will take in the Killarney National Park, mountain ranges, beaches and fishing harbours. You will see the natural wonders of the area. You can complete it in a day if there’s lots of daylight, but it’s better to spread the ring over two days for maximum enjoyment.
New England, USA
If you’d like to see New England, USA, the best way to do it is by car. You can travel 1300 miles and pass through Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and back via the state of New York. If you hire a campervan, you can travel through the various areas and camp overnight at luxury campsites. You’ll see all manner of traditional New England beauty such as barns, churches, wilderness and green pastures.
Yukon Golden Circle, North America
For a remote and scenic road trip, North America is perfect. You’ll start in Whitehorse, Canada and go down the Alaska Highway to join the Highway 3 south. During the 423 mile drive, you’ll see mountains covered in snow, historic towns, and a steep descent into the Chilkat River Valley.