Picture the scene: long winding roads, scenic views and you in the driver’s seat of a car zipping around at speed (within the limit of course). There’s something about getting in the car and hitting the road that gives you a feeling of freedom.
So pick up your keys, start the engine and join us on some of the best drives around the world.
The Atlantic Road, Norway
This road in Norway is an eight-kilometre stretch between the towns of Kristiansund and Molde. Now eight kilometres might not sound like much of a drive to you, but this road provides zigzags across low bridges that extend out over the sea. You will drive over a stretch of ocean called Hustadvika – it looks particularly dramatic if you’re driving during a storm. In calmer weathers you may even be able to spot some seals and whales.
The Cabot Trail, Canada
The Cabot Trail is a scenic drive that takes you round the greater part of Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island. The 185-mile long journey could take you days to get round because you will want to stop every few minutes to check out the scenic green mountains, blue seas and national park.
The Amalfi Coast, Italy
44 miles of winding and narrow roads pitched above Mediterranean seas make this drive in Italy a testing one, but it’s well worth it. You’ll be treated to hidden beaches, cliff-top villages and quaint restaurants which are all waiting to be discovered on this route.
The Alpine Road, Germany
280 miles long, 21 mountain lakes, over 60 spa resorts, 25 castles, palaces and abbeys and over several hundred breathtaking mountain peaks – no wonder the road’s slogan in Germany is “every mile – a smile”. We think that fits nicely.
Death Valley, USA
Death Valley earned its name from a group of pioneers who got lost in the area in the late 1900s. Although only one of them died, they thought the place would be the scene of their demise.
Starting just outside Las Vegas and heading north on highway 160, the neon lights of Vegas will soon be replaced by sun-baked lunar-rock structures. Keep an eye out for the part of the road passing Furnas Creek heading towards the mammoth lakes which overlook Yosemite National park. Bask in the glory we say, bask. (And take plenty of water).
Great Ocean Road, Australia
The 150-mile single-carriageway route is placed between the towns of Torquay and Warrnambool on the south-eastern Australian coast. Along the route, you’ll be treated to rainforests, beaches and cliff drops, making for a drive that is particularly pleasant on the eyes.
Ruta 40, Argentina
If you want to feel the essence of getting in a car and hitting the road, we suggest you try the 5,000 kilometre trip along the length of Argentina, down Ruta 40. Heading south from Salta, you’ll see the snow-capped spine of Andes and before you know it, you’ll find yourself alone on the road in the plains of Patagonia.
Other highlights of the drive include a Grand Canyon in Talampaya National Park, Argentina’s thriving wine industry in Mendoza, and the quaint chalets of ski resort Bariloche. In the summer months you can venture as far as the immense glacier-filled fjordlands. Hiring a 4×4 is essential for this trip, as the road isn’t always in the best condition.
Route 66, USA
This road that runs for nearly 4,000 kilometres across the US from Chicago to Los Angeles is probably the most famous route in the United States. Destinations along the way include Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, although the exact route through them has changed much throughout the years. It has also been called the main street in America and could just be the ultimate road trip due to its many stop-off cities.
The Garden Route, South Africa
The Garden Route is a slender stretch of coastal route between Mossel Bay and Storms River Mouth. It takes its name from the densely vegetated stretch along the Western Cape coastline. The route is full of pleasing views such as lush mountain greenery, vineyards, rocky shores and there are some secluded sandy beaches to discover too.
The Overseas Highway, Florida Keys
Built in 1938, the Overseas Highway is nearly 130-miles long. It’s probably the closest thing you’ll experience to the feeling of driving on the sea and is quite surreal. If you hit the highway at the right time you should be able to see some of the most delightful sunrises and sunsets anywhere in the USA.
South Island Circuit, New Zealand
This part of New Zealand is where you’ll see the landscape at its most astounding. A drive around will afford you the chance to soak up many varied vistas. The most beautiful part is between Te Anau and Milford Sound, which crosses serene fjordlands and parts of the Southern Alps.
If you’re looking for the spectacular, then look no further. The Transfagarasan mountain road might just be one of the most awe-inspiring roads in the world. It’s 90-kilometres long and runs through the Fagaras Mountains and part of the Transylvanian Alps. If you’re heading there in the summer, expect to see lots of rich greenery from heights of 2,134 metres. In the winter you will see sweeping snow-capped views of mountain tops.
The Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Take a trip to Scotland and enjoy the islands of the Outer Hebrides. Driving around the islands is a great way to experience them, and thanks to many bridges, the islands are becoming easier to explore in your vehicle.
Roads vary between smooth and double tracks on main routes, to narrow, single tracks in more rural areas. Whilst driving you’ll see beautiful seas, thriving greenery and soft-sandy beaches that look like they should be somewhere in the Caribbean.
Ticlio Pass, Peru
This 132-kilometre route will take you just under three hours and is recommended for all the adrenaline junkies. You’ll fly through the Andres and take on some steep bends, with the potential for snow all year round. There may even be the odd of falling boulder, or lama you need to dodge. But the view of the surreal rocks and insane skyline at the end of the paved road may just be it worth it. We’ll let you decide.
Skeleton Coast, Namibia
Named after the many shipwrecks that have happened here over the centuries, the Skeleton Coast provides some dramatic scenery where black lava ridges and granite massifs are not uncommon. You also may just spot some elephants and black rhinos along the way – best to do this one in a four-wheel drive.
If you’re on this drive, you’re bound to see red. Not because you’ll be full of anger, but because you’ll be driving to the red rock, Uluru. As you see Uluru rising up in front of on approach, your jaw is bound to drop. It’s one of the most recognisable rocks in the world, but that won’t stop you looking on in amazement as you see it.
The Road to Hana
The Road to Hana on the Hawaiian island of Maui is full of lush jungle greenery, clear waters and pouring waterfalls. Oh, and it has 600 twists and turns along the way, to turn this picturesque drive into a thrilling one.
Draa Valley, Morocco
There’s some awesome scenery to be seen in the High Atlas Mountains in Draa Valley. A combination of exotic trees, soft thriving greenery, craggy cliffs and steep canyons are all on view here.
Seward Highway, Alaska
Starting in Anchorage, the route heads south 204 kilometres from sea to mountains to sea across the Kenai Peninsula. There are no billboards, no toll roads and very few towns on this trip. Winter is the best time to go for truly astounding views – white covered mountains with breaks for ocean views.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
As you drive across the eerily flat white stretch of the world’s largest salt lake, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were driving on another planet. When it rains, the salts turn into huge mirrors that reflect the surrounding peaks. When it’s dry, the surface is white, you’ll think you’re driving on ice.
Tempted? Get a great deal on your car hire here, and get ready to drive off into the sunset