Imagine arriving at an exciting, interesting and brand new part of the world, picking up your own set of wheels and heading out to explore to your heart’s content. A road trip is the ideal antidote to wanderlust, and one of the best ways to truly get to know your destination.
If you can hear the highways calling, read on - we’ve put together a list of the six best road trips around the globe.
1 . Ring Road, Iceland
For spectacular, other-worldly scenery, Iceland is the place to go. A car rental from Reykjavik will see you on your way to discover geothermal springs, volcanic cones, stunning waterfalls and many more treats for the eyes.
The ring road, at around 1,400 kilometres, can technically be done in less than 20 hours - but you will want to take at least a week to see all there is to see. Must-visit attractions on the way around include the Blue Lagoon, Gullfoss waterfall, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, the food and art of Akureyri, Kirkjufell mountain and plenty of other natural and cultural delights. Main centres on the way around and good places to stay include Vik, Hofn, Egilsstaðir and Akureyri.
2 . State Highway 6, New Zealand
All of New Zealand’s South Island is prime for scenic road tripping, but we have chosen this road which can take you from Blenheim in the north, past the gorgeous Nelson region, down the wild and wonderful west coast, over Haast Pass and to the famous Queenstown. It’s a road of beautiful things to see around every corner, and we recommend taking your time to see it all.
Highlights of the highway include the golden beaches and native bush of the Abel Tasman National Park near Nelson, the windswept black sand beaches of the west, the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers, the Blue Pools, and of course Queenstown’s many adventurous activities, buzzing town centre and spectacular lakes.
3 . The Garden Route, South Africa
Pick up a rental car in Cape Town or Port Elizabeth and drive one of the world’s most famous roads, the Garden Route between Mossel Bay and Stormsrivier. Along the relatively short journey of 300 kilometres or so, you will witness some of the best examples of South Africa’s vegetation, landscapes and wildlife.
Alongside the excellent beaches dotted along the Garden Route, you can encounter the wildlife sanctuaries at The Crags, the lovely Storms River village in Tsitsikamma National Park, and the excellent golf courses at George. The route is known for adventure activities including scuba diving, surfing, paragliding and mountain biking, great for the more active and adrenaline-seeking road tripper.
4 . Stuart Highway, Australia
While the Great Ocean Road or another coastal route might appeal more to your average holidaymaker, those wanting a real adventure should set out on the Stuart Highway. It’s an epic journey from Darwin to Adelaide, involving nearly 40 hours of driving which can be spread over a week or two.
This journey through the heart of Australia and across the vast Outback is a bucket-list trip, and not one to be taken lightly. Road trippers must go prepared with food, water, extra petrol and survival supplies in case they become stranded far from civilisation, and plan carefully to make sure there will be somewhere to stay each night.
For most, the difficulties of such a trek across the Outback don’t outweigh the benefits. Along the way lie amazing landscapes, unique flora and fauna, friendly small towns, the famous Alice Springs, and a whole heap of amazing experiences in the heart of Australia.
5 . Amalfi Coast, Italy
If you’re looking for the best road trip scenery in Europe, the Amalfi Coast is the place to be. A car rental from Salerno will get you there - just get on the SS163 which winds its way along the incredible coastline where cliffs drop to the sparkling Tyrrhenian Sea, pastel villages cling to the shore and small coves shelter golden sand. It’s a dream destination, and a rental car will allow you to explore it fully.
The towns of the Amalfi Coast harbour many delights - pizza, pasta, cocktail bars overlooking the ocean, bronzed holidaymakers, olive groves and hiking trails. There is no shortage of adorable towns where you can spend the night, and it is also an easy day trip - around 2 hours’ drive from Salerno along the coast to Sorrento.
6 . Canadian Rockies, Canada
Driving between Vancouver and Calgary, across the stunning Canadian Rockies, is an unforgettable spectacle. The mountain resorts, icy blue lakes and vast Banff National Park are picture-postcard perfect, the stuff of stock photos and glossy travel brochures. The many small towns along the way serve as centres for outdoor pursuits, and there is no end of trailheads where road trippers can begin a little adventure on foot. Gorgeous Lake Louise is a showstopper, so don’t drive past without making a detour to visit.
The drive between the two cities can be done in one long day, but there are many places to stop and spend some time along the way - the charming resort towns of Revelstoke and Banff alone can take a few days to explore. Pick up a Calgary car rental and head west, or start the trip in Vancouver and go east.
If any of these strike your fancy, we’re not surprised - they are some of the most beautiful drives on earth! Find your rental car with Airport Rentals and embark on an adventure.