Eternal Wanderlust: The Best Road Trips Around the World.

 SUMMARY   Explore the world’s most captivating road journeys in our comprehensive article. From the iconic Pacific Coast Highway in the USA to the breathtaking Amalfi Coast Drive in Italy, we guide you through each route’s unique charm. Travel from the rugged landscapes of Iceland’s Ring Road to the historic Transfagarasan Highway in Romania.

Discover the stunning natural beauty of the Great Ocean Road in Australia, and experience the scenic wonders of South Africa’s Garden Route. From Canada’s Cabot Trail to the dramatic Trollstigen in Norway, our article provides insights, tips, and inspiration for each of these remarkable road trips. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a road trip novice, embark on these unforgettable adventures and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Tips for Aspiring Travelers.

Road trips are journeys of freedom, offering the chance to explore the world at your own pace. From the endless highways of America to the mystical roads of Scandinavia, these adventures provide a unique perspective on our planet and ourselves. But before you hit the road or saddle up your motorcycle, there are some crucial tips to make your road trip both unforgettable and safe:

  • Plan and Research: Before embarking on your journey, thoroughly research your route, attractions, and road conditions. Planning helps avoid unpleasant surprises.
  • Prepare Your Vehicle: Ensure your vehicle (or rented one) is in good working condition, with all necessary maintenance performed.
  • Pack Light and Smart: Minimize luggage to save space and reduce fuel consumption.
  • Follow Traffic Rules: This is a golden rule for your safety and that of others on the road.
  • Stock Up on Essentials: Water, food, navigation devices, and a first-aid kit should always be on hand.
  • Keep Contacts and Documents Safe: Carry copies of important documents and know how to reach emergency services.
  • Stay Flexible and Open-Minded: Travel can be unpredictable. Be prepared for changes and open to new experiences.
  • Respect Local Culture: Show respect for monuments, people, and nature. Be a responsible traveler.
List of The Best Road Trips

Pacific Coast Highway, USA.

The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), also known as California State Route 1, is one of the most iconic road trip routes in the world. Stretching over 650 miles along the stunning coastline of California, this highway offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, rugged cliffs, charming coastal towns, and diverse landscapes. Travelers embark on this journey to experience the beauty of the California coast, including famous destinations like Los Angeles, Big Sur, Monterey, and San Francisco.

Useful Tips for Travelers: Plan your trip during the spring or fall to avoid summer crowds and enjoy pleasant weather. Check road conditions and closures before starting your journey, especially in Big Sur. Make reservations for accommodations in advance, especially if visiting popular spots. Take your time and stop at scenic viewpoints, hidden beaches, and local eateries along the way. Carry a camera to capture the stunning landscapes, and be prepared for changing weather conditions.

More info: Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip (visittheusa.com) • Highway One’s Most Scenic Stops (visitcalifornia.com) • WikipediaWikivoyage⇑ Back to List

• Route 66, USA.

Route 66, also known as the “Main Street of America,” is one of the most iconic and historic road trip routes in the United States. It spans approximately 2,448 miles, crossing eight states from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California. This legendary highway was established in 1926 and played a significant role in the development of the American West, serving as a primary route for travelers, migrants, and tourists during the 20th century. Today, it’s a symbol of classic American road trips, offering a nostalgic journey through small towns, quirky roadside attractions, and the diverse landscapes of America’s heartland.

Useful Tips for Travelers: Plan your trip in advance, considering the time of year and weather conditions, as Route 66 can be extremely hot in summer and cold in winter. Take the time to explore the historic towns, diners, and motels along the route, as they offer a unique glimpse into the past. Don’t forget to visit famous landmarks like the Cadillac Ranch in Texas and the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Be prepared for long stretches of road with limited services, so stock up on essentials like water and snacks. Enjoy the journey and immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Route 66.

More info: National Park Service • Route 66 NavigationRoute 66 (visittheusa.com) • WikipediaWikivoyage⇑ Back to List 

• Amalfi Coast Drive, Italy.

The Amalfi Coast Drive, located in southern Italy, is renowned as one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world. This breathtaking route stretches for approximately 50 kilometers along the rugged coastline of the Sorrentine Peninsula, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. Travelers are treated to stunning views of dramatic cliffs, picturesque villages, terraced vineyards, and the azure Mediterranean waters. The drive connects charming towns like Amalfi, *Positano, and *Ravello, offering a taste of Italy’s rich culture, history, and natural beauty.

Useful Tips for Travelers: Drive carefully, as the road is narrow and winding, and the traffic can be challenging during peak tourist seasons. Consider visiting in the shoulder seasons (spring or fall) to avoid the summer crowds and enjoy milder weather. Plan your stops in advance to explore the charming towns, visit historic sites, and savor local cuisine. Parking can be limited and expensive, so use public transportation when possible. Take your time to appreciate the stunning scenery and don’t rush through the drive.

More info: Amalfi Drive (earthtrekkers.com) • Amalfi Coast: Drive to Discover Italy (autoeurope.com) • WikipediaWikivoyage⇑ Back to List

• Great Ocean Road, Australia.

The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most iconic and breathtaking coastal drives, stretching over 240 kilometers along the southern coast of Victoria. It begins in Torquay and ends in Allansford, near Warrnambool. This scenic route offers travelers a spectacular blend of natural beauty, with rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and iconic rock formations such as the Twelve Apostles. The drive is not only known for its stunning landscapes but also for its vibrant wildlife and charming coastal towns.

Useful Tips for Travelers: Start your journey early in the day to avoid crowds and make the most of the daylight hours. Keep an eye out for wildlife, including kangaroos and koalas, especially in the Otway National Park. Visit popular attractions like the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, and Bells Beach but also explore lesser-known spots for a quieter experience. Be prepared for changing weather conditions, as the coastal climate can be unpredictable. Consider camping or staying in coastal towns along the route to fully experience the local culture.

More info: Official route websiteCountry tourism websiteWikipediaWikivoyage⇑ Back to List

• Ring Road, Iceland.

The Ring Road, also known as Route 1 or “Hringvegur,” is Iceland’s primary highway that encircles the entire island. This circular road spans approximately 1,332 kilometers (828 miles) and offers travelers an incredible journey through Iceland’s diverse and stunning landscapes. You’ll encounter glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs, fjords, and picturesque villages while driving along this route. The Ring Road is one of the best ways to experience the natural beauty and unique geological features of Iceland.

Useful Tips for Travelers: Check weather and road conditions before embarking on your journey, especially during the winter months. Plan your trip to include stops at famous attractions like the Golden Circle, Vatnajökull National Park, and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Take your time to explore the numerous hiking trails, hot springs, and natural wonders along the way. Be prepared for long stretches of road with limited services, so stock up on supplies when you can. Respect the fragile environment and follow Leave No Trace principles during your travels in Iceland.

More info: Country tourism websiteWikipediaWikivoyage⇑ Back to List

• North Coast 500, UK.

The North Coast 500, often abbreviated as NC500, is a scenic driving route that takes you on a circular journey around the northern Highlands of Scotland. This iconic road trip covers approximately 500 miles (805 kilometers) of breathtaking landscapes, rugged coastlines, historic castles, and charming villages. The route starts and ends in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, and takes you through some of Scotland’s most stunning and remote regions, including Wester Ross, *Caithness, Sutherland, and the North Coast.

Useful Tips for Travelers: Plan your trip well in advance, and book accommodations ahead of time, especially during the peak tourist season (summer). Be prepared for varying road conditions, including single-track roads with passing places in more remote areas. Take your time to explore attractions along the route, such as the Bealach na Bà pass, Dunrobin Castle, and the rugged coastline of Assynt. Carry essentials like a detailed map or GPS device, as cell phone reception can be limited in some areas. Respect the local environment and follow responsible tourism practices.

More info: Official route websiteCountry tourism websiteWikipediaWikivoyage⇑ Back to List

• Transfagarasan Highway, Romania.

The Transfagarasan Highway, also known as DN7C, is one of the most spectacular and scenic roads in Romania. This winding mountain highway stretches for approximately 90 kilometers through the Southern Carpathians, connecting the regions of *Transylvania and Wallachia. The road was constructed as a strategic military route during the rule of Nicolae Ceaușescu and is famous for its hairpin turns, tunnels, and breathtaking views of the Fagaras Mountains. It reaches its highest point at the Balea Lake (map), where you can experience a stunning alpine landscape.

Useful Tips for Travelers: Plan your trip during the summer months (June to September) to ensure the road is open and the weather is favorable. Be prepared for changing weather conditions, as it can be quite cold and even snowy, even in the summer at higher elevations. Visit the iconic Balea Lake and the nearby Balea Ice Hotel during your journey. Take your time to stop at viewpoints and enjoy the panoramic vistas. Note that the road may be closed during the winter due to heavy snowfall.

More info: Official route websiteCountry tourism websiteWikipediaWikivoyage⇑ Back to List

• Garden Route, South Africa.

The Garden Route is a picturesque and popular road trip route in South Africa, known for its stunning coastal scenery, lush vegetation, and diverse landscapes. This route stretches for approximately 300 kilometers along the country’s southern coastline, starting in Mossel Bay (map) and ending in Storms River (map) or even further to Port Elizabeth (map). It offers travelers a mix of pristine beaches, indigenous forests, lagoons, and charming towns. The Garden Route is a paradise for nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and anyone looking to explore the beauty of South Africa’s southern coast.

Useful Tips for Travelers: The best time to visit the Garden Route is during the mild and dry months of spring and autumn (September to November or March to May). Explore the region’s natural wonders, including Tsitsikamma National Park, Knysna Lagoon, and Robberg Nature Reserve. Try local seafood and enjoy fresh oysters in the town of Knysna. Engage in outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and whale watching (seasonal). Be cautious of wildlife when driving, as you may encounter animals like baboons and ostriches along the route.

More info: Official route websiteCountry tourism websiteWikipediaWikivoyage⇑ Back to List

• Cabot Trail, Canada.

The Cabot Trail is a world-renowned scenic highway located in Nova Scotia, Canada. This 298-kilometer (185-mile) loop offers some of the most breathtaking coastal and mountain views in North America. The route winds its way through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, offering travelers opportunities to witness stunning vistas, lush forests, dramatic cliffs, and the rugged coastline along the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, and those seeking a memorable road trip experience.

Useful Tips for Travelers: Visit during the late spring, summer, or early fall to enjoy the best weather and vibrant fall foliage. Take your time to explore Cape Breton Highlands National Park, with its numerous hiking trails and scenic overlooks. Be prepared for winding and hilly roads, so drive cautiously, especially in inclement weather. Stop at local villages and enjoy fresh seafood, traditional music, and Acadian culture. Keep an eye out for wildlife, including moose, eagles, and whales along the coast.

More info: Cape Breton Highlands National ParkNova Scotia tourism websiteWikipediaWikivoyage⇑ Back to List

• The Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland.

The Wild Atlantic Way is a breathtaking and iconic coastal route that stretches for approximately 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) along the western coastline of Ireland. It’s one of the world’s longest defined coastal touring routes, offering travelers an opportunity to explore the dramatic and rugged landscapes of Ireland’s Atlantic coast. The route encompasses diverse landscapes, including towering cliffs, golden beaches, historic sites, charming villages, and vibrant cities. The journey along the Wild Atlantic Way takes you through some of Ireland’s most spectacular natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.

Useful Tips for Travelers: Plan your trip based on your interests, as the route offers a wide range of activities, from hiking and surfing to exploring ancient ruins. Visit popular attractions such as the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry, and the Giant’s Causeway. Be prepared for changeable weather and bring appropriate clothing for all seasons. Take your time to enjoy the local cuisine, including fresh seafood and traditional Irish dishes. Respect the local environment and follow sustainable tourism practices.

More info: Official route websiteCountry tourism websiteWikipediaWikivoyage⇑ Back to List

• Trollstigen, Norway.

Trollstigen, also known as the “Troll’s Path,” (map) is a famous mountain pass and scenic route located in the Møre og Romsdal region of Norway. This dramatic and winding road takes you through the heart of the Norwegian mountains, offering stunning views of lush valleys, rugged cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and snow-capped peaks. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Norway, known for its steep inclines and hairpin bends that provide both a thrilling drive and spectacular vistas.

Useful Tips for Travelers: The best time to visit Trollstigen is during the summer months (late May to early September) when the road is typically open, and the weather is more favorable. Be prepared for narrow and winding roads with tight turns and steep gradients. Drive cautiously and be mindful of other vehicles. Stop at designated viewpoints along the route to capture the stunning landscapes with your camera. Visit the Trollstigen Visitor Center to learn about the history and geology of the area. Combine your visit to Trollstigen with exploring nearby attractions like Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

More info: Official route websiteCountry tourism websiteWikipediaWikivoyage⇑ Back to List

• The Great Alpine Road, Australia.

The Great Alpine Road is one of Australia’s most scenic and iconic drives, spanning approximately 308 kilometers (191 miles) through the Australian Alps (map) in the state of Victoria. This spectacular road trip takes you from the town of Wangaratta (map) in Victoria’s north to the beautiful Gippsland region in the south. Along the way, you’ll encounter stunning alpine landscapes, lush forests, picturesque valleys, and charming alpine villages. The road is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering opportunities for hiking, skiing, and exploring the natural beauty of the Australian Alps.

Useful Tips for Travelers: The best time to drive the Great Alpine Road is during the warmer months (spring, summer, and early autumn) to avoid snow and ice on the road. Be prepared for changing weather conditions, as the Australian Alps can experience rapid weather shifts. Take your time to explore the Alpine National Park, which offers numerous hiking trails and opportunities for wildlife spotting. Visit the town of Bright (map) for its vibrant autumn foliage, local produce, and outdoor activities. Explore the charming alpine villages of Harrietville (map), Omeo (map), and Dinner Plain along the route.

More info: Official route websiteVisit VictoriaWikipediaWikivoyage⇑ Back to List

• Icefields Parkway, Canada.

The Icefields Parkway, also known as Highway 93, is one of the most stunning and scenic drives in the world. It stretches for approximately 232 kilometers (144 miles) through the heart of the Canadian Rockies in Alberta, Canada. This iconic highway connects Jasper National Park in the north with Banff National Park in the south, passing through some of the most spectacular mountain landscapes, glaciers, turquoise lakes, and waterfalls along the way. It’s often considered one of the most picturesque drives in North America, offering unparalleled natural beauty and opportunities for outdoor exploration.

Useful Tips for Travelers: Plan your trip during the summer or early autumn to enjoy the best weather and road conditions. Start your journey early in the day to avoid crowds at popular viewpoints and attractions. Take your time to stop at various points of interest, including Athabasca Falls (map), Columbia Icefield (map), Peyto Lake (map), and Lake Louise (map). Be prepared for changing weather conditions, as temperatures can drop significantly in the higher elevations. Respect the local wildlife and adhere to park regulations for safety.

More info: Official route websiteBanff National ParkCountry tourism websiteWikipediaWikivoyage⇑ Back to List

• Highway 1, New Zealand.

State Highway 1, also known as State Highway 1 (SH1) is the primary arterial route in New Zealand, and it covers approximately 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) from Cape Reinga (map) at the northern tip of the North Island to Bluff (map) at the southern tip of the South Island. The highway passes through diverse landscapes, including cities, coastal areas, farmlands, forests, and mountainous regions. It provides access to numerous natural attractions, cultural sites, and scenic viewpoints, making it a popular choice for road trips and travel across the country.

Useful Tips for Travelers: Plan your journey carefully, considering the distances between major cities and towns, as well as available accommodations and services along the route. Take into account the changing weather conditions, especially when traveling through mountainous areas or regions prone to adverse weather. Be aware of New Zealand’s unique road rules, including driving on the left-hand side of the road and using metric measurements for speed and distance. Take breaks and enjoy the various attractions and activities available along Highway 1, such as visiting hot springs, exploring Maori culture, and experiencing the country’s diverse natural beauty. Keep up to date with road conditions and closures, especially during adverse weather or natural events.

More info: Official New Zealand Transport AgencyCountry tourism websiteWikipediaWikivoyage⇑ Back to List

• The Causeway Coastal Route, UK.

The Causeway Coastal Route is a stunning scenic drive that stretches along the north coast of Northern Ireland and parts of County Londonderry in the United Kingdom. This iconic route spans approximately 190 kilometers (120 miles) from Belfast to Derry-Londonderry, offering breathtaking views of the rugged coastline, dramatic cliffs, picturesque villages, and historical landmarks. The highlight of the route is the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its unique hexagonal basalt columns and mythological history.

Useful Tips for Travelers: Begin your journey in Belfast and plan to make stops at attractions such as Carrickfergus Castle, the Glens of Antrim, and the Dark Hedges. Spend time exploring the Giant’s Causeway and its intriguing geological formations. Visit the medieval town of Derry-Londonderry, which is known for its well-preserved city walls. Consider taking detours to explore other attractions, like the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Bushmills Distillery. Keep an eye out for wildlife, including seabirds and dolphins, along the coastal route.

More info: Official route websiteCountry tourism websiteWikipediaWikivoyage⇑ Back to List

• Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria.

The Grossglockner High Alpine Road (Großglockner-Hochalpenstraße) is a world-famous alpine scenic road located in Austria. It winds its way through the heart of the Hohe Tauern National Park, one of the most pristine and stunning alpine regions in Central Europe. This toll road stretches for approximately 48 kilometers (30 miles) and reaches an elevation of 2,504 meters (8,215 feet) at the Edelweißspitze, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, glaciers, and valleys. It is named after the Grossglockner, Austria’s highest mountain.

Useful Tips for Travelers: Plan your visit during the warmer months, typically from late April to early November, when the road is open and the weather is more favorable. Be prepared for changing weather conditions and cooler temperatures at higher elevations. Enjoy the numerous viewpoints, hiking trails, and photo opportunities along the route. Visit the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe Visitor Center for exhibitions about the national park and to take in the incredible views. Keep an eye out for the local wildlife, including marmots and ibexes.

More info: Official route websiteCountry tourism websiteWikipediaWikivoyage⇑ Back to List

• Atlantic Road, Norway.

The Atlantic Road, known as “Atlanterhavsveien” in Norwegian, is a renowned scenic highway in Norway. It is famous for its dramatic and unique route along the Atlantic Ocean, connecting a series of small islands and islets in the *Møre og Romsdal region. The road spans approximately 8.3 kilometers (5.2 miles) and is characterized by stunning arch bridges, viaducts, and causeways that curve and twist their way through the rugged coastal landscape. The Atlantic Road is a testament to engineering and offers spectacular views of the Norwegian Sea.

Useful Tips for Travelers: Visit during the daylight hours to fully appreciate the coastal scenery. Take your time to stop at designated viewpoints and pull-off areas along the road. Be prepared for varying weather conditions, as the coastal area can be windy and rainy. Look for opportunities to spot seabirds, marine life, and even whales from the bridges. Combine your visit with exploring nearby attractions, including the Kvernes Stave Church (map) and the charming fishing village of Bud.

More info: Official route websiteCountry tourism websiteWikipediaWikivoyage⇑ Back to List

• Ruta 40, Argentina.

Ruta 40, also known as National Route 40 (Ruta Nacional 40), is one of Argentina’s most iconic and longest highways, spanning approximately 5,194 kilometers (3,227 miles) from north to south along the western border of the country. It is often compared to the United States’ Route 66 due to its length and the diverse landscapes it traverses. Ruta 40 takes travelers through some of the most spectacular and remote regions of Argentina, including the Andes Mountains, deserts, national parks, and picturesque towns. It is a popular route for road trips and adventure tourism, offering a chance to explore the country’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Useful Tips for Travelers:Plan your journey carefully and consider the vast distances between towns and services along Ruta 40. Be prepared for varying road conditions, from well-paved sections to gravel and dirt roads in remote areas. Check your vehicle’s condition and carry essential supplies, especially if you plan to travel through less populated regions. Explore attractions along the route, such as Los Glaciares National Park, the wine regions of Mendoza and *Cafayate, and the *Quebrada de Humahuaca. Respect local cultures and traditions, as Ruta 40 passes through indigenous communities.

More info: Official route websiteCountry tourism websiteWikipediaWikivoyage⇑ Back to List

• The Pan-American Highway.

The Pan-American Highway is a network of roads and highways that spans approximately 30,000 kilometers (19,000 miles) and connects nearly all countries in the Americas, from Prudhoe Bay (map), Alaska, in the United States to Ushuaia (map), Argentina, in South America. While it is often referred to as a continuous highway, there are sections where it is interrupted by geographical obstacles, such as the impassable *Darien Gap rainforest between Panama and Colombia.

Useful Tips for Travelers: Plan your journey carefully, as the Pan-American Highway traverses diverse landscapes, climates, and political boundaries. Be prepared for varying road conditions, from well-maintained highways to rough and unpaved stretches in remote areas. Check visa and border crossing requirements, as you’ll be crossing international borders. Consider the seasons when traveling, as weather conditions can vary significantly along the route.
Respect local laws and customs in each country you pass through.

More info: WikipediaWikivoyage⇑ Back to List

NORWAY TRAVEL DOCUMENTARY | The Grand Norwegian Roadtrip

Throughout our journey, we explored all of Norway, from Kap Lindesnes in the far south to the Nordkapp in the far north – and everything in between. Driving more than 14,000 km in ten weeks, our roadtrip included many unforgettable adventures. Watch as we battle the unpredictable weather conditions, enjoy the infinite nothingness of the Arctic, and encounter adorable animals.

video source: Lucas T. Jahn /youtube.com/