Roadtrips are the perfect opportunity to hit the road, explore new territories and enjoy a great journey. There are thousands of potential road trips itineraries. Here is a selection of the 10 most impressive and jaw-dropping routes.
ICEFIELDS PARKWAY (HIGHWAY 93), CANADA
Linking Banff and Jasper, this 144-mile long highway will take you on a journey across Banff and Jasper National Parks. To experience the incredible Canadian landscape. Indeed, the journey offers a great range of opportunities, like observing the wildlife, admiring the natural scenery and enjoying some outdoors activities.
The road will first take you to Lake Louise. Continuing on to Peyto Lake. They are both worth a stop because of the preserved scenery, the turquoise water and the possibility of hiking into the mountains around. The highway continues by making its way towards Jasper by passing through the Columbia Icefield Centre. Here you have a chance at observing the Weeping Falls: a frozen waterfall. Or going on a tour around the Athabasca Glacier. Or hiking your way up the Parkers Ridge for a spectacular view of the mountains and the valley.
PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY, USA
Designated the “All-American Road”, the Pacific Coast Highway stretches from Carmel to Morro Bay. On 147 miles (236km) along the Californian coast. Before going on the road, make sure to walk around the small village of Carmel: to see its colorful cottages and art galleries. Driving south, be certain to have a look at Point Lobos State Reserve with its tide pools: home to the first American undersea ecological reserve.
Continuing towards the south, the journey will pass through Garrapata State Park. Here you can admire the deep redwood canyon. Explore one of the trails. Or try to spot sea otters or even gray whales, during their yearly migration, from the Soberanes Point. The journey follows the coast until the ultimate destination: Morro Bay. Only moving away to pass through the town of San Simeon, from where you will be able to visit the Hearst Castle.
CAUSEWAY COASTAL ROUTE, IRELAND
This 120 miles (193km) highway will take you on a journey from Belfast to Londonderry by driving along the coast, while enabling you to admire the beauty and the colours of the surrounding landscapes. While there are a lot of places to stop, admire the scenery or explore the villages, there are a few spots that are undeniably worth seeing.
This includes a stop at the mysterious Giant Causeway, known for its polygonal columns, from where you can also have a 360° view of the coastline. Then head to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, an old style bridge linking the small fishing island Carrick-a-Rede to the mainland and offers a spectacular view. One of the last main stops, is the Dark Hedges, which will delight Game of Thrones’ fans, as one of the series’ scenes was filmed in the middle of the tree-lined path.
GREAT OCEAN ROAD, AUSTRALIA
Australia has the perfect combination for a roadtrip: long roads and astonishing sceneries. Indeed, this 151 miles (243km) long adventure will lead you from rainforests and waterfalls to beaches and typical villages; and if you are lucky, you might even be able to spot some kangaroos or koala bears.
The journey abound in various activities and experiences, however some of the highlights include The Otways Range, in which you can observe the full beauty of the rainforest, the waterfalls and the natural pools. It also comprises of the Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, located inside an extinct volcano, to enjoy Australia’s most iconic animals and reptiles. The 12 Apostles is also a must-see of this roadtrip: massive limestone structures (only 8 left) rise above the ocean creating an awe-inspiring sight, especially during the sunrise or sunset.
THE RING ROAD, ICELAND
Going on a journey on the Ring Road is the ultimate experience of a roadtrip; indeed, going all around Iceland, this trip will take you around a variety of stunning landscapes, and, if you are travelling between September and April, you might have a chance at observing the Northern Lights. The Road 1 will take you on a journey of over 800 miles (1287km) and will take you at least a week to go around with stops along the way.
The entire trip offers incredible landscapes, but here are some of the highlights not to be missed. Firstly there is the Skogafoss waterfall, famous for its power and high volume of water, often at the origin of rainbows. While in Iceland, one of the activities to try in hiking a glacier; however it is not something that can be done alone, so make sure to be accompanied by an expert. Your next stop should definitely be at the Vatnajökull glacier, where you can discover the stunning crystal ice caves, offering a truly unique sight. One of the highlights that it is definitely recommended is to fly over the Bárðarbunga Volcano, in which you can still see the boiling lava from the volcano’s last eruption in August 2014.
ROUTE 66, USA
Definitely one of the most famous roadtrips in the world, the Route 66 is a perfect celebration of the United States: indeed, the road crosses 8 states and covers 2, 448 miles (3 940km) from Chicago to Los Angeles. There are obviously a number of attractions, and though it is a well-known route, the journey is definitely worth it. Firstly because of the incredible landscapes along the road: from the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest to the famous Grand Canyon.
Secondly because of the quirky American examples that can be found all along the road, that includes the Cadillac Ranch in Texas, which is a display of half-buried Cadillac, covered in graffiti, the Wingman Motel in Arizona, whose rooms are shaped like tipis; or for the Cars fan, the Kan-O-Tex Service Station in Kansas displays the tow truck that served as inspiration for Larry, the cable guy, character.
AMALFI DRIVE, ITALY
The 30 miles (50km) long Amalfi Drive will take you from Sorrento to Salerno by following the Amalfi Coast, offering a drive through the spectacular landscapes and the picturesque towns of Italy. With its medieval villages build on the mountains’ hillside, to the sharp cliffs, it is without any surprise that the coast was added to the Unesco’s World Heritage list in 1996.
The narrow road offers a journey of incredible sights, but there are also some spots that are worth stopping such as the quiet town of Ravello, where you can enjoy the views over the coastline under the Mediterranean weather, or the town of Amalfi and its colourful houses, where you can also take a walk down the Valle Dei Mulini. On the last stretch of the road, before reaching Sorrento, you can visit the Grotta dello Smeraldo and explore its emerald waters and its impressive stalagmites.
THE GARDEN ROUTE, SOUTH AFRICA
The drive covers a 150-mile (241 km) stretch along the tip of the African continent. It goes from Mossel Bay to Plettenberg Bay and it offers a great range of outdoor activities and cultural discoveries. Indeed, you can find a numbers of beaches along the journey. But you can also find lagoons and lakes beneath the Outequina and Tsitsikamma mountains. If you want to take a break from the beach, you can also choose to go hiking, canoeing or simply explore in the forests lined along the road. The town of Oudtshoorn is one of the Garden Route’s highlights. With its Ostrich farms and the Swatberg Pass. Along with the town of Wilderness, from where you can observe whales and dolphins.
SOUTH ISLAND CIRCUIT, NEW ZEALAND
This journey will take you all around the South Island of New Zealand. A place of truly beautiful natural landscape. Every corner of this land is amazing. But few places are definitely recommended. Like Lake Tekapo. Not only because the Lake by itself is stunning, but also because you can walk or drive up Mt John. From here you have the most incredible view of the lake, the nearby town of Lake Alexandrina and the Mt Cook.
The second spot is the Omarama Clay Cliffs, made of tall peaks separated by ravines, that offers a breathtaking sight. The South Island is also home to the Fiordland National Park. And especially to the stunning Milford Sound, which you can go around by foot, kayak, helicopter or boat. If you want to change the sight a bit, you can explore Franz Joseph Glacier: either by walking or, if you really wish to hike it, by helicopter.
SALAR DE UYUNI, BOLIVIA
The Salar de Uyuni is not technically a road. But driving on it offers such astonishing views, that the journey is definitely worth it. This desert is not only gorgeous, it is also fascinating: indeed, the white color is so intense that it seems more like ice than salt. However as soon as it rains, the expanse turns into a wide mirror, reflecting the surrounding mountains. The desert is also a spectacle in itself at night. When it reflects the glow of the moon in dry weather and the entire starry sky if it is rainy. And if you get tired of the salt flat, you can try observing the small Cactus Island, which pops up in the middle.