Coastal roads in Italy and Ireland, breath-taking mountains in Scotland or Canada, safaris in South Africa, untouched rainforests in Costa Rica, or desert landscapes in Australia – the best road trips in the world lead through unforgettable regions. But remember that even though you are going to see breath-taking views, some parts of the road may not be as pretty, so prepare some forms of entertainment; download movies and series to your tablet, take a book with you, or play some online slots on the road. Which of these following dream routes will be the next big trip?
- Self-drive safari in South Africa: an encounter with the Big Five
Start your route from Cape Town and drive south on Chapmans Peak Drive, a beautiful coastal road. A huge penguin colony awaits on the golden Boulders Beach on the Cape Peninsula, the colourful wooden houses of Muizenberg Beach, and the famous Cape of Good Hope. The route then leads over the Garden Route through the green landscapes between Mossel Bay and Port Elizabeth. There are several nature parks, tranquil places, and unique beaches along this route. Particularly recommended: In Nature’s Valley, beautiful hiking trails lead to secluded beaches. The absolute highlight of this road trip, however, awaits you a few kilometres behind Port Elizabeth: the Addo Elephant National Park. It is home to the Big Five (elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino, and leopard) and is the ideal place for an exciting self-drive safari. You can simply drive your rental car on the well-developed paths of the national park.
- Icefields Parkway: on the most beautiful highway through the Canadian Rockies
The ultimate road trip through Canada’s natural wonders takes you along the Icefields Parkway. Pick up your rental car in Calgary and drive to nearby Banff National Park. There lies the sparkling Lake Louise at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. A beautiful panoramic route leads from here along with the mountain backdrop of the Rocky Mountains to the northern Jasper National Park. Take enough time for almost 270 kilometres of the Icefields Parkway, the sights along the way require many breaks. Visit Mistaya Canyon, Peyto Lake, Athabasca Falls, and the mighty Athabasca Glacier. When you arrive in Jasper, there is a whole bunch of natural highlights in the 13,000 km² national park, including Maligne Canyon, Miette Hot Springs, and the pretty Medicine Lake.
- Iceland’s Ring Road: bizarre landscapes on the island of fire and ice
Iceland’s Ring Road should not be missing from the list of the best road trips! This road leads around the island past the most beautiful natural sights. Visit the historic Thingvellir National Park north of Reykjavik and admire the beauty of the fjord landscape around Akureyri. Then it goes to the mighty Goðafoss and Detifoss waterfalls. The Myvatn region has numerous highlights to offer, including the Krafla volcanic system and the bizarre Dimmuborgir lava fields. In the south, the Vatnajökull National Park ties in seamlessly with the spectacles of the north with its icy natural spectacles. While glaciers and ice caves get the most attention, Skaftafell National Park, with its geometric basalt columns and Askja volcano, also deserves some time. On the way back you will pass the Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon and the famous Seljalandsfoss.
- New Zealand’s South Island: untouched nature and kiwi culture
Pick up your rental car in Christchurch and start your road trip towards Queenstown, past crystal-clear Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki. Exciting outdoor adventures await you in the city surrounded by water and mountains. Then visit the delightful, historic gold rush settlement of Arrowtown. A drive along Te Anau Lake takes you to the breath-taking nature of the famous Milford Sound. This is best explored on long hikes or from the water with a boat tour. Further north along the west coast is Mount Cook National Park and Franz Josef Glacier, where skydiving is a popular activity. The way back takes you over the panoramic route of Arthur’s Pass and past the mighty Devil’s Punchbowl Waterfall.
- Norway’s west coast: from charming towns to breathtaking fjords
Your fjord road trip through Norway’s west coast begins in charming Bergen. From there, a trip to the nearby summit of Ulriken or the stone tongue of the Pulpit Rock is worthwhile. To the north, you can enjoy the view of the fjords for several kilometres. In Lavik you leave for a short ferry ride and visit the idyllic Astrupnet and Sunnfjord open-air museums. From here you get to Loen by the Innvikfjord: a small foretaste of the breath-taking nature that awaits you in the Geiranger-Herlanden National Park. The road trip highlight of this route: the jagged Trollstigen Pass. Our tip: enjoy the view from the viewing platform before you drive on the pass.
- Scotland: A road trip through the mystical Highlands
This road trip starts in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. On the way to the Isle of Skye, first, make a detour to the legendary Loch Ness and visit the Rogie Falls and the Eilean Donan Castle. Allow plenty of time to explore its mystical landscapes of the Isle of Skye: the Quiraing rocks, the Old Man of Storr, Loch Mealt, and the associated waterfall by the sea should be on the program. Back on the mainland, head to Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Great Britain, before your route takes you to the Cairngorms National Park. Passing the Ardverikie Estate you will come to Dalwhinnie, which is known for its whiskey distillery.
- Ireland: en route on the Wild Atlantic Way
The best road trips naturally include Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, which starts in Cork. The route from here to Sligo in the north leads for around 900 kilometres past historic farms, mansions, ancient buildings, castles, and monasteries. In between Spectacular nature and rugged coastal landscapes. Nature shows itself from a particularly beautiful side in Killarney National Park. The Connor Pass then takes you on the historic Dingle Peninsula to the spectacular Sybil Head. If you are lucky, you might even see dolphins further north at Loop Head. The famous Cliffs of Moher, the Cliff Walks in Doolin, and the massive Poulnabrone Dolmen are unforgettable must-sees. After a stroll through Galway, the next nature stops follow the picturesque Connemara National Park and Clew Bay. To the north, just before Sligo, you come to the cliffs at Downpatrick Headless known than Moher, but just as beautiful.