It’s road trip season. There are few delights as exciting and enriching as having the open road before you - the fun of going on a journey with friends, the sheer joy of wondering what lies ahead...
But where on earth should you go? Here are 10 of the greatest road trips from around the world!
1. Romania’s Vampire Trail
Is Romania scenic? You bet! And it’s not only beautiful, it’s a little bit strange too. As most people know, Romania is home to legions of vampires, so if mythical creatures are your thing then you really do need to come here.
Transylvania is a beautiful mountainous area in central Romania and is absolutely perfect for a road trip. It’s also home to Bran Castle, which features in Bram Stoker’s 1897 gothic novel Dracula and gave rise to Transylvania’s well-known reputation as the vampire hotspot of the world.
Start this road trip at Bucharest in the south of the country, working your way up to the castle just a few hours away. Remember, though - vampires can be dangerous creatures, so maybe consider a car hire rather than taking your own!
2. Big Sur, California
It really has to be seen to be believed. One of the most beautiful regions in the world, Big Sur in California is also home to what’s believed to be the longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the US.
Rugged, mysterious and rustic, the coastline weaves from San Simeon and Carmel, offering you around 80 miles of unparalleled scenery which you could probably drive through in a couple of hours.
The road, known as California 1, takes you along mountains and cliffs and offers you stunning views of the sea in all its glory. If you’re going to America, you need to go to Big Sur!
3. North Coast 500, Scotland
Scotland’s relatively new North Coast 500 is talked up as the country’s answer to Route 66. Is it? Well, jump in your car and see for yourself.
Showcasing some of Scotland’s finest coastal scenery (and there’s a lot to showcase), this route starts in the northern city of Inverness before winding along the west coast to Applecross and then northwards, where you can stop off at the busy towns of Torridon and Ullapool.
The route then takes you to some of the most northerly coastal points in Scotland, passing by Caithness and John o' Groats before heading south again through Dingwall and finally back to Inverness.
4. Route One, Iceland
How about discovering the mysteries of Iceland? Get under the skin of this country by driving the infamous Route One - a 1,332km road which circumnavigates the island.
From desolate beauty to awe-inducing scenes, including volcanoes, waterfalls, springs and geysers, this road trip around Iceland will stay with you for life.
5. Cabot Trail, Canada
The Cabot Trail is a 298km road which skirts the island of Cape Breton. If you’re into wildlife this trip would be perfect for you, as the road takes you through the beautiful Cape Breton Highlands National Park, where you can see black bears, moose, and bald eagles!
This would also be a great road trip to take if you want to take your time, make stops and explore some lovely little villages along the way.
6. Garden Route, South Africa
Similarly, South Africa’s Garden Route is ideal if you’re a bit of a nature lover. Located between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, this 120-mile route offers a stunning mix of beaches, forests, lake and lagoons.
Beginning in the harbour town of Mossel Bay, you’ll then head to the town of George at the base of the Outeniqua mountain range. Next, the 13-mile Wilderness National Park awaits with its lakes, wetlands and extensive bird life, followed by the seaside resorts Sedgefield and Buffalo Bay.
Finally you can stop and relax in the bars and restaurants of Knysna, and visit the beaches of Plettenberg Bay, before reaching the mouth of Storm’s River.
7. Amalfi Coast Road, Italy
A shorter trip this one, but a particularly beautiful one, the Amalfi Coast Road can be driven in just over an hour and a bit, but it’s full of dramatic hairpin bends and absolutely incredible scenery.
The Grotta dello Smeraldo is a particularly noteworthy aspect of this journey - a fascinating cave which gives the illusion that it is glowing.
8. Pan-American Highway
If you’re looking to take a truly epic, Jack Kerouac-style road trip, the Pan-American Highway is probably your best bet, covering an astonishing 48,000km!
Stretching from Patagonia all the way to Alaska, the world’s longest driving route will enable you to see pretty much every example of natural habitat on the planet.
9. Milford Road, New Zealand
Welcome to Hobbit country! A lot of us are aware of New Zealand’s beauty from The Lord of the Rings - why not see it for real by driving the 120km Milfrod Road?
Snow-capped peaks, waterfalls and enormous cliffs await on this journey from Te Anau to Milford Sound, and into Fiordland National Park.
Eglington Valley and the Mirror Lakes are particular highlights - the water reflecting its surroundings with astonishing clarity.
10. Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
This road which runs between Morondava and Belon’i Tsirbihina is bordered by the truly majestic baobab trees - even pictures of them are incredible, just think what being there would be like! These enormous trees reach up to 30m in height and stretch 11m in diameter. They’re also up to 800 years old!