Route 66, USAThere’s no way we’re starting this list without Route 66 – that classic stretch of road immortalized in popular culture with its own hit song, Get Your Kicks on Route 66. Considered to be THE road trip of all time, this American highway runs from Chicago to California clocking close to 4,000 kilometres in length. The route, now named ‘Historic Route 66’ along certain portions, ensures that you are part of a legendary road journey that you won’t forget in a hurry.
Atlantic Road, NorwayTiny but packing enough of a punch to challenge even the most technical driver, the Atlantic Road is full of octane with enough nature (it’s possible to spot whales and seals during peak season) around you to inspire this photogenic drive. Not for nothing does Norway call the road its ‘Construction of the Century’.
Norway's Construction of the Century
Wild Atlantic Way, IrelandThe Wild Atlantic Way is for the adventure-bound. Hugging the outer edges of Europe and skirting the country’s dramatic coastline for more than 2,600 kilometres, the Wild Atlantic Way inspires nothing but awe along its route. Pass by small Irish fishing villages as well as its most famous towns such as Dingle, Kerry, Galway and Limerick on this unforgettable journey. The road also has its own website to help you navigate and inspire.
The Garden Route, South AfricaThe Garden Route is South Africa’s prettiest route by miles. With boutique wineries, game reserves, whale-watching and eco-friendly lodges dotting the route, the road is popular among honeymooners and leisure tourists. There’s little chance of getting lost here as you’re simply following one road from Cape Town all the way to South Africa’s eastern coast. With plenty of local eateries to keep you company, going off-track to experience the tranquil bays, beaches and lagoons near the route is highly encouraged.
Great Ocean Road, AustraliaWith limestone pinnacles that jut out from the sea on one side and a rainforest shoreline on the other side, traverse a range of fantastic beaches on the Great Ocean Road on the Australian continent. Stop at the world’s largest war memorial en route, click a picture with the Island Archway in the background and gawk at the Twelve Apostles limestone rock formations as you drive by.
Route 1, IcelandThe advantage of driving on Iceland’s Route 1 is two-fold. One, it’s the only major road in all of Iceland, so you’re unlikely to drive off into wilderness while staring at the Northern Lights above. The other advantage is that all the attractions of Iceland – volcanoes, fjords, black sand beaches and geothermal pools – are within driving distance of each other.
Just some of the wondrous sights along Route 1
Amalfi Coast, ItalyIf we had to pick one road trip from all the European options available to us, we’d settle for the drive along Amalfi’s coast any time. Start in Naples, or Sorrento if you wish, and as long as you’re not driving, let your eyes stray towards the dramatic cliffs, multi-hued village houses, plantations and jaw-dropping beaches en route. It’s also one of the shorter routes from our list, clocking just 50 kilometres from start to finish.
Pan American HighwayThe Holy Grail of all road trips, this mega journey is one for the bucket list. Stretching for more than 30,000 kilometres and passing 17 countries from Alaska in the US to Argentina’s southernmost tip, this highway is listed by Guinness World Records as the world’s longest motorable road. Only a small 160-kilometre stretch called the Darien’s Gap separates the road between Central and South America. It goes without saying that the amount of diversity on this trip will be incomparable to any other road trip anywhere else in the world.
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