Road trip, those words always incite excitement, am I right? There’s something really exciting about getting to travel your way, at your pace, listening to your music and visiting locations that you want for as long as you want. I have done my fair share of road trips! Sometimes I have hitched along for the ride, other times I have planned them myself. Here are a list of some great ones (I especially recommend the blue ridge mountains one!)
Round trip from Melbourne, Australia
340 miles (1-2 days)
Australia’s most famous road — the Great Ocean Road — hugs the rugged Victorian coast west of Melbourne, revealing beach towns, national parks and the Twelve Apostles limestone stacks. The road follows every twist, turn, rise and fall of the shore. Where it passes through eucalyptus forest, look out for koalas in the crook of gum tree branches. One thing is certain: passengers will enjoy the views out to sea more than the driver, who will need to keep their eyes fixed on the road.
Blue Ridge Mountains, US
574 miles (4-7 days)
The route through the Blue Ridge Mountains is one of America’s legendary road trips. Two roads built after the Great Depression in the 1930s — Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway — wind through mountain scenery with views that stretch for miles to distant vanishing points. The colours span a vast range, from the cheese-on-toast yellow of the tulip poplar to the vibrant red of sourwoods and maples. The best time to drive is in the autumn, when you can watch as the colours change.
Gordon’s Bay to R43 at Bot River, South Africa
37 miles (1 day)
In a country with bucolic vineyard-dotted lanes, meandering mountain passes and roads that wind through wildlife reserves, it’s tough to single out one road-trip route. Yet Clarence Drive often makes it on to drivers’ lists of the most scenic roads, not just in South Africa but in the world. Less than an hour from Cape Town this spectacular coastal road hangs over the Atlantic Ocean, with mountains providing an equally impressive backdrop.
Chicago to Los Angeles, US
2,448 miles (2-4 weeks)
Route 66 covers more than 2,400 miles, eight states and almost a century of red, white and blue moments. Over the decades the road has attracted American dreamers. In the early 20th century they piled into jalopies to escape the dust bowl and find work during the Great Depression. In the Second World War soldiers followed the road in the name of duty. In the mid-century liberated motorists embraced car culture and later counterculture. Now nostalgia-seekers tackle Route 66 with one aim — to travel back in time.
Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, Vietnam
1,173 miles (1-2 weeks)
The Ho Chi Minh Trail was an icon of the Vietnam War, a network of tracks that carried Vietnamese soldiers and supplies. Now primarily myth and legend, with large parts overgrown by jungle or reclaimed for agriculture, the spirit of the trail lives on in the Ho Chi Minh Road, which runs along parts of the original trail and through the Truong Son range. A motorbike is the obvious choice of transport in Vietnam — and be sure to take a (waterproof) printed map.
Nice to Èze, via Menton, France
45-50 miles (1-2 days)
Roll down the roof, slip on the shades and enjoy France’s most cinematic drive, from Belle Époque Nice all the way to the Italian border — and back again. France’s most famous trio of roads, the Three Corniches, zigzag along the Côte d’Azur between Nice and Menton. Named Basse, Moyenne and Grande (Lower, Middle and Upper) after their respective elevations, each road has its own character, passing through glitzy Riviera towns, sun-drenched hilltop villages and wild mountain hairpins.
Rijeka to Dubrovnik, Croatia
368 miles (5-7 days)
The Adriatic Highway stretches nearly 400 miles along Croatia’s coast and provides a front-row seat of its 1,185 islands, an embarrassment of cultural riches and slow-food prowess. The highway provides access to five national parks, which each open a window into the character of the coast, and passes four Unesco world heritage sites, each offering an insight into the timelines of the Adriatic. Time-pressed tourists often rush to reach their must-see spots, but those with a slower pace in mind will be rewarded.
Have you been on any of these road trips? Or perhaps one that you have done that’s not on the list and you’d like to recommend it? I’d really love to hear from you so please get in touch with me through the contact page!