Amazing Road Trips Around The World

Seriously unmissable road trips...

A road trip is a fantastic way to explore a new country at your own pace, and in your own style. We’ve rounded up five of the world’s best drives below, covering Italy, South Africa, the United States, New Zealand and Canada. If you’re feeling inspired, check out the ViaMichelin site to plan your route.

Road trips of a lifetime

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Great road trips, Amalfi Coast

Image: Woody Hibbard under Creative Commons licence.

Taking in Salerno, Ravello, Amalfi, Praiano, Positano and Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast route is one of Europe’s most beautiful and terrifying road trips.

The spectacular, winding mountain roads will take you, knees-knocking, through almost unbearably pretty hillside villages, terraced lemon groves and classy coastal resorts by the gorgeous turquoise sea.

The closest airport is Naples, and if you want to avoid the crowds it’s best to plan your trip for late spring or early autumn.

Garden Route, South Africa

Great road trips, Garden Route South Africa

Image: Stringer Bel under Creative Commons licence.

South Africa’s Western Cape coastline offers stunning natural scenery along with a well-established tourist industry. It caters for adventurers, ramblers, families and anyone else who appreciates breathtaking beaches, lush forests, pine plantations, mountains, lakes and lagoons.

You’ll get a subtle flavour of South Africa rather than a full-on taste, exploring Mossel Bay, Wilderness National Park, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and Tsitsikamma National Park.

The bright and mild climate makes this a great destination for a winter getaway, especially if you avoid the busy Christmas season. You can start your road trip from Cape Town or Johannesburg airports.

The Garden Route has traditionally been safer than many parts of South Africa, but there are still risks and it is wise to follow all advice from the FCO and African authorities.

Pacific Coast Highway, USA

Great road trips, PCH California

Image: Digitized Chaos under Creative Commons licence.

One of the classic American road trips, this drive will take you from San Francisco through Carmel and Big Sur down to Morro Bay and as far as Los Angeles or San Diego if you fancy.

When you hop on Highway 1, you’ll experience the dramatic Pacific coast with its awesome views, mighty cliffs, towering redwood groves, rugged rocks and crashing surf. Other sights along the way include the Napa Valley - California’s wine country, and Hearst Castle, once home to media magnate William Randolph Hearst and the venue for rip-roaring A-list parties of the 1920s and ‘30s.

Begin your journey from San Francisco, Los Angeles or San Diego airports, any time of year. Just watch out for the fog.

South Island, New Zealand

Great road trips, South Island New Zealand

Image: Chee Hong under Creative Commons licence.

Driving from Nelson to Queenstown via the West Coast Road you’ll find it hard to keep your eyes on the road. The amazing landscapes just keep on coming, from beaches, vineyards and orchards to rocky mountains, rainforests, lakes and glaciers.

You’ll drive through Abel Tasman, Kahurangi and Nelson Lakes national parks, Westport, Paparoa National Park and Greymouth. Not enough for you? Lake Wanaka, Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, Hokitika, Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier will definitely be on your sightseeing list too.

Spring and autumn (ours and theirs) are lovely times to visit New Zealand, but try to avoid the popular Easter holidays. Fly to Christchurch airport to start your Kiwi road trip.

Vancouver, the Rockies and Calgary, Canada

Great road trips, Rockies Canada

Image: Danny Nicholson under Creative Commons licence.

There's a lot of debate on the best way to drive between Vancouver and Calgary, but everyone agrees that you will get a huge helping of spectacular natural beauty whichever way you go.

Depending on your exact route, you're likely to take in Whistler, Kamloops, the Okanagan Valley, Glacier and Yoho national parks, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, Jasper and Banff on your way to Calgary.

Fill your lungs with fresh mountain air, and enjoy picture-perfect lakes, mountains, forests, orchards, waterfalls, hot springs, glaciers, and lovely luxury hotels too.

As you follow the TransCanada Highway, it's up to you just how much wine-tasting, hiking, cycling, boating, swimming, horse-riding, and animal-spotting you do. Elk, big-horned sheep, grizzly and black bears, beavers, moose and caribou can all be found mooching around this region.

Summer and autumn are the best times to drive through British Columbia and Alberta, especially if you don't fancy getting the snow tyres on. Start from Vancouver or Calgary airports.

What's your dream road trip? Tell us about it below, and if you enjoyed this post like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Google+.

Written by Maxine Clarke, follow her on Twitter @travellingmax, or email maxine.clarke@holidayextras.com

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