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Now, you all I know I love a good road trip and I feel there’s no better way to explore a place. After spending months and months of road tripping around Australia, I want to find out about other amazing routes from all over the world and of course, share them on here for everyone to see.
Not only do road trips give you a whole load of freedom but they’re also a pretty budget-friendly way to travel. If there’s one thing that’s a win in my books, it’s travel on a budget.
To put this together I’ve had some help from some fellow bloggers and travel enthusiasts to bring together 20 amazing routes from all over the world to showcase some of the best road trips out there. Whether you’re looking for places to go on a road trip with friends, family, or you’re looking for a real adventure somewhere new, it’s all covered here.
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- 10 of the Best things to see between Melbourne and Sydney
- 4 Day Great Ocean Road itinerary
- My top tips for the best road trip
- How to rent a camper for $1 a day in Australia
Australia and New Zealand road trips
After spending plenty of time road tripping around this part of the world, I know that there is so much to see here! Here are some of the best road trips in Australia and New Zealand. Need to rent a car or campervan? Take a look at vroomvroomvroom.com.au to get the best prices.
1. From Hobart to Launceston, Tasmania
Tasmania is a beautiful part of Australia best experienced by road trip, no matter the time of year. Whether you hire a campervan so you have your home on wheels, or self-drive from city to city and stay at hotels, you can’t go wrong.
We started our Tasmania road trip in Hobart where we spent a few days exploring the city and surrounds, including a day trip to Port Arthur and an amazing Tasman Island cruise. From there you can make your way up, staying at different places along the way. For us, we had 8 days. 2 weeks would be better, but you can still see a lot in a week.
We stayed in Strahan and Cradle Mountain each for a night although 2 would be best to experience the regions better. We then spent a couple of nights in Launceston at the end. If you have the time, don’t miss the chance to visit Wine Glass Bay along the coast too.
One thing to note is how windy the roads are so most drives take longer than you expect. Give yourself extra time to arrive. You will want to stop and enjoy the scenery along the way!
2. The Great Ocean Road, Australia
Over 200 kilometres long, Australia’s Great Ocean Road winds through historic seaside towns, alongside gorgeous beaches as well as beautiful national parks. At the far end is the Shipwreck Coast, home to some of Australia’s most spectacular natural scenery.
The Great Ocean Road begins at the town of Torquay, just over an hour’s drive from Melbourne. Close by is Bells Beach, one of the world’s greatest surfing beaches. Just beyond Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet is the famous Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch, which honours the returned soldiers who constructed the famous road after the First World War.
Hidden within the Great Otway National Park around the picturesque town of Lorne are several spectacular waterfalls. Meanwhile, tiny Kennett River is one of the best places to spot koalas.
Climb to the top of Cape Otway Lightstation for sensational views of the ocean before reaching the stunning natural forms of the wild and dramatic Shipwreck Coast. The most famous are the Twelve Apostles, the collection of islets stranded out at sea. A little further along the coast discover the tragic story of the sinking of the Loch Ard ship at Loch Ard Gorge.
The best time to visit the Great Ocean Road is in the offseason. In summer the temperature is unforgiving and the road is clogged with traffic. Visit in winter when temperatures are kinder, the ocean is wilder and you can even spot whales out at sea during the breeding season.
By James from Where You’re Between
3. Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand’s North Island
If you’re looking for an epic road trip in New Zealand’s North Island, look no further than the Coromandel Peninsula, an area renowned for its laid-back vibe, pristine beaches and ethereal forests.
While there are several towns in the Coromandel that are worth a visit— Paeroa, the birthplace of the ‘world famous in New Zealand’ soft drink L&P; Waihi, an old gold-mining settlement; and Waihi Beach, a much more touristy town where you can catch the perfect seaside sunset — the main draw of the Coromandel Peninsula is definitely its natural beauty.
The most famous landmark in the Coromandel is Cathedral Cove, a secluded little cove featuring towering stone formations, a gigantic stone arch and natural waterfall shower. A one-hour hike from the main beach, the cove is surrounded by tall, bush-covered cliffs that make you feel like you’ve walked right onto set of Jurassic Park.
Other places worth visiting as part of a Coromandel road trip are Hot Water Beach, Karangahake Gorge (perfect for hikers!), Cooks Beach and Whitianga. For the more intrepid out there, make sure to stop at Whangamata and take a kayak out to Donut Island (Whenuakura). This wildlife sanctuary in the middle of the ocean will blow your mind!
A popular holiday destination for New Zealanders, the best time of year to do this 2-5 days road trip is shoulder season: March to May or September to November. Most people start their Coromandel road trip in the town of Thames, then loop around the peninsula clockwise. Take my advice and do it in reverse — this way you’ll hit all the hotspots first and won’t find yourself short on time!
By Rhiannon from Wales to Wherever
4. From Te Anu to Milford Sounds, New Zealand
Milford Sound is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular locations on New Zealand’s South Island. Located in Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound is a body of water that runs inland from the Tasman Sea, surrounded by spectacular cliff faces with cascading waterfalls. A cruise on the sound is not to be missed.
Unless you’re camping, accommodation options in Milford Sound itself are limited and pricey. Te Anau, 118 kilometres away, is the closest sizeable town and worth a visit. Recommendations are to leave 2 hours for the drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound, however, this doesn’t factor in time to stop for photos.
The road down to Milford Sound is long and winding, around every corner are snow-capped mountains, atmospheric swirls of mist rising from valleys, and picturesque forests. The view before entering the long one-way tunnel is particularly stunning. Stop points along the way offer photo opportunities and the chance to stretch the legs.
Milford Sound is the wettest location in New Zealand, so while there’s a good chance of rain whenever you go, it adds to the atmosphere. There is a chance of road closures in heavy rain, so it is worth checking the New Zealand traffic site before setting off to ensure you can get through. I found they are prompt in acting on issues on New Zealand roads, and the stretch of road down to Milford Sound seemed well patrolled. Despite heavy rain the day I went I got through, and crews were stationed monitoring spots with excessive water on the road.
By Holly from Globe Blogging
Asia road trips
Some of the Best road trips in Asia are quite possibly not too well known, but there are some really fantastic routes to road trip in this part of the world. Looking to rent a car? Take a look at Hertz here to compare prices.
5. From Almaty, Southern Kazakhstan
Lonely planet has mentioned Central Asia to be one of the top destinations to visit in 2020 and for good reasons. It’s an area that is so rich in history, culture and nature that it is surprising it receives so little tourists. If you are planning a road trip there are lots of opportunities in Central Asia, but one of the best is a road trip along the national parks near Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Almaty lies in the southwestern corner of Kazakhstan. It’s close to the border with China and Kyrgyzstan and it is where the steppes meet the Tien Shan mountains. The result is a huge variety of landscapes and some of the most spectacular nature in Kazakhstan.
In one week you can drive along three National Parks that are completely different from each other. The red rock formations in the Charyn Canyon, the alpine mountain sceneries at the Kolsai lakes and the singing sand dunes of Altyn Emel. Every day feels like you are in another country and the views from your car are out of this world.
The road trip starts and ends in Almaty and takes at least 6 days. The best time to drive the route is late spring and early autumn. This way you avoid the cold winter and the summer heat. Furthermore, the blooming flowers in spring and the autumn colours make the views even more beautiful.
6. The Silk Road, China
The Silk Road was an international trade route that connected China and the Mediterranean between 130 BCE to the 18th century. Today, it’s one of the world’s most popular and famous travel routes. Granted, the magnitude of the Silk Road is massive (more than 4000 miles across countries). But if you are pressed for time, you should consider a 5 – 7 days road trip in Northwest China to explore some of the most evocative sites of the Silk Road.
From Lanzhou, hop on board the sleeper train to Dunhuang. It’s the home to the legendary Mingshsa Hill, Crescent Moon Lake. As well, you should spend a few hours visiting Mogao Cave, which is a giant complex with 492 Buddhist cave temples.
From Dunhuang, you are just two hours’ drive from the Yumen Pass (also known as Jade Gate), which is the extension of the Great Wall. It’s also worth budgeting half day to visit the nearby Yadan National Geology Park to see the wind-carved sandstone monuments.
Back at Dunhuang, head south to Zhangye city to visit the Rainbow Mountain in the Danxia Scenic Area. It’s known as one of the “Top 10 Geographical Wonders of the World” by National Geography.
Finally, continue your journey to Xining city, the capital of Qinghai province. The biggest highlight of Xining is none other than Kumbum Monastery, where you get to admire the beauty of religious sculptures made with Tibetan yak butter.
By Ming Lee from Flyerism
7. Spiti Valley, the Himalayas
Spiti Valley is a land nestled in the trans-Himalayan region of India and dotted with incredible landscapes. The Road to Spiti Valley is considered one of the most dreaded and dangerous roads of the world. The road starts from Shimla which is the capital of the Himalayan state of Himachal and meaders along river Satluj and Spiti while crisscrossing through high altitude Himalayan places like Sangla, Kalpa, Nako, Kaza, Losar etc.
The land of Spiti is a cold desert populated by the followers of Dalai Lama and hence you would find many Monasteries along the way like Tabo, Dhankar, Key, Kaumik and Kibber Monastery. Once in Spiti Valley you can fill gas at the world highest gas station at Kaza, you can post a letter to your loved ones from world’s highest post office at Hikkim, you can feel Himalayan breeze at the world’s highest motorable Village Kaumik. The complete Spiti circuit ends at Manali after you have crossed Kunzum and Rohtang pass from Kaza side which are both difficult Himalayan passes.
By Himanshu from Everything Candid
USA and Canada road trips
We’ve all heard of route 66 in the USA, but what about these options around the States and Canada too? Looking to rent a car? Take a look at Europ Car here to compare prices.
8. Around Las Vegas
If you are heading to the American Southwest on a road trip there is so much to see and do. This quick 5-day itinerary takes you to all the main sites outside of Vegas.
You can start your road trip in Vegas as most of the sites are close to there and you can also get cheap flights into Vegas. Your first stop from here will be the Grand Canyon. Over 6 million people a year visit the Grand Canyon, and for good reason! You can visit the different Grand Canyon Viewpoints along the South Rim.
Next, you will head to Page, Arizona to visit Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. Horseshoe Bend is a short hike down to see the Colorado River as it bends around in a horseshoe shape. Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon carved out by water. You can take a guided tour of the narrow canyon.
From Page, you should head to Monument Valley. Monument Valley is a cluster of sandstone rocks that have been pushed up from the ground and now cover the flat area. There is a one-hour scenic drive around the park to see the sandstone buttes, colossal mesas, and panoramic vistas.
Next, you will head to Zion National Park for some epic views and hiking. You can visit the Narrows, which is another slot canyon, or you can go on a hike to the famous Angel’s Landing. I would also recommend visiting Kanab Canyon which is part of Zion but is a 40-minute drive from the main entrance of the park.
From Kanab Canyon back to Vegas it’s a 4 hour drive, completing your 5 day road trip loop.
Nicole LaBarge from American SW Obsessed
9. From Vancouver to Whistler
Canada’s Sea to Sky Highway travels from the Pacific Ocean in Vancouver to the mountain village of Whistler. The road is only 120km long so you can drive it in a few hours, but there are so many great places to stop along the way that it’s worth taking your time to enjoy it. You can drive the road all year long, but the best weather is between June and September.
The first half of the road trip travels along the side of Howe Sound, an ocean fjord with steep-sided mountains. About halfway through the drive, you’ll arrive at the town of Squamish. It’s known as the adventure capital of Canada with world-famous hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. After Squamish, the road winds through the mountains as it climbs up into the mountains to finish at Whistler.
You can see so much beautiful scenery on this trip without even stopping your car. However, it’s worth it to take a break at some of the viewpoints and waterfalls. If you have more time and are feeling adventurous there are lots of trails to hike, lakes to swim in, and a bungee jump bridge to try. If you’d rather not break a sweat, check out the historic mine museum, the scenic Sea to Sky Gondola or the Squamish Farmers Market.
By Taryn from Happiest Outdoors
10. Oahu, Hawaii
UK road trips
I have to hold my hands up here and admit I’m not the best at exploring my home country, but these road trip routes look incredible. Don’t be thinking the UK is all rain and cold, there’s plenty to see here. Looking to rent a car? Take a look at Hertz here to compare prices.
11. From London to Edinburgh
If you’re looking for an epic road trip to take with tonnes of amazing natural and historic sites to see, you can’t go wrong with hitting the road and driving from London to Edinburgh, Scotland. Though many people opt to either take the train or fly between the UK’s largest city and the Scottish capital, there are so many stops to make along the way that you would be missing out on quite a bit by not doing a road trip.
The drive from London to Edinburgh will take you through most of England and you have the opportunity to stop in cosmopolitan cities like York, Liverpool or Manchester, but you also have the opportunity to see some incredible UK national parks like the Lake District, Peak District, or the Yorkshire Dales. If you decide to drive between these two cities, you will also have the opportunity to see some areas of the country that few tourists take the time to. While thousands of tourists each year pour into Oxford or Cambridge, far fewer take the time to explore cities like Newcastle or wander between the villages in the Scottish Borders region.
If you’ve been keen to explore England and southern Scotland and love a good road trip, then you absolutely have to make sure to plan a drive from London to Edinburgh soon!
By Maggie Turansky from The World Was Here First
Scotland is easily one of the most dynamic countries to visit in the world. With stunning natural beauty, exceptional food and drink, and numerous historical sights, there’s something to see for everyone. Packing up the car and exploring this amazing country during a road trip is one of the best ways to try and see it all. Edinburgh and Glasgow are both natural starting off points.
As Scotland’s largest cities, each features a number of sights to explore, including the historic Edinburgh Castle. Leaving the cities behind, head north towards Loch Ness and try to catch a glimpse of “Nessie.” Reaching the city of Inverness it’s time to begin the North Coast 500 through the breathtaking Scottish Highlands.
After soaking in Scotland’s natural beauty, head back South to sample its most famous export, whisky. No Scotland itinerary is complete with a stop in Speyside. Home to many of Scotland’s most recognizable whisky brands, the region is littered with ancient castles to explore in between distillery visits.
After enjoying the Speyside region return to either Edinburgh or Glasgow to complete this amazing journey. A road trip around Scotland can last from 7 to 14 days with 10 being the ideal amount of time. Summer is the high season in Scotland. Look to the Spring or Fall when tourist numbers are lower.
By Amber from Food Drink Destinations
Ireland can easily be stated as one of the most beautiful and green countrysides in the world. That is, of course, when you leave the airport and get out of Dublin to avoid getting caught in all the tourist traps. Once your journey begins you’re going to head out in the morning southwest towards Killarney which will take you all about 3h30min to reach with all the stops you’ll want to make during this lovely morning ride. Once there, spend a beautiful night exploring this picture-perfect Irish town.
The next morning you’ll begin the Ring of Kerry (which you can see in the photo), the loop that runs through Sneem (Lovely place to stop for fish n’ chips) up through Dingle and continuing along the coast north to Galway! In Galway you’ll want to spend a night or two as the scene here for food, music, and culture is one not to be missed.
From Galway, you’re going to continue north until you reach your resting point for the night in Sligo…you could continue all the way north until you reach Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, but we stopped too many times during the day so we spent the night. After spending an entire morning and afternoon enjoying the splendour of the Giant’s Causeway, we headed southeast to Belfast, which was an easy drive just over an hour. Here we found affordable accommodation for a week, took in all the history between the UK and Ireland, ate incredible food, some amazing cappuccinos, and ultimately made the 2-hour drive back down to Dublin.
All-in-all this trip can be done on 3 tanks of gas as long as you are driving at a normal speed, and get a fuel-efficient car. Fueling up in Ireland will run you about $60-$65 each time and will get you about 475 miles on the highway! I’d say the best month to visit would have to be the end of September and beginning of October as the weather is perfect. Enjoy Ireland!
By Jim from the Executive Thrillseeker
Europe road trips
When you can cross multiple countries in one day (if you wanted) exploring Europe by road is a fantastic way to see a lot and escape the crowds. Looking to rent a car? Take a look at Europ Car here to compare prices.
14. Bucharest and the Transylvanian Region
It may not be a country which is on the top of everyone’s bucket list, however, for the ultimate road trip taking in charming medieval towns, fortified churches, beautiful castles and epic mountain roads, Romania is the place to go. To fully make the most of Bucharest and the Transylvania region you’re going to need around 10 days to 2 weeks.
Starting in the capital city of Bucharest, drive north to the mountainous region of Transylvania, famed for its association with the legend of Count Dracula. Along the way, make stops to admire the extravagant and fairytale-esque Peles Castle, learn about the region’s bloodthirsty residents at iconic Bran Castle which became famous due to its resemblance to Dracula’s Castle in Bram Stoker’s novel, and take a step back in time at Rasnov fortress.
Once deep into Transylvania, you can visit the colourful Old Town and Gothic churches of Brasov, the well-preserved medieval town of Sighisoara (the birthplace of Vlad Dracula) and the charming 12th-century town of Sibiu.
Finally, take on the Transf?g?r??an, a long and epic road through the stunning Carpathian Mountains which was voted “the best road in the world” by Top Gear, back to Bucharest to end the road trip. The Transf?g?r??an takes around a day to do on its own and is best during the summer months to avoid the top of the road being shut due to icy conditions.
By Emily from London City Calling
Sicily is a big island so a road trip taking in its eastern highlights is a great way to gain an understanding of this fascinating Isle. Sicily is full of history: the Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Normans have all left their mark on the island so this is a great destination for history lovers as well as those with an appreciation of great cuisine and beaches.
Start your Sicily road trip from Catania airport and head south for a few days exploring Syracuse with its stunning cathedral and 13th century castle. From Syracuse drive south to the Val di Noto and enjoy the beautiful Baroque cities such as Noto, Ragusa and Scicli.
From Noto, head inland for lunch at Caltagirone with its epic ceramic staircase before stopping for a few days at Enna, home to a castle with one of the best views in the whole of Sicily. After a visit to smoking Mt Etna, the road trip finishes at pretty clifftop Taormina famed for its Greek amphitheatre overlooking the Ionian Sea.
This road trip is best undertaken at Easter when many of the cities hold parades to commemorate this event in the Christian calendar but outside of the hot summer months, any time is a great time to visit this mild Mediterranean isle. 10 to 14 nights will allow visitors to enjoy this trip at a leisurely pace.
By Annabel from Smudged Postcard
16. The Albanian Riviera
The Albanian Riviera makes one of the best road trips within Europe due to its stunning location, beautiful beaches and seaside villages which mimic paradise. The Albanian Riviera stretches from the city of Vlora to the southern city of Saranda. Both are beautiful cities to stay a couple of days in if you get the chance. You can easily drive the Albanian Riviera in a day, but I do not recommend that. Take a week to slowly make your way down south and stop at a few places along the way to enjoy the beaches, food and people.
Some notable stops are Dhermi, Himara and Saranda. If I had a week in the Albanian riviera I would pick those 3 places to stay in and base myself. There are plenty of beautiful beaches, one of them is Gjipe, which is not too far away from Dhermi and makes a great day trip.
The best time of year to do this route would be from May until the end of September. July and August are busy months for Albania so during that time you are better to book accommodation in advance to make sure you don’t miss out. The Albanian Riviera is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Albania!
By Anita from Travelling Balkans
17. South Coast of Iceland
Iceland’s South Coast is an epic road trip to take in 2020. This route contains a range of stunning sights, including waterfalls and a black sand beach, with most visitors turning around in the town of Vik. Be prepared for plenty of driving, though, as simply going one way from Reykjavik to Vik takes about two and a half hours.
The best time of year to make this trip is between March and October, with summer months being most ideal. The two main limiting factors are daylight and weather. Winter months see as little as four hours of daylight, and you’ll want at least eight to truly enjoy the South Coast.
As winter approaches in Iceland, you’re also more likely to face unfavourable driving conditions and even road closures. This could prevent you from seeing certain sights along the South Coast at all, so it’s best to visit during a milder time of year.
As soon as you encounter the right conditions, seize the opportunity to visit the South Coast immediately. This ensures you get to see Iceland’s unmatched natural wonders, including the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Sólheimajökull Glacier, Reynisfjara black sand beach, Skógafoss Waterfall, and town of Vik. This will be one of the most beautiful road trips you ever take, and it will surely leave you speechless.
By Theresa from Fueled By Wanderlust
18. The Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
Road tripping along the Dalmatian Coast is one of the best road trips to take in 2020. Starting in Split, you can easily drive south to Dubrovnik. The trip can easily be done in 5 days, with about 2 days spent in Split and 3 days in Dubrovnik and Cavtat.
The weather along the Dalmatian coast is amazing so you can take this during most any time of the year; however, summer is usually peak season with more crowds and sunshine. Spring and fall is shoulder season and less busy. Winter is low season with fewer tourists and more potential for rain.
In Split, be sure to visit Diocletian’s Palace, a beautiful Roman fortress-like palace. Also check out the cellars where Game of Thrones was filmed. Take a step back in time when visiting the Temple of Jupiter, a Roman temple built in the 3rd century. And of course, don’t forget to walk along the Riva promenade.
Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful cities along the Dalmatian coast, take a walk along its city walls and explore Fort Lovrenjac, both of which were featured in Game of Thrones. Visit one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe, founded in 1317 and still in operation, at the Franciscan Monastery. Cavtat is a quaint town along the Adriatic with a beautiful promenade.
By Constance from The Adventures of Panda Bear
Middle East road trips
The Middle East is fast becoming a hot destination for travellers and it has some amazing routes to road trip too. Take a look at these! Looking to rent a car? Take a look at Europ Car here to compare prices.
19. From Tehran to Qeshm, Iran
20. Muscat to Muscat, Oman
If you’re looking for an adventurous self-drive destination for 2020, Oman is the ultimate place for a road trip in the Middle East.
With as little as 10 days in Oman you can see most of the highlights, including the coastal region, desert interior, and mountains. Start and end in Muscat, Oman’s capital city, where you can visit the country’s biggest mosque and a couple of museums to get acquainted with Omani history. Next, make your way south along the coast to Sur, stopping off at the Bimmah Sink Hole and a wadi or two along the way.
After admiring the dhow boats in Sur and visiting the nearby turtle hatching beach, head inland towards the Wahiba Sands. A night under the stars at a luxury desert camp is a must-do. Nizwa, Oman’s second city, is home to a fascinating fortress and souq. Stop here for a few nights before heading into the mountains to visit the mud villages, caves, and more wadis. It’s then a straight shot back to Muscat.
Roads in Oman are well-maintained, petrol is affordable, and you can wild camp to save money (although there are affordable guesthouses along the way, too). October through December is an ideal time of year to road trip around Oman – there isn’t much rain, and importantly, temperatures dip to more pleasant levels – under 30 degrees Celsius towards the end of the year.
By Emily from Wander-Lush