The world's most incredible drives

Tips & guides

20 March 2018

What can compare to a road trip? The wind in your hair, the sun on your face – or the rain on your roof, if the weather isn’t on your side. Some amazing places in the world can best be seen by car. Embrace the flexibility and spontaneity of a road trip – even if it’s something you have to meticulously plan in advance. Swap two legs for four wheels and check out these road trips that will get your motor running.

Route 66, USA

What’s more American than a road trip? Swim through nostalgia and visit the small towns you may not have heard of. You can travel from Chicago to California along this route, though not much of the original highway still exists. Discover oases of Americana, where it feels like the country never quite left the 50s. It’s a long drive, so be sure to keep an eye on your surroundings: watch the Midwestern flats disappear into jagged mountains, arid desert and then, finally, balmy Los Angeles ocean.

Amalfi Coast, Italy

UNESCO put the Amalfi coast on the World Heritage Site list in 1997. It’s easy to see why: the area is beautiful, full of perfectly serene villages, sparkling sea and staggering views. There’s a little bit of everything here: breath-taking natural scenery, top-level culture and a long history of inspiring artists. Drive from Salerno to Sorrento, being careful not to rush along this leisurely stretch of paradise. There are plenty of museums on the way for art enthusiasts, while sun worshippers will appreciate the unspoiled beaches.

The Flower Route, Netherlands

Summer doesn’t have to be road trip season. For a perfect springtime affair, head out to the Netherlands to see tulips bloom on Dutch soil. It’s the archetypal April drive: rent a car with character and motor along the provincial streets of western Holland. Plan a series of fairly short drives between different classically stunning towns. The route only lasts 25 miles, so circle around to make the most of it. Take time to stop and smell the roses – or hyacinths, daffodils and irises as the case may be.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni

Get off the beaten track – literally. The world’s largest salt lake is ethereal and otherworldly. Rain settles on the surface, so after a storm you drive across a huge mirror. When it’s dry, the surface is totally white and looks like ice. After dark, the moon lights up the landscape like an alien planet. You can’t drive yourself here, but the tours in bumpy 4x4s are worth it to see this magical sight. Just remember to take plenty of extra water during the day and lots of warm layers for the cooler mountain nights.

The Ring Road, Iceland

The Ring Road – or Route 1 – is a circular highway that goes the whole way round Iceland. It’s an unbroken lap of tarmac (and occasionally gravel) that’s perfect for an adventure traveller. Once you leave Reykjavik, you’ll see more sheep than people: the wild landscapes are hushed and empty, save for small settlements and a few brave tourists. Seek out the most scenic spots in the whole country, from the mysterious Westfjords to the magnificent glaciers – and do it all at your own pace, thanks to the flexibility of road trip life.

If you're travelling abroad, make sure you've got adequate travel insurance to cover you whilst on the road!