7 Best Road Trips in the World

Heading out on a road trip is a great way to spend time with friends, family and loved ones or to experience new things on your own. There are many great places to go and planning a road trip can be almost as much fun as living it. Some of the best road trip destinations can be found nestled within the mountainous regions of the world. These areas are often rich with history, natural beauty and diversity.

Who doesn't love being on the road! That feeling of excitement when you drive towards the horizon, only to see the landscapes change drastically. The unforgettable view. The challenges. The thrill of riding with the wind in your hair, morning and night. And the pure joy of stepping out and exploring new lands.

Road Trips have their own fan base. Nothing compare to the thrill of a road trip where you are the in-charge, guide and explorer. The classic road trip provides a perfect way to see multiple sites and attractions during your travels. Countries around the world have iconic roads that call to tourists seeking a road trip adventure.

Traveling by car gives you plenty of time to set your own schedule and make the most of every interesting sight you see along the way. Here are just some of the scenic itineraries to consider when you're ready to hit the streets for your next vacation.

Check the rules and requirements of each country you'll be passing through. For instance, in Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, you need to buy a permit to drive on motorways. In France you'll get fined if you haven't got a spare set of bulbs for your lights. Make sure you know the local speed limits and driving regulations by checking online.

Build in a bit of time in case you want to linger. It is horrible to have to miss out on a swim in a lake or an overnight in a spectacular place because you have a tight schedule.

Best Road Trips in the World

Here we will look at some of the top road trips in the world.

1. Aurlandsfjellet Scenic Route, Norway

Aurland road is listed as one of the most scenic roads in the whole of Norway. You need to get off the highway in Laerdalsoyri and follow FV243 (otherwise you end up in the 24.5 km long world’s longest tunnel which leads you straight to Flam). Once you descend the mountain towards Aurlandswangen, you cross Stegastein viewpoint from where you can see the entire fjord! You can also pull up Borgund Stave church along the way.

2. The Ring Road, Iceland

Iceland's Ring Road, also known as Route 1, circles the country, connecting a majority of the most notable towns and villages. Along this road trip, you can bask in the beauty of the Skogafoss waterfall or visit a church made from turf. If you're lucky, you might even get to see the awe-inspiring Northern Lights in Iceland during an evening drive. Traveling the Ring Road in summer months may be your best option, as winter weather conditions and shorter daylight hours can hamper driving.

3. Icefields Parkway, Canada

The road runs between, over and among mountain ridges for close to 300 kilometres. Not far north of Glacier National Park in the Canadian Rockies lies the town of Banff. This is a quintessential mountain town located within Banff National Park a natural attraction known worldwide. In town you'll find great restaurants, boutiques and shopping mixed among the many mountain style hotels and lodges.

The national park grounds surrounding Banff are home to a lot of wildlife including Grizzly Bears, Elk and Moose. Like most national parks, it is an outdoorsy person's paradise with great opportunities for hiking and mountain biking. In fact, Banff is the starting point of the Tour Divide Mountain Bike race each June where riders race unassisted 2745 miles along the Continental Divide to the US/Mexico Boarder at Antelope Wells, New Mexico.

At the Icefields Parkway you turn left or right at Jasper for further adventure. Now that's a road trip!

4. Nordkapp, Norway

During a road trip in Norway you will come across the most beautiful natural sights anywhere on your travels. The Skipsfjorden bay is undoubtedly one of the favorites. In the beautiful Seibukta Bay there is a parking lot next to the E69 road from which the snow is removed during the winter. There you can observe the aurora in an environment full of peace.

Tufjorden fjord, on the coast of the island of Magerøya is a viewpoint on the way to the North Cape. The unaltered landscape allows to take time-lapse without interruptions. In Honningsvåg the electric lighting is so scarce that a dim corner is enough to admire the northern lights as much as possible. Around the North Cape you can also find small towns and places like Kåfjord, Repvåg, Skarsvåg, Nordvågen, Kjelvik, Valan, Gjesvær or Kamøyvær.

If you are fortunate enough, you will surely see the Northern Lights in Norway and the memory if going to live with you forever. Hotels are expensive. Campground cabins are more reasonable but will still add up. The cheapest way to stay is to bring your tent and camping gear. A spot in a campground with bathrooms, shower facilities, and often a kitchen will run you $20-$25.

If you really want to rough it, you can literally camp out in the woods for zero kroners, as long as you don’t need a hot shower in the morning and you follow a few simple rules. Bring a cold-rated sleeping bag and a proper pad. It gets cold at night, and the ground can suck the heat out of you. Do not eat out. For the love of Freya, do not rely on eating out.

Even junk food is expensive. Bring basic camping cookware and get groceries at the local Kiwi or Rema 1000 like everyone else. If you’re out by the ocean, you’re free to fish your own dinner and lunch, no fishing permit or license required.

5. The Romantic Road, Germany

The Romantic Road is a "theme route" devised by promotion-minded travel agents in the 1950s. All along its 220 miles (354 kilometers), flowers spill from the balconies of timbered homes, rolling vineyards bask in the sun, and lake-studded countryside sparkles against the grand Alps.

To travel these winding lanes is to experience a manifestation of sentimental scenery. You absolutely need to visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany's best-preserved walled town.

6. Atlantic Highway, England

One of the most scenic coastal roads in England is the A39 along the north Devon and north Somerset coast, overlooking the Bristol Channel, and running from Barnstaple in Devon to Minehead in Somerset. The coast in the area of Lynton and Lynmouth, and known as Little Switzerland, is very spectacular. While you are in Lynton or Lynmouth you should also take some time to discover the 21 mile drive.

The little road hugging the coast here is a very scenic drive. About four miles west of Minehead on the A39 is the village of Porlock, and if approaching the village from the west you will need to descend Porlock Hill. If you were going the opposite direction, i.e. west from Minehead you would need to ascend Porlock Hill, which on its steepest section has a gradient of 1 in 4, making it the steepest hill on any A class road in England.

There is a toll road running parallel to the A39 which has the advantage of not having such steep gradients, but it does have a very sharp hairpin bend along it. A few years ago an open top bus used to run most days in summer along the A39 between Minehead and Lynmouth, but in recent years this has been discontinued and replaced by a vintage bus.

7. The Great Ocean Road, Australia

The Great Ocean Road, which winds down Victoria's south coast for 243 kilometres, is one of the world's most beautiful drives. Completed in 1932, the roadway was constructed by returning troops from World War I and is dedicated to those who perished.

The route connects Torquay, a coastal resort town, with the tiny, peaceful hamlet of Allansford. Along the way, it passes enormous limestone sea stacks, isolated coves, and magnificent surf locations. At times, it meanders through patches of rainforest, rich Winelands, and interminable eucalyptus forests, interspersed with quiet coastal villages.

Bell's Beach, renowned for its excellent surfing, is a popular destination, as is Great Otway National Park, which is home to an abundance of magnificent natural beauty. The Twelve Apostles are a breathtaking sight: the collapsing sea stacks are continuously battered by the enormous Southern Ocean's harsh and dangerous waves.

Australia is an expansive country, and taking a trip along the Great Ocean Road lets you cover a vast amount of the Southeastern state of Victoria on your travels. Marvel at the naturally formed limestone towers that have stymied sailors on Shipwreck Coast throughout the centuries, and take a day to explore the Great Otway National Park with its roaring waterfalls and fern-filled gullies.

This expansive driving route is dotted with a host of parks, campgrounds and historic towns to check out as you make your way along the coast. A stop at the beach during winter in Australia provides plenty of chances to spot and even swim with dolphins.

Of course, when your vehicle doubles as a home, there are many other great places to go. The destinations are endless. Places like Estes Park, CO, Seattle, WA, The Austrian Alps, Central Spain, and the many mountain villages of western France. With so many great places to visit, choosing one may seem difficult. Just remember that the destination is less important than the experience, so get out there and experience as much as you can.
Kalyan Panja