The road has been one of the most unanimous and popular ways to travel since the dawn of human history. With the birth of the consumer car market last century, road transportation has taken another exciting turn, and nowadays, there’s just no denying all the fun and joy to be had on a good old fashion road trip. But just like with any other type of holiday, one road trip does not fit all. And, with the variety of breathtaking driving routes all over the world, it shouldn’t have to.
So, we’ve put together a guide to some of the world’s best driving locations, depending on what tickles your fancy the most – art galleries or beaches, nature trails or extreme sports. Pump up your car tyres, put on your sunglasses and get out your map – it’s time to hit the road.
For the nature lover
For those who love to hop in their car and take in the natural scenery of jungles, forests or desserts, there are more than a few perfect driving routes for you, and almost all roads around the world that are worth driving on have some element of natural beauty to them. If you’re keen to get Down Under, the Blue Mountains in Australia are covered by 1200 km of major connecting roads, meaning that there are plenty of sights and sounds to satisfy the nature lover. Pull over regularly for activities like hiking, cycling and waterfall exploring, and keep an eye out for the hundreds of Australian native animal species that inhabit this area.
For the adrenaline junkie
For those who don’t feel satisfied with a trip until their heart’s pounding and the very limits of their bravery have been tested, there are plenty of adventure drives out there which are sure to put you out of your comfort zone. One example is the “Road of Death” in North Yungas, Bolivia, which has been named so by the locals – and with good reason. It’s a one-lane wide, cliff top road with almost no barriers and adverse weather conditions which make it even harder to see. Exercise extreme caution if you’re taking this one on…
For another death-defying road experience, check out the Guoliang Tunnel Road in China. Stretching for 1.5 km and carved directly into the mountains, the beautiful but dangerous road has ben dubbed “the road that does not tolerate any mistakes”. Be sure that you don’t make any!
For the water lover
For those who just can’t escape their love of the water, you’ll need a driving location that doesn’t veer far from the coast or the lakeside. The Coral Coast in Western Australia is perfect for those who love water sports like surfing, windsurfing and fishing, as well as lazy days lying on some of the world’s most beautiful and unspoilt beaches. If you prefer to actually be driving over the water itself, you must make a trip to The Overseas Highway in Florida Keys. Built almost entirely over water across 42 bridges that used to be an old railroad, be sure that you’re driving over this road either during sunrise or sunset. The colourful reflections off the water are breathtaking.
For the arts and culture lover
For those who love stopping at every art gallery along the way, head straight to Canyon Road in New Mexico, USA. The region boasts over 100 art galleries and studios filled with Native American, international, contemporary art, regional and Hispanic art. Check out the full gallery listing here. There’s even a winery if you’d like a drop of vino in between all of your gallery hopping.
What kind of driver are you? Can you suggest some other ideal driving locations around the world?