Our ranking of the ten top road trips in the world includes everything from Alpine mountain passes and parched desert roads in western America to green forests in Japan and India and rocky coasts in Norway and Scotland.
While there are other approaches to absorbing the full impact of a country or continent, nothing beats strapping in, hitting the open road, and going on an incredible road trip to explore a country (or two).
Behind the wheel, you have complete control of the itinerary, leading the journey wherever your soul or mind leads you. Simply stated, it was all about the trip.
With that, organize your journey and be ready to be impressed wqith most scenic road trips in the world
Blue Ridge Parkway, USA
- Start destination: Afton
- End Destination: Cherokee
- Distance: 469 miles (755km)
The beginning of the most spectacular picturesque byway that sketches its way through the luscious, mountainous woods of Virginia and North Carolina is a little over 3 hours southwest of Washington, DC and is one of the best road trips in USA.
The Blue Ridge Parkway, so named because the surrounding landscape appears blue from a distance, begins in Afton, Virginia, and goes for 469 miles (755 kilometers) down the length of the Blue Ridge until ending in Cherokee.
Traveling through here is a pleasure at any time of the year, yet expect to be swept away in October, when the woodlands bloom in dazzling colors of brown, orange, and red. This road along the eastern states of the United States is one to savor, connecting the Shenandoah National Park to the aptly called Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Great St Bernard Pass, Italy
- Start destination: Turin, Italy to Montreux
- End Destination: Switzerland
- Distance: 143 miles (230km)
This route is essential for movie buffs because it was captured in the memorable opening sequence of the original Italian Job, starring Michael Caine.
The picture begins with a Lamborghini Muria spinning its way over the Great St Bernard Pass, which, with some safety upgrades, remains as pristine and beautiful as it was in 1969. Its combination of precipitous slopes, twisting turns, and tunnels provide panoramas of the Alps, giving it the classic Alpine mountain route makes it one of the best road trips in Europe.
Furthermore, the journey begins in the picturesque Italian city of Turin and ends on the beaches of Lake Geneva in the renowned city center of Montreux.
The Carretera Austral, Chile
- Start destination: Puerto Montt
- End Destination: Villa O’Higgins
- Distance: 770 miles (1240km)
Patagonia must be on everyone’s travel bucket list. This lonely, pre-historic environment is made up of mountains, lakes, forests, and fjords, all of which may be appreciated while traveling down Chile’s Southern Highway (Route 7) – the ‘Carretera Austral.’
This 770-mile route is ideal for those desiring journeys off the beaten path and is greatest completed between October and April. The route begins in Puerto Montt, a bustling town in Chile’s Lake District, and travels south through Santa Lucia, Coyhaique, and Tortel before ending at Villa O’Higgins.
Allow a slew of time to enjoy all Patagonia has to provide and be ready to come out of the vehicle and climb, cycle, or swim to achieve the whole sense.
The North Coast 500, Scotland
- Start destination: Inverness
- End Destination: Inverness loop around Scotland’s coastline
- Distance: 516 miles (830km)
The North Coast 500 is among the greatest road excursions in the United Kingdom. The 500-mile road, as the title indicates, arcs around Scotland’s rough northern coastline, bringing in everything from pristine sandy beaches to highlands and lonely fishing settlements.
The trail leads to the Black Isle, Easter Ross, and Caithness as it heads north from Inverness, and includes the much more northerly point, John O’Groats. Following that, the final destination returns down the western coast and south via Sutherland, Wester Ross, and Inverness.
Wayanad Ghat Road, India
- Start destination: Kozhikode
- End Destination: Wayanad
- Distance: 53 miles (86km)
Holding on for precious life as you navigate the unexpected turns of Kerala‘s Wayanad Ghat Road is an amazing challenge. The route twists its way through the lush jungle of the Western Ghats, through waterfalls, hazy mountains, and centuries-old tea plantations and local food stalls.
Driving the Thamarassery Churam mountain pass, which lies 800m above sea level, is worth traveling along the way to soak in some of the stunning views, or trekking to discover the waterfalls and trails – but keep an eye out for wild elephants that periodically move out of the way!
The road curves as it hugs the mountainside and opens out to green valleys and misty peaks. Rich green and dew soft mist wrap themselves around the mountains and pit stops to take in the awesome views become necessary.
The Japanese Alps
- Start destination: Kyoto
- End Destination:Tokyo (the long way around)
- Distance: 460 miles (740km)
In Japan, jumping off the train and into a vehicle is one of the finest things anyone can do. While the Shinkansen – or Bullet Train – is a wonder of engineering, seeing Japan by vehicle is the greatest way to discover the nation’s highest secrets.
If you want to take the long route from Kyoto to Tokyo, drive north from the old city and up to Kanazawa. The path then proceeds east over the Japanese Alps, passing through onsen (hot spring) resort towns rising in the highlands. The journey is necessary for any enthusiastic driver, with some amazing and quite well-driving routes that wind their path through the highlands.
After negotiating your approach through the hills, the route passes by several heritage landmarks, such as the Samurai city of Matsumoto, before heading south to the hill resort town of Karuizawa and the brilliant flashing lights of Tokyo.
Atlantic Road, Norway
- Start destination: Molde
- End Destination: Gjemnessundbrua suspension bridge
- Distance: 69 miles (111km)
One of the greatest chances to view Norway’s enormous terrain is to navigate its massive road network, which is interrupted by bridges, tunnels, and ferries.
Creativity abounds with towering, sheer-faced, and snow-covered mountains rising from the depths of its cold fjords and glacier lakes.
The Atlantic Road, which runs from Molde to the island of Avery and provides stunning scenery of the Atlantic, is possibly the greatest representation of a scenic drive in Norway.
It’s necessary to take up the serenity as you blow across the fizzy water on a peaceful warm day but travel there as a windy northwest storm sweeps in and be ready to experience the full power of the Atlantic’s grandeur.
Southern Utah National Park Circuit, USA
- Start destination: Dead Horse Point
- End Destination: Zion National Park
- Distance: 475 miles (764km)
The feeling of grandeur quickly seems obvious as you ride over huge swaths of rocky desert in the untamed west of Southern Utah, where burned red structures of rock emerge magnificently from the planet. However there is no accepted term for this route. It is the integration of various routes that make their way across one of the most diverse features on the planet.
Each turn in the road, which can be few and far between on certain stretches, presents an incredible panorama worthy of Hollywood Westerns.
The route begins at Moab at Dead Horse Point and travels over 500 miles via Canyonlands National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Capitol Reef National Park, and Bryce Canyon before ending in the lovely Zion National Park.
For those wishing to luxuriate en route, a luxurious retreat that fits into the huge neighboring scenery of valleys, mesas, ridges, and gorges – is difficult to resist.
The Panorama Route, South Africa
- Start destination: Hoedspruit
- End Destination: Pilgrim’s Rest
- Distance: 130 miles (209km)
The trip takes in animal reserves, fruit farms, gemstone sites, flowing waterfalls, canyons, and, undoubtedly, the Drakensberg Escarpment’s majestic peaks.
The appropriately titled ‘God’s Window’ offers views of the Blyde River Canyon, the famed Kruger National Park, and the Lebombo Mountains on South Africa’s border with Mozambique.
The Kruger National Park, regarded as one of the world’s best game reserves, is about an hour’s drive east of Pilgrim’s Rest and offers a good chance of seeing the Big Five.
The Great Ocean Road, Australia
- Start destination: Melbourne
- End Destination: 12 Apostles and back to Melbourne
- Distance: 340 miles (550km)
Beginning in Melbourne, the road proceeds southwest to the seaside town of Torquay, where the Great Ocean Road gets underway.
It follows the Victorian coastline to the 12 Apostles, a collection of limestone sea stacks just before Port Campbell. While nature has left its mark, lowering the number of sea stacks over time, the road remains a famous day excursion from Melbourne, visited by campervans as well as vehicles.
When returning to Melbourne from the 12 Apostles, make a detour back inland at Cape Otway, soaking in the lush woods of the Otway National Park before returning to the rush and liveliness of the metropolis.
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