Top 10 of the Best Road Trips in the World

If you feel that it is high time that you took a proper break then pack your bags, grab your keys and hit the road. Nothing beats a road trip, either by yourself or with someone special, to unwind and get away from the hullaballoo of the city. Here Columbus Direct shares a short, but extensive, list of the top 10 best road trip destinations in the world.

Top 10 of the Best Road Trips in the World

The Amalfi Coast

The coast of Amalfi in Italy’s SalernoProvince may be short, but it is considered as one of the planet’s most challenging and scenic drives with its 44 miles of narrow, winding roads that run between Salerno and Sorrento. In Italian, the coast is called the Costierra Amalfitana, and it is deemed by the UNESCO as an excellent example of the real Mediterranean landscape, and was awarded one of the coveted World Heritage spots in 1997.

Lying on the southern part of the Sorrento Peninsula, the Amalfi Coast has 3 famous towns that you can visit while on your road trip; Ravello, Positano and Amalfi. These towns have inspired and captivated artists for many centuries, including Giovanni Boccaccio, Richard Wagner and Tennessee Williams.

The Alsace Wine Route

The scenic La Route des Vins d’Alsace is turning 60 years old this year. Now, even if you are not a wine connoisseur, you will still enjoy your road trip via the Alsace Wine Route. On its eastern border lies the RhineRiver, and to the west lies the VosgesMountains. Over 70 wine villages and a score of Michelin-starred restaurants cover the 105 miles stretch. There are also hamlets that are reminiscent of pastel-icing covered gingerbread villages.

Do not forget to go to Colmar, the 15th century medieval town that will take your breath away. While there, you should sleep at the magnificent La Maison des Tetes, which was built in 1609 and along with the entire town, survived the Second World War destruction.

If you want to experience the best wines in Alsace, go to Ribeauville and find the Trimbach Estate. Do not end your Alsace road trip without going to L’Auberge de Ill, a 3-star Michelin treasure of a restaurant in Illhaeusern.

Route 66

There is no other road, street or route as popular as Route 66. Often referred to as the ‘Main Street USA’ and the ‘Mother Road’, Route 66 has become the epitome of the American open road ever since its completion in 1938. Serving as the major thoroughfare for the 1930 Dust Bowl migration, Route 66 is more than 2,000 miles long and passes through several states including Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, California and Arizona.

Cape Town to Oudtshoorn and Karoo Cruise

From Cape Town, you can drive to Oudtshoorn which is a scenic circuit between the Great Karoo and the vine-clad mountains of the CapeWinelands. If you want a blast-from-the-past episode, you can visit the Matjiesfontein, which is a beautiful 19th century railway village where you can go around on a vintage London bus to really get the feel of things.

Once you have covered the Karoo, which takes its name from a Khoe-San term that means “land of thirst”, you should treat yourself to a well-deserved break in Prince Albert, which is a typical refined Karoo village where you can find a number of galleries to wander in before you traverse the Swartberg mountains and the Meiringspoort Pass, both of which are incredible engineering marvels.

You can also unwind in Oudtshoorn, a very popular ostrich town that boomed in the late 1800s for their ostrich feather trade. Here you will find the “feather palaces”, the beautiful sandstone mansions built by the then-prosperous feather buyers and merchants. Centuries later, Oudtshoorn is still an ostrich-boom town because of the demand for ostrich leather and meat.

The Alpine Road

This route is considered as the grand dame of scenic routes in Germany, a collection of fairytale-like views through the Alpine foothills of the southern Bavarian Alps. The Alpine Road has a very fitting slogan, “Every Mile – A Smile”, because every traveller is bound to smile and be happy with all the unique places that can be visited while on this road trip.

From the 280-mile journey encompassing Berchtesgaden on the Lake Konigssee to Lindau on the Lake Constance, you will pass by 25 castles, more than 60 spa resorts, 21 mountain lakes, and a couple of hundred stunning mountain peaks.

The Basque Circuit

Another road trip route that you should not miss is the Basque Circuit, a spectacular 300-mile journey that will take you through the Pyrenees and the coastline of Biscayne Bay in northern Spain. Your road trip would surely never be dull, what with the amazing local food and breathtaking sceneries.

Start your trip in Bilbao in Spain then go through the mountain pass and enjoy the wonders that nature has to offer as you roll down your windows and enjoy the wind in your hair. When you get to Pamplona, stay and imbibe the sights, sounds and taste of the local culture, especially the Bull Run held yearly in July. You can then head out to Biarritz and enjoy the majestic coastline, and follow it to get to several quaint fishing villages such as San Sebastian where you can feast on seafood and soak up the sun.

The Flower Route

Also called as the Bollenstreek Route, the Flower Route in Netherlands is short at 25 miles, but is the most spectacular of all the road trip routes in this list mainly for the amount of beauty you have the chance to take in at such a short stretch. Start in Haarlem, then head south past a dense concentration of tulips, narcissi, hyacinths and daffodils.

The best time to go through the Flower Route is of course in the spring, when all the bright, alternative flower beds are in full bloom, creating a totally powerful visual effect that you won’t see anywhere else in the world.

The Cabot Trail

The 185-mile long Cabot Trail was named after John Cabot, the explorer who discovered Nova Scotia three centuries ago. The trail loops through Cape Breton Island, which is arguably the most beautiful and scenic part of Nova Scotia.

The route will take you through the amazing CapeBretonHighlandsNational Park, which is the home of moose, black eagles, and black bears. You will also discover quaint little villages where the Scottish and French stayed centuries ago, their influence still obvious in the local culture. This year, there are many events planned every month as they celebrate their Tri-centennial.

Pas de Calais in France

On your Pas de Calais road trip, follow these tricks and you will never go wrong. First, make sure that you ignore the motorways and choose to meander down the coastal road of the D940 instead. This takes you along the OpalCoast; 75 miles of beautiful white cliffs, stunning coastline and majestic rocky outcrops.

In about an hour, you will be at the Paris-by-the-sea or the Le Touquet Paris-Plage, a colourful collection of 20s and 30s architecture and magical villas. The rich and famous of Paris went here to escape the heat and bustle of the city, including P.G. Wodehouse, H.G. Wells and Noel Coward.

If you are the sporty type, you can stop and enjoy your favourite activities as there is a tennis club, a sailing club, sand-yachting, and horse riding. You will also zip past cyclists, sunbathers, and walkers, and take in the awesome sights of colourful cabins, sand dunes, and bars by the beach.

Visit the promenade and you will see the Aqualud waterpark with its own mini-golf, and France’s best Thalassotherapy spa.

Drive north-east for an hour and you will be at Saint-Omer, where you can go to the tavern-style cafe called Drie Kalders and satisfy your palate. The best attraction to visit in the town is La Coupole, a huge underground bunker designed by the Nazis and built by Allied prisoners. It now stands as a memorial and remembrance centre, covering the German occupation period as well as the cold war.

The Scottish Highlands

For a road trip closer to home, you can’t go wrong with a trip around the Scottish Highlands. The landscapes of Scotland are both beautiful and awe-inspiring, a perfect location for when you want to forget the city for a short time.

You can start in Edinburgh, Scotland’s popular capital city, and then make your way through the Isle of Skye. You will encounter a host of wonderful birdlife, breathtaking sceneries and a feast of fresh seafood.

If you have always had a penchant for hitting the open road but didn’t know where to start hopefully this list will act as a guide. The location of a road trip very much depends on how long you take off work, but whether you head to Bonnie Scotland or fly across the Pond for a trip down Route 66, there is nothing quite as exhilarating and rejuvenating as a road trip.

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