There’s no destination. The journey is all that there is, and it can be very, very joyful. Srikumar Rao
There are millions of kilometres of roads in the world, some of theses driving routs provide incredible views of surrounding landscapes. Some of these roads we can even call a work of art.
We have prepared for you a list of the world’s most beautiful roads showing that journey is much more captivating that the destination. These breathtaking drives that should be high on any road trip list range from sparkling glaciers to African reserves.
Perhaps one of the most famous road trips in the world, Route 66 has been the driving force behind many wanting to hit the road for their holidays. A commemoration of all that is America, the trip crosses eight states, from Illinois to California covering 2,448 miles. Encompassing three time zones, drivers can experience retro petrol stations, old school diners and kitschy tourist shops.
California State Route 1
Driving Highway One is an experience that lives long in the memory. The 655-mile long Californian road hugs the Pacific Ocean in dramatic fashion, with drivers treated to intriguing sights caused by the micro-climates near San Francisco. These can produce mesmerising pockets of fog that collect in the bays dotted along the route.
South Africa’s Garden Route
The Garden Route boasts some of the most beautiful stretches of coastline, jam-packed with exotic activities to enjoy along the way. The drives covers a 150-mile stretch along Africa’s southernmost tip, covering destinations such as George, Wilderness, Sedgefield and Knysna on to Plettenberg Bay. The route, which runs from Mossel Bay to the Storms River, winds through the wide band between the Indian Ocean and three sets of mountains inland.
Canada’s Icefields Parkway
Experience some of Canada’s treasures along this 144-mile winding ribbon in the heart of two national parks. The route winds through the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, and offers spellbinding views of pristine clear lakes and limestone cliffs.
The Alaska Highway, Canada to Alaska
Not for the faint-hearted, this road trip covers rugged mountains, glittering lakes and possibly a grizzly bear or two. Covering 1,346 miles, it can take a day and a half to complete if you drive non-stop. However with hidden treasures such as Muncho Lake and Liard River Hot Springs, detours are recommended to make the most of the area. Be prepared to bring your hiking boots to take advantage of some of the stops along the drive.
Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route
This arch-shaped route follows the coast road between Belfast and Londonderry and totals 130 miles. There are several shorter scenic drives that loop off from the main journey providing an ever changing tapestry of colours and landscape. The road hugs the narrow strip of coastline, and it is flanked either side by the high cliffs and the sea.
Australia’s Great Ocean Road
Australia is home to a range of vast road expanse combined with dramatic scenery, making for an incredible road trip. The 151-mile route allows you to witness cascading waterfalls, fertile rainforests and a wild surf. You may even be able to spot some kangaroo or koala bears on your travels.
Scotland’s North Coast 500
Scotland’s answer to America’s Route 66 has been named among the top six road coastal road trips in the world – after only being officially launched two months ago.
North Coast 500 – to be known as NC500 – aims to open up a fresh tourist market in the far north in a journey along the region’s coastlines.Unmissable sights along the road include mountain ranges, Ben Hope and Suilven, the fairytale grand castle, Dunrobin, the Ardvreck castle ruins and the breathtaking Achmelvich and Dornoch beaches. The route can be completed in a long weekend, or over several weeks on a more leisurely schedule and can be explored as a loop or in part.
Iceland’s Ring Road
Named by some as the ultimate road trip, Iceland’s Ring Road encapsulates some the most stunning landscapes in the world. The magical island has natural phenomena as far as the eye can see, from enchanting fjords, geothermal pools, black-sand beaches to volcanoes. For those who seek to be mesmerised by the landscape, the lagoon of Jökulsárós is not to be missed. It features a range of icebergs that captured the attention of the directors of Game of Thrones. If you travel between August and April your route will be illuminated by the captivating Northern Lights.
For those wishing to experience the spectacular Chilean Andes, why not get in the car and experience it on the road? The 226-mile road runs from Santiago in Chile, and ends up in Mendoza in Argentina. For those who suffer from car sickness, this possibly may not be the trip for you as the road winds its way through huge mountains. Arresting views can be seen on the climb, before you head through a two-mile tunnel that catapults you out into the wonders of Argentina.
Italy’s Amalfi Coast
Considered by many to be Italy’s most scenic coastal route, a drive down the Costiera Amalfitana, or Amalfi Coast, is a landscape of green mountains and pastel-coloured villages. In fact the incredible location has been recognised as a World Heritage site. The driving routes cover picturesque towns such as Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello, who have enraptured artists such as Tennessee Williams for centuries.
Norway’s Atlantic Ocean Road
In good weather, the five-mile stretch of Norway’s Atlantic Ocean Road offers breath-taking scenery along the Scandinavian country’s western coast.Beware though that when the weather takes an ugly turn, cars are lashed by powerful wind gusts and pounded by large waves that send frigid water crashing over barricades or the rocky shore. One of the most popular spots on the route is its iconic Storseisundet Bridge, known locally as ‘the drunk bridge’ due to its unusual appearance.
China’s Overwater Highway
A stunning new route opened in Hubei province, central China, on August 9. Incredible images of the new road shows that drivers are literally travelling over water as the 6.8-mile motorway is built in the middle of a river valley. The spectacular road connects Xingshan County in Hubei to G42, a high-speed route that connects Shanghai in eastern China to Chengdu in south west China, reported People’s Daily Online. The road is built on top of a bridge that follows the curve of the river valley.
China’s Guoliang Tunnel Road
Entirely built by village locals, this is the incredible Guoliang Tunnel, carved into China’s Taihang Mountains. The tunnel, used by foot passengers as well as transport, links Guoliang with the outside world, yet just over forty years ago, things were very different.