The World’s Best Road Trips: 17 Ultimate Road Trips for 2017!

by | Jan 12, 2017 | Blog, Inspiration and Tips, Latest Posts, Road Trips, Romania | 24 comments

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As road trip addicts we’ve been fortunate enough to have embarked on some of the world’s most beautiful journeys. From stunning coastlines to barren deserts, from historical to modern, across countries and continents we’re sharing our 17 favourite road trips that we’ve taken across the globe: add them to your bucket list now!

‘Let’s go on a road trip’

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1 | The Garden Route, South Africa

The Garden Route in South Africa is one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world. The spectacular coastal drive stretches from Storms River Mouth in the Eastern Cape to Mossel Bay in the Western Cape and takes in the stunning Plettenberg Bay, the Knysna Heads and one of the highest bungy jumps in the world at Bloukrans Bridge.

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Check out our best stops on South Africa’s Garden Route!

2 | The Atlantic Road, Norway

Widely known as one of the most beautiful roads in the world and voted Norway’s engineering feat of the century, the Atlantic road is a 8.3km stretch of immaculately designed road that weaves across the rugged Atlantic coast. It’s difficult to describe how ruggedly stunning the road is: not only is it really fun to drive as it snakes up and down across the archipelago but the viewing points along the way allow you to feel the power of the Atlantic right beneath your feet.

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Check out more stunning pics from our Norway road trip!

3 | The Hai van pass, Vietnam

A spectacular mountain pass between the Vietnam cities of Hue and Hoi An, the route was made famous in a Vietnam Top Gear special where it was described as a ‘deserted ribbon of distraction’. It’s the highest pass in Vietnam and its name translates to the ‘Sea Clouds’ in reference to the mist that often shrouds its highest points. The route is filled with amazing vantage points and, at the top, lush green land and turquoise sea contrast for miles and miles.

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Read about our Hai Van Pass adventures!

4 | Transfargarasan Highway, Romania

6 million kilograms of dynamite blasted through the Carpathian Mountains to create the Transfargarasan Highway. At over 2,000 metres, the mountain pass is a long and winding road with hairpin bends and steep snakes through the mountains passing lakes, waterfalls and castles. It opens up to overlook a beautiful valley with amazing views of the Highway. It’s a stunning drive and we’d have to agree with another Top Gear declaration: in the words of Jeremy Clarkson ‘this is the best road in the world!’

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5 | Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

Stretching from West Cork to Donegal the Wild Atlantic Way is Ireland’s most spectacular road trip. The Wild Atlantic Way encompasses 2,500 kilometres of dramatic coastline, beautiful beaches, jutting mountains and lush scenery. The highlights include a cable car to Dursey Island (which you might have to share with a sheep), Achill Island, Skellig Michael (of Star Wars fame) and the postcard perfect Cliffs of Moher.

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6 | The Panorama Route, South Africa

The iconic Three Rondavels, beautiful viewpoints and stunning waterfalls make the Panorama Route a must do roadtrip. It runs along the eastern edge of the Drakensberg Mountains and is filled with rugged beauty and dramatic scenery.

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For a lowdown of our favourite stops on the Panorama route check out our round up of the Panorama Route!

7 | Amalfi Coast, Italy

Italy is a stunning country by all accounts but the scenic Amalfi Coast is a real highlight. The UNESCO designated route snakes through lego like pastel coloured villages and picture perfect towns. The roads are narrow and winding but, with the sun in your rear view and a glass of Italian wine waiting at the end of the drive, the Amalfi Coast is truly spectacular.

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8 | The South Island, New Zealand

A New Zealand road trip is an unforgettable experience in one of the world’s most beautiful countries. With South Island sights including the spectacular Milford Sound, the French town of Akaroa, quaint and quirky Arrowtown, the stunning Golden Bay and the adrenaline junkie hotspot of Queenstown every moment is a delight.

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9 | Pacific Coast Highway, USA

The 200 kilometre coastal route from Carmel to Morro Bay is an adrenaline inducing drive with the Big Sur as its highlight. California dreaming at finest.

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10 | Lisbon to Porto, Portugal

The coastal capital of Lisbon and the narrow cobbled streets of Portugal’s second city Porto are spectacular cities and the road between them is filled with awe inspiring stops. Quaint village, historic sights and UNESCO World Heritage sites dot the route. Obidos and Sintra are highlights as are the stunning Alcobaca and Batalha Monasteries, this journey is one of our European highlights.

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11 | Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Namibia’s Skeleton Coast is barren stretch of coastline named in reference to the many shipwrecks which met their end as a result of the hostile conditions. From sand dunes to ship wrecks to the largest seal colony in the world the drive is unwelcoming yet fascinating and the scenery both stunning and dramatic.

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12 | The Road to Mount Nebo, Jordan

A winding road snakes through the barren Jordanian country side to reach an isolated mountain topped with an ancient church. Mount Nebo is the spot where Moses is said to have died and is his final resting place. The view from the top stretches as far as the Dead Sea to Bethlehem and the West Bank and was one of our Jordan highlights.

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More on our Jordan road trip adventures!

13| The Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland

The Causeway Coastal Route stretches 315 kilometres from Belfast to Derry and encompass some of the world’s most beautiful coastline. It’s dotted with Game of Thrones filming locations (check out our favourites here) making it a must for any Game of Thrones fan. Highlights include the UNESCO listed Giant’s Causeway, the Dark Hedges made famous by the Game of Thrones, the fear inducing Carrick a Rede rope bridge and the delicious Bushmill’s Distillery.

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14| Trollstigen, Norway

The Troll Road, or Trollstigen, is an adrenaline inducing stretch of road in Fjordland Norway with a phenomenal viewing platform at the very top. Legend has it that trolls roam the Norway roads at night and turn to stone when they are hit by the morning light, creating the mass of cliffs around the Trollstigen area.

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Norway Road trip bucket list!

15 | The Sani Pass, South Africa/Lesotho

The Sani Pass is a mountain pass filled with hairpin bends and white knuckle drops which cuts through the UNESCO designated Drakensberg mountain range linking South Africa with the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. It’s home to beautiful scenery and adrenaline inducing turns, with names such as Devil’s Corner, Suicide bend and Hairpin Bend, it’s one for the road trip bucket list.

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A round up of our drive through the Drakensberg mountains and across the Sani Pass!

16| The King’s Highway, Jordan

An ancient Middle Eastern Route from Amman to Petra, The King’s Highway passes through the rural Jordanian countryside and is dotted with fascinating stops including Madaba with it’s 6th century mosaics and the castle remains of Karak and Shobak.

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17 | The Baltic States: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia

Passing through Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia a Baltic State road trip takes in incredible sights. From old towns to haunting war memorials and from stunning beaches to enchanting forests the variety of sights and scenery is mesmerizing.

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Our Baltic road trip itinerary

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24 Comments

  1. Natasha Kettle

    I took the Causeway Coastal Route when I was in Ireland. Some of the most beautiful scenery in the world!

    Reply
    • David Murray

      The Causeway Coastal Route is sometime overlooked in Ireland as the Wild Atlantic Way is very popular. Although we think the Causeway Coast is just as beautiful!

      Reply
  2. noel

    These are definitely some amazing road trips around the world, I would love to visit many of these regions. If you visit the USA, check out some of the national parks – there’s a lot of amazing landscape and country to discover here to add to your list.

    Reply
    • David Murray

      Hi Noel, thanks for the heads up on the national parks. We’re well overdue a visit to them. Zion and Arches look amazing!

      Reply
  3. Sadie

    These all look great! I’ve only done the PCH from Seattle to LA. It was gorgeous! I need to find a buddy to go on a road trip with me in another country.

    Reply
    • David Murray

      Hi Sadie, the PCH is stunning, definitely one of our favourites!

      Reply
  4. Roxanne Reid

    Glad to see that South Africa, Lesotho and Namibia made it onto your list. Nothing I love more than an African road trip. And I agree that Norway and Ireland are stunning road trip destinations too.

    Reply
    • David Murray

      Hi Roxanne, South Africa and Lesotho were incredible. Namibia is amazing too but so different. Africa has some stunning road trips!

      Reply
  5. Neha Parti

    This is one amazing list. 17 for 2017, nice concept!!!

    Reply
  6. Denise

    Wow! I can’t believe you guys have actually done all these road trips! Especially the ones in South Africa must be so stunning, just put these road trips on my bucket list 😉 Great pictures, as well, by the way! Love from Morocco, Denise

    Reply
    • David Murray

      We’re hugh road trip fans and try to rent cars every where we go! South Africa was simply stunning, such a great country and so easy to road trip!

      Reply
  7. Charlotte

    Fab post, feel like I need to get on the road now! I’ve already travelled along the Amalfi Coast and hopefully doing the Hai van pass this summer- just the rest of the list to go!

    Reply
    • David Murray

      Hi Charlotte, we loved the Amalfi Coast. You feel like such a rock-star there! Have fun at the Hai Van pass, it’s gorgeous!

      Reply
  8. Rohan Cahill-Fleury

    Awesome inspiration. We did the Baltics last year and loved it. We have just bought a van and can’t wait to head traveling this summer!

    Reply
    • David Murray

      Hi Rohan, the Baltics were amazing. We did the road trip in the winter months and are dreaming of a summer trip there! Love the van, we’re debating investing in one too!

      Reply
  9. Gary

    Nice post – addicted to a road trip, and covered a couple of these. Three fantastic weeks in Namibia in 2013, a hectic couple of weeks back in 2006 in a Hummer along the Pacific highway coast – plus a few from our home in the SE of the UK. This may help with our plans for this year

    Reply
    • David Murray

      Thanks Gary, Namibia is such a fantastic country. We’ll definitely be back for a longer trip soon!

      Reply
  10. Laura @ Grassroots Nomad

    We are planning a massive road trip from Canada to Argentina so it was awesome to read about these road trips to get in the road tripping mood!

    Reply
    • David Murray

      Hi Laura, wow that’s a huge road trip! Best of look with the planning. We’ll have to keep track of you’re progress!

      Reply
  11. Aubrie

    These all look so amazing! I wish I could do all of them!

    Reply
  12. Shannon - SoleSeeking

    Mouth-watering photos. I want to do all of these! Cheers for the inspiration 🙂

    Reply
    • David Murray

      Thanks Shannon, glad the photos inspired you for some more trips!

      Reply

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