Hit the road, Jack! World’s best road trips revealed

Apr 23, 2021
Take advantage of the no-fly period and plan an epic road trip for your next holiday. Source: Getty

Despite international travel being off the cards for the foreseeable future (unless you’re lucky enough to be part of a travel bubble), people around the world are dreaming up holidays in great numbers than ever before.

Google searches for holidays have shot up, most notably queries about for the perfect road trip increased by 40 per cent during April, 2021, with travellers around the world plotting ways to get away without hopping on a plane. Now, Uswitch and Instagram have collaborated to reveal the most photographic road trips in the world so you can roll down the windows, feel the wind in your hair and embrace life on the great open road.

Check out the list below and tell us how many of these road you’ve driven!

1. Route 66, USA

route 66
Buckle up for the trip of a lifetime along Route 66. Source: Getty

This iconic all-American road trip has been a favourite for laid-back travellers since it was first constructed in 1926. The highway stretches from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California, and revolutionised cross-country travel for Americans. The highway has been immortalised in both song and film (think Nat King Cole’s ‘Route 66’ and Easy Rider), making it one of the most romanticised roads in the road. Driving the full length of the route takes about 10-14 days, and there’s plenty to see along the way, including the Painted Desert in Indian Wells, Arizona, Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Lou Mitchell’s diner in Chicago, Illinois.

2. Big Sur Coast Highway, USA

Big Sur
Turn up the tunes and cruise along the coolest part of the California coast at Big Sur. Source: Getty

A trip along this highway is California dreaming at its best. The Big Sur Coast Highway is a section of the California State Route 1, that tracks the coastline between San Simeon and Carmel in California. Filled with picturesque must-see stops along the way, such as the famous Big Sur bakery, the Bixby Creek Bridge and the McWay Falls, this road trip is certainly one of the most photographic stretches of road on the planet.

3. Great Ocean Road, Australia

Aerial View of Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia
The breathtaking views along the Great Ocean Road won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Source: Getty

No road-trip list would be complete without mentioning Australia’s Great Ocean Road. This magnificent stretch of highway winds along the Victorian coast line and features some of the country’s most incredible sights along the way. The Australian National Heritage listed 243-kilometre stretch of road runs from Torquay to Allansford and takes about three hours from start to finish, but it’s well worth taking your time and stopping along the way to see what makes this stretch of highway so special. Pull over for photos at the iconic Three Sisters, take a tour of the country’s oldest surviving lighthouse at the Cape Otway light station, or embrace your inner thrill seeker at the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk in the Otway National Park.

4. The Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

Blasket Islands
A drive along the Wild Atlantic Way wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Blasket Islands. Source: Getty

This spectacular road hugs 2,500kms of the Irish coastline and winds along the west coast from the Inishowen Peninsula in the north down to the picturesque town of Kinsale, County Cork, in the south. Drivers are greeted with stunning, rolling hills of green on one side, and the churning waters of the Atlantic Ocean on the other. It’s a wonderful drive for those who are interested in history with plenty of historic monuments to see along the way, along with enchanting villages and Irish charm from the friendly locals.

5. Snowdonia, Wales

Snowdonia National Park.
Soak up the natural wonders of Wales at Snowdonia National Park. Source: Getty

The Snowdonia National Park is one of the most pristine parts of Britain and visitors can revel in its abundance of wildlife and dramatic landscapes as they travel the stretch of road that winds through the hills. The route covers 62kms and takes about an hour and a half to drive, but you can easily stretch your visit to a full day trip with stops for lunch and tea at historic pubs and cafes, and breaks to jump out of the car and photograph the beautiful scenery around you. The park is one of the wettest parts of the UK, so it’s best to visit in the summer months from June to August.

Rounding out the top 10 list of the world’s best road trips were:

6. Blue Ridge Parkway, USA
7. Costa Verde, Brazil
8. South Island Circuit, New Zealand
9. Pacific Coast Highway, USA
10. Valley of Fire Road, USA

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