The World’s Most Spectacular Roadtrips

There’s something magical about the open road – the sense of freedom, the anticipation of what lies around the next bend, and the promise of unforgettable vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see. From winding coastal routes that hug the shores to mountain passes that take your breath away… In this exploration of the world’s best road trips, we’re inviting you to fasten your seatbelt and join us on a virtual journey across continents and cultures!

Garden Route, South Africa

The Garden Route in South Africa offers a diverse blend of natural beauty, wildlife, and cultural experiences. Stretching from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, this route takes you through lush forests, coastal cliffs, and vibrant towns. Along the way, encounter African penguins, go on safari, and sample local cuisine and wine. The charming town of Knysna is a focal point of the Garden Route. Its famous lagoon, framed by the iconic Knysna Heads, provides a picturesque backdrop for relaxation and exploration. Visitors can enjoy boat cruises, sample fresh seafood, and discover local arts and crafts in the vibrant markets. Visit the Tsitsikamma National Park with its lush forests and dramatic coastline, and the charming town of Plettenberg Bay known for its beaches and marine life. Don’t miss out on the Cango Caves near Oudtshoorn, a fascinating underground world, and the scenic landscapes along the way that offer opportunities for hiking, wildlife viewing, and outdoor activities. With countless detours and pit stops showcasing the region’s beauty, culture and hospitality, the challenge is deciding whether to devote four days or a fortnight. The spring and summer months of September to April are popular for their warm, long days and the flowering fynbos and is a great excuse to avoid the winter months here in the UK.

The Atlantic Road, Norway

Images by @skeye_photo

The Atlantic Road in Norway is referred to as the most beautiful journey in the world. With its eight bridges, the road meanders like a seaworm from Kårvåg on Averøya to Vevang on the mainland. As you wind along the Atlantic Road, be prepared to be captivated by the rugged beauty of Norway’s coastline. With the North Atlantic Ocean on one side and distant mountains on the other, every twist and turn of the road reveals a new panoramic view that’s perfect for both nature lovers and photographers. The Atlantic Road offers designated pull-off points that are perfect for photography, picnics, or simply soaking in the natural beauty. Don’t miss the chance to explore fishing museums and cultural centers along the route. Learn about the maritime history and fishing traditions that have shaped the region’s identity. The Atlantic Road’s charm changes with the seasons. Summer brings long daylight hours and mild weather, while winter offers the opportunity to witness the enchanting Northern Lights dancing in the sky. 

Transfagarasan Highway, Romania

Often referred to as one of the most scenic roads in the world, the Transfagarasan Highway cuts through the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. This serpentine road takes you through dense forests, alpine meadows, and offers breathtaking views of glacial lakes and rugged peaks. The journey reaches its pinnacle at Balea Lake, surrounded by stunning landscapes and a sense of remote adventure. Situated at an altitude of around 2,040 meters, Balea Lake is a glacial lake that adds to the highway’s allure. Visitors can stop by and enjoy the crystal-clear waters and surrounding peaks. The lake is also a popular spot for photography. Near Balea Lake, you’ll find the Balea Waterfall, cascading down from a height of around 60 meters. It’s accessible via a short hike and is a great place to take in the beauty of the natural landscape. Although not directly on the highway, the ruins of Poienari Castle are a short detour away. This historic fortress was the stronghold of Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration behind the Dracula legend. It’s perched atop a hill and offers commanding views of the surrounding area. Due to heavy snowfall, the highway is typically closed during the winter months, usually from late October to June. The best time to visit is during the summer, when the road is open and the landscapes are lush and vibrant. Check out our many Romania experiences for a chance to drive the mighty Transfagarasan Highway!

Faroe Islands, Denmark

Images by @saviourmifsud & @christianals

Nestled in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Faroe Islands offer a road trip like no other. This remote archipelago boasts dramatic landscapes, towering cliffs, and an otherworldly atmosphere. The Faroe Islands are connected by a network of underwater tunnels, making island-hopping by car convenient and exciting. The sub-sea tunnels, such as the Vágatunnilin and the Norðoyatunnilin, connect different islands and provide stunning glimpses of the ocean depths. Start your journey on Vágar Island, home to the picturesque village of Sørvágur and the famous Mulafossur Waterfall that plunges into the ocean. Nearby, the village of Gásadalur offers panoramic views and a sense of tranquility. Head on over to the quaint capital city, Tórshavn, and explore its colorful houses, the old town, and the historic fort, Skansin. Nearby, the picturesque village of Kirkjubøur boasts medieval ruins and traditional turf-roofed houses. Along your road trip, you’ll have the opportunity to sample traditional Faroese cuisine, which often includes locally caught seafood and dishes prepared with a Faroese twist. While there is no set road-tripping route in the Faroe Islands, it’s one of the easiest places to drive, so much so it is home to only nine sets of traffic lights, eight of which are in and around the compact capital, Torshavn! Be prepared for changing weather conditions and narrow roads as you immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of this North Atlantic archipelago. Join us on our new 4-Night Faroe Islands Experience, debuting next April 2024!

Great Ocean Road, Australia

Images by @safari.global  & @imlukemackenzie

Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Australia’s Great Ocean Road! This iconic 664 km (413 miles) road trip officially begins in Torquay at the iconic Great Ocean Road gate. The road winds along the south-east coastline from here before concluding at the small regional town of Allansford, just outside of Warrnambool and offers a captivating blend of diverse attractions that showcase the best of Australia’s landscapes. As you drive along the Great Ocean Road, you’ll be treated to an endless panorama of stunning coastal vistas. The rugged cliffs, turquoise waters, and rolling waves create a mesmerizing canvas that changes with every bend in the road. Undoubtedly the star of the show, the Twelve Apostles are majestic limestone stacks that rise dramatically from the Southern Ocean. These natural sculptures are a testament to the power of wind and water, and witnessing the golden hues of a sunset or the misty morning light illuminating these monoliths is a sight that will leave you in awe. Make sure to stop off at Apollo Bay, this charming coastal town offers a delightful blend of local culture, pristine beaches, and inviting eateries. Take a stroll along the sandy shores, enjoy freshly caught seafood, and experience the laid-back ambiance that defines coastal Australia.

Ring Road, Iceland

Images by @skeye_photo

Starting and finishing in the buzzing capital of Reykjavík, the ring road route is a 1322 km (820 miles) loop connecting most towns and villages around Iceland and is renowned for its variety of sights and scenery. Highlights include witnessing the powerful Gullfoss waterfall, geothermal activity at Geysir geothermal area, and the historic Thingvellir National Park. You can relax in the Blue Lagoon’s soothing hot springs, marvel at the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon’s icebergs, and visit the striking black sand beaches at Reynisfjara. Driving through the East Fjords offers stunning coastal views, while the North features the impressive Goðafoss waterfall. Don’t forget to explore the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, home to a glacier-topped volcano. The Ring Road provides an adventure through Iceland’s breathtaking landscapes and geological wonders. Head there between April and October for the best chance of calmer weather and hazard-free roads!

North Coast 500, Scotland

Images by @itscamillamasini & @adventure_cal

This is easily one of the UK’s most spectacular road trips! As the name suggests, the Scottish North Coast 500 is a 500-mile route that loops its way along the untamed northern shores of Scotland, showcasing a diverse landscape of pristine beaches, dramatic coastal views, iconic castles, charming villages, and the Torridon Mountains which create a breathtaking backdrop! Experience hairpin bends and stunning vistas on the Bealach na Bà, known as the ‘Pass of the Cattle’, This mountain road is a highlight for thrill-seekers. It offers challenging driving and unparalleled views as it climbs to over 2,000ft above sea level! The route also passes by some of Scotland’s famous whisky distilleries, so make sure to stop off for a wee dram and a tour of the distilleries to learn all about Scotland’s rich whisky culture. The route explores the Black Isle, Easter Ross, and Caithness, encircling the northernmost reaches of the British Isles, before arriving at the symbolic northernmost point of John O’Groats. This symbolic destination offers stunning coastal vistas and marks a significant accomplishment for travellers completing the NC 500. The return journey follows the western coastline, traversing through Sutherland and Wester Ross before concluding the circuit back in vibrant Inverness.

If you’re interested in any of the experiences above contact us at info@untravelledpaths.com for more info!

Written by Lucy Kaufmann