Grab your pals, your soulmate, your flip-flops and your favourite jumper and hit the road. There’s nothing more exciting or freeing than the anticipation of a road trip where you’re in control of your journey – in the driver’s seat, literally. So, where will you choose for your next group adventure or couples’ holiday to unfold?
What road trips should you complete?
North Coast, Scotland
Let’s start at home; whisking you off up into the wilds of the northern coast of Scotland. You can chase one of the greatest summer road trips right here in the UK, stretching from Inverness to Applecross, then from Torridon up to the quiet and free most northernly coast of Scotland. The route is known as the North Coast 500 and will take you through some beautifully quiet towns and villages. This is one of the summer road trips you might consider if you want to get away from the city life.
Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland
This route offers 2,500km of wild, exhilarating coastal road – immersing you in Irish beauty. From Derry to Cork, you can expect quaint coastal villages, awesome ragged cliff-faces and crashing waves (some reaching up to 100ft if you catch the ‘Prowlers’ at Mullaghmore Head in Sligo!). Travelling north or south, the route is clearly marked for you with ‘WAW’ signage. Time it right and you’ll catch some of the many festivals scattering the coastal path.
Route 66, USA
Possibly one of the most famous summer road trips, Route 66 will take you from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California, concluding on the Santa Monica Pier. For those booking a US holiday, this is a classic; Thelma and Louise even travelled this very route. This route could take you a few weeks to cover, measuring around 3,940 km – but there’s plenty to see. For the art lovers among you, the iconic Georgia O’Keeffe museum lies in Santa Fe. And, don’t miss the remarkable views of the Mississippi River from the Martin Luther King Memorial Bridge.
Garden Route, South Africa
Beginning at Cape Town and travelling 200km along the corniche, this road will eventually lead you to Tsitsikamma Forest. While your adventure will start with the hustle and bustle of towns, you will soon find the tranquil, breathtaking nature that lines the coast from Storms River to the Cango Caves. A bungee jump at Bloukrans Bridge is a sure way to start your holidays with some adrenaline. Cape Aghulas, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean, will also calm you to your core with stunning sunsets.
Italy is the land of romance; perfect for a couple’s holiday or summer road trip with your significant other. Tuscany itself is the central region of Italy and is brimming with luxury and culture. If you’re looking for traditional quaint Italian villages, you’ll want to head to Certaldo. However, if food is the thing which will make your road trip, you’ll find beautiful cuisine in Florence. A popular destination for discovering Italian culture is Siena. Alternatively, if history is your game, then San Gimignano and Monteriggioni should be on your list.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
Returning to the home of romance, your couples’ holiday might explore the Amalfi Coast. Perhaps beginning at Positano or Sorrento, from here you could pass through Sentiero degli Dei, Amalfi, rife with stunning historical and colourful buildings. Likewise, you could head to Atrani, Ravello, holiday home to the rich and the famous and stunning views, Minori, Maiori, or Vietri Sul Mare. You also have the options of including the islands of Capri, Procida and Ischia into your road trip, or even a visit to the only fjord in Italy.
Think of travelling to Portugal and your mind will conjure up images of its famous beaches. The whole Atlantic coast offers up a multitude of beaches. So, if your holiday needs to keep two beach bums happy, you’ve got your simple road trip right there. If you want a little more variation, you could head for inland Serra de Estrela, the highest mountain range in Portugal, a very different terrain from the sandy beaches. Or if visiting some towns need to be on the itinerary, not too far from Lisbon you’ll find Sintra, which, if nothing else, is a wonderfully Instagrammable photo op.
New York City to Niagara Falls, USA
A popular destination for honeymooners, Niagara Falls could be the destination of your summer road trip, including so many other stops along the way. Start your journey in New York and stop at your choice of beauty spots on your way to Niagara Falls. You could include the impressive Thousand Islands, Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge to escape into the wild, and the cities of Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
Skeleton Coast, Namibia
When you think summer road trips, you might not instantly arrive on Namibia; but it should be in the running for your chosen destination. The famous Skeleton Coast will provide an awe-inspiring journey. The name would suggest this could be a treacherous route. However, while care must be taken due to the forceful effects of mother nature, discovering the Skeleton Coast National Park and National West Coast Tourist Recreation Area will allow for a much smoother ride.
Great Ocean Road, Australia
From Melbourne in Torquay, The Great Ocean Road stretches over 250 km to Warrnambool. One of the most famous stops, which you’ll probably want to make yourself is the 12 Apostles. You’ll discover Melbourne as your starting city, and you’ll pass so many more towns along the way as well as stunning nature spots. A few possible stops to consider; Lorne, Kennett River, Apollo Bay and Port Campbell.
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