Extra leg room, inflight movies and cloud views from the window seat are all major benefits of modern technology but I think sometimes, it’s nice to do things the old fashioned way. These days, people tend to leave their vehicles in the capable hands of airport parking services such as Purple Parking and board a big shiny jet, perhaps only waking up for a tube of Pringles, or when the duty free trolley bashes into their elbow.
However before budget airlines made plane tickets so accessible and long before the Eurostar even existed, road trips were the best way to travel from A to B and see the sights. There’s no better way to get up close and personal with a destination than being down there on the ground, in the midst of it all. As with all retro things, road trips are coming back into fashion so I thought I’d explore some of the most iconic in the world so you can pop them straight on your travel bucket list.
Route 66, USA
You can’t write a compilation of iconic road trips from around the world without mentioning Route 66 can you? Perhaps the most famous drive in the world, Route 66 has even appeared in countless films and television shows. At around 3800 kilometres in length, the route navigates visitors from Chicago to California with many must-visit stops along the way.
The Great Ocean Road, Australia
Now listed as an Australian National Heritage site, the Great Ocean Road stretches out for 151 miles and runs along the South East coast of the country. According to my research, the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria listed the drive as the state’s top tourist attraction and with views like that, it’s no surprise why. One of the shorter drives on the list but still one I will most definitely be adding to my bucket list.
Stelvio Pass, Italy
You don’t actually have to cross the Atlantic or make your way to the other side of the world to find the world’s most legendary drives. The Stelvio Pass in Italy is a little closer to home here in the UK and winds around the Swiss/Italian border. It may only be 43 kilometres in length but with its 48 hairpin bends, the Stelvio Pass lures in thrill seekers from all walks (or wheels of life), from skateboarders to auto fanatics.
The Icelandic Ring Road
Iceland is arguably one of the most picturesque places on the planet with its teaming thermal baths, the Northern Lights, snowy mountains and glittering glaciers. There’s plenty to see when you head to Iceland so one of the best ways to ensure you don’t miss a thing is by driving the Highway 1 Ring Road. Unlike the buzzing tourist attractions like the Great Ocean Road, this drive is far more desolate but stunning none the less and covers a lap of Iceland in 1332 kilometres.
The Hidden Highway, UK
If you want to stay closer to home, you’ll be pleased to hear that one of the world’s most iconic drive is situated right here in the United Kingdom. Spanning 280 kilometres along the English and Welsh border, this is a quintessentially British road trip that comes complete with black and white architecture, miles of green countryside, and rows of cottages and plenty of traditional pubs to stop at for a swift half along the way.
If you’ve done any of these road trips or if you think there are any I might have missed off that you think people need to know about, share your ultimate road trips using the hashtag #WheelsOfTheWorld on social media.