The road trip. For years, the idea of getting in a car and driving for hundreds of miles has always fascinated generations of people. A wide open road, fresh air and the spirit of adventure has never ceased to entice people from every walk of life who, above all else, just want to get away from it all.
The modern inspiration for road trips arguably derives from Jack Kerouac’s iconic work On The Road. Based upon the adventurous road trips of Kerouac and his friends, the book has inspired many people to seek out the open road.
In this blog post, I’m going to (hopefully) give you some great ideas for road trip based holidays! All photos are screen shots from Google Street View (asides from Iceland and Russia where imagery wasn’t available) so you can have a peek at the drive. Also, I’ve written an expected driving time but this is based on PURE driving time. Do allow more for stops, sightseeing etc – Al Arabi Travel Agency would love to construct a brilliant itinerary for you.
I’ll start with a road trip that I’ve already planned for September. Tuscany is, undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful regions in the world and I’ve always dreamed of getting in a car and exploring the area. This route entails picking up a car at Florence airport and then slowly winding down the SS222 road through small towns such as Greve in Chianti.
The route I’ve planned for myself ends up in the small town of Montefollonico (obligatory plug for the gorgeous farmhouse hotel I’ll stay at, Follonico http://www.follonico.com/!) and is about a 160km, 3hr drive. I plan to take about 5-6 hours so I can stop along the way for lunch and so forth.
This drive around South African’s southernmost coast is nothing short of iconic. It’s green, it’s beautiful and there’s so much to explore. The stretch of road between Mossel Bay and Storms River is a 200-260km drive through one of South Africa’s most glorious natural environments and would take about 3hrs to drive.
However, the route stretches a lot further than the previously mentioned distance. There’s vineyards to see, whales to watch and stunning beauty everywhere you look.
Glorious. There’s no other word to describe the majestic beauty of New Zealand’s South Island. This is one of the parts of the world that deserves to be explored with no plan whatsoever but one of the most incredible parts of the journey will be the drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound. It’s a 120km drive through fiordland and mountains and should take you somewhere in the region of 1hr 30mins.
New Zealand is also one of the worlds foremost destinations for adventure sports. Take some time away from driving to go hunt out an adrenaline fix!
The first on the list that’s a very long road trip. A 1,300 km, 15hr behemoth of a road trip which can only really be recommended to experienced road trippers/groups but will be utterly rewarding. The ring road takes you all the way around Iceland to enjoy the raw beauty that the island has to offer. Expect lava fields, huge volcanic craters, mountains and fjords.
There’s great thermal springs to bathe in, geysers and, if you go at the right time of year, you’ll be able to see one of nature’s greatest spectacles – the Northern Lights.
(Unfortunately, there’s no Google Street View imagery available for Iceland but I’ve included the photo above to give you a taste.)
A firm favourite for road tests on BBC’s Top Gear, these wind-swept islands are certainly one for the purists. The islands are brutally rugged and utterly awe-inspiring; there’s nothing else quite like them in the world. They are very possibly the best driving roads in the United Kingdom.
There’s more to see in the Outer Hebrides than just rocky landscape, however. The islands are home to some great historical Scottish architecture as well as some excellent beaches.
Doing a leisurely loop of Lewis is a pretty easy drive – 70km which should take you just over an hour.
Over to Australia now for an incredibly varied road trip. This route will take you along the famous Great Ocean Road , past salt flats and out into the Outback to witness the glorious beauty of Uluru; Ayers Rock.
It’s a massive, massive drive and can encompass a holiday all by itself as long as you take time out from the driving. You’re looking at around 2,300km which will take the best part of 25-30 hours driving. If you drive 3-4 hours a day then this trip will take you at least 8-10 days so this trip is not for the faint-hearted but it’ll undoubtedly be a fantastic adventure.
The most obvious road trip across America is the classic Route 66 trip, however, there’s much, much more to find. We’ve picked this route as a fantastic introduction to American road trips and this will take you from New Orleans to Key West along the fantastic Gulf Coast. It’s a 1,600km trip which should take around 16hrs and can easily be achieved as a 4 day trip.
There’s also plenty of places to stop and stay along the way so planning a trip on this route should be pretty easy.
A very short road trip because, let’s face it, none of the Hawaiian islands are particularly big. The old proverb states that good things come in small packages and this 80km drive from Kahalui to Hana is certainly small! However, there’s no understating the beauty of the Hana Highway with its tropical jungles, sheer cliffs and gushing waterfalls.
Furthermore, Hawaii’s beaches are world class and offer an excellent place to go snorkelling. Enjoy a traditional Luau, go mountain biking or simply soak up the sunshine.
An utterly enchanting 115km drive across Corsica’s northwestern coast runs through incredible mountain ranges with a unique natural beauty. The drive can be done in 2 hours but its well worth going for a few days and really making the most of what this fabulous region has to offer.
Corsica’s towns are an excellent place to go sightseeing and the mountains offer a fantastic setting for hikers.
I’ve included this last one as a fairly unrealistic road trip but it shows what you can do if you have a lot of time, money and imagination! Start your drive in St Petersburg and drive east for a really, really long way until you hit Vladivostok. 9,500km, 116 hours and some very, very brave road trippers. It’s worth noting that there’s a train service that’ll take you along roughly the same route which is far easier.. But I’ll save that for a future blog post about great train journeys!
Have you ever been on an amazing road trip? Let us know in the comments!
Need help organising your dream road trip? Call us on 04 343 3929, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by our offices (map on http://www.alarabitravel.ae) for a cup of tea and a chat with our experienced consultants.