Oliver Lynch

Oliver Lynch

Content writer, language nerd and aspiring screenwriter. Usually found wandering old European towns or trying to snowboard.

The 10 Best Road Trip Destinations

Ever wanted to go on a road trip? Well, wherever you end up you’ll be spoiled for choice!

There are some epic road trip destinations around the world, some of which really have got to be seen to be believed. If you’re a fan of the open road, jet to one of these destinations, get your dream hire car and head out on the highway…

These are the 10 best road trip destinations according to us here at Gone Travelling Magazine. We’ve done a few of them and the others we know by reputation!
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1.Route 66, USA

Route 66 through Arizona, pic: Vitavalka

Surely the ultimate road trip destination, the iconic Route 66 tracks a line westward to Los Angeles from Chicago. You’ll take in prairie landscapes from Illinois to Oklahoma, cross desert in New Mexico, stop off at the Grand Canyon and maybe Las Vegas (a slight detour) and finally sight the great Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica.

A road trippers dream surely…

Route 66 Distance: 2,448 miles

Time to travel: At least 10-14 days.

2.The Garden Route, South Africa

Knysna on the Garden Route, pic: RonPorter

Starting in Port Elizabeth and heading westwards to Cape Town takes in all of the Garden Route and more, a stunningly beautiful stretch of road clinging to the craggy Indian Ocean coast. In theory the Garden Route is from Storms River in East Cape to Mossel Bay in West Cape.  Highlights include surfing in Jeffreys Bay, the marine nature at Goukamma Reserve and the beauty of Knysna lagoon. As an add-on, sip world class wine in Stellenbosch and finally roll into beautiful Cape Town.

This is one of out favourite road trips and one we can highly recommend!

The Garden Route Distance: 190 miles (300 kms). Cape Town to Port Elizabeth is 470 miles (755 kms).

Time To Travel: Min 3 days, best enjoyed over 5-7 days.

3. The Ring Road, Iceland

Breathtaking Iceland, pic: 12019

Desolate, moon-like, unspoiled… Some of the adjectives used to describe Iceland. The Icelandic ring road trip is the ultimate for visitors to this stunning country. Of course, if you’re there at the right time you’ll get to enjoy the Aurora Borealis, but you can also spot geyers, glaciers, waterfalls, fjords and volcanoes.

Pack warm clothes and rugged walking gear as you’re likely to get a good workout.

Route 1 Distance: 828 miles (1,200 kms)

Time To Travel: Approx 5 days.

4. South Island, New Zealand

Milford Sound, NZ – pic: Skeeze

Another epic and rugged destination, New Zealand’s South Island is not too dissimilar to Iceland. The road trip around the island takes in fjords, glaciers, stunning mountains and cool cities like Queenstown and Christchurch.

There are several variations on South Island road trips so choose according to your time frame. The island is deceptively big and desolate so if you’re pressed for time fly into Queenstown and head to Milford Sound and the area. If you’re able to be more leisurely you can explore from Christchurch (Or Queenstown) and head to places like Tasman Glacier or Mount Cook.

South Island Distance: Various.

Time To Travel: Minimum 7 days, best enjoyed over 10 days.

5. The Atlantic Way, Ireland

Irish junction, pic: CarinaChen

The Atlantic coast of Ireland is stunning, lined with beautiful windswept hills and bays which are fringed with beautiful towns like Limerick, Galway and Letterkenny. The route starts just south of Cork and follows the roads all the way to Derry in Northern Ireland – but flirting with any stretch of this road will be equally as rewarding as doing the whole thing.

And if you get too exhausted, there are plenty of pubs for well earned refuelling stops!

We can vouch for this as a great trip (having done it in smaller portions over the years). If you’re pressed for time, try a jaunt around the Ring of Kerry or drive from Limerick or Galway to Derry for a more manageable experience.

The Atlantic Way Distance: Kinsale, Co Cork to Derry, approx 1,600 miles (2,600 kms).

Time To Travel: Minimum 5 days, best over 7-10 days.

6. The Easy Riders Route, Vietnam

Vietnamese valley, pic: Robert_z_Ziemi

One of the most popular motorbike routes in the world, the easy rider route takes in some stunning mountain passes surrounded by tea paddies in the heart of Vietnam. You’ll often experience some terrifying driving and see some of the real Vietnam, away from the tourist traps of the big cities.

There are various different routes. You can go all the way from Hanoi to HCMC for the full experience, although most hire a bike around Dalat and venture into the surrounding hills, normally to Nha Trang or Hoi An.

Easy Riders Vietnam Distance: Various. Hanoi to HCMC 2,300 miles (4,180 kms).

Time To Travel: Larger routes 3-6 weeks, shorter routes 3- 5 days.

7. The Riviera, France

St Tropez, France ;Pic: Shaymen99

The sunny Mediterranean coast in the south of France is a stunning drive with some fantastic iconic destinations. The classic Riviera is between Monaco and St Tropez, but start anywhere from Perpignan, Marseille or Montpellier and head to Monaco for the full south of France experience.

Hang out in stunning cities like Nice and Marseille, pretend you’re Audrey Hepburn in Cannes (or James Stewart for the guys) and play like a high roller in Monaco (watch out it’s very expensive!). But you’ll also be able to visit world class museums such as the Picasso museum in Antibes, hike the hills of Provence and watch the sunset over stunning beaches.

We love the south of France here at Gone Travelling and can highly recommend any stretch of this fantastic part of the world.

French Riviera Distance: 93 miles (133 kms)

Time To Travel: Ideally 5 days. For the full south of France tour, 7-10 days minimum.

8. The Cabot Trail, Canada

Cape Breton, pic: Caperbooklady

This circuit in Canada’s east coast is one of the most picturesque routes in North America and has been awarded one of the best for motorbike tours in the world. Taking in the wild coasts of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, you’ll get to explore remote villages and towns, sample amazing seafood and indulge outdoor pursuits like kayaking or hiking.

In theory you can do the route in 8 hours, but where’s the fun in that? Hire a car or motorbike and get stuck into the winding ocean roads.

Cabot Trail Distance: 185 miles (297 kms)

Time To Travel: Allow 3-5 days.

9. The Pacific Coast Highway, USA

Big Sur, pic: TomWhite12

Another of our favourites here at Gone Travelling, the route between San Francisco and San Diego takes in plenty of iconic Californian (and therefore American) highlights. From the Golden Gate Bridge, Big Sur and the Hollywood sign all the way to the buzzing city of San Diego. If you’re looking to really get stuck into the route, start from Seattle or Portland, Oregon and head to LA.

If you’re a surfer or beach bum then this is the trip for you. Hire a classic American car (Warning:Old Cadillacs are gas guzzlers but they’re fun to drive) and explore the amazing Pacific coast. For some great diversions head to

Pacific Coast Highway Distance: From San Francisco to San Diego is approx 500 miles (around 800 kms).

Time To Travel: For California only, allow at least 5-7 days. If coming from further north, double that.

10. Route 40, Argentina

Bariloche, pic: Pixies

This 5,000 kilometre highway stretches across the whole of Argentina from north to south, easily a match for Route 66 in the USA for diversity of scenery.You’ll miss pretty much all of Argentina’s big cities such as Buenos Aries, Cordoba or Salta, but you will get to take in phenomenal mountain views, high desert all the way down to Patagonia.

Your best bet is to start in Mendoza then head to San Carlos de Bariloche (Argentina’s mountain resort, great for skiing) and onwards to Rio Gallegos.

Ruta 40 Distance: 3,100 miles (5,000 kms) from end to end.

Time To Travel: Allow at least 14 days to do the whole thing with not many stops. Better still, pick a section and allow 10-14 days to do some of the best bits.

Prepare For Your Road Trip

If you’re hitting the open road you will of course need the right vehicle for your journey. Routes around the USA, Ireland and South Africa would be handled perfectly in an economic compact car, although for more enjoyment you’ll probably want something more fun to drive.

Compare car hire prices at all the best car hire companies with RentalCars.com. This article is not sponsored by anyone (it’s completely independent) but our site is paid for via advertising so feel free to click the link below to browse car hire prices (you get the best deals, we get paid!).

Make sure you have an international drivers licence. In most case this just means you need a full drivers licence with your photo on it. All European, Australian/Kiwi and North American issued drivers licences are accepted globally.

Car hire companies will include standard insurance as part of the hire package. If you’re hiring a vehicle for more than a few days or doing a particularly long route it may be worth taking out additional insurance and breakdown cover.

Wherever you head for your epic road trip, remember to stay safe and respect the road!!

Have you been on any epic road trips? We’d love to hear your experiences so feel free to comment below. Don’t forget to share this article…

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