Top road trip ideas from around the world

No matter the time of year, a road trip is always guaranteed to be a blast. Here are a few road trip ideas that will be full of adventure and beautiful scenery. You can explore either in your car or in a hired motorhome.

Buckle up; we’re going for a ride!

The Garden Route, South Africa

part of the road of the The Garden Route; top road trip ideas
Eastern Cape, South Africa: Photo on Flickr by South African Tourism / CC BY 2.0

This 300km coastal road between Mossel Bay and Storms River Mouth is regarded as the most beautiful region in South Africa. There are mountains and vineyards on one side of the winding roads and crystal clear blue shores with white sand beaches on the other.

The route has been christened “The Garden Route” due to the road travelling through the “Garden Route National Park”, which the trip covers. The road explores dozens of nature and marine reserves with plenty of great hiking and whale watching spots along the way. It’s truly one of the world’s great road trip ideas.

Columbia River Gorge, USA

Columbia River Gorge at twilight; top road trip ideas
Columbia River Gorge: Photo on Flickr by Bala Sivakumar / CC BY 2.0

Only 112 km long, this road trip idea is great for quick weekend getaways. However, while this is a shorter drive along the USA‘s second-longest river, it’s still filled with beautiful scenery and lush waterfalls. Along the way, Blue Lake Regional Park offers boat hire, swimming spots and a trail with viewing platforms. The Columbia Gorge provides one of America’s top road trip ideas.

Gobi Desert, Mongolia

Gobi Desert with camels; top road trip ideas
Camels in Gobi Desert, Mongolia: Photo on Flickr by Christopher Michel / CC BY 2.0

Another of the world’s perfect road trip ideas. This one is suited best for those looking for an off-road experience. Enjoy a large, infinite space around you for kilometres. Witness the beautiful dunes of Khongoryn Els, swap your four wheels for a camelback ride and spend your nights at a traditional ger camp.

Iceland’s Ring Road

Glaciers in Iceland; top road trip ideas
Jökulsárlón (glacier lagoon): Photo on Flickr by Andrew Stawarz / CC BY-ND 2.0

A 1339 km road takes you around the island, letting you enjoy all the landscape Iceland has to offer. Furthermore, explore awe-inspiring scenes such as lava fields, snow-capped mountaintops and blue-grey fjords. If you’re brave enough to take the ring road trip during winter time (be mindful of road safety) make sure to stop at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and the ice-cave tour.

The Pan-American Highway

Patagonia, Chile; top road trip ideas
Lake Pehoe, Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile:  Source

Explore practically every ecosystem the planet has to offer by undertaking a 48,000km road trip from Patagonia to Alaska (Southpole to Northpole). It’s the worlds longest driving route, only broken in Panama by the rainforested Darién Gap.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia; top road trip ideas
Reflections in Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia: Photo on Wikimedia by Diego Delso,, / CC-BY-SA 4.0

Drive across this perfectly flat salt lake, one of the world’s largest. Schedule the trip during the wet season for the stunning mirror effect. However, be mindful that in the winter the temperature at night can drop to -20C. It is advised to spend a few days getting used to the altitude, as the salt flats themselves lie at 11,800 feet (3,600 meters) with some parts as high as 6,400 feet (5,000 meters).

Above all, which ever route you chose for your adventure, ensure that you have fun!

About Alan Lynch


An avid travel. I enjoy outdoors - climbing, hiking and fishing.

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