With summer looming, the urge to jump in your car, hit the open road, take in some scenery and discover new places is growing. You could play it safe and take your usual, local routes, or you could be courageous and take part in some of the world’s most iconic road trips. We've hand-picked a few of our favourite journeys for you to consider, and now it’s time for you to get out there and find out exactly what makes them so legendary.
A82 - Loch Lomond to Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands
Starting off close to home, the A82 boasts the title as the second longest primary A-road in Scotland and passes no less than 10 lochs. Commencing at the largest lake in Britain, Loch Lomond, the beautifully scenic route showcases the sublime views of the Scottish Highlands and takes in the spine-tingling sights of Buachaille Etive Mor, Bidean nam Bian and, of course, Ben Nevis. If you want to discover more when you’re there, you can stop off at the Glen Coe Visitor Centre which tells an enthralling story of the area’s history.
Route 66 – Illinois to California, USA
Arguably one of the most famous journeys of all time due to the 1969 film Easy Rider, Route 66 epitomises the American road trip. Colloquially known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, Route 66 was opened in 1926 and passes through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California over 2,448 miles. Although Route 66 no longer exists, you can still take the same iconic route via alternative highways and roads either on your own or with one of many organised trips. Our advice? Take Eagle Rider’s Easy Rider Tour where you’ll take the reigns of a Harley Davidson over an unforgettable 15-day excursion.
Pan-American Highway - Alaska, USA to Ushuaia, Argentina
The ultimate, most epic road trip commences in Anchorage, Alaska and travels through two continents all the way down to Ushuaia, Argentina, on the most southern tip of South America. Spanning an unfathomable grand total of 30,000 miles, the Pan-American Highway passes through many diverse climates and ecological settings. Covering dense jungles and parched deserts, the journey has been described as so incomprehensible that it’s not so much a road, rather an idea of Pan-Americanism to encourage relationships between the Americas. One for a gap-year or retirement trip, the Pan-American Highway is certainly not for the faint-hearted.
Romantic Road – Bavaria, Germany
Devised as a theme route by post-war travel agents in the 50s, the Romantic Road – or Romantische Straße – is a 220 mile stretch of highway between Würzburg and Füssen in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Linking a plethora of picturesque towns and castles, the route was a medieval trade journey which connected the centre of Germany to the south and today boasts quintessentially German scenery and culture. Passing scenic countryside, cobblestoned villages and old-fashioned towns, the route is a hotspot for tourists and, as the name suggests, romantics. To read more about the ‘Top 100 Sites of Germany Winner’, visit the official website.
Great Ocean Road – Australia
One of the world’s most scenic coastal drives, the Great Ocean Road was completed in 1932 by 3,000 ex-serviceman who had returned to Australia from World War I duty. Constructed using picks, shovels and horse-drawn carts, the idea was conceived as a fitting memorial to their many colleagues who lost their lives in the conflict and spans 151 miles from Torquay to Allansford. Encompassing spectacular views, mouth-watering food, wineries, unreal surfing and adrenalin-packed activities, one thing’s for certain - the Great Ocean Road experience should not be rushed.
(Written by Lewis Cook)