World's Best Road Trips
Monday morning at the traffic lights: to the right lies another working week, to the left the endless possibilities created by your car plus the road. There's nothing quite like the freedom of having a packed car and some maps and heading off on an adventure; and the current economic climate means there's no better time to do 'as Ferris does and stop to smell the roses' on one of the world's best road trips.
A road trip is cheap freedom. Drive your own car right out of your garage or fly then hire, you're still going to pay less and see more. A road trip can take you, literally, almost anywhere – on or off road – but there are some classic routes for all tastes to consider.
Best Road Trips for Adventure: Explore the edges of the map on these remote roads.
The Karakoram Highway follows the route of the old silk road up to one of the world's highest altitude passes amongst some of the world's highest scenery round K2, Nanga Parbat and Gasherbrums I-IV. The Carretera Austral or Southern Highway runs on a largely unpaved odyssey through Patagonia, stopping at remote towns along the way.
Best Road Trips for Sightseeing: Drive by some of the world's best sights.
For scenic days packed with distractions and attractions and evenings spent in comfortable B&Bs, a trip along Ireland's Antrim Coast Road, past the Mourne Mountains, Carrickfergus Castle, Bushmills, Dunluce Castle, the Giant's Causeway and the Glens of Antrim, or on America's Blue Ridge Parkway, though the Great Smoky Mountains, are great family road trips.
Best Road Trips for History: Retracing historic routes.
Follow in the unpaved footsteps of Che Guevara between Santa Cruz and Vallegrande, as he travelled though Bolivia and was finally laid to rest, or trace the Viking's first inroads into Canada on the Viking Trail. Past the Norse landing site at L'Anse aux Meadows, and though the Gros Morne National Park, for the rock art and remains there, this trip also passes between pretty coastal towns most of which have a local Viking museum in which to house the local relics.
Best Road Trips for Luxury: Wind in your hair freedom in style.
These last road trips are the kind of thing honeymoons are made for. Best case scenario the car is something sleek, open topped and Italian. The clear seas, bright villages and stone churches of the Amalfi Coast between Positano, Sorrento, Ravello and Amalfi, are well stocked with small boutique hotels, hidden coves and intimate cafe terraces on which to watch the sun go down, and make for the classic eloper's dream. A trip along the French Riviera between Nice and Monte Carlo reeks of playboy chic, especially if you happen to win money in any of the casinos lining the route. If you do live it large, staying in luxury and dining al fresco in the best restaurants, if you don't, dine alfresco on the beach and stay cheap and cheerful – the sun, sparkling water and people watching is free, even if the sparking wine isn't. For lovers by title, the Romantic Road from Heidelberg Castle to Neuschwanstein Castle, runs along the old trade route between medieval towns and fairytale castles.
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