We all know about (and love) the USA's iconic Highway One– there is simply no better way to explore California’s beautiful west coast and its equally beautiful cities – but there are also some equally stunning alternative road trips around the world that give Highway One a run for its money. Here we take a look at our top 5, from driving around the mountains and lochs of Scotland to heading out on Australia’s scenic and wildlife-packed Great Ocean Road, discovering New Zealand’s many gems, experiencing the otherworldly desert landscapes of Namibia and enjoying Italy’s beautiful Amalfi Coast in film star style.
UK Adventure: Best of England & Scotland
This epic self-drive trip around the UK takes in many of its big hitters, including the idyllic Cotswolds, the Lake District and the Peak District, where you can walk in quintessential English landscapes and reward yourself with a cream tea, before driving up to secluded Scottish isles. Gawp at mountain peaks and glassy lochs (keeping an eye out for the legendary Loch Ness Monster) and stay in regal castles along the way. Try some haggis and a wee dram of whisky while you’re there.
Beaches, Whales & Wine: Australia's Great Ocean Road
You’ll be stopping all the time to take pictures on this postcard perfect self-drive holiday on Australia’s stunning southern coastline, which sees you driving from Melbourne to Adelaide along the Great Ocean Road. Explore beautiful beaches, see the 12 Apostles jutting out from the cliffs, keep an eye out for whales offshore, feast on fresh seafood and make the most of the wineries in the Barossa Valley before flying to Kangaroo Island to witness Australia's fantastic wildlife.
Hiking Glaciers & Stargazing: New Zealand
New Zealand is also jam-packed with natural wonders, and as well as its jaw-dropping landscapes, its compact size (similar to the UK) makes it ideal for a self-drive adventure - and on this one, you can explore the best of the north and south islands over the course of three weeks. See New Zealand’s dazzling diversity for yourself, from cosmopolitan cities to coastal hiking, glacier trekking and stargazing, experiencing fine food and wine and constantly incredible scenery along the way. Take a break from the car to relax in luxury lodges where you can wake up to beautiful views and delicious breakfasts before heading back out on the next leg of your journey.
Salt Pans & Sand Dunes: Namibia
For a true road trip with a difference, explore the rolling sand dunes and rugged mountains of Namibia’s dramatic landscapes. On this Namibia road trip, as well as spectacular scenery, you’re guaranteed some fantastic wildlife spotting opportunities, from kayaking with seals, zebras traversing the plains and elephants bathing in waterholes. See sunrise over the dunes and explore local townships as you venture through Swakopmund, Damaraland, Etosha salt pan and the Central Highlands.
Living like a Movie Star: Italy
If you enjoyed watching Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon on their travels in the BBC’s The Trip, then you’ll love this Italy holiday, which recreates their journey from north to south in style. Though food is at the heart of this holiday, you'll also be able to visit incredibly scenic movie locations and stay in five-star hotels that just ooze sophistication. Starting in the northern Piedmont region, you'll drive south towards Rome, Ravello and Capri, meanwhile passing beautifully Italian rolling hills and sun-dappled vineyards that just call out for a pit stop.