The freedom and spontaneity that a road trip allows is well documented, you don’t need us to tell you that ‘half the fun is getting there’, or that ‘it’s all about the journey not the destination’. Instead of spouting clichés, what we can do is prove that there are far more places in the world suited to getting behind the wheel than you might think. So, while you’re friends are boasting about their recent California road trip, go one better and plan an epic four-wheel adventure through Argentina or a tasting tour of pretty Puglia. Of course, we’ll sort out all of the details, so all you have to do is pick up the keys…
While the crowds head south to Buenos Aries and Patagonia, get off the beaten track by travelling to Salta and Argentina’s undiscovered northwest. As you drive on deserted desert roads you’ll pass stunning scenery such as the Cerro de los Siete Colores (Hill of Seven Colours) and the salt flats and volcanoes of the Puna. To break up the driving, spend a few nights living like cowboys (or girls) on an authentic Argentinian ranch and in colonial Salta, before finishing with some R&R at a boutique hotel on a winery in Cafayate, a pretty town famous for its excellent wine.
The concept of a self-drive safari might seem rather alien and adventurous, but in Namibia it’s simply the best way to see all that this diverse country has to offer. From the capital of Windhoek, drive north to Etosha National Park, where you’ll be able to park up at one of the many watering holes and (quite literally) let the wildlife come to you. After getting your fill of big game over a few days, head west to Damaraland and go in search of endangered rhinos and towering red kopjes rising out of the endless desert plains. Next, enjoy some welcome sea air in Swakopmund, before finishing with the dramatic red dunes and white salt pans at Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert.
Deep South, USA
Forget California, there’s a new, cooler USA road trip destination in town – the Deep South. Fly direct from the UK to New Orleans where your road trip starts as it means to go on, with plenty of full-flavoured food and live jazz or blues along lively Frenchmen Street. After a few days soaking it all up, head north up to Natchez and then to Memphis, where you’ll visit the Memphis Rock'n'Soul Museum, take a classic Tennessee riverboat cruise and even stay at the hotel famous for its ducks (if you know, you know). Next, add some history to your road trip by learning more about the Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther King in Nashville – where you can also enjoy plenty of country music. Finally, take a day or two to get active in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or simply head to Atlanta to fly home.
The land under down under is (in our humble opinion) the best place in Australia for a luxury road trip. Small enough to manage in a week or two, incredibly unspoilt and quiet, and with a fantastic foodie scene, Tasmania has all the makings for a great road trip. We suggest soaking up some local culture in Hobart, then slowly making your way up the picturesque east coast to Freycinet National Park where you can dine on seafood and wander deserted white sand beaches. A few days in and around Launceston are up next, before you head west to Cradle Mountain and the gorgeous lakes and mountains in this region. With one last drive you’ll then find yourself completing the loop back in Hobart.
Puglia is often referred to as the fruit bowl of Italy, thanks to the amount of fresh local produce that is grown in this southernmost region. With beautiful beaches and a handful of charming old towns too, there’s no wonder this is such a great road trip destination. Pick your car up in Bari and make your way south to the town of Alberobello for your first few nights, which will be spent staying in a traditional (and totally unique) canonical roofed ‘trulli’ house. You’ll then hit the road again and head for the pretty whitewashed town of Otsuni, which is within easy reach of the best wineries and olive groves in the region. Your final stop on this Italian road trip will then be near the beach in Savelletri di Fasano for some sun, sea and lots of Aperol Spritz.
If you're feeling inspired to plan your own alternative road trip, get in touch with one of our experts to start brainstorming by calling 020 3613 5515 or making an enquiry online.