Top 10 most epic and iconic road trips in the world

Road trip

Getting out of town can be an exciting adventure. But it can also be stressful. Not only is planning a trip a challenge but depending on what you want to do, it is hard to get out and see everything you want to. With all of the plane horror stories we have heard about as of late, there is still one form of travel out there that does not always require you to be at the mercy of others.

While road trips are not a fast way to travel, the point of them is less what the final destination is and more about what you can experience along the way. Here are some of the most epic road trips that you should try.

Road trip
Road trip

1. Route 93

The entrance to Las Vegas from Route 93
The entrance to Las Vegas from Route 93

What better way to take in the United States than to drive from the top of the country down to the bottom? Route 93 is pretty remote and does not see a lot of traffic.

  • Things you see: Jasper National Park, Flathead Indian Reservation, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas
  • Locations you hit: Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona
  • Distance: 1,457 miles

2. Cabot Trail

Cape Breton is a beautiful island in Nova Scotia that can take you on a leisurely journey that you will never forget. While a short road trip, you will not be traveling fast down this nature highway and it still will take a couple of days to drive it.

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
  • Things you see: Cape Breton Highlands National Park, bald eagles, moose, black bears
  • Locations you hit: picturesque villages with a large amount of Scottish and French culture that is very much alive.
  • Distance: 185 miles

3. The Ring Road

Iceland may not have been your first thought for a road trip, but do not disregard it. The road goes around the entire country, giving you a chance to see the entirety of Iceland instead of just Reykjavik. There is no other road trip like this in the world.

Skogafoss Waterfall, Iceland
Skogafoss Waterfall, Iceland
  • Things you see: Glaciers, mountains, the Icelandic coast, the local culture
  • Locations you hit: Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Skogafoss Waterfall, Skagafjörður, Kirkjufellsfoss, Myvatn Geothermal Area
  • Distance: 827 miles

4. Route 66

Possibly the most famous road trip in the United States, Route 66 starts in Chicago and goes all the way to California. The route is broken into pieces if you do not want to take a stab at the entire thing in one trip.

Route 66
Route 66
  • Things you see: There are too many to list. Some of the highlights include: Lincoln’s Tomb, The Gateway Arch, Jesse James Wax Museum, Meramec Caverns, Grand Canyon Caverns, Meteor Crater, Broadway Theater
  • Locations you hit: Arizona, New Mexico, Missouri, Illinois, California, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas
  • Distance: 2,448 miles

5. North Coast 500

This is the drive all drives in the United Kingdom. Comparable to Route 66 in the United States, North Coast 500 is full of winding single lanes, crazy coastlines, and breathtaking scenery.

North Coast 500
North Coast 500
  • Things you see: Duncansby Head, Loch Ness, whiskey distilleries, Dornoch Castle, Eilean Donan Castle, Smoo Caves, Klinlochewe Viewpoint
  • Locations you hit: Inverness, Applecross, Baelnabach
  • Distance: 500 miles

6. Garden Route

Garden Route
Garden Route

While the name may make you think that this South African road trip is calm and mild, think again. With adventure, wildlife, and nature, the Garden Route will take you to destinations that you didn’t even know were possible.

  • Things you see: Beaches, lakes, lagoons, the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountain ranges, Garden Route National Park, Monkeyland
  • Locations you hit: Mossel Bay, Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, Buffalo Bay
  • Distance: 186 miles

7. South Island

New Zealand is quite the distance to travel for some, but that is all the more reason to take a road trip when you get there. The landscape is unique and being your own guide in the car is the best way to see the country.

Breathtaking landscape from the South Island Route
Breathtaking landscape from the South Island Route
  • Things you see: Milford Sound, Lake Tekapo, Pancake Rocks, Mt. John, glaciers
  • Locations you hit: Queenstown, Abel Tasman, Kaikoura, the Southern Alps
  • Distance: 856 miles

8. Hana Highway

Maui’s epic road trip will only take a day to drive, but that does not change the extreme nature of the drive. You will need to set aside the whole day for the trip and plan on driving slowly and cautiously along the highway. Full of single-lane bridges on a wet coastal highway, Hana Highway is all twists and turns before making it to the Haleakala National Park.

Hana Highway, Maui
Hana Highway, Maui
  • Things you see: Waterfalls, the 7 Sacred Pools, Painted Eucalyptus Trees, Bamboo Forest
  • Locations you hit: Paia, Haleakala National Park, Hana
  • Distance: 64 miles

9. The Mongol Rally

When we are talking about epic road trips, there are few trips that come close to the adventure of the Mongol Rally. It is literally a rally that is held to raise money for charity.

Prague, one of the destinations on The Mongol Rally Route
Prague, one of the destinations on The Mongol Rally Route
  • Things you see: 2 continents, 15 countries, the Mongolian Steppe, Eastern Europe
  • Locations you hit: Depending on how you go, you can hit London, Siberia, Prague, Brussels, Kiev, Kazakhstan
  • Distance: 8,000 to 10,000 miles, depending on which route you choose to take

10. Cairo to Cape Town

Another African adventure, the drive from Cairo to Cape Town is literally an adventure of a lifetime. This is doable not just by car, but can be done by bicycle, though it does take longer. This can also be broken up into pieces if you don’t have a month to dedicate to it.

The pyramids of Egypt
The pyramids of Egypt
  • Things you see: 10 countries, the pyramids of Egypt, Nubian Desert, Blue Nile, jungles, the great plains
  • Locations you hit: Cairo, Cape Town, Victoria Falls
  • Distance: 7,456 miles

One of the biggest advantages of road trips is that you are in control of where you go, allowing you an opportunity to experience different adventures that may have gone unnoticed otherwise. You also have the power to determine how long you can enjoy a site along the way.

Road Trip
Road Trip

No matter the length of time that you have, there is an epic road trip out there just waiting for you to try.

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marion-fernandez is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival