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10 World’s Most Breathtaking Road Trips

While there are countless ways to experience a country or continent fully, nothing compares to the thrill of…
10 Of The World'S Most Breathtaking Road Trips

While there are countless ways to experience a country or continent fully, nothing compares to the thrill of a road trip. By hitting the open road, you take control of your journey, deciding where to go and what to see. It’s all about enjoying the ride.

Our carefully curated list of the world’s top ten road trips offers a diverse range of awe-inspiring routes. From the majestic Alpine mountain passes and the vast desert drives in western America to the verdant forests in Japan and India and the untamed coastlines of Norway and Scotland, there’s a road trip for every type of adventurer. So, start plotting your course and prepare to be captivated.

1. Blue Ridge Parkway, USA

Afton to Cherokee, 469 miles (755km)

10 Of The World'S Most Breathtaking Road Trips

Just over three hours southwest of Washington, DC, begins a stunning scenic byway that winds through the lush, mountainous forests of Virginia and North Carolina. Known as the Blue Ridge Parkway because of the bluish hue of the mountains from a distance, this route starts in Afton, Virginia, and stretches for 469 miles (755 km) along the Blue Ridge, ending in Cherokee. It’s a beautiful drive any time of the year, but it’s especially breathtaking in autumn when the forests turn vibrant shades of brown, orange, and red. Connecting Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this drive through the eastern states of the USA is truly one to savor.

2. Great St Bernard Pass, Italy

Turin, Italy to Montreux, Switzerland, 143 miles (230km)

10 Of The World'S Most Breathtaking Road Trips

This road is a must-drive for movie fans, thanks to its iconic role in the opening scene of the original Italian Job, starring Michael Caine. The film begins with a Lamborghini Muria navigating the Great St Bernard Pass, which remains stunning and largely unchanged since 1969, aside from a few safety upgrades. The road features dramatic drops, sharp hairpin turns, and tunnels, offering breathtaking Alps views, making it the quintessential Alpine mountain pass. Starting in the charming Italian city of Turin and ending on the shores of Lake Geneva in the vibrant jazz town of Montreux, this route is truly spectacular.

3. The Carretera Austral, Chile

Puerto Montt to Villa O’Higgins 770 miles (1240km)

10 Of The World'S Most Breathtaking Road Trips

Patagonia is a must-visit destination on everyone’s bucket list. This remote and ancient wilderness, filled with mountains, lakes, forests, and fjords, can be explored by driving down Chile’s Southern Highway, known as the ‘Carretera Austral.’ Stretching 770 miles, this route is perfect for those looking for an adventure off the beaten path and is best traveled between October and April. Starting in Puerto Montt, a bustling town in the Chilean Lake District, the road goes south through Santa Lucia, Coyhaique, and Tortel, ending in Villa O’Higgins. Take your time to fully experience Patagonia, and be ready to hike, ride, or swim to see the best views and nature this incredible place offers.

4. The North Coast 500, Scotland

Inverness to Inverness loop around Scotland’s coastline, 516 miles (830km)

10 Of The World'S Most Breathtaking Road Trips

One of the UK’s top road trips is the North Coast 500. Covering 500 miles, this scenic route winds along Scotland’s rugged northern coastline. It passes through diverse landscapes, including white sandy beaches, mountains, and quiet fishing villages. Starting from Inverness, the journey takes you through the Black Isle, Easter Ross, and Caithness, reaching the northernmost point at John O’Groats. Then, it continues along the western coast, heading south through Sutherland and Wester Ross before looping back to Inverness. It’s a breathtaking drive showcasing the best of Scotland’s natural beauty.

5. Wayanad Ghat Road, India

Kozhikode to Wayanad, 53 miles (86km)

10 Of The World'S Most Breathtaking Road Trips

Driving on the Wayanad Ghat Road in Kerala is an exciting adventure. This road cuts through the dense forests of the Western Ghats, winding past waterfalls, misty mountains, and ancient tea plantations. The Thamarassery Churam mountain pass, standing at 800 meters above sea level, offers breathtaking views. Along the way, it’s worth stopping to admire the stunning scenery or to hike and discover waterfalls and trails. Just be cautious of wild elephants that may cross the road occasionally!

6. The Japanese Alps

Kyoto to Tokyo (the long way around), 460 miles (740km)

10 Of The World'S Most Breathtaking Road Trips

In Japan, while riding the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) is impressive, exploring by car reveals hidden gems. Start your journey from Kyoto to Tokyo, venturing north to Kanazawa. Continue east across the Japanese Alps, passing high-altitude onsen (hot spring spa) towns with scenic mountain roads perfect for driving enthusiasts. Along the way, visit historical sites like the Samurai city of Matsumoto. Finally, head south to Karuizawa and to vibrant Tokyo, experiencing the contrast from serene mountains to bustling city lights. It’s an unforgettable route for any avid traveler exploring Japan’s diverse landscapes.

7. Atlantic Road, Norway

Molde to the Gjemnessundbrua suspension bridge – 69 miles (111km)

10 Of The World'S Most Breathtaking Road Trips

Driving through Norway offers an unparalleled way to experience its stunning landscape, filled with towering peaks, icy fjords, and glacial lakes. One standout route is the Atlantic Road, from Molde to Averøy island. This scenic drive provides breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. On calm summer days, you can enjoy the tranquility of driving over the sparkling waters. However, during stormy weather from the northwest, you’ll feel the full power of the Atlantic. It’s a journey that showcases Norway’s natural beauty in all its awe-inspiring glory.

8. Southern Utah National Park Circuit, USA

Dead Horse Point to Zion National Park, 475 miles (764km)

10 Of The World'S Most Breathtaking Road Trips

In the vast and striking landscapes of Southern Utah, where towering red rock formations dominate the scenery, a road trip reveals the immense scale of the wilderness. This route, unofficially named, winds through some of Earth’s most impressive landscapes. From Dead Horse Point near Moab, it passes through Canyonlands National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Capitol Reef National Park, Bryce Canyon, and finally, Zion National Park, covering nearly 500 miles. Each twist and turn in the road unveils breathtaking views reminiscent of scenes from classic Western movies. For a luxurious stay along the way, consider the Amangiri Hotel, seamlessly blending into the region’s dramatic canyons, mesas, and gorges.

9. The Panorama Route, South Africa

Hoedspruit to Pilgrim’s Rest, 130 miles (209km)

10 Of The World'S Most Breathtaking Road Trips

Crossing South Africa’s Drakensberg Escarpment, this route showcases diverse landscapes from wildlife reserves and fruit fields to historic gold-rush sites, cascading waterfalls, and rugged gorges. After reaching the summit, ‘God’s Window’ offers stunning vistas of Blyde River Canyon, Kruger National Park, and the Lebombo Mountains on the border with Mozambique. Kruger National Park, renowned for its wildlife, including the Big Five, is just an hour’s drive east from the endpoint in Pilgrim’s Rest. It’s a journey through some of South Africa’s most spectacular scenery, perfect for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

10. The Great Ocean Road, Australia

Melbourne to the 12 Apostles and back to Melbourne, 340 miles (550km)

10 Of The World'S Most Breathtaking Road Trips

Australia’s most famous road combines stunning coastal views with dense forests, national parks, and charming beach towns. Starting in Melbourne, the journey heads southwest to Torquay, where the Great Ocean Road officially begins. It winds along Victoria’s coastline, passing by the iconic limestone sea stacks known as the 12 Apostles near Port Campbell. While erosion has reduced their number over time, the road remains a popular route for sightseeing trips from Melbourne, attracting campervans and cars alike. After visiting the 12 Apostles, the route turns back toward Melbourne, passing through Cape Otway and the lush forests of Otway National Park before returning to the city’s bustling atmosphere.


Exploring the world’s most breathtaking road trips is not just about covering distances; it’s about experiencing the diverse landscapes and cultures that make our planet awe-inspiring. From the rugged coastlines of Australia’s Great Ocean Road to the dramatic fjords of Norway’s Atlantic Road, each route offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. Whether you prefer winding through mountain passes, cruising along coastal highways, or delving into ancient forests, these road trips promise unforgettable adventures. So, buckle up, hit the road, and embark on a journey of discovery that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.


Q1: What makes a road trip breathtaking?

Ans: A breathtaking road trip typically features stunning natural scenery, diverse landscapes, and iconic landmarks.

Q2: How do you plan a road trip?

Ans: Start by choosing your destination and route, considering factors like scenic spots, accommodations, and road conditions. Plan stops for sightseeing and ensure your vehicle is well-maintained.

Q3: Which road trip offers the best coastal views?

Ans: The Pacific Coast Highway in California, USA, and the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia, are renowned for their spectacular coastal views.

Q4: What are some famous road trips in Europe?

Ans: The Amalfi Coast in Italy, Trollstigen in Norway, and the Transfagarasan Highway in Romania are among Europe’s most famous road trips.

Q5: Are there road trips suitable for families?

Ans: Yes, routes like the Cabot Trail in Canada and parts of the Pacific Coast Highway offer family-friendly stops and attractions.

Q6: Which road trip is best for adventurous travelers?

Ans: The Ring Road in Iceland and the Milford Road in New Zealand are ideal for adventurous travelers due to their rugged landscapes and outdoor activities.

Q7: How long should I plan for a road trip?

Ans: The duration depends on the route and your pace. Some trips can be completed in a few days, while others may take weeks to explore fully.

Q8: What essentials should I pack for a road trip?

Ans: Essentials include maps or GPS, vehicle documents, snacks, water, first aid kit, and appropriate clothing for varying weather conditions.

Q9: Are there road trips known for cultural experiences?

Ans: Route 66 in the USA and the North Coast 500 in Scotland offer cultural experiences, including historic landmarks and local traditions.

Q10: How can I make the most of a road trip?

Ans: Enjoy the journey by exploring off-the-beaten-path stops, capturing scenic views, trying local cuisine, and interacting with locals along the way.

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