By Eliza Anjum
Given the hectic schedules of our work-ridden, day-to-day lives, we are ever itching to get away to unknown lands in search of peace and tranquillity.
So the next time you want to leave behind the urban stress and enjoy wide, open spaces, consider a driving holiday. And to help you along, here is a guide to the best road trip routes around the world. All you need to do is pack a bag, load up your iPod, and follow your heart on the adventure of a lifetime.
Cabot Trail, Canada
Satisfy the nature lover in you as you cruise along the island of Cape Breton which is full of cliffs, hikes, beaches and a vast expanse of wilderness just waiting to be traversed. One of the most beautiful parts of Nova Scotia, Canada, Cabot Trail houses the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Skyline Trail and Gulf of St. Lawrence.
With many curated tours on offer, make sure you don’t miss out on whale watching and kayaking among the many activities to indulge in. Also stop by the beautiful and enchanting villages still steeped in French and Scottish influence due to their colonial past.
The Karakoram Highway
For the adventure junkie, this is the highest paved road in the world. Connecting China and Pakistan across rocky mountainous regions, this trail is not for the weak-hearted. But the effort of getting here is surely worth it with diverse views ranging from lofty snow-capped mountains to crystal clear rivers, with abundant ancient rock art adorning the way.
Providing a mix of both the ancient Silk Road and gravelly, risky paths, this once in a lifetime journey opens only from May to October, but keep an eye out because the route may be closed due to bad weather. Take this trip at a slow pace, camping at the many scenic lakes along the way, especially Lake Karakul.
Great Ocean Road, Australia
Carved around the time of Great Depression, this world-famous scenic pathway was built to commemorate the martyrs of the First World War. Running for around 285 km around the coast of Southwest Victoria, this is Australia’s best coastal road trip with lots of beaches and pretty villages, all surrounded by the dense expanse of the rainforest The rock formation, ‘Shipwreck coast’, a dramatic representation of the Twelve Apostles, is surely the most iconic and spectacular part of the drive along the Great Ocean Road.
Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland
A majestic, scenic land, Ireland boasts of several unforgettable road trips. One of the most popular ones is The Causeway Coastal Route runs along Northern Ireland and is full of amazing sights like the Giant’s Causeway, Dark Hedges and beautiful bridges specially the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, which literally means ‘rock of the casting’.
Known for its fantastical beauty, Ireland has been home to many fantasy movie sets down the years. Get a chance to satisfy your Game of Thrones fan-dom and live like the Starks of Winterfell. You can also enroll in fun games and activities on offer at the many castles in the GOT tour, just 40 minutes from Belfast along this route.
North Coast 500, Scotland
Witness the regal life at the many legendary castles situated along the North Coast 500 in Scotland, the country’s ultimate touring route. Starting at the castle of Inverness, it boasts of otherworldly coastal sceneries, with many whiskey distilleries lining the track.
Get lost in the epic world of Shakespeare’s masterpiece not only at Inverness, but also rewind into the past at Duncansby Head and other castles like Dornoch castle and Eilean Donan castle.
You can also satisfy your inner mystery-seeker by trying to figure out the truth of the Loch Ness monster at the huge freshwater loch of the same name.
The Garden Route, South Africa
A treat for the eyes and the soul, The Garden Route is the culmination of everything beautiful in South Africa. Lagoons, deserted beaches, forests, vineyards and lakes are dotted along the beautifully paved roads between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. This journey is sure to be nothing less than uplifting.