There’s over 18.4 million kilometers of drivable roadways in the world, this then means that there’s a terrific amount of variety when it comes to being able to plan a road trip. No two roads are the same, some wind through mountainous valleys whilst some cut through the driest of deserts. Some of the world’s most magnificent roadways take those who make the adventure up through breathtaking icy terrain whilst you could find yourself and your passengers passing through major cities in America or Argentina.
Whatever you’re into, and whatever you want from a road trip, you’ll be able to find it. Many of us are drawn to the adventure, the chance to explore and head out on the open road. We want to experience new cultures, speak new languages and head down paths we’ve never taken before. It’s also about the car; some choose the latest, greatest sports vehicles, while for others a trusty campervan will do. Either way, you’ll be able to tailor the trip to suit you and your interests.
Be it a group of friends, the whole family, or on your own, a road trip can open up a world of opportunity. So buckle in; here’s some of the world’s very best road trips, starting with Highway 61, which is one of the world’s most famous stretches of tarmac.
Highway 61 – USA
Dubbed ‘The Blues Highway’, if you’re into your American blues and soul music, and there’s no better road trip than to take a journey down Highway 61. When is a road more than a road? Perhaps when it’s Highway 61, as this journey heads down the Mississippi River between Memphis and Vicksburg, and everywhere you turn, you’ll find soul, gospel and R&B music.
Discover everything about Americana and the Delta Blues; Muddy Waters knew the Blues highway, so did John Lee Hooker, Bessie Smith and B.B King. That’s not forgetting The King, Elvis Presley himself, whose rock ‘n’ roll music is as deeply rooted in the Mississippi Delta as the river and the surrounding cypress trees themselves.
This famed road runs through the outcrops of what were once desperately poor cotton fields and frankly desolate landscapes. Musicians found solace and produced some of the most emotional and raw music ever created, why not make a pilgrimage to this mythical musical crossroads?
Alice Springs to Uluru – Australia
This drive is perhaps the most rewarding in Australia, if not the world. You could do it in a few days or even take a week, maybe even longer. Starting in Alice Springs, the journey heads through the arid outback and into the wilderness of the East Macdonnell Ranges.
The journey ends at the colossal rock of ‘Uluru’ and the enchanting Kata Tjuta, what is known as Australia’s spiritual heartland. When you arrive, it’s certainly best to spend awhile exploring the monumental canyons and deep valleys which are filled with palm trees and serene swimming holes, carved naturally out of the surrounding cliff and stone faces.
The Atlantic Road – Norway
This road trip topped British newspaper The Guardian’s list of the world’s best road trips, and at only 8-kilometers long, it is by far the shortest on our list, but by no means the least spectacular.
This stretch of road between the towns of Kristiansund and Molde zigzags between islands from Molde and the final destination. The Hustadvika is an infamous stretch of ocean that lies beneath the woad and when a storm rolls in, it is truly a dramatic sight to behold.
Named as ‘Norway’s construction of the century’ in 2005, the road links together many small coastal communities and heads along some of the world’s most breathtaking and incredible coastline.
You could speed along the route in a matter of minutes, or take your time to soak up the elements, and test your sense of adventure as the waves crash onto the shoreline and toss up spray high into the Norwegian sky.
Ruta 40 – Argentina
Now for something a little less traveled. Ruta 40, which is known in Argentina, with affection and awe, simply as ‘la cuarenta’ – is one of the wildest and least traveled roads on the planet. It runs the whole length of Argentina, from La Quiaca on the border with Bolivia, all the way down to El Chalten and Rio Gallegos in the south.
It can be eerily remote at times, and you’ll be able to flavour some of the toughest parts of the country, either by bike car or bus if you want to get a feel for the life and times of the locals.
It’s a mind blowing experience, you might go hours without seeing another car. There’s plenty of landscapes to see and interesting towns, each with their own individual culture, and most with a market and a church where you can find some solstice away from the barren surroundings.
These have been some of the world’s very best road trips. From America to Australia and Argentina, each one offers the driver and passengers something completely different.
There’s nothing like the sense of adventure, It’s all about the freedoms of the open road, the evolving landscapes as the tarmac winds around mountains, over rivers, through deserts, along coastlines and the times spent with friends or loved ones.