What is better than packing a car with friends or family and setting out on a road trip into the unknown? The freedom one feels when hitting the open road cannot be matched. Everyone has their favourite road trip route and we thought we might share ours with you too! We start in the Mediterranean, head to the Pacific, turn around in Alaska and we finish off in flowery Netherlands.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
The Amalfi Coast, situated on the western coastline of Italy, is one of the most beautiful coastlines in all of Europe. This stretch of coastline is around 55km long with the warm, beautiful Mediterranean lying at the bottom of the dramatic cliffs and hilltops that stretch along the coastline. In 1997 the Amalfi Coast was pronounced a UNESCO World heritage site because of the sheer beauty of the area. UNESCO went as far as to say that the Amalfi Coast is “one of the world’s finest confections of natural and constructed beauty”.
Ravello, Amalfi, Positano, and Vietri sul Mare are the must see towns on the Amalfi Coast. During the summer months the towns and beaches fill up with travellers from around the world, seeking some Italian sun. If you would like to experience authentic, traditional Italy, then come to the Amalfi Coast outside of the summer months, when there aren’t as many tourists around. In the summer months you can rent a convertible vehicle and cruise along this coast, it will make you look like a real socialite.
The Amalfi coast is a mixture of history and beauty, with hundreds of attractions to discover. The Cathedral of Amalfi, the villas in Ravello and the many churches built during the period of the republic of Amalfi, are the most popular attractions along the coast. Around every corner you will find beauty and history, a place where authentic Italy can still be experienced.
Route 66, USA
Route 66 runs through the heart of the US, from Chicago in the North East, across 8 different states to the west coast, ending in California. Chicago, Illinois is where the route starts. The route then runs through the states of Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. It ends in Santa Monica, California, where the road is halted by the Indian Ocean. The journey is all of 3,945 km long.
The road cuts straight through the very heart of the US. By following this route you will experience somewhat of an intriguing historical time-line of contemporary America. The route takes travellers from thriving metropolitan cities to long forgotten towns that are struggling to stay afloat.
The larger intercontinental highway that was built to replace route 66 took away most of the commercial traffic from the route. These small towns lived and thrived on the commercial traffic from travellers passing through on route 66. Travelling through these small towns is like climbing into a time machine and going back in time. Cruising on route 66, heading for the coast, with a couple of your friends in a classic American car like the Ford Thunderbird or Mustang, what could be better?
Skeleton Coast, Namibia
The Skeleton Coast is situated in one of the most inhospitable environments in the world. Situated on the northern edge of the Atlantic coastline of Namibia, the Skeleton coast is where the Namib Desert crashes into the cold Atlantic Ocean. This area has been given many different nick names by people who have come across it. The Bushmen call this stretch of coast “The Land God made in Anger” and the Portuguese referred to it as the “Gates of Hell”. This should give you some idea of the harsh environment around the coast.
The road along the coast is scattered with over 1000 ship wrecks and hulls from ships that run aground or sunk here over the years. The route starts in Swakopmund and runs up north for around 300km to Terrace Bay. Huge sand dunes and treacherous rocks line the coastline, while mighty storms and violent surf dominates the horizon. This trip takes you away from all of the trappings of modern day living and puts you into real and untouched wilderness.
You have to take everything with you when you travel up this coast, as there are no towns with supermarkets along the way. Driving along the gravel road, which turns into a 4×4 route every now and again, is a truly humbling experience. One, once again, realises how powerful and beautiful Mother Nature is and how insignificant our everyday problems really are in the greater scheme of things!
Pan American Highway, North and South America
This road trip is not something you can fit into a 2 week school holiday or a 21 day annual holiday, you’ll need a bit more time. No particular route has been officially mapped out, but if you are going to do this epic route why not start on the southernmost end of the road at Ushuaia, Argentina and end in Prudhoe Bay Alaska, the northernmost point of the great highway.
The road stretches for a staggering 48,000km and runs through almost every American mainland country on the map. There are so many attractions and must see locations along the route, too many to name here. The most famous and beautiful attractions along the route are the Salar de Uyundi in Bolivia ,Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina and the Tombstone Territorial Park in Yukon, USA. This route is more of an adventure than a trip. It would take you a couple of months to finish this vast route, but it might just be the most epic adventure one could ever embark on.
Cape to Cairo, South Africa to Egypt
Cecil John Rhodes had a dream of connecting the entire African continent through a single railway. This railway would have run from Cairo in Egypt to the then Cape Colony in Cape Town. Today you can do what Mr. Rhodes could never do, travel from Cape Town to Cairo in one straight journey. Ok, it might not be a railway journey like he had envisioned, but driving in a car gives you more freedom and freedom is the most important part of every holiday.
The famous Cape to Cairo route today stretches through 10 African countries. It passes through deserts, past great lakes and mighty rivers, alongside the beautiful Indian Ocean and over African Savannah’s. Ethiopia and Sudan are a little more dangerous to travel through than any of the other countries on the route. The bandits around Lake Malawi might also want to chat to you. This route is a true adventure because it winds through what is widely considered to be the world’s last frontier, Africa. Lake Malawi, Victoria Falls, the Okavango river, the great Nile river, the Serengeti and the Chobe river are all world famous attractions that can be seen on this route.
Gobi Desert, Mongolia
The Gobi Desert covers parts of northern China and southern Mongolia. The desert basins of the Gobi are surrounded by the Altai Mountains and the steppes of Mongolia to the north and by the Tibetan Plateau and North China Plains to the south.
The trip through the Gobi Desert takes around 10 days to complete and stretches around 1500km. The trail starts in Ulaanbaatar in the north and heads south through the Middle Gobi Steppe down to the real Gobi Desert in the south. Granite Mountains, massive sand dunes and mountain canyons can be seen along the way.
The remote areas in Mongolia are home to various rare animals like the Gobi bears Snow Leopards and Wild Camels. You pass through very remote parts of the country, that are inhabited only by a few nomadic tribes with their herds of sheep, yaks, goats, horses and camels. This trip gives you the opportunity to escape from the 9 to 5 grind to enjoy real freedom and adventure.
The French Riviera, France
This strip of coastline is arguably the most glamorous and famous strip of land in the whole world. This is where playboys, movie stars, rock stars, billionaires and socialites come to see and be seen. Exotic cars like Lamborghini’s, Ferraris and Aston Martins line the streets throughout the entire coast.
The Côte d’Azur is what the French call the French Riviera. This coastline runs along the Mediterranean Sea on the south-eastern corner of France. The sovereign state of Monaco is also located along this coastline. No official boundary has been drawn up but the Riviera is commonly considered to begin at the Italian Border in the east, ending in the west at the city of Toulon.
The Riviera first became a popular resort destination in the 18th century when British and Russian Royals started frequenting this area. The world’s most famous painter, Pablo Picasso came here for inspiration and relaxation. You will almost always see a famous person or two relaxing on a yacht around any of the towns that are situated along the coast. The beauty of this coastline is truly spectacular. The road along the Riviera snakes along the French coastline that hugs the warm Mediterranean Ocean. Nice, Saint Tropez, Monaco, Antibes and Cannes are the must see towns along this coastline. Be sure to bring along enough cash as this trip won’t be cheap, the Riviera is known for being very expensive. If you have a classic car or if you can afford to rent one, this route is the perfect place to drive it. Cruising along the French Riviera with a classic car like a Ferrari Daytona or a Lamborghini Diablo makes one feel like a real movie star. Who wouldn’t want to experience that feeling, if only for a few hundred kilometres?
Bollenstreek Route, Netherlands
The first tulip was planted in Dutch soil in the 1500′s. Today the county has become synonymous with the tulip, despite it not being endemic to the Netherlands. Large fields of tulips area scattered all over the Dutch landscape. The best way to see and experience these beautiful areas is by driving along the Bollenstreek Route.
Also known as the Flower Route, this route starts in Haarlem, the town that was at the centre of the “tulip craze” during the 17th century. Haarlem is the northernmost point on the Flower Route and the road between it and Leiden, situated to the south, has the highest concentration of tulips in the whole of the Netherlands. The route is only around 40 kilometres long, but you will stop so much to view the beautiful flowers that the trip will take half a day to complete. Flower sellers set up stalls along the road selling garlands to adorn ones car.
It’s not only the blooming flowers that make this route a beautiful and interesting trip. You will also pass along auction houses selling flowers, museums and private gardens that celebrate the blooming season, a series of villages that grew rich on the flower industry and two cities in Haarlem and Leiden with a long and rich history.
Let us at FlightSite help you plan your next epic adventure!