Road trips can be the best way to experience nature, explore the outskirts, and most of all – have ultimate freedom. You can make your own schedule, live off the cuff, and travel quite inexpensively, if done right.
Some itineraries aren’t for the faint hearted, but are so worth it for the experience and story!
Here are the Top 10 Most Epic Road Trips!
Have you ever seen desert dunes crash into the ocean? Namibia is where the desert meets the sea and it’s truly an underrated site to behold. A road trip through this African country will also take you to Sossusvlei and Deadvlei where burning red clay dunes drop to a basin of ancient dead trees.
Garden Route South Africa
I LOVE the Garden Route because you can drive it countless times and STILL discover new detours. Driving along the coast will lead you to stops like Cape Aghulas (most southern point of Africa), Hermanus for whale watching, and Jeffrey’s Bay to try out surfing. Driving a bit more inland will weave you through some mountainous terrain, elephant and big cat sanctuaries, and the Guinness book of records largest bungee bridge in Bloukrans.
This trip through the fjords will be the highlight of your year. Be ready for clenching switchbacks, dramatic overlooks, and some kamikaze sheep that venture into the road.
Feeling a desert road trip? Rent an SUV from the airport and head straight out along the coast or into the dunes. Camping is very popular so bring a tent and pitch it virtually wherever you please. You can have cliffside views or front-and-center seats to turtles beaching to lay their eggs!
Patagonia – Chile & Argentina
Patagonia is a mountain lovers dream! Divided by the Andes mountains, the Argentina side is home to the grasslands and deserts while Chile hosts the glacial fjords. The RN-40 will deliver you to Mt Fitz Roy, Torres del Paine, glaciers, volcanoes, and just shy of the end of the South American continent.
New Zealand South Island
This road trip is best done by actually purchasing a used van and making your way through the rugged beauty. At the end of your trip, you sell the van on the same website you purchased it for another eager traveler to make memories in.
Vietnam – Scooter Trip!
A North to South trip through Vietnam on a scooter will be a trip of a lifetime and a challenge! It’s not for the faint hearted as traffic in the major cities is absolute chaos, but the views along the way are absolutely worth it!
Great Ocean Road Australia
This road trip is perfect for seeing dramatic coastlines, craggy cliffs, epic viewpoints, indigenous animals, and pro surfers out on the waves. Don’t try to fit the trip in all over one day – spend some time exploring and don’t forget your sunscreen!
Iceland Ring Road
This icy, volcanic island will mesmerize you starting on the flight in. It’s best visited by car or 4×4 as a road trip around the entire island. Getting out away from the city and staying in a cottage will give you ideal views of the Northern Lights (if visiting in the winter). Escaping to the further reaches of the country will drastically diminish the tourist count and give you free roam of the natural wonders. Bear in mind that a lot of the terrain is mossy and is forbidden to off-road with a 4×4 because it causes permanent damage.
Related : Photo Diary of Iceland
Icefields Parkway through Banff, Canada
This route goes through two national parks between Lake Louise and Jasper via Banff. This is a ravishingly photogenic stretch of road, with glaciers, waterfalls, lakes and lots of rocky peaks. You’ve also got a good chance of seeing bears, moose, and caribou!
There you have it! Some badass road trips for the badass traveler. Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance for these routes because they’re extra risky. Make sure it includes car rental so you don’t get ripped off by the rental agency! Read more about that here: Necessities for a Car Rental Road Trip