Grand Pacific Drive, NSW, Australia
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Starting in the Royal National Park and passing through Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and Gerringong, the Grand Pacific Drive is the best way to discover some of the state’s most picturesque beaches.
Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
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The grandfather of Australian road trips is a classic for a reason. From the 12 Apostles to the historic fishing village of Port Fairy, this seaside route showcases the diversity of the Victorian landscape.
Road to Hana, Hawaii
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From heavenly beaches to lush hiking trails and waterfalls you can swim beneath, you could spend anywhere from a day to a week discovering the secrets of this stretch of road in east Maui. Stop at the Halfway to Hana Stand, between Paia and Hana Town, for a slice of the island’s best banana bread.
La Route des Grandes Alpes, France
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These mountain passes are popular with cyclists but work just as well on four wheels. It will take you past Mont Blanc, as well as the diverse landscapes of the Chablais, Vanoise, Queyras, Ubaye and Mercantour ranges.
North Coast 500, Scotland
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This 500-mile trail around the north of Scotland starts and ends at Inverness. Taste a dram of whisky, marvel at the charismatic highland cattle and have fun trying to properly pronounce the signs of Achmelvich, Ben Wyvis and Kinlochewe.
Queenstown to Wanaka, New Zealand
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Though it only takes an hour, this challenging drive offers plenty of pit stops that will extend the drive for hours, from places to try out adventure sports such bungy jumping and horse trekking to gourmet food and wine experiences.
Ruta 40, Argentina
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Another cross-country endeavour, Route 40 stretches from the northern tip of Argentina to Santa Cruz province in the south. Running parallel to the Andes, expect everything from dry, high-altitude deserts and mountains to lush vineyards.
The Alcan Highway, Canada and the US
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Also known as the Alaskan-Canada Highway, this route runs from Delta Junction in Alaska to British Columbia in Canada. Expect bears, wild sheep, bison and moose to punctuate this trip through the American frontier.
The Atlantic Road, Norway
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This drive is truly coastal, mere metres – and sometimes centimetres – away from the ocean. The road connects the island of Averøy with the mainland by using bridges to hop between the small islands off the coast and, thanks to innovative engineering, often feels as though your vehicle is suspended between the sea and sky.
Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria
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Winding through the provinces of Salzburg, Tyrol and Carinthia, the Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Austria’s High Tauern National Park meanders past green hillsides, meadows full of flowers and natural waterfalls, culminating in the peaks of the famous “black mountain”. It’s safest in spring when the roads have been cleared of snow.
Amalfi Coast Road, Italy
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Rugged cliffs, pastel-coloured villages and endless vistas make the Amalfi Coast one of Italy’s most scenic stretches of road. Follow the shore from Sorrento to Salerno during shoulder season (September to May) to avoid tour buses on the winding motorway.
The King’s Highway, Jordan
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An ancient roadway that winds through mountain towns and villages, this is a road trip for history buffs. Think Byzantine mosaics, castles and unexcavated fortresses amid a beautiful red desert landscape.
Historic Route 66, USA
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Perhaps the most famous road in America, Route 66 stretches from Santa Monica in the west to Chicago in the east – that’s more than two-thirds of the way across the United States.
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The road traversing the south of the Carpathian Mountains has been nicknamed “the road to the sky” thanks to its steep incline. The hairpin turns make for a challenging drive but skilled steerers are rewarded with beautiful hiking trails if they want to stretch their legs.
Stelvio Pass, Italy
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Stelvio Pass, in northern Italy, is considered one of the greatest driving roads in the world. But it’s a haven for cyclists, too ¬– so much so that the pass is closed to all vehicles bar bicycles on the last Saturday of August or first Saturday of September for Stelvio Bike Day.
Cape Route 62, South Africa
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It’s not as well known as the Garden Route but this path between Cape Town and Oudtshoorn is just as good-looking. Whether passing through desert or mountains, keep watch for wildlife, including ostriches.
Pacific Coast Highway, USA
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Hugging the Californian coastline from San Francisco to San Diego, Highway 1 goes through some of the US’s biggest drawcards, including Big Sur and Monterey. Fans of Big Little Lies will recognise the Bixby Bridge from the show’s opening credits.
Icefields Parkway, Canada
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This snow-dusted road is a truly majestic introduction to the Canadian wilderness. It links Lake Louise with Jasper, Alberta and passes through two national parks, putting the Rocky Mountains’ most spectacular peaks on display.
Up Next: 22 of the World’s Most Unique Canyons and Gorges
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It takes millions of years to create the natural phenomena of canyons and gorges – it’s the consistent battering by wind, water and ice that wears down the rock so that a kind of new pearl in the landscape is realised. The Grand Canyon? It’s just the beginning.