Facebook iconTwitter iconInstagram icon

EPIC Guide To 12 Of The BEST Road Trips In The World

Written By:
Cazzy Magennis
/
Last Updated:
June 1, 2020
Travel stories
Looking for inspiration for your next driving adventure? Then check out our guide on the best road trips in the world. These should help inspire you...
best road trips in the world
Note: Some posts may contain affiliate links. Read more here

Bradley and I took our first proper road trip back in 2016 and it was far more epic than we ever could have imagined! 

We suddenly realised just how much you could see of a country when you had your own vehicle and the new opportunities it opened up. 

Bradley’s the driver in our relationship, but he absolutely loves driving on the open roads of a new country and being surrounded by new and exciting views. 

It’s not always possible to take a road trip when planning a trip, but whenever the opportunity arises, we take it.

Lately we’ve fallen in love with campervans and we have big plans to convert our own and really up the quality of road trips we take.

We’ve taken much more road trips in recent years and honestly, once you’ve done it once, it’s really hard to revert back to long bus journeys and public transport. 

We’ve undertaken a lot of amazing road trips with a massive focus in Europe. 

Actually it’s allowed us to almost completely see every country in Europe! 

We’ve got a few countries left, but I’m pretty sure that we are going to explore them all via road trips within the next couple years! 

So, if you need some inspiration on what the best road trips in the world are, then keep reading to find out our favourite trips we’ve taken so far. 

Download your FREE digital copy of our South America itinerary

  • Save it to your phone for future use
  • Or print it off and take it with you!
Download My Free Copy Now!
TAP TO INTERACT

Benefits of a road trip for getting around

I thought I’d quickly list some positives of choosing to road trip a country, rather than relying on public transport. Of course this is all only possible if you can and are willing to drive in a new country. 

renting and driving a car in ireland

It can save money 

Depending on where you visit, hiring a campervan or a car can actually save you money. 

For example, in expensive countries like Norway or Ireland, if you have your own campervan you can save money on accommodation, or if you’ve got a car, all you need is a tent and you can camp in some amazing places. 

You can go off the beaten track 

Seeing the famous tourist attractions of any country is always great fun, but what’s even better is when you get to discover locations that people haven’t been to yet.

One of the easiest and most comfortable ways of doing this is via your own vehicle. 

You can discover new lakes, viewpoints, and much more when you can just drive! 

It’s more comfortable 

If you’ve travelled in South America, or even Asia, then you’ll know that long bus journeys are part of the experience. 

But as you get older (this line makes me sound really old…) you naturally want to opt for more comfortable travel, even if it does cost you a little bit extra. 

Well, when you’ve got your own vehicle you can drive for as long as you want, take toilet breaks when you want, listen to your own music and just create a comfortable environment and experience. 

Okay, now let's look at where to go on a road trip! 

1. The Lofoten Islands

Lofoten Island road trip map

First on our list of epic road trips in the world is the Lofoten Islands in Norway

It’s simply not possible to truly explore the true beauty of the Lofoten Islands unless you have your own vehicle. 

Wild camping is legal in Norway, so if you’ve got a campervan or a tent, you’ll get some amazing spots. 

One of my favourite things about a road trip here was just the stunning views that surrounded you all day every day.

I cannot emphasize enough just how beautiful every corner of The Lofoten Islands are. 

If you’re a photographer, then you will be in paradise. 

It’s also an awesome place to road trip all year around. 

The landscape at various times of the year changes dramatically so there is always something new and beautiful to discover. 

driving in norway

We visited during the winter season when it was cold, frosty and snowy. 

That made for some EPIC views and we were in the prime season for the Northern Lights

One of my favourite towns in the Lofoten Islands was Reine. 

This is actually quite a famous town, famous for its little red houses against a mountainous backdrop. 

I can tell you, the views of this small Noreigan town are beyond epic. 

Another great thing about a Lofoten Island road trip is that there really aren’t any “crowds”. 

Most of the viewpoints and areas we visited were relatively tourist free, which really felt like you were discovering beautiful locations for the first time. 

Driving The Lofoten Islands is also very unique. 

The islands are connected by spectacular bridges so you’ll be driving across such unique landscapes. 

If you’ve got a drone, then you’re going to get some amazing road trip driving shots here. 

The roads are not busy either, sometimes it can feel like hours before someone drives past you! 

driving in the lofoten islands

How long does it take?

The beauty of any road trip is that you can make it as long or as short as you want. 

We managed to drive it in two days. 

This is mainly because we had a lot of ground to cover (we were road tripping all of Scandinavia). 

But, if you want to do some of the amazing hikes on offer, then you’re going to need longer. 

Be aware that some hikes are not possible in the winter months. 

But I would suggest allowing yourself 3-4 days in the winter and 4-5 days in the summer season. 

Highlights of the trip

  • Visiting Reine: This picturesque town is one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever witnessed. 
  • Epic beaches: The Lofoten Islands has some of the most stunning beach views I’ve ever witnessed (bookmark here, here, here and here). I’ve always associated epic beach views with a summer setting, but winter at the beach is beauty on a different level here. 
  • Feeling secluded: Driving when it felt like no one else was around always felt like we were explorers discovering somewhere unique and new and that was awesome. 

2. Stockholm to Copenhagen

stockholm to copenhagen road trip map

Driving through Sweden is beautiful.

The north is awesome because you get to experience Swedish Lapland, but driving in the south of the country was such a surprise. 

There were beautiful views everywhere and we kept seeing amazing castles.

Sweden is full of epic castles, everywhere and you could spend weeks seeing them all. 

But on the road trip from Stockholm to Copenhagen, you’ll see some epic castles, including:

  • Vadstena
  • Läckö
  • Kalmar
  • Trolleholms

There are also many amazing places to stop off on this road trip. 

road trip in sweden

Our favorite stops included the cities of Gothenburg and Malmo. 

Gothenburg was such a cool place and we only had a morning to explore it, so I’d definitely like to return for a city break one day. 

And Malmo was a really cool city that you could rent electric scooters to whizz around and explore. 

One of the highlights of a Stockholm to Copenhagen road trip is getting to go over the Oresund Bridge

It was opened in 2000 and is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe, stretching over 5 miles. 

It’s really cool seeing two countries connected by this amazing bridge. 

Driving across it is quite epic and of course the views are amazing! 

It’s expensive to drive across, but it’s not something you do regularly, so it’s worth the money. 

If you wanted to extend your road trip and make it a little longer, before you visit Gothenburg, you could take a detour up to the cute town of Fredrikstad, just over the border in Norway.

road trip views in sweden

How long does it take?

I would allow 1 week at least to do this road trip. That will allow you time to explore the various cities you stop off at and to take your time. 

Highlights of the trip

Epic castles: Still an amazing highlight of this road trip and because there are two different driving routes you can take, I suggest you take the road that allows you to stop at Läckö Castle which is truly one of the coolest castles I’ve ever seen! 

Food & Ikea: Okay, I know saying going to Ikea as a highlight is probably lame, but I don’t care! I waited to go to Ikea for the first time in Sweden, and we had Sweedish meatballs, so it was a lot of fun!

Stockholm!: Of course, Stockholm itself is one of the biggest highlights! Filled with so much to see and do, it’s officially our second favourite city in Europe (after Rome of course).

gothenburg

3. Zurich to Hallstatt

zurich to hallstatt road trip map

A few years ago Brad and I had the opportunity to live in Austria, and as part of that experience we were able to do an epic road trip from Zurich (Switzerland) to Hallstatt (Austria)

I’ve always wanted to drive through Switzerland because I’ve seen amazing pictures of the Swiss mountains online, and I can confirm that the views driving through Switzerland to Austria are epic. 

But, what surprised me most and what I wasn’t expecting was just how wonderful and amazing the scenery of the Austrian Alps are.

I think Austria is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and the views we got to experience on this road trip were unforgettable. 

We visited in January, and I suggest you do the same because you’ll be greeted with stunning snow capped mountains which adds such a charm to the journey. 

Driving through Austria is truly beautiful on all corners, but finishing up in Hallstatt is a true highlight. 

Hallstatt is a UNESCO Heritage town, and it’s without doubt one of the most picturesque towns I’ve ever seen. 

It’s postcard picture perfect. 

It also looks beautiful all year around. I’ve seen pictures of it during spring and summer and it’s amazing, but we visited in winter and the landscape was breathtaking. 

This is one of my favourite road trip destinations in Europe and a picture-perfect journey. 

How long does it take?

The drive itself non-stop only takes around 6 hours, but there are lots of great places to stop off at, so I’d give yourself 4 days. 

You can even make a stop in another country, Liechtenstein, and stop off in awesome Innsbruck, which is one of my favourite European cities. 

Highlights of the trip

The Austrain Alps: This is one of the most scenic road trip views I’ve ever taken. One of the tunnels is quite long, and when you reach the other end, you literally enter one of the most epic landscapes, it’s really cool! 

Great quality roads: Roads in the European Union/EEA tend to be pretty well maintained and that goes for Austria and Switzerland. The roads are very well developed and easy to drive which makes your road trip more enjoyable and fuss-free. 

austrian alps

4. A loop of Sri Lanka (in a Tuk Tuk!)

Sri Lanka road trip map

This is definitely one of the more unique road trips around the world, but probably my favourite. Not everyone can say they’ve driven around an entire country in a tuk-tuk, well we can, and it’s totally possible for you too! Sri Lanka provides this unique road trip experience. 

You’ll need at least 3 weeks to do the whole country properly. 

driving a tuk tuk in sri lanka

Lots of people rent for less than a week, rush around and can only do a certain area of the country. 

I think this is a total waste if you’ve flown the whole way out there! 

Rent for at least 3 weeks and you will have the trip of a lifetime and get to experience everything Sri Lanka has to offer

The best thing about road tripping Sri Lanka is the fact that it’s actually very diverse. 

You can head to the sunny coast of the south (Mirissa) with it’s epic beaches and snorkelling opportunities, then visit the middle of the country (Nuwara Eliya) where the whole temperature drops and they actually grow tea.

It’s known as “Little England” because of this. 

Then, if you head north, you’ll enter the cultural capital of Sri Lanka and discover so many unique sights. 

This is a one of the best road trips for couples since a tuk-tuk comfortably fits 2 and there are lots of really romantic opportunities in Sri Lanka. 

road tripping sri lanka

How long does it take? 

3 weeks! If you’ve only got 2 weeks, you could cut some parts out, but any less and I don’t think you’ll get the full benefit from it. 

Highlights of the trip 

Our own Elephant safari: We actually got to do our very own elephant safari on the Kataragama Road. This road cuts through an area of national park, so there are typically elephants hanging around waiting for passers by to hand out snacks. This was amazing to see them out in the wild and a memory that will last forever. 

Interaction with the locals: It was actually a lot of fun seeing the look on locals faces when they realised it was foreigners driving a tuk-tuk! This made for lots of fun chats and we got to meet so many cool people and take lots of pictures. 

Driving a tuk-tuk!: Driving a tuk tuk really is an incredible experience, and not at all difficult to learn! Learn more in Bradley’s guide on Sri Lanka tuk tuk rental.

driving in sri lanka

5. The Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland

The Wild Atlantic Way is one of the best bucket list road trips in the world and it’s Ireland’s most famous road trip. 

Bradley and I had the chance to undertake this amazing trip when we rented a Spaceships campervan in Ireland

The Wild Atlantic Way road trip covers the entire western coast of Ireland, and actually encompasses a few smaller drives that are amazing in their own right. I’ve listed some of our favourites below so you can get an idea of what to expect on this epic adventure. 

landscapes in ireland
  • Ring of Kerry: This is without doubt the most famous drive in all of Ireland. Talk to the locals and they’ll tell you about the Ring of Kerry and it’s in every travel guide about Ireland. It’s no surprise why it’s so famous! It’s absolutely beautiful. The road is 111 miles (179 km) long which means it’ll take around 3.5 hours to drive without stopping. So, once you add in a couple of stops, you’d be looking at around 6 hours, if not more. You can stay overnight to split the drive in two. 
  • Ring of Beara: This is a lesser known driving loop in Ireland, but I would argue it’s even better because it’s quiet, and filled with rugged, natural beauty. The route is 130 km (around 80 miles) which would take around 3-4 hours driving, without stopping at beautiful sights. (You’ll want to stop!) So this drive can be done in a day. 
  • Killarney: Killarney is actually the starting or ending point of the Ring of Kerry drive, but it’s got some pretty epic driving routes itself. There are so many beautiful mountainous drives in this area, and drives through forests and national parks. 
  • Gap of Dunloe: This was probably Brad and I’s highlight of the Wild Atlantic Way road trip. The drive here was rugged, a little scary, but crazy beautiful! The winding roads through the Gap Of Dunloe were tiny, but it felt like we were in a movie scene, it was magical. 
  • Donegal: Compared to the rest of Ireland, Donegal is almost a completely different landscape! But on your way up this part of the coast you get to stop off at many of the most unforgettable spots; namely the Slieve League Cliffs, The Atlantic Drive & Malin Head (the most northerly point in Ireland).
driving in ireland

How long does it take? 

To do the full Wild Atlantic Way, we would suggest having at least 2-3 weeks, but longer is better. It’s almost 1600 miles long!

If you’ve only got a limited amount of time then you could just pick a couple of the shorter drives that I’ve mentioned above. 

Highlights of the trip 

Feeling like no one was around: We would be driving roads that didn’t have cars pass us for ages, and it was magical. Driving through open national parks, coastlines, every corner of driving through Ireland is beautiful.

Unique wild camping: We absolutely LOVED wild camping in Ireland and we got to experience some pretty epic locations.

road tripping ireland

6. Tromso to Hamningberg

tromso to hamningberg road trip map

This is another one of the great road trips that Norway has to offer

Tromso is actually a great place to start a Norwegian adventure because it’s got an airport and pretty good car rental options

You can even partake in a few tours while you’re there, such as ice fishing (if the season is right!) 

This road trip is going to take you Nordkapp, the most northern point in mainland Europe and it’s one of the most epic places we’ve ever visited.

If you want to give yourself a chance to see the northern lights, it’s pretty much guaranteed up here, providing the weather isn’t cloudy. 

road tripping in norway

After you’ve got your signature picture at the most northerly point you can then make your way across to Vardo and visit the most northerly fortress, which is really cool, then head towards Hamingbgerg. 

You can get to Hamningberg up until October, after this they actually close the one road in because all of the village's inhabitants go somewhere else for the bitterly cold winter!

We made the drive literally days before the road must have closed and it was a good 3 feet of snow on the road.

But this is one of Bradleys favourite drives and places in the world. 

The drive to Hamingberg seriously feels like you’ve entered another planet. 

There are dramatic frozen cliffs on one side, and crashing waves on the other and there is no one else around! It’s truly EPIC. 

We visited in the winter months, and I highly recommend it. 

Every moment of this road trip was memorable and scenic. 

road tripping in northern norway

How long does it take? 

The drive would take around 20 hours, so if you’re doing around 3-4 hours daily, including sightseeing, then you’re looking at at least 5 days. But of course I would suggest giving yourself a week to allow for any delays and to truly enjoy the experience. 

Highlights of the trip 

Epic scenery: Words cannot describe how amazing the views are on this road trip. Northern Norway is one of the most beautiful places we’ve been so this is truly one of the most epic road trips around the world. 

Amazing wild camping: We camped in amazing wild camping locations in Norway. They were so remote and we were able to see the northern lights so many times. I’ll never forget how amazing it was! Wild camping is legal and encouraged in Norway under their Right to Roam

road trip in norway

7. The coast of Croatia - Rijeka to Dubrovnik

croatia road trip map

Croatia will always be one of the countries I was most surprised by. 

I didn’t know what to expect when road tripping Croatia, but it was honestly stunning and one of the best places I’ve ever visited. 

We had such an amazing time driving the coastline, especially since we visited in April and the weather was fantastic. 

The first half of this amazing road trip are the gorgeous winding roads that hug the Adriatic coastline, and you’ll genuinely be amazed at the beautiful blues and mountains ranges that surround you. 

The roads in Croatia are also really well maintained and Bradley had no issues driving them. There are so many amazing towns and cities you can stop off at on this road trip, but I recommend at least two stops: Trigor and Split

Both have great sights to see and a lovely charm to them. 

Actually, if you’ve got some spare time then you should take the car ferry over to the island of Brac, which is one of the most beautiful little islands we’ve ever driven on. 

Once you reach the beautiful city of Dubrovnik, famous for Game of Thrones, be sure to spend the day exploring and eat lots of delicious ice cream. 

road tripping croatia

How long does it take?

The drive takes around 6-7 hours and with stops at various towns and coastal attractions I would recommend at least 4 days driving this route! 

coatia driving views
Some of the views on a Croatian road trip!

Highlights of the trip 

It’s cheap: Croatia is generally quite a reasonably priced country and food, drinks and petrol/diesel are all well priced. Compared to other parts of Europe, it’s definitely cheaper on average. You can get VERY cheap accommodation too!

Pass through B&H: Bosnia & Herzegovina actually own a small part of the coastline, giving them entry to the Adriatic for supplies etc. You can’t get to Dubrobnik without driving through Bosnia & Herzegovina. And although it’s only a couple of miles, and of course doesn't allow you to experience the country as such, it’s still cool being able to dip into it!

Waterfalls: Croatia is home to some of the nicest waterfalls we’ve ever seen. Two national parks you absolutely have to stop off at are Krka and Plitvica.

croatia road trip

8. A loop of Bali (on moped!)

Bradley and I have had the pleasure of visiting Bali twice! 

Both times we used a moped as our primary source of transportation, and we’ve looped (almost) the country. 

This is one of our favourite road trips because of how cheap it is. 

Once you get over the airfare prices, Bali is a very cheap country and you can get moped rental for $2 and accommodation for less than $10 (for 2!). 

This means road tripping Bali is always fun and actually the roads are pretty decent, especially when following the motorway. 

What I really love about road tripping Bali is that it allows you to see the “real Bali”. 

Bali is a beautiful country, but there are no doubts parts of it have become very tourisfied, but renting a moped and driving to the north, deep south and even the east & west, you’ll discover brand new locations with a lot less tourists! 

road tripping bali

How long does it take? 

I recommend giving yourself 2 weeks at least to go on a road trip to Bali. 

That will allow you to see all the best sights and try awesome activities. 

Highlights of the trip 

Discovering Sideman: Ubud is a very tourist ridden spot in Bali, but Sideman has even better rice paddies and views, and is virtually untouched by tourists. We wouldn't have discovered this spot unless we went on a Bali road trip. 

Uncovering waterfalls: Bali has A LOT of waterfalls, and lots of them are still undiscovered, but having your own vehicle and driving through the country allows you to find your own unique sights.

driving around bali

9. Santiago to Pucon

santiago to pucon road trip map

When we visited Chile, we never really had any plans to rent a car and road trip.

But when we were there, planning what to do, we suddenly discovered that many of the least discovered sights in Chile are only accessible via car. 

So, we rented a car and set off on our first ever road trip together! 

This was honestly one of the most magnificent road trips we’ve been on anywhere in the world and we got to see fantastic sights that just wouldn’t have been possible with public transportation. 

driving in chile

We were able to visit Cajon Del Maipo, which is an amazing region in Chile home to one of my favorite wines! Perhaps the biggest highlight was finding hot springs secluded in the middle of nowhere. 

We were all alone just chillin' in the hot springs, surrounded by mountains.

I think that was the moment I really just fell in love with Chile and that’s one of the reasons it’s my favourite backpacking destination

backacpking chile

How long does it take? 

It’s a nine hour drive straight, so 18 hours there and back and we spent around 5 days driving this route and if we had longer we could have gone further. But 5 days is a good amount of time. 

Highlights of the trip 

Incredible roads: The roads in Chile are tolled, but that means they are in great condition and super easy to drive. It’s one big long road down the country (look at a map of Chile) and then you just come off for certain sights! Easy to drive. 

Amazing views: The whole road trip was packed with stunning mountain ranges, volcanoes, lakes and more. We got to visit Pucon volcano and the lake was really fantastic. 

road tripping chile

10. Finnish Lakeland

I think Finnish Lakeland is one of the most under appreciated places in the world to visit. 

When we think of Finland, we naturally think of Lapland, which is of course great in its own right; but don’t overlook the absolute beauty of the Finnish Lakeland! 

There are 187,888 lakes in Finland (according to Google!) and they’re all connected by beautiful bridges, which makes this one of the most unique road trips in the world. Seriously! 

We visited in the autumn season and the colours all around were fantastic. 

What’s also amazing about a Finnish Lakeland road trip is all the little towns and villages you drive through and discover.

One of our favourites was Savonlina which ended up being home to the most northernmost medieval stone fortress still standing, known as Olavinlinna. It was really cool! 

road trip finnish lakeland

How long does it take? 

Finnish Lakeland is quite vast, so it can be as long or as short as you want it to be. We spent around 4-5 days driving through Finnish Lakeland and stopping at a variety of little towns. If you are just roadtripping this part of Finland, (and not the whole country like us) then you could hire a car in Helsinki and then head out for a big loop before returning to the city.

driving in finnish lakeland

Highlights of the trip 

The bridges: Because the Lakeland is connected via really cool bridges it makes for a very unique and scenic road trip. It was also an awesome opportunity for really cool drone shots! 

Great quality roads: Finland is a pretty well put together country, so it’s roads are really high quality and make driving easy! There are no road tolls either which is always nice.

Read Also: Our Top Travel Tips
driving finnish lakeland
How cool are these roads!

11. Vilnius to Tallinn

vilnius to tallinn road trip map

This qualifies as a full Baltic road trip as you pass through all 3 Baltic countries: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

The Baltic states are amazing, and I don’t think they get enough attention. 

There is so much to see on a Baltic road trip and you’ll start in the beautiful Lithuania, which is cheap, filled with unique sights, cool castles and more

Afterwards you’ll drive into amazing Latvia, which is small but mighty and has the amazing Gauja National Park which in autumn was one of the best sights of nature I’ve ever witnessed. Finally, you’ll finish up in Estonia, which is another beautiful country with lots of great castles, a beautiful coastline and more

Tallinn (the capital of Estonia) is one of the coolest capital cities, and has such a great medieval history. 

I just absolutely loved how “undiscovered” a trip to the Baltics is. 

It feels very untouched and once you’re on the open roads, you’ll be driving with no one around. 

estonia road tirp

How long does it take? 

2 weeks is a perfect amount of time to drive through each country and see all the beautiful sights on offer! This was our exact itinerary here

Highlights of the trip 

Easy to drive: The Baltics are very “flat” countries, which means it’s super easy to drive, and you’re greeted with amazing views for miles all around all day long.

Cheap: This is one of the cheapest road trips in Europe. Accommodation, food, fuel, drink and attractions are all really reasonable in the Baltics! Wild camping is wonderfully set up in these countries with some epic free campsites so it’s encouraged. 

driving in latvia

12. The Icelandic Ring Road

For my Dad’s 60th birthday, my sister and I surprised him with a trip to Iceland. We had been planning it for years, so it was pretty wonderful when we actually got to go. 

We rented a car for 5 days and drove the infamous Icelandic Ring Road! 

This is Iceland’s most famous road trip and it’s truly as epic as you think it is. 

The ring road in Iceland is known as the Golden Circle and it’s basically a full ring road that loops some of the best sights in Iceland, which includes some pretty amazing scenery and sights.

We saw epic mountain ranges, discovered secluded hot springs, jaw-dropping waterfalls and the coolest geysers! 

Iceland is truly a nature lovers dream destination and one of my favorite places to drive.

I can’t wait to take Bradley here one day because I know he will absolutely love it. 

driving around iceland

How long does it take? 

The route is 230 kilometres (140 miles) and takes around 3 hours without stops. So once you include stops, you’re probably looking at around 6-7 hours. 

It’s best to split it into two days, but you can drive the Icelandic ring road in one day if you wish. 

Highlights of the trip 

All the views: There wasn’t one spot on the Golden Circle route that wasn’t impressive. Seriously! From the Gullfoss waterfall to the Þingvellir National Park, it was all amazing. Plus, the best views in Iceland are free. 

Well maintained roads: I won’t lie to you, I didn’t drive, my dad did, but for someone who has never driven on the other side of the road, he thought it was very easy! The roads are very well maintained, even in the winter when they’re packed with snow and ice. 

road tripping iceland

So there you have it! 

My guide on our favourite road trips around the world. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on some of our best road trip destinations.

As we take on more fantastic road trip adventures, I’ll update this list. 

But if you have any fun road trips of your own to recommend, or you’ve been on one of these trips, then just drop a comment below and let us know!

Leave a comment

Let us know what you think!