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The best road trips from around the world
Destinations & Inspiration

The best road trips from around the world

Ellena Morgan
By Ellena Morgan - 10 minute read

At Love Home Swap, we’re often asked what the best hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions are. The sim­ple answer is this – there are thou­sands around the world! And there’s no bet­ter way to tick loca­tions off your trav­el buck­et list than through a road trip. In fact, the demand for road trip hol­i­days and dri­ving hol­i­days has increased dra­mat­i­cal­ly over the last year. So if you’re dream­ing of hit­ting the road for your next vaca­tion, then look no fur­ther than our top des­ti­na­tions for the best road trip break.

Our top picks for the best road trip holiday:

  1. Ocean Dri­ve, USA
  2. Iceland’s Ring Road 
  3. Dar­win to Ulu­ru, Australia
  4. New York City to Nia­gra, USA 
  5. The Gar­den Route, South Africa
  6. Coastal Route 15, Mexico 
  7. Big Sur, USA 
  8. The Great Ocean Road, Australia
  9. South Island Cir­cuit, New Zealand
  10. The Out­er Hebrides, Scotland
  11. The Pow­der High­way, Canada
  12. The Basque Cir­cuit, Spain 
  13. The Atlantic High­way, England

Ocean Drive, USA

It’s safe to say that Port­land has a rep­u­ta­tion for being one of the coolest cities in the Unit­ed States. But once you’ve explored the many charms of Port­land, resist the temp­ta­tion to move onto the next big thing on your must-see list, as Ore­gon has one of the most stun­ning coast­lines in the US — and unlike its south­ern neigh­bour Cal­i­for­nia, its vast beach­es are (for the most part) pret­ty emp­ty. The coast isn’t just known for its nat­ur­al beau­ty either, it’s scat­tered with quaint sea­side towns filled with gal­leries, inde­pen­dent book­shops, cafes and record stores. We’d rec­om­mend pay­ing a vis­it to Can­non Beach before trav­el­ling south to Yachats. 

Road trip destinations Ocean Drive USA

The beau­ti­ful Ore­gon coast you’ll see on The Ocean Dri­ve road trip

Iceland’s Ring Road

As road trips go, Ice­land offers a real­ly quite straight­for­ward (and unde­ni­ably fan­tas­tic) option. Also known as Route 1, a 1,340km road runs right around the island, which allows you to enjoy Iceland’s epic scenery with­out the stress of dodgy sat­nav direc­tions. For a rel­a­tive­ly small island, there’s no short­age of spec­tac­u­lar land­scapes to enjoy, includ­ing dra­mat­ic vol­ca­noes, ice­bergs, wild hors­es, rugged moun­tains and mas­sive water­falls – and if you’re lucky, you might even spot the North­ern Lights!

Road trip Iceland Ring road

Views from Ice­land’s Ring Road

Darwin to Uluru, Australia

If you’re look­ing for a road trip that will pro­vide you with plen­ty of peace and qui­et, then look no fur­ther than Aus­tralias Ulu­ru, which is also known as Ayers Rock. As a place of sacred sig­nif­i­cance for the Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ty, this route will take you through the cop­per desert of Australia’s North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry, end­ing in what is arguably one of the most icon­ic nat­ur­al land­scapes in the world. With deep red sands and crisp blue skies, the vast land­scape of Ulu­ru is the spir­i­tu­al heart of Aus­tralia. We’d rec­om­mend start­ing in Dar­win so that you can explore Litch­field and Kakadu Nation­al Parks enroute, before head­ing south to the Dev­ils Mar­bles and Alice Springs. 

Road trips Australia Northern Territory

Views of Ulu­ru (or Ayers Rock) in Australia

Keen to try a house exchange in Aus­tralia? Then take a look at our Aus­tralia trav­el guide for lots of great ideas on where to go and what to see. 

New York City to Niagara, USA

Cov­er­ing an impres­sive 660km, this glo­ri­ous route is a great road trip at any time of the year, as every sea­son brings new sights. Enjoy the wind­ing road in the lush green spring and sum­mer, bask in the autumn foliage of the Adiron­dacks, or admire the snow-capped tips in the Catskill Moun­tains in the win­ter. There’s plen­ty to see and do on the way, as you can stop off in the state cap­i­tal of Albany, hop on a steam­boat on Lake George and explore the love­ly cities of Rochester and Buf­fa­lo – and that’s just for starters!

Road trip destinations New York State

Autumn foliage of the Adiron­dacks, New York State

Did you know that Nia­gara Falls is one of the most pop­u­lar tourist attrac­tions in the world? Dis­cov­er more of the world’s most vis­it­ed tourist attractions in our blog. 

The Garden Route, South Africa

This scenic dri­ve is the per­fect intro­duc­tion to South Africa for first-time vis­i­tors, and it’s arguably one of the coun­try’s most icon­ic road trips. 300km in length, this stretch of road pass­es through the beau­ti­ful Mos­sel Bay over to Storms Riv­er, pro­vid­ing the per­fect view­ing point for the lush moun­tains and vine­yards on one side of the road, with the rugged rocky shores and white sand beach­es on the oth­er. This route is a real treat at any time of the year, but we’d rec­om­mend vis­it­ing in spring (Decem­ber to March) to see the Fyn­bos in bloom.

Road trip destinations Garden Route South Africa

Gar­den Route, South Africa

Coastal Route 15, Mexico

Mex­i­co is the per­fect road trip des­ti­na­tion for adven­ture-seek­ers look­ing for a cul­ture-fix as well as a scenic road trip. Some­times called High­way 15, the route starts on the bor­der in Nogales, Ari­zona and ends in Mex­i­co City. Pass­ing through areas like Los Mochis, Tepic and Guadala­jara, there’s sim­ply mass­es to see and explore, so take a leisure­ly approach to your trav­els and enjoy the con­sid­er­able delights of the region.

Road trip destinations Mexico Route

Coastal Route 15 in Mexico

Big Sur, USA

Arguably one of the most icon­ic road trips in the world, the Big Sur has cap­ti­vat­ed the mass­es for many years. Locat­ed along High­way One in Cal­i­for­nia, this epic stretch of coast­line is on the buck­et list of many tourists, wit­ness­ing thou­sands of vis­its year-round. Despite attract­ing large crowds, the lion’s share of the 145km coast­line remains wild and unde­vel­oped, mak­ing it the per­fect place to see the best of the Pacif­ic Ocean. With curv­ing roads mean­der­ing through the red rock, we’d sug­gest set­ting some time aside to mar­vel at the mag­nif­i­cent Bix­by Bridge, before vis­it­ing the ele­phant seals (from a safe dis­tance!) at The Piedras Blan­cas Rookery.

Road trip destinations Big Sur California

Bix­by Bridge along the Big Sur route

Tempt­ed to explore even more of the USA? Then dive into our trav­el guide to the USA, which is packed with lots of ideas on the best things to see and do in America. 

The Great Ocean Road, Australia

Locat­ed in south­west­ern Vic­to­ria, and stretched between Torquay and War­rnam­bool, this 285km route hugs the rugged coast­line of the South­ern Ocean. And with epic surf spots, an abun­dance of lush flo­ra and fau­na and hik­ing and bik­ing trails, there’s no short­age of things to do whilst explor­ing every nook and cran­ny of the road. How­ev­er, one stand-out sight has made this epic dri­ve famous, and that’s the incred­i­ble 12 Apos­tles. With eight of the Apos­tles still stand­ing (four have been tak­en by the salty waters), this Insta­gram-wor­thy sight nev­er gets tired.

Road trip destinations Twelve Apostiles

Twelve Apos­tles, Australia

South Island Circuit, New Zealand

With epic fjords, snow-capped moun­tains and lush rain­forests, The South Island of New Zealand is home to some of the coun­try’s most jaw-drop­ping land­scapes. But beau­ti­ful land­scapes aren’t all that’s on offer here, as the cir­cuit is a great des­ti­na­tion for thrill-seek­ers too. From bungee jump­ing off bridges to the world’s largest swing, there’s some­thing for every­one to get your adren­a­line pump­ing on this 840km route. 

Road trip destinations South Island New Zealand

South Island route, New Zealand

The Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Scot­land has no short­age of incred­i­ble dri­ving routes, but the sin­gle-track road that runs down this chain of islands makes it one of the best road trips in the British Isles. As the Hebrides are an arch­i­pel­ago, this dri­ve will involve a mix­ture of island hop­ping, with cause­ways and fer­ry rides con­nect­ing each stretch of the road – and through­out, you can expect incred­i­ble views over the North Atlantic Ocean, some of the best food you’ll ever eat and plen­ty of time and space to con­tem­plate life!

Road trip destinations Outer Hebrides

Scot­land’s Out­er Hebrides

The Powder Highway, Canada

Lovers of snow – this is the road trip for you! Locat­ed in British Colum­bia, the 1,094km route runs through the heart of West­ern Cana­da with stops in some of the best ski resorts in North Amer­i­ca includ­ing Kick­ing Horse and Fer­nie. Not a fan of ski­ing and snow­board­ing? Not a prob­lem – the incred­i­ble unin­ter­rupt­ed views of snow-capped moun­tains will be with you for the whole ride, so there’s plen­ty to feast your eyes on too. 

Road trip destinations British Columbia

The Pow­der High­way, Canada

The Basque Circuit, Spain

This epi­cal­ly hilly road trip stretch­es over 480km through the north­ern hills in Spain, tak­ing you through the stun­ning cities of San Sebas­t­ian, Bil­bao and Pam­plona. Wind­ing through the rocky Pyre­nees moun­tains, you can expect to spot plen­ty of rich­ly forest­ed hills and end­less plains, all with knock­out views of the wild Atlantic coast. 

Road trip destinations Basque Circuit

San Sebas­t­ian, Spain

The Atlantic Highway, England

This scenic route takes to you through the stun­ning coun­ties of Som­er­set, Devon and Corn­wall on the South West Penin­su­la of Eng­land. Made up of rugged coast­lines, dense forests, quaint vil­lages and rolling green hills, there’s a diverse range of scenery to take in on this coastal road trip. If you’re look­ing for it on a map, you might find it under the less glam­orous name of the A39

Road trip destinations Atlantic Highway

Bute, Corn­wall is a must-see dur­ing your Atlantic High­way visit

We’ve round­ed up just a hand­ful of our favourite road trip hol­i­days – but we’ve almost cer­tain­ly over­looked some of our mem­bers’ favourite dri­ving hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions! So feel free to jump in and tell us about your own adven­tures, and share your rec­om­men­da­tions for the best road trips around the world. You can share your pics on our Insta­gram account (don’t for­get to use the hash­tag #welove­home­swap), or pop by to say hel­lo in our Face­book group where you can trade ideas with our friend­ly home swap­ping community!