Whether you are a fully qualified petrol head or just someone who enjoys a casual Sunday drive, a road trip holiday is a great way to experience the freedom of the road, explore parts of another country you’d never see on vacation restricted to just one city and do your own thing.
So, where do you start when it comes to planning your perfect road trip holiday? With the road of course. Here are five of the best driving roads in the world that would be brilliant features of any road trip – and the sort of vehicle you’ll want to hire to drive on them.
Route 66, the USA in a muscle car
The most famous road trip in the world, Route 66 stretches for 2,448 miles across America, running from Chicago, Illinois through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending up in Santa Monica, California. It is the ultimate American road trip, and so the only way to do it is in the ultimate American machine – the muscle car. There is nothing better than the open road, the rolling countryside and the roar of a V8 engine.
Furka Pass, Switzerland in a sports car
The Furka Pass high up in the Swiss Alps is one of the most recognizable roads in the world thanks to its starring role in the car chase between Sean Connery’s Aston Martin DB5 and a pursuing Ford Mustang in Goldfinger. Get yourself into the seat of a sports car, and you too can be James Bond, speeding through twists and turns on a white-knuckle ride just like the world’s most famous spy.
Sani Pass, South Africa in a 4WD
If you love a challenge, you’ll love the Sani Pass. Marking the border between South Africa and Lesotho, it is a 9km road that starts off at 1554 meters above sea level and climbs a further 1332 vertical meters to finish at an altitude of 2876 meters. The South African law permits only four-wheel drives to travel it, and it can be covered in snow and ice in the winter – meaning these top tips for washing your 4WD after a good time offroad might come in handy. The views as you make your way up the Northern Lesotho Mountains are stunning.
Amalfi Coast Road, Italy in a convertible
Known as the most beautiful coastal road in the world, The Amalfi Coast Road snakes its way for 30 miles between Sorrento and Salerno along the west of Italy. It passes through pastel-hued villages, tunnels carved into the cliffs of the shore and at times you are just millimeters and a small metal railing from the sea below. The best way to experience it is in a convertible with your shades on and the Mediterranean sun warming your neck.
Hakone Turnpike, Japan in a rear wheel drive
The driving technique of drifting – where you intentionally oversteer so the car drifts through a corner – was developed in Japan in the 1970’s. One of the best places to experience it in the country it was born in is the Hakone Turnpike, a road full of tight corners perfect for drifting. In fact, it is so synonymous with drifting that Mazda has capitalized on its popularity among tourists by sponsoring the road. You probably wouldn’t want to tackle it with any sideways drifting like the original pioneers of the technique did, but it is still best experienced in the sort of rear wheel drives that popularized drifting in the first place.