Road Trips Around the World
The Atlantic Road, Norway
The Atlantic Ocean Road or the Atlantic Road (Norwegian: Atlanterhavsveien) is an 8.3-kilometer (5.2 mi) long section of County Road 64 that runs through an archipelago in Eide and Averøy in Møre og Romsdal, Norway. The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage preserved the road as a cultural heritage in December 2009
Belly-flips and bridges make up this high-octane drive along the Norwegian coastline. The overpass dips during this journey can be experienced between Kristiansund and Molde, and regular vicious storms in the area intensify the ride.
Unusual, exotic birds flying overhead, while seals and whales swim off the coastline is just a daily affair. Plus, at dusk there’s a wickedly orange sunset.
Scuba diving off the shore during the winter months is a must-do. Marine life in this area is abundant and visibility reaches up to 60 meters.
Great Ocean Road, Australia
The Great Ocean Road is an Australian National Heritage listed 243 kilometres (151 mi) stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford. Dedicated to soldiers killed during World War I, the road is the world’s largest war memorial.
For fewer thrills, but extra frills, this drive has more attractions than it has cars. Here mountains meet oceans, rainforests meet dramatic cliffs, and lighthouses meet national parks (home to stacks of anteaters, kangaroos, penguins, koalas and multi-colored parrots). Swimmers are best off going for a dip at Apollo Bay, one of the safest spots in the area; the cute coastal village here also runs horse and bike riding. At Great Otway National Park, detour to Otway Lighthouse for an incredible view of Australia’s Shipwreck Coast.
Winding through varying terrain along the coast and providing access to several prominent landmarks, including the Twelve Apostles limestone stack formations, the road is an important tourist attraction in the region. At the end of the route you’ll want to U-turn and ride it again.
Milford Road, New Zealand
The road journey from Te Anau to Milford Sound is one of the most scenic experiences you can have on four wheels. This road is much more than a way to get to Milford Sound; it’s an unforgettable journey into the heart of Fiordland National Park and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage area.
Some of Fiordland’s most striking and significant features are revealed along this route, so be sure to allow enough time to stop for photo opportunities and walks. In fact, with so much to see over the 4-hour drive, you should consider leaving your car and taking one of the many coaches that transport visitors in and out every day — this way you can relax and take in all the sights.
The first major highlight is the Eglinton Valley, which was once filled with glacier ice. The valley has steep rock sides and a flat, golden tussock floor — it’s a surreal place. Further along the road are the Mirror Lakes — on a still day they display a perfect reflection of the Earl Mountains.
Route 66, USA
The romance of Route 66 continues to captivate people around the world. Running between Chicago and Los Angeles, “over two thousand miles all the way” in the words of the popular R&B anthem, this legendary old road passes through the heart of the United States on a diagonal trip that takes in some of the country’s most archetypal roadside scenes.
But perhaps the most compelling reason to follow Route 66 is to experience the road’s ingrained time line of contemporary America. Before it was called Route 66, and long before it was even paved in 1926, this corridor was traversed by the National Old Trails Highway, one of the country’s first transcontinental highways.
Though it is no longer a main route across the country, Route 66 has retained its mystique in part due to the very same effective hype, hucksterism, and boosterism that animated it through its half-century heyday. It was a Route 66 sight, the marvelous Meramec Caverns, that gave the world the bumper sticker. And it was here on Route 66 that the great American driving vacation first flourished. Billboards and giant statues along the highway still hawk a baffling array of roadside attractions, tempting passing travelers to view giant blue whales, to see live rattlesnakes and other wild creatures on display in roadside menageries, or to stay at “Tucumcari Tonite.”
Ring Road, Iceland
There’s nothing like a good road trip. Especially when driving past active volcanoes, blue icebergs, roaring waterfalls, and northern lights on Iceland’s Ring Road. Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland, such as the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, Dyrhólaey and the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, are by the Ring Road.
No surprises here, but Iceland is a cold country. Very cold. Temperatures are in the twenties to thirties (fahrenheit) in the winter; even the warmest summer afternoons rarely reach sixty degrees. The trip extends upto one week, with stops to explore the fauna and flora, and to marvel at the northern lights.
If you have more time to spend, then you can add in some longer hikes or also explore sections of Iceland that are off the ring road, such as the stunning Snæfellsnes peninsula, the rural Westfjords or the impressive Icelandic highlands.
Garden Route, South Africa
The Garden Route is a 300-kilometre stretch of the south-western coast of South Africawhich extends from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms River in the Eastern Cape. The name comes from the verdant and ecologically diverse vegetation encountered here and the numerous lagoons and lakes dotted along the coast. It includes towns such as Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Mossel Bay, Little Brak River and Nature’s Valley; with George, the Garden Route’s largest city and main administrative centre.
As you travel from the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape, you’ll get the chance to take in the coastal vistas and wildlife that make South Africa the gem it is. Ten days is a pretty standard tour time here to fully experience the Garden Route. You’ll also have the time to explore Knysna, George, Port Elizabeth, Cape Agulhas and Cape Town.
Travart is an international travel and exploration company which organises epic trips worldwide for travellers young at heart.
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Rudra Shirodkar/ Travart blogs
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