Top 10 Scenic Drives Around the World

The world is full of stunning landscapes, from towering mountains to vast deserts and serene coastlines. One of the best ways to truly immerse yourself in these wonders is by taking a scenic drive. Here are 10 of the most breathtaking drives from around the globe that promise an unforgettable journey.

Great Ocean Road, Australia

australia, great ocean road, beach
Photo by Jonny_Joka on Pixabay

Beyond the Twelve Apostles, the Great Ocean Road also offers an array of charming towns like Lorne and Apollo Bay, perfect for a pit stop or an overnight stay. The region is also a haven for outdoor activities, from hiking in the Otways to surfing at Bells Beach. It is an all-encompassing destination that caters to the laid-back traveler and the adventure seeker.

Amalfi Coast, Italy

road on Amalfi coast with beautiful view on Minori village, Campania, Italy
Photo by lukaszimilena on Adobe Stock

Beyond the vistas, the Amalfi Coast has historical landmarks such as medieval churches and ancient villas. As you drive, the aroma of lemon groves fills the air, a nod to the region’s famous Limoncello. It’s a journey that tantalizes all senses, from the sight of the cerulean sea to the taste of local cuisine. The Almafi’s pristine coastal views make it a popular destination for weddings.

Highway 1, California, USA

travel, california, nature
Photo by harleyufo on Pixabay

Not only does the drive offer coastal beauty, but it also provides detours into the wine country of Paso Robles and the bohemian charm of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Highway 1 offers hidden coves, secret beaches, and numerous state parks. The tide pools along the route are an additional treat for those interested in marine life.

Ring Road, Iceland

Iceland's Ring Road
Photo by Robert F. Stokes on Adobe Stock

In addition to the spectacular landscapes, Ring Road offers detours to hot springs like the Blue Lagoon and geysers such as Strokkur. Along the way, you’ll find quaint towns like Akureyri and Seydisfjordur, which offer a slice of Icelandic culture, from artisanal crafts to folk music.

Garden Route, South Africa

Panoramic views of the stunning holiday town of Mosselbay in the Garden Route of South Africa
Photo by Dewald on Adobe Stock

The Garden Route also offers historical sites such as the Post Office Tree in Mossel Bay, where early explorers left mail for ships to collect. Moreover, the area has several game reserves, offering you a chance to combine a classic road trip with a safari experience, making it a genuinely multifaceted journey.

Transfagarasan Road, Romania

A winding road on the mountainside
Photo by Mogildea Justin on Pexels

Besides the adrenaline-pumping curves and inclines, Transfagarasan Road is a gateway to Romanian folklore and legends. Along the route are monasteries and castles, like Poenari Castle, linked with the infamous Vlad the Impaler, adding a touch of historical intrigue to the journey.

Route 66, USA

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Photo by marioschmidtphoto on Pixabay

Route 66 also passes through natural wonders like the Petrified Forest National Park and the Grand Canyon. Alongside Americana and nostalgia, you can see iconic landscapes that characterize the American Southwest, adding another layer to the experience.

Trollstigen, Norway

Scenic shot of trollstigen norway
Photo by Martin Portas on Pexels

Beyond its engineering marvel, Trollstigen is a gateway to some of Norway’s most famous natural attractions, like Geirangerfjord. During the summer months, waterfalls like Stigfossen add to the majesty of the drive, creating an ever-changing landscape that beckons to be explored.

Milford Road, New Zealand

Leaving the Milford Sound
Photo by Geoff Byron on Unsplash

While the road is breathtaking, what awaits at the end is just as impressive. Milford Sound is often described as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World,’ You can extend your journey with a boat tour that takes you close to waterfalls and marine wildlife, completing an already magical trip.

Sani Pass, Lesotho-South Africa

View from Sani Pass back towards South African Border Post
Photo by dpreezg on Adobe Stock

Beyond Africa’s highest pub, the Sani Pass provides opportunities for hiking and bird-watching, with a chance to see the rare Bearded Vulture. The region is also home to the indigenous Basotho people, offering cultural insights and an opportunity to learn about traditional sheep and goat herding practices.

In summary, the world is full of roads that offer more than just a means to get from one place to another. These scenic drives provide travelers with an emotional and aesthetic experience long after the journey. Whether you’re cruising along the Amalfi Coast with the Mediterranean breeze in your hair or navigating the icy landscapes of Iceland, each drive offers its unique adventure waiting to be explored. Check out this guide if you don’t want to leave the US, we break down travel destinations that don’t require a passport.