Planning a road-trip? If you are in these countries, whip out your Indian driver’s license, pick a car of your choice and hit the road
Through the German countryside
The Wine Road starts in the town of Bockenheim, all the way to the French border, snaking past 50 miles of vineyards, villages and thick forest. Stop, sip and savour 1,000 years of wine culture. The Castle Drive (625km), starts in Mannheim and goes all the way up to Prague, showcasing the region’s finest architecture. With kids? Take the 370km Fairy Tale Drive, through the pages of Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel, from Hanau, the birthplace of the Grimms’ brothers, all the way to Bremen.
Most states in the US accept foreign licences, but California does scenic drives like no other. Take the picturesque Big Sur Highway with the Pacific crashing 200m below you, or gape at Redwoods on the magnificent Avenue of Giants. Hit the Silverado trail through 50km of Napa Valley, sampling California’s best as you drive up to Calistoga, home to Old Faithful Geyser. Travel the King’s Canyon between Sequoia and Yosemite, and admire the 3,000-year-old General Grant Sequoia tree.
Past Thailand’s famous ‘Khao’s
It’s either beaches or mountains here. The South route, starting from Phuket, takes you past the azure waters of the West Coast, past iconic pit-stops like Khao Lak, Khao Sok, Krabi and Phi Phi. Get in that magical beach-time, but also indulge in the elephant-rides and tropical forests of Khao Sok National Park. The North route takes you up into the misty mountains of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, guaranteeing some of the most magnificent vistas in the country.
On the UK’s most scenic highways
Take the A82 to Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands for the most stunning and dramatic vistas. Or hit the winding, climbing, dipping Black Mountain Road (A4069) through the Brecon Beacons National Park. A must-do is the heritage Northumberland Coast for jaw-dropping scenery and magnificent castles. Or take a trip to the Cotswolds for a dose of charm and quiet. In fact, grab a map and pick your own route across the length and breadth of this delightful country.
Past South Africa’s vineyards, beaches and more
Winding coastal roads, dramatic mountains, world-class beaches, sublime wine-country and vast plains full of big game; what more could a road-tripper ask for? Do not miss the 30-km stretch of Stellenbosch wine country if in the Western Cape area. Enjoy the beautiful South East via the Garden Route, named after the diverse, lush greenbelt that runs parallel to the bath-tub warm Indian Ocean. Grab a map and a car with a GPS, and let this country blow your mind.
Across the Australian continent
If in Western Australia, it’s all about pristine beaches, gorgeous bays, lakes, wine country and old-growth forests. The Great Ocean Road in the south is considered one of the most gorgeous drives in the world, famous for the iconic 12 Apostles, whale watching and stunning national parks. The Gold Coast in the east gives you a glimpse of why Australia has the highest quality of life in the world. Make an entire holiday out of driving this distant and spectacular continent.
Through the land of U2
Stunning coastlines with dramatic cliffs, sweeping moors, ancient castles, Guinness beer, quaint villages with musical names, friendly people, song and dance, poetry, literature and mythology, these are just some of the reasons to drive through Ireland. Hit the 97-km Antrim Coast for its sea-and-mountain contrast, go up into the clouds on the Conor Pass in the Dingle Peninsula, or explore the wild fringes of County Donegal. You will keep coming back for more.
Through driver’s paradise that is ‘middle-earth’
Remote, gorgeous and sparsely inhabited with some of the friendliest people on the planet, NZ is a driver’s paradise. On North Island, drive from Auckland City to Mission Bay and trawl the cafes for mouth-watering food and drink. Explore Rotorua’s Blue and Green lakes and the imposing Redwood forest nearby. On South Island, do not miss the Queen Charlotte Sound; for the most breath-taking vistas of virgin forests and pristine lakes, travel the famous Milford Road.
On Canada’s breezy, coastal roads
Blessed with vastness, diversity, abundant nature and some of the most scenic roads on Earth, Canada was made for the road-warrior. From Nova Scotia, home to the most striking coastline anywhere, to the surreal geology and stunning solitude of Newfoundland, to the magnificent Rockies of British Columbia and Alberta, the wilderness of the Yukon to the spicy, frothy culture of Quebec and the cosmo vibe of Ontario, you will need several vacations to do this country.
Through Europe’s finest countryside
The Strada delle Dolomiti is one of Europe’s most scenic routes, dipping and soaring through 110km of mountain roads between Bolzano and Cortina, dotted with several 3,000m-plus peaks. Not to be outdone, the Amalfi Coast skirts the emerald-sapphire Med, with thickly-forested mountains towering down on you, and every turn in the road elicits a gasp of awe. Ditch the mainland and zip up to Mt. Etna in Sicily, for an unforgettable all-terrain-vehicle experience.