The world's greatest road trips

Jenai Laignel / 10 May 2013

Wind down the window, turn on the stereo and hit the road with our list of the world’s most beautiful, interesting and awe-inspiring road trips. All you need is wheels.

The Amalfi Coast

It may be short, but the Amalfi coast is one of the world's most scenic and challenging drives in the world. These 44 miles of winding, narrow roads between Sorrento and Salerno are pitched precipitously above the Mediterranean and offer a veritable treasure trail of hidden beaches, pastel-coloured cliff-top villages and exquisite restaurants.

Make sure you stop off at Ravello or Amalfi to enjoy some of southern Italy's finest food whilst you soak up the incredible views across the Bay of Naples.

Six tips for driving long distances.

Route 66

Nicknamed the ‘Mother Road’ and ‘Main Street USA,’ Route 66 was completed in 1938 and has become synonymous with the romantic notion of America's open road. It originally served as a major path for the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s.

The complete journey from Chicago to Los Angeles clocks in at over 2,200 miles long and passes through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California on its way to the Pacific Coast.

Avoid the car hire rip-offs.

The Alpine Road

The grande dame of Germany's scenic routes is a fairytale tour through the spectacular Alpine foothills of southern BavariaAlps. The road's slogan is 'every mile – a smile', which couldn't be more apt.

From Lindau on Lake Constance to Berchtesgaden on Lake Königssee, the 280-mile long journey takes drivers past 25 castles, palaces, and abbeys, 21 mountain lakes, over 60 spa resorts, and several hundred breathtaking mountain peaks.

Our pick of drives in the UK.

The Flower Route

At only 25 miles long, the Flower Route (also known as the Bollenstreek Route) in the Netherlands is the shortest of our road trips but no less spectacular for it. Starting in Haarlem, the route goes south past a remarkably dense concentration of flower fields, featuring tulips, hyacinths, narcissi and daffodils.

The best time of year to drive the road is, unsurprisingly, spring, when the bright, alternative strips of blooming flowers create a one-of-a-kind visual effect.

The Cabot Trail

Named after the explorer John Cabot, who discovered the island of Nova Scotia 300 years ago, Canada's 185-mile Cabot Trail loops around Cape Breton Island, arguably the most beautiful part of Nova Scotia.

The route takes you through the magnificent Cape Breton Highlands National Park, home to bald eagles, moose and black bears, and you can also discover charming small villages where the French and Scottish influence is still obvious. Now's the perfect time to go as celebration are planned throughout the year to mark the tricentennial.

Seven tips to get a good deal on car hire.

The Basque Circuit

Another route with spectacular scenery is the Basque Circuit, a 300-mile route through northern Spain, taking in the Pyrenees and the Biscayne Bay coastline, all of which is accompanied by wonderful local food and views.

Start in Bilbao in Spain and make your way through the mountain pass to Pamplona, famous for its annual Bull Run in July, and Vitoria-Gasteiz. Then head across to Biarritz on the coast and then follow the coast back through quaint fishing villages and towns such as San Sebastian, where you an soak up the sun and seafood.

Is there an upper age limit on car hire?

The Scottish Highlands

For a driving holiday closer to home, why not try a trip around the western Highlands of Scotland? The landscapes of Scotland are at once fearsome and beautiful, and the best way to experience them is with a road trip.

Start in Scotland’s famous capital city of Edinburgh and make your way up to the Isle of Skye. As well as the astonishing scenery and views, there is plenty of wonderful birdlife to be seen on the way and wonderfully fresh seafood to enjoy.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.