Most of us are eager for that day to come where we can jet-set off again. But even when holidays resume, not everyone will be up for mixing it with other tourists. And if you’re a little anxious about the idea of big crowds, a socially distanced holiday might be for you.
Going on an outdoor and active break could be the answer, as could a road trip. It’s just you, the people you’re on holiday with, the car and the open roads. So if you’re up for an exciting road trip, read on and see our suggestions for the best places to get in a car, turn the keys to the ignition and enjoy scenic drives.
NC500, Scotland 🏴
We start things off closer to home with a beautiful drive in Scotland. The road in question is the NC500, which stretches for around 500 miles. Of course, we’re not expecting you to do it all in one go. In fact, we advise that you take your time, as it’s one of the most beautiful roads in the Northern Hemisphere and is somewhere to savour.
The road is part of an initiative set up by Prince Charles to showcase the beauty of Scotland, and it doesn’t disappoint. Expect to see fairytale castles, glens, lochs, white-sandy beaches and some chilled-out Highland cattle as you cruise down Scotland’s answer to Route 66.
Skeleton Coast, Namibia 🇳🇦
Named after the many shipwrecks that have transpired over the centuries, the Skeleton Coast is a stretch of dramatic scenery and remoteness in Namibia. To this day, many of the wrecks are still visible in the distance, often cloaked in mist.
Along the route, you can also expect to see windswept sand dunes, black lava ridges and granite massifs that will have you stopping at every opportunity to take the ultimate Instagram picture. This road trip is best experienced in a 4WD, as it’s not a trip made for the everyday car.
Death Road, Bolivia 🇧🇴
After a year of lockdowns, you might be feeling a little adventurous and in need of some action. Enter the Death Road, 65 miles of Bolivian highlands that are ready to give you more thrills than a rollercoaster ride. Along the North Yungas Road, you will find a 25-mile pass covered in memorial crosses, which represent the many who have died on this “Death Road”.
Not all of the road will require life-risking driving skills, though. Safer bypasses feature sweeping views of the Bolivian highlands and valleys. Some parts have even been modernised to accommodate mountain bikers and drivers alike.
Côte d’Opale, France 🇫🇷
Next time you find yourself arriving in Calais, instead of heading inland, turn the keys to the ignition and drive to the Côte d’Opale. It features 26 miles of stunning coastline and is often overlooked by tourists. That means quieter roads for you to enjoy as you soak up the beautiful sights on offer.
Nestling between Calais and Boulogne, this trip is a favourite with the locals who love the seafood restaurants along the way. There are plenty of hidden fishing villages, sandy beaches and coves to admire along the relatively short road trip of the Côte d’Opale.
The Atlantic Road, Norway 🇳🇴
It may only be five miles long, but The Atlantic Road is around 30 minutes of beauty and high-octane driving. As you zip down past the Norweigan coastline, expect to witness the odd storm in the area, which only gives the drive more oomph as you cruise over the iconic curvy bridges.
Parts of the drive go-between Kristiansund and Molde, and you can expect to see unusual-looking birds flying above your vehicle in these areas. Try the drive in the evening to experience the eye-catching orange sunset, or go during the day and stop for a spot of scuba diving off the shore.
Uluru, Australia 🇦🇺
In Australia, a drive through Uluru is your chance to see the bright red desert of the Northern Territory in all its glory. The massive sandstone monolith really is a sight to behold and will look like something from another planet as you approach it on your road trip.
Uluru might be one of the most recognisable landmarks in the world, but you will still be awestruck as it comes into your field of vision. It’s a memory that will stay with you forever after you’ve seen this 500-million-year-old masterpiece.
Transylvanian Alps, Romania 🇷🇴
Tracing a north-south route between Romania’s two highest peaks, the drive along the Transylvanian Alps lets you enjoy a twisting scenic ride. Tourists head here to see the 700-year-old Poenari Castle, which was home to Vlad the Impaler, the prince who inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula. 🧛♂️
But there’s more to this route than eerie tales of Drac and his friends. Arges River provides plenty of scenic delights, while the Vidraru Dam and the emerald Vidaru Lake are both noteworthy spots along this popular road trip.
Stelvio Pass, Italy 🇮🇹
While the Amalfi Coast drive in Italy picks up most of the plaudits, it’s the Stelvio Pass that really captures the imagination. However, it’s not a drive for beginners and is often ranked as the ultimate test for both man/woman and machine.
You will take on bends that charge past the snowy peaks of the Eastern Alps, as well as the beautiful Stelvio National Park. This drive is a chance to test your skills while taking in picturesque views of one of the most beautiful areas in Italy.
Pedal to the metal
There are many great road trips to experience, no matter your holiday destination. So whether you’re renting a car or using your own, enjoy a socially distanced getaway behind the wheel with thrilling, beautiful road trips where there won’t be any tourists in sight.