A road trip — be it with a car, bike, or even roller skates — is the coolest type of group travel there is. You choose where and when to go, and do so at your own pace. But, no matter the feel of your road trip, the toughest choice is the itinerary.
In the United States, no doubt the most epic road trip is along the historical route 66. What about the other countries and continents? Buckle up, because we are going on the world tour of the most fantastic roads for adventurers.
1. Trans-Canada Highway – Canada
This road trip is the perfect rendezvous of all nature lovers. This transcontinental highway is 5,000 miles of mountainous marvels, limpid lakes, and ancient forests.
One of the longest highways in the world, the Trans-Canada Highway extends from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast, and runs through all ten provinces, and nearly every major cities. For the best experience, go from Vancouver to Saint-Jean de Terre Neuve to ensure you make a stop in all ten provinces.
2. Ruta 40 – Argentina
Argentina is a vast and beautiful country. A road trip on the National 40 will take you through from La Quianca to Punta Loyola, parallel to the Andes Mountains. It’s your chance to see the glaciers of the Patagonia, and visit the hot spots along the Argentinian wine route. Though Argentina may not be as renowned for their wine as, say, France or Italy, their red wines are not to be missed.
This highway is the stuff of legends — much like the Stuart or Route 66. It runs for more than 3,100 miles, starting at sea level and ending above 16,000 feet. Discover Ruta 40 along with Argentina’s most beautiful national parks, rivers and passes in the Andes.
Photo Credit: Mariano Garcia-Gaspar via Flickr CC
3. Trans-Sahara Highway – Algeria to Nigeria
More than a road trip, this is an epic expedition on ancient African trade routes. From the 8th century to the 16th, merchants braved the Sahara desert to connect West Africa to the Mediterranean.
The Trans-Sahara Highway is a half-century old project that links Lagos in Nigeria, to Algiers in Algeria. That’s over 2,800 miles of rich and diverse African cultures as found in the roadside villages in Nigeria, Niger, and Algeria. Mingle with the locals, and sample foods unavailable in any specialty restaurants. After this road trip, you will have a better understanding of the vastness of the African continent.
Photo Credit: nipunscorp
4. The Stuart Highway – Australia
Australia is an atypical country set out of this world. In fact, it is more of a continent/island/nation on its own in Oceania than a traditional country, and it’s worth visiting at least once. The Stuart is a 1,761-mile long highway that runs from northern Darwin to southern Port Augusta. Get a camper van and ride along the Great Ocean Road, only stopping to surf and grill. Defy the Aussie Outback in your quest for the great Uluru / Ayers Rock.
Photo Credit: Paula Funnell via Flickr CC
5. Road of Bones – Russia
The “Kolyma” highway is part of the longer M56 route which runs throughout Russia. This 1,200-mile-long road has a dark secret behind its moniker — the skeletons of the workers forced to build it under Stalin were added into the foundations of the road. Pretty creepy, don’t you think?
However creepy, this piece of road is worth discovering nonetheless. But, you will have to trade your car for an off-road vehicle. Nowadays, this gravel route is in bad shape, despite many upgrades. Abandoned sections, such as the Old Summer Road, have become tracks for motor adventurists. If you are into off-road and 4WD challenges, this is the road trip for you.
Photo Credit: missyleone via Flickr CC
Though road trips may seem the vacation of days gone by, they still very much have their place on a travelers to-do list. What’s the best road trip you’ve ever taken? Let us know in the comments.