The wide road is one of life’s great levelers, whether sitting among the loud whine of an ancient Mini Cooper or feeling the swirl of acceleration from the bucket seat of a Bentley Bentayga V12.
The Holy Trinity of freedom is fresh air, beautiful scenery, and a wide-open road, and it’s available to everybody with a pair of wheels. But, with 64 million kilometers of highways crisscrossing the globe, where is the greatest area to let off the gas and rack up the miles?
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Here’s a quick rundown of the top road journeys throughout the world, ranging from a morning stroll to massive sun, sea, and sand road adventures:
Why not extend your Ruta 40 journey and conquer the entire Pacific Coast while we’re on the subject of monolithic roads in the Americas? The Pan-American Highway is a network of roadways that runs from Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay to Chile’s Quellón, covering more than 30,000 kilometres.
It should take approximately a month, but don’t rush it. It’s not an easy journey, and the Darién Gap presents several challenges. Although completing the entire thing gives you a particular Hall of Fame experience, it’s best to break it up into chunks.
Since the cover ground is significant, you will need to spend more time on the road, meaning you have to carry enough clothes and food. To help with this, you can install a roof rack to help with storing your luggage.
However, since such long trips need a durable and off-road vehicle, most people prefer a jeep, and you can get the most reliable racks for your car. The roof racks help you accommodate more luggage and improve your driving skills as the vehicle’s weight changes, and you will gain experience while maintaining the car’s balance.
Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria
The Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse connects the Austrian states of Carinthia and Salzburg and is one of the most picturesque drives in the world. As you swirl around, the hairpin turns to climb the 3,000 feet in just over three miles; you’re in for an unrivaled adventure.
While it takes roughly 3 hours to drive from Salzburg to the Grossglockner or the other way around, it takes half a day to enjoy the Grossglockner’s splendor because the journey is more important than the destination.
The journey takes you into the solitude of Hohe Tauren National Park, Austria’s oldest and largest natural reserve. However, the road has a few fantastic stop-offs and lookout places, the most magnificent of which are Edelweiss-Spitze, Fuscher Törl, and Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Höhe.
Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia
It may sound unusual to recommend a trip that isn’t focused on a road, but the Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia are unlike anything else.
Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat, does require some planning because there isn’t much in the way of road-trip infrastructure, but get everything in order ahead of time and prepare yourself for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Karakoram Highway, Pakistan
This is the closest you’ll come to a road trip in heaven. The Karakoram Highway in Pakistan is one of the world’s highest paved roads and a veritable conveyor belt of beauty, yet it is not for the faint of heart.
The terrain is rough (to put it mildly), and excessive snow in the winter causes the entire system to shut down for months. However, those who manage to drive the 1,300-kilometer roadway are treated to a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, complete with jaw-dropping mountain views and a palpable sense of history.
Ruta 40, Argentina
Argentina’s Ruta 40 stretches 5,194 kilometers from Punta Loyola in the south to La Quiaca in the north via the Andes. This is, without a doubt, Argentina’s longest and one of the world’s longest roads.
That makes it a great road trip destination, but this is a classic drive for reasons other than distance.
Ring Road, Iceland
Isn’t it true that you can’t have a bucket list without including Iceland? The Iceland Ring Road encircles the entire country, covering 1,333 kilometers of road and taking 12 to 13 hours to complete depending on speed.
You should take a week or more to do it properly, stopping along the way to soak in the breathtaking beauty only Iceland can provide. This road trip is the ideal approach to assess if the excitement is justified.
Road excursions, perhaps more than any other mode of transportation, allow you to get off the main path and away from the tourist traps. With your vehicle, you may visit actual locations rarely found in guidebooks and meet real people, as well as view sights and participate in activities that few others have the opportunity to do. We’ve merely scratched the surface of what’s conceivable so far. The possibilities are unlimited out on the road.