Driving with the top down, wind whipping through your hair. Cruising past amazing scenery and pit stops whenever you want. The ultimate road trip playlist you’ve chosen together.
These are just some of the reasons why road trips continue to be one of the most popular ways of seeing the best of a new destination.
And this list we’ve created for you includes some of the most scenic drives in the world; in our view, making them some of the best places for a road trip and perfect road trip destinations for couples. We’ve even included some of our top road trip tips for couples in case this is your first long distance drive together.
Are you ready for the best road trip ever? Good… now, who’s got shotgun?
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Best Road Trips For Couples All Around The World
Iceland: The Ring Road
Iceland’s popularity has been steadily growing over the decades – particularly since 2010.
And with such beautiful scenery, few cars outside Reykjavik and decent roads, comes the increasing popularity of an Iceland road trip.
Most head out on a road trip around Iceland’s Ring Road, aka Route 1, which covers some 800 miles around the entirety of the island.
Although you could probably drive the whole thing non-stop in just a couple of days, you’ll want to spend at least a week doing so in order to make the most of pretty pit stops and ample photo opportunities.
Along the way, you’ll see lots of well-known sites such as Snaefellsnes, Vik and Skogafoss, as well as some lesser known spots like Dettifoss.
You May Also Like: Iceland’s Golden Circle Route
By just sticking to the Ring Road, you will miss out on some spots that are in land such as Gullfoss.
NB: In Iceland, you drive on the right – click to read more driving in Iceland tips.
Romania: Transfagarasan Highway
Back in 2009, the Transfagarasan Highway appeared on BBC’s Top Gear with Jeremy Clarkson claiming it to be “the best road in the world”.
Today, the road is now one of Romania’s most popular tourist sites due to the multiple twists and turns you’ll find along it, which are both iconic and hair-raising!
Due to the country’s winter snowfall, this road is only open between June and October, although can sometimes be closed in freak weather like icy conditions, severe fog or even gale-force winds.
Most drive the Transfaragasan as a day trip from Bucharest, but you could also include a stopover in Sibiu to help break up the driving as well.
You May Also Like: Italy’s San Boldo Pass
If twists and turns up and downhill are your favourite type of road trip in the world, then you may also like Italy’s San Boldo Pass.
This small mountain pass connects the towns of Trichiana and Tovena at the southern edge of the Italian Alps.
Owing to its hair-raising hairpin turns, traffic is heavily regulated with several sets of lights, single lanes and a speed limit of just 19 mph (30 kph).
NB: In both Romania and Italy, you drive on the right.
USA: Pacific Coast Highway
A road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway in California is one of the most popular West Coast itineraries ever and is one of the most scenic road trips in the USA.
Hugging the US West Coast, you can expect to find world-class beaches, prime surfing spots and delicious Mexican food at every turn.
The recommended length of time for this road trip is 1 week, although you may want to extend it in order to spend 2-3 days in each major city.
You May Also Like: Hawaii’s Hana Highway
The Hana Highway stretches for over 64 miles on the island of Maui, connecting Kahului (and the airport) to the town of Hana.
The road itself twists and turns along the coast and through some incredible scenery. Think roaring waterfalls, deep emerald shrubs and plants, moss-covered trees and ocean vistas.
So if it’s amazing coastal scenery you’re after (and then some), you’ll love this route!
Because of the curves in the road, it takes around 2.5 hours to drive – without any stops along the way. But guidebooks will often recommend you devote entire mornings and afternoons just to embark on this drive, so bear that in mind when planning your own epic Maui itinerary.
NB: In the USA, you drive on the right.
You may have noticed we have talked about the USA but NOT Route 66. How blasphemous of us! But it’s worth saying that we have it on good authority to forget about Route 66 as it’s full of potholes and runs next to newer roads. So although some would argue it’s a bucket list road trip, others would say there’s better roads out there (and in America) to drive on.
Australia: Great Ocean Road
Another of the world’s most scenic coastal drives is Australia’s Great Ocean Road, which can be found along the South West coast of Victoria.
Covering some 249 miles, you’ll get a chance to see many of Australia’s most popular tourist spots including the 12 Apostles limestone stack formations, stunning Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve and you can even take a trip in land to see Grampians National Park.
It’s recommended you spend 5 days on this road trip, although you could stretch it to 8-10 days for a more slower-paced trip.
You May Also Like: South Africa’s Garden Route
Although most travellers think of the big five and safaris when thinking about a trip to South Africa, those in the know know that it’s also home to one of the most stunning coastal road trips in the world.
The Garden Route runs for over 124 miles from Mossel Bay to Storms River, however many Garden Route itineraries (like this super detailed one from The Blonde Abroad), will direct you from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town (or vice versa).
This road trip leads you along the coast and past glistening lakes and lagoons, rolling hills and towering mountains.
Although you could technically drive it in 9 hours, most recommend spending a week doing this road trip, so you can take your time and stop at all the stunning locations and natural vistas along the way.
NB: In both Australia and South Africa, you drive on the left.
Scotland: North Coast 500
Scotland’s North Coast 500 route starts in Inverness, gateway to the Highlands, and takes you further north towards John O’Groats and Scotland’s northernmost coastal points.
Covering some 516 miles, it’s recommended you spend about a week doing this road trip.
Along the way, you’ll see towering mountains, stunning beaches, sea views and endless lochs. This is Scotland at both its best – and most cut off.
You May Also Like: Scotland’s East To West 350 Route
Whether you’re keen to see more of Scotland during your trip, or you just want to see more of Scotland’s southerly sights, then you may also like Scotland’s East To West 350 route.
First things first, there’s no official road trip called East To West 350 (at least that we know of). It’s a route we’ve undertaken ourselves in the past, and for want of an official name, we’ve titled it ourselves.
This route starts in Edinburgh and covers some 350 miles, detouring through lots of amazing places like Stirling, Loch Lomond, Glenfinnan Viaduct (also where the Harry Potter train frequents), Glencoe, Loch Ness and a round trip of the Isle of Skye.
NB: In Scotland, you drive on the left.
New Zealand: The Southern Circuit
New Zealand is a hugely popular country when it comes to self-drive or fly-drive holidays – and The Southern Circuit on the South Island is often tipped as the ultimate New Zealand road trip itinerary.
Starting in Christchurch, this route takes you South through Dunedin and onto popular Te Anau and Milford Sound. From there, you will follow the route back North (this time on the Western side of the island) bypassing the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers and on towards Greymouth, which will take you back to Christchurch across stunning New Zealand terrain on the TranzAlpine scenic train.
Most itineraries for The Southern Circuit suggest 10-12 days, although this road trip can easily be stretched to 2 weeks if you want to spend longer in each town or city along the way.
You May Also Like: New Zealand’s North To South Route
Although lots of tourists head straight to the South Island, it is possible to do the highlights of both the North and South Islands in one trip.
This time, starting in Auckland, you’ll follow the roads South towards Wellington, passing through Waitomo, Rotorua and Taupo. In Wellington, you can get the ferry across Cook Strait to take you to Picton and the nearby Marlborough and Nelson wine counties on the South Island, before following the roads further South towards Christchurch, where this route can pick up The Southern Circuit as described above.
This is one of the most scenic drives in the world and we’d recommend devoting 18-21 days to it, which includes 2 and 3 day stopovers en route so you can make the most of each destination.
NB: In New Zealand, you drive on the left.
Northern Ireland: Causeway Coastal Route
As far as Northern Ireland goes, many of its greatest draws reside along the North coast – and the Causeway Coastal Route takes you to all of them and more.
Starting in Belfast, you’ll follow the coastal roads North, passing through Carnfunnock Country Park, Antrim, Carrick-a-Rede, Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce and Derry/Londonderry to name just a few stops.
Although the Causeway Coastal Route can easily be done in a weekend, we’d recommend allowing 4-5 days to take a slightly slower pace in order to see more stops en route.
You May Also Like: Ireland’s South Coast Route
If it’s an Irish adventure you’re after, then you should take advantage of the lack of border control between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Down South, particularly along the South Coast, prehistoric settlements, majestic castles, stately homes, the famous Ring of Kerry and the quaint fishing villages of Waterford and Wexford will be waiting for you.
Following this route will tip your odometer well over 400 miles, taking around 5 days in total.
But you could even start this road trip in Dublin and spend a week turning this into a circular route instead. This allows you to explore the delights of Dublin for a couple of days, followed by a scenic drive through the Wicklow Mountains, before joining the South Coast part of this road trip.
NB: In Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, you drive on the left.
Norway: The Atlantic Road
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to drive right across the ocean? Well… you can find out in Norway.
The Atlantic Road spans just over 5 miles and connects the Eastern mainland with a series of small islands and islets just off the coast.
Driving across eight bridges in total – some of which are an incredible feat of engineering as they seem to curve up and around – you could easily do this route in just one half-day.
However, it may take you longer simply because of all the stunning scenery you’ll see along the way, which warrant lots of photo opportunities.
You May Also Like: Florida Keys Highway
Norway’s Atlantic Road isn’t the only road trip that would push you to experience driving across water (kind of).
The Florida Keys Highway, stretching for over 110 miles from the Southern tip of Florida near Miami to Key West, joins over 43 islands together – aka the “keys” that make up the archipelago of Florida Keys.
As can be expected in America, it’s a straight stretch of road with many coastal vistas and beaches to experience along the way. So famed is this road trip that it even has its own website!
If you drove the full highway in one go then it would take around 4 hours to do so, but you’d be best turning this road trip itinerary into a full week in order to make the best of the many incredible attractions along the way.
NB: In Norway and USA, you drive on the right.
England: The Atlantic Highway
The Atlantic Highway (more commonly known as the A39) in South West England is perhaps one of the best road trips in the UK as it takes you from the Devon border near Tiverton, through to Cornwall’s North East border.
You can easily do this route in one day, however, to make the most of sightseeing, we’d recommend you extend this road trip into either 2 or 3 days.
You May Also Like: Cornwall’s Horseshoe Route
From The Atlantic Highway, you could follow smaller Cornish country roads in order to embark on what we’ve nicknamed ‘The Horseshoe Route’.
This route follows the Cornish coast and takes you to places like Land’s End, Porthcurno, Marazion, Mevagissey and St Austell. The recommended time for this route alone is around 3 days.
NB: In England, you drive on the left.
Morocco: The High Atlas Mountains
Although popular cities like Marrakech, Fez and Chefchaouen are often tourists’ first port of call when visiting Morocco, there is so much more to this beautiful country.
By following the twists and turns of the main roads that meander through the High Atlas and Middle Atlas mountains, you can see incredible Moroccan landscapes including palm tree fields, deserts, mountain ranges, gorges and beautiful valleys.
You could choose to follow any number of circular routes found online, or you could choose to drive some of the Atlas mountain range as a day trip from cities like Marrakech and Agadir.
You May Also Like: Utah’s All-American Road
If it’s desert-like landscapes and mountains that you’re after, then you’ll also love Utah’s All-American Road along Scenic Byway 12.
Covering a total of 119 miles, and taking a recommended 4 days to drive it, you’ll twist and turn past canyons, red rock towers, pine forests and numerous state parks and breathtaking vistas.
This particular road trip will have you driving through some of Utah’s most famous landscapes, making for the perfect introduction to this part of America.
Along the way, be sure to stopover to explore Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Boulder and Boulder Mountain – all of which are some of this road trip’s most notorious attractions.
NB: In Morocco and USA, you drive on the right.
Our Top Road Trip Tips For Couples
Whether you’re embarking on your first road trip together or your tenth, heading out on a long distance road trip, European adventure or something more local, our top road trip tips below should help you make this the best road trip ever!
1. Check the weather before you set off
This really should go without saying, but you’d be surprised how many roadtrippers forget to think about this on the day.
Particularly in countries that have unpredictable weather, like Iceland, the UK and even some cities in Hawaii, you won’t always be able to trust what the weather report says on the morning of your drive, let alone the day before.
Check the weather, make your preparations according to that, and make sure you’ve also packed precautions just in case the weather changes abruptly.
2. Scout out gas stations on Google Maps before setting off
Whether you’re driving somewhere you know well, somewhere new to you, a built up city or a totally deserted part of a country; either way, you’ll want to scout out gas stations on an app like Google Maps before you set off.
You might even want to favourite a few in the app.
This will prevent your car from running dry when you don’t know which direction you should head in to fill up.
3. Download offline versions of maps and GPS – and don’t forget your paper map!
Most good road trip travel apps will enable you to download offline versions of areas you know you’ll be driving through.
This is especially necessary if you’ll be driving through the depths of the countryside.
You’ll also want to keep a paper map in the car as well – should your phone start playing up or stop working altogether.
4. Work together!
There’s nothing worse than leaving all the work up to just one person. Regardless of who’s driving the most, who’s chief navigator, or who’s in charge of the music and refreshments, you’re best working together when unsure what your next move is.
If anything, this will prevent arguments due to one person getting blamed for making the wrong decision about something. If you’re both to blame, then you’re more likely to just laugh together about it together afterwards.
5. Avoid hanger… pack some snacks (and drinks!)
Whether you’re heading out on a long distance road trip or a short 2 hour drive, make sure your glove box or cooler box has plenty of snacks and drinks in it. Just like you’ll never know when a traffic jam might occur, you also never know when hanger might hit!
6. Map out your road trip itinerary
Before setting off, make sure you’ve mapped out your complete road trip itinerary. Yes, you might detour from it along the way and stop more often than you expect.
But by having a thorough itinerary, you’ll save time on the road trip by not having to make decisions along the way of where to go next… obviously leaving you both free to enjoy the scenery and attractions more.
7. Build in more time than you need to get to your destination
When creating your road trip itinerary, make sure you build in extra time for you to reach your destination. You’ll never know when you might hit traffic, get lost or simply get waylaid from enjoying yourselves too much!
We’d recommend budgeting for an extra 2 or 3 hours per day, which if you don’t end up using while driving, can always be put towards spending more time wherever it is you’re staying overnight.
8. Try to reduce the time spent in the car
Your road trip itinerary should enable you to spend a maximum of 2 or 3 hours driving at any one time. You’re here to actually set foot in the country after all!
9. Plan your rest stops
Your road trip itinerary should also include good spots along the way where you might want to rest. These might have gas stations attached, but they also might just have a great viewpoint or a cafe serving tasty food.
10. Download useful road trip travel apps
We published a blog post last year dedicated to useful travel planning apps, which you can read here. For road trips, we recommend using the following apps to plan your itinerary and epic four-wheeled adventures: Rome2rio, HERE WeGo and Parkopedia.
11. Remember the car entertainment!
Car entertainment isn’t just for children! You’ll be in the car alone together for hours at a time, so help pass that time by trying some of these fun things for couples to do on a road trip:
- Name That Tune: Guess the song on your playlist within 5 seconds; the best of ten winner gets a reward!
- Chain Word Game: One of you starts with a word and the other has to say the first thing that comes to mind that links with that word (e.g. banana, fruit, healthy, etc). Keep the game going until you end up back at the beginning or just get bored of playing.
- Twenty Questions: Think of a person, movie, song, whatever you like, and the other person has 20 questions with which to guess what you were thinking of.
- Sexy Storytelling: By saying one sentence each at a time, create your own short story together – the sexier the better!
- Would You Rather?: Despite this being a drinking game, it’s actually a great way of getting to know each other – obviously without the alcohol this time! Take it in turns to ask “Would you rather?” followed by stating a selection of answers they can choose from – again, the naughtier the better!
12. Create your road trip playlist together
Even if one of you is more musically-inclined than the other, make sure you create your road trip playlist together. That way, you’ll both love what’s playing at some point… and it’ll be like your own personal road trip soundtrack – how romantic!
13. Remember to pull over if you see something crazy beautiful!
Just because you’ve created a road trip itinerary doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be flexible when you can. If you see something crazy beautiful, pull over if you can to appreciate it and photograph it if you want.
Just remember not to overdo it unless you’re willing to miss out on something later on.
Either way, your road trip is about the two of you, exploring together along the open road… spend this time together however you both see fit.
Well, there you have it… our list of the most scenic drives in the world, perfect road trip destinations for couples and top road trip tips! We hope you found it useful. Do you have any other questions about your upcoming road trip? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll do our best to answer them…
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