Road Trips

By Lonely Planet | Buckle up for a big adventure.

San Luis Obispo: the perfect pitstop on your California road trip

There’s nothing like an American road trip, and the coast road between Los Angeles and San Francisco offers one of the best.<p>Hitting the wide open road between these two cities, you’ll encounter ocean views, historic sites, wineries and pretty towns. These attractions merge neatly in San Luis Obispo …

Road Trips

Unexplored Spain: roadtripping around Extremadura

Often overlooked and underrated Extremadura is, in fact, one of Spain’s most fascinating regions, a mix of world-changing history and contemporary culinary delights.<p>This Portuguese-border-hugging homeland of many a conquistador is a place where the past lingers. Venture here and you’ll uncover …

Spain

Game of Thrones to the Gobbins: Northern Ireland's Causeway Coast

Northern Ireland has never had to contend with dragons, white walkers and the chill of an endless winter. That hasn’t stopped its wild landscape scoring a starring role in HBO’s <i>Game of Thrones</i>.<p>Driving the 120-mile Causeway Coastal Route route from Belfast to Derry-Londonderry is a must for fans of …

Game of Thrones

Arizona's top 5 scenic drives

Back roads. Byways. Scenic highways. Arizona is chock full of them. Here are five of our favorites.<p>Route 66: small-town America, with a side of kitsch<p>'Get your kitsch on Route 66' might be a better slogan for Arizona's scrubby stretch of Mother Road, with its lumbering dinosaurs, a wigwam motel and …

Arizona

How to road-trip Canada on a budget

Canada is big and beautiful, but climate, distance and the high cost of domestic travel make it hard to get to know her. Having the freedom to throw your stuff in the trunk and set off as you please makes self-driving a tempting way to explore this frequently spectacular country.<p>The Trans-Canada …

Canada

The Grand Canyon: how to get the most from a short trip

On my first trip to the Grand Canyon, I made a classic rookie mistake: part of a longer road trip, I didn't give myself much time and I didn't do any advance research, so I ended up with a version of the Griswold experience. There it was - big, beautiful but somewhat underwhelming. Back in the …

North America Travel

On the road in remote Chile: ways to conquer the Carretera Austral

Whether by foot, two wheels, or four-wheel drive, the Carretera Austral is an iconic challenge and a journey through South America’s most sublime end-of-the-world landscapes.<p>Among the world's finest road trips, the Carretera Austral – or "Southern Highway" – is a 1240km route through Chile that’s …

Adventure Travel

Hokkaidō road trip: exploring Japan's wild north

With its wide-open spaces, national parks, active volcanoes, forests of silvery beech, forlorn coastlines and remote fishing towns, Hokkaidō is ideal for road trips.<p>Japan is famous for its efficient rail system and doesn't exactly scream road trip. But when most people think of Japan, they usually …

Road Trips

Italy's six best road trips

With a network of well-maintained roads that weave through a landscape of snow-capped peaks, plunging coastlines, lakes and historic towns, Italy offers plenty of epic driving. And while some routes are undeniably challenging, they all make for unforgettable experiences.<p>Here we highlight six …

Italy

Highs and lows of the 395: road tripping down California's highway of superlatives

US highway 395 is California's backbone. Running east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, it's also a road of superlatives: highest, lowest, hottest, deepest, oldest – the 395 passes close by a whole host of -ests. And then there are the ghost towns, living towns, ski resorts, tufa formations …

California

Albanian road trip: history behind the bunkers

Having spent nearly half of the 20th century isolated from the rest of the world, Albania remains somewhat a land of mystery, only recently making its way onto European travel itineraries as an offbeat and budget-friendly destination.<p>While ‘the land of eagles’ may be better known for its stormy …

Road Trips

South Dakota's best scenic drives

With jaw-dropping scenery and hundreds of miles of winding roads, western South Dakota is a driver’s playground. These top routes make up some of the state’s best scenic drives. The region is rife with iconic national parks and top attractions, with some history, whimsy, buffalo and badlands thrown …

From highway to high waves: five offbeat coastal road trips

California's Big Sur and Australia's Great Ocean Road may get all the headlines when it comes to coastal driving but they're not the only places where you can lose yourself in spectacular scenery, glowing sunsets and glistening surf.<p>The following routes are equally impressive and also offer quirky …

Lifestyle

Beyond the dunes: road-tripping Mongolia's Gobi Desert

Giant sand dunes fringed by sun-scorched valleys. Primordial fossils hidden within flaming-red cliffs. The sun setting pink and purple over a Mongolian yurt. Few experiences bring together offbeat adventure and epic road-tripping quite like bouncing through Mongolia's Gobi Desert in the rear-facing …

Lifestyle

Botswana: the rewards of self-drive safaris

Botswana may have a reputation as the most exclusive safari destination in Africa, but it does offer an incredibly tempting alternative to the fly-in, upmarket-tented-camp experience: the more budget-friendly self-drive safari. Botswana is made for road (and road-less) trips – it is big-sky …

Botswana

A road trip in the Peloponnese

No other part of Greece combines stupendous mountain scenery and scenic hikes with deserted, pristine beaches and an incredible wealth of ancient sites like the Peloponnese. After all, this is where gods and heroes were said to walk the earth and the world’s greatest sporting event was born.<p>Add to …

Road Trips

The Golden Ring: a road trip through the heart of Russia

East of Moscow lies the land of small historical towns, ancient onion-domed churches, gingerbread cottages and largely unspoilt countryside, all in sharp contrast with the imperial megalomania of Moscow and St Petersburg. When the USSR started opening up for foreign tourists in the 1960s, the …

Road Trips

Driving Egnatia Odos, Greece’s modern ancient highway

One of the most fascinating drives across Greece is the 670km journey from the Turkish border crossing of Kipi in Thrace to Igoumenitsa on the Ionian Sea. Known as the ‘Egnatia Odos’, after the ancient Roman Via Egnatia which conveyed tradesmen, armies and regular travellers across part of its …

Greece

Arabian sights: road-tripping in Oman

Oman is hot right now. Not as in boiling (although it can be at the height of summer when the mercury touches 40C); hot as in ‘of the moment’. Its star has risen steadily thanks to a carefully nurtured tourism industry and a growing appreciation for its natural and cultural riches.<p>After all, where …

Travel

The Pan-American Highway: join us on the ultimate road trip

Ask your friends what their idea of a cool road trip is and you’ll get some great suggestions. South of France in summer in a convertible. Safari in Africa in a jeep. Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles. But you can trump them all and laugh in the face of their puny routes by answering with the …

Road Trips

Picking the right set of wheels for a classic road trip

There’s nothing quite like the freedom of the open road – but, whether it’s a Sunday drive through the timeless back roads of the English countryside or a continent-spanning overland epic, you’ll need to pick the perfect motor to get the most out of the trip.<p>Jump in the back seat, strap yourself …

Road Trips

The Heartland’s best hits: top Kansas sights along I-70

This is the stuff road trips through Middle America are made of: slurping milkshakes at a Formica countertop in a diner that hasn’t changed since 1950, cruising by fields of sunflowers and amber waves of grain that stretch as far as the eye can see, and stopping at the quirky, always-superlative …

Travel

Australia in a campervan: top tips from the experts

One of the best ways to see Australia – the east coast, the west coast, or the whole country – is on a self-drive road trip in your own campervan. Whether you’ve decided to buy or rent your mobile home, we have some hard-won tips from our experts Lou and Ian McBirdwheel to you get you started on …

Travel

Into the Arctic: driving Norway’s Kystriksveien

When it comes to imagined destinations, few can rival the Arctic. It is a place of deep and abiding longing, and has been for centuries; a land so utterly different from our own that entering it calls for some grand rite of passage, for a journey of such beauty as to prove worthy of these …

Norway

Self-drive safaris in Namibia

Getting behind the wheel and setting out on the open roads of Africa on a self-drive safari is an incredibly romantic notion for many people, and there is no better place to start than in Namibia. The landscape that rolls past is epic in proportion, as is the wildlife, and Namibia is one of the …

Travel

Thailand’s Mae Hong Son loop by motorbike

Tucked into Thailand’s northwest corner, Mae Hong Son province is one of the nation’s last frontiers for off-the-beaten-track exploration. There’s no better way to take in its mountainous, mist covered passes and steamy jungles than tackling the 600km Mae Hong Son Loop by motorbike.<p>Begin the trip …

Travel

Keep on truckin': a guide to overlanding

So you fancy an epic adventure, but don't want to go it alone...<p>Overland trips can offer a good balance of offbeat exploration and independence, guaranteeing transport but leaving you free to decide what to do once you've rolled into town.<p>A typical day<p>Life on a truck requires plenty of community …

Travel

Road trip Tasmania: how to tackle the island state

Tasmania doesn’t look very big on the map – an inverted leafy triangle just a few hundred kilometers tall and not much wider across the top. But appearances can be deceiving for those planning a road trip of Australia's most southern state.<p>Down amongst the greenery, straight roads are rare and most …

Road Trips

Australia in a campervan: top tips from the experts

One of the best ways to see Australia – the east coast, the west coast, or the whole country – is on a self-drive road trip in your own campervan. Whether you’ve decided to buy or rent your mobile home, we have some hard-won tips from our experts Lou and Ian McBirdwheel to you get you started on …

Travel