Road Trips

By Lonely Planet | Buckle up for a big adventure.

A regional guide to Europe’s best road trips

Packed with ancient history, sophisticated cities, cultural treasures, fine food and even finer art, Europe has an embarrassment of riches and is a dream for all kinds of travellers. And with landscapes boasting rugged coastlines, rolling country fields and mighty mountains (to name but a few), …

Road-tripping through Hill Country: Texas’ up-and-coming vineyards

One of America’s great unsung wine regions lies right in the heart of Texas. Hill Country may be better known for barbecue, but its rich soil has proved ideal for producing top-quality vineyards. There are currently over 70 wineries scattered across the hilly, Mediterranean-like landscape, which …

Unforgettable road trips on Australia’s East Coast

Australia’s East Coast offers plenty to get excited about for road-tripping explorers. Along sun-bleached blacktop, you’ll find picture-perfect beaches, hip cities, lush rainforests, the Great Barrier Reef and abundant native wildlife. Driving routes can meet any interest and range from epic …

Road-tripping Sweden’s sublime Bohuslän Coast

Drifting across the mirror-still surface of a shallow bay in Kosterhavet, Sweden’s first national marine park, the reason why the Bohuslän Coast beguiles visitors becomes as clear as the water barely stirring beneath the kayak.<p>In a country lauded for its stewardship of the environment (Sweden ranks …

Europe

Behind the wheel: our best European road trips

To mark the launch of our latest <i>Best</i> <i>Trips</i> book we asked Lonely Planet staff to share their stories of times spent on the road. Ever the adventurous bunch, these daring drivers recall time spent navigating hairy mountain paths, drifting down coastal roads on the hunt for brilliant beaches and …

Travel gear reviews: perfect kit for road trips

It’s just you, a set of wheels, a full tank of gas and the wide open highway; it’s easy to see why a road trip is the essence of travel for many people.<p>In our latest gear reviews, we look at a range of kit ideal for long journeys by car and motorbike, from a clever cooking stove that’ll even run on …

Road trip: Toulouse and the architecture of southwest France

Southwest France is chock-full of crumbling abbeys, medieval villages, and Gothic churches that blush gold in the sunlight – you just have to know where to look.<p>Setting out from the pink city of Toulouse, this road trip itinerary takes in 10 centuries of compelling architecture with ample time for …

5000 years in 5 days: a historical trip through Ireland's Ancient East

The Emerald Isle might be small in size but it packs a powerful historical punch. Hit the road on a fascinating five-day trip through the picturesque landscapes and villages, towns and cities of Ireland's Ancient East en route from Dublin to Waterford, visiting Neolithic burial tombs, high crosses, …

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 …

Unexplored Spain: road-tripping 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 …

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 from Belfast to Derry-Londonderry is a must for fans of the …

Arizona's top five 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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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.<p>Botswana is made for road (and road-less) trips – it is big-sky country, …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …