Experience Epic Road Trips around the World
As summer looms, so does the call for an epic road trip. In fact, according to Booking.com (the global leader in connecting travellers with the best places to stay), nearly one third (27%) of Canadians are planning one this year. And why not? Thereâ€™s no better way to travel than with the roof down, the breeze blowing through your hair and your favourite playlist blasting on repeat.
Not sure where to go? Booking.com, has found some of the worldâ€™s greatest road trips to take this summer. From the Pacific Coast Highway in US, to Chinaâ€™s over-water highway and Australiaâ€™s Great Ocean Road, there is a route for everyone – just take your pick!
Pacific Coast Highway – San Francisco, United States
The Pacific Coast Highway is a must on your road trip checklist. This legendary route along the iconic California coast from San Francisco down to San Diego is known for having some of the most scenic views in the world. Over 1,000 km long, the Pacific Coast Highway does not disappoint – expect to see stunning coastal views, picturesque seaside villages, untouched forests and sunny wine vineyards along the route.
Where to stay: Discover the charm and elegance of France in the heart of San Francisco at this family-owned hotel, ideally situated just a short stroll from the vibrant Union Square. The Cornell Hotel de France presents a beautiful fusion of old-world charm and modern amenities – wake up to a full, free breakfast and admire prints of masterpieces from famous artists around the world. Be sure to check out the Theatre District, San Franciscoâ€™s legendary Chinatown and take a ride on the cityâ€™s historic cable car.
Hidden Highway – Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
The Hidden Highway is the perfect choice for travellers looking for a relaxing road trip surrounded by the beautiful English countryside. Travel through one of the most rural and scenic routes in Britain, where you can expect endless green fields dotted with rose-clad cottages, medieval castles plus quaint villages and farmers markets. The journey is 280km long and a good stop off is the famous town of Hay on Wye, which hosts the annual Festival of Literature every summer.
Where to stay: The splendid country estate of Meeson Hall dates back to 1640 and is nestled in the gorgeous countryside of Shrewsbury, offering spacious and elegant rooms, private parking and bicycle hire. The perfect spot to recharge your batteries after exploring the Hidden Highway, Meeson Hall offers a relaxing stay perfect for a getaway to the countryside. Stretch your legs with a stroll around the estateâ€™s eight acres of landscaped grounds and paddocks.
Great Ocean Road – Melbourne, Australia
Challenging the Pacific Coast Highway for its spot as one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world is the Great Ocean Road route, with its jaw-dropping scenery along the southern coastline. Tracing the shore between Geelong and Warrnambool, expect cliff-hugging turns, seascapes to die for and lush rainforests in your rear view mirror. The 275km route starts in the surf capital of Torquay; be sure to visit the natural beauty Apollo Bay and the Great Otway National Park, where you can swap the wheels for a spot of walking.
Where to stay: Fun and affordable – the Melbourne Central YHA is the ideal pit-stop for travellers on a budget. Boasting a rooftop terrace with BBQ facilities and amazing views of the city centre, this trendy backpacker hostel is located in the heart of vibrant Melbourne surrounded by street art, cafes and unique bars. Guests benefit from a 24/7 reception desk and a large ground floor communal area, plus a shared kitchen and an option of both dormitories and private rooms.
Southern Scenic Route – Queenstown, New Zealand
The Southern Scenic Route combines everything from deserted beaches, native forests, rolling hillsides, waterfalls, lakes and snow-covered peaks – full of breath-taking views around every corner. The 610km route starts at Queenstown to Fiordland, Ta Anau and the iconic Milford Road to Dunedin.
Where to stay: Start off your road trip in the right way with a stay at the boutique and luxurious Element Escapes Apartment, ideally located just a short walk away from the beach and a half hour drive from Coronet Peak and The Remarkables ski parks. A perfect getaway for skiers, hiking enthusiasts and travellers along the Southern Scenic Route looking to start as they mean to go on.
Amalfi Coast – Sorrento, Italy
Not for the faint-hearted the route along the Amalfi Coast presents narrow-winding roads along steep clifftops, although passengers will be rewarded with stunning views of rugged shorelines, pastel-coloured fishing villages, terraced vineyards and cliffside lemon groves. This 60km stretch of coastline between Sorrento and Salerno is hemmed by high mountains and offers idyllic waterfront boutique hotels and unspoilt coastal towns.
Where to stay: The exquisite Grand Hotel Royal boasts a stunning beach-front location and lush palm-filled gardens and scenic cliff-top views. Take a dip in the outdoor pool and admire panoramic views of the Gulf of Naples and Vesuvius. In high season, guests enjoy free access to the beach, and free use of parasols, sun beds and beach towels. Grand Hotel Royal offers a complete gastronomic experience including multiple on-site restaurants and bars serving regional and classic Italian cuisine with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Overwater Highway – Xingshan, China
If a long distance road trip is not for you, but you are still seeking scenic views, then the Overwater Highway is your best option. Forget walking on water, how about driving on water! Labelled as the overwater highway, the seven mile road linking Xingshan County in Hubei to the high speed motorway of G42 is built in the middle of the river and follows the natural curve of the valley. Even though this is the shortest route in our round-up of epic road trips passengers will still be treated to breath-taking views of the valley and nearby fishing villages.
Where to stay: The luxurious InterContinental Tangshan is ideally situated in Wanda Square and looks out to the scenic DaZhao Park. Guests will love the indoor pool, fitness centre and pampering spa treatments, and the famous South Lake and Tangshan Anti-Earthquake museum are just a short drive away. The onsite restaurant, Phoenix All Day Dining, serves international dishes from live cooking stations, as well as a daily buffet breakfast. Other dining options include Cantonese food at Tang Yuan Chinese Restaurant and fine Chinese dining at Imperial Court.