There is nothing like a drive along the coast to blow away those cobwebs and make you appreciate life, and when you combine it with two weeks off work and the opportunity to spend some quality time with a loved one, you may just feel like a new person after your trip!
Self drive holidays are far more popular (and easier) than they were some 30 years ago, and if you like the idea of spending your days in a rental car with nothing more than a map, a few CD’s and your favourite co-pilot, then driving along one of the world’s top 10 coastal drives may just be the holiday you are looking for!
Our first experience at a self-drive holiday was our honeymoon, when we decided that we would rather save on an expensive ‘church do’ for all our friends and family, and spend our wedding budget on a trip of lifetime! Selfish I know (my mother still reminds me!), but if I had to do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing, and our 4-week trip from Los Angeles to Key West, was every bit as amazing as it sounds!
With no fixed reservations, no deadlines and no airport stress to contend with, self-drive tours are perfect for those who want to escape the routines of everyday life, and so when VirtualTourist.com released their list of Top 10 Coastal Drives, I just knew I had to share it…
1. Pacific Coast Highway, California – A 730km stretch between Los Angeles and San Francisco
2. Kuhio Highway, Hawaii – A short route, but definitely worth your while, this 84km drive starts at Poipu Beach and ends at Haena, the start of the Kalalau Trail along the NaPali Coast.
3. Overseas Highway, Florida Keys – I can vouch for this 257km stretch of ‘highway built on bridges’ from Florida to Key West, it is absolutely stunning and you can get Key Lime Pie along the way!
4. Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia – Voted as the best coastal drive for Canada-bound travellers, the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island is about 274km long.
5. Great Ocean Road, Australia – Another one I can highly recommend, we drove the Great Ocean Road during our tour throughout Australia, and it’s worth driving the 290km for the Twelve Apostles alone!
6. The Garden Route, South Africa – Yep, we’ve done the Garden Route too! However, we took an escorted tour, rather than a self-drive trip, so it doesn’t really count! The scenery, by the way, is quite breathtaking!
7. Ring Road, Iceland – Stretching 1,335km this is quite a self-drive route, but it offers “incredible views and even more landmarks to behold”.
8. The Atlantic Road, Norway – Definitely one on my bucket list, the Atlantic Road stretches through the fjord region of Norway, connecting a series of islands.
9. Northeast Loop, Thailand – A day trip more than a driving tour, the 11km Northeast Loop of Phuket will show you the pretty bays and small fishing villages one would normally miss.
10. Kotor to Sveti Stephan, Montenegro – This route starts in the Montenegro countryside and travels down along the magnificent coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
So there you have it, the Top 10 Coastal Drives in the world voted for by real travellers…! How many have you done? Drop us a line and let us know.