A driving holiday can be just about the most perfect holiday experience you can design – provided you have a comfortable vehicle that is, whether four wheeled or two. Driving holidays and road trips give you the freedom to roam, the chance to discover little visited off-the-beaten-track villages and sights, as well as the opportunity to enjoy it all at your own pace, amidst often spectacular scenery. Serendipity is the watchword here – an advantage of old style travel that is so often lost in the modern era of packages and set itineraries. A driving holiday offers all this and more.
THE ATLANTIC ROAD, NORWAY
The Atlantic Road is an 8 km scenic masterpiece set amidst the hills, lakes and rivers of Norway’s fine natural landscape. The road zig-zags across bridges and rock-fills from island to island on the lips of the ocean. There are many lay-bys at which to park and marvel at your surroundings, just several feet from the smooth coastal rocks, with excellent fishing opportunities. Also on view is a plethora of wildlife such as seals and whales, and the less preferable weather conditions can often provide water shows crashing against the rocks as you drive.
LEH-MANALI ROUTE, THE HIMALAYAS
The route that connects Leh and Manali offers the ultimate mountain-driving expedition. And the ultimate Buddhist pilgrimage too. The route starts in Solang Valley and winds up through the Rohtang Pass along the enchanting River Chandra with wonderful glacier and mountain views, Buddha statues and ‘Free Tibet’ signs everywhere. The highway to Baralacha-La provides the most breathtaking landscapes of the Himalayas with meadows set amongst the snow-capped peaks. The route navigates along the Lachung-La Pass and its stunning canyon. Stop by the Thasang Tso—a turqiose lake labelled ’emerald of a queen’s necklace’ and the medicinal hot springs at Chuma-Thang.
SCOTLAND’S WESTERN HIGHLANDS
A wonderful 250 mile trip from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye with Scottish wildlife abounding is exactly what Scotland’s Western Highlands offer. For history and architecture lovers, visit Linlithglow Palace, Stirling Castle, the (William) Wallace Monument, Fort William’s West Highland Museum and the wonderful Eilean Donan Castle on Skye. Fresh seafood is a near necessity, especially scallops, mussels and oysters. For nature lovers there are seals and otters, highland cows, hare, foxes, deer and any number of birds. Lochs galore, and the coves and beaches on the Atlantic at Morar in particular are outstanding with the final destination being the Isle of Skye, with sea cliffs and rocky outcrops. In addition there is an amazing range of great places to stay here, from small family run B&Bs to luxury hotels.
NEW ZEALAND’S SOUTH ISLAND
From majestic glacial peaks of the Southern Alps to rainforest wildlife, turquoise sea and soothing waterfalls—New Zealand’s South Island offers the drive of a lifetime. With some of the rarest birds and most exotic plantlife in the world, national parks and natural blowholes, golden beaches and marine life, the best of New Zealand is taken in by car. Favoured route is: Christchurch to Kaikoura (for whale and dolphin spotting), to Nelson to Punakaiki and on to Westport’s historic coal-mining settlement. Then to mountainous Franz Josef (with the option of sightseeing from the air), Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu and Milford Sound’s sheer cliffs and Mitre Peak, finishing with Timaru’s Edwardian and Victorian architecture.
Data Courtesy: Happy Trips