Any driving enthusiast (or willing passenger) will know the joy of discovering a new and exhilarating road. The sights, the sounds, the feel of the car – it’s an all-round amazing experience.
There are hundreds of scenic drives around the world, and they all offer something different and special. Here at Thrifty, we’ve picked a few of our favourites to share with you.
But if you’re not heading off overseas anytime soon, that’s okay. We’ve included some famous Aussie roads as well. After all, we’ve got a vast array of coastal, mountainous and outback roads right here in Australia, and they should be enough to pique anyone’s interest!
So sit back, strap in and picture yourself cruising these picturesque roads in some outstanding destinations.
Route 66, USA
An iconic slice of American culture that transverses eight states and almost 4000km of the United States, you’d be hard-pressed not to have heard of Route 66. The official sign that signifies the beginning of the trip is in the Windy City – Chicago. From there, you’ll travel through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and will finish with a bang in sunny California.
Nicknamed the ‘Main Street of America’ by the road’s designer, and ‘Mother Road’ by legendary American writer John Steinbeck, Route 66 is an unmissable look inside the sheer beauty of the continent and how it is a cultural melting pot for so many different ways of life.
Looking for an Aussie alternative? Australia’s Sydney to Adelaide road trip will take you through picturesque countryside, sparse terrain and serene seaside locations. You can drive through gorgeous spots like Lakes Entrance and Mount Gambier, and can even head over to beautiful Kangaroo Island. It’s like the famous Route 66, but without leaving our shores!
The Amalfi Coast, Italy
If a cliffside driving experience overlooking ancient seaside towns sounds like something you could get on board with, the Amalfi Coast is the destination for you.
Busy with tourists passing through Mediterranean towns such as Sorrento, Amalfi and Positano, this Italian coastline is temperate year-round and is even more stunning and picture-perfect than you could imagine. Romantic, breathtaking and a major source of Italian limoncello liqueur, you can’t beat the Amalfi Coast for your next Euro trip.
Of course, you don’t have to jet to Italy to get a taste of some spectacular coastal scenery – we have some Amalfi-worthy coastline right on our doorstep. Why not head down to the Great Ocean Road, starting just outside of Melbourne, and get a taste of the rugged, majestic coastline this world-famous road has to offer? From Lorne right down to Port Campbell, you’ll pass through quaint, seaside towns reminiscent of the Italian coastline.
Ring of Kerry, Ireland
Picture a road winding itself through rolling green hills and quaint towns synonymous with Irish folklore, and you have the well-known Ring of Kerry.
Situated in the south-west of the Republic of Ireland, this 179 km circular road is somewhat shorter than our previously mentioned recommendations, and completely doable for visitors to the Emerald Isle that are pressed for time.
Starting in the town of Killarney, the Ring of Kerry weaves through many little-known but truly Irish towns steeped in rich history, before bringing you back to Killarney again. Perfect for driving, cycling and for some, walking, the sweeping views of green hills and rugged coastline are best seen during the summer months before a thick mist becomes present – adding even more to the mysticism of the region.
If you’re looking for amazing vistas right here in Australia, Thrifty has you covered! Head to the Snowy Mountains region of rural NSW and take in the beauty of the 126 km Alpine Way, a well-known road in Kosciuszko National Park. With its mountainous views, you’ll think you’re cruising through parts of the land of leprechauns.
Kidman Way, Australia
Have you ever heard the Aussie colloquialism ‘Back of Bourke’ (meaning the middle of nowhere)? Maybe you’ve learnt about the infamous Kelly Gang and their escapades, or read any of the works of iconic Aussie poet Henry Lawson?
If so, you’ve already placed yourself on the Kidman Way from afar.
This rural road, in the west of New South Wales, is a history buff’s dream road trip. At the south end, it passes through Jerilderie – where Ned Kelly and his gang held up the entire town in a stand against the police. You will then find yourself passing through Aussie towns such as Cobar and Griffith, before ending into Bourke, where Lawson spent some of the most important months of his life. He once wrote, “If you know Bourke, you know Australia” – and that’s a good enough review for us!
No matter which great road of the world you find yourself on, you’ll be sure to experience memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.