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Great Road Trips: Virginia Wineries Worth Visiting

Great Road Trips: Virginia Wineries Worth Visiting

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In the past few years, Virginia wine has really taken off. The state is the fifth largest wine-producing state and is home to more than 200 wineries. Although that number may seem small, when you consider that there were only six in the entire state in 1979, that’s a pretty big jump. To bring added awareness to Virginia’s contribution to the nation’s wine scene, the Virginia Wine Board held the Virginia Wine Summit on Oct. 27 and 28. After I attended the summit in the state capital of Richmond, the Virginia Wine Board took a handful of people to visit two of the state’s top wineries, Barboursville and Veritas.

About one-hour-and-a-half from Richmond, Barboursville is a former plantation that overlooks Virginia’s gorgeous Piedmont region. The winery even has its own outdoor deck so you can soak up the lush scenery while you eat outside. Inside, the tasting room is outfitted almost entirely in wood and comes complete with soft, rustic lighting. But the highlight here is the on-site restaurant Palladio. That afternoon, I enjoyed dishes prepared by a chef who’s been invited three times to cook at the prestigious James Beard House alongside wines from the vineyard.

Before the beginning of each course, the chef would discuss what plants she had just pulled from the garden to give each plate a true "farm-to-table" feel. For starters, the bread basket was even worth mentioning. I especially enjoyed the charred flatbread with fresh olive oil. Our meal officially began with a fresh bowl of pasta topped with shrimp and tomatoes. The noteworthy sauce was creamy, but not too heavy. Next, we moved on to a tasty beef plate that looked like a work of art. The just-tender-enough beef was splashed with red sauce that brought out the succulence of the meat. According to a tweet the winery sent me, the head chef is a Miro fan. And it shows.

The last course was a humble cheese and honey plate. The star of that dish was the dessert wine, which tasted like "electrified honey," to quote another dinner guest. I usually despise dessert wines (too cloying and syrupy), but this one was sweet without overdoing it. It made the perfect pairing.

Next we headed to Veritas (about a 30-minute drive from Charlottesville, Va.), another winery with a picture-perfect setting. The wrap-around porch attached to the tasting room comes complete with tables and even fireplaces so you can stay warm outside when the temperatures drop. And the view is just awe-inspiring. It looks like a scene out of a novel about living in the country — rocking chairs included, thank you. Plus, you can’t go wrong with the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop. One couple we saw even appeared to be having their engagement shots taken here — it’s that kind of place. The centerpiece of the lobby is even the word "love" spelled out in corks (see photo above).

After a few sips in the tasting room, our tour guide told us more about the process of winemaking. She showed us where the grapes are crushed and took us downstairs where the wine is stored. She explained the science behind creating wine and even had us try "lees," dead yeast cells that are a byproduct of winemaking. Lees are sometimes used to help give wine its texture. This was evident when our tour guide poured us wine aged at different stages to showcase how the lees appear less and less prominently as the wine ages. My personal favorite at Veritas was its full-bodied and almost-spicy cab franc.

Although overshadowed by California wine, Virginia has a tremendous amount to contribute to the national wine scene. I started drinking wine in Italy and for years considered myself an Old World wine snob. But my opinions have since changed. No, Virginia wine doesn’t taste like what you’d find in Europe. It has its own distinct flavor. But that doesn’t mean it’s not as good. Not to mention, it’s one of the prettiest states (excuse my Virginia-native bias, please). If you’re an oenophile traveling through Virginia wine country, check your biases at the door, and visit Veritas and Barboursville. You won’t be disappointed. I promise.

Teresa Tobat is the Washington, D.C. Travel city editor for The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @ttobat88. View her website at

Great Road Trips: Virginia Wineries Worth Visiting - Recipes

Petit manseng has captured the curiosity of many of Virginia’s top winemakers. Just how integrated the grape will become to Virginia’s repertoire remains to be seen, but it is off to a roaring start. “I love the grape,” says Jeff White of Glen Manor Vineyards. “It is so versatile. It can be aged so long.”

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Michael Shaps, co-founder and partner of Virginia Wineworks, has bought out his former founding partner Philip Stafford. A new holding company called Michael Shaps Winery Management Group (MSWMG), has been formed to oversee the winery operation and to develop new winery and vineyard projects. MSWMG consists of Michael Shaps as majority partner, Tayloe Dameron of Upper Shirley Vineyards in Charles City, Virginia, Francois Cousin of Brussels, Belgium, and Dean Andrews of Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Great Road Trips: Virginia Wineries Worth Visiting

In the past few years, Virginia wine has really taken off. The state is the fifth largest wine- producing state and is home to more than 200 wineries. Although that number may seem small, when you consider that there were only six in the entire state in 1979, that’s a pretty big jump. To bring added awareness to Virginia’s contribution to the nation’s wine scene, the Virginia Wine Board held the Virginia Wine Summit on Oct. 27 and 28.

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The past several years, however, have brought Jefferson vindication. A new generation of Virginia winemakers has begun to produce wines that can compete with the best of those from California and Europe. Here in the Mid-Atlantic, a petite Bordeaux is taking root. Technological advances in vineyard site selection, viticulture and winemaking have combined to create a critical mass for Virginia, establishing this area as what Decanter magazine in July called “the next big thing in American wine.”

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Florida Road Trip Ideas

Sebastian and Fort Pierce

Sebastian and Fort Pierce offer spacious beaches, endless water activities and affordable prices. These are great places to enjoy the sand, surf, and family-friendly attractions. Plus, there are ecotourism activities galore. A Florida road trip between these towns and nearby ones can easily fill a week or more. Learn about why this area is called The Treasure Coast at Mel Fisher&rsquos Treasures Museum. Next, fish or kayak at Sebastian Inlet State Park. Visit the first-ever National Refuge (great for birdwatching) at Pelican Island, and see, touch, admire animals of all kinds at LaPorte Farms in Sebastian.

A little further south, Fort Pierce offers beautiful waterfront dining, a weekend farmer&rsquos market with live music and great breweries. Visit Natalie&rsquos Juice Company, the National Navy SEAL Museum, and see the incredible tropical bonsai at Heathcote Botanical Gardens. No visit to Fort Pierce should miss the delicious shrimp options from 12A Buoy or Mahi Tacos. And finish with Key Lime Pie from Cobb&rsquos Landing.

Northwest Florida

Northwest Florida is a treasure trove. It is easy to fill a week-long road trip exploring the small towns between DeFuniak Springs and Marianna on I-10. There is the Florida Chautauqua Assembly in DeFuniak Springs. That&rsquos the winter outpost of New York&rsquos famous multi-week Chautauqua Assembly that explores history, health, art and current events. There&rsquos also entertainment from performers across the country and throughout the world. Or meet the wolves at Seacrest Wolf Preserve in Chipley. On a hot day, head to Florida State Caverns in Marianna, where&rsquos it&rsquos always 67 degrees below ground. Or cool off at Vortex Springs in Ponce de Leon.


Virginia Highlands Adventures Overview: The Virginia Highlands encompasses the lands containing Virginia’s rooftop – the great Mount Rogers which has elevations soaring over a mile high and over 4,000 feet of vertical variation between points high and low. Mount Rogers National Recreation Area is the centerpiece of the Virginia Highlands, with over 436 miles of trail open to hikers, backpackers, mountain bikers, and equestrians, including the famed Virginia Creeper Trail, a rail trail of national renown, and the Appalachian Trail. Fishing and paddling creeks and rivers complement the trails. Campgrounds allow overnighting possibilities. Grayson Highlands State Park offers more highland beauty and opportunities, while New River Trail State Park presents 57 miles of waterside biking through bucolic rural Virginia. The hamlet of Damascus lays claim to being the most famous trail town on the entire Appalachian Trail.

Photo Credit: Joshua Moore, IG account: @jtm71

Hiking Adventure: Virginia High Point — make the 8.8-mile there-and-back hike to Virginia’s high point, Mount Rogers — 5,729 feet. Take the Appalachian Trail from Elk Garden trailhead, enjoying immediate views. Along the way, the hike passes through a rare and lofty spruce-fir forest. Numerous rock outcrops jut above meadows where wild ponies graze and blueberries ripen late in summer. The last part enters a dense spruce-fir forest where the actual high point stands.

Backpacking Adventure: Make a 6-day loop combining the Appalachian Trail and the Iron Mountain Trail. Leave Damascus and trace the Iron Mountain Trail, eventually to descend through lofty Fairwood Valley. Climb to Virginia’s highest terrain and join the Appalachian Trail (AT) southbound through mountaintop meadows, evergreen forests, and rocky outcrops. Trace the AT past Whitetop Mountain and along wooded ridges back to Damascus. Ample trail shelters and campsites throughout the route.

Paddling Adventure: Whitetop Laurel Creek is a fun kayaking stream. The 12-mile section between Creek Junction and Damascus offers a literal boatload of kayaking fun, with multiple put-ins and takeouts. Much of the run is paralleled by the Virginia Creeper Trail, allowing paddlers scout the river as well as use a bike shuttle. Kayakers dash between timeworn boulders, over falls and around islands, mostly Class II-III water. Be careful when Whitetop Laurel Creek flows under trestles of the Creeper Trail.

Camping Adventure: Beartree Campground at Mount Rogers National Recreation Area is a time honored favorite and adjacent to lots of action. This heavily wooded, secluded, clean campground is located in the upper end of the Straight Fork Valley in a forest of evergreens and hardwoods. The sites are average in size but are completely separated by thickets of rhododendron. Bathhouses, complete with hot showers, are never far from any campsite. Beartree Lake complements the campground, as do numerous trails emanating directly from the camp.

Mountain Biking Adventure: Make the 8-mile Rhododendron Gap Loop. Start at 4,600 feet and pedal from Scales on the Crest Trail, entering the high country. Climb to Rhododendron Gap, passing numerous other paths. Descend a bit past Rhododendron Gap and intersect the Rhododendron Gap Trail. Turn left on the Rhododendron Gap Trail and head through some rocky sections through which you may have to walk your bike. The pedaling eases upon intersecting the wider Virginia Highlands Horse Trail (VHHT). Take the VHHT down into Big Wilson Creek and more views before climbing back to Scales. Watch for wild ponies along the way.

Road Trip down Washington's Wild Coast

Washington's coast is one of many beautiful destinations in the state. From amazing, craggy beaches to quaint beachside towns, this coast has something for everyone. While traveling down the coast there are plenty of opportunities for recreation year-round. This is one road trip that all travelers should try.

Most people start their trip in Seattle, the largest city in the state. Seattle is filled with attractions, including the fun Pike Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum and more. Visitors should be sure to take in the fine dining and more while exploring the city. After having fun in Seattle, travelers can take they ferry boat across the Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island.

Bainbridge Island is a nice little community, with a wonderful walkable downtown. Visitors should be sure to enjoy the restaurants serving locally grown foods, and fun bakeries. Once visitors have had their fill of Bainbridge Island, they can continue on towards the coast, heading to Port Townsend. This little coastal town is filled with Victorian houses and sail boats.

Continuing along the coast visitors can stop to hike out on the Dungeness Spit. This is the longest natural sand spit in the country, it extends five miles into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and grows about 15 feet each year. After spending a day exploring the spit, travelers can stop at the town of Sequim. Sequim has a great downtown area to explore, and breakfast or lunch at the amazing Oak Table Cafe is not to be missed. The Olympic Game Farm is another great destination in Sequim, where visitors can see bears, elk, zebra and even feed buffalo during the drive through the park.

As travelers continue west along the coast travelers should be sure to explore than many wonders of the Olympic National Park. Sol Duck hot springs has wonderful warm pools to relax in after a hike up to see Sol Duck Falls, or a walk on the Ancient Groves Nature Trail. Olympic National Park preserves much of the wild beauty of the Washington coast and is a great destination for all sorts of recreation.

Travelers can hike out to Shi Shi Beach in the park. Shi Shi is one of the longest stretches of undeveloped shoreline in the lower 48 states. This two-mile, crescent shaped beach features sandstone bluffs, fringed by forests, and the beach is a wild mix of sand and stones. The trail to reach Shi Shi is often rough, muddy and very rugged, but the scenes of the spectacular beach are worth the hike.

Also within Olympic National Park, visitors will find the Hoh Rain Forest, in the southern part of the park. This is the only temperate rain forest in the U.S. Travelers can also recreate on Quinault Lake, within the rain forest. On the lake there is a fantastic lodge for travelers to relax at. The alpine Lake Crescent is another fantastic destination within the Olympic National Park.

Travelers on the Washington coast should also stop at Neah Bay. This windswept point leading into the Pacific Ocean is the northwestern-most point in the contiguous United States. Neah Bay is home to the Makah tribe, one of only a few groups allowed to hunt whales using traditional methods. Visitors can learn all about the culture at the museum.

Rialto Beach is another great road trip destination. It is an untouched sandy beach that stretches for miles, but also has craggy rock islands that sit off the coast. Visitors can admire the views of the rock islands or hike up to the Hole in the Wall, which is an amazing cavern. Visitors can only pass through the cavern when the tide is low.

Washington's coast has many fun ocean communities. One of these is Ocean Shores, a great resort village located on a huge stretch of sand flats. This community has a long history of shipwrecks, which makes it a fun historic destination. Travelers can also cross Grays Harbor by ferry, Ocean Shores is located at the mouth of the harbor. On the other side is the town of Westport. Grays Harbor, Ocean Shores and Westport are great destinations for birdwatching, beachcombing and just enjoying the beautiful coastal landscape.

Grand Teton National Park to Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana

Separated by a mere 100 miles, it’s possible to visit them both with one spring road trip. Of course, truly exploring the parks would require at least a few days, but still, you might want to take advantage of this two-for-one vacation.

Grand Teton National Park, at about 300,000 acres, is near the Wyoming town of Jackson. Just north, Yellowstone National Park covers over two million acres. Yellowstone is a favorite destination of ours, so please be sure to check out our extensive coverage here.

California – Pacific Coast Highway‌‌

Credit: haveseen/ Shutterstock

Take the ultimate California road trip and travel the entirety of State Highway 1 — more famously known as the Pacific Coast Highway. Start at the northern border of California near Oregon in Crescent City. Travel south until you reach Redwood National Park where you should stop to take in the unique scenery. Multiple beach towns, national and state parks litter this route, and you could spend weeks or months exploring every coastal corner. Keep going and you'll pass through such cities as Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Malibu, Los Angeles, and San Diego — to name a few.

Road Trip Highlights: While there are many iconic stops along this route, be sure to stop in Monterey, a quintessential Californian beach community located about 100 miles south of San Fransisco. Here you will find under-the-radar attractions such as Cyprus Point Lookout, Pebble Beach, and the charming town of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

I-15: Las Vegas to Salt Lake City

I-15 runs from San Diego to Montana, carving off the westernmost quarter of the country from the rest. The best stretch to drive, though, is the chunk between Utah to Nevada. Choose the leisurely route from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon's South Rim, passing by the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Lake Powell, Zion National Park, Antelope Canyon, and Arizona's Painted Desert, which more than lives up to its name. Give yourself at least four days (better yet, a week). The contrast between the man-made neon of the Las Vegas Strip and the pinks, purples, and dusty reds of the deserts in Arizona and Utah is starkly beautiful.

Where to stop: Make Springdale, Utah, outside Zion your first base camp and take a half-day private tour of the national park before a spa day at the ultra-luxe Amangiri resort. Save time for a boat tour of Lake Powell, and for photo ops of the otherworldly Antelope Canyon.

Where to eat: There’s a surprising energy in Flagstaff, originally founded as a pitstop on the wagon road, thanks to the Northern Arizona University campus there. Downtown has a pleasant roster of cafes, bars, and craft breweries—follow the trail here—as well as an outstanding Southwest-Tex Mex scene try the tacos at Salsa Brava.

Where to stay: Channel your inner Easy Rider in downtown Flagstaff with a night at the Motel du Beau where both John Ford and John Wayne once stayed the 1929-built hotel has a gloriously retro charm. You can also stay at Amangiri, of course, or the chalet-like El Tovar, which hugs the edge of the southern rim of the Grand Canyon.

From a beautiful seashore in Eastern Connecticut to the iconic towns of Northwest Connecticut there is much to do here.

Coastal Connecticut

Hop on Route 1 and tour the coastal sea towns of Connecticut. You will find 120 miles of shoreline to explore from Greenwich to Stonington. On this trip, you will find lighthouses, vineyards and historical homes.

Connecticut Seashore

Drive The Connecticut River

The Connecticut River spans 4 states and cuts Connecticut in half from north to south. You will see sights like Covered Bridges, the Gillette Castle State Park and the Mark Twain House. The castle resembles a medieval fortress.

The best road trips in the world How do these rankings work?

1. Cairns to Cape Tribulation – Australia

The drive between Cairns and Cape Tribulation, now known as the Great Barrier Reef Drive, is 140 km of jaw-dropping beauty.

2. The Atlantic Highway – England

This scenic road trip traverses the iconic counties of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall on the South West Peninsula of England.

3. Canada’s Icefields Parkway – Canada

The Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 N.) is a 230 km mountain road running through the heart of Banff and Jasper National Parks. You’ll pass by some of the best grizzly bear viewing opportunities in the Canadian Rockies!

4. Nordic Coastline – Sweden

This beautiful coastal route includes many famous landmarks, such as Torghatten, De Syv Søstre (The Seven Sisters mountain range), Svartisen glacier and Saltstraumen (world’s strongest whirlpools).

5. Through Napa Valley – USA

You can’t visit Napa Valley without a trip to some of the area’s most historic and famous wineries where this great wine region began to make its mark on the world.

6. The Great Ocean Road – Australia

Take a drive on the spectacular Great Ocean Road, which winds alongside the wild and windswept Southern Ocean.

7. Basque Circuit – Spain/France

The Basque Circuit is easily one of Europe’s most beautiful routes. You start in Bilbao, driving through Pamplona and then the hairpin mountain roads of the Pyrenees in France.

8. The Trail of The Lonesome Pine – USA

This trail was blazed by legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone in 1775 and has become the route for hundreds of thousands of settlers of the western frontier. The driving tour follows the Wilderness Trail to Cumberland Gap as closely as possible.

9. The Pacific Coast Highway – USA

This route follows the dramatic cliffs and and vast beaches and lighthouses along the Pacific Coast.

10. Southern Utah National Parks Circuit – USA

Explore not one but two national parks – Bryce and Zion – in this desert road trip through Southern Utah with canyon peaks and mountain valleys.

11. Slovenian Lakes – Slovenia

This peaceful road trip is the best way to see Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, among others. The landscape is dotted with numerous lakes, both natural and man-made.

12. Through The Picos de Europa – Spain

The Picos de Europa are a mountain range extending for about 20 km. The complete mountain circuit route takes 5½ hours non-stop – to enjoy and explore properly allow several hours more than this.

13. The Baltics: Estonia to Lithuania – Estonia/Lithuania/Lativa

This road trip through the Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia is a great way to see highlights such as Riga Bay, Tallinn’s Old Town and river valleys.

14. The Coromandel Peninsula – New Zealand

The Coromandel is well known by Aucklanders and it is one of the most beautiful parts of NZ. It’s a long drive up the coast from Thames but worth it, with coastal views, sandy beaches, bushy walkways, arty communities and heritage sites.

15. New York to Niagara – USA

When it comes to travel, half the fun is in the journey. New York City lies about 400 miles south of Niagara Falls USA (about a seven-hour drive). Make time to explore the small towns and bigger cities along the way.

16. The Great Alpine Road – Australia

The 339-kilometre adventure along Australia’s highest year-round accessible road leads you through diverse landscapes. You’ll drive through mountain ranges, down plunging valleys, into lush forests, and past rolling vineyards.

17. Quebec’s La Gaspesie Loop – Canada

The Bas-Saint-Laurent – Gaspésie Tour is a legendary scenic drive that loops around the huge Gaspé Peninsula. It takes about 10 days in total to drive, but is well worth it.

18. On Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail – Canada

The 298-kilometer-long Cabot Trail is a winding mix of roadway that takes you from ocean views to quaint fishing villages. Plan several days to experience the journey of a lifetime along one of the world’s most scenic drives—you’ll need it.

19. The Wilds of Abruzzo – Italy

This picturesque drive goes through national parks, and countless medieval towns, just over an hour’s drive east from Rome. One of those road trips you’ll never forget.

20. Windswept Wild Atlantic Way – Ireland

This route along Ireland’s western coast lets you visit the most spectacular places, from UNESCO World Heritage site Sceilg Mhicíl (Skellig Michael) and the largest karst landscape in the world, The Burren to the traditional Irish towns.

21. Southern Alps Explorer – New Zealand

See the South Islands highlights on this route, including Mt Cook National Park. Queenstown, Milford Sound, the West Coast Glaciers. One of the essential road trips in NZ.

22. Corsica Coast – France

This amazing road trip route takes in over 200 beaches, medieval villages and unforgettable landscapes. Stop off for a boat tour to explore Scandola Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is famous for its strange red cliffs.

23. Algarve Coast – Portugal

The best thing about driving along the Algarve Coast is that the Algarve isn’t huge so you can easily access the whole region within only a couple of hours.

24. Black Forest Highs – Germany

There are magnificent views of the Black Forest valleys, the Rhine Valley and Alsace and the Voges Mountains along the entire route. There are also a large number of tourist highlights, such as Lake Mummelsee, the Lothar Path or the newly opened wilderness path on the Bühlerhöhe.

25. The Romantic Road – Germany

You’ll fall in love with Germany when driving the Romantic Road between Würzburg and Füssen. You’ll drive through medieval walled-villages and stop off at the fairy-tale castles of Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein.

26. Calchaqui Valleys – Argentina

Driving along the famous roundtrip around the Calchaquí Valleys is a must for all those who wish to see the best of Argentina. The route is well-known for its vineyards and wineries.

27. Adriatic Highway – Croatia

This scenic sea-side road route actually takes travellers through not one, but three countries: Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro. Views of crystal blue waters will keep you company.

28. The Alcan Highway – Canada

This highway is often referred to as the Alaskan Highway or the Alcan Highway, which came from shortening “Alaska and Canada Highway.” Drive through Yukon territory, the Rockies and see St. Elias Mountains.

29. Highway 61 – USA

This legendary Blues Highway is an unforgettable journey from Nashville, Tennessee to New Orleans, Louisiana, with music around every corner.

30. North Coast 500 – Scotland

This route starts in the northern city of Inverness, weaves along the west coast to Applecross and then northwards towards the towns of Torridon and Ullapool. From there, you’ll venture to some of the most northerly coastal points in Scotland.

31. Bollenstreek Route – Netherlands

The Bollenstreek Route, also known as the Flower Route, starts at Haarlem, and goes along flowers, flowers, and more flowers. The best time of year is from March-May when the tulips are in full bloom.

32. Route 66 – USA

Linking Chicago, Illinois, to Los Angeles, California, U.S. Route 66 runs 3,940 kilometers and is the perfect chance to see several major landmarks and monuments and explore some national parks.

33. Winding Upon Norway’s West Coast – Norway

Cruise along the main road with a view to the open sea, going through a coastal landscape unlike any other in the country. One of the best road trips in Europe.

34. Central Hokkaido Road – Japan

Hokkaido, Japan’s beautiful northern island has an iconic road trip route that takes you through lush forests, spectacular mountainous views and alongside the now disused Shihoro railway line.

35. Crossing The Carretera Austral – Chile

The Carretera Austral is an amazing road in Chilean Patagonia that starts in Puerto Montt, and crosses 1,247km of remote terrain to the northern shores of Lago O’Higgins. It takes about three-four weeks to drive it all.

36. The Ring Road – Iceland

Iceland has one main ring road, Route 1, that goes alongside some of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, such as the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, the Dyrhólaey cliffs and the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.

37. Lapland’s Highway 4 – Finland

Highway 4 stretches 1295 km from Helsinki to Utsjoki, almost the full length of the country from south to north. You’ll pass through national parks, the Arctic Circle and amazing scenery.

38. The Track: Alice Springs to Darwin – Australia

This is an epic four-wheel drive adventure that takes you through some of the most spectacular scenery of Northern Territory. Wind your way through remote national parks, remarkable terrain and far-flung outback towns.

39. Ruta 40 – Argentina

Legendary Ruta 40 is the ultimate Argentine road trip, made famous by its role in Che Guevara’s ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’. It runs along 5,000km crossing 18 important rivers, 20 National Parks and Natural Reserves.

40. The Belfast Loop – Northern Ireland

Stretching from Belfast to the historic city of Derry, and taking in some of Ireland’s most incredible sights, the Causeway Coastal Route is one of the best road trips in the world.

41. Outer Hebrides – Scotland

The Outer Hebrides is a group of islands off the west coast of Scotland, joined by causeways and ferries. Driving around here you’ll experience endless beaches, ancient history, wonderful wildlife and finest fresh food.

42. The Alsatian Vineyard – France

The famous Alsace wine route, running from north to south, offers wine trails, cellars and traditional restaurants. A wine-lover’s ideal road trip!

43. Swiss Alps – Switzerland

There’s many routes you can take through the Swiss Alps, but the most famous of the mountain passes in the European Alps is the Great St. Bernard Pass. You’ll drive high into the mountains to 2,469 meters.

44. Route 62 – South Africa

Cape Route 62 is the pretty tourist route in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, South Africa that meanders between Cape Town and Oudtshoorn, the Langkloof and Port Elizabeth, offering the shorter, scenic alternative to the N2 highway.

45. The Garden Route – South Africa

The Garden Route takes you on a road trip along the coastline of some 300 km between Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay, and is one of South Africa’s most popular road trips.

46. Skeleton Coast – Namibia

The Skeleton Coast, or “The Land God Made in Anger” as the Bushmen called it, remains one of the world’s last great wildernesses. It’s a coastal route where the Benguela Current of the Atlantic Ocean clashes with the dune and desert landscape of north-western Namibia.

47. Crossing the Kalahari – Botswana

The Central Kalahari game Reserve (CKGR) is the largest, most remotely situated reserve in Southern Africa and is a self-drive safari route where you’ll see wild animals and amazing scenery.

48. The Southern Zambezi – Zambia

You’ll need a 4ࡪ for this wild route, which brings you to the world’s greatest waterfall, Africa’s biggest man-made lake and the legendary Zambezi Canoeing Safari.

49. The Road to Khartoum – Sudan

The Road to Khartoum winds through the ancient sites of Soleb, Jebel Barkal, Nuri, Naqa and Musawwarat, desert camps along the river Nile and the pyramids of Meroe.

50. Panorama Route – South Africa

One of South Africa’s most scenic road trips, the Panorama Route, explores the Mpumalanga highlands, or the north-eastern section of the Great Escarpment of the Drakensberg.

Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.