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Top Ten Best Driving Holidays

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Eager travellers are encouraged to get behind the wheel on their holiday to immerse themselves in the culture overseas fully. 

Holiday car rental experts at StressFreeCarRental.com have put together the best driving holiday destinations for travellers to swap the taxi for a car.

Recommended routes include the famous Route 66 in America and the Garden Route in South Africa.

Yorkshire’s Buttertubs Pass in England, known for its tight turns and steep descents, also makes the exclusive list.

A spokesperson from StressFreeCarRental.com said: “Driving whilst on holiday in another country is a great way to get into another culture because it allows you to be fully independent.

“You have the freedom to go where you like and explore your surroundings a bit more, and it’ll probably be cheaper than booking a taxi each day to get you around your destination.

“We’ve picked out some of the best places for driving whilst on holiday, so you don’t have to.”

Here are StressFreeCarRental.com’s best driving holidays in the world:

1.         Great Ocean Road, Australia

Australia can offer many options for road trips, with the vast open plains of the outback giving tourists some great adventures. However, one of the most idyllic stretches of road is the Great Ocean Road. Starting in the city of Melbourne, the 150-mile stretch follows the South Australian coastline allowing you to discover rainforests, remote beaches and the famous 12 Apostles.

 2.         Rocky Mountains, Canada

 Journeying between Calgary and Vancouver allows you to take in beautiful views of glaciers, waterfalls and mountains. Driving the route is a unique way to visit attractions such as the Valley of the Ten Peaks and Wells Gray Provincial Park. Part of the journey takes you through Cochrane, giving you the ultimate cowboy experience.

 3.         The Trasfagarasan Highway, Romania

 The journey entails 60 miles of winding road which cuts through the Carpathian mountain range. Due to its remote location, spend some time travelling towards the central Romanian highway, enjoying the views of Lake Vidraru. You’ll be joined by local vendors on the side of the road selling their homemade cheese. The road usually is only open for June to September due to the treacherous weather, so make the most of the route whilst you can.

 4.         Hai Van Pass, Vietnam

 Motorbikes are the chosen mode of transport in Vietnam; however, cars are available. The ‘Sea of Clouds’ is 500 metres above sea level and joins the cities of Lang Co in the north and Da Nang in the south. The route offers hairpin turns and steep inclines showing off the dense greenery against the backdrop of Da Nang Bay. There are many other routes similar to this in Vietnam, meaning your driving skills will be tested.

 5.         Route 66, America

 Perhaps one of the most famous roads in the world, at nearly 2,500 miles long, Route 66 makes for the road trip of a lifetime. Linking Chicago to Santa Monica, the route allows you to visit seven of America’s 50 states and several famous landmarks, such as the casinos of Las Vegas and, with a short but highly worthwhile detour, the Grand Canyon. It is possible to make the whole journey in just two weeks but be prepared to drive nearly 180 miles a day to complete it.

6.         Great Dolomite Road, Italy

 The 86-mile-long route allows you to explore the UNESCO-listed Dolomite Mountains. It runs between Bolzano and Cortina d’Ampezzo in the north of Italy and takes you through the rocky landscape of the Rosengarten area. Littered with small villages, traditional food is never far away. At its 2,239-metre peak, you begin to snake down a valley giving you views of Lake Carezza and Andraz Castle. It is passable every season, although care must be taken in winter.

7.         The Garden Route, South Africa

 Linking the Western and Eastern Capes, George is seen as the Gateway to the Garden Route. Situated at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains, the lush green city is a stark contrast to the Cango Caves you must visit along this road. The Bloukrans Pass, home to the highest commercial bungee jump in the world, is perfect for adrenaline junkies, but the route also offers picturesque beaches and excellent whale-watching spots.

 8.         Buttertubs Pass, Great Britain

The route that UK TV star Jeremy Clarkson described as “England’s only truly spectacular road” can be found in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. The five-and-a-half-mile long route allows you to test your driving to the max, featuring steep climbs, fast descents and plenty of tight corners. Although only a short journey, the neighbouring villages and characteristic thin Yorkshire roads mean your driving experience doesn’t finish once you reach the cheese-making town of Hawes.

9.         The Ring Road, Iceland

 The 828-mile-long ring road circles the whole of the island, allowing you to start and end in the same place, which tends to be the capital Reykjavik. Along the route, you can enjoy the natural beauty of the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal park and a two-million-year-old river canyon. It is recommended to enjoy the trip between May and October to avoid the potentially dangerous roads. If you travel around late September, you might even be lucky enough to catch the Northern Lights.

10.  Ruta de la Plata, Spain

An easy way to save money on flights, driving to mainland Europe can be a fantastic way to enjoy a unique driving experience. Following the Roman ‘silver route’, the Ruta de la Plata runs between Gijón and Seville on the western side of Spain. It will bring you through the UNESCO heritage site of Salamanca as well as cities such as León. Although the original route is still passable on foot and bike, an adapted version is used for car journeys.


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