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Best Road Trips in Italy

Best Road Trips in Italy

While many travelers enjoy a tour of Italy’s most famous monuments (or indeed a walking food tour of one of its most culinary neighborhoods!), one of the best ways to get to know Italy and to make the most of your trip is to explore the beautiful Italian countryside by car. Auto Europe— a car rental company which has been matching travelers with affordable cars in Italy for over 60 years– has assembled a terrific list of Italy driving itineraries, and we thought we ‘d highlight these 6 classic Italian drives in the event you choose to enjoy one of these routes on your upcoming trip.

While you may have heard of the glamor of Lake Como’s palatial estates, a drive through Italy’s Veneto region along the banks of Lake Garda offers savvy travelers equally beautiful vistas. Pause for photos with pastel-colored Italian villas and the lake’s crystalline waters as your backdrop, and enjoy the history of Verona, Brescia, Limone sul Garda and Trento on this fabulous drive. One of the longest routes in Auto Europe’s Italy road trip guide, the Lake Garda tour doesn’t disappoint. Begin in fabulous Verona and leave room in your itinerary for scenic detours. The itinerary also offers numerous restaurant recommendations, sorted by price, so no matter your budget you can find the perfect restaurant or café to leave you satisfied for the next leg of this delicious road trip.

 

The famous island of Sicily offers travelers gorgeous vistas of the Mediterranean, a unique and storied history and some of the most delicious and interesting seafood cuisine in the world. The itinerary begins in Catania with stops on the slopes of Mount Etna, seaside Taormina and concludes after 87 gorgeous miles in Messina. This 3-day tour of Sicily offers travelers the opportunity to stop and explore roadside shops and cafes, pausing to enjoy your new favorite restaurants and classic monuments and ruins– a truly great part of the island to explore by car. You can find out more here

If alpine views are more your style, then the Stelvio Pass driving route offers breathtaking vistas. This itinerary includes stops in Bolzano, Stelvio, Bormio and Livigno. Nothern Italy offers travelers unique cuisine and the opportunity to explore the stunning Ortler Alps. This might be our favorite road trip for nature lovers, as it offers you the chance to take one-of-a-kind alpine photos which will amaze your friends and family when you return from Italy.

If you’re planning a trip to Rome, this charming route which winds its way through the Sabina foothills from Rome to Terni offers you the chance to experience the beauty of the oft-overlooked Italian countryside which surrounds this famous city. Driving this route is sure to deepen your Italian experience and enhancing your understanding of Italian culture. Scenic detours include driving around Lake Albano among other beautiful areas. This route will take you through the Marcigliani Natural Reserve as you follow the banks of the Tevere River, and we recommend pausing at a roadside stand to sample high-quality olive oils from any of the impressive olive groves in this region. Drive to the summit of Mount Terminillo on your way to Amatrice before enjoying a drive through Lago di Campotosto State Reserve on your way to beautiful Terni. While in Rome, why not join a food tour or culinary class and get to know the region through its cuisine?

Food and wine lovers will do well to enjoy a leisurely drive through the rolling landscape of Casentino Valley. This drive from Florence through the Tuscan countryside will allow you to pause at wonderful wineries, eateries and quaint Italian hotels– each sure to offer you the authentic Tuscan experience you’re seeking. A 63-mile trip, this route offers travelers plenty of time to explore, linger and delve into one of Italy’s most magical regions. Travel at your own pace while enjoying plenty of inspiring views of the iconic Tuscan countryside. While in Tuscany, why not make a short detour to Florence to enjoy a food tour?

Italy’s Sorrento Peninsula offers drivers breathtaking views of crystal-clear water and charming hillside villas. Start your drive in Naples and enjoy a scenic cruise around Mt. Vesuvio as you tour Sorrento, Positano, and Salerno. Total driving time for this 4-day trip is about 5 hours (108 miles of breathtaking views), and if you plan stops to dine and explore each of these fabulous towns you’ll leave with a deep understanding of and appreciation for Italian life on the Amalfi Coast.

Unforgettable road trips on Australia

Unforgettable road trips on Australia

Looping south, visit historic Maryborough, birthplace of Mary Poppins author PL Travers; then explore Tin Can Bay, home to an improbable number of sea turtles, dugongs and rare Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins.
Offshore adventure: Airlie Beach to Magnetic Island (10 days). 
Road trips and islands don’t make obvious pairing, but Queensland’s offshore offerings are so dense that you can survey a good bit of them in one trip linked with unforgettable coastal drives.
Start in Airlie Beach. Here you can cut loose an unending population of travellers before booking a boat trip out to the glorious Whitsunday Islands archipelago. There are myriad Whitsunday daytrip options, but a multiday sail will let you leave your footprints on remote beaches with no one else on them. Don’t miss Whitsunday Island itself and a memorable swim off sublime Whitehaven Beach, often touted as Australia’s prettiest.
After cruising the islands, book a few nights at a swish offshore resort– Hamilton, Hayman and Daydream islands await. Feeling more adventurous? Sign up for an overnight kayaking trip with island camping.
Next you’ll want to head about three hours north to Townsville. Here, promenade along the waterfront, check out the excellent Reef HQ Aquarium, clamber up Castle Hill and lunch into Townsville’s impressive eating and drinking scene (try the seafood, of course). Experienced divers can book a dive on the famous wreck of the SS Yongala offshore.

The Great Beach Drive: Sunshine Coast & Fraser Island (10 days).
Maybe your idea of a winning road trip depends on access to high-profile outdoor adventure. If so, you want to take on the aptly named Sunshine Coast in southeast Queensland.
Next up, sunny Mooloolaba has solid surf and chipper beach vibes and boasts fresh catches of local ‘Mooloolaba King’ prawns. Another half-hour north and you’ll reach Noosa and its lush national park (home to sometimes-spotted koalas), river kayaking and a first-class foodie scene.
A couple of hours north is gorgeous Rainbow Beach, full of surfing, fishing, paragliding, hiking, skydiving, horse-riding and more. From here, explore the huge dunes, beach ‘highways’, bushwalks and crystalline lakes on the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, the largest sand island on the planet (BYO 4WD, or take a tour).

CHARLES RAWLINGS-WAY
Lonely Planet Writer
Australia’s East Coast offers plenty to get excited about for road-tripping explorers. Along sun-bleached blacktop, you’ll find picture-perfect beaches, hip cities, lush rainforests, the Great Barrier Reef and abundant native wildlife.

The Great Barrier Reef Drive: Cairns to Cape Tribulation (1 week).
By embarking on this trip, you’ll journey up the coast in far-north Queensland, passing classic old towns and luxe resort hubs with eye-popping Great Barrier Reef views en route. Starting ebullient Cairns, a snorkelling or dive trip to the Great Barrier Reef is a must. After that, pinball between the city’s botanic gardens, hip restaurants and buzzy bars.
Next up, head inland via gondola cableway or scenic railway to Kuranda for rainforest walks and the storied markets (try some macadamia nuts!). Don’t miss detours to picturesque Millaa Falls and a rainforest hike in scenic Wooroonooran National Park.
On Cairns’ northern beaches, check yourself into a plush Palm Cove resort, then pull off the road for a photo-op at Rex Lookout above Wangetti Beach further north. Port Douglas in next– an up-tempo holiday hub with fab eateries, bars and further reef-trip diversions.
At Mossman Gorge, lush (and Unesco World Heritage-listed) rainforest enshrouds the photogenic Mossman River: take a guided walk and cool off in a waterhole. At Daintree River, book yourself onto a crocodile-spotting cruise then have lunch in Daintree Village. Cow Bay awaits nearby for a few hours of beachcombing. Last stop is Cape Tribulation, a magnificent collusion of rainforest and reef. Spend a few nights at one of the upmarket lodges nooked into the rainforest here.

High energy Brisbane to the laid back Gold Coast (7-10 days).

Along sun-bleached blacktop, you’ll find picture-perfect beaches, hip cities, lush rainforests, the Great Barrier Reef and abundant native wildlife. Head a quick 50-minute dash south into New South Wales and you’ll find the alt-lifestyle haven of Byron Bay, home to endless beaches, delightful accommodation, delectable food and more. Don’t miss Whitsunday Island itself and a memorable swim off sublime Whitehaven Beach, often touted as Australia’s prettiest.
Sydney is Australia’s biggest and brightest city, offering iconic experiences like the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, harbour ferries to Manly and the bustling Bondi Beach. At Jervis Bay, you’ll find white-sand beaches, cavorting dolphins and national parks.

Watch your worries fade away as you trek out of the lovingly big-city Brisbane and out into the chilled-out Gold Coast surf towns and northern New South Wales. Save a night on the tiles in hedonistic Fortitude Valley and make time for a ferry trip out to North Stradbroke Island for surfing, sea kayaking and fish-and-chips on the sand.
An hour south of Brisbane, the Gold Coast bares its beachy, brassy soul. The epicentre here is celebratory Surfers Paradise, with its brazen sun and after-dark good times. More relaxed and surf-centric are Burleigh Heads and laid-back Coolangatta. Head a quick 50-minute dash south into New South Wales and you’ll find the alt-lifestyle haven of Byron Bay, home to endless beaches, delightful accommodation, delectable food and more. The local charisma is so strong that many wandering nomads stop in Byron Bay only to never leave.

Little bit of everything: Sydney to Melbourne (1 week).

By now, you’re far from the rugged charms of Queensland, but the coast road between Sydney and Melbourne offers an abundance of national parks, surf beaches, ocean wildlife and disarming small-town vibes.
Sydney is Australia’s biggest and brightest city, offering iconic experiences like the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, harbour ferries to Manly and the bustling Bondi Beach. Just south, though, you’ll find the dramatic cliffs and bushwalks of Royal National Park and the elevated Grand Pacific Drive roadway, arcing out above the ocean for impressive ride. At Jervis Bay, you’ll find white-sand beaches, cavorting dolphins and national parks. With quick detour inland, you can visit Australia’s capital Canberra to check on proceedings at parliament house and visit the nation’s best museums.
Coastal Narooma has pretty beaches and solid surf. From here, catch a ferry to Montague Island, an important Aboriginal site and an impressive nature reserve. On south-coast NSW, sleepy Eden is famed for whale watching, and don’t miss historic, picture-perfect Central Tilba.
Crossing into Victoria, you can glide through forests, farms and the Gippsland Lakes district to Wilsons Promontory, with its fab bushwalks, camping and beaches. Beyond lies Phillip Island, where penguins, seals and surfers frolic in the brine. Finally, it’s the big smoke– Melbourne.

Wind up your journey on Magnetic Island, an unpretentious isle with easy-going beach villages, rampant wildlife and scenic bushwalking aplenty.

Five Road Trip Ideas

Road trip ideas? It’s a pretty vague concept.

However, here are our five of our favourite ideas, in five different continents:

The 123-mile route starting in Monterey and ending in Morro Bay threatens sensual overlaod, such is the beauty and diversity of the five-hour trip across the central Californian coastline.

When working on road trip ideas, all require careful planning. Always make sure your vehicle’s had a good service before you head off, make sure you carry some extra petrol in a jerry can, and make sure you have a comprehensive map. Take non-perishable food and drink, too, as well as blankets.

For that reason, no list worth its salt could exclude this classic trip.

Asia
Bangkok to Singapore
Like to be ambitious? Step right this way. A road trip from Bangkok to Singapore will take in a mammoth 1,250 miles, but we can pretty much guarantee it’ll be about the most stunning car journey of your life.

First-hand experience has taught me how overwhelming it can be to plan for a trip and often it’s the little things that can contribute to a stressful situation.

North America
Pacific Coast Highway, California, USA
Nothing screams “road trip” more than the thought of cruising down the highway with the windows down, driving music on and sun shining.

In this diverse country, you can take your pick from thousands of permutations, but we recommend doing one that goes between Auckland and capital, Wellington.

Start in the rolling hills of the national park the Yorkshire Dales in West Yorkshire, and visit quaint, wonderfully laid-back towns such as Kettlewell and Skipton stopping in the country pubs and B&B s, then head north east towards the county’s second national park, the North York Moors, and explore the heather-filled hills that stretch right out towards the north sea. Spend an evening in beautiful seaside town Whitby (of Cptain Cook and Dracula fame) then drive back through the moors to the historic city of York – Britain’s most haunted city, and undoubtedly one of its most beautiful.

When working on road trip ideas, all require careful planning. Always make sure your vehicle’s had a good service before you head off, make sure you carry some extra petrol in a jerry can, and make sure you have a comprehensive map. Take non-perishable food and drink, too, as well as blankets.

From the Redwood groves of Big Sur through the breathtaking altitude of the stunning Garrapatta State Park, every mile of this route offers something worth seeing – an unforgettable photo opportunity. Even stopping off for something to eat is a worthwhile experience, pushing this into solid gold road trip ideas territory – Nepenthe, a restaurant perched 800 feet above sea level offers the kind of views you simply can’t buy.


Taking in everything from jungles to rainforests, to plantations and stunning beaches, if you have a few weeks to spare, this could be every kind of break you ever dreamed of rolled into one. Bookended by two of the most impressive urban areas on the planet, with road trip ideas like this, it’s the kind of trip that the phrase “trip of a lifetime” was coined for.

Road trip ideas can be tailored to your specific needs, and nowhere is it more apparent than on this route, where, depending on your exact route, you can expect to find lakes, rainforest, volcanic fields and mountains. With natural beauty at every turn, this is one of the most fulfilling trips you could take.

South America
Argentina, La Cuarenta
You’ve come to the right place if you like trips to involve desolation.

Trips like this won’t be for everyone. High winds can prove hazardous to motorcyclists, while the sheer desolation can be intimidating in itself, but if you’re of the adventurous kind, it’ll be the kind of trip you’ll be telling the grandkids about.

La Cuarenta is possibly the loneliest road trip in the world, but the feeling of isolation and desolation it brings – many roads off the Ruta Nacional 40 the route takes simply lead to nowhere – allow a sharper focus for the simply gorgeous things you’ll find along the way – Andean lakes, incredible wildlife and pre-Colombian roack art.

However you choose to enjoy this route, its one with wonderful diversity, and all the while hugging the beautiful Pacific coast.

Oceania
North Island, New Zealand
Sometimes road trip ideas are more than just that – sometimes taking a road trip is simply a necessity. No visit to New Zealand can be complete without a road trip of the country’s north island.

Europe
Yorkshire, England
The biggest county in England, Yorkshire is traditionally divided into three areas, or “ridings”, the north, west and east.

Step right this way. A road trip from Bangkok to Singapore will take in a mammoth 1,250 miles, but we can pretty much guarantee it’ll be about the most stunning car journey of your life.

The unexpected can and does happen on road trips, whichever road trip ideas you concoct – that’s part of the fun, but always make sure you’re fully prepared should things go awry.

It’s one of the most diverse areas in the country, offering vibrant city life and humble, unhurried villages, making this one of the best trips in the UK.

This guide alone can’t begin to provide a comprehensive range of wonderful road trip ideas, but hopefully it’s given enough food for thought in whatever road trip ideas you go with.

If planning a road trip is only one of your concerns, and you need advice on other things, such as choosing the right travel adaptor by clicking Travel Adaptor .
Plan ahead and it’ll be easy.