Some journeys will drive you around the bend whilst others leave you standing still in traffic for hours. Why not take a break from everyday horrible commutes and take a ride down one of Teletext’s, top recommended, drives of a life time. The thrill of the Amalfi Coast in Italy or going the distance along the Blue Ridge Parkway in America, there’s a journey for everyone.
Trans Canada Highway, Canada
The Trans Canada Highway runs all the way from St John’s, Newfoundland, to Vancouver but a popular starting point is Montreal. Allow three weeks to do the journey in any comfort.
It winds around Ottawa and then splits – most scenic is to take the southern route along the Great Lakes, skirting along the top of Lake Superior and out through Thunder Bay.
Florida Keys, USA
From Miami, take US1, also called the Overseas Highway, for the 130-mile drive to Key West. You’ll have the experience of being surrounded by ocean as you traverse what, for the most part, is a narrow ribbon of islands.
You’ll also cross the spectacular Seven Mile Bridge just south of Marathon Key – great for clearing the mind and enjoying the view of water as far as the eye can see.
Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
This 180km route starts somewhat unpromisingly in a coastal town called Torquay and then proceeds to wind its way along the south-west coast of Victoria, taking in rugged cliffs, wildly beautiful beaches and lush rainforest. It has to be among the most scenic coastal drives in the world.
The downside for the driver is the winding nature of the road but passengers will be happy with the views.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
The 50km stretch of coastline from Salerno to Sorrento is one of Europe’s most scenic. The only way to see this picture-postcard pretty route is to drive along the hairpin bend roads. Lots of stop-offs are advised to avoid shredded nerves.
The most picturesque part of the drive is between Ravello and Sorrento, where houses and hotels cling precariously to the edge of green-topped cliffs that plunge steeply into the sea.
Blue Ridge Parkway, United States
This 469-mile road following the Blue Ridge Mountain range connects two great national parks – Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and Shenandoah in Virginia. The Parkway averages 3,000 feet above sea level.
The road is well marked and there are plenty of interesting places to stop off, whether it’s just for a picnic or an overnight stay at a campground or lodge.
Nice to St Tropez, Cote d’Azur, France
Fly to Nice and, after a couple of days exploring the town with its excellent art museums, hit the road. You have a choice of three main roads or corniches.
The middle one is the least exciting, while the upper or Grand Corniche has spectacular views of the coastline. Alternatively, take the Corniche Inferieure – not at all what its name implies as it hugs the coast, following the train route.
Port Augusta to Darwin, Australia
Preparation is the key to getting the most out of this 2,700km drive along the Stuart Highway, crossing Australia’s ancient Red Centre. Allow a week for the drive and another week to stop off and explore the area.
It’s a rugged, remote landscape that is best travelled in a four-wheel drive vehicle so you can go off-road when you want. Take good advice on what to take with you in the event of breakdown.
Zion National Park, Utah, United States
Zion, named by the Mormons who lived here in the 1860s, is an easy two-hour drive from Las Vegas. Once home to Anasazi and Paiute Indians, the park has a spectacular cliff and canyon landscape. At the park’s heart is Zion Canyon, with cliffs rising a sheer 3,000 feet from the winding Virgin River. The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is so popular it can now only be accessed by shuttle (park at Springdale Visitor Centre and climb aboard) or bicycle.
It’s possible to drive around this Ionian island in a day, but two or three allow full appreciation. Leaving from the not-particularly-impressive capital Argostoli, drive south along the coast through Lassi and cut up to Kastro for a view of the impressive 13th-century castle fortress of Agios Georgios.
Head down to the southern tip of the island to the unspoilt beaches at Katelios where loggerhead turtles come to lay eggs.
The Causeway Coast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
The scenic A2 road runs along the coast, the high point of which is the rocky formation known as the Giant’s Causeway. The coastal route mixes rugged beauty and lush romantic glens.
The southern part of the coastal strip is the Glens of Antrim, and the stretch between Waterfoot and Carnlough is recommended. Take a detour off the A2 to visit the ruins of Dunseverick Castle on the B146.