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Sri Lanka road trip

Ten best self-drive road trips in the world

The thrill of driving is something unparalleled and across the world there are wonderful roads that are worth self driving on. When you choose to not employ a driver, you have more freedom and can experience a place better through its roads. There is a special joy that allows you to feel like you are in control of your trip.

These roads offer great views, smooth roads and some challenges on the bends and turns across the kilometres. 

`1. Pacific Coast Highway, USA

The drive is best started in Los Angeles and driving northwards as you go from North to South you have the Pacific Ocean to flank you. The US Highway 101 goes through Washington, Oregon and the northend of California and then to Highway 1 which has awesome scenes. Picture perfect drive starts in Townsend and ends near the Mexican border. It is 2250 plus kilometres of two lanes with forests, deserts and the cities of San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and San Deago are crossed.

2. Great Ocean Road, Australia

Another ocean drive, the Great Ocean Road is a 240 kilometres heritage of Australia built by soldiers who returned from World War I and is the largest war memorial. The route goes through Victoria and starts in the city of Torquay and ends at Allanford. The sights that one can see while on the drive are lovely including the 12 apostles limestone structures. The road is two lanes and passes forests, sandstone and limestone cliffs, sea coasts and beaches along the way. It is a favourite for tourists who come to Australia to do this bucket list drive. Many marathons and cycling events happen on this route too.

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3. Ring Road, Iceland

Superb scenery on Route 1 which is Iceland’s Ring Road is what awaits. Iceland is an island and this route takes a circle around it across highlands, cliffs, glaciers and unexplored parts. It is best to drive counterclockwise for a better experience of the views. The 1,300 kilometres plus route are ideal to do in summers when the light is good and the conditions favourable. Winter drives are increasing in popularity with a number of daredevils taking it up year on year. 

4. Estrada Nacional 2, Portugal

A 730 kilometres drive, the Estrada Nacional 2 in Portugal is from Chaves to Faro passing through most of the European country. There are mountains, olive fields, villages and rivers along the route. Motorcyclists and cyclists also like taking this route in addition to drivers. 

5. Garden Route, South Africa

Yet another coastline drive, the Garden Route in South Africa is 300 kilometres of the ocean with beaches, seashores, forests and some interesting towns. It starts at Mossel Bay to Cape Town ending in Port Elizabeth. 

6. Amalfi Coast Road, Italy

With cliffs, beaches, winding roads and the ocean – the Amalfi Coast Road in Italy is only 50 kilometres long. It may be short but it is nothing short of memorable. The route tends to be congested as many tourists tend to try their hand behind the wheel on it. There are many blind turns and it is quite challenging to drive on. The road is very narrow and just enough for two cars to fit. It will surely challenge the driver and give a good adrenaline rush.

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7. North Coast 500, Scotland

Passing through the north of Scotland, the North Coast 500 or NC500 is around 830 kilometres in length beginning and ending at Inverness Castle. The best way to tackle the drive is clockwise. Many endurance cyclists also take up this route. It was started in 2015 by the tourism promoters in the United Kingdom to promote the Scottish highland and tourism there.

8. Romantic Road, Germany

This too was created to promote tourism but in the 1950s. A 460 kilometres theme road that starts at Wurzburg and ends at Fussen passing through many small Bavarian towns and castles. Earlier this same road was one that helped the German trade route connecting the middle of the country to the south.

9. The Great Ocean Road, New Zealand

The equivalent of New Zealand to Australia’s Great Ocean Route – this namesake connects Westport to Greymouth. The 100 kilometres stretch has beaches, cliffs and pancake rocks which are a geological marvel. 

10. The Wellawaya-Beragala road, Sri Lanka

Officially the A4 highway of which the Wellawaya-Beragala road is part is in Sri Lanka. Just around 34 kilometres, this road is narrow with two lanes and many sharp bends and offers drivers a great opportunity to enjoy driving. The Indian Ocean island nation’s route has views of lakes, mountains and rivers making a sunrise or sunset drive very idyllic. 

Visiting various countries is always a great experience but driving on your own white here is another experience in itself. Be sure that when you plan a trip to the above nations, you do consider a self drive on the routes mentioned above to add a cherry to your travel cake.

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