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Ten Incredible Driving Routes

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Where are you heading on holidays this year? We know Ireland’s best driving roads but here is a list of 10 epic routes depending on which country you plan to visit!

1. Great Ocean Road, Australia
Australia can offer many options when it comes to road-trips, with the vast open plains of the outback giving tourists some great adventures. One of the most idyllic stretches of road, however, 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 is normally only open for the months of 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 the Da Nang Bay. There are many other routes similar to this in Vietnam, meaning your driving skills will be put to test.

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 gives you the opportunity to visit seven of America’s 50 states and several famous landmarks, such as the casinos of Las Vegas and, with a short but extremely worthwhile detour, the Grand Canyon. It is possible to do the full journey in just two weeks but be prepared to drive nearly 180 miles a day in order 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 in every season, although care must be taken in winter months.

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 wonderful whale-watching spots.

8. Buttertubs Pass, Great Britain
The route which 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 village 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 an amazing 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 sight 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.