Ah the road! A symbol of adventure and opportunity. The bearer of infinite horizons. An ever-lasting call into the unknown. Less traveled or oft, the road has always been a lure to mankind. And if you are such a man, here’s a list of road-trips that will make you want to jump behind the steering wheel and disappear into a world of scenic quests. Let us begin.
Journey to the Middleland
Shimla to Manali Via Spiti, India
Literally speaking, the word Spiti means middle land – the land between India and Tibet. Here, you are promised the highest villages in the world, some of the ‘deadliest roads’ on the planet and possibly the bluest skies your eyes ever saw. You will also find yourself on the old Hindustan-Tibet road, a legendary feat of human engineering, which is still considered to be the largest stretch tunneled for a road through rocks. And if all this is not enough, you can count on some idyllic towns on the way, high altitude lakes that also make for perfect camping sites and sweet solitude every where you go.
Highlights: Sarahan, Tabo, Dhankar Monastery, Kaza(Capital of Spiti), Chandratal via Kunzum La
Season: July, August and Mid September
Distance: Over 1000 KMs
Duration: 12 – 15 days
To the Apostles
Great ocean road, Australia
The great outback is well known for its vast natural scenery and unforgettable adventures. On this road, mountains and oceans come together. Rain forests merge with high cliffs. Lighthouses show you the way. And astounding sights await you at national parks on-route – read kangaroos, koalas, penguins and some startlingly multicolored birds! Add to all this the unbelievable sight of Twelve Apostles – a breathtaking limestone rock formation towering 65 meters above sea water. This is one epic road trip.
Highlights: Bells Beach, Apollo Beach, Great Otway National Park with detour to Otway Lighthouse, Twelve Apostles
Season: All year
Distance: 253 KMs
Duration: The road itself takes about 4 hours to cover, but you might want to take it much slower.
On the ring road
Route 1, Iceland
This utterly remarkable road is also known as the Ring Road. The reason for that name is quite likely just what you think. This 100% pothole free route follows the circumference of this otherworldly country! And it offers you a taste of all the unforgettable experiences Iceland has to offer. If you start from its southern point your journey will begin in the capital city of Reykjavík, which is also the largest city in Iceland. This effectively means that you start with a party. And as you head east, after passing the Golden Circle you reach where you will find your self completely alone, surrounded by incredible sights like glacial lagoons and secluded waterfalls. This roadtrip is as romantic as an adventure can get.
Highlights: Jökusárlón glacial lagoon, Skogafoss waterfall, Hvoll
Distance: 1332.54 KMs
Duration: 12-15 days
A new legend
NC 500, Scotland
This brand new highway became operational only in 2015. The North Coast 500 is part of an initiative set up by Prince Charles to showcase the singular grandeur of the Scottish coastline, both east and west. Utterly spectacular, the route has already found recognition as one of world’s best road trips. So much so, that this highway is being called Scotland’s answer to the much fabled Route 66 of USA! Rest assured, these are some of the most scenic vistas in the Northern Hemisphere, where you will wish to linger for a long time.
Highlights: Castles, Lochs, Glens and Highland cattle
Distance: 830 KMs
Duration: 3 to 7 days
West Coast Ahoy
Mumbai to Kanyakumari, India
India’s western coast is a confluence of two geographical marvels – pristine white sands on one side and the lush Western Ghats (one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world) on the other. It’s the one stretch of road that doesn’t require you to choose a side in the endless debate of mountains versus sea! You pass 4 states of India, experiencing a vast diversity of culture and cuisine. You find abandoned forts and nightlong raves where the world joins you. This is a road trip you will mostly wish to take again and again.
Highlights: Murud, Ganpathipule, Goa, Gokarna, Calicut, Alleypey
Season: Monsoon, Winter
Distance: 1655 KMs approx
Duration: 10 to 13 days
Image courtesy: Google