Argentina by motorcycle, Italian coast and more memorable trips
Argentina La Ruta Cuarenta
The Motorcycle Diaries is a fairly good model for a free-spirited road trip. The journey from north to south down Ruta 40 follows the example of Che Guevara, taking in more than 5,000km of tarmac and dirt, giving you a keen sense of the country’s bewildering scale.
Australia Cairns to Broome
Not for the faint-hearted, this classic Aussie road trip from Cairns in Queensland to Broome in Western Australia covers an epic 3,500km of road. The journey itself will require about 30 days of travelling and most definitely a sense of adventure.
Cuba Cienfuegos to Playa Ancon
Instead of spending two weeks sucking on the ubiquitous Cuban cigar and falling into tourist traps in Havana, why not rent a car (www.rex-rentacar.com) and take the A1 highway out of the city along the coast? End your trip at the Playa Ancon, often described as Cuba’s most beautiful stretch of beach.
Ethiopia The attic of africa
This 2,000km loop round northern Ethiopia that takes travellers on a five-day drive to the rock-hewn churches at Lailbela, the cliff-top men-only monastery at Debre Damo, the (purported) resting place of the Arc of the Covenant at Aksum, and the palaces of Gonder – more than enough to sate any Indiana Jones fantasies. The roads are, on the whole, excellent, but it’s worth having a 4x4 for those steep ascents.
France Vannes to Arcachon
A trip along the beautiful west coast of France in summer delivers exactly what it says on the tin: miles and miles of white, sandy beaches, countless cafés and delicious seafood restaurants, and hundreds of beach umbrellas.
France/Spain The pyrenees
Discover unlimited access to the mountain range that’s been described as the rooftop of Europe, with unbelievable views, as well as the freedom to drive back and forth over the ridge that divides France and Spain.
India Delhi to Rajasthan
Delhi in a car is not unlike hell reimagined as a traffic jam, but if you make it out along the Jaipur Highway towards Rajasthan, it won’t be long before you find yourself one of the few cars on the road, and surrounded by spectacular views of Sahara-style sand dunes and stark desert landscape.
Ireland Cork to Dingle
For something with a little less blarney and a real dip into the majestic Irish countryside, choose the drive along the south coast road from Cork to Dingle in County Kerry. Stop at Kinsale, where breakfast at the White House guesthouse (+353 21 477 2125, www.whitehouse-kinsale.ie) includes fish straight from the harbour you can see from your window seat.
Italy Amalfi Coast
This stretch of road – the star of numerous TV car adverts – between Sorrento and Salerno looks directly over the Bay of Naples, and is a treasure trail of sandy beaches, medieval towers, terraced orchards and exquisite restaurants. Note: you’ll need a steely nerve to inch your car close to the edge of the cliff if you meet a coach coming the other way.
Lebanon/Syria Beirut to Damascus
The mountain roads in this part of the world are safe, and very scenic in parts. This two-hour, 180km journey is also worth it just to experience two completely different cities in one day. If haggling with taxi drivers, US$60 is a reasonable fare for the journey. Be prepared to spend about an hour at the border crossing and make sure your Lebanese or Syrian visa is valid, or you may be sent straight back to where you started.
For more, see www.timeout.com/travel.