There is nothing quite like renting a vintage favourite, winding down the window to catch the breeze and hitting the open road to explore unchartered territory. Scott Dunn has come up with the the world best road trips.
1. The Coastal Road Trip: Off-the-beaten-track Greece
This trip is for travellers looking to step back in time to discover the authentic Greek way of life. The journey starts in ancient Athens with a stay at King George Palace – a private guide will guarantee that all iconic sites are seen, from the impressive Parthenon to the world-famous Acropolis, before the journey continues on to discover the local way of life in Peloponnese villages. Here, guests can take a break from driving to enjoy activities such as hiking, kayaking or even quad biking through the scenic surrounds. A drive to the south through the remarkably well-reserved Mani Peninsula offers the opportunity to discover completely unspoilt villages, Byzantine churches and rustic stone towers, before winding down at Kinsterna Hotel & Spa, located in the tiny town of Gerolimenas, and moving on to explore the medieval walled town of Monemvasia.
2. The Desert Road Trip: Highlights of Namibia
This amazing adventure begins by heading south to the Namib Naukluft National Park, where you’ll find the rust-coloured dunes of Sossusvlei. A hike to the top of the tallest dune, Big Daddy, followed by a walk through the eerie treescape of Dead Vlei, will allow guests to capture the dramatic dune sea in a seriously insta-worthy photograph. The epic road trip then continues on to Swakopmund, Namibia’s quaint coastal town, with an abundance of good restaurants offering delicious seafood. For the thrill seekers, activities such as a quad bike tour, sandboarding, or even kayaking with seals are available. After a 2-night stay, the journey continues northwards to the dramatic landscapes of Damaraland. The final stop is at the inspiring Okonjima, home of the AfriCat Foundation, where rescued big cats are rehabilitated and given a home. The activities here focus on cats, with morning and afternoon visits to their enclosures, providing great opportunities for close-up photography.
3. The Island Road Trip: Iceland Wilderness Adventure
After touching down in Iceland, guests will experience the charming buzz of Reykjavik with an overnight stay, before embarking on a journey along the Snaefellsnes Peninsula to Hvalfjörður. It’ll be hard not to stop along the way with breath-taking geological formations such as Glýmur, the country’s highest waterfall, or the unique Eldborg crater. At Snaefellsnes, a break from driving can be spent with riding lessons on Icelandic horses, or with a visit to picturesque fishing villages. The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is one of the best locations to spot sperm whales and orcas in Iceland, as well as white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises. Upon driving back inland, the journey passes through the Borgarfjordur, with a night spent at Hotel Husafell, before continuing south, with the last stop to explore the Vidgelmir lava tube and its fascinating rock formations. The trip then comes full circle with a return to Reykjavik where the last night can be spent exploring the city and sampling one of its many renowned restaurants.
4. The Family Road Trip: Amman to The Dead Sea
An action packed family adventure ideal for children from ages 8 and above awaits in Jordan. The trip starts in the capital of Amman, where a guide will bring families on an informative walking tour, visiting highlights such as the Roman Theatre and the Citadel to learn about the city’s ancient heritage. It’s then a three and a half hour drive from Amman to Petra, where dramatic vistas, colourful caves and mysterious temples will impress the whole family. After watching the sun go down over the desert, guests can spend the night in an unforgettable setting camping under the stars. A trip to Jordan isn’t complete without a float in the Dead Sea – famous for its incredibly buoyant salty water – before a stay at Kempinski Ishtar for a perfect end to a memorable week.
5. The Culinary Road Trip: San Francisco to Napa Valley, California
This luxury road trip covers gourmet highlights in renowned restaurant hotspot, San Francisco, and one of the greatest wine destinations, Napa Valley. The journey starts off in San Francisco, with a drive North across the Golden Gate bridge for a stay at Cavallo Point. While there, it’s essential to indulge in a cooking class, or for something new, a special workshop on local or ancient produce. The next stop is Napa Valley, which boasts some of the finest farm-to-fork restaurants. A stay at North Block Hotel is a must, given its location in the culinary heart of the valley. The journey continues on to the stunning Sonoma Valley for a stay at Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant, with its own Michelin starred chef, world class maitre d’ and master sommelier. While in Sonoma, a tasting with a local bio-dynamic producer at Littorai can be arranged, as well as a day out with an expert wine-buff to meet a beer sommelier and sample local produce. The drive then loops back to San Francisco, ideally with bags full of fine wines to enjoy once home!
Luxury tour operator, Scott Dunn, is no stranger to off-the-beaten-path experiences, having curated itineraries for the most discerning travellers. The team of travel specialists have come together to share their insider tips on what they believe to be a list of the most incredible road trips. For more information on this trip or about Scott Dunn, please visit www.scottdunn.com
Text and photos courtesy of Scott Dunn.