4. Route One
(828 miles /1,332km)
Iceland’s national ring road runs as a continuous loop around its coast. For locals it links all the fishing settlements clinging to edge of the island. For visitors it offers a spellbinding journey through extraordinary landscapes of glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls, geysers, lakes, mountains, sea stacks, fjords, islands and icebergs. Keep watch for boiling blue geothermal mud pits, fresh lava flows and inquisitive reindeer. And when it gets dark, look forward to a show from the Northern Lights, too.
5. Overseas Highway
Miami to Key West, USA
This driving route crosses so much sea that it’s more like a boat trip. A dream-like stretch links the mainland with the string of islands at the southern tip of Florida. It’s an exotic journey of coral, mangrove and sandy palm-fringed beaches. Along the way you’ll drive over 42 sea bridges, one of which is seven miles long. These constant seascapes are best appreciated during a classic Florida sunrise or sunset.
6. Icefields Parkway
Banff to Jasper, Canada
The drive north from Banff to Jasper is an eye-boggling journey through the heart of the Rocky Mountains. The highlight is the Columbia Icefield, a massive 125 square mile (325 square km) area of solid ice up to 1,000ft (365m) thick and including more than 100 glaciers. The rest of the drive crosses two national parks, sweeping through vast evergreen forests alongside snowy peaks, thundering waterfalls and sparkling lakes.
7. The Garden Route
Mossel Bay to Storms River, South Africa
As one of the world’s great road-trip holidays, the acclaimed stretch to the east of Cape Town offers a smooth, well-signed highway along a dream coastline. You’ll drive between the Indian Ocean and the forested mountains, enjoying a sequence of beautiful sandy beaches backed by lush green hills and elegant old-colonial seaside towns.
8. Road of the Seven Lakes
Villa la Angostura to San Martin de los Andes, Argentina
(68 miles /110km)
This wonderful drive through Argentina’s ‘Lake District’ used to be suitable only for off-roaders but it has recently been fully paved. Now the lovely, winding scenic route is easy to drive – as long as you don’t get distracted by the constant views of lakes, forests and rivers. Watch out for cattle and horses from remote farmsteads wandering aimlessly across the road and make sure you stock up with fuel and drinks because there are no services along the way.