Insight /


Our Favourite Driving Holidays The Joy of the Open Road

The flexibility to travel at your own pace, the thrill of discovering what lies around the next bend. Driving holidays offer total freedom - so why follow the crowd?

Worldwide Fly-Drives

We can help you plan the perfect fly-drive holiday along some of the world’s most spectacular routes. From the mountain scenery of the Canadian Rockies and the white villages of Andalucia to the wild beaches of Western Australia, we take a look at some of our favourite self-drive holidays.

    South Africa’s Wild West Coast

    The Garden Route may be South Africa’s most well-known road trip, but with fewer crowds and bucket loads of authenticity, the West Coast is just as spectacular.

    This wonderfully off the beaten track journey begins in Cape Town, where you can rub shoulders with penguins on Boulders Beach and take in the views from Table Mountain.

    Then leave the bustling city behind, driving north on the coastline-hugging R27 to Paternoster. With the smell of sea salt in the air, this wide and scenic road is driving heaven. Sheltered by rocky outcrops, Paternoster is a relaxed seaside village of whitewashed fishermen’s cottages. From here you can head to West Coast National Park to spot antelope and ostrich amid expanses of wildflowers. Inland, there’s excellent hiking in the Cederberg Mountains.

    Return south to end your road trip with a few nights in the Cape Winelands, exploring its arty towns and pretty vineyards while indulging in the country’s finest food and wine.

    Undiscovered Greece: Thessaloniki to Athens

    This fascinating journey on the Greek mainland stops in at little-known cultural gems like Vergina and Meteora.

    Fly to coastal Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city, which is home to no less than 16 UNESCO World Heritage sites. Visit the house where Kemal Ataturk (Turkey’s first president) was born, visit superb Byzantine churches and admire the citadel and Ottoman walls. It’s an easy day trip from here to Vergina, home to the undisturbed tomb of Philip of Macedon, known as the ‘Greek Tutankhamun’.

    Next stop is Meteora, whose remarkable Eastern Orthodox cliff-clinging monasteries and caves teeter atop massive rock pinnacles. You’ll need to climb a lot of steps to visit them – but you’ll be amply rewarded with rare manuscripts, 16th-century frescoes and inspiring views.

    Drive on to Delphi, considered by the Ancient Greeks to be the centre of the world, to explore its treasure trove of monuments. From here it’s just a short journey south to Athens, where the mighty temples of the Acropolis await.

    America’s Desert Southwest

    Learn what epic really means on a drive through the USA’s desert southwest, where cavernous canyons and sandstone monoliths create a wild west landscape of vivid reds and burning oranges.

    Touchdown in Phoenix, then hit the road north to the striking red rock scenery of Sedona. Here you can travel over the crimson rocks on a 4×4 jeep tour, climbing to panoramic lookout points before descending on the Road of No Return.

    Continue to Arizona’s canyon country, where we can set you up with engaging local guides for a series of heart-stirring hikes. Trek down hidden trails to the quietest viewpoints at the indescribably vast Grand Canyon. Then float down the Colorado River on a pontoon raft, passing beneath canyon walls which tower 1,000 feet high.

    After crossing into Utah, hike among the otherworldly, orange-hued hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, stopping along the trail for a picnic among the pinnacles, before continuing to the vast wilderness of Zion National Park.

    Iceland’s Golden Circle

    Dramatic icecaps, active volcanoes, steaming lava fields – Iceland is nature at its most spectacular.  There’s no better way to experience its ever-changing landscape than on a driving holiday.

    After picking up your car at Reykjavik airport, proceed directly to the steamy geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon for a soothing post-flight dip. Spend a day or two exploring the city, where cultural riches, exceptional dining and exhilarating whale watching expeditions are all on offer.

    Then hit the road for a tour of the Golden Circle’s natural wonders. Witness the power of Strokkur’s hot, spouting geyser as it erupts forcefully into the air. Visit the mighty Gullfoss waterfall, where the rushing waters plummet 32 metres down into the canyon below. Then base yourself in a remote lodge on Iceland’s southern shores to delve deeper into the magnificent landscapes.

    We can arrange a series of awe-inspiring adventures, from snowmobiling on the Eyjafjallajokull glacier-capped volcano to super jeep tours of the Thorsmork Valley’s rugged nature.

    Western Canada Adventure

    Experience some of the world’s best driving scenery on a journey through Canada’s Rocky Mountains. Snow-covered peaks and turquoise lakes provide the backdrop to warm summer days and an abundance of outdoor activities.

    Fly to Calgary then make your way to Banff, Canada’s first national park, where you’ll find hiking and cycling trails aplenty. Then drive the spectacular Icefields Parkway to Jasper – the largest park in the Rockies – for gorge trails across Maligne Canyon and cruises on Maligne Lake.

    Pass Mount Robson, the Canadian Rockies’ highest peak, before arriving into Clearwater. Nearby Wells Gray Provincial Park is renowned for its wildlife viewing, while water-based adventures include fishing and white-water rafting.

    Set between snow-capped mountains and the sea, Vancouver is your next stop. Go cycling in Stanley Park and explore historic Gastown, before taking the BC Ferry across to Vancouver Island. Here you can round off your road trip by going in search of grizzly bears, gray whales and orcas.

    Gourmet Andalucía

    Discover the rich culinary traditions of sun-drenched Andalucía as you drive from historic cities to whitewashed hill towns, while its rolling mountains and fertile plains provide a stunning backdrop.

    Start in the Andalusian capital of Seville, known for its innovative tapas bars and flamboyant flamenco displays. Visit the Gothic cathedral and Alcazar Palace, then join a local guide for an evening tapas tour. You can also take a daytrip to Jabugo – the capital of Iberian Ham production.

    Then head south into the fertile plains to taste your way around Jerez’s prestigious sherry bodegas. Continue to the hilltop pueblos blancos (white towns), basing yourself in Ronda to explore its historic monuments and spectacular gorge. There’s great walking in nearby Grazalema Natural Park, where you can picnic on excellent local meats and cheeses.

    Drive east to Granada to discover the Moorish palaces and gardens of the Alhambra with an expert guide, before tasting the city’s unique Spanish Moorish fusion cuisine in a private house. Finish your road trip with a drive through olive country to the historic city of Córdoba, renowned for its superb food and wine.

    Central Italy: From Le Marche to Tuscany

    Nothing beats winding your way through the captivating countryside of central Italy. With spectacular views, medieval hilltop towns, outstanding food and an abundance of enchanting hotels, all the ingredients for the perfect driving holiday are in place.

    Fly to Ancona, on Le Marche’s Adriatic coast, then head inland to the beautiful village of Monterado. From here you can explore authentic Italian towns like Urbino, just over the border in Umbria, within close proximity to wild beaches and secluded coves.

    Drive west into the northern Umbria, known as Italy’s ‘Green Heart’, where you can tour mist-ribboned hill towns like Gubbio, Orvieto, Perugia and Assisi. Then head south-east for a stint in medieval Norcia, where you can go walking in the majestic Sibillini Mountains or go truffle hunting with a local guide. For a relaxing finish, round things off with a stint close to the Tuscan coast in the unspoiled Maremma region.

    Go West in Australia

    From the classic East Coast to the wondrous Great Ocean Road, Australia is awash with excellent self-drive options. But for us, the empty roads, Indian Ocean beaches, vast national parks and unique wildlife of Western Australia are the country at its finest.

    Head north from Perth to discover the otherworldly limestone pillars of the Pinnacles before paying a visit to Lancelin, where you can try your hand at sandboarding. Further up the coast, Kalbarri National Park is home to spectacular wildflowers and excellent walking trails which you’re likely to have all to yourself.

    Then follow the North West Coastal Highway to Monkey Mia to feed the famous bottle-nosed dolphins. There’s excellent coastal walking at nearby Shark Bay or head to the arid shrublands of Francois Peron National Park for a 4WD adventure.

    Finish in the far north-west with a few days exploring the underwater wonders of the Ningaloo Reef. Head out to sea for an unforgettable swim beside gangs of migrating whale shark, keeping your eyes open for manta rays and turtles amid the teeming waters.