It doesn’t matter whether you’re sitting amid the high whine of an old Mini Cooper or feeling the swirl of acceleration from the bucket seat of a Bentley Bentayga V12, the open road is one of life’s great levelers.
Fresh air, great scenery and a wide open road are the Holy Trinity of freedom – and it’s there for anyone with a set of wheels. But with about 64 million kilometers of roads girdling the globe, where’s the best place to open up the throttle and chew up the miles?
From a morning’s jaunt to clear out the cylinders to epic road trips of sun, sea and sand, here’s a fast countdown of the best 10 road tours worldwide:
10. Route 62, South Africa
Distance: 748 kilometers.
Approximate route time: Nine-and-a-half hours (nonstop).
Over 65 wineries along the way will have you wishing you were a passenger rather than the driver.
Shift driving works best along this long tourist route stretching between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, with stops at dozens of non-boozy attractions splintering off the main path, such as cliffs, fauna, rivers, valleys and plains.
Chapman’s Peak Drive is a recommended diversion at the start of your journey, a spectacular nine-kilometer marine drive winding its way around the mountainside between Hout Bay and Noordhoek.
Highlights: The hot mineral springs and private Roman baths at the Warmwaterberg Spa are a godsend for shoulder muscles after hours of driving.
Alternatively a two-day hike on the famed Donkey Trail over the Swartberg Mountains will get the blood pumping again before the next stretch of road.
The Klaasvoogds Game Reserve further along Route 62 is speckled with black wildebeest, leopard tortoise and Burchell’s zebra.
Stop for a bite at: Ronnie’s Sex Shop. Initially the sign was “Ronnie’s Shop” but when “Sex” was graffitied as a prank Ronnie decided to leave it up and run with the theme. It’s now a bizarre sex-themed popular pub hangout for bikers, local farmers and regulars along the road.
Warmwaterberg Spa; R62, Barrydale 6750, Warmwaterberg, South Africa; +27 28 572 1609
Klaasvoogds Game Reserve; Kleinfontein, Klaasvoogds West, Robertson; +27 23 626 6115
Ronnie’s Sex Shop; Route 62 Barrydale, Klein Karoo, South Africa; +27 285 721 153