The breathtaking Jurassic Coast. Credit: Jose Llamas
When preparing for a road trip, keeping a positive and flexible mindset is as important as planning – a blocked road can become a chance to further explore, a flat tyre can turn into some quality family time.
In the same vein, planning your journey can be fun instead of a chore. Exchanging emails with a hotel in a foreign land is the beginning of your trip and the first point of contact with a different culture – the main reason we travel is, after all, to get in touch with different people!
With all that in mind, we’ve decided to help you with what we can, which is the planning. From forest bathing in Latvia and the striking Game of Thrones’ location, The Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland to a 20th-century quaint little road in Brazil and the breath-taking Jurassic coast in the UK here is our selection of the most scenic road trips you can take in one day.
If you are ever in Brazil, Graciosa Road or Estrada da Graciosa, in Portuguese, located in the state of Parana is an unmissable scenery. The quaint little road was built and used by local merchants in the 20th century and nowadays is a scenic route connecting the small city of Quatro Barras to the coastal cities of Morretes and Antonina. A UNESCO preservation area since 1993, Estrada da Graciosa is part of the Atlantic Forest and has less than 30km extension and is a place to enjoy the local gastronomy (particularly the delicious barreado) plus artisanal products like cachaça (a sugar cane distillate) and the traditional and delicious banana candy. The portal which leads to the road (Portal da Graciosa) is only a 45 minutes drive from the capital Curitiba. You can drive through Graciosa and have a barbecue, but you may also walk or swim at any of the numerous touristic points available.
Sigulda, within the Gauja National Park in Latvia, is for those in need of some forest bathing. Only a short drive from Latvia’s capital, Riga, Sigulda is a centre for winter sports boasting wonderful nature and a lovely bridge that goes over the magnificent river Gauja. Only 20 minutes away, It’s the peaceful and historic town of Līgatne. On the way back to the capital, the drive to Līgatne from Riga takes you through small gravel roads crossing wonderful farmers’ fields flanked by grand, wise trees. Latvia is one of Europe’s greenest nations with the forest covering about half the country! Gauja National Park is the largest and oldest of the national parks in Latvia and a wonderful place for hikes, cave exploring animal and bird-watching, or even some adrenaline sports.
The Dark Hedges, in Northern Ireland, is a gorgeous landscape that has been featured in Game of Thrones. Composed by around 150 gigantic mature beech trees, the tunnel was built by James Stuart in circa 1775 to impress visitors arriving at the Gracehill House. The hedges are believed to be haunted by the Grey Lady who wanders the avenue and disappears at the last tree. They say that, during Halloween, the Grey Lady gets together with other spirits from a nearby long-forgotten graveyard. There are also guided tours available if you fancy. This beautiful location is just a quick drive from Belfast or Dublin, or you can visit it as part of a Coastal Causeway road trip. One of the most striking coastal roads in the UK, the Jurassic Coast Drive offers high views of both the coast and countryside. This 18 miles drive goes from Weymouth to Bridport (or vice-versa), following the line of the Chesil Bank and Fleet Lagoon. There are many roadside viewing areas for a day trip, but you can also park in one of the many villages or coastal parks if you prefer to go camping. From the villages of Abbotsbury, West Bexington, Cogden or Burton Hive, there are many activities like walks and attractions, eateries, shops and pubs.
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