The compact island of Sardinia is blessed with a sigh-worthy coastline. Many of the most beautiful coves and attractions are only accessible by car, so it’s well worth renting your own vehicle. In the summer traffic can be heavy, but locals are fairly patient with visitors – albeit pretty speedy on the road themselves! Spring and autumn are ideal for leisurely drives. Plot your route allowing for stops at wine-producing agriturismi (farm-stay accommodation).
Top tip: Skip the tourist boat from Alghero and drive your way up steep and winding cliff-side roads to reach the entrance to Grotto di Nettuno, a beautiful, well-lit sea cave filled with intricate rock formations.
ICELAND’S RING ROAD
Reykjavik and the blue lagoon are wonderful, but too many tourists fail to venture any further. If you want to see more, rent a car in the capital and take at least a week to explore the fascinating island independently. There are scores of hidden waterfalls and geothermal wonders to behold.
Top tip: The ring road is a great way to see the island, but do take the odd detour inland to find hidden villages and unbeatable scenery.
Montenegro may be emerging as the next big thing for sun-worshipping budget travellers, but it remains vastly underrated when it comes to road trips. Sparkling Mediterranean coastline paired with a dramatic mountainous interior make for prime scenic drives. Start with the Bay of Kotor, continuing south-east until you find yourself cradled between mountains and ocean. Roads can be challenging but the views are worth it.
Don’t miss Hair-raising hairpins will soon be forgotten once you reach the top of Mt Lovcen, which rewards the brave with unbelievable views.
London. Check. Oxford. Check. Cambridge. Check. Branch out from the standard UK day trips to discover the real beauty of the British Isles. The rugged coastlines of West Wales and Cornwall are perfect for long weekends. You could even take the ferry to the Isle of Wight, where traffic is light, locals are relaxed and the scenery, divine. It is possible to follow a loop around the whole island, passing through picturesque villages as you go.
Don’t miss The Needles, Isle of Wight. Take the A3055 west along the spectacular south coast until you reach The Needles, three chalk stacks that rise out of the sea like teeth.