The Best Coastal Routes to Drive on a Road Trip Holiday

The Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

Looking for an alternative to flying during the coronavirus pandemic? If you'd rather take a scenic road trip for your next staycation holiday, we've rounded up the the best road trip destinations and must-visit road trip routes if you want to drive on the world's most beautiful coastal roads

1. The Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

Located on Cape Breton Island in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, the Cabot Trail in 298 kilometres of stunning sea views and lush evergreen forests. Don't miss Lakies Head on the north eastern coast of the island, a rocky lookout with spectacular views. Ten minutes north you'll find Neil's Harbour, which is well worth a visit even if only for the cliff top lighthouse ice cream parlour.

The trail skims the edges of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, a huge area of rolling hills and enviable hiking routes. On the north western coast the small community of Pleasant Bay offers visitors a whale interpretive centre and whale watching tours. Don't miss the Rusty Anchor restaurant for fresh locally source mussels, oysters, lobsters and fish, as well as a delicious array of cocktails.

It is advised that visitors loop around the island anti-clockwise so it's easier to turn into the various look outs peppered around its coastline. Perfect for anyone exploring the east coast of Canada and New England by superyacht, yachts up to 130 metres can moor at the Halifax Waterfront Marina on the southern coast of Nova Scotia, which hosts a number of regattas throughout the year.

Picture courtesy of / Vadim.Petrov

Les Corniches, Côte D'Azur

The French Riviera can be a hectic place especially during the summer months, so escape the crowds and spend an afternoon exploring these winding coastal roads.

Les Corniches are a trio of routes that hug the cliffs between Nice and Menton. Each spanning around 32 kilometres, they all provide stunning views over the undulating coastline of the Côte D'Azur.

The Grande Corniche is the highest of the three roads, carved into the mountainside it rises approximately 457 metres above sea level. One on side cliffs cascade down to the turquoise waters and on the other, gentle hills blanketed in thick pine forests are dotted with rustic villas.

The middle road, The Moyenne Corniche, is less hair-raising but offers equally stunning views. The road winds up to the hilltop village of Èze, which stands on a dome of rock jutting out from the cliffs. Perched above the village is the Jardin Exotique d’Èze, the best place to see spectacular views over the hills and the Mediterranean below.

The Basse Corniche weaves along the coast and past the iconic coastal resorts of the Riviera. It’s the busiest of the three roads but the twinkling periwinkle blue water below and the dramatic cliffs still make it a beautiful drive.

Picture courtesy of / Circumnavigation

Overseas Highway, Florida Keys

The 181.9 kilometre Overseas Highway, complete with 42 bridges, connects the islands of Florida Keys. It continues from the U.S. Route 1 and uses large parts of the former Overseas Railroad, which was completed in 1912 and was heavily damaged in the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane. Don't miss the Seven Mile Bridge, which was converted into a road in 1935.

The islands are home to some of the largest areas of coral reef on U.S. mainland, as well as the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center and the National Key Deer Refuge.

If you're driving down this beautiful stretch of road we'd advise you to go via Card Sound Road at the beginning of your journey, rather than straight down U.S. Route 1 — stop off at Alabama Jacks, a simple beachside bar with incredible seafood before driving to the Ocean Reef Club, a private club that hosts the annual Vintage Weekend every December to celebrate classic cars, planes and yachts.

Head to Looe Key, an incredible dive site just a short boat trip away from Big Pine Key, or explore the exclusive Little Palm Island. Spend a night or two in Key West so you can fully explore the town before taking your wheels back on the highway, and be sure to stop off in Islamorada to watch the sunset — it's the perfect mini-trip for those on a superyacht charter in Florida.

Picture courtesy of / Felix Mizioznikov

The E10 through the Lofoten Archipelago, Norway

The E10, sometimes known as King Olav V's road, connects the Lofoten Islands from west to east and the archipelago is a must-see for anyone exploring northern Norway.

The E10 is approximately 850 kilometres long and starts in Å, Norway and finishes in Luleå, Sweden. The section that is the running thread through the Lofoten Archipelago weaves around the coastlines of most of the islands, offering breathtaking ocean and mountain views.

The Lofoten Islands are popular for hiking, rock climbing, kayaking and cycling and have been well-known for their Atlantic cod fisheries for more than 1,000 years. If you're planning on discovering the Norwegian fjords, make sure you leave plenty of time to visit the Lofoten Archipelago and roam along the E10 in a car as luxury as your superyacht.

Picture courtesy of / Katvind Lofoten

The D81 through the Calanques De Piana, Corsica

If you’re planning on spending a few days exploring Corsica by superyacht, the D81 coastal road through the Calanches de Piana is a must for the brave. The single track road runs along the side of the mountain, presenting a striking landscape of red granite cliffs and vicious looking outlines caused by centuries of erosion.

Piana itself is a stunning village that looks out over the Gulf of Porto and faces the Scandola and Senino peninsulas. Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983, the area including the Calaches of Piana, the Gulf of Girolata and the Scandola Nature Reserve offer unrivalled views and truly excellent (if hair-raising) driving opportunities.

Girolata Bay is also one of the best superyacht anchorages in Corsica, so why not tender to the little village of Girolata and enjoy the beauty of the D81 while driving over to Piana?

Picture courtesy of

The Sa Calobra Road, Mallorca

Also known as the Sa Calobra Road, the MA-2141 in Mallorca is a must for anyone who enjoys a scenic drive. Taking cars through unimaginably narrow gorges, around extraordinary hairpin bends and around the world-famous Nus de Sa Calobra, an unusual 360° turn to challenge even the most experienced motorists.

If you find yourself in Palma away from your superyacht, head over by car to Sa Calobra, or else drop anchor towards the north coast of the island and tender to the Port de Sa Calobra.

Picture courtesy of

Jadranska Magistrala, Croatia

Sometimes know as the Adriatic Highway, Jadranska Magistrala twists and turns along the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. Covering nearly 400 miles the road connects the towns and cities of Rijeka , Zadar, Sibenik, Split, Makarska, Ploce and Dubrovnik. With serpentine twists and sheer drops into the sea, the drive is not for the faint hearted. However, those who do take to the tarmac will be rewarded with stunning views across the sparkling sea and some of Croatia's hidden gems.

It would be easy to enjoy some of this road as part of a private cruise or luxury yacht charter in Croatia. The drive is just one incredible thing to do while visiting Croatia on a luxury yacht.

Picture courtesy of

Garden Route, South Africa

South Africa’s Garden Route extends from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms River in the Eastern Cape. The 150-mile drive combines amazing roads with unbelievable coastal scenery. It is also one of the few places in the world where you have the chance to spot whales and elephants along the same stretch of road.

You could drive the route in a day but it is recommended that you take your time and stop off at sights such as Knysna Elephant Park, De Hoop Nature Reserve and Tsitsikamma National Park.

Picture courtesy of Dominique De La Croix/

Atlantic Road, Norway

The Atlantic Road in Norway may only be just over five miles long but its series of ziz-zagging bridges skimming across the sea means that it is regularly voted one of the best drives in the world. The road runs through the archipelago in Eide and Averøy in Møre og Romsdal. It is at its most dramatic during stormy weather but when it is calmer it is possible to spot whales and seals.

Although private yachts and luxury yacht charters in Norway are not that common the country has some beautiful cruising ground. If you are inspired to visit the country don’t miss our guide to seven days in Northern Norway.

Picture courtesy of Tatiana Popova/

Great Coast Road, New Zealand

While Australia’s Great Ocean Road may be better known, New Zealand’s Great Coast Road is a more than adequate rival. The route from Westport to Greymouth snakes between limestone cliffs and isolated beaches and through Paparoa National Park.

If you want a breathtaking view to remember then charter a helicopter to take in Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers and snowfields or if you are feeling more adventous consider an ice hike.

There are an increasing number of superyachts sailing to New Zealand to experience its natural beauty. In 2014  New Zealand celebrated a record rise in the number of superyacht visits.

Picture courtesy of Earl D Walker/

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