Summer vacation is almost here, which means road trip season is nearly upon us. Want to hit the open road this year but not sure where to go? Just look to Instagram for the answer.
Pentagon Motor Group analyzed more than 7 million Instagram hashtags to find the world’s most stunning routes. The research found Australia’s Great Ocean Road is the most beautiful road trip in the world, followed closely by California’s Big Sur and Jebel Hafeet in the United Arab Emirates. That means, there’s truly a road trip for everyone anywhere in the world.
To come to this conclusion, the team first researched a list of the most popular road trips in the world, along with their location and length. Then, it used Instagram hashtag data to find how many images were associated with each route and divided that number by the number of miles the road trip covers to find which one had the most photos taken per mile. The road trip with the most pictures taken per mile, the Great Ocean Road, was then crowned the most picturesque in the world.
Though Australia won overall, the company noted, the United States had the highest number of picturesque roads including, Big Sur (2nd), Blue Ridge Parkway (6th), Going-to-the-Sun Road (7th), Route 66 (11th), California’s Tioga Pass (14th), and Hana Highway (16th).
“Despite the looming question over international travel, road trips are still on cards, thanks to the luxury and convenience of our wheels,” Jonathan Lingham, marketing director at Pentagon Motor Group, said. “As there are so many driving holiday destinations around the globe, we were curious to find out which route is officially the most beautiful. It’s great to see so many bucket-list-worthy road trips cropping up from all around the world — from the UK to Australia, and Norway to the USA — it proves that everyone can jump in their car and embark on an epic adventure.”
Check out more on the top 10 road trips below, along with data and info collected by Pentagon Motor Group. Want to see the full list? See the company’s website now.
1. Great Ocean Road, Australia: 157 miles, 8,418 pictures per mile
This road trip spans more than 150 miles. Not only is it a stunning drive, but it’s also the world’s largest war memorial, as, according to Pentagon Motor Group, it was built by returned soldiers to remember those who lost their lives fighting in WW1.
2. Big Sur, USA: 90 miles, 5,226 pictures per mile
Perhaps one of the most famous road trip stretches in the world, Big Sur is just a piece of the Highway 1 experience. Take a drive down the coast that hugs both the Pacific Ocean on one side and the mountains on the other.
3. Jebel Hafeet, United Arab Emirates: 7 miles, 4,840 pictures per mile
It may be short but it’s most certainly stunning. While the entire mountainous drive is gorgeous, it also ends in a palace belonging to the country’s rulers for the ultimate photo op.
4. Hai Van Pass, Vietnam: 13 miles, 4,298 miles pictures per mile
Hai Van Pass, which translates to “Ocean Cloud Pass,” has been called “one of the best coast roads in the world,” by Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson. So you know it’s good. Just take this road slow as it can get a little foggy.
5. Chapman’s Peak Drive, South Africa: 5.5 miles, 3,425 pictures per mile
The 5.5 mile stretch of road in South Africa hugs the Atlantic Coast. Much like Big Sur, this road too allows visitors to look out onto the ocean on one side and mountains on the other to feel like they are surrounded in mother nature’s greatest beauty.
6. Blue Ridge Parkway, USA: 469 miles, 1,148 pictures per mile
One of the most popular destinations in North Carolina, Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the longest and highest continuous routes in the Appalachian region, meaning it gives drivers an excellent view of the world below. It’s a particularly stunning place in the fall when the leaves change colors and the view becomes a sea of orange, red, and browns.
7. Going-to-the-Sun Road, USA: 50 miles, 940 pictures per mile
Going-to-the-Sun Mountain is officially a National Historic Place, National Historic Landmark, and Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Visitors to the 50-mile roadway will find it too provides epic views at its highest peak, which reaches more than 6,600 feet.
8. Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland: 1,553 miles, 853 pictures per mile
Starting in County Donegal, the wild Atlantic Way also sits perched on Europe’s highest sea cliffs. This lengthy drive is one best taken over multiple days as it winds through nine different counties all worth exploring.
9. Olympic Peninsula Loop, USA: 300 miles, 798 pictures per mile
Looking to end right where you began? Drive the Olympic Peninsula Loop, which takes you around the perimeter of Olympic National Park. Make sure to stop along the way for plenty of photo ops.
10. Icefields Parkway, Canada: 144 miles, 781 pictures per mile
This 144-mile stretch connects Lake Louise with Jasper, Alberta. While its endpoints are stunning, there are plenty of other gorgeous stops on the route, including glaciers, waterfalls, and more.