We know the wonders of a road trip through the canyons of Utah, the Amalfi Coast in Italy, or along the California coast. But so many roads offer beauty of all kinds around the world.
“Car travel has become a popular way to see the world, especially post-Covid-19, as more people feel uncomfortable using public transport,” says Alex Kindred, car insurance expert Confused.com. “However, as the popularity of road trips grows, so does the traffic along the route. Taking an underrated route is a great way to enjoy your trip while avoiding the crowds.”
I am currently in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York and the beautiful farm road between Penn Yang and Geneva is unexpectedly breathtaking. There are many such scenic roads, so look for them and ask the locals wherever you are.
A study conducted by confused.com analyzed the top 50 CDs with the highest ratings that had least of all Google searches the past 12 months to reveal the world’s most underrated road trips. (Six American routes make the top 10.) Here they are:
10 Most Underrated Road Trips:
rank; Country of travel; % of “Good” reviews; Annual search volume; Total score /10
1- Causeway Coastal Road, United Kingdom; 98.1%; 23,700; 9.19
The most underrated trip is this British Causeway Coastal Route in Northern Ireland. Although 98.1% of travel reviews on Tripadvisor were positive, there were only 23,700 travel searches in the last 12 months. The journey includes many popular attractions such as the Glens of Antrim as well as famous filming locations Game of Thrones.
Two road trips to the USA are in third place by a margin. The Foothills Parkway in Tennessee offers breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains and the Tennessee Valley.
The Lamar Valley, on the other hand, offers wildlife viewing opportunities, sometimes referred to as the ‘American Serengeti’. Drivers have the opportunity to see wolves, bison, pronghorn, badgers and bears.
Also in the top 10 are US Trail Ridge Road, Berthoud Highway, San Juan Highway and Needles Highway.
2 – Route des Crêtes, France; 98.5%; 131,200; 8.27
Second place goes to the Route des Crêtes in France. Despite the great views this trip has to offer and being highly rated, it was only searched for 131,200 times last year.
3- Foothills Parkway, USA; 97.5%; 68,700; 8.17
3- Lamar Valley, USA; 97.4%; 68,000; 8.17
5- Trail Ridge Road, USA; 98.6%; 156,400; 7.86
6-Burtwood Highway, USA; 98.2%; 142300; 7.66
7- Route of Napoleon, France; 100.0%; 270,200; 7.45
7- San Juan Skyway, USA; 95.7%; 24,780; 7.45
7- Needles Highway, USA; 97.9%; 140,500; 7.45
10- Grand Pass Saint Bernard, Italy; 96.4%; 82,800; 7.25
“If you’re planning an upcoming trip, the itinerary isn’t the only thing you need to consider before you set off,” says Kinreed.
“If you plan to drive the route in your own vehicle, it’s important to check yours car insurance to have your car fully insured abroad. Also, if you plan to hire a car for your trip, always check the cost of renting a car abroad. Renting a car can be a big expense, especially when combined with the cost of fuel, which again varies from country to country.
“When traveling abroad, drivers must also carry a valid driver’s license. It is also important to research the driving rules of the country they are visiting and check if they are required International driver’s license go there.”
(For more on the joys and tips of road trips, listen to my award-winning travel podcast, Places I remember: Episode 18, for a trip to France/Belgium; Episode 32, for a trip down the California coast; Episode 34 to learn about road trips in recreational vehicles; and Episode 52, Chasing the Blues from Mississippi to Memphis. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts, or on my website via the link in my bio.)