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    The world’s best road trips to take this year
    Load up the car and make yourself comfortable: here’s your road trip planner for the year
    Bridge in Scotland. Credit: Getty Images
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    A well-planned road trip through beautiful scenery is an amazing way to explore the world under your own steam. There are many fantastic self-drive holidays around the world with spectacular views and fun detours, from Hokkaido’s candy-striped floral meadows to coastal routes across areas of outstanding natural beauty. 

    We’ve compiled some of the best road trips to take this year. Of course, you can take in a route point-to-point, but we recommend taking a little longer to discover everything each driving tour has to offer. As well as where to go for a scenic drive, we’ve also found the best hotels along the routes, plus car rental companies nearby where you can pick up a vehicle with your Asia Miles .

    Lake district, England. Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    Lake district, England. Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    Kendal to Keswick, The Lake District, England

    Its 30km length belies the breath-taking views and points of interest to be found: there’s a reason this has been called one of the best road trips in the UK. Starting just outside the Lake District in the historic market town of Kendal, this hour-long drive takes you along emerald greenery and tranquil lakes – a landscape that inspired the writing of William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. As you follow the A591 through the heart of the national park, historic sites and churches pepper the landscape amid scenic picnic spots and vistas over Lake Windermere and Thirlmere reservoir. By journey’s end in Keswick, one of the Lake District’s best-loved towns, you’ll find no shortage of hotels – from the characterful 19th century Ravenstone Manor Hotel to the spacious Derwent Manor Apartments . By the time you wrap up your trip, you’ll have more than enough creative fodder for your own literary foray.

    Total distance: 29.8 kilometres

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    Sunshine Coast, Canada. Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    Sunshine Coast, Canada. Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    Sunshine Coast, Canada. Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    Sunshine Coast Highway, Canada

    Sunshine Coasts aren’t just for Down Under. Your journey from Vancouver begins with an hour-long car ferry ride to the Gibsons, home of the TV series Beachcombers. From there, you can embark on a 180km exploration of the Sunshine Coast, a trip best taken over a week to fully enjoy evergreen glades, coastal sights and charming towns. After arriving at Gibsons Landing and wandering its seawall, embark on your grand adventure by following your bonnet up to the pebble beaches of Roberts Creek and Davis Bay for a relaxing swim or spot of mountain biking. Call it a night in Sechelt and indulge in the city’s thriving craft brewery scene before rising early to explore old smuggler haunts at Halfmoon Bay or Pender Harbour, or grab a boat to discover the snowy white beaches of Thormanby Island. You can wind things up in Egmont or check out the coast’s remote northern reaches where evocative sites such as Powell River and the sweeping marine park Desolation Sound await.

    Total distance: 180 kilometres

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    Hokkaido Scenic Byway: Taisetsu-Furano Route, Hokkaido, Japan. Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    Hokkaido Scenic Byway: Taisetsu-Furano Route, Hokkaido, Japan. Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    Hokkaido Scenic Byway: Taisetsu-Furano Route, Hokkaido, Japan. Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    Hokkaido Scenic Byway: Taisetsu-Furano Route, Hokkaido, Japan

    While Hokkaido is on every avid skier’s winter hitlist, Japan’s northernmost island has lots to offer in the warmer months, especially to those with the freedom of their own car. Rainbow fields teeming with millions of sunflowers, lavender, poppies and tulips stripe the countryside in mesmerising waves of colour. It’s not a sleepy drive by any means, with the Taisetsu Mountains to traverse and a thrillingly undulating section known as Roller Coaster Road. After landing at Sapporo’s New Chitose Airport, rent a car, stay the night, then set off early to see the flower fields in their full glory before the crowds descend. Hokkaido is renowned for its onsen, so stay at Onsen Ryokan Yuen Sapporo to experience a traditional inn before making your way to Taisetsu the next morning to begin your drive. This drive is like something straight out of a Studio Ghibli film, with the bloom-filled fields of Farm Tomita and the enchanting forest village Ninguru Terrace offering ideal pitstops to try a lavender ice cream – the region’s speciality. Keep the Pantone daydream going with a final stop at Biei’s famous Shirogane Blue Pond, a manmade pool with a distinctive turquoise hue, making for an otherworldly photograph.

    Total distance: 124 kilometres

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    Mohawk Trail Scenic Byway, Massachusetts, US. Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty images

    Mohawk Trail Scenic Byway, Massachusetts, US. Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    Mohawk Trail Scenic Byway, Massachusetts, US. Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    Mohawk Trail Scenic Byway, Massachusetts, US

    New England in the autumn is a spectacle to behold, and its 60km Mohawk Trail , flanked by citrine forests in the later months, makes for one of the best scenic drives in the world. Steeped in history, this was once a key trade route for First Nations people, and it was declared New England’s first scenic drive over a century ago. The route forms a ribbon through the Berkshire Hills, encompassing the dramatic Hairpin Turn and the Deerfield River, popular with rafters. There’s more than just stunning landscape to admire: you’ll discover old-world towns for lunch and plenty of landmarks along the way, including contemporary art museum Mass MoCA, the Mohican-Mohawk Trail hike, a recreation of a historic Native America trail, and The Williams Inn, a luxurious lodge ideal for a night’s rest. With several suggested driving routes on the trail’s website, including directions from Boston and New York, there’s no shortage of lakes, parks and historical sites to choose to incorporate into your driving vacation.

    Total distance: 111 kilometres

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    Amalfi Coast, Italy. Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    Amalfi Coast, Italy. Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    Amalfi Coast, Italy. Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    Strada Statale 163, Amalfi Coast, Italy

    Endless cerulean waters glitter beneath the cliff faces of the Amalfi Coast , making a magnificent backdrop for cars zooming along the Strada Statale 163’s narrow roads which link Sorrento with Salerno. Equal parts breath-taking and nail-biting, the winding coastal road connects the ice cream-hued towns of Amalfi, Ravello and Positano. Amid jaw-dropping vistas of the Tyrrhenian Sea, you’ll glimpse the lives of Italy’s glitterati through superyachts bobbing near Positano and mansions overlooking the scenery. Indulge in a night’s stay at one of the coast’s many luxury hotels, from Sorrento’s chic Maison La Minervetta to celebrity hotspot Il San Pietro di Positano .

    Total distance: 80 kilometres

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    North Coast 500, Scotland. Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    North Coast 500, Scotland. Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    North Coast 500, Scotland. Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    North Coast 500, Scotland

    Experience Scotland’s rugged coastline along this sprawling route , which encompasses dramatic landscapes, hidden lochs and wild beaches. This popular drive has a bit of everything, starting in Inverness and looping around the coastline through the roaring shores of Caithness and over the Torridon Mountains in Wester Ross. Spend a night at Black Isle, where fuelling – both your car and belly – is a necessity, as the area is renowned for its food and craft beer scenes. Charming fishing villages, historic Neolithic sites and the occasional glimpse of dolphins racing waves are all par for the course on the North Coast 500. Take things slow and spend at least a week exploring everything the region has to offer, with great hotels dotted along the route, like the smart Rocpool Reserve Hotel in Inverness and Black Isle’s 12th-century Tulloch Castle , resplendent in its dark wood and tartan interiors.

    Total distance: 830 kilometres

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