Someone once said, “It’s the journey not the destination.” When you travel, you will witness many amazing sites and if you are lucky, you will be rewarded with stunning views along the way. During our 15 month trip around the world we saw some captivating scenery on the road. To complete an impressive list of the best road photos from around the world, we asked other travel bloggers to share their experiences in some of the world’s most beautiful sites.
El Chalten, Argentina
On the last part of our trip in Patagonia, we were welcomed to El Chalten, Argentina’s adventure capital, with a stunning view of Mt Fitz Roy from the road. It was still a little cloudy when we arrived so we went back to walk on the road a couple of days after. The winds were strong and it was hard to walk towards the road but we made it a few minutes away from town to capture this awesome sight. The main photo for this post was taken in El Chalten.
Salinas, Maras, Peru
If you visit Peru, make sure to visit salt pans (also called Salinas) near Maras in the Sacred Valley. We visited this together with the archaeological site, Moray in a hired taxi and even the road views between the two sites are amazing. Different coloured fields along the windy road and snow-capped mountains in the background — we had to tell our driver to stop so we could take a photo!
If you are going to see the Salt Flats in Uyuni, Bolivia don’t miss out on the other amazing scenery nearby. We booked a 3 Day Tour in Uyuni. One day was spent at the salt flats and the other two days were spent exploring the surrounding natural wonders in Bolivia. One of the most scenic parts on the road is the white snowy roads towards Laguna Verde. The landscape was truly remarkable – the mountains and the vast deserted fields were draped in white. It was the day after my first snow experience so I will forever cherish this moment.
Valle de la Luna in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
During our time in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile we did the tour to Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley). During the tour, we moved through parts of the valley by bus and were then given time to walk around for a few minutes to take photos. At one section of the road, we all alighted from the bus to walk along a long stretch. The scenery was amazing. From the road, we saw the massive rock formations, the salt covered ground and the stunning mountains from afar.
Baños is the a charming small surrounded by of lush green mountains. Jon and I went for to visit one famous cafe overlooking town. The views towards the cafe were incredible – from the road you can even see some tall waterfalls that makes Baños popular. In our desire to take photos of the beautiful countryside, we took the scenic walk from the cafe back towards town. It was long but quite easy.
Paso Agua Negra, Chile and Argentina
The Paso Agua Negra (Black Water Pass) connects Chile with Argentina across the Andes. It is famous for a number of reasons: its altitude of 4,780m [15,680ft] above sea level, its amazingly colourful rock formations, and its ‘penitentes’ – bizarrely shaped frozen snow formations, left behind by the annual spring melt.
You don’t need a special vehicle to drive this narrow and winding gravel road, but be aware that there is only a small window of time when the pass is open: between late November and late March, weather permitting. We suspect that the road across the pass won’t be maintained after the new super highway, connecting Brazil with Chile, is finished. Work on the tunnel under Paso Agua Negra has already started.
The mountains along Paso Agua Negra are so variously colourful, that you have to see them to truly believe them.
Juergen – Dare2Go
Shafer Canyon Road, Utah, USA
While it may be hard to believe, the small sandy track shown in this photo is a road which forms part of the Shafer Canyon Road in Canyonlands National Park in Utah, USA. This photo was taken at the beginning of the trail, looking out towards the end destination. Only vehicles with four-wheel-drive are permitted to attempt the difficult descent into the canyon, which involves narrow pot-holed lanes, steep hills, hair-raising switchbacks and some rather gulp-worthy steep drops. If it starts raining and you get stuck in a swirl-pool of sand, drivers have to pay $1200 for a tow. Once the road reaches flat ground, all is quiet. Few cars make the voyage down to the deep, but this is a shame because there is much to explore. Lizards dart out of small cracks in stone which, when peered through on hands and knees, reveal a long drop down to the bottom of the canyon where a liquid stream of sandstone winds along. As well as being notoriously dangerous, this road also has A-list status, having been featured in ‘Thelma and Louise’. It’s definitely not a road for novice drivers, but driving it gives you a huge adrenaline rush.
Shannon – SOLE SEEKING
Muang Ngoi, Laos
Muang Ngoi is a small village on the banks of the Nam Ou River in Laos. It’s only accessible (for tourists) by boat, but once you’re there you can hire a bicycle and head outside of town to explore caves, rice fields and small villages. The scenery in this area is really stunning, but it does get hot out there on the bumpy dirt roads. Luckily Muang Ngoi is full of riverside restaurants where you can order some cheap food and drink and meet some fellow travellers.
Jon – JONISTRAVELLING
I have been on road trips in many countries. Each place is different, beautiful and unique. One of the most scenic is Tibet. It’s complicated is to get all permissions to visit Tibet, but that is the price of beauty. Basically every minute in Tibet brings an amazing landscape. Even if you do not always see the highest, snowy Himalayan peaks, you still enjoy the colours of mountains, colours of prayer flags hanging everywhere, beautiful lakes and yaks that can be easily seen on the road.
Maja – TRAVELLING ROCKHOPPER
Todra Gorge, Morocco
The 3-day tour to the Sahara desert in Morocco takes a whole lot of driving but along the way, you see some amazing scenery like the Atlas Mountains, Ait Ben Haddou and the Todra Gorge. The towering peaks of the stone hills made the 4WDs look tiny!
Beas de Granada, Spain
Having learnt that the small town outside of Granada offers stunning view of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Jon and I decided to do the day walk from there back to Granada. The trail was not marked well and intersected with the roads on parts of the way. But the views are well worth it. We caught sight of the beautiful mountain range and plenty of olive orchards.
The Road to Rasnov Citadel, Romania
The Rasnov Citadel is an iconic defense structure in Transylvania, Romania. It is located high above a hill and can be reached either by taking the tram or by walking along the road. It was an easy walk so we decided to walk to the citadel. The scenery was breath-taking in fall. I really love the mix of coloured leaves during this time of the year.
READ MORE: Exploring Transylvania: A Week in Romania
Grossglockner’s High Alpine Road, Austria
The grand views through Grossglockner’s High Alpine Road would have to be best road photo that I have taken so far! This scenic mountain pass in Austria was built back in the 90s, running from Heiligenblut to Salzburg so that people can get the chance to see Grossglockner — the highest mountain in the country and also the highest mountain in the Alps east of the Brenner Pass.
My boyfriend and I chanced upon this route as we went on our road trip early this year (which started in Belgium, followed by the region north of Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, south of Germany, Luxembourg and then finally back to Belgium). The entrance fee per car can be quite pricey here though (around €30) but I guarantee you that it will be money well-spent because with landscapes this beautiful, it’s sure to bring you amazing memories and stories that you will hold dear for years!
Aileen – I AM AILEEN
Mont Saint-Michel, France
For over a thousand years, religious pilgrims have come to the island of Mont Saint-Michel, France. Atop this rocky outcrop, Christians built a church, which became a fortress. The abbey atop this rock withstood numerous attacks during the Hundred Years War. During the French Revolution, it became a prison. These days, Mont Saint-Michel is more likely to be invaded by day-trippers from Paris.
We discovered Mont Saint-Michel in the Impressions de France film shown in the Showcase of Nations at Disney World/Epcot. The stunning aerial photography mesmerized us and we decided to journey through the French countryside in search of Mont Saint-Michel. These days, the abbey is no longer an island – a thin causeway connects it to the main land. This is the end of the road. The abbey and fortress stretches out above the blacktop and makes for an impressive view!
Lance and Laura Longwell – TRAVEL ADDICTS
Central Otago, New Zealand
One of the best things about travelling in New Zealand is the consistent beautiful scenery even while driving. Central Otago in the South Island is filled with mountain ranges and fields. There are various small towns that are worth exploring in this area. We went for a drive from Alexandra to Ophir; the road cut through the beautiful, barren countryside.
Queenstown to Milford Sound, New Zealand
Driving around the South Island of New Zealand was an experience that we will never forget. Driving for miles and miles without seeing a house, a person, or even a sheep was liberating to the soul. Rolling down the windows and breathing the crisp fresh air was invigorating. The ever-changing landscape brought a new and picturesque view around each corner. This picture was taking on the road from Queenstown to Milford Sound, quite possibly our favorite stretch of road we have ever driven.
Josh and Liz – PEANUTS OR PRETZELS
State Highway 80, Mt Cook, New Zealand
One of our iconic tourist spots – Mount Cook, breathtakingly beautiful scenery at every turn!
This is State Highway 80, it leads to Mt Cook Village which is situated beside scenic Lake Pukaki and provides a comfortable base for alpine activities. I couldn’t believe my luck when we came across these sheep on the road, with Mt Cook in the background and a beautiful day – perfect!
Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand at a height of 3,724 metres (12,218 ft). It lies in the Southern Alps, the mountain range which runs the length of the South Island. A popular tourist destination, it is also a favourite challenge for mountain climbers. Mount Cook consists of three summits lying slightly south and east of the main divide, the Low Peak, Middle Peak and High Peak, with the Tasman Glacier to the east and the hooker Glacier to the West.
Pauline – OFF THE MAIN ROAD NZ
Have you taken a stunning road photo? Leave us a comment or send us an email about your experience if you want to be included in this list.