Take the open road, some glorious scenery and
the ability to stop wherever you like – and you have a recipe for radical
freedom. Now just add one or more of these fabulous routes for a classic campervan
Route 1, Iceland
The 1,339km Route 1, completed in 1974, allows drivers to make a complete
circuit of this dramatic volcanic island. The 50km drive from Keflavik airport
to the capital, Reykjavik, is an eye-popping introduction to a landscape of
jagged black lava fields. Highlights along the route include Jökulsárlón, a
pristine glacial lake on country’s southern coast that is filled with huge
Great Ocean Road,
273km route, which traces the coastline of southwestern Victoria, is lined
with iconic landmarks, from the world-famous limestone pinnacles of the Twelve
Apostles to Great
Otway National Park, home to koalas and other wacky Antipodean wildlife.
Isle of Mull and Isle
of Coll, Scotland
England has restrictions on wild camping, so you need to head well off the
beaten track to enjoy a taste of freedom – try the Isle of Mull and the Isle of
Coll in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides. With 480km of coastline and mountains
approaching 1,000m high, Mull is the largest and most developed of the two ,
while tiny Coll measures just 21km from top to toe and 5km across.
Cape Town to Cairo,
The overland route from South Africa to Egypt is epic. You will need at least
three months and a vehicle with serious credentials to cope with this trip. But
if you have the time, the energy and a 4X4 that can survive rutted roads and
sand dunes, the rewards are endless and include a drive-by of Victoria
Falls on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border and Mount Kilimanjaro
Canada’s 230km Icefields Parkway is one of the world’s definitive drives,
traversing the Banff
and Jasper National Parks. It is a geological wonderland where you can relax
in geothermal hot springs or set foot on craggy glaciers. Keep your eyes peeled
to spot elks grazing by the roadside or even catch a glimpse of a brown bear.
“Top to toe”, New
New Zealand might
just be the perfect place to take to the road. Pick up a van in Auckland, head
east to the Bay
of Plenty and cut through the North Island’s volcanic heartland towards
National Park. Cross to the South Island and follow the spectacular west coast
Josef Glacier to the splendour of Milford
Sound before a grandstand finish in Queenstown.
Mannheim to Prague,
Germany and Czech Republic
Cultural heritage is the name of the game on this 1,000km route that runs
through Germany’s picturesque south over the Czech border to Prague. Along the
way you can visit more than 70 romantic castles and fairytale palaces rich in Baroque
and Rococo architecture, as well as medieval towns such as Bamberg and Kronach.
Rent an adapted 4X4 in the capital, Windhoek, and make for Etosha
National Park, part of the Kalahari Basin and prime big game country.
Wherever you go, the roads will be mostly loose gravel or dusty farm tracks,
but it will not detract from the magic of a country many rate as the most
beautiful on earth.
San Francisco to Los
Angeles, United States
The 1,055km of California’s Highway 1 has everything from whales in the Pacific
to mice at Disneyland. But it is not just about jaw-dropping scenery, or Mickey
and his pals or even the iconic cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles. It is about
enacting a dream of unfettered, Jack Kerouac-inspired freedom.
The Garden Route,
Connecting Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, this famous trip has the Outeniqua
Mountains on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other. Slurp your way through
acres of prime vineyards, trek stunning trails, watch whales at the town of Hermanus
and take time out on the fine beach at Plettenburg Bay.
The article 'Classic campervan capers' was published in partnership with Lonely Planet.