If there are two things in this life that I love, it is travel and off-roading. These passions have taken me to many spectacular corners of the world and allowed me to experience the exhilaration of 4×4 driving in some of the most spectacularly beautiful settings imaginable. Today I thought I would put together a little glimpse into some of the most incredible places to go off-roading that you may not have heard of:
Mt Bromo – Indonesia
Nestled on the island of Java, Bromo is part of the Tengger Massif volcano – one of the more active volcanic zones on the planet. Obviously, it pays to take careful heed of eruption warnings. However, surrounding the mountain is a flat, desert area that is perfect for carving up. The thrill of powering through this almost other-worldly, stunning landscape can is even more ethereal in the eerie light of dusk and twilight. Make sure you have a good set of LED driving lights installed so that you can have the experience you will never forget.
Majestic glaciers, gorgeous fjords, and angry volcanoes are just some of the unimaginably beautiful features that litter the landscape of this undiscovered island gem. With a tiny population of less than 350,000, Iceland is most unpopulated, pristine, and wild state in Europe. A huge benefit is that Icelanders are incredibly enthusiastic about off-roading themselves, so the infrastructure and resources are there to plan a trip of a lifetime and see this magnificent country most thrillingly.
About six hours east of Cape Town, the rugged, untamed cliffs of Karoo National Park jut imperially out of the landscape to provide one of the most awe-inspiring backdrops for driving. With four well-defined and maintained 4×4 trails available, Karoo is arguably one of South Africa’s best-kept secrets. The arid, unforgiving landscape is also home to a huge variety of animal and bird life that will keep you fascinated and enthralled. Keep your eye out for lions, rhinoceros, hyenas and a wide range of native antelope and bock to add additional thrills to what is already an unforgettable opportunity.
Thunder Down Under
When most people think of Australia, they conjure up images of golden sand and foaming surf, or the harsh beauty of the outback. However, the island continent also includes amongst its diverse range of landscapes, some truly breathtaking alpine scenery. While nowhere near as tall as some of the world’s more famous ranges, what the Great Dividing Range lacks in height, it more than makes up for in natural charm. The Snowy River Valley, in particular, offers outstanding opportunities for off-roading on tracks that reach up to two hundred miles. With weather conditions ranging from scorching hot to snow, you will find this part of the world as challenging to drive as inspirational.
For sheer insanity, you can’t go past the infamous Transfagarasan road in the Carpathian Mountains region of Romania. Taking in the purported home of Vlad Tepes, the historical figure upon whom Dracula is based, this drive may be one of the most challenging you could take. With evil hairpin turns and impossibly steep slopes, the track will seem far longer than its 60 miles. While it might be slow going, you will want to savour every moment and take in every vista of this untouched, little-known corner of Europe.
Smite the Moabites
The USA has many amazing places to drive. However, there are few States more naturally stunning than Utah. With majestic peaks, awe-inspiring canyons and vast plains, it’s easy to see why the early Mormons considered it to be G-d’s Country. Amongst all this natural wonder, few locations can compare to tine Moab for off-roading brilliance. Moab itself is a quaint little town with real Western charm. However, it is not until you hit the well-maintained trails that you see why this tiny town has become the Mecca for American offroaders. Given its reputation, the trails can be a little crowded at times, but the incredible, rocky vistas will leave you breathless.
With so many wonderful places to go, we’ve barely started to scratch the surface here. Have you got a favorite, yet unknown off-roading location to share? We’d love to hear your feedback!