Dreaming of the road less travelled? Roaring down a ribbon of Tarmac through wild open spaces is one of life’s great pleasures, and exploring by car is the perfect way to combine discovering a new place with active adventure.
Ibiza: hippie holiday
For a zero-stress road trip, try pootling around Ibiza in your very own hippie van. WeDubYou (wedubyou.com) will provide you with a psychedelically patterned VW campervan at the airport, the bright and cosy interior kitted out with cooking gear, speakers and an iPad loaded with movies and music.
Then Ibiza is your oyster, but WeDubYou will also throw in morning and evening yoga sessions with instructor Lindsay, who will come to meet you for a downward dog or two wherever you end up. Spend your days seeking out secret beaches and hiking at Cala Dalbarques, or stop at San Antonio bay to try stand-up paddle boarding around the island’s coves and caves with Sup Boat Ibiza (supboatibiza.com; from €60 for a day’s equipment hire).
Each van sleeps two, plus a hammock for children under eight. Pop-up tents for extra people or gear are available to rent for £45 per week. Seven nights’ hire with two yoga sessions each day costs £1,070 per van, not including food, flights or campsite costs.
Scotland: loch out
The drive from Inverness to the Isle of Skye is one of the most beautiful you’ll ever experience, hugging the shore of huge Loch Ness for miles. Two roads skirt around the lake from Inverness – take the A82 to the right, along the water’s edge, and pop into Dochgarroch to hire canoes from Explore Highland (explorehighland.com; £35 for half a day) and go searching for lake monsters.
Or follow the B862 through the heather-clad moors on the other side of the loch and stop at beautiful, pebbly Dores beach for a wild swim, followed by a warming whisky at the cosy Dores Inn. Then head over the Skye bridge and explore the island with a walk up the Trotternish ridge or a wildlife-spotting boat trip aboard the Misty Isle (mistyisleboattrips.co.uk; £17.50 per person).
Stay at the charming Art House (arthouse-skye.co.uk), a remote and thoughtfully designed B&B with incredible views across to the Isle of Rum. Doubles from £70 per room per night, including breakfast.
Sweden: island hopping
Take a road trip, Scandi-style, in West Sweden. Pick up your wheels at Gothenburg’s Landvetter airport (Hertz offers a week’s hire from 1,881 krona/£156; hertz.co.uk) and you’re free to explore empty forest roads, open coast and a few of the 8,000 little islands scattered along the shore.
There are plenty of B&Bs to kip in along the way, or even better, stick a tent in the boot and camp out on a different island each night. Head to Vrango island and kayak in the deep blue waters off the shore, or hop over to Sryrso and climb up Stora Ros for epic views of the archipelago.
Then drive to Dalsland, Sweden’s lake district, and canoe at Silverlake Camp (silverlake.se), on water so clean you can drink it. Camping from 50 krona (£4) per person per night and canoe hire from 230 krona (£20) per day. Don’t forget to leave time for regular “fika” stops (the Swedish word for a coffee and cake break with friends).
Canada: go wild
Active Canada isn’t all about Vancouver Island – head to the other side of the country for even wilder spots. Nova Scotia is friendly, gorgeous and wide open for adventures. Fly to Halifax and hit the Cabot trail around Cape Breton Island - the route makes a 185-mile loop, passing through the thick, empty forests of Cape Breton Highlands National Park (pc.gc.ca; entry C$7.80/£4) and meanders along the stunning, blustery coast.
Go hiking on the plateau and keep your eyes peeled for moose, black bears and bald eagles, then stay at Chamber’s Guest House (bbcapebretonisland.com), a fuchia-pink clapboard beauty of a B&B, with doubles from C$80 (£42) including breakfast.
Then drive south to the charming town of Wolfville and on to the Bay of Fundy, where the highest tidal range in the world means you can join locals for a spot of mud sliding on the sea bed when the water has ebbed away, or wait for high tide to go out on the water.
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