Imagine the gentle lull of the ocean, the salty breeze caressing your face, and the rhythmic sound of waves crashing against the shoreline as you journey along these scenic coastal drives.

The allure of a coastal drive lies in anticipation of every turn revealing a new, breathtaking view—the deep blues of the ocean meeting the bright sky on the horizon. It’s an adventure that combines the thrill of discovery with the serenity of the sea.

For those seeking to break free from the monotony of daily life, scenic coastal drives offer a journey between destinations and through a rich tapestry of nature’s splendour.

The Magical Allure of Coastal Roads

These scenic coastal drives captivate the soul, offering a unique escape with vistas that cannot be experienced elsewhere.

The view of the endless ocean has a soothing, calming effect on the mind and body. Recent studies have shown that spending time near the ocean can significantly reduce stress, lower heart rate and blood pressure, and promote better sleep and overall mental well-being.

The sound of crashing waves alters the brain’s wave patterns, lulling you into a meditative state of deep relaxation. The sea breeze is filled with healthy negative ions that increase feelings of vitality and refreshment.

A rejuvenating coastal road trip allows us to immerse in the restorative power of the ocean and its ability to revive the senses.

Planning Your Coastal Road Trip Adventure

Embarking on a coastal road trip requires careful planning and consideration to maximize and customize your seaside experience.

Research the best time of year to visit your desired destinations, considering comfortable weather conditions, average rainfall and temperatures, and peak tourism seasons.

Pack proper attire and layers for changing coastal weather, protection like sunscreen and sunglasses, and supplies for hiking or water activities. Don’t forget to bring a high-quality camera to capture magnificent coastal views and create lasting memories.

Most importantly, safety should be the top priority. Look into local driving laws, speed limits, potential flooding from high tides, and storm road erosion. Be aware of possible weather changes that could affect navigation along oceanfront routes.

Check road conditions and closures before embarking. Preparation and precaution allow you to fully relax and soak in the seaside adventure once you hit the open coastal road.

Let’s explore the top 10 scenic coastal routes next.

Pacific Coast Highway, USA

Scenic Coastal Drives

This legendary scenic sea route stretches 656 miles from Dana Point, California, to Leggett, California.

The Pacific coastal drive treats travellers to diverse landscapes along the West Coast, from sunny beaches to rocky cliffs and misty redwood forests. You can experience a magnificent postcard-worthy vista around every bend.

Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

It is wrapping around the 279-mile northern tip of Cape Breton Island.

This scenic coastal road showcases dramatic coastal scenery, quaint fishing villages, and the lush Cape Breton Highlands—a dream road trip for nature lovers.

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Scenic Coastal Drives

This 30-mile coastline along the Sorrentine Peninsula is renowned for its precariously perched pastel villages, terraced lemon groves, and postcard views of the Mediterranean Sea.

These winding cliffside roads have inspired artists for centuries.

Atlantic Road, Norway

Hop from island to island on the 5-mile system of graceful bridges high above the pounding Norwegian surf—an architectural and natural wonder blending land, sea, and sky.

Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia

Scenic Coastal Drives

Sweeping oceanside views for 243 miles combined with opportunities to see native wildlife, like koalas and kangaroos, in their natural habitat. It is a quintessential Australian road trip experience.

Milford Road, South Island, New Zealand

From the rugged Tasman Sea coastline to deep fjords to the looming Southern Alps, this 120-mile route takes you through breathtakingly diverse landscapes and ecosystems within a few hours.

Hai Van Pass, Vietnam

Scenic Coastal Drives

Take panoramic views of lush mountains dropping into the cerulean South China Sea along this 15-mile winding coastal road. Travel through Vietnamese history, culture, and architecture.

Chapman’s Peak Drive, South Africa

Scenic Coastal Drives

This short yet thrilling 5-mile route carved into the mountainside treats you to ocean vistas alternating between expansive and secluded as you curl around Chapman’s peak, a must for any nature lover exploring the cape.

Garden Route, South Africa

Diverse ecosystems, from lagoons to coastal forests to pristine beaches, are linked to the ultimate 200-mile scenic coastal drive. The Graden Route helps discover abundant African wildlife and habitats.

Carretera Austral, Northern Patagonia, Chile

Scenic Coastal Drives

Explore the wilds of Chilean Patagonia through untouched Andean glaciers, fjords, and mountains. The route runs through dense virgin forests for over 600 miles—one of the world’s great road trip adventures.

Pan-American Highway, Peru

Scenic Coastal DrivesContrasting landscapes of barren desert plains and the expansive Pacific Ocean make this section of the longest road in the world unforgettable. The 1,000-mile journey offers unique views of coastal Peru.

Ring Road, Iceland

Scenic Coastal Drives

Circumnavigating the 828-mile route around Iceland. You can see ever-changing vistas, from massive glaciers to volcanic mountains, thunderous waterfalls, black sand beaches, and sea cliffs. This is a dream coastal drive for nature lovers.

Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland

Casts and ruins dating back to medieval times stand sentinel over the rugged emerald coastline. This is a 120-mile route—a historical journey along the Antrim coast.

Preserving Our Coastal Treasures

As we journey down these scenic coastal drives, travellers need to preserve the natural beauty around them for future generations. So, be a responsible tourist by staying on marked trails and following posted guidelines. Make sure to minimise litter and avoid damage to protected coastal ecosystems. Whenever possible, support local communities through eco-tourism. Our actions today help ensure these coastal scenic wonders can be enjoyed for generations.

The Bottom Line

Scenic coastal drives offer the perfect mind, body, and soul rejuvenation.

They provide a gateway to reconnect with nature’s glory and rediscover oneself through new perspectives. Coastal roads invite us to explore the world’s edges, where endless ocean breathtakingly meets land and sky.

As you plan your next great adventure, choose a route that promises stunning seascapes and encourages appreciation for our planet’s precious coastal habitats’ beauty, power, and fragility. Set off on the open road by the sea to refresh your spirit and outlook on life.

Top 12 Breathtaking Scenic Coastal Drives Around the World