It looks like travel is going to be socially isolated for a while, so what better way to enjoy the great big world than from inside the comfort of your own vehicle – right? Wrong! Instead of boring license-plate games or rest stops, how about getting away from civilization and matching the control of your vehicle against nature and the terrain around you. This sport is rising in popularity, and vehicles for off-roading can be rented in most countries. We picked out 5 of the best destinations for scenery, adventure, and just plain wow-factor. The last one might surprise you…
If the beach is your scene, head to Australia. There are also a variety of inland locations that lend themselves to off-road sports, such as creek-bed crossings and tough inland terrain. If you do choose to drive on the beach alongside a scenic ocean, make sure that you are permitted to do so – driving on populated beaches is not allowed. Two little things to keep in mind: you’ll share the shore with beachgoers in many places, and you’re not allowed on the sand-dunes.
It’s a huge country, with virtually every kind of terrain available — but some spots are friendlier than others.
This is definitely a country where you’re going to want to find the trails and locations frequented by other off-roaders. You’ve probably heard of (or drooled over) California’s Rubicon Trail — there’s no better way to see the Sierra Nevadas. Or, if you’re feeling really brave (or really dumb), you might consider attempting one of the trails in Colorado that require both skill and luck to navigate successfully.
You’ll go off-roading in India whether you want to or not. The roads (apart from in large cities) are rarely paved and almost never maintained. Monsoons can wash them out, random holes have been known to appear overnight, and obstacles might include anything from a cow to grain laid out for drying. It’s one part demolition derby, one part off-road race, with a stop in the middle for a mango lassi. What could be better?
No list of the best off-roading locations would be complete without including the Sahara Desert, and how do you suppose you get there? Through Morocco, of course. Here, the sand dunes are fair game — as are the canyons, salt marshes, and rocky plateaus. If that’s not enough variety for you, head north to the Atlas Mountains. Morocco may be a small country, but it’s people have huge hearts, and hospitality is an art form here.
Already been everywhere on this list? If you knew better, you would have tried this place first! Mongolia is famous for its difficult terrain and an appropriately tough culture to match. The Gobi Desert will blow you away with its harsh environment – perfect for off-road sports. If being further away from home than you’ve ever been, whilst feeling the solitude of this vast and beautiful land sounds appealing, make this your first stop on your epic world tour. Nomtoibayar Nyamtaishir is Mongolia’s most famous off-roader – if you are looking for inspiration, you need to look no further than Nomtoibayar himself.
You may need a rest from the wheel after accepting one of the challenges that await you. If so, why not chill out on the Trans-Siberian Railway with a bottle of Chinggis Gold for a few days to get your head back in the game?