From the wilds of Namibia to the super-speeds of German autobahns, we look at six unforgettable driving experiences – where everything’s organised for you.
With driverless vehicles on the horizon, future generations may never experience the thrill of sliding into the driver’s seat of a sleek set of wheels or the Zen state achieved by piloting a car through stunning surrounds.
Fortunately for today’s car enthusiasts, that’s not the case. So if you’re given to surrendering to the siren song of the open road, below are six driving vacations taking in some of the world’s most spectacular scenery.
1. Prancing Horse Supercar Drive Day Experience
What you’ll drive: It could be an Alfa Romeo 4C, an Aston Martin Vantage S Roadster, Ferrari 488 GTB, Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 or even a Maserati GranTurismo.
Where you’ll drive: Prancing Horse offers one to two day events featuring Supercar Drive Days and Luxury Escapes across Australia.
What you’ll experience: After taking in some of the finest scenery and food Australia has to offer, you may find yourself with a new-found appreciation for your breathtaking homeland.
How long it takes: One to two days
What it costs: Prices range from $1,250-$4,400 per couple
More information: www.prancinghorse.com.au
2. Scotland Driving Tour
What you’ll drive: Choose between a Jaguar F Type R 5.0, Jaguar F Type V6 or Range Rover Sport
Where you’ll drive: The tour starts in Edinburgh and passes through the Highlands and Central Highlands before almost circumnavigating Loch Ness. The final stage involves following the ‘Whiskey Trail’.
What you’ll experience: If you want a taste of the real Scotland by cruising down Ben Nevis Road (where scenes for Bond movie Skyfall were shot), visiting the Glenfiddich, Glenlivet and Macallan distilleries, sweeping through imposing mountain ranges and catching sight of grouse and wild deer around vast lochs, this is just the ticket.
How long it takes: Five days
What it costs: For two people, it’s €4480 ($6,800) for the Range Rover or V6 Jaguar. The price rises to €5,480 ($8,340) if you want the top-of-the-line Jag R 5.0.
More information: www.ultimatedrives.net
3. Four Country Adventure
What you’ll drive: The latest Porsche 911
Where you’ll drive: Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy
What you’ll experience: One for those who love both German culture and Porsches. Over the course of almost a fortnight, you’ll tour Stuttgart’s Porsche factory and museum, navigate Swiss mountain passes immortalised in countless films, kick back in lavish Alpine villas, rest up your lead foot in an Italian spa resort and romp around in the picture-postcard beauty of Tyrol, Austria.
How long it takes: 13 days
What it costs: $US11,995 ($15,750) per person
More information: www.autobahnadventures.com
4. Namibia North Tour – Coast & Elephants
What you’ll drive: A new Land Rover Discovery
Where you’ll drive: Across Namibia in Southern Africa
What you’ll experience: Why cram into the back of a minivan with strangers in South Africa to see Africa’s awe-inspiring wildlife when you can drive across Namibia at a leisurely pace in a well-appointed 4×4? Your safari, overseen by a team of experts, will see you driving to or through waterholes, national parks, savannahs, deserts and coastal colonial towns.
How long it takes: Eight days
What it costs: €6,200 ($9,580) per person, €11,890 ($18,375) per couple
More information: www.landrover.com.au
5. Mt Cook Adventure
What you’ll drive: Take your pick from an Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Audi R8, Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder or Porsche 911
Where you’ll drive: From Queenstown to Aoraki / Mount Cook in New Zealand
What you’ll experience: If you’ve only got a few days free, how about hopping on a plane to the South Island of New Zealand and roaring through Lord of the Rings landscapes? Expect to have your breath taken away by the beauty of Lake Pukaki and sample plenty of New Zealand’s finest at an elegant villa with sweeping views of the country’s highest mountain, Aoraki / Mount Cook.
How long it takes: Two days
What it costs: $NZ4,900 ($4,435) per couple
More information: www.ignitionselfdrive.co.nz
6. Beautiful Cars & Michelin Stars: A Gourmet Tour
What you’ll drive: Take your pick from a selection that includes Audis, Bentleys, BMWs, Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches.
Where you’ll drive: From Milan to Paris via Gstaad in the Swiss Alps
What you’ll experience: You’ll be living the high life from start to finish. There’s a limousine transfer from the airport, five-star hotel accommodation, meals in Michelin-starred restaurants, trips to haute couture shops, tours through France’s finest Champagne houses and a chance to kick up your heels at Paris’s famed Crazy Horse cabaret.
How long it takes: Seven days
What it costs: From $12,990 per person
More information: www.ultimatedrivingtours.com