The Road Less Travelled
Hit the highway in style this summer as the humble road trip goes luxe
Forget poring over maps and mastering left-hand drive cars, now the classic road trip has been given a fresh twist thanks to companies offering chauffeur-driven transport and bespoke itineraries to far-flung locations. Tour operators are catering to savvy travellers wishing to explore multiple destinations in one hit with the luxury of a private driver, thereby maximising their precious holiday time while avoiding wrong turns.
Discover Ltd, a tour company specialising in Moroccan holidays since 1978, is now offering chauffeur-driven trips around the country. Its philosophy is simple: given the country’s tricky roads and sometimes treacherous terrain, having your own driver allows you to get off the beaten track and admire Morocco’s diverse landscape with ease.
‘It’s the perfect way to immerse yourself in Moroccan culture without the stress of driving,’ explains Michael Logan of Discover Ltd. ‘Every trip is tailor-made because we recognise that our clients don’t want the hassle of planning every stage of their journey yet they want to see as much as possible in the precious time they have here. We realise that a road trip is not simply about getting from A to B. But in reality it can be tough to enjoy the journey if you feel like a slave to your Sat-Nav.’ To meet growing demand, Discover Ltd use drivers who also act as a local guides.
To meet growing demand, Discover Ltd use drivers who also act as a local guides. This ensures there’s no chance of missing out on local hot spots or the best views and photo opportunities along the way.
A typical chauffeur-driven road trip could take you from the bustling souks of Marrakech, through rustic rural landscape and into the spectacular Atlas mountains, before travelling to the port of Essaouira on the Atlantic coast. Private 4x4 vehicles, gourmet Moroccan cuisine and overnight stays in five-star riads en route are all part of the experience. There are even opportunities to go mule trekking into more remote mountain or desert areas and meet Berber communities whose traditional way of life has barely changed in centuries.
It’s not just Morocco where the chauffer driven road trip has caught on. For a more adrenaline-fuelled experience, Line Up Explorers will drive you around the best surf breaks in New Zealand. Its deluxe vacations include your own surf guide and accommodation in a private villa. Or to really get away from it all, tour company Patagonian Skies run off-road trips exploring remote Patagonia.
Visit vineyards, explore the glaciers or go skiiing. Itineraries don’t require forward planning, instead discuss the next day’s adventures with your guide each evening over a glass of Malbec. It’s an appealing concept. Now, it really is possible get your kicks – relax and enjoy the ride.
Classic Road Trip
Make like Thelma and Louise and take a classic US road trip. You can drive the 790 mile scenic route between Las Vegas and Los Angeles in a week taking in Death Valley, the Grand Canyon and Joshua Tree National Park en route. When you arrive in Los Angeles, head straight for the beach before flying home.
Day 1 Party all night in Las Vegas with the high-rollers, then relax and recover by day at Wet Republic – the MGM Grand’s lavish rooftop mega pool.
Day 3 Stay overnight in the Grand Canyon National Park and get up at dawn to watch the canyon rocks glow as the sun rises over the South Rim.
Day 4 Arrive in time to catch sunset over the incredible desert landscape of the Joshua Tree National Park in California. U2 album playlist optional.
Day 6 Cruise along Santa Monica Boulevard in LA and soak up the hipster vibe on Venice Beach. See and be seen at celebrity hang-out The Roosevelt Hotel.