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Whoever came up with the notion that the journey matters more than the destination clearly never flew economy in the back row of the aircraft, next to the toilets. But as far as road trips are concerned, the notion could not be more apposite. The journey is an integral part of the experience and at Steppes Travel, we have come up with a list of 4×4 road trips that even the new team of Top Gear would be hard-pressed to ignore.
The concept of 4×4 self-drive embodies the qualities that we feel should be part of any Steppes Travel holiday. Designed to give you the freedom to dictate your own pace, a self-drive holiday encourages a sense of spontaneity.
We will, of course, put together an itinerary for you but do not expect it to be cut and dried. We will make sure you have a robust and reliable vehicle that is perfectly suited to the terrain on which you are driving. We will find you the best accommodation – family-run, characterful and the perfect place to relax after a day’s exploring. We will provide you with a picnic hamper for lunch. We will even make recommendations as to where you may want to stop en-route. But these are just recommendations – you can park up wherever the mood takes you. After all, you are in the driving seat and so it is up to you to discover your own memorable moments.
So, take back control of your holiday, embrace a spirit of adventure and welcome the wonderful serendipity that a self-drive 4×4 holiday provides.
Take a 4×4 and drive across the Puna in the Salta region of northwest Argentina. The skies are big and blue, the horizons untouched by human intervention and the landscape is unlike anything you are likely to have seen elsewhere. Vast salt flats, pumice stone fields, black lava cones and the occasional oasis give a sense of otherworldliness. The environment is hostile yet the Puna is soul-touchingly beautiful.
Spectacular mountains, coastline and desert make Oman a thrilling country in which to drive. While safe and easy, the roads are no less dramatic; and you will find yourself snaking through impressive wadis in the shadows of towering cliffs. Drive through the Hajar Mountains, stop at the rambling forts in Bahla and Jabreen, stay overnight at the luxurious Alila Jabal Akhdar and finish up in the historic city of Nizwa, with its atmospheric souk.
Travel on the old Hindustan Tibet Road, which was once part of the ancient Silk Route, to the remote region of Spiti. Cut off from the rest of the country for half of the year, Spiti is a part of India that few tourists get to see. Its high mountain passes, Buddhist strongholds and Himalayan panoramas make for a remarkable driving experience. Due to the remote nature of this itinerary, Steppes Travel will provide a guide vehicle to lead the way.
Taking the wheel on your own 4×4 driving adventure in Bhutan is a new and exciting opportunity. With the Himalayan mountains as your constant out-riders, this trip goes over Chelila Pass at 4,000 metres to give you outstanding views of Kanchenjunga, before dropping into the Haa Valley. Also drive through Gangtey and the Phobjikha Valley, stopping to visit remote temples and mountain communities. Due to the remote nature of this itinerary, Steppes Travel will provide a guide vehicle to lead the way.
If ever a country was made for 4×4 adventures, it is Namibia. Blessed with space, big skies, traffic-free roads and timeless landscapes, Namibia does its best to focus your eyes anywhere but on the road. One of our favourite areas is Hoanib, in the north-west of the country, where the desert-adapted wildlife and extraordinary terrain combine to make a driving experience like no other.