Best of Arizona Self-drive 

Sensationally scenic

Take a 1200-mile drive around the American southwest, calling at some of the USA’s most famous scenic landmarks on an adventure you’ll remember forever.

The Grand Canyon State may be the setting of the most famous natural attraction but it’s so much more than its nickname suggests. During this 12-night self-drive, Arizona’s cowboy culture, indigenous history, in-vogue cities, Route 66 kitsch and Nat Geo-worthy views will get under your skin.

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Scottsdale, Lake Havasu, Grand Canyon Village, Page/Lake Powell, Monument Valley, Flagstaff, Sedona, 2 nights, Tucson, Scottsdale

Recommended itinerary


Valley of the Sun

Touch down in Phoenix and enjoy a blast of sunshine. Perhaps you’ll relax by a resort pool before collecting your hire car and heading off on an epic road trip around Arizona. You’ll set off on the I-10, a long straight road heading west before tracking up the California border and the Colorado River to Lake Havasu.

Lake Havasu

Arizona’s playground

This stop provides your first dose of real adventure. It is a starting point for trails through desert scenery and water sports galore on Lake Havasu and the Colorado River. And no, your eyes aren’t deceiving you, all the way out here, you can even see the 1830s-built London Bridge, bought by Lake Havasu when it was replaced in the 1970s.

The Grand Canyon

Monumental wonders

A vast wonderland that’ll stop you in your tracks with its scale, The Grand Canyon has to be seen to be believed. How you explore it is up to you. Hike the Bright Angel Trail or head down to the Colorado River on a raft ride to get a sense of the size from the bottom up. You could even take a helicopter flight to appreciate it from above.


Otherworldly landscapes

Take a hike through the sweeping red rock formations of the Antelope Canyon slot canyons, visit an ethereal sandstone formation known as The Wave, and the iconic landmark Horseshoe Bend in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area where the Colorado River carves a loop.

Monument Valley

Navajo country

Kissing the Utah border, crimson mesas and sandstone buttes characterise this incredible desert landscape. Drive the 17-mile Valley Drive or learn about the Navajo Nation traditions. If you want to explore on foot, try The Wildcat Trail, a four-mile loop around Mitten Butte, an icon of the American West.


On Route 66

Dip back into city life and follow a trail of a different kind – the Flagstaff Brewery Trail. Although if you’re not a craft beer drinker, there are plenty of other options. Gaze skywards at the Lowell Observatory or take a gondola to see the views from the Arizona Snowbowl. You can go underground, too, venturing inside a mile-long lava tube.


Energy and enlightenment

It takes less than an hour to drive from Flagstaff to Sedona, a place regarded as sacred by Native Americans. You can visit one of the energy vortexes to experience the swirling centres of energy that come from the earth, where many people choose to practice yoga or meditation.


The soul of the Sonoran Desert

From Flagstaff, drive through Phoenix to visit Tucson, a town just 70 miles from the Mexico border. Arizona’s second-largest city is known for its excellent food and a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, but there’s much to explore in the wider area, from the cacti-studded Saguaro National Park to the isolated mountain ranges known as Sky Islands.


And relax

East of Downtown Phoenix, Scottsdale has the lion’s share of plush resorts, providing the perfect way to end your adventure with decadent downtime. If you want a last hurrah, there’s plenty more adventure of the rafting, biking, and hiking variety to be had in the Sonoran Desert, then settle down and enjoy a technicolour sunset on your last night in Arizona.