This is one of our most challenging motorbike tours but is also one of the most rewarding. We started doing this tour in June 2006. Designed specifically with the keen motorcyclist in mind we are confident that this is one of the best Alpine motorcycle tours on the market. If you have a passion for riding your bike for thirteen days over the twistiest, highest roads that Europe has to offer then this is the tour for you.
Our ethos as a motorcycle touring company is that the adventure should start from day 1. It is not the destination that counts but the journey. We have recently revamped this tour but the basic premise remains the same as we take you through the Vosges and Black Forest of northern Europe before entering the Austrian and Italian Alps. We will climb over some the highest passes in Europe including the mighty Stelvio, Col de la Bonnette - 9,200ft, Col de L'Iseran to name just a few. We will spend two nights by the banks of beautiful Lake Como and then make our way over the highest passes that Switzerland, Italy and France have to offer before having a well earnt break on the shores of the Mediterranean. On the journey northwards we will ride the infamous Route Napoleon then back into the mountains staying at beautiful Annecy and the Champagne town of Epernay.
What You Get and Costs.
The basic cost of the tour is £1250 for a single rider in a shared room; £1600 for a single rider in a single room and £1900 for a rider and pillion.
What is Included
Return Euro-Tunnel crossing (Folkestone- Calais)
Twelve nights accommodation in good quality hotels (3 star +)
Breakfast each morning.
Two experienced guides (Peter and Lorraine).
Route maps (Garmin and Tom Tom)
What is Not Included
Parking and Motorway tolls
Entrance fees for attractions
Repatriation back to the UK
Breakdown cover insurance
The basic itinerary is shown below:-
Day 1: Northern France - Bastogne.
Our first nights destination is the beautiful Belgium town of Bastogne, made famous as the allied HQ during the Battle of The Bulge. This historic town is ideally suited for both those riding from Calais (Eurotunnel) crossing and those riding from Zeebruge or Amsterdam. For our Northern based customers we will be promoting the Hull- Zeebrugge P&O overnight ferry and the Newcastle - Amsterdam DFDS overnight ferry. There is no longer any need to make that tortuous journey to the South Coast!
Day 2: Bastogne - Vosges - Black Forest – Freiburg (240 Miles)
In the morning we will take a nice relaxed ride through the middle of Luxembourg. Our route will take us through the beautiful Upper Sûre National Park and Northern Vosges before heading into Germany. From there we will take the famous B500 through the Black Forest. The B500 is a superb road especially if you are on a sports bike – great road surface, sweeping corners, good visibility – I am sure you get the idea!
Day 3: Freiburg - Rheinfall - Nauders (220 Miles)
From Freiburg we will continue cross country on a mixture of roads – all great. We will head over the Feldburg which at 4,900ft is the highest mountain in the area. From the Feldburg we will use a mixture of forest roads and fast flowing ‘A’ roads towards the Swiss border and the mighty Rheinfall which at over 150ft wide and 75ft high is the largest plain waterfall in Europe. We will then head through the central valleys of Switzerland on local roads (no motorways or Vignette required), through the small state of Liechtenstein and into the mountains, finishing the day on the awesome Fluela Pass.
Day 4 : Nauders – Stelvio – Lake Como (240 Miles)
This is the day we tackle the mountains of Austria and Italy for our overnight stay on the banks of beautiful Lake Como.
We will travel over the infamous Stelvio pass which many consider to be the finest of all the Alpine passes. The road itself is also a marvel of engineering skill, the huge rises on both sides being overcome by some fifty hairpin bends on either approach, the 48 on the north side between the summit and Trafoi being probably the finest continuous hairpin sector in the Alps. Then after a fuel stop at Bormio it is a simple run in along the valley road to our hotel at Lake Como.
Day 5: Lake Como (Rest Day)
A chill out day enjoying Lake Como. It is the perfect spot to relax and take in the beautiful scenery. Catch one of the many ferries and explore the beautiful villages which are located all around Lake Como. Alternatively, if you fancy jumping on your bike then there are plenty of things to see and do in the immediate area. In particular you may wish to visit the Moto Guzzi museum located at Mandello del Lario, right on the shore of Lake Como. The choice is yours.
Day 6: The Nufenenpass, Grimsel, Sustenpass, and Furka Pass (240 miles)
We guarantee that you will remember this day for the rest of your life. First we tackle the Nufenenpass (8,100ft). The Nufenenpass is Switzerlands highest motor vehicle pass. Then it is straight onto the Grimsel Pass at 7,100ft and the Susten Pass at 7,428ft. We are not finished!! Our final pass of the day is the beautiful, scenic and challenging Furka Pass. In 1964, the numerous hairpin bends on the Furka pass earned their place in cinema history thanks to the James Bond film “Goldfinger”.
Having had the biking day of our lives we head into the valley and towards the mighty Mont Blanc and our overnight stay.
Day 7: Great & Little St Bernard Passes, Col-de-L’Iseran, Briancon (200 miles).
“Hang on a moment lads, I’ve got a great idea.....”. , Coach, gold bullion, Michael Caine - the Great St Bernard pass is where it all went wrong. The oldest Alpine pass used by both Napoleon and Hannibal takes us back into Italy. How on earth did they get elephants up to 8,100ft!! The Little St Bernard Pass takes us back into France and the Savoie region. This pass is great fun - not very busy, great views and nice and technical. You will soon be working that Italian lunch off as you negotiate hairpin after hairpin.
Into France and Val-d’Isere. We then tackle the Col-De-L’Iseran at just over 9,000ft– an area I know very well as I have ridden my bike and also skied down the same roads. The Col de L’Iseran is a holy grail for many motorcyclists and is in my mind the undisputed ‘King of the Alps’
Day 8: Col de la Bonette - ‘Monte Carlo or bust!’ (200 miles)
Another big day as we ascend the highest road in Europe (technically - it is only higher than Col de Iseran because a loop road was added taking the height to 9192ft). The road is narrow, twisty and on the upper slopes has no barriers! Fantastic. The road has a grippy, smooth road surface - how do the French do it. This road is a must for all motorcyclists - I particular like that fact that when you get to the top the signpost shows the direction and road to Nice and the Med.
From the top of the Alps its downhill pretty much all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. We will take a route which is a major part of the Monte Carlo rally. A helter skelter descent around numerous hairpin bends which will test you motorcycle riding capabilities.
Then warmth, a swim, cold beer and a slap up meal on the beautiful promenade. Heaven.
Day 9: Exploring the French Riviera (No Miles - Rest day)
A well-earned rest day to do some shopping, swimming, lay on the beach. It is really up to you.
Alternatively, you could explore the coastal roads, go into Monaco, drink beer and generally chill out!
Day 10: Route Napoleon and the Gorges Du Verdon (235 miles)
Day 10 sees us follow the fantastic coast road through Monaca, Nice and Grasse and onto the Route Napoleon (voted by several bike magazines as one of the best motorcycling roads in the world). We will take time to explore the fabulous Grand Canyon du Verdon which is the biggest and one of the most beautiful gorge in Europe. We will take the southern route along the ‘Corniche Sublime’. Hope you have a head for heights!
Day 11: Briancon to Annecy (130 miles)
We re-join the Route Napoleon and head North past Grenoble. There a still a couple of high passes to do; the Col de la Croix Fer is particularly beautiful. Then it is around the lake before heading into Annecy itself - we aim to arrive early afternoon so you get time to fully appreciate this beautiful town. Annecy is great place to spend an evening with lots of restaurants facing onto the river; a truly magical place.
Day 12: Epernay and the Champagne area (340 miles).
Day 12 sees us head out of the Alps for our final night in the Reims area of France. We will travel across country on by now familiar twisty mountain roads before heading across the flat plains of the Champagne region. In the lively town centre of Epernay we will enjoy a farewell dinner over a few glasses of local Champagne.
Day 13: Home (190 miles)
Say our goodbyes to our fellow team mates and then homeward bound via the Euro-Tunnel.