The Alpine High Roads Tour

Swiss Alps, Switzerland, Europe

The Alpine High Roads Tour

This is one of our most challenging tours but is also one of the most rewarding.  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 eleven days over the twistiest, highest roads that Europe has to offer then this is the tour for you.  Be warned you may be on a bike for up to 8 hrs a day.  Don't worry though there are many coffee stops and we will ensure that you have an excellent lunch everyday to keep your strength up.

We will take the Dover- Calais crossing and then move quickly across Northern France and Belgium into Alsace Lorraine.  From here we will wind our way through little used roads in the Vosges before moving into Switzerland and then back into France.  We will climb over over some the highest passes in Europe including the highest road in Europe (Col de la Bonnette -  9,200ft).  Some of the roads are remote single track roads which will test your riding abilities!!  We will make our way past Mont Blanc and into Provence-Alpes-Cote D'Azur eventually reaching the beautiful shores of the Mediterranean where we will have a well earn't break.  On the journey northwards we will ride the infamous Route Napoleon then back into the mountains staying at beautiful Annecy and the Champagne city of Reims.

Organised by British Bike Tours

The Alpine High Roads Tour


Day 1: Dover - Calais- Pont a Mousson. (270 miles)
We readily admit to hating motorways.  Motorways and motorcycles are a bad mixture.  Our tours are based on using little used local roads which enable you to enjoy your motorcycling experience on challenging roads and where you get to see the country you are traveling through in its proper light.  Unfortunately, traveling through Northern France and Belgium is not that interesting - how else can I put it!  Therefore on this tour we will, for the first day, use the motorway for 140 miles to get us quickly out of France and into the Ardennes region of Belgium.  The Ardennes has some great twisty roads which will help acclimatise us for the ascent into the Vosges and then the Alps.  This area was the setting for the infamous Battle of the Bulge where over 1 million men faced each other in what was effectively Hitlers last ditch battle.  On the way to our hotel we will call in at the monument at Verdun.  We will spend the evening on the banks of the picturesque River Moselle.

Day 2: Pont a Mousson - Lorraine - Vosges - Mulhouse (200 miles)
We will head into the remote area of Alsace and after a quick coffee and food stop at one of our favourite cake shops we will ascend into the Vosges mountains.  We will be using the ‘La Route des Cretes' which was created in during the first world war to carry supplies over the mountains.  This road offers a series of panoramic vistas over the Vosges valleys and Black Forest.  The road climbs over the Col de Hohneck and the Col de la Schlucht (5,000ft) before heading to Grand-Ballon (4,700ft ).  From Grand-Ballon we should be able to see the Jura with the French Alps beyond.  This is one of our favourite roads.  Brilliant fun.  In the evening we will be staying in one of our most popular hotels - indoor heated pool, steam room, fabulous restaurant - what more could you want after a good days ride.

Day 3:  Mulhouse - Jura - Bernese Alps (225 miles)
Day 3 takes us into the heart of Switzerland.  We will pass through the Swiss Jura mountains, La Chaux de Fonds (famous for its watches, Brietling etc) before heading into the Bernese Alps.  We will have fantastic views of the Swiss mountains from our overnight base in Kanderstag.  The hotel does the strangest curry I have ever tasted - bizarre!  The rest of the food is great though!!

Day 4: The Susten, Nufenenpass and Old Gotthard Passes (La Tremola) (220 miles)
We guarantee that you will remember this day for the rest of your life.  We will follow the road up past Interlaken before joining the Sustenstrasse.  The pass has a maximum height of 7,400ft and has good tarmac and fantastic hairpins.  Brilliant!  From there we will join the road that takes onto our next pass, the Old Gotthard Pass and the infamous La Tremola.  Not for the fainthearted La Tremola consists of 38 tight hairpin bends with a cobbled surface. We are not finished!!  Now its off over the Nufenenpass (8,100ft).  The Nufenenpass is Switzerlands highest motor vehicle pass.  Having survived these three infamous passes we head towards Mont Blanc for our overnight stay. 

Day 5:  Great and Little St Bernard Passes, Val- d'Isere,  Rhone Alpes (225 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 you into Italy.  How on earth did they get elephants up to 8,100ft!!  The Great St Bernard pass takes into Italy where it is tradition to have a pizza and some ice-cream.  Then with a heavy stomach its back into France.  This pass is great fun - not very busy, great views and nice and technical.  You will soon be working that lunch off as you negotiate hairpin after hairpin. Into France and Val-d'Isere, where the views are stunning on the South side as we move down into Bonneval-sur-Arc.

Day 6:  Col de la Bonette - ‘Monte Carlo or bust!' (180 miles)
This is a big day- The highest road in Europe (technically - it is only higher than Val d'Isere 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 promenade. Heaven.

Day 7:  Exploring the French Riviera (No Miles - Rest day)
A well earned rest day - 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 8: Route Napoleon and the Gorges Du Verdon (233 miles)
Day 8 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 most beautiful gorge in Europe.  We will take the southern route along the ‘Corniche Sublime'.  Hope you have a head for heights!

Day 9:  Route Napoleon and Annecy (120 miles)
We rejoin 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 10:  Reims and the Champagne area (340 miles).
Day 10 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 Reims we will enjoy a farewell dinner over a few glasses of local Champagne.

Day 11:  Home (175 miles)
Homewood bound via the Dover - Calais crossing.

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