Alpine Adventure West Overview
- Countries: Switzerland, France, & Italy
- Sleep in the shadow of the impressive Matterhorn
- Ride the Col de l'Iseran, the highest pass in all the Alps
- Relax on the shores of the cleanest lake in Europe
- Visit the castle where St. Bernard was born
- Cross many of the passes that are part of the Tour de France
- Visit historic cities: Courmayeur, Annecy, Aosta
- Conquer dozens of unforgettable mountain passes
Prepare for the big真人网址! Big scenery, big riding days and, of course, big passes. The Alpine Adventure West is a tour for riders who want to toss a boast or two around.
真人网址sleep in the shadow of europe’s highest mountain, mt. blanc. ride the highest pass in the alps. relax on the shore of the cleanest lake in the european union. visit the castle where st. bernard was born. dip a toe in the mediterranean. this combination of possibilities is unique to the alpine adventure west.
真人网址with the focus on towering, majestic mountains, our adventure kicks off in the old spa town of baden.
complete with castle ruins overlooking the old town, a river flowing through the middle, an impressionist art gallery, a most engaging cafe culture and a wealth of nightlife, these two days in baden are filled with possibilities. one of which is to begin tackling mountain passes right away! albispass, pragelpass, sattelegg, and glaubenbergpass all offer magnificent views from the top and an exciting ride to get there.
switzerland's pragel pass is just one of rob's "little white roads"
The Journey begins with a bit of Switzerland and a corner of Germany
the danube flows at its head and the rhine babbles at its feet. germany’s black forest is set in impressive natural splendor and is the focus of the first day on the road. this wonderful, unspoiled region encompasses ravines and torrents, dense woods and impressive hills. landscape, nature, climate, especially the people, and the unique agricultural products, are but a few of the things which comprise the wealth of the black forest.
真人网址our exit from the hills of germany across the rhine river takes us to the french jura. the terrain is very similar to america's smoky mountains, featuring easy riding through picture-perfect villages. vive la france—great scenery and riding without the annoying crush of tourist traffic.
真人网址the jura - rural france at its best
真人网址our departure from the jura region is by crossing another of europe's great rivers, the rhône.
Double overnight on the shore of Lake Annecy
The French are proud of their—well—Frenchness: Champagne, Chanel No. 5, camembert, croissants. No wonder when we speak of the joy of life, it’s in French: “joie de vivre.” The French believe they have the franchise on culture, cuisine—and especially—romance. You’ll probably agree when you set eyes on Lac d'Annecy, a crystal-clear, turquoise mountain lake in the heart of the Savoie region.
one of the most beautiful towns in the haute savoie region, annecy is a gracious town that is still the quiet joy of provincial france and a perfect example of romance in both location and architecture. bustle about the shopping core of annecy or sit in the marvelous lakeside park and commune with nature at its best. total relaxation on the grass by the pool, a boat ride, a visit to mont blanc and a ride up the mountain on europe’s highest cable car, or perhaps a visit to the ancient castle of menthon or the museum of the french resistance movement; our double overnight here offers something for everyone.
The French Vercors
certain ranges in the alps have a way of taunting puny humans. the vercors is one. atop the massif is a tranquil, forested, high plateau. the 20th century loggers had product, but no way to get it to market. their answer was to construct "balcony roads," which were literally blasted out of the vertical mountainside. today these roads are great motorcycle routes! getting up to the plateau is a pleasant challenge, one made much more enjoyable by your bmw motorcycle—the perfect machine for this adventure.
the number of passes in the vercors national park borders on the absurd. we spend two overnights, and the majority of three riding days in the park to make the most of that absurdity!
Spring from valley to valley
travel through appealing alpine scenery with conifer woods, grasslands and some very impressive mountains on the way to a double overnight stop in the mercantour national park. the next highlight on the tour is up. way up, at the top of the highest loop in the alpine chain. col de la bonette stands at 8,907 feet above sea level. grab that selfie and enjoy the ride down. ah, the magic of the french alps!
Our last day in France means... twisty Alpine Roads
真人网址the border between france and italy is punctured by notable roads—small, very high, and traffic-free. far from the congestion of the valleys, these roads take you to amazing heights. a picnic on a hillside, with a million-dollar view of the whole world spread at your feet, will put any restaurant patio seat to shame!
the italian side of the col agnel
One of the most amazing things about the Alpine Adventure West is that now, many days and many miles into it, the riding continues to get better, and the scenery even more impressive. From the top of the Col Agnel the views go for a hundred miles south into Italy and north into France.
These are the sort of vistas that are inevitable to run across while riding in the mountains. The stunning aspect of the French Alps is the fact that they are everywhere. Day in and day out, not once, but dozens of times a day the only reaction one can manage is "wow!"
And like clockwork, on the way up the next pass, the Col d'Izoard, comes another "wow真人网址" moment when you come around the hairpin and the world opens up to a view that makes you feel quite small.
End your day in Italy, following a possible path of Hannibal into Italy, crossing the Col de Montgenèvre as he may have 2,200 years ago.
Although we overnight in Italy, we are not done with France as yet. The best, and last, French pass to roll beneath your wheels is the Col de l'Iseran, the highest pass in all the Alps.真人网址Jet black rock outcroppings contrast with glistening blue glacial ice as you climb ever higher.
To Italy and the Matterhorn
Wait, the Matterhorn is in Switzerland!!真人网址 Actually it has dual citizenship, with the familiar north side being Swiss, the south, Italian. The little ski town of Breuil-Cervinia offers great views of this iconic mountain, and thus is another of our memorable overnight stops.
真人网址the matterhorn, as seen on the road to breuil-cervinia
hannibal's route though the alps is still a mystery, and hotly disputed by historians. in the interest of due diligence in following his trek we cross the delightful petit st. bernard, another possible route for the warrior, his legion, and his elephants.
It is certain that Napoleon made a winter crossing of the Grand St. Bernard. While we won't be crossing in the winter, we will follow his footsteps all the same. After all, having a theme for a day's ride is a great excuse for having fun.
真人网址we enter switzerland once again on the north side of the grand st. bernard where a little detour, up an obscure "rob road," gives us a chance to look back. back at mont blanc, from a vantage point that seems almost level with the mountain's upper heights.
the top of the grand st. bernard pass, in napoleon's footsteps
the last two riding days are a romp through the swiss alps, with views of the eiger, mönch, and jungfrau off our shoulder, and great swiss pavement under our tires. the most impressive passes in the entire country take you up, down, and up again through mountain scenery that is unforgettable!
miles and miles of twisty roads, a spread of culture, architecture, food and scenery, and as always, the freedom of a beach tour combine to make the alpine adventure west a challenging, delightful, big ride. it is one you will, quite rightfully, boast about for years to come.