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Routes des Grandes Alpes

September 2023
Routes des Grandes Alpes and the balcony roads of France
Passing through ski resorts such as Tignes and Val D'Isere, we will be crossing one of the highest Alpine passes, the Col D'Isere, 2764 metres, closed from October to June each year due to it's altitude and the weather. We will take in the famous Col de la Bonette, complete the Routes des Grandes Alpes and pass by Nice for five days in the mountains riding the Balcony Roads. You have a treat in store!

"The Routes des Grandes Alpes is my favourite all time road, the one when I've been riding it I thought, There is nowhere else I would rather be right now."

A person standing next to a motorbike holding their helmet
Your Tour Guide
Steve Rawsthorne
Routes des Grandes Alpes
10/09/23 - 22/09/23
Start location:
Folkestone
From
£2950
£750 deposit

Tour Highlights

Col de Chaussy
Col D'Isere
Col de la Bonette
Gorge du Verdon
Col de la Machine
Routes des Grandes Alpes and the Balcony roads of France

Starting from Thonon les Bains in the north we head south to Monaco and Nice over four days of simply stunning roads through the mountains. Scenery is fantastic, in some places the roads will be only single track but all asphalted surfaces, the original old mountain roads and passes, with sheer drops and glorious views. Passing through ski resorts such as Tignes and Val D'Isere, we will be crossing one of the highest Alpine passes, the Col D'Isere, 2764 metres, closed from October to June each year due to it's altitude and the weather. We will take two nights in area of Guillaumes, day five will be a rest day for those who choose that option and for those who want to ride, we will spend the day on a circuit taking in the famous Col de la Bonette, 2807 metres, simply stunning. Next day will see us complete the Routes des Grandes Alpes (600 miles including the Col de Bonnette day) and pass by Nice to start the next five days in the mountains riding the Balcony Roads. You have a treat in store!

Many 'bikers do not know of the old balcony roads, literally cut into the rock face with tunnelled sections, you can see more of them here.

This will give you a flavour of what we will be doing, 850 miles of mainly mountain roads, some with sheer drop-offs and only a low wall, or in some case no barrier at all. You need to be a confident rider. We will be taking in the Gorge du Verdon, often referred to as Europe's Grand Canyon, the Gorge du Nan, and many more. These are some of the best motorcycling roads in Europe. We have carefully stitched the best together to make the most of them and give you the best possible experience. You will not be disappointed. Average mileage will be around 130 to 150 miles a day to give time to enjoy the roads and the scenery, between four and five hours a day riding time.

What's Included

Eurotunnel crossing for one rider and motorcycle to and from Folkstone to Calais.
13 nights accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, single occupancy of a double or twin room throughout the trip. No hidden extra supplements.
Fully guided with one of our owners leading the trip.
GPX routes and full briefing pack.
A lot of fun!

Not Included

Meals other than those specified.
Breakdown insurance.
Fuel and tolls.
Routes des Grandes Alpes
10/09/23 - 22/09/23
Start location:
Folkestone
From
£2950
£750 deposit

Itinerary / Locations

Day 1
Meet at Folkstone for an early crossing via Eurotunnel, then a day covering distance to Dijon. I make no apologies, this is all about getting to where the fun starts, but travelling in a group, we will have frequent stops and it will be a good opportunity to bed in with the group.
Day 2
We will head off from Dijon into the mountains and make our way to Thonon les Bains, the fun starts today!
Day 3
Today we start the Routes des Grandes Alpes proper, heading south through the mountains to Val D'Isere where we will overnight.
Day 4
From our hotel we'll soon be heading up and across the Col D'Iseran, a thrilling mountain pass, closed for eight months of the year due to snow, it's fantastic!
Day 5
A rest day in Guillaumes for those who want to take it easy and a 160 mile circuit of the Mercantour national Park riding over the famous Col de la Bonnette.
Day 6
We complete the R de G Alpes today and skirting north of Nice start into the Balcony Roads section of our trip, although we will have done some in the previous four days. Our first day includes the fabulous Gorge de Verdon, Europe's "Grand Canyon".
Day 7-11
The next five days see us in the mountains taking in the best they have to offer, including the Col de Chaussy, just brilliant, the Col de la Machine, which should be on every bikers bucket list, the Gorge du Verdaches and many more. We don't want to give all our routes away!
Day 12
After a good night's rest near Aix les Bains we head north and begin our return to Calais, via Annecy and then through the mountains towards Dole.
Day 13
Our final day together! We take a mixture of minor and major roads to La Coquelle, Calais and the tunnel back to the UK where we say our final "good-byes" and head to our respective homes.

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