French Alps and
- 30 June 2017
- 21 July 2017
- 29 June 2018
- 20 July 2018
This is a 5 day
motorcycle tour of the French Alps and Provence, a section of the Alps that often gets neglected whilst planning
a ride in the Alps. The French Alps, however, offer some incredible riding
and amazing scenery. In just 5 days you shall witness one of the
highest paved roads in Europe (Bonnette - Izeran), the incredible lavender fields
of Haute Provence (see picture above) and take a cable car to the
top of the highest mountain in Europe (Mont Blanc).
Given their geographical
location near the Mediterranean sea, these alps are also the first
to become accessible to riders in the season and can also be
ridden well into September.
Day by day:
0: your countdown to the tour is over. It's Saturday and you
need to be in Milan by 4pm. We shall finalize the
paperwork and pick up the bikes from our depot. The welcome dinner
starts at 8pm. Let the fun begin!!
1: We start by heading out of Milan on a quiet Sunday morning on the
A7. Our first stop will be Barolo in the Langhe area in Piedmont.
Barolo and the Langhe area are home to the famous Barolo and
Barbaresco wines. We will get a glimpse of where they are made.
The beauty of these rolling hills and vineyards reflect the
excellence of these wines. In the future when you happen to taste
these wines, you will certainly remember how beautiful the
landscape was. From Barolo we head for Cuneo and then turn west to
the first alpine passes. We first tackle the Col de la Lombarde
where we cross into France and secondly we take on the Col de la
Bonnette with its 2715 meters. We then roll into Barcelonnette for
2: We used to do a loop ride to the Gorge du Vedon and back to
Castellane but the day was always
very long so for this edition we
shall make our overnight stop in a small village of Annot just
before the Gorge du Daluis. This day is the day to visit the
lavender fields of Valensole. With a shorter ride we have more
time to explore the Gorge du Verdon, the immense canyon of this
region. It is an amazing site with incredible views over the
3: From Annot we start by riding along the chocholate coloured
canyon of the Gorge du Daluis. On my first visit it felt like
riding through the set of Jurassic park, thankfully without
bloodthirsty dinosaurs. Our ride climbs to the top of the Col
which leads us back into Barcelonnette. From here our pass hopping
continues over the Col du Vars and the amazing Col d'Izoard. The
mountains of this last pass reminds us of the Dolomites and infact
the geological making of the rocks is very similar. Two more
passes before reaching Valloire for the evening: Col du Lautaret
and Col du Galibier. The Galibier is amazingly steep, and when you
get to the small car park at the very top it offers amazing 360°
views of the surrounding mountains. Our hotel in Valloire includes
dinner in the stay so this dinner is on CIMT.
4: We continue our ride north over Col du Telegraph and then Col de
l'Izeran (2770m yes higher than Stelvio) into Val d'Isere. The
Col du Petite St Bernard puts us back in Italy at our final
destination for the night in Courmayeur at the foothill of Mont
Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe at 4810m.
Day 5: If
the clouds permit we visit the summit of Mont Blanc on the Mont Blanc
Skyway, the new rotating cable car that will take you to the near top in
just under 20 minutes. Once we return to our bikes we head for the Grand
Saint Bernard pass, home of the big rescue dogs, and have lunch there. We
then return back down on the Italian side and head for another famous ski
resort, Breuil-Cervinia on the Italian side of the Matterhorn/Cervino.
After the view over this high mountain 4478m, we return to the valley and
catch the autostrada back to Milano for the end of the trip.
what is included:
motorcycle rental of a touring prepared bike with side cases, top case, tank bag, locks and alarm,
and tubeless puncture repair kit.
nights accommodation in 3 or 4 star family run hotels with
breakfast and safe parking for the bikes, especially selected
for being located in the historical center of each town
welcome and farewell dinners in Milan, plus dinner in Valloire
Francesco (owner of CIMT) will be your motorcycle guide always on a
motorcycle. He will be there as a point of reference and to
facilitate things during your trip. You can ride following him
or decide to seek your own way. You will always be able to reach
him on his mobile phone in case of need or get advice during
riding breaks. Think of him as your local source of
information and a fellow traveler.
maps and road book of the tour.