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I have been viewing this forum over the past few weeks and really enjoying the content. Btw, I'm Wayne. A 28yo Irish guy living in Dublin. I ride a Vstrom DL1000.
I am planning a Europe/Alps trip for 10 days in July 2014. I am limited to 10 days as thats how long the boss has said she will leave the kids. With this in mind I have decided to ship the bike to/from Munich so I get maximum time where I want to be.
We have done one Europe trip before, last year, but traveled with a group of other bikers I know/met here in Ireland and one guy planned the whole thing, hotels, routes etc.
The trip was enjoyable, however I did find out very quickly that I didn't like riding in big groups (12 bikes, 15 people) so I split from the main group, was joined by another two bikes and this was a lot more fun. We followed the routes, met the other guys in the evening etc. but rode as a group of three bikes.
The second thing I learned very fast last time is that 350-400kms is too much to be covering per day in the alps if you want to spend some time off the bike rambling around towns etc.
With the above in mind I am thinking of roughly going in the direction in the link below; however I am nervous about selecting the roads we will actually travel. The route I done the last time took in some great passes, in fact it was a trip of one great pass to the next which makes me want to just follow a similar route again but on the other hand I want to have an adventure finding new roads and new towns. Why am I nervous? Because I am worried I will get there and end up on one crap road which leads to the next crap road.
Any advice is welcome. We start and finish at Memmingen Airport, we want to visit Lake Maggiore and take a day off there, and the other half is thinking she would like to spend a night in Venice too. Other than that we are open to suggestions, I'd like to get the B500 in the Black Forest but not a deal breaker. We are planing on camping with the odd hotel here and there.
Edit: I should add that this route is just a rough direction/countries Id like to get in.
To visit the Alps was a good idea I did it several times. In my opinon your plan get one failure. You want to visit too many contries and places. I think you should strip down your plan an set your priorities to the roads and small ways. I'm from Germany and here you should use the "Autobahn" (Highway) to eat km (miles) Than in austria, swizz, ... you should take small roads and passes. Here are some points of interesting I would like to tell you.
- If you drive to Slovenia you should drice the Rd 206. It is in the north west of the country. This is a small road along the Soca Valley and it's very nice to ride. It starts in Kranjska Gora -> Ruska Kapelica (a small chapel) -> Kugyjev Spomenik -> Trenta -> junction with 203 (go south) -> Bovec -> Zaga -> Kobarid
It will take some time but you will never forget :-)
- I would leave Ljublijana and Croatia because of time and come back later. Only to visit this aria down the Adriatic Sea. I stay one time there (it rains the hole time, but it was very nice and needs more time. (We stay in Senj, not far from Rijeka and visit the islands)
- Border Italy/Austira don't use the Brenner, it costs money and isn't nice to drive. Try the San Leonardo Pass and then go right the smal white road direction Austria. The pass is called "Timmelsjoch" (it costs money) and you will enter the Ötztal near Hochgurgl/Obergurgl. I like this Road very mutch. But the Ötztal is long with speed limit so not fast to go. but very nice.
- to drive the Stilfser Joch was nice. You will met many bikers there ;-) and many curves. Near the top you can go right to Swizz. It's called Umbrailpass the first part will be a gravel road but not to hard. I like to ride the swizz passes. Good tarmec and nice roads. You can take the raods on swizz to: Zernez [Rd 27] -> Zuos -> St. Moritz -> Silvaplana [Rd3] take down the Maloja pass -> crossing the Border to Italy and you will arrive at the Lake Como. But to save time you should go your way in Italy.
- back in Swizz between Obergöns and Andermatt you would like to take a tunnel on your map. Don't do this. stay on the Rd 19. and take the Furka Pass, it's amazing. Or if you have time, take the Rd 6 and Rd 11. on Rd 11 you will take the Susten Pass, it's nice too.
Remember, if you take the hightways in Swizz, Austria and you must buy a tickets before you go on it, in Italy there are toll stations.
The road in Slovenia Night Alp is talking about is the Vrisic Pass. To get to it pass over the Karawanken Mountains just south of Villach using the Wurzen Pass, that'll save 10 euros tunnel charge between Austria and Slovenia and also the cost of a Slovenian motorway vignette.
I did a Europe/Alps trip this past summer, albeit driving a Land Rover and taking four weeks.
I can strongly recommend the area around Engelberg in Switzerland. I had planned to include the famous Swiss alpine passes in my daily drives but I found that wherever I drove from Engelberg, I was on amazing alpine passes. Even the access road to get to Engelberg has great hairpin bends.
Engelberg makes a great base to set up camp and drive out on a daily basis. And the campsite I stayed at was amazing - surrounded by mountains on three sides.
I also drove the B500 in the Black Forest on the way down to Switzerland. It's a pretty, elevated road but certainly no better than the alpine roads that I stumbled across in Switzerland. And Switzerland is so beautiful.
If you decide not to visit so many countries in your limited time, spending a few days based in Engelberg might be a good option.
I would strongly reccommended two great roads.
First is road L25 in Austria&Italy - near Linz in Austria, between Sankt Jakob and Brunico.
Second one is San Leonardo in Italy SS44.
Great roads and great views!
Hi Animal, you wrote you like passes. In switzeland is a little eldorado next to your route, so maybe you would be interrested in this little detour: A few km north of Andermatt turn west and look for the Sustenpass (road 11). At the end, go south to the Grimselpass (road 6). After you came down this one, turn east and climb the Furkapass (road 19). Before you reach Andermatt, there is the crossing for the Gotthardpass in the south (road 2, but not the highway!). The last one is called Nufenenpass, which will bring you back to your originally route on road 19
Another tip for Bormio in Italy: If you didn't drive it already on your first visit, ride via Passo di Gavia (SS300) to get there.
And if you go to Cortina d'Ampezzo, maybe you would be interrested in the circle of passes around the Sella-mountain (passo Pordoi, passo Sella, passo Gardena, passo campolongo) in the west.
But if 10 days are enough to spend these extra km is up to you
Some good reads before you go
Motorcycle Journeys through the Alps & Corsica John Hermann
Motorcycle Journeys through Western Europe
ebay is the place to go for them.
There is a reasonable campsite in Imst, its actually in the town hidden on the road behind the supermarket. Nothing fancy, grass pitches, not always mown, toilets & dish washing facilities basic, I think there is a bar on site but we didnt use it.
Imst has a fantastic Alpine Coaster (sled on rails) brilliant fun :-)
A campsite I would highly recommend is
its probably about half an hour from Innsbruck, but as campsites go its up in the luxury bracket, and it has a fantastic restaurant on-site, swimming pool, washing facilities would rival any top class Austrian hotel. I think we paid around 22 euros per night.
Enjoy your trip, I am jealous as we dont have time to travel in Europe this year on the bikes.
Livigno great choice everything is CHEAP well if your a smoker or a drinker it is make sure you have an empty fuel tank when you get there.
the stella rally may be worth a look held on the 2nd sunday of july its a gathering of like minded highly individual adventure bike riders from all over Europe and some ride up a small mountain to get a rally badge
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