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  #1  
Old 10 Mar 2013
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Expensive Alps.....?

My Lady and I (after a bit of deliberation) have decided to tour the Alps this summer.
Now, we're gonna be doing this 2 up, and we're gonna be on a scooter.
I've been hearing horror stories about how expensive a place it is to visit, stories of £20 pizzas, £12 s and £100 a night digs for nowt more than a single bed.
I've been before a couple of times but the last was about 8yrs ago and the world's a different place now.

Is it this bad or is this prices they charge skiers in the middle of skier season?
Will we be able to get a bed for the night without getting financially humped?
Should we keep away from resort type places even though it's off season?
Should we take a stove & pot and eat noodles for a fortnight?
Will we be able to find nice little reasonably priced villages?
etcetera etcetera

Mind we're going on a factory hooter so need to travel light, the last thing I want is to humph a big bag of cooking facilities and grub to then find out we can eat like kings for peasant money.
Or on the flipside to not take camping gear and then discover a bed for the night is gonna cost the equivalent of 4 numbers on the lotto. My gf is a hardy kinda girl but sleeping under lorries and in bus shelters isn't what she's looking for from a trip.

Thanks in advance, and happy mothers day........... Paul x

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  #2  
Old 10 Mar 2013
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"The Alps" covers a lot of ground. Much of that ground gets expensive, but there are often cheaper options--camping, some hostels, a few cheaper hotels and roadhouses. Guess it also depends on what you consider "cheap."

Riding until interrupted by dark (or blizzards), then looking for a bed on an emergency basis, I paid as much as 100 euros a few times. But I'm a notoriously bad planner. If you want to save money, you'll do a better job of it than that. And far more often I rolled into little villages in France, Italy or especially Slovenia and down through the various Slavic republics and found pubs renting rooms for 30 euros or less. That was off-season and four or five years ago, but I don't imagine there's been much inflationary pressure since then.

I never saw anything remotely affordable in Monaco (or the other wee little principalities) or Switzerland, but maybe I should've looked harder. Remember that "the Alps" extend all the way down through Albania, so greater specificity in questions will probably pay off in the form of useful answers.

Hope that's helpful.

Mark
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Old 10 Mar 2013
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Thanks Mark for your reply, 'cos we're on a scoot and only have a couple of weeks we'll probably only get as far as the centre-ish of the Alps if that makes sense, I forgot to say we're travelling from Glasgow so its 2 days either way just to Dover and back. If its extortionate or the weather's pish we can't exactly make a run for the coast so we'll be stuck with wherever we head to so hoping a bit of planning can save a bit of hassle. The southern parts of the Alps and especially Slovenia etc is out of our reach on this one. If it looks like its not happening is the south-west of Germany nice, could that be an escape route to a land of cost-effective beds and ?
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Old 10 Mar 2013
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I agree with mark, stay out of switzerland of you want to do keep cost down. I would go to the french alps if i was you. Go from chamonix then to albertville south through the french alps to gap. Use the small ways and stay away from the highway. You can find cheap places to stay if you stay out the touristic hotspots. In the mountain region you will find "Chalets" on top of the mountain passes, these are restaurants/hostels for hikers. These are normaly very cheap 10-15euro per person, but you need something to sleep in, sleepingbag etc.. You can also use the "Gites de France" it is a book you order online, it is the french version of Bed and Breackfast. There are also tons of campingplaces, they oftent have bangalows for rent, but there you will need a sleepingbag to. Otherwise is there many small hotels in nearly every small vilage in france, price starting at 30-40euro.


Have a nice tour
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Old 10 Mar 2013
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Hi

Cheap food a la supermarkets, Mc donalds etc can easily be found but beds are expensive so i would take a tent and ask farmers for permission to camp.

Enjoy it
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  #6  
Old 10 Mar 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauljt73 View Post
Now, we're gonna be doing this 2 up, and we're gonna be on a scooter.
I've been hearing horror stories about how expensive a place it is to visit, stories of £20 pizzas, £12 s and £100 a night digs for nowt more than a single bed.
That is certainly Switzerland, as mentioned already; when I said something on these lines to a Swiss hotelier a couple of years ago his response was "what do you expect, this is Switzerland" (which has the highest per capita income/standard of living in Europe, with the possible exception of those "Duchies" that still exist here and there).
The basic point is that while on holiday don't be stingy and treat your better half, or, stay out of Switzerland.
Other than that, the adoption of the Euro all those years ago definitely led to price inflation (which was fully intended to occur) and no where is particularly cheap with the current exchange rate to the £ (it could change for the better by the summer but I don't think that is likely; last summer it was about 1.25 Euro to the £, now it is much less).
e.g. a serving of faux-filet (horse basically) + chips was about 15 euro a couple of nights ago, but it tasted just fine.
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  #7  
Old 10 Mar 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauljt73 View Post
My Lady and I (after a bit of deliberation) have decided to tour the Alps this summer.
Now, we're gonna be doing this 2 up, and we're gonna be on a scooter.
I've been hearing horror stories about how expensive a place it is to visit, stories of £20 pizzas, £12 s and £100 a night digs for nowt more than a single bed.


Mind we're going on a factory hooter so need to travel light, the last thing I want is to humph a big bag of cooking facilities and grub to then find out we can eat like kings for peasant money.
Or on the flipside to not take camping gear and then discover a bed for the night is gonna cost the equivalent of 4 numbers on the lotto. My gf is a hardy kinda girl but sleeping under lorries and in bus shelters isn't what she's looking for from a trip.

Paul x
The problem is - all of that is true and not true at the same time. It's not surprising they hold the world economic forum in a Swiss ski resort while the royals are skiing down at the other end of town. If you don't have access to the national debt of a medium sized oil producing country I'd suggest you give those places a miss (or at least don't spend any money while you're there).

On the other hand there's a lot of low rent agricultural communities where everyone has a cow in the back yard and flowers in the meadow. They frequent Carrefour like the rest of us and are likely to run reasonably priced BnBs. If money is really tight buy all your food in supermarkets and stay in municipal campsites. That way the only real shock you'll get will be watching the pound plummet about two weeks before you leave. It'll mean taking camping gear but it could be worth it if you've got the space. Keep a bit of money to one side for the odd day in a hotel - the weather in the Alps can go from picture postcard blue to thunderstorms very quickly.

Churchill once said " Planning is everything but plans are worth nothing" Actually it might have been someone else who said it, but whatever. There are endless lists, books, sat-nav POIs etc of campsites, hotels, BnBs, supermarkets etc all over the Alps. Do some background research and come up with a provisional plan. Then abandon it when you've got a few days under your belt and have a feel for things.

Setting off from Glasgow means days riding through the post apocalyptic wasteland that is the rest of the UK before you get to the good bits. I'm biased but I tend to head for the French Alps rather than the German speaking bits because a. I prefer the food and b. I enjoy the ride through the slightly shambolic countryside of France better than the German alternative, but that's me. You may be (and probably will be) of different mind.
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Old 11 Mar 2013
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I did 3 months on a scooter in France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland last year and the HIGH point of the whole trip was most definitely Andermatt in Switzerland.

I stayed 5 nights in the Hostel which was a fantastic base to ride the Furka, Grimsel, Susten, Oberalp, Klausen and Gotthard passes. I just went out on a different loop each day leaving my gear in the hostel and coming back to a fabulous home-cooked meal every night!

Breakfast was included in the price which was 35Francs - got no clue how this translates into pounds but it was pretty equivalent to the Aussie dollar. [prices of petrol, food, accom etc in Oz are about the same as Switzerland]

Read all about my trip here
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Old 11 Mar 2013
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Crossing to Europe, we use the Newcastle to Ijmuiden (The Netherlands) ferry crossing, ok it is a more expensive crossing, but add the cost of fuel to Dover and the hotel nights in then it is not that bad. That way day 1 ride to Newcastle then wake up on day 2 in Europe the holiday begins. The down side is you have a longer journey to The Alps and The Netherlands has very expensive fuel.

Have a look at the F1 chain of hotels very basic but charge around 30 euros a night and there are lots of them.

Have a look for hostel accommodation, I personally have not hostelled in Europe (we almost always camp) but I use hostels & bunk houses in Scotland and they are usually very good with fully equiped kitchens and a reasonably comfy bed.

Stay away from the Peage very exensive much better to go on the RN roads in France.

The French Jura is also a really nice area to visit as is The Black Forest in Germany especially route 500.

Most of all enjoy the trip, but the planning is just as much fun.
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Old 12 Mar 2013
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Switzerland is most expensive of those countries, but you can find reasonable price motel, hostel, guesthouse from small villages (someone mentioned cows on the backyard ).

French alps are really nice and with the time you have available, I would explore this area (maybe black forest in Germany).

If you google "route des grandes alpes", you get hit for a really nice roads.

Enjoy
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Old 12 Mar 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemuli View Post

If you google "route des grandes alpes", you get hit for a really nice roads.

Enjoy
Try this site for half a dozen really good Alpine routes - http://www.grande-traversee-alpes.com including the route des grandes alpes. It's all in French which may or may not be a problem but the maps will give you an overview.

The other site that is worth looking through is Alpine Roads - http://www.alpineroads.com It really is a mine of information about any part of the Alps.
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Old 12 Mar 2013
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I've stayed in Innertkirchen quite a few times, in the middle of Susten Pass, Grimsel Pass, Engstlenalp and Grosse Scheidegg. So nice I stayed there 10 to 14 days at a time.

The hotels are pretty reasonable. The 'Bikers Hotel' (aka Hotel Restaurant Urweider I think, opposite Alpenrose hotel) used to have bunk rooms as well as cheap private rooms.
Alpenrose, and Hotel Alpina almost next door (all in the centre of the village) both have cheap-ish rooms.
Hotel Hof & Post is also a 'bikers' hotel, but more upmarket, more expensive than those above.

I always went 2nd and 3rd week of June which is right out of season but the passes had just opened, so prices are low season. And weather sunny most of the time.

If you umm and ahh a bit when they give you a price they usually come down (in June), but they're also great at recognising you from previous years so I usually got a discount.
There's also nice camping along the river behind the Alpenrose and Alpina hotels.

Anyone thinking this could be good for a bicycle stay, that was my transport when I used to stay there. Great cycling country as well as motorcycling
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Old 12 Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by markharf View Post
Remember that "the Alps" extend all the way down through Albania, so greater specificity in questions will probably pay off in the form of useful answers.


Mark
+1
If the OP can narrow down their ideas and decide roughly their route, their daily budget and accomodation needs.
More specific answers can be provided. Homework is the key, so I`d suggest the OP gets hold of a copy of "motorcycle Journeys through the Alps & more" to aid their route planning.
looking at: tripadvisor, airbnb, hostelling international, hostel hero, & many of the other accomodation websites is a start

Personnally I`ll be in the "Alps" in June/July, riding down the RDGA, over to Corsica, and across to Italy & up towards the Italian alps, then through Switzerland. Most of my accomodation is pre-booked already. Which I know will tie me to being in a certain location at the end of the day, but thats my preference. I`m using a mixture of Logis hotels, YHA hostels, B&B`s, gasthaus & holiday hotels, but no camping. my budget for food & accomodation per day is around €50, but some of the accomdation (YHA`s) is cheaper at €18 p/n, and some of the more luxurious places are way over my budget, but it averages out.

The OP also needs to be aware that once in the alps the distance they will travel per day will significantly drop, as they may only cover 30 mile an hour riding over the passes, so planning 200 mile rides per day may not be a good idea, unless they want to spend many hours in the saddle. The route the tour de france takes may clash with their planning too, as road closures are put in place on parts of the RDGA the days the tour passes through
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Last edited by Peirre O`Bollox; 13 Mar 2013 at 10:02.
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  #14  
Old 13 Mar 2013
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hi paul
here is what you need:Hotel guide: Search and find hotels in England, Europe and world-wide: hotel-ami.co.uk
the alps specially austria is dirt cheap compared to what they charge you in the uk.
plus you get real food for your money.
bit more expensive but excellent riding the area switzerland,france,italy which is upper savoy in english and the food just excellent.
have fun
all the best geri
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Old 14 Mar 2013
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[QUOTE=Peirre O`Bollox;415134]
If the OP can narrow down their ideas and decide roughly their route, their daily budget and accomodation needs.
More specific answers can be provided. Homework is the key, so I`d suggest the OP gets hold of a copy of "motorcycle Journeys through the Alps & more............

The OP also needs to be aware.............



lol, dude your writing style makes you sound like the serial killer in
Silence of The Lambs......... "It rubs the lotion on its body....."


hehehe, cheers for all the info though folks. As I said I've been to "The Alps" a few times before but had heard that recently prices had rocketed.
My fear was riding through terrible weather all day and then when we're cold, tired and hungry, the only digs we can find is gonna stiff us for £200 for a night in a room that resembles Anne Frank's attic. If that happened two or three nights that'd be the money for the whole trip gone.
We'll be taking camping gear for sure but we'd like to get a comfy bed wherever possible.
I've also used plenty of hostels in Scotland and Europe and while some of them are brilliant, 'cos we're travelling as a couple we'd be hoping for a bit of privacy for some boom boom so a bed in a dorm wouldn't be first choice.
As for route planning and having an idea of where we're going........
we'll be on a scooter so might not make it past the Lake District...!!
Scooter travel and forward planning don't exactly go together but thats the way we like it.
Anyway thanks again for the info, keep it coming and ride safe.
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