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  #1  
Old 3 Aug 2006
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Two weeks, mountain passes, when to go?

Hi, I'm planning a two week loop round Europe going through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and back up through France.

In Austria, Italy and Switzerland i'd like to do several of the mountain passes i've read rave reviews about. It is all road riding with my girlfriend on the back - so nothing wildly adventurous, but not sure when to go?

When's the best time to ensure the passes are open, avoid big national holiday periods, any other possible problems i don't know about?

I'm guessing some where between late May and early September, but more experienced thought would be most welcome.
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  #2  
Old 4 Aug 2006
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Summer Holidays are in Switzerland from 16. Juli – 17. Aug. 2007 (more or less (varies by different regions)

Weather and roads should be okay from May till end of September, if your lucky.... (We had snowfall above 2000m this week :-) (Roads are probably still no problem in October, but your getting quite wet and cold...)

Best wheater would probably be June or July (July is proably hotter and in June there is no school holidays....)

I would take June.
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  #3  
Old 4 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superm0t
Hi, I'm planning a two week loop round Europe going through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and back up through France.

In Austria, Italy and Switzerland i'd like to do several of the mountain passes i've read rave reviews about. It is all road riding with my girlfriend on the back - so nothing wildly adventurous, but not sure when to go?

When's the best time to ensure the passes are open, avoid big national holiday periods, any other possible problems i don't know about?

I'm guessing some where between late May and early September, but more experienced thought would be most welcome.
My wife and I have just done that ! :-) me on the XJR and her on the Ducati 750SS.
We did Chimay (races) then back to France via Luxembourg, then Switzerland where we stayed in a great B&B at Nesslau (near Santis mtn), (the owner met us at the Basle services whil we looked at a map and as things go we ended up there that evening).

Then Austria (via Litchenstein), into Italy (took a mountain pass route that was a toll !(theiving Austrians).

In Italy we stopped in the north and played in he Dolomites to the east of Bolzano (top roads, well worth it). Then lake Garda, the Italian Riveria (avoid), back to France and Verdon Gorge then off to Millau before heading home.

As to mountain passes, they are all good and which ever one you don't do someone you meet will have done and tell you to do it. :-)

So, just plot a route with a Michelin map, and any high roads with a green boarder, take !

Have fun :-)
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Old 4 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DukeXTZ
Summer Holidays are in Switzerland from 16. Juli – 17. Aug. 2007 (more or less (varies by different regions)

Weather and roads should be okay from May till end of September, if your lucky.... (We had snowfall above 2000m this week :-) (Roads are probably still no problem in October, but your getting quite wet and cold...)

Best wheater would probably be June or July (July is proably hotter and in June there is no school holidays....)

I would take June.
I'd agree, July is *hot* (it readed 45 when we got to Millau... and then the clouds gathered and burst).
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Old 4 Aug 2006
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Take a look at this website. It should give you all the information you need.

www.alpineroads.com

I'd suggest late August/ early September. You'll be just coming out of the main summer tourist season, but the weather will still be good.
The weather on the alpine passes can be very changable - it can be warm and clear on the way up and cold and wet when you go down the otherside. Always carry a waterproof and a warm layer with you.
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Old 5 Aug 2006
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thanks for all the tips. Alpineroads.com has been my main source of inspiration so far

Trying to work out a route that uses as many of their gold, sliver, bronze suggestions as possible.
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Old 5 Aug 2006
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I've found in the past that the weather tends to take a turn for the worse about mid-september onwards where you're going.Certainly last year was lovely until sept 20th when the wet stuff decided to drop right when i was coming back from Croatia! And it wasn't light drizzle either....great globs of the stuff! If you do get caught in it,be ultra cautious on roundabouts if France after a long dry period,more so than here in the UK. I very nearly lost it several times and at REALLY low speed.I mean walking pace.This probably applies to the other countries in the Alps but only the French ones gave me sphincter creep.
As far as cols are concerned you'll be spoilt for choice.The only one i didn't enjoy was the Grossglockner....being stung 17euros to ride it on my own bike somehow left a bitter taste in my mouth.And it's not the most spectacular one either.The Stelvio beats it in my opinion as there are 3 ways to get there and all are stunning.And the Bradwurst sellers in the pointy hats at the top have a good sense of humour!
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Old 6 Aug 2006
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Originally Posted by JonStobbs
As far as cols are concerned you'll be spoilt for choice.The only one i didn't enjoy was the Grossglockner....being stung 17euros to ride it on my own bike somehow left a bitter taste in my mouth.And it's not the most spectacular one either.The Stelvio beats it in my opinion as there are 3 ways to get there and all are stunning.And the Bradwurst sellers in the pointy hats at the top have a good sense of humour!
Cheers, I'd heard Grossglockner was great but i have Stelvio on the list too. East to West (which i've heard one person say is the worst direction and another say it's the best)

decisions decisions?

Looks like mid June is gonna be the date though.
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Old 8 Aug 2006
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> but i have Stelvio on the list too. East to West (which i've heard one person say is the worst direction and another say it's the best)

It rather depends on whether you like to go up very steep, bumpy, blind hairpins on the inside of the turns (east to west), or come down them on the outside(west to east).
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  #10  
Old 8 Aug 2006
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Motorcycle Journeys Through the Alps and Corsica

'Motorcycle Journeys Through the Alps and Corsica'
John Hermann

I've just ordered this book via Amazon. Title says it all. Costs £16 with postage.
Apparently there are some good detailed routes with local knowledge thrown in.


I'm taking the missus (on her maiden voyage) for 3 weeks through the Pyrenees and into the Alps.

Good advice about French roundabouts.
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Old 10 Aug 2006
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Originally Posted by TChallen
It rather depends on whether you like to go up very steep, bumpy, blind hairpins on the inside of the turns (east to west), or come down them on the outside(west to east).
we'll find out. If i don't like it East to West i guess i'd better turn round and do it the other way too

the other half's gonna wet herself i reckon!
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  #12  
Old 10 Aug 2006
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Originally Posted by superm0t
the other half's gonna wet herself i reckon!
One year, in July, going east-west, we met a team of 4 Mercedes going the oposite way. All decked out with 3rd wheels and sensors on the front suspension etc doing tests on a new model. The way they chucked them round the hairpin we were arriving at would make you touch cloth! never mind a bit of wee!

'Motorcycle Journeys Through.....' is the best resource you can get to take with you. Also look at getting a copy of Motorrad Reisekarten - Alpen.
ISBN 3-575-22799-3
Covers all the Alps, including Dolomites from Nice to Vienna.
Its a loose leaf binder of maps. All the maps are encapsulated so you just take the ones you want in your tankbag. Scale is 1cm to 3km.

You can get it direct - "shop at motorradreisekarte dot de" (english spoken). Tel: ++49 711 62334


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Last edited by Redboots; 10 Aug 2006 at 20:06.
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