Alpine Altitude

Austria & Switzerland

Alpine Altitude

Austria & Switzerland

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Alpine Altitude
Austria & Switzerland

Traverse the soaring hairpins of Austria and Switzerland's finest high alpine passes.

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11 day Guided Tour
27/06/2020 - 07/07/2020

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Traverse the soaring hairpins of Austria and Switzerland's finest high alpine passes. Glacial grandeur meets switchback thrills.
June 2020 tour led by Andy Wright.
Find out more about Magellan Guides
If zooming round twisties and hairpins along cobbled mountain passes in the beautiful snowy Alps are your thing then this tour is absolutely for you. We ride some exquisite roads, and stop off at places of historical and cultural significance throughout this tour, so it’s a true delight for riders and pillions alike.
Guided Tour
11 days
1960 miles
27/06/20 – 07/07/20

Our tour starts with a day’s cross country riding through picturesque northern France along the Route D’Epinal to our first nights stop on the edge of the Lorraine National Park. From here we make our way to the first historical point of interest at Verdun, we visit the memorial and walk around the battle site made famous in the first world war. We then ride into eastern France before crossing the border into Germany via the beautiful Vosges mountains.

The afternoon’s ride brings us into the Black Forest region and to our second night’s stop near Baden Baden, we rest up and get ready for the first famous road of the trip in the shape of the B500, this stretch of tarmac has long been coveted by bikers looking for long sweeping roads that run from bend to bend. Sure not to disappoint, it will have you wanting to ride it over and over again.

Mark Holroyd, Guide
Mark Holroyd, Guide

Carve your way through a soaring Alpine backdrop to conquer the mighty Großglockner and be back in time for Pilsner and Bratwurst!

The Magnificent Austrian Tyrol

From one kind of beauty to another we leave Germany and head into Austria through the foothills of the beautiful mountains of Tyrol to our base for 2 nights near the historic town of Zell am See. Here we have a day off with a choice of a ride out to the famous Grossglockner high alpine road, the highest surfaced mountain pass in Austria or a day trip to the Eagle’s nest- Hitler’s summer retreat in Berchtesgaden. We then leave Zell am See continuing west to the awe inspiring Swiss Alps.

The Swiss Alps are one of the world’s most famous biker havens and its not difficult to see why with endless hairpins and breathtaking beauty they bring bikers back here year on year and on this tour we ride five of the greatest mountain passes in Switzerland. Take on the St Gotthard pass with its famous cobbled hairpins, get in touch with your inner 007 on the Furka pass immortalised by the car chase in Goldfinger then ride the giddy heights of the Grimsel pass at an elevation of 7,100 feet and the Nufenen at 8,130 feet.

See if you can track this cow down on the B500!

See if you can track this cow down on the B500!

Glacier waters of the Tyrolean Alps

We come back down through the mountains and valleys past crystal clear lakes into the Vosges region again via the Routes des Cretes the very scenic road often cited as one of the best scenic drives in France. We continue riding North through the Vosges the following day before heading to Charlons en Champagne near Reims for our final night's stop.

Our last adventure on this tour comes with a visit to the GP track Reims-Gueux, the disused track was the second location of the Grand Prix, several Formula one races and the MotoGP. Our route takes us on the old track riding past the old pits and grandstand and then we head back towards Calais.

The Grossglockner, epic Alpine passes, 007 and beautiful picturesque towns these are a few of our favourite things! Come and set the hills alive with the sound of your motorbike!

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Tour highlights

The B500 in the German Black Forest: All the roads in the Black forest are steep and twisty and the B500 is no exception. A road that consistently features in the top ten biking roads in the world, its many twists are curves along the forest ridge are exhilarating.

Grossglockner High alpine road and glaciers: At 2,500 km above sea level the Grossglockner boasts 36 unforgettable elegant hairpins sure to delight any rider!

The Eagle’s Nest in Berchtesgaden: The Kehlsteinhaus is a remnant from third-reich era Germany, Hitler’s alpine summer retreat. It’s a fascinating destination for any history buffs amongst the group, as it was the location of many Nazi government meetings and on at least 12 occasions a holiday spot for Hitler.

'Some tours can be a bit ‘balls-out macho see how many miles we can do in a day’ contests of endurance, whereas Magellan got the distances between stops just right. Overall, great roads, great weather, great company.. .. What more could you ask? Would I do it again? Tomorrow!!!'
Chris W

St Gotthard pass: This pass consists of 37 cobbled (but well layed!)  hairpins, sheer drops and steep curves on a dry day it's a biker’s dream.

Furka pass: The Furka pass needs no introduction to any James Bond fans. Immortalised by the Aston Martin DB5/Ford Mustang car chase in Goldfinger this road is as exhilarating as it is picturesque.

Neufenen pass: The second highest paved pass in Switzerland and featured in Adventure Bike Rider’s eight best mountain passes to ride before you die the Nufenen pass is an exquisite mix of hairpins and breathtaking views of the Bernese Alps.

Grimsel pass: This traffic free pass boasts landscape that is almost lunar, with granite rock formations, huge reservoirs and barren mountains.

Route des Crêtes in the Vosges Mountains: A real jewel in the Vosges mountains the Route des Cretes has twisties and sweeping bends to really  get your blood pumping!

Douaumont Ossuary WW1 war memorial at Verdun: The battle of Verdun claimed the lives of 300,000 soldiers, and the Bishop of the area wished to give them a ‘decent burial’. The Douaumont Ossuary houses a Necropolis which shelters the bodies of 16,142 known French soldiers, and the Ossuary which houses the bones of roughly 130,000 unknown French and German soldiers.

The Eagle’s Nest in Berchtesgaden

99.7 % Overall
100 % Would recommend

Tour Map / Itinerary

Full Itinerary

Day 1 288 Miles

A day’s cross country ride straight off the Tunnel through northern France riding along the Route D’Epinal to our hotel at the edge of the Lorraine National Park.

Day 2 211 Miles

We enter Germany via the Vosges mountains. The afternoon brings us into the Black Forest region and then on to our hotel near Baden-Baden.

Day 3 221 Miles

We ride B500 which takes us through Bavaria and on to our hotel on the border with Austria.

Day 4 137 Miles

We continue into Austria today through the foothills of the Tyrol to our base for the next 2 nights near Zell am See.

Day 5 Explore Day / Ride-out Day

Either ride the Grossglockner high alpine road, or take a day trip to the Eagle’s nest in Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s summer retreat.

Day 6 225 Miles

We leave Zell am See and continue west through Austria towards our next challenge, the Swiss Alps.

Day 7 90 Miles

We ride some mountain passes today to find our hotel for the next 2 nights, which is a lovely traditional place surrounded by Swiss peaks.

Day 8 110 Miles

Today we tackle 5 of the greatest mountain passes in Switzerland. The St Gotthard pass, the Furka Pass, the Neufenen pass and the Grimsel pass.

Day 9 170 Miles

We ride to the Vosges region of France via the Route des Crêtes to our overnight stop.

Day 10 216 Miles

Ride north through the epic scenery of the Vosges before heading down to the Champagne region and relax at the last hotel on the tour.

Day 11 191 Miles

Hearty breakfast, a visit to a disused GP track outside of Reims and then onwards to the channel tunnel for the final leg of the trip home.

What's included
Euro Tunnel return trip Folkestone-Calais (if Folkestone isn’t convenient for you do please get in touch as other crossings can be arranged see Q&As below).
10 Nights accommodation in good quality hotels and 5 evening meals (We do this to allow you the flexibility to explore and choose where you eat on some of the evenings).
Excellent breakfast each morning.
Full use of all hotels’ leisure facilities.
Detailed route plans and maps.
GPS routes (Garmin / Tom Tom).
Detailed daily itinerary including sights and suggested coffee / lunch stops.
Fully guided and supported by an experienced tour guide throughout.
Professionally edited video of the tour.
What's not
Fuel.
Toll charges.
Admission charges.
Occasional hotel parking charges.
Meals and drinks other than specified above.
Travel/Breakdown insurance covering repatriation back to the UK.

Common questions about this trip

Can I get a different crossing on this trip?

Of course, many of our clients cross by ferry from further north. If you would like to do this and meet the group at the hotel on the first night just let us know in the comments section of your booking form and we will deduct the cost of the Eurotunnel crossing from your booking.

What will the weather be like on this tour?

The weather can of course be changeable but we pick the dates for this trip to slot into the best average weather for the region. Thunderstorms and rain are always possible at higher elevations year round though so a sensible mix of vented kit and waterproofs with some base layers should cover all eventualities. Full kit and packing lists are supplied and we are happy to offer advice on packing for any of the trips.

Are the speeding fines as scary as I’ve heard in Austria and Switzerland?

In a word, yes. However the only place you really need to keep an eye out is in the small towns with low limits (20/30 kmph) and the extra vigilance needed here is more than made up for by the world class riding that their passes offer.

More information
For general information on planning and preparing for motorcycle trips including what to pack please see our Prepare for your trip section.
Magellan Hub
Want to ask one of the team a question, or a get a previous tourer’s take on a trip?

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