Grand Tour, Alps & Volcanoes

Corsica & France

Grand Tour, Alps & Volcanoes

Corsica & France

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Grand Tour, Alps & Volcanoes
Corsica & France

Fine French scenery, deserted mountain passes and white sandy Corsican beaches... what more could you ask for?

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14 Day Self-Guided Tour

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Price does not include motorcycle hire

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Fine French scenery, deserted mountain passes and white sandy Corsican beaches... what more could you ask for?
Ben Spear and Felix Billington.
Find out more about Magellan Guides
France offers some of the finest scenery and roads available to the motorcyclist in Europe while Corsica’s deserted mountain roads and white sandy beaches need to be seen to be believed. This 14 day tour aims to show you some of the best of both of these.
Self Guided Tour
14 days
2500 miles
May to September

Starting from Calais you cross the country and make your way along the beautiful rural roads of northern France to Verdun and the famous Douaumont ossuary WW1 war memorial at Verdun. The next day takes you up into the Vosges Mountains for some truly dramatic scenery before continuing southwards towards the border with Switzerland.

On your first full day in the mountains, you conquer spectacular alpine roads all day long. Starting with the Jura Mountains and then heading down past Geneva, the Massif de Bauges, Chambery and finally into Albertville. From Grenoble, you join the famous “Route Napoleon”, along the D900 and Luberon which brings you to your base for the next two nights. Weather dependant you can also travel along the Routes des Grandes Alpes to really get a taste of the best the region has to offer.

Ben Spear, Trip guide
Ben Spear, Trip guide

Norway is often the trip people are most suprised by. Just how dramatic the scenery and empty the roads are. Come and join me in August and experience a beautiful country with tremendous twisty roads.

Relax in the glorious Corsica

If you fancy a day out of the saddle you can kick back and relax around town or if you’re still raring to go you can embark on the ride out to Europe’s answer to the Grand Canyon - The Gorges du Verdon. With walls 2,000 feet high you can spend the entire day riding the long curves around the impressive canyon not only on the famous northern side but also the often overlooked Corniche Sublime on the southern side.

Want to indulge your inner billionaire? Riding along the coastal roads of the french riviera you cruise along the Mediterranean via Cannes before catching our overnight ferry to Corsica where you spend three days. You can either head out on the organised ride outs along the coastal cliffs, over mountain passes and through granite gorges or relax by the pool and down by the beach and explore the local towns and villages.

Posing by the lakes near Grenoble.

Posing by the lakes near Grenoble.

You will then leave Corsica and cross the south of the mainland France through the national park of Cevennes with it’s pretty valleys and gorges cut by the rivers Jonte and Tarn and cruise through the lower Pyrenees coming to your overnight stop within striking distance of the Millau Viaduct, the tallest bridge in the world standing at 343 metres.

You then have a rideout day taking a loop through the volcanic region of Auverge, which is popular on the Tour de France circuit. Riding across the dordogne and visiting the dormant volcano of Puy Mary before a well deserved rest back at base. After a good night’s sleep you ride North through the ever picturesque rolling hills of France to the wild countryside of La Brenne National park skirting Orleans and the Loire valley. Your final overnight stop comes in Chartres with their festival of lights before making your way back home the next day.

Want to experience the best France has to offer on a motorcycle? Then this one’s for you!.

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Tour highlights

Route des Grandes Alpes: This amazing route between Thonon les bains and Nice boasts 18 incredible mountain passes with epic scenery and pretty little villages.

Route Napoleon, one of France’s if not Europe’s finest roads: This road follows the route taken by Napoleon in his 1815 retreat from Elba to Grenoble. The route begins in Grasse and goes 150km to Grenoble through fabulous Alpine scenery, with long stretches of well paved gently curving roads.

Gorges du Verdon: The Gorges du Verdun is a river canyon that is over 25km long. You can spend an entire day riding the rim of this gorge, both the famous Northern side and the equally beautiful but oft overlooked Southern side.

What an eye opener Corsica was, you guys have outdone yourselves yet again with the routes and hotels on this one. Magellan’s self guided tours really are superb and I’d highly recommend them to anyone. If you’re thinking about doing a tour round France then take a few extra days, add Corsica and do this one, its wicked.
Brian S

St Tropez, Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo: The glamourous playgrounds of the super rich are  fun places to ride through and indulge your inner billionaire! Stretches of long white sandy beaches with  supercars and yachts galore.

White Sandy beaches of Corsica: With over two hundred white sandy beaches Corsica is the perfect venue for some much needed rest and relaxation with little villages to walk through and bars and restaurants looking out over the ocean.

Gorges, Peaks and Passes of the central Corsican mountains: The variety of the terrain in Corsica combined with the beautiful views and steep mountain passes make this region a joy to ride your bike in.

Auvergne: This landlocked region is famous for its volcanic past, beautiful scenery and hearty unpretentious food. A dreamy place for any biker, with sweeping roads, beautiful views and amazing lunch stops.

Millau Bridge: The Millau viaduct is the tallest vehicular bridge in the world, taller than the Eiffel tower. It’s also 2,400km long, only touching the ground in nine places- its a true feat of engineering.

WW1 War memorial at Verdun and the Douaumont Ossuary: 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.

Relaxing under the Millau bridge.

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Tour Map / Itinerary

Full Itinerary

Day 1 271 Miles

From Calais, we cross the country and make our way along the beautiful rural roads of northern France to Verdun.

Day 2 240 Miles

Today takes us up into the Vosges Mountains and on to our second overnight stop near the border with Switzerland.

Day 3 168 Miles

Starting with the Jura Mountains and riding down past Geneva, the Massif de Bauges, Chambery and finally into Albertville.

Day 4 151 Miles

We ride the “Route Napoleon” along the D900 and Luberon which brings us to our base for the next 2 nights.

Day 5 Explore Day / Rideout Day

Ride the Gorges du Verdon or kick back and enjoy the town.

Day 6 134 Miles

We cruise along the Mediterranean via Cannes (adding in Nice and Monaco if you fancy a longer day in the saddle) before catching our overnight ferry to Corsica.

Day 7,8,9 Explore Days / Rideout Days

We spend three days in Corsica, with ride-outs and relaxation planned.

Day 10 230 Miles

We ride through the low hills and national park of Cevennes to Millau.

Day 11 204 Miles

Today starts by visiting the Millau Viaduct, this takes us up towards the Limousin region and the town of Treignac on the banks of the Vezere, our base for the next 2 nights.

Day 12 168 Miles

A rideout day taking a loop through the volcanic region of Auverge.

Day 13 248 Miles

From Treignac we continue back northwards to Chartres.

Day 14 212 Miles

Hearty breakfast and then onto 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&A below).
Ferry return France – Corsica.
11 Nights accommodation in good quality hotels, 2 nights ferry cabin accommodation 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 in the hotels.
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.
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 make your own way to 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.

When is the best time of year to do this trip?

May to September as a rule although October can work with a dash of luck. This trip crosses a number of high passes in the alps so you need to be aware that even in August some of these can close at short notice due to adverse weather conditions. There are always ways round these passes but worth bearing in mind when planning the best dates for your tour.

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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