Duration 21 days / 20 nights
Distance 4,300 km
Temperatures 5 °C / 30 °C
About this tour
The Alps range draws an arc of circle which extends from Nice, in France, to Vienna, in Austria, on a total length of 1,200 km and for an area of 192,000 km².
Unlike all the other mountains that you can travel in the World, the Alps can really be called a "citadel of the authentic" because of its diverse landscapes but also thanks to an incredible variety of natural, folk and cultural features.
The Alps are a unifying place for bikers from all over the world in their search for freedom, diversity and driving pleasure on roads rich in curves and turns.
Nowhere else in Europe is the sensation of freedom better experienced than in the immensity of the lofty, lonely altitudes of the Alps.
This tour is more than 4,300 km long. We designed it for you to drive on the Alps' most beautiful roads, in the heart of Europe. No highways, only amazing and charming roads.
This trip is, nevertheless, a real challenge as it includes no less than 62 passes, 25 higher than 2,000m, that you will drive through during the 21 days of this trip.
This tour in the Alps is the only one that will allow you to cross a pass every 70 kilometers.
In order to make this experience accessible to everyone and to make the most of this extraordinary journey, Universal Riders offers each participant, on the eve of the departure, a free 4-hour mountain driving training.
Our wish is also to allow you to discover the natural or architectural wonders of this part of Europe. For this, we'll keep the drive reasonable: a road book built on 3 weeks and 3 days of rest judiciously arranged during the road trip.
In the Alps, the hardest moment will be to leave!Read more
Let's meet in Lyon before departure
No doubt, you will be treated as a king in Lyon.
The former capital of the Gauls is known for its “bon vivant” spirit. Located at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, the city is packed with history. Take advantage of this first day to discover the local marvels, from the Roman ruins and the old medieval city to the Confluence neighborhood, Place Bellecour, Fourvière, la Part Dieu...
But, before heading out to explore Lyon, make sure to stop at our Universal Riders location to review the last details of your 21-day trip through the Alps.
If needed, a free shuttle service can be arranged from your hotel.
Night in Lyon.
Lyon – Annecy (230 km)
This first day of driving begins smoothly across the Ain region. We highly recommend you to take a short break in the medieval city of Pérouges, ranked among the Most Beautiful Villages of France.
Then, head for the Bugey mountain range to reach the Belvedere restaurant, which is located on the top of Col de la Chambotte (650m). This restaurant, built in 1882, serves fine cuisine made from regional products and offers a breathtaking view of the Bourget Lake .
After having your lunch, you will drive accross the Bauges mountain range and climb to the Semnoz which offers a panoramic view of the Mont Blanc. Your route will finally take you to Annecy, where you will stop for the day.
After getting your room at the hotel, we highly recommend you discover the historical treasures of the "Alpine Venice" and its large and beautiful glacial lake.
Night in Annecy.
Annecy - Gruyeres (249 km)
Five passes are on your program for this day on the road that will end in Gruyères, a charming medieval Swiss town, known all around the world for its cheese of the same name.
After leaving the Annecy's lake shores, 5 passes are standing in front of you before entering Switzerland: Croix Fry (1,486m), Colombiere (1,613m), Gets (1,163m) and Pas de Morgins (1,371m).
The towns and villages that you will cross along your way will provide you with the opportunity to relax and taste local products.
The second part of your trip will be on the very bucolic roads of the Canton of Vaud which produces excellent wines.
Col des Mosses (1,445m) is the last difficulty of the day before arriving in Gruyères.
Night in Gruyères.
Gruyeres - Lauterbrunnen (105 km)
A very short 105 kilometers drive with only one real difficulty: the Jaunpass (1,509m).
Before reaching the city of Lauterbrunnen, take a walk along the banks of the Thuner see (lake) and you will reach the beautiful city of Interlaken. From the terrace of one of its cafés or restaurants, you will already be able to admire the Jungfrau (4,158m).
Around noon, just after dropping off your suitcases at your hotel, head to the summit of the Jungfraujoch (3,475m) to discover one of the most exceptional panoramic views of the Alps.
The Jungfraujoch is often called the "roof of Europe" in tourist guides. One of the local curiosity is the highest railway station in Europe.
Overnight in Lauterbrunnen.
Lauterbrunnen - Flims (305 km)
Today's drive, a loop of more than 300 kilometers in the heart of the Swiss Alps, is one of the "must" of this trip.
The panoramic views are breathtaking and what to say roads that will be offered to you throughout this day.
You will climb 5 of the most beautiful passes of the Oberalp: Sustenpass (2,224m), Furkapass (2,430m), Nufenenpass (2,478m) and the pass of Saint Gotthard (2,108m) and finally the spectacular Old Tremolastrasse built between 1827 and 1832.
The Oberalpass (2,044m) will allow you to reach the Vorderrhein where a torrent flows that will become a river before emptying into the North Sea after 1,320 kms. And yes it is here that the Rhine was born (3rd river basin of Europe). Flims, gorgeous Grisons resort has no less than 4 lakes that attract all fans of swimming in the region.
Night in Flims.
Flims - Fussen (310 km)
Head toward Bavaria and its romantic castles, riding accross the Grisons and Vorarberg.
After climbing the Lenzerheidepass (1,549m), you will reach the famous ski resort of Davos which hosts, every year, the World Economic Forum.
Before reaching St Anton, you will have to drive through the Flülapass (2,383m) and the Finstermünzpass (1,727m).
St Anton, considered as the cradle of downhill skiing, will be a good place for you to rest and regroup before continuing your journey.
The Arlbergpass (1,793m) and the Flexenpass (1,773m) will also be on your way before arriving at the Hohenschwangau and Neuchwanstein Castle which, along with the castle of Linderhof, are the true icons of Bavaria. Known all around the World, these castles attract tens of millions of visitors each year. Their magnificent architecture and exquisite interior decoration make them real museums. But it is especially their natural setting that distinguishes them from other European palaces.
Overnight in Füssen.
Fussen - Salzbourg (290 km)
Leaving Füssen, a stop at the castle Linderhof is highly recommended if you did not visit it the day before.
To reach Wallgau, you will take the high valley of Isar, wide and wild. This valley is one of the most surprising parts of the German Alps route.
Beyond Wallgau, your journey to Salzburg is fairly smooth except for the small Achenpass (941m).
Your route winds through green valleys to meet beautiful lakes such as Tegersee or Schliersee.
After Reit Im Winkl, the route of the German Alps follows a long corridor passing near shallow ponds with dark waters.
Night in Salzburg.
Salzbourg (0 km)
Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart, is one of the most famous cultural destinations in the World.
Symbol of Salzburg, the 11th-century Hohensalzburg Fortress is the largest preserved castle in Central Europe. It dominates the archiepiscopal residence and the cathedral with its majestic dome.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born and lived in Salzburg. Some buildings bear witness to this, such as the cathedral of Salzburg where he was baptized, and the picturesque Getreidegasse, where he was born on January 27, 1756. The composer's family home, turned it into a museum.
It is also in this house that were created the delicious Mozartkugel, chocolate balls filled with almond paste and praline. This treat is an absolute must!
The Mirabell and Hellbrunn castles and their gardens are also essential destinations for Culture lovers.
If you miss your motorcyle, the Hohenwerfen Fortress overlooking the Salzach Valley is an excellent local drive (100 km round trip).
Night in Salzburg.
Salzbourg - Tolmezzo (265 km)
After this day of rest, it's time to get back on your bike.
Head south towards the mountain town of Berchtesgaden, made famous by the Kehlstein and its "eagle's nest".
After crossing the pretty town of Zell Am See, which has retained all of its character, you will take the only road on the Grossglockner High Road (Hochalpen Strasse).
It is about climbing no less than 1,300 meters through the rocky chaos of the "Witches' Kitchen" to reach the Edelweissptize (2,571m) and its point bikers.
Once past the pass, you will reach the Fuscher Törl and before reaching the Heiligenblut basin, head over to the Franz Josephs Höle terrace at the foot of Grossglockner (3,797m) which is the roof of Austria.
The long way down into the valley of Möll will take you first to Iselberg and then to your evening stop, the town of Tolmezzo, which you will reach after crossing the passes of Gailberg Sattel (982m) and Plöcken (1,365m) through which you will enter the Dolomites.
Night in Tolmezzo.
Tolmezzo - Bolzano (249 km)
Here you are, in Italy, and more precisely in the Dolomites massif.
These mountains which are ones of the bikers' paradise in Europe will make you live an exceptional day.
Until you reach Cortina d'Ampezzo crossing the Passo Tre Croci (1,805m), your route winds through the beautiful region of Trentino Alto Adige.
The road between Cortina and Bolzano is a historic one, admirable for its panoramic views and technical characteristics. Passes Falzarego (2,105m), Campalongo (1,875m), Gardena (2,121m) and Sella (2,244m) will be highlights of your trip on the highest road of the Dolomites.
The Costalunga Pass (1,745m) will be the last difficulty of the day before reaching Bolzano.
Overnight in Bolzano.
Bolzano - St Moritz (260 km)
Leaving Bolzano, the capital of Alto Adige, you will take the valley of Sarentina to the Col de Pennes (2,211m) on an excellent road.
At the pass, an inn gives you the opportunity to take in beautiful views of the Zipline Mountains while enjoying a delicious meal.
A very nice and fast descent will get you into the Sterling Valley and you will take the direction of Merano through the pass of Monte Giovo (2,094m).
Merano is an important tourist center that will give you the opportunity to take a short break before tackling the big part of the stage.
60 kilometers in front of you is the Passo Dello Stelvio (2,758m) that we will climb by its east face and its 48 incredible hairpin bends.
Snap some photos to immortalize the moment and after the magnificent way down towards the Italian ski resort of Bormio, you will take the road to Passo del Foscagno (2291m) and Forcala di Livigno (2,315m).
Berninapass (2,323m) will take you to Pontresina.
A loop through the Albulapass (2,312m) will take you to the beautiful Swiss city of St Moritz.
Night in St Moritz.
St Moritz - Lugano (223 km)
South way towards the major Italian lakes and more specifically the lake Como and its enchanted banks.
It is by the Majolapass (1,815m) that you leave Switzerland to arrive on the shores of Lake Como by its northern end. It is one of the most important Italian lakes of which you will follow 100 of the 140km of its shores.
The drive around the Italian lakes combines the pleasure of driving in the mountains but also to drive between the wooded hills or green meadows while crossing small villages and Piedmontese villages.
The cities of Bellagio and Como will be the perfect places to combine discovery and food. Do not forget that Piemonte is a gourmet region of Italy.
You will leave the shores of Lake Como in Menaggio to reach Lugano following the steep banks of Lake Lugano.
Lugano, a small Swiss town, releases a friendly atmosphere with the scent of Italy that seduces its visitors.
Overnight in Lugano.
Lugano - Tasch (200 km)
For this step between lakes and mountains, the distance to travel is quite small to allow you to reach Zermatt in the middle of the afternoon.
The first 100 kilometers will take place on the banks of Lago Maggiore before taking the road to Domodossola for a temporary return to Italy.
From Domodossola, the road rises again to reach the Simplon pass (2,005 m), Swiss pass that connects the canton of Valais to Piedmont.
The way down to Brig is easy and enjoyable.
After a short drive in the valley, you will head towards Tasch where you will have to park your bike as Zermatt is a pedestrian only city. It can be reached with a small train shuttle.
The city of Zermatt is at the foot of one of the most famous mountains in the world: The Matterhorn. Like Chamonix, Zermatt is one of the places where climbers from all over the world meet to climb the dizzying faces of this giant of the Alps.
A cogwheel railway takes you to the Gornergrat (3,089 m) to discover magnificent panoramic views of the Matterhorn and the Monte Rosa massif.
You can also use the highest cable car in Europe (3,883 m). The view of the Matterhorn (4,478m), the Swiss, Italian and French Alps is fascinating.
Night in Tasch.
Tasch - Chamonix (185 km)
Your route of the day will lead you to another giant of the Alps: Mont Blanc.
After negotiating the long descent to the valley, you will follow the Rhône to Riddes and you will take the direction of the charming Swiss resort of Verbier (1,490m) for a well deserved break.
It is by the pass of Forclaz (1,526m) that you will leave Switzerland. After Vallorcine, you will cross the Col des Montets (1,461m) to enter the valley of Chamonix.
The panoramic views become breathtaking.
Night in Chamonix.
Chamonix (0 km)
An additional day of rest to catch your breath but also to discover the wonders that lie in the Chamonix valley.
Chamonix is, first and foremost, a mountain town where mountaineering enthusiasts from around the world meet up.
It is also a mythical place because you are at the foot of the rooftop of Europe: Mont Blanc (4,810m).
The Aiguille du Midi cable car will take you to the summit of a rocky spur at an altitude of 3,842m. The panoramic views are breathtaking.
The little cogwheel train will take you to 1,913m on the site of Montenvers. At your feet is the Mer de Glace and before you the Drus and the Great Jorasses.
A visit to the ice cave excavated under the glacier is an absolute must. Guaranteed thrills!
Take the cable car Brevent to gain altitude and discover grand panoramic views of the entire Mont Blanc massif.
If you are still feeling adventurous, Geneva is less than 50 minutes away by motorcycle. Shopping, lake, luxury, made in Swizzerland.
Night in Chamonix.
Chamonix - Briancon (302 km)
Today and tomorrow, your route will take the Route des Grandes Alpes.
This first section, entirely located in the high mountains, will make you praise the heavens and use the sides of the tires on endless climbs and descents in twists and turns in breathtaking landscapes.
The Col des Saisies (1,657m) will be an excellent warm-up before attacking four legendary passes of the Tour de France and the Alps.
At the exit of Beaufort, Cormet Roselend (1,968m) will allow you to enter Tarantaise. You will then have to face a long climb to the Iseran Pass (2,764m) which is the highest road pass in the Alps.
The Col du Telegraphe (1,570m) and the Col du Galibier (2,677m) are the gateway to the region of the Hautes Alpes whose city of Briançon is the flagship.
Located at 1,350 m, Briançon is the highest city in France but it is also a remarkable place for its fortifications built by Vauban classified as World Heritage by UNESCO.
Night in Briançon.
Briancon - Nice (303 km)
Today's trip of more than 300 kilometers will make you touch the summits.
From the start of Briançon, the road rises for more than 20 kilometers to reach the first summit of the course the Izoard Pass (2361m), very famous for the place called Casse Déserte on the southern slope. This is an extremely rocky area that some describe as lunar.
It is by the Vars pass (2109m) that you will switch in the Ubaye valley, then you will take the direction of the Col de la Bonnette (2730m) and the top of the Bonnette (2860m) which is the highest roas in the Alps.
Crossing the Mercantour National Park through the Tinée valley will allow you to reach the St Martin pass (1503m) and the Turini pass (1604m) which are mythical routes of the famous Monte Carlo Rally.
Your route will finally take you through the valley of Vésubie in which you will see many hilltop villages.
The crossing of the Col de Castillon (1707m) opens the doors of the Côte d'Azur and the city of Nice, elegant city where the sweetness of life is as much to its beauty as its exceptional climate.
Night in Nice.
Nice - Castellane (230 km)
Today, you are heading head west to discover a wonderful natural site: Gorges du Verdon.
Located north of green Provence, the Verdon, which has its source at the Allos Pass, has dug over the centuries the largest canyon in Europe offering breathtaking views.
Before joining this unique place in Europe, your route will cross one of the most beautiful regions of France and some cities or villages that make it famous.
It is first the typical village of Saint Paul de Vence then the city of Grasse which is neither more nor less, the world capital of perfume, and the starting point of the Route Napoléon.
This historic road that connects Grasse to Grenoble was borrowed by Napoleon, returning from Elba Island in 1815, to reach Grenoble. It was also used in August 1944 by the Allied armies to encircle the retreating German army.
Before joining the Gorges du Verdon entrance, you will have to cross the Pilon pass (782m) and the Val Ferrières pass (1,054m).
The entry into the gorges will be done by the village of Comps sur Artuby which will allow you to cross the Corniche Sublime and join the exceptional village of Moustiers St Marie for a well deserved lunch break.
The second part of your journey will take the northern slope of the Gorges du Verdon by the route Belvedères.
You will reach the city of Castellane by Clue de Chasteuil.
Night in Castellane.
Castellane - l'Alpe d'Huez (291 km)
Last high mountain stage of your road trip, but what a step!
Today's program, 4 passes and the legendary climb of Alpe d'Huez, which brings together hundreds of fans of the Tour de France every year.
From the Castellane exit, the road climbs up to the Toutes Aures pass (1,120m) which will allow you to reach the extraordinary Gorges de Daluis.
Then return on one of the most phenomenal stretch of the Route des Grandes Alpes which passes by the pass of Cayolle (2,326m).
The crossing of the Manse pass (1,251m) will allow you to find the Napoleon road before turning to the Ornon pass (1,367m) which is the link between the Champsaur valley and the Oisans valley.
All you have to do is negotiate the 14 kilometers and the 21 hairpin bends of the Alpe d'Huez climb (1,815m).
Every day, more than 300 cyclists from all over the world ascend this mythical climb whose record of ascension is held by Marco Pantani with the unreal time of 36 minutes and 40 seconds.
Night at the Alpe d'Huez.
l'Alpe d'Huez - Lyon (295 km)
The collar of the glandon (1,924m), the Croix de Fer pass (2,064m) and the Granier pass (1,134m) are the last three bumps of your road trip in the Alps.
Leaving Alpe d'Huez, you will follow the Belledonne Chain to access the first pass of your day.
The Croix de fer pass and its 2064 meters will be the 16th road pass of more than 2000 meters that you will have crossed all along the 4300 kms of your trip.
If the rise of the Iron Cross is easy going and bucolic, the descent to Saint Jean de Maurienne is a more acrobatic exercise.
Passing up to Pontamafrey, you will see on your right a small road crawling on a cliff. It is the laces of Montvernier. Seventeen laces on a stretch of 2.5 kilometers with an average slope of 8°. It is a hairpin every 150 meters!
If your heart desires, go ahead, climbing to the chapel and the descent to Pontamafrey will only cost you an hour of your time but chills are guaranteed.
You will finally cross in the natural park of Chartreuse, pre-limestone massif carpeted with green.
The last 100 kilometers to Lyon, the capital of Gaul, will be on the green roads of the department of Isère.
At the end of the day, you will return your bike to the agency and our complimentary shuttle will accompany you to your hotel.
Before leaving, we recommend you to visit this beautiful city of Lyon with its rich historical, cultural and gastronomic heritage.
Lyon is the capital of French gastronomy, enjoy this last evening by enjoying a nice meal in one of the countless "bouchons lyonnais" to savor some delectible local dishes.
Night in Lyon.
See you soon!
We wish you a safe return home.
We thank you for your trust and we hope that you have had a great time with this incredible tour.
Looking forward to helping you organize your next great adventure.
The offer includes
- Free shuttle service between the hotel, airport, or train station and our rental location (max. 25 kms)
- Motorcycle rental (departure from 2:00pm on the first day, return before 12:00pm on the last day)
- 1 GPS system, with the entire tour already uploaded
- 1 printed roadbook with suggestions (about remarkable and historic sites, restaurants, cultural spots, etc.)
- 1 comprehensive insurance with "BRONZE" coverage
The offer does not include
- Accommodation (optional add-on)
- Additional rental options such as additional luggage for the motorbike, jacket... (optional add-on)
- Accessories non included in the contract
- Plane or train tickets
- Meals and drinks (lunch and dinner)
- Extra hotel fees (telephone, laundry, etc.)
- Travel Insurance
- Individual activities