Motorcycling Through the French Alps
Posted in Industry Blogs
Head For The Hills.
It’s hard to beat a motorcycle trip to the Alps, as our resident blog writer knows only too well. So here’s his recommended itinerary to help you plan your own big motorcycling adventure.
Across the channel and the fun begins with glorious rolling countryside and empty roads as you weave your way across northern France.
After an overnight stop in the charming little town of Marville, it’s time to head for the hills, and there’s no better road to start on than the Route des Cretes in the Vosges region. This incredible road leads you via a million bends, through pine forests and open meadows, past the Grand Ballon mountain and down again to the town of Cernay before following the Doubs River through stunning scenery to Besancon.
Next day it’s twisties all the way crossing the Jura Mountains, and you’ll see some impressive motorcycling displays by the locals who really know how to rip up those bends. Again, the roads are almost deserted as you wind your way across the ancient mountain range and through quaint little towns beside glistening lakes.
The waterfront on Lake Geneva makes a great brew stop, before a few more miles heading along the Arve Valley towards Chamonix and the vast bulk of Europe’s highest mountain – Mont Blanc.
You know you’re really in the Alps properly now because you can see snow, and it’s not that far away either! Over the first small pass through Vallorcine and you’re into Switzerland, riding endless sweeping bends, tight hairpins, and grinning from ear to ear.
Chocolate box scenery all the way, with great little roadside cafes and towering peaks as you pass through Gstaad where the celebs and royals like to hang out; followed by an amazing lake shore road beyond Interlaken.
The Golden Triangle.
Now it’s time for the star of the show – the golden triangle of the Grimsel, Furka, and Sustens Passes. You’ll find plenty of other bikers here, because it’s motorcycling heaven! Twisting up through forests, then the barren rocky peaks with countless hairpins and massive drops, it certainly gets the adrenalin pumping.
The Grimsel pass makes for a great stop with its café and restaurant enjoying stunning views. Then it’s a long twisty descent and straight into the climb up to the Furka, where they filmed the car chase scenes in Goldfinger. You’ll pass the famous Hotel Belvedere and there’s even a memorial plaque to Sean Connery which plays the theme tune when you walk up to it!
Down from the Furka and there’s a short run along the valley before you head up to the Sustens. I decided this is my favourite – more twisties than hairpins, and the run back down into the valley through the forests is simply awesome.
You don’t get better days on a motorbike than this, and with a couple of beers and wiener schnitzel for dinner – what’s not to like?
The final mountain road is the Panorama Strasse, which didn’t get its name for nothing, before everything calms down for a gentle, quiet, and scenic cruise back across northern France and a last evening relaxing in the square in the charming little seaside town of Wissant, just a few minutes from Calais.
I’m having a beer and watching the world go by when I hear a gorgeous deep burbling sound approaching. Oh yes, that’s an aftermarket motorcycle exhaust for sure. And it’s a hell of a good one. He comes round the corner into view, and do you know what – I instantly see the distinctive red Fuel Exhausts badge on the can. That explains the beautiful noise!