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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

Is there anything more thrillingly free than the sheer joy of riding a motorcycle across mountain passes, catching stunning landscapes at top speed? Tight turns, ups and downs… the Alps is the perfect place to let yourself go!

More than rental cars, travelling by motorcycle gives you access to even more places off the beaten path. If you’ve ever seen The Motorcycle Diaries you also know that there’s just something about motorcycle journeys that also lead you to self-discovery. You can go at your own speed and take unplanned detours. In Europe one of the best places to ride is through the Alps.

Does this inspire you?

How to do it

Plan your route

The Alps cover a huge area and are part of six countries: Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy, Austria and Slovenia. It’s impossible to cover it all in one trip. If it’s your first time, a good introductory route will take you from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean in France. This route is called La Route des Grandes Alps.

Secure a rental motorcycle

Unless you have your own bike and you plan to ride it from the UK to the Alps and back, renting a motorcycle is probably the best (only) option. Like renting a car, you’ll need your passport, credit card and possibly an international driver’s license as well as proof that you have a valid motorcycle license from your home country.

Before leaving with the bike, check it over thoroughly for any scratches and defects, get them down in writing so that you’re not charged for them later!


Safety on the road

Just like at home, riding a motorcycle can be dangerous, especially if you get some nasty weather while travelling through the Alps. If you do happen to break down, make sure you know what your rental companies protocol is. If it’s your own bike, it’s useful to research mechanics located along your route.

Miles… and more miles

How many miles should you cover in a day? It all really depends on your route and where you’d like to stop along the way. It’s recommended to take 8 days for La Route des Grandes Alps, covering 80-100km in a day. This leaves plenty of time to enjoy yourself as well, stopping at castles and appreciating the views.

What to pack

If you’re a seasoned biker then you probably know what kind of things to pack for a longer trip. Still, it helps to have a list, there’s a good Motocycle Trip Checklist online that you can tick off as you go or print it out and complete it while you’re getting ready to take-off.

Have you ever covered great distances on motorcycle? What kind of trips have you done on two-wheels?

Imgs: landfordw, travellingtamas / Flickr cc.

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