Roads (curves per mile)
5 / 5
5 / 5
Culture / Architecture
3 / 5
Hotels / Food
4 / 5
Mont Blanc (highest mountain of Europe)
Col de la Bonette (highest pass of the Alps)
Grand Canyon du Verdon
The winding, scenic mountain roads of Germany, Switzerland, France, Austria, and Italy are the backdrop for this most amazing motorcycle outing. We have carefully crafted a once-in-a lifetime tour that combines the magic and charm of these European, motorcycle-friendly countries into our Top of Europe Tour. An incredible 1,820 miles will unfold over 13 days with an innocently looking average of 140 miles per day, granting lucky participants the opportunity to fully appreciate the dynamic collage of landscapes, culture, food, points of interest, and most pointedly, the fun of riding these amazing roads.
The Top of Europe Tour was specifically crafted for experienced riders who crave a more challenging and demanding outing. And what better playground to fully explore the thrill of riding than the Alps? The daily offering of endless curves and switchbacks over the stunning mountain passes will provide an elevated riding experience, mixing adrenaline and scenery into the ultimate riding experience. This is why The Top of Europe Tour earns a 5 out of 5 (“difficult”) on skill level, promising to satisfy any rider’s appetite with an unequalled menu of twisties and pristine pavement.
This advanced riding tour, covering multiple mountain passes, will take participants to Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain, to Col de la Bonette, the highest pass in the Alps, through Grand Canyon du Verdon, through blossoming fields of lavender in Provence, and to the stunning Lago Maggiore, one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe.
Whether this is your first trip to Europe, or your fifth, the Top of Europe Tour will be the new benchmark for what motorcycle tours can be. With daily average highs of 74˚F the trip is situated perfectly in the motorcyclist’s comfort zone. Diverse cultures and stunning scenery are the theme of this most engaging motorcycle experience. If you like riding motorcycles with all its dynamic aspects on great mountain roads and only want to do one trip in Europe – I highly would recommend this one. The western part of the Alps with the highest passes and the remotest and therefore emptiest roads in the Alps is hard to beat.
Departure from the U.S. or Canada and arrival in Europe on the following day. There is a time difference of six hours from Eastern Standard Time.
We’ll meet at the hotel for a meet and greet, will pick up the motorcycle and embark on a short familiarization ride around Bavaria.
Heading south we pass by Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze, snake our way up and over the curvy little roads of the Piller Höhe in Austria. In the afternoon we’re already in Switzerland tackling the demanding Albula Pass before arriving in the charming village Bergün.
Switzerland has four distinct cultural parts, mainly associated with the dominant language (German, Italian, French and Romansh),and today we ride through all of them. We cross some of the most magnificent mountain passes like the Oberalppass and Gotthard (the most famous Swiss pass), and ride through the Tremola Valley.
After an adrenaline packed day traversing scenic beauty, we’ll arrive in Chamonix, site of Olympic Winter Games, to ride one of the most exciting cable cars in the world up to see Mont Blanc.
Arguably one of the big riding days of the whole tour, we’ will ride along the „Route of the Grand Alps“, which connects the greatest passes in this part of the Alps. Today we cross five high passes, including Col de l’Iseran pass. This is why we came here.
Leaving the old fortress city of Briançon, we conquer more pass roads. We’re getting further away from the reaches of high population density, meaning the further we go, the less traffic we encounter. The added benefit is the rural and authentic charm of France including, of course, good food and wine.
Possibly tied with Day 6 as for highlights, we start at the turquoise lake Lac de Serre Poncon embedded in the surrounding mountains before we head for Col de la Bonette –the highest pass in the Alps. Towards the end of day the climate becomes warmer, and the topography changes significantly when we arrive in the very pretty quaint town of Castellane.
It’s the optional rest day nobody ever takes. (Of course we encourage anybody who needs a break to take one.) It’s a short but visual smorgasbord, possibly including a stop to swim in a lake. We ride through the upper Provence and visit the natural wonder, Grand Canyon du Verdon.
The morning belongs to the back side of the famous French coastline at the Cote d’ Azur. No wonder that these roads are used for the Rally of Monaco. Two great passes will finally take us into the remote and beautiful Maira Valley in Italy.
We’ll leave the super high mountain roads behind for a short while during our crossing of the Po plain through which Italy’s biggest river, the Po, runs. Fertile farmland accompany us to the beautiful Lago Maggiore. We’ve arrived in a different world.
Enjoy an optional rest day in the pretty resort town of Cannobio right at the shores of the lake or ride into beautiful valleys where the 007 Goldeneye dam is. A special surprise awaits weather permitting.
Passing three big lakes (Lago Maggiore, Lago di Lugano, and Lago di Como) in Italy, we ascend the mountains of Switzerland, traverse open valleys, and into a famous Austrian ski town.
On our last riding day we’ll climb one last pass and experience delightful backroads of Bavaria before returning to Munich. We’ll return our motorcycles, before enjoying one last satisfying meal together.
Departure from Munich (MUC) and arrival back home in U.S. and Canada on the same day.
|Cost (Difference to the base price of $ 7320.00)
|Single Rider BMW F750
|Single Rider BMW 900 GS, BMW F 900 XR, BMW F 900 R
|Single Rider BMW 1250 GS
|Single Rider BMW 1250 RT, BMW S1000 XR
|Single room surcharge
Your choice of BMW motorcycle rental including low-deductible insurance
Support vehicle for additional luggage and limited space for passengers
Multilingual tour guide(s)
Accommodations at comfortable, family owned, middle-class hotels (13 hotel nights)
All breakfasts and dinners; lunch is not provided
Fuel during the entire trip
All entrance fees and tolls
A detailed tour information package
Not included in the tour price are international or other airfare to/from Munich, Germany, personal items, passport, speeding tickets and other fines, lunches, beverages, personal hotel room charges, laundry and dry cleaning, telephone calls, medical and accident insurance, and transportation to and from the airport.
The hotels are mostly family-owned and -operated and each has a wonderful local flavor. They are three and four-star establishments, and all provide breakfast and dinner. You will feel welcome and at home right away. Some hotels have a pool or sauna, so bring your bathing suit, and all provide hair dryers. If you bring any electronic devices, remember that Europe has different voltage (220V) and electrical outlets, so make sure you have the right converters and plugs and that your electronic devices work on both voltages. Casual clothing to wear in the evenings is fine; there’s no need for formal wear.
The group will be between six and twelve riders and will be led by one or two guides.
Note: though riding an average of only 140 miles / 225 km per day may seem easy don’t be deceived. Riding in the Alps on the backroads where the locals ride, you’ll encounter many challenges; the roads are technical, narrow, and curvy. This is tour for experienced riders who have been on mountainous roads before.
Available motorcycles may be subject to change.
Motorcycles are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis, depending upon availability and are not guaranteed.
Keep in mind that smaller bikes handle much better on alpine roads! Great choices for a carefree, leisurely ride are the F 750 GS, F 850 GS, F900XR and the R900R. They handle very easily on the hairpins and still have enough power to keep up with anybody else on the mountain roads. The R1250GS or the R1250RT are good choices for two-up riding. Anything bigger (and heavier) takes away the pleasure of riding in the Alps. You may want to check out these bikes at your local dealer to see which one feels the most comfortable for you.
One piece of luggage per person will go on the support van. Tour members will be able to securely store suitcases and any other extra luggage in the first hotel of the trip. The motorcycles we provide for our tours are equipped with a luggage system. Each bike will come with two side cases and a top case.
An electrical socket for GPS is available upon request on most bikes. You will need to bring your own 12 V accessory Powerlet plug that fits the BMW/Euro-style socket.
The rental motorcycles are not equipped with tankbags. If you bring a tankbag, make sure that it uses straps and not magnets, which won’t work on the BMWs’ tanks.
The deductible for the motorcycle insurance included in your tour package is approximately $700, except R1250RT, S1000XR/RR and R18 the insurance is $1200. The actual amount may vary due to currency fluctuation. This amount is not charged or held to your card as we use an honor system with our guests. In case of minor damage to your motorcycle, an appraisal of the repair cost is made, based on the dealer’s cost, and billed to you with the understanding that you are responsible for up to $700 of damages. In case the cost of any damage to the motorcycle is higher than the deductible, or if the bike is stolen, the full deductible will be due. The insurance company will cover the remainder of the cost. Repair appraisals can take up to 6 months to receive from the dealer.
It is highly recommended that you get trip insurance. Also, check with your health insurance provider about your coverage while traveling overseas. For additional information on trip cancellation insurance, visit insuremytrip’s website.
For more information about insuring your trip with us, please refer to our blogpost about that topic.
We reserve the right to cancel any tour if the number of participants booked does not meet the minimum requirement to operate the trip or due to force majoure. In the unlikely event that this should occur, your payment will be refunded minus the non-refundable registration fee. This fee can be applied to another tour of your choice. Please make your flight reservations after the registration deadline for the tour. We will send a reminder email to book your flight.
Temperatures will range between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 to 32 degrees Celsius. The altitude changes during the day’s ride, and the temperature changes accordingly. It can rain and be freezing on the mountain roads, yet be warm when you come down into the valleys. Dress in several layers so you can easily adjust to the weather conditions. In case of heavy rain or other bad weather, we will choose the shortest route to the next hotel and avoid pass roads wherever possible.
For our policies with regards to payment, reservation and cancellation, refer to our FAQs.