Our summer tour to the French Eastern Alps has diversity written all over it as we ride through vineyards, along the shores of some of the largest lakes in France and enjoy the spectacular landscapes and scenery of the Alps and high mountain passes.
On arrival in France, this 12 day tour starts with a short ride through the open countryside to our hotel for the first night before heading east through the Champagne region to our next hotel situated in the Argonne Forest. The relaxed nature of these first two hotels continues as we ride into the Burgundy region of France an area more commonly associated with wine and from a motorcycling perspective it is also home to some excellent riding roads which carve through the vineyards on route to the next hotel which will be our base for the following two nights. The hotel is set in beautiful parkland with a sun terrace, heated outdoor pool and spa to enjoy as well as being close to the Morvan Nature Park. On day four we’ll take you through this quiet, unspoiled region of France with rolling hillsides and superb grippy roads.
As we move onto our next destination the landscape and scenery changes as the mountains come into view with our route taking you through a beautiful gorge in the southern Jura mountains, ride riding along the shores of Lac du Bourget and onto our hotel where we spend the next four nights exploring the Eastern Alps and the Bauges Mountains. The owner of the 15th century chateau is a keen motorcyclist with a passion for wine and during our stay there will be a pre-dinner wine tasting in their cellar.
We are ideally located for the three ride-outs we have planned which make the most of the superb mountain passes. The twisty ascent to the summit of Col de la Madeleine is stunning, as are the views from the top which include Mont Blanc in the distance. The ride over the Cormet de Roselend varies from the tight turns at the start through the glacial valley with the road widening as it flows over the summit where you are rewarded with the sight of the blue waters of the Roselend lake. The beautiful Lake at Annecy is less than an hour from our hotel and the alpine scenery continues on our rides over the Col’s of Leschaux, Frene and Pres.
Our tour moves on staying on the eastern side of France as we ride north into the Southern Vosges to our spa hotel for the next two nights in the lakeside town of Gerardmer. The excellent riding roads and mountain passes continue as we tour through the Ballon d’Alsace and along the Routes des Cretes, an elevated ridge road offering stunning views of the Rhine Valley and the forests of the Vosges. We stop at the Grand Ballon, the highest peak in the Alsace region which, on a clear day, provides you with spectacular views of the high Alps in the distance.
On our penultimate day we ride north through the Lorraine National Park on open flowing roads typical of Northern France where we return to the hotel we stayed at on day two of our tour in the Argonne Forest where you will once again enjoy excellent French cuisine on the last evening of the tour. As we ride to Calais our final day starts with a cross country ride through the Champagne region before joining the autoroute near Reims before taking a mid-afternoon Eurotunnel crossing to the UK.