Everyone thinks they know the Alps. However, this motorbike trip allows you to discover the Franco-Italian mountain range from new unexpected angles. It skirts the summits of Europe’s roof-top, driving through untouched areas and offering the most stunning views.
A huge bowl of fresh air…
In winter, the Alps offer an immense snow covered territory coveted by many a lover of winter sports. However, once the mountains have shed their white winter coats, they offer an endless source of activities of all kinds, including a network of tracks suitable for motor vehicles.
The harsh relief and changing weather conditions have often isolated this region located between France, the Piémont and Ligurie, allowing it to offer such unspoiled beauty.
Italy is also renowned for its gastronomy and each meal is a delight! Pickled mushrooms, garlic stuffed bell-peppers, roasted boar, a dish of local cold-cuts such as salami, mortadella and of course, a plateau of local cheese! And to wash it all down, a glass of Barolo, the “king of red wine”… Buon appetito!
Your day by day program
From the very start, the climb towards the heights has begun and with it the breathtaking views around you! You will be heading towards Risoul and then towards Agnel pass, from where you can catch a panoramic view of the mountain range and three of its main peaks: Font Sancte (3 387 m), Saume (3 035 m) and Péouvou (3 233m). You will have left behind the bucolic prairies and grazing animals and are now surrounded by a much harsher aspect of nature, in all its grandeur and immensity! Here and there, however, you might catch a sight of a groundhog observing his surroundings!
Your trip will take close to Saint-Véran, located at 2 040 m and at the very gates of the Queyras National Park, the highest inhabited town in Europe!
A stretch of winding paved road will take you down to the valley from where you will take a very pleasant earth track into Val Mayra at the foot of the Piedmontese mountain.
Your itinerary will continue to the south towards the province of Cuneo.
Certain stretches of the road might get your adrenaline pumping as you drive on unstable and wobbling paving stones. More than ever, you must keep you calm and concentrate! This is the start of the famous “Real Strata”. It took more than a century, from 1650 to 1780, to turn this mule track into a proper road suitable for vehicles, now called “Route du Sel”; it would become an important commercial route uniting both sides of the Alps.
After an exhilarating ride, today’s stage ends in Nava, a region close to the sea which offers the traveler a well-deserved rise in temperatures.
You will be leaving Ligurie behind and heading west towards the “Route de Sel” and the wonders of the Tende pass. The track will take you to Fort Central, one of the six military constructions de Italian army built between 1800 and 1900, still in use during the Second World War.
Further down, a spectacularly winding road featuring 41 curbs takes you to Fort Marguerite in just a few kilometers.
Today’s road joins the Italian and French Alps and will take you to the Lombard pass, driving through the Stura valley and under the pine trees of the Northern slopes. From these heights, the panoramic view takes in the red slate roofs of the tiny towns built around their churches and their belfries. You will continue towards the Col de la Lombarde, a green mountain offering flat and almost lunar landscapes until you reach the famous ski station, Isola 2000.
The gates of the Mercantour National Park seem to open for you by magic as the century old twisted pine trees seem to murmur their welcome!
You will then leave these surreal surroundings behind as you drive towards the Bonnette pass (2 860 m), the highest pass in Europe, and start your descent towards the Ubaye valley. The track takes you through a pine-covered forest and to the Parpaillon pass.
The mountain tunnel seems to swallow the traveler up into its dark and damp recesses. The bikes focus on the light at the end of the tunnel, as they drive through puddles and make slow progress. This is the legendary Parpaillon pass! It’s located on the border between the Alpes de Haute-Provence and the Hautes Alpes, and rises to 2 780 m.
At this point, the atmosphere is typically Alpine with its pasture lands, rocks and scree, and no one in sight, until you reach the town of Chalp.
- Crévoux (at the foot of the Parpaillon pass)
- We've sourced some wonderfully charming accommodation, in the very nook and crannies of the Alps, for when it's time to rest and relax. As is often the case in the world’s remotest places, you can be sure of a very warm welcome!
Italy is also renowned for its gastronomy and each meal is a delight! Other than the ever-present pasta, you will also enjoy a plate of agnolotties or pickled mushrooms, garlic stuffed bell-peppers, roasted boar, a dish of local cold-cuts such as salami, mortadella and of course, a plateau of local cheese! And to wash it all down, a glass of Barolo, the “king of red wine”… Buon appetito!
A couple of examples of lodgings:
The itinerary consists mainly of earth tracks interrupted here and there by paved sections which makes it the perfect trip for a light vehicle. A pilot with little off-road experience can embark upon this trip without major difficulties. If you are driving a 1200 cm3 maxitrail bike, off-road experice is mandatory.
TWO UP? It could of course be considered, provided that both rider and passenger are fit and have the adequate off-road experience.
- A Trail Rando guide will supervise the team on board their own vehicle.
At the same time, a chase vehicle will transport your luggage between stages every day. They will travel by road with regular meeting points along the route.
They can also pick up a rider and vehicle in the event of breakdown or exhaustion. The team also has a basic first aid kit, tools, some spare parts and is able to lend a hand if required.
- PROGRESS ALONG THE ROUTE
There's a definite feeling of freedom about this track. To preserve the spirit of exploration and discovery that we wanted to create, we've put you in control.
For this reason, and so that everyone truly plays a part in their own journey, we provide an uploadable GPS file with the entire itinerary. This technology allows you to be totally independent in terms of navigation.
Thanks to this wonderful tool, everyone has the freedom to go on ahead, to be carried along by their artistic inspirations, or to stay with their friends, knowing that as a general rule the Trail Rando motorcycle guide will be looking out for the team at the rear.
What a pleasure it is to follow your own course!
“Free people in a structured group” is the motto that accurately reflects the reality of a Trail Rando trip.
Trail Rando will provide you with a complete file in order for you to upload it onto your personal GPS. This will include information such as points of interest, petrol stations, lunch meeting points and accommodation. If you do not own an adequate GPS, Trail Rando can rent you one.
- Single room supplement : 125€
- GPS Rental : 60€
- Yamaha WR250R : 830.00€
- Yamaha XT660R : 870.00€
- Yamaha XT1200Z : 990.00€
- • Lodging
o hotels, in twin rooms,
(If the group is an uneven number, a single room supplement will be invoiced to one of you or split between the group.)
o from the evening of the first stage, to the morning of the last stage
o from the morning of the first stage to midday of the last stage,
• the detailed itinerary,• Tour leaders:o A tour leader on his motorcycle,o Support vehicle for luggage transport
- • Transportation :
o To and from tour start,o Vehicle transportation to and from tour start,• Lunch, dinners and beverages
- With which motorcycle?
Ideally, any trail motorbike with 600 cm3 to 1200 cm3 would be best suited for the tracks encountered on this trip.
What kind of tires?
Mixted tires with knobbies.
If you don't own the adequate motorcycle, we can rent you one. We will surely find somethig suitable.
To know precisely the available makes and models, please refer to our online booking form.
This tour can be driven with a quad or SSV.