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View Full Version : Calling all Alpine pass experts........your top ten passes route please?



Fanum
16-08-08, 21:03
If you had two or three, maybe 4 days to string together the best, most stunning route you could, what would it be?

High passes, views, not bothered by switchbacks (as in don't mind them rather than avoid them) , don't like crowds and camping involved.......

Added points for Castles, double billy bonus for going past Neuschwanstein but not essential.......

Don't much like dead ends unless it's worth it (or it's possible to camp at the end of it)

Don't mind popping out way east....Czech republic fine (enjoyed it last time)

Any suggestions welcome.......if you could include your top 3 as well that would be really useful :)

Thanks in advance :beerjug:

Quinten
16-08-08, 21:46
I've only been a couple of times in recent years on the bike, Bill, so can't pretend to be an expert.

Grossglockner in Austria was brilliant - great scenery, lovely roads, and a half-decent visitor centre at the top.

The Route des Grandes Alpes in France strings together lots of passes over a couple of days - Iseran, Var, Izoard and Bonnette among others. Bonnette is the highest paved road in Europe apparently, and actually feels very high as well.

The Sustenpass near Andermatt in Austria was my favourite of all the passes nearby, but they're all pretty enjoyable - Susten, Grimsel, Furka, Nufenen and St Gotthard. You can do all of these in a fantastic day's riding.

Top three for me: Grossglockner, Susten and Passo Bernina in Italian Tyrol. But if I was recommending a single route, Route des Grandes Alpes - LINK (http://www.route-grandes-alpes.com/pages/home/index.php) - would be a damn good place to start if you don't mind France. You could combine RGA over two days, then take make your way over towards Andermatt for day three and do all the Andermatt passes on day four.

If you haven't already, check out THIS SITE (http://www.alpineroads.com/) for more views.

Oh, Col de Turini near down towards Sospel was pretty special too - lots of hairpins, but great views and some very scary drop-offs!

Loads of people love the Dolomites. I couldn't really explore them much last year for reasons I won't bore you with. Let's just say that you wouldn't have had the same problems on an 1150...

Final hint: if you can, be flexible and go where the weather is good. No pass is much fun in the rain/sleet/snow when the scenery only extends as far as you can squint through the fog.

EDIT: And I'd go to and from the Alps via the Black Forest, too.

swissrob
17-08-08, 10:21
The Sustenpass near Andermatt in switzerland was my favourite of all the passes nearby, but they're all pretty enjoyable - Susten, Grimsel, Furka, Nufenen and St Gotthard. You can do all of these in a fantastic day's riding.



Fixed it for you... :aidan

Quinten
17-08-08, 10:27
Fixed it for you... :aidan

Austria, Switzerland, whatever.... All Heidi and chocolate....



:o

swissrob
17-08-08, 10:32
Austria, Switzerland, whatever.... All Heidi and chocolate....



:o

haha - yes true! just dont let the swiss here u say that or you will be there for 30 having the finer points of swiss austrian differences explained to you! :rob

MrIFan
17-08-08, 10:50
Hmm let's see if this works...

MrIFan
17-08-08, 10:57
If it's worked it should take you over the Grossglockner (don't forget to do both the off shoots, one to the bikers viewpoint and the other to the Glacier:thumb ) then the Plockenpass into Italy then a couple of my all time favourites, the Sella Nevea into Slovenia (don't miss the old fort at the top just before the Border) then an absolute stunner in Slovenia it's self. It starts off steep and twisty and just gets better, when you think you must be near the top they start numbering the hairpins!!! And you thought you'd already been doing hairpins:eek: oh yes, the first hairpin numbered, and they count down coming from S to N, is number 50!!!!!!:eek::eek::eek::D:D:thumb:thumb

Good camping in Fusch at the start of the Grossglockner and cracking campsite at the S end of lake Bled in Slovenia:thumb

Quinten
17-08-08, 12:43
Hmm let's see if this works...

Works for me!

Big Lee
17-08-08, 14:09
What a handy thread this is. Just perfect for what I`m looking at doing next year on the way down to the villa :D

Fanum
17-08-08, 14:45
Hmm let's see if this works...

Thanks Ian...I've got that one into Slovenia marked up from the Alpine roads .com site and from an old issue of MCS&L....Slovenia next weekend then :D

And ta Robin.....will stick yours in the same file and we'll see what happens....we are just going to dodge the weather and bimble around- I'd like to get across to the black sea if poss 'cos I've not seen it but we'll see how we get on day to day :)

Rosie
17-08-08, 15:37
I'd like to get across to the black sea if poss

Rather extreme fording don't ya think :eek:

Fanum
17-08-08, 15:39
Rather extreme fording don't ya think :eek:


I like the squealing noise that comes from the back of the bike when I do that sort of thing ;)

:D:kissy2

PW Cymru
17-08-08, 15:58
Have a look at this site http://www.bikecam.ch/

He's made some really good video's however his early attempts made for interesting viewing

Have a look at http://www.bikecam.ch/diverses.htm. Third heading down on the left Crash Drive

I think he may have been having a bad day.

Have fun:thumb

Flipfly
17-08-08, 16:35
Just come back from there.

The Stella is awesome but not a good ride as the traffic can be horrendous IMHO.

As mentioned before Val D'Isere, Col D'Izoard,Col de Bonnette are fantastic. On top of that, for fast flowing roads, great tarmac and fantastic views I loved the Ofen Pass heading to Char from the Stella.

Look on mapsource and look for the twistiest roads you can find, it worked for me, I was in awe on every road we did. I have written a short ride report if ya care to read it. The pictures are about 100th of what it's really like BGT, you really would struggle to get it wrong anywhere in the Alps :thumb2

Don't forget to go up the off road track from Bardonecchia (where they do the Stella Alpina rally). Make sure you hit it in the week though as it is shut at the weekends :thumb

Quinten
17-08-08, 17:26
I'd like to get across to the black sea if poss :)

I reckon you should be able to get some cheap accommodation in Georgia at the moment. Check out Holiday Inn Ossetia (http://Holidayinnexpress.ossetia.weekend deals.com)

MrIFan
17-08-08, 17:34
The Stella is awesome but not a good ride as the traffic can be horrendous IMHO.



Sure you've got the right road Phil? The Sella Nevea is a very little road between Italy and Slovenia. In the dozen or so times I've been over it I've seen no more than 20 or so other vehicles:confused: Was over there 3 weeks ago after the Grossglockner, the GG was packed with bikes and other stuff but we only saw 3 bikes and a few cars on the SN:D Maybe I've just been lucky:thumb

Flipfly
17-08-08, 18:06
Sure you've got the right road Phil? The Sella Nevea is a very little road between Italy and Slovenia. In the dozen or so times I've been over it I've seen no more than 20 or so other vehicles:confused: Was over there 3 weeks ago after the Grossglockner, the GG was packed with bikes and other stuff but we only saw 3 bikes and a few cars on the SN:D Maybe I've just been lucky:thumb


Stelvio, stelvio stelvio :blast:blast:blast:blast:blast:blast:blast:blast

Sorry :blast:blast:blast:blast:blast:blast:blast

Fanum
17-08-08, 18:11
I reckon you should be able to get some cheap accommodation in Georgia at the moment. Check out Holiday Inn Ossetia (http://Holidayinnexpress.ossetia.weekend deals.com)

Many a true word spoken in jest ;)

Georgia...that's where the 'land of a thousand towers' is with all those little mini castle towers .....and loads of other rather good stuff to see.....I'd love to do a circuit of the black sea- all those names from history- Odessa, Sebastapol (where we nicked all those cannons from) and IStanbul etc etc etc.

I bet as long as you were sensible you could go to Georgia with no problems right now...stay south, be alert and open and.....hmmmmmmm....I wonder :augie

ellesig2
17-08-08, 18:49
We did 9 passes in 2 days last week in Austria - have a look at my ride report.
Best pass for me was Silvretta. Grossglockner was probably good but couldn't see much as weather was bad.

Paul Rochdale
17-08-08, 19:56
1. Firstly read MOTORCYCLE JOURNEYS THROUGH THE ALPS AND CORSICA by John Hermann.

2. Then ride up Timmelsjoch, followed by Stelvio, followed by Grossglockner, in that order. They are all quite different.

Before 9am Timmelsjoch is very quiet and is a superb road with not too difficult hairpins.

When I rode Stelvio, the roads were busy and two up on a heavy touring bike was extremely difficult (for me). The gravel road on the decent wasn't appreciated either.

Grossglockner was a bit like Margate, full of tourists, tacky shop full of Marmots and fridge magnets. The road was good without being technical. The Biker's Rest was the best bit.

Fanum
17-08-08, 20:06
Funnily enough they've just run that clip on Top Gear where the muppets take three lightweight supercars looking for the best roads.....Davos to Stelvio was their favorite.

I've got all the above noted, thank you for that.....we'll see what the weather's like and play it by ear I think.......If it's wet in the Alps we'll head into Croatia and down to the coast but if it's nice we'll just go play in the bumpy stuff.

Old Codger
17-08-08, 20:07
www.alpineroads.com

Run by Alpaholics

:rob

The Phantom Pieman
17-08-08, 21:55
4 days ?

All of them ....;)

Tricky
18-08-08, 16:45
Hmm let's see if this works...

Thanks for posting that route looks good. :thumb2

Am hoping to be in the Eastern Alps myself (for about a week) in a couple of weeks time.

Found the attachment below in the GPS section. Plenty of options because as others have said, better not to have a too well planned route due to the unpredictable weather in them there parts... ;)

Allan Davies
19-08-08, 18:47
If you are want to go to Hohenschwangau (Schloss Neuschwanstein )
Then Lech Valley :bounce1 (from Bregenz-L200 to Warth then B198 to Stanzach) Stay here really good and cheap http://www.elisabeth-schwarz.at/index.php?id=home
In the morning do the Elmen to Imst pass L266 really good and varied then back up and visit the Castle in the afternoon. There are other passes in this area which Ronno and Dadster have done and highly reccomend. :thumb
I did a tour of this area including Germany Baden Baden B500 etc, Austria, Dolimites and Switz then back up to Baden Baden. Taking n all the passes I could plus A few planned extras just in case :augie but they are all on the must do list for the next trip. All available on Garmin V9 if you like :thumb
All hotels though no camping.

BegesRus
19-08-08, 19:31
Stelvio is great for the kudos I suppose 'cause everyone has to do it - for a blast you just can't beat the Col De Vars - fastest there is - sweepers not s/backs - Route Napoleon is also brilliant but can be quite busy.

luckylucian
22-09-08, 12:42
Just got back from a 6 day jaunt to the Alps.

Stelvio - :monkeypiz pants to ride 'cos too much traffic

Passo di Gavia (Bormio to Pontide Legno) - no traffic and fantastic

Splugen Pass (Chiavenna to Rofla) - even more fantastic

Both the above are far better than the Stelvio,

:beerjug:

MickDB1
22-09-08, 14:17
Ian, Phil is on about the trail which goes up Mount Somellier, this is a relative easy trail which goes even higher than the Bonnette. It is , for the last 17km dirt with hairpins etc. The Stella is a rally which occurs the second sunday in July every year, get up on what you ride to the event - is the theme
The nearest town to the foot of the trail is Bardonechia

This is a great little used pass, near to the Stelvio / Umbrail
John Hermann's book The Alps has been my bible and shows the top 265 destinations/passes
Only quite a few more to doooooooo :thumb

SkyGod
22-09-08, 15:25
Mick the pimp and his bitches eh???????



:D

Katy M
16-10-08, 12:25
You would think the omens would have been against our trip to the alps: 0500: Fell off my bike in my front garden, demolishing my wall- (nothing new there then eh, Bill!)
0530: Having dragged my Missus out of bed to help me pick the bike up, the heavens opened- first time I've ever left on a bike trip in the wet.

Second day in France, my mate on his Kwaka ZZR1200, parked it in a 3' ditch in his vain attempts to stay with my 990 (nuff said, ahem!) I wasn't allowed to take pictures, but unbelievably, he only slighty marked his panniers, no other damage/injury at all.

And to cap it off, my other mate - that's all of 'em now by the way, fell of his extremely (now not so) shiny, GS.

But, it was worth it. Everywhere we went the roads were to die for, sorry, brilliant, and the scenery more so. Most of where went is already covered elsewhere but, if you're heading for/through Neuchatel whatever you do, don't take the tunnel- at the roundabout just before it, follow the sign for Vue des Alpes- I'll say no more as it will spoil the surprise but....wow! My pictures do not do it justice.

The other roads I'd recommend is the 'Top Gear' route sorry again, from Sluderno via S41to Susch onto Davos, fantastic! Also, the Chur to St. Moritz to Tirrano road.

I was enjoying it so much, I actually headed another 100 miles south to find other routes- I did not want that day to end- superb.

Very briefly, we were over there for 10 days and camped- weather cheered up lots- every night. There are loads of sites, well posted and all of them were very cheap/clean. All in, the whole trip, everything included, cost us E800. No more excuses, just go. I'm already 'planning' a return next year!

Katy.

Keith Chapman
16-10-08, 13:32
OK Bill, I have just seen this thread so I may be to late. Starting from Fussen ( extra Billy points)
head towards Bad Kreckelmoos and turn onto the road to AmPlansee keep going to Oberau, then head down to Garmisch, From there go to Seefeld and blast the auto route from Innsbruk to the turn off for Zel am Ziller, Take the Gerlos pass either the new or old one (the old one has no toll:thumb ) to Mittersill keep going to Bruck, hang a right to the Grossglockner.

Might be too much for one day but easy accomodation in Zel Am Ziller, and if you stop there you can always take a trip over the HoenStrasse.

THE DOCTOR
12-11-08, 18:19
1. Firstly read MOTORCYCLE JOURNEYS THROUGH THE ALPS AND CORSICA by John Hermann.


Agreed! :thumb2

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http://www.ukgser.com/forums/showthread.php?t=159305

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sniffy
12-11-08, 20:07
Route des Grand Alps is the bloody great, 2 days of very hard riding or 3 days relaxed. Have gsp route if you need it. Think it has 14 or 16 passes on it..... used to a web page in english now only in french

stevejazzyb
25-11-08, 09:04
We live permamently in Morzine on the RDGA and accommodate many of you touring UKGSer's on this site winter & summer.

We are right at the crossroads of France, Italy & Switzerland and regularly ride the many high passes which are all within a days ride from our front door - back in time for a beer in the hot tub...!

A cautionary note: we already have a metre of snow in the garden, and the ski season is just about to start (it runs until the last weekend in April), it is worth remembering that most high passes in the Northern Alpes are now snow blocked and will not re-open until at least late May - mid June.

It's hard to beat the RDGA for it's scenery & twisties, but there are some fantastic local high routes that are less well known:

1) The Cormet de Roseland high above Beaufort / Bourg St Maurice
2) The twisties up to the Petit St Bernard taking you from France into Italy
3) Col de la Colombiere (which is also a Tour de France route) which takes you down into Annecy
4) Col de la Forclaz from Martigny in Switzerland to Chamonix in France

... to name just a few. All of these are fab in both directions and can all be linked up to make a circular route on a day out.

Cheers Steve

http://www.alpineaddictsmorzine.com

zzrman
22-01-09, 18:21
5*

Col de la Bonnette
Col Agnel
Col de L'Izoard
Coll del Canto
Col du Galibier

4*

Furka
Susten
Tourmalet
St Gotthard
Oberalp
Cormet de Roselend
Col du Pourtalet
Col du Somport
Col de la Forclaz
Col de Mente
Col D'Aspin

Quinten
23-01-09, 18:35
5*

Col de la Bonnette
Col Agnel
Col de L'Izoard
Coll del Canto
Col du Galibier

4*

Furka
Susten
Tourmalet
St Gotthard
Oberalp
Cormet de Roselend
Col du Pourtalet
Col du Somport
Col de la Forclaz
Col de Mente
Col D'Aspin

How to start a fight: ask people to compare their ratings of passes! The only real way to find out which ones you like is try a few...