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View Full Version : Where to go in the alps first week of June



Bateman
29-01-06, 22:45
I have scanned through a number of threads but still no closer to making a decision. I have 5 days off in the first week of June and want to head to the alps. I will have a day to get there, 3 days there, and a day to get back - arriving and leaving france at Caen. Where would you recommend? Last year I did the Comet de Roseland and then all the passes around Andermatt which was superb but it was in sunny July - this year will be a month earlier. Maybe something slightly lower but with great scenery and roads? I have read about the GrossGlockner but that may be too far away - as too will be the dolomites (I think?). I was planning to enter and leave the Alps near Geneva as that is easy from Caen. I am happy to stay in the same hotel fior 3 nights or a different one each night.

sven
29-01-06, 23:14
Many of the high passes (2000m+) will still be closed early June - when I organised the VFR Club trip to Austria in late May/early June 2004, only the Fleula and Grossglockener passes were open - and we went over the Grossglockner in freezing fog and snow :eek:

The high passes in Switzerland didn't open until mid/late June, but the Timmelsjoch and Stelvio were open a couple of days after we left for home :rolleyes:

It's best to monitor the situation on www.alpineroads.com the week before you leave

wessie
29-01-06, 23:30
As Sven says, monitor the weather via the quoted weblink and have a plan B.

An area that has been recommended to me is the Vercors, SW of Grenoble. See http://www.alpineroads.com/grenoble.php Rousset is a must do apparently and at 1367m there is a good chance it will be clear.

Gaulois
30-01-06, 11:31
If I were you I'd head down to Grenoble and then do the route Napoleon. In June it'll be relatively free of N European caravanners etc and in my opinion (I'm biased as I come from down there) it's one of the great rides with fantastic scenery and brilliant fast turns.

Once you get down to the Nice/Grasse area just keep an eye on the weather forecast to avoid the showers you often get on the cote in June and either stay north of Nice and play on the multitude of fantastic roads in the southern alps or head slightly west and take a look at the area around the gorges du verdon from where you can either keep going westwards and head north through the Massif Central (an unknown paradise) or head back into the Alps and retrace your steps northwards perhaps doing the 'Route des Grandes Alpes' though a couple of passes (Galibier and Iseran) might be closed in early June.
Have fun

Selmeston :D

Bateman
30-01-06, 11:44
Thanks Selmeston - I am very tempted by this suggestion. I was thinking of doing the Route des Grande Alpes as their website suggests the whole route is open from the 1st June, with the opening of the Col De L'Iseran. At the end of the route I could just head from Nice direct to Caen. I could postpone until the 23rd July but then presumably the traffic will have increased significantly.

guitarman
30-01-06, 12:38
There's a possibility I'll be doing a solo trip to Switzerland 18th-25th July so if you do postpone and want to meet up for a day or two let me know.

Cheers

Dick

Vendome 41
30-01-06, 13:09
MOTORCYCLE JOURNEYS THROUGH THE ALPS AND COSICA might be a good read for starters

thornley
30-01-06, 13:35
If I were you I'd head down to Grenoble and then do the route Napoleon. In June it'll be relatively free of N European caravanners etc and in my opinion (I'm biased as I come from down there) it's one of the great rides with fantastic scenery and brilliant fast turns.

Once you get down to the Nice/Grasse area just keep an eye on the weather forecast to avoid the showers you often get on the cote in June and either stay north of Nice and play on the multitude of fantastic roads in the southern alps or head slightly west and take a look at the area around the gorges du verdon from where you can either keep going westwards and head north through the Massif Central (an unknown paradise) or head back into the Alps and retrace your steps northwards perhaps doing the 'Route des Grandes Alpes' though a couple of passes (Galibier and Iseran) might be closed in early June.
Have fun

Selmeston :D

Stop telling people about the region. The southern Alps and the pre Alps are truly stunning to ride and to enjoy. In June the weather is at its best for bike touring and the crowds have not yet arrived from Paris or Holland and Belgium with caravans. My place is in Buis les Baronnies, just in Provence (olive region) and a gateway to the pre Alps, Mont Ventoux 40 mins away to the summit at 1909 metres, ride to the top and look out on the Alps proper and then down through lavender fields to Sault for a lunch at any one of the cafes. Stunning and a favourite with guests. The route you suggest back through the Massif centrale is a fantastic tour, some roads not for the faint hearted. Your're not biased :D

Wapping
30-01-06, 16:00
MOTORCYCLE JOURNEYS THROUGH THE ALPS AND COSICA might be a good read for starters

Second that opinion. :thumb Had a copy for years.

Written by an American with a suitably quirky style. The bloke knows his stuff and is accurate in most of his findings. From memory, I had to order it in as it's originaly an American publication but could be wrong.

http://www.biketrade.co.uk/motorcycle_news_reviews/publish/motorcycle_book__journeys_through_alps_corsica_joh n_hermann.shtml

John Armstrong
30-01-06, 16:39
From memory, I had to order it in as it's originaly an American publication but could be wrong.

Got mine from Motobins: http://www.motobins.co.uk/displayfinal.php?function=show&subs=289&title=Books%20and%20Literature

£16 :thumb

Might have to get another as mines falling to bits.

wessie
30-01-06, 19:22
Got mine from Motobins: http://www.motobins.co.uk/displayfinal.php?function=show&subs=289&title=Books%20and%20Literature

£16 :thumb

Might have to get another as mines falling to bits.

£15.05 delivered from Amazon
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1884313329/qid=1138648553/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl/026-4202115-8996410
or £13.34 delivered from a US dealer via Amazon Marketplace
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/tg/detail/offer-listing/-/1884313329/all/026-4202115-8996410

Shurv
30-01-06, 19:26
Anytime is June is fine if the snow has melted on the high passes.If not,there are plenty of lower ones to play on.I can recommend several hotels in the Annecy or Briancon areas,v.comfortable and not expensive,Also I can suggest many routes around that area worth riding.You could always get the motorail back from Nice to give you more time playing.PM me if you want to try this area.

Marcus. :thumb

Bateman
30-01-06, 20:06
So how about the Route des Grandes Alpes, north to south, and where the passes are closed due to weather, make up my own "Route des Petits Alpes" to get around them? Would that work or is it too much of a gamble on the weather? I guess i could decide in three months time but then I'll have nothing to keep me occupied until then......

gfspencer
30-01-06, 22:14
MOTORCYCLE JOURNEYS THROUGH THE ALPS AND COSICA might be a good read for starters


I met the guy - who wrote the book - on a ride in the Alps. He's a jerk . . . but his book is pretty good. Whitehorse Press has the book in the US.

As several people have already said, that early some of the higher passes will sill be closed but there are plenty of lower passes to enjoy. (I've been in the Alps in early July and some of the passes were still getting snow!) Have a good time!!

Bateman
30-01-06, 22:57
Unfortunately the people I am going with are teachers. In addition to that, they can only go in the half term break end of may early June. I think I have a plan, which no doubt will change, but for the moment, I am going to to ride to Geneva, do the Route des Grandes Alpes then jump on the motorail back. If the high passes are closed I will ride across to Grenoble and take the route napoleon to Nice. I was going to catch the Portsmouth ferry to Caen (closer for me) but now that P&O don't do that route, Brittany seem to have whacked their prices up to an extortionate level in the absence of competition.

Then again I may change my mind and go to Scotland as I have never been there...

Wapping
30-01-06, 23:26
The smaller scale Michelin maps show the dates when the passes are open along side each of the seasonal passes. It is very rare to find the passes open outside of these dates, even if the snow may be gone because:

(a) It often snows very late in the season around the 2k meter mark.

(b) It saves b'ing around the locals with one day shut, two days open.

(c) Often need to work on the road surface / remove stones rocks etc. as soon as the snow goes and don't need too many GSers offering helpful advice.

Yogi Bear
31-01-06, 07:37
I have scanned through a number of threads but still no closer to making a decision. I have 5 days off in the first week of June and want to head to the alps. I will have a day to get there, 3 days there, and a day to get back - arriving and leaving france at Caen. Where would you recommend? Last year I did the Comet de Roseland and then all the passes around Andermatt which was superb but it was in sunny July - this year will be a month earlier. Maybe something slightly lower but with great scenery and roads? I have read about the GrossGlockner but that may be too far away - as too will be the dolomites (I think?). I was planning to enter and leave the Alps near Geneva as that is easy from Caen. I am happy to stay in the same hotel fior 3 nights or a different one each night.

I'm hoping to be there in early June too...
Keep the advice coming :thumb

Maybe see you on the road :beer:

Vendome 41
31-01-06, 09:42
[QUOTE=gfspencer]I met the guy - who wrote the book - on a ride in the Alps. He's a jerk . . . but his book is pretty good. Whitehorse Press has the book in the US.

I got mine from either motor works or moto bins in the UK

BOB UK
31-01-06, 21:40
Hi Bateman
I did the Route des Grande Alpes last year and have a very good map you could use if you like I also have the book MOTORCYCLE JOURNEYS THROUGH THE ALPS AND COSICA which is a good book but my advice would be not to over plan it and just ride down there it would be difficult to find bad roads in the alps
Let me know if I can help
Bob
See here for my photos

http://www.ukgser.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48099
and here for the route des alps
http://www.route-grandes-alpes.com/pages/home/index.php

Yogi Bear
01-02-06, 17:07
Hi Bob

Like the photos

Thats a great site for the Route des Grande Alpes

What map were you using?

Regards :beerjug:

YB

walti
01-02-06, 17:23
I'm looking at going over to Switzerland and doing a few mountain passes, and see some friends, my local friends tell me that most of the Swiss passes are closed until the Tour de Suisse bicycle race has gone through. Which is the week ending the 18th June or thereabouts.

BOB UK
01-02-06, 17:28
Hi Yogi
It was just a map I got out there a few years ago here is a link to the map website itís the one 11th from the top in the second group
http://www.ign.fr/affiche_rubrique.asp?lng_id=FR&rbr_id=1575&NGROUPE1=21&NGROUPE2=21&NGROUPE3=21#1
I expect you could order one if your French is up to it if not you can get one out there or down load the route from the net and just use any road atlas and follow the signs good luck with the trip