Motorcycle Tours in France
One of the most popular travel destinations in Europe, France hardly needs an introduction. A country of rich history and culture, the majestic landscapes of the Alps, the glamorous resorts on the French Riviera, the capital Paris with its international fame, and the unparalleled French cuisine, France is a must-see on your motorcycle tour of Europe. But while there is no shortage of excellent touring routes on the continent, motorcycle tours in France focus on something more unique: the less-known, hidden gems of the Cevennes, Alsace, and Vosges, regions perfect for motorcycling yet still undiscovered by tourist crowds. Bordering Switzerland, Germany, and Italy, these regions are seemingly made for motorcycle riding in France with the local winding roads, small colorful villages, and stunning mountain passes offering a fantastic backdrop for your two-wheeled adventures. Motorcycle tours in France are all about those twisty, curvy mountain roads leading into secluded valleys and pristine forests dotted with rushing waterfalls. The French Alps may be most famous for skiing and other winter sports, but for motorcyclists, these mountains provide endless riding bliss both on and off the road. Combine the breath-taking views and nature with phenomenal French cuisine, world-famous wine, and local cheeses, add some charming historic towns and picturesque villages, and throw in some adventure, and you’ve got the perfect mix for motorbike tours in France.
Motorcycle Tours in France: Highlights
Guided or self-guided, motorcycle tours in France offer a chance to discover the old Europe in a way only two wheels can. Riding the French Alps with a group of like-minded souls, discovering the traces of centuries-deep history and heritage, and exploring the less-travelled corners of France aboard your motorcycle is the perfect getaway. Out here, the spectacular scenery mingles with tradition and unique ways of living, while the modern comforts in ski chalets and mountain lodges provide some well-earned rest after a long day’s ride. If you’re thinking of going on one of the motorbike tours in France, here is what to look for on the itineraries: Route des Grandes Alps One of the most beautiful roads in Europe, Route des Grandes Alpes is a mountain route connecting the Mediterranean with the French Alps, crossing sixteen mountain passes along the way. Running for 420 miles from the French Riviera to Lac Leman, this legendary road is a must-ride on your motorcycle tour in France. Open between June and October, Route des Grandes Alps can be ridden over the course of several days, and the highest mountain passes at Iseran, Galibier, and Izoard are worthy of exploring in more depth. Cevennes National Park Located in Southern France, Cevennes is a mountainous region of wild, unspoiled nature, hardy highlanders that inhabit its many historic villages and towns, and a multitude of rivers and streams crisscrossing the country. Sometimes likened to the landscapes of Scotland, Cevennes boasts countless winding roads, stark, isolated scenery, granite rocks and caves, and unique local culture. The most sparsely populated department in France, Cevennes is where you can still see local goat shepherds tending to their animals in the hills and taste unusual local dishes like the famous Pelardon cheese and chestnut soup. Alsace An extraordinary blend of French, German, and Swiss heritage, Alsace, a region in Northeastern France, is best known for its tranquil, bucolic scenery of green rolling hills and colorful villages with their brightly painted houses. Motorcycle tours in France include Alsace in their itineraries to showcase the region’s unique history and culture, and Strasbourg, the historic center of Alsace, is a must-see: its magnificent gothic cathedral and the Petit France quarter are especially worthy of a visit. Alsace is also world-famous for its wines, so be sure to order some local red with your dinner. Vosges A low mountain range in Northern France, the Vosges are often compared to the Black Forest area in Germany. Forested mountain slopes, picturesque villages and pastures, and superb winding roads offering a motorcycling heaven making the Vosges an excellent area to explore while on your motorcycle tour in France. Known for its numerous nature parks, rivers, and serene landscapes, the Vosges is a true hidden gem in the North. Carcassonne Situated in Occitanie near the border with Andorra, Carcassonne links trading routes so old it feels like the crossroads of the Earth. The medieval fortress of Carcassonne dates back to the Roman Empire, and the surroundings of the city appear so picture-perfect it’s hard to believe it’s real. Visiting Carcassonne is one of the highlights during motorcycle tours in France, and as a bonus, the area is well-known for its excellent winemaking traditions. Be sure to add Carcassonne to your must-see list if you’re planning to ride motorcycles in France – this is a city to remember!
Practical Information for Touring France
Generally, France is best visited during the summer months between May and the end of August, but some of the higher Alpine passes may be closed until June. In the mountain regions, especially Cevennes, expect unpredictable weather and chillier temperatures; in the South, the weather is usually mild and sunny, and you can comfortably ride in your summer gear. Most motorcycle tours in France are scheduled for early summer to early fall months, and it’s best to stick to the warm season, especially for roads like Route des Grandes Alps. France uses euro as their national currency, and prices vary depending on regions. Less touristy places will typically be more economical, while in Paris or the French Riviera, expect to spend more. If you’re traveling solo, plan a budget of $100-$150 a day for food, fuel, and accommodation. While being a safe country to travel, France has some regions and places where being alert and using common sense is good practice. Rural areas and more remote regions like the Cevennes or the Vosges are very safe, but watch out for pickpockets and petty crime if you’re headed to Paris or Marseilles. When it comes to motorcycle choices, France can be ridden on any bike. Cruisers, tourers, sports bikes, adventure motorcycles – whatever takes your fancy will be great for France, as the roads here are paved and well-maintained. A comfortable adventure or tourer type motorcycle will be ideal for those longer days in the saddle.