With the focus on towering, majestic mountains, this late summer ride kicks off in the Old Town of Zurich. With a handful of medieval churches, a spectacular art gallery, a most engaging cafe culture and a wealth of nightlife, our two days in Zurich are filled with possibilities. One of which is to begin tackling mountain passes right away! Albispass, Pragelpass, Sattelegg, and Glaubenbergpass all offer magnificent views from the top and an exciting ride to get there.
The Journey begins
With the Danube flowing at its head and the Rhein babbling at its feet, Germany's Black Forest is set in impressive natural splendor and is the focus of the first day on the road. This wonderful, unspoiled region encompasses ravines and torrents, dense woods and impressive hills. Landscape, nature, climate, especially the people, and the unique agricultural products, are but a few of the things which comprise the wealth of the Black Forest.
Our exit from the hills of Germany across the broad flood plain of the Rhine Valley takes us to Kaysersberg, a perfect, quaint village with half-timbered houses painted n a riot of color. Vive la France!
France's Doubs region is a pretty area living in the shadows of the more well known tourist regions. What you experience here is great scenery and riding without the annoying crush of tourist traffic. The roads of the Alsace region climb into the hills of the Vosges from the valley area famous for its wines. Choose a route with seven pass roads or cruise through the Rhein valley. The choice is yours.
Double overnight on the shore of Lake Annecy
The French are proud of their - well - Frenchness: Champagne, Chanel No. 5, camembert, croissants. No wonder when we speak of the joy of life, it's in French: "joie de vivre." The French believe they have the franchise on culture, cuisine - and especially, romance. You'll probably agree when you set eyes on Lac d'Annecy, a crystal-clear, turquoise mountain lake in the heart of the Savoie region.
One of the most beautiful towns in the Haute Savoie region, Annecy is a gracious town that is still the quiet joy of provincial France and a perfect example of romance in both location and architecture. Bustle about the shopping core of Annecy or sit in the marvelous lakeside park and commune with nature at its best. Total relaxation on the grass by the pool, a boat ride, a visit to Mont Blanc and a ride up the mountain on the world's highest cable car, or perhaps a visit to the ancient castle of Menthon or the Museum of the French Resistance movement; our double overnight here offers something for everyone.
Spring from valley to valley
Travel through appealing Alpine scenery with conifer woods, grasslands and some very impressive mountains as you conquer Col de la Forclaz, Clo de Tamie, Col de la Madeleine, Col du Glandon, Col de Sarenne, Col du Lautaret, Col d'Izoard - and this is only on the way to our next double overnight! On the free day you can carry on to the highest pass in the Alps, Col de la Bonette. If you have had enough pass roads then head out to ride through two famous gorges; the Gorges du Cians and the Gorges de Daluis. Or combine them all for a full day of spectacular scenery.
Our last day in France means... twisty Alpine Roads
This is a special day with a route that starts over some of the smaller passes and finishes with one of the highest and most beautiful in the Alps, the Col du Galibier in the northern French Alps. The other passes possible include Col de Vars, Col de Larche, Col di Sampeyre, Col de l'Agnello and Col Du Lautaret. On this last day in France enjoy a final opportunity to mentally reprint some of the delightful memories of the roads, the people, the hotels, and the food on the way to Italy.
Poets and painters have long found inspiration in the lake district of Italy. Sometimes called the Lombard Lakes, the area includes eleven lakes, all of glacial origin. The magic of the area arises from the fortuitous combination of Alpine and southern scenery, clear blue skies and a mild climate. Lago Maggiore is the most well known of the lakes and our hotel is situated right on its shores. A free day here provides an opportunity to rest, visit museums, castles and world-class gardens.
It is certainly not down-hill for the last two days of the ride! From Verbania to Chur, wonderfully engineered Swiss roads will make riders smile, while stunning Swiss scenery keeps passengers enthralled. Further, on the last day of the tour it is possible to up the number of countries visited by 33%, with a detour though Lichtenstein and Austria.
Miles and miles of twisty roads, a spread of culture, architecture, food and scenery, and as always, the freedom of a Beach tour combine to make this a challenging, delightful ride.
|June 15-29, 2014||US $7,230||US $5,660|
|Single Room Upgrade||US $610||US $610|
|Sports Car Driver||US $5,970||US $5,660|