The Alpine Sampler is a week of great rides, postcard-perfect scenery and excellent accommodation.
After a night to catch up with jetlag, the bikes are allocated, the briefing presented, and it is time to get on the road! The first day's ride begins in Germany, crosses Austria and ends up in Italy! Yes, Europe is different than North America. Countries are as easy to cross as states are in the United States.
Not long after the morning coffee break the Alps loom on the horizon. The route heads straight into those mountains, crossing them over the impressive Timmelsjoch road. This magnificent road is a great way to being the adventure.
On the way visit 'Mad' King Ludwig's World famous Neuschwanstein castle, walk the gardens in his 'home' castle Linderhof, or visit a 930 year old church.
This evening you will meet riders who have been on the road for a week, as we all gather near Trento, Italy. The tour continues on an itinerary identical to the Classic Alpine Adventure.
Explore the Dolomites
Widely regarded as being among the most attractive mountain landscapes in the world, the intrinsic beauty of the Dolomites derives from a variety of spectacular vertical forms with contrasting horizontal surfaces rising abruptly above more gentle foothills. A great diversity of color is provided by the contrasts between the bare pale-colored rock surfaces and the forests and meadows below. Some of the rock cliffs here rise more than 1,500 m and are among the highest limestone walls found anywhere in the world. The Classic Alpine Adventure follows the Dolomites from west to east, allowing enough time for a very thorough inspection.
Austrian towns steeped in history
The Dolomites give way to Slovenia's Julian Alps, which form the southern backdrop to Villach.
Austrian culture comes alive here, and it seems that, of all Austrians, the people of Villach are the quickest to throw a public party. Festivals - music, art, motorcycles, or beer - seem to be ongoing all summer.
Heading north from Villach pierce the Alps once again, on the way to Salzburg, founded prior to 700 A.D. Work your way through the millennia on an optional guided walking tour of Salzburg. To the very end of the tour, the riding remains first rate. Austria's Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse offers a taste of climes from temperate to Arctic in just a few hours of riding.
Motorcycles & riders are warmly welcomed
As the mountains in each of the Alpine countries differ, so do the people. For hundreds of years the inhabitants battled the elements and the land to wrest a living from these mountains. Today, for many of these hardy mountain folk, tourists are their lifeblood and are accommodated with pleasure and perfection!
There are mountains, glaciers, gorges, vineyards, waterfalls, hiking trails, picnic spots, gentle curves, switchbacks, tunnels and bridges, fortresses, castles, palaces, lakes, mountain streams, and both breathtaking and restful vistas. Enjoy scenes that could be straight out of Heidi or The Sound of Music. Dream of listening to the sounds of cowbells in mountain pastures; drinking in the landscape of wild flowers and the snow capped mountains; smelling fresh mown hay; tasting mountain grown vegetables and, from the top of a pass, almost touching heaven. So, dream about magnificent mountain riding on the finest roads in the world, awesome scenery, diet-shattering food, unique shopping opportunities and enough cultural overload to last a lifetime. It's all there, providing a motorcyclists' paradise.
After all those countries, all those passes, all that adventure and riding, the biggest problem you will face is deciding how to get back again, on a two week tour, as soon as possible!