Four Countries in a Week
The focus isn’t on a cocktail-party list of countries, but on locales with scenery beyond description, good food, excellent hotels and sinuous pavement. The Dash fulfills each criterion, and more!
There is no dawdling getting to the mountains. After a brief orientation with the bikes, and GPS units, it is time to head south to the mountains. As the Alps loom closer and closer, until they dominate the skyline, there is no doubt that the next week will be one of great rides!
Grand castles, challenging passes
Riding isn’t the only focus, however. King Ludwig II, of Bavaria, built a few interesting castles. A drive-by, or even a complete tour of Neuschwanstein or Linderhof, is possible. The latter half of the first day on the road is spent in the thick of the Austrian Alps. The destination, Imst, is a delightful town with a special flair, sitting as it does on a road that has been in use for 2000 years.
Mountains in every direction. Switzerland is the next ‘pin in the map,” as the ride heads west on a variety of routes, all covering very impressive mountain roads. Chur, an important city of the ancient Roman province of Raetia, was inhabitant by the most warlike of all Alpine Tribes. 3500 years before the Romans there were people here, making this one of the oldest settlements in Switzerland. At the center of major pass roads, it is a perfect place for motorists to begin a variety of great day trips. In fact, the list of possible passes from Chur is so long it is laughable. We began to list them, but it is better to simply click here for a list of all passes possible on the Alpine Dash.
A big day, in terms of both distance and altitude, moves the tour from Switzerland to Italy. Along the way are WWI forts, mountain passes, and a subtle, yet obvious, change in culture. The passes of note are the Stelvio and Gavia, the 2nd and 3rd highest in the Alps.
The family-owned hotel chosen for our next double overnight is wonderfully secluded, with a private lake mirroring the surrounding mountains in the daytime, and the stars and moon in the night. Nearby is the busy, historic, delightful city of Trento. For three centuries Trento was the center of European power, and its wealth and importance are evident to this day. The shopping possibilities are as extensive as the people-watching possibilities! For all of that, it is a place that is “just big enough” to be completely accessible on foot.
Those not inclined to cities will find no shortage of fun roads, great views and interesting lunch stops. North, south, east or west, twisty roads climb up, and over the mountains.
Back to Germany – but first, more Austria
Choices are always a nagging point on Beach tours. With stops in interesting locations, and so many options from point A to B, each day requires a choice to be made. “This pass, or that pass?” “That town, or this town?” Our transit through Austria on the return to Munich is no different. Choose the gentle Sarentino valley to the wild Timmelsjoch, the old Brenner road, winding along under an incredible engineering feat – the Brenner Autobahn, or tackle a few of the passes missed on the very first day on the road.
A last blast on the German Autobahn allows experiments with the throttle, and with sheer speed for those interested. And, back where it all started one will be left wondering how so much riding, so many turns, so much scenery, and so many memories could be packed into a week. That is the Alpine Dash.
- Rider: $4,030.00
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Europe Germany Austria Switzerland Outdoor: Land Rambler Motorcycle Tours