Top of Europe
France • Switzerland • Germany • Italy • Austria
June 16 - 30, 2021
Registration Deadline: March 19, 2021
Duration: 15-day vacation, 13 riding days,
incl. 2 optional rest days,
2 travel days
Skill Level: (difficult)
Group Size: 6 – 12 motorcycles
Arrival: Munich, Germany (MUC)
Departure: Munich, Germany (MUC)
Total Distance: 1,820 miles (2,929 km)
Average Daily Mileage: 140 miles (225 km)
Average Temperature: 54-74ºF / 12-23ºC
International Driver's License Required
Highlights: Mont Blanc (highest mountain of Europe) • Col de la Bonette (highest pass of the Alps) • Grand Canyon du Verdon • Provence • Lago Maggiore
The winding, scenic mountain roads of Germany, Switzerland, France, Austria, and Italy are the backdrop for this most amazing motorcycle outing. We have carefully crafted a once-in-a lifetime tour that combines the magic and charm of these European, motorcycle-friendly countries into our Top of Europe Tour. An incredible 1,820 miles will unfold over 13 days with an innocently looking average of 140 miles per day, granting lucky participants the opportunity to fully appreciate the dynamic collage of landscapes, culture, food, points of interest, and most pointedly, the fun of riding these amazing roads.
The Top of Europe Tour was specifically crafted for experienced riders who crave a more challenging and demanding outing. And what better playground to fully explore the thrill of riding than the Alps? The daily offering of endless curves and switchbacks over the stunning mountain passes will provide an elevated riding experience, mixing adrenaline and scenery into the ultimate riding experience. This is why The Top of Europe Tour earns a 5 out of 5 (“difficult”) on skill level, promising to satisfy any rider’s appetite with an unequalled menu of twisties and pristine pavement.
This advanced riding tour, covering multiple mountain passes, will take participants to Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain, to Col de la Bonette, the highest pass in the Alps, through Grand Canyon du Verdon, through blossoming fields of lavender in Provence, and to the stunning Lago Maggiore, one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe.
Whether this is your first trip to Europe, or your fifth, the Top of Europe Tour will be the new benchmark for what motorcycle tours can be. With daily average highs of 74˚F the trip is situated perfectly in the motorcyclist’s comfort zone. Diverse cultures and stunning scenery are the theme of this most engaging motorcycle experience. As an added bonus, Blue Rim guide, RoadRUNNER contributor and world traveler Uwe Krauss will be your host to this most incredible motorcycle experience.
Departure from the U.S. or Canada and arrival in Europe on the following day. There is a time difference of six hours from Eastern Standard Time.
Arrival in Munich – shuttle to hotel
You'll arrive in the morning or around noon. After checking in to the hotel and stretching your legs, we will pick up the motorcycle and embark on a short familiarization ride around Bavaria.
Munich, Germany – Bergün, Switzerland
Heading south we pass by Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze, snake our way up and over the curvy little roads of the Pillarhöhe in Austria. In the afternoon we're already in Switzerland tackling the demanding Albula Pass before arriving in the charming village Bergün.
Bergün – Gluringen, Switzerland
Switzerland has four distinct cultural parts, mainly associated with the dominant language (German, Italian, French and Romansh), and today we ride through all of them. We cross some of the most magnificent mountain passes like the Oberalppass and Gotthard (the most famous Swiss pass), and ride through the Termola Valley.
Gluringen – St. Gervais les Bains, France
After an adrenaline packed day traversing scenic beauty, we'll arrive in Chamonix, site of Olympic Winter Games, to ride one of the most exciting cable cars in the world up to see Mont Blanc.
St. Gervais le Bains – Briançon, France
Arguably the riding highlight of the whole tour, we'll call it the Route of the Grand Alps, where we cross five high passes, including Col de l’Iseran pass. This is why we came here.
Briançon – Embrun, France
Leaving the old fortress city of Briançon, we conquer more pass roads. We're getting further away from the reaches of high population density, meaning the further we go, the less traffic we encounter. The added benefit is the rural and authentic charm of France including, of course, good food and wine.
Embrun – Castellane, France
Possibly tied with Day 6 as for highlights, we'll ride over the Col d’Izoard, Col de Vars, and Col de la Bonette –the highest pass in the Alps. Towards the end of day the climate becomes warmer, and the topography changes significantly.
Castellane (optional rest day)
It's the optional rest day nobody ever takes. (Of course we encourage anybody who needs a break to take one.) It's a short but visual smorgasbord, possibly including a stop to swim in a lake. We ride through the upper Provence and visit the natural wonder, Grand Canyon du Verdon.
Castellane – Acceglio, Italy
Heading towards one of the most remote corners of Italy, we'll ride some of the famous roads from the Rally of Monaco.
Acceglio – Lago Maggiore, Italy
We'll leave the super high mountain roads behind for a short while during our crossing of the Po plain through which Italy's biggest river, the Po, runs. Fertile farmland accompany us to the beautiful Lago Maggiore. We've arrived in a different world.
Lago Maggiore, Italy (optional rest day)
Enjoy an optional rest day in famous resort town of Locarno or ride into beautiful valleys where the 007 Goldeneye dam is. A special surprise awaits weather permitting.
Lago Maggiore – Fiss, Austria
Passing three big lakes (Lago Maggiore, Lago di Lugano, and Lago di Como) in Italy, we ascend the mountains of Switzerland, traverse open valleys, and into a famous Austrian ski town.
Fiss – Munich, Germany
On our last riding day we'll climb one last pass and experience delightful backroads of Bavaria before returning to Munich. We'll return our motorcycles, before enjoying one last satisfying meal together.
Departure from Munich (MUC) and arrival back home in U.S. and Canada on the same day.
What Your Tour Includes
Your choice of BMW motorcycle rental including low-deductible insurance
Support vehicle for additional luggage and limited space for passengers
Multilingual tour guide(s)
Accommodations at comfortable, family owned, middle-class hotels (13 hotel nights)
All breakfasts and dinners; lunch is not provided
Fuel during the entire trip
Airport shuttle service
All entrance fees and tolls
A detailed tour information package including maps, guide books, and a T-shirt
Rates (per person)
Not Included in the Tour Price
Not included in the tour price are international or other airfare to/from Munich, Germany, personal items, passport, speeding tickets and other fines, lunches, beverages, personal hotel room charges, laundry and dry cleaning, telephone calls, medical and accident insurance, and transportation to and from the airport for early arrivals and late departures.
The hotels are mostly family-owned and -operated and each has a wonderful local flavor. They are three and four-star establishments, and all provide breakfast and dinner. You will feel welcome and at home right away. Some hotels have a pool or sauna, so bring your bathing suit, and all provide hair dryers. If you bring any electronic devices, remember that Europe has different voltage (220V) and electrical outlets, so make sure you have the right converters and plugs and that your electronic devices work on both voltages. Casual clothing to wear in the evenings is fine; there’s no need for formal wear.
The group will be between six and twelve riders and will be led by one or two guides.
Roads and Traffic
Note: though riding an average of only 140 miles / 225 km per day may seem easy don’t be deceived. Riding in the Alps on the backroads where the locals ride, you’ll encounter many challenges; the roads are technical, narrow, and curvy. This is tour for experienced riders who have been on mountainous roads before.
Available motorcycles may be subject to change.
F 750 GS
F 800 R
F 800 GT
F 850 GS
R 1250 R
R 1250 GS
R 1250 RT
R 1250 GS/A
S 1000 XR
Motorcycles are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis, depending upon availability and are not guaranteed.
Keep in mind that smaller bikes handle much better on alpine roads! Great choices for a carefree, leisurely ride are F 750 GS, F 800 R, F 800 GT, F 850 GS/A, and S 1000 XR. They handle very easily on the hairpins and still have enough power to keep up with anybody else on the mountain roads. The R 1250 GS is a good choice for two-up riding. Anything bigger (and heavier) takes away the pleasure of riding in the Alps. You may want to check out these bikes at your local dealer to see which one feels the most comfortable for you.
One piece of luggage per person will go on the support vehicle. Tour members will be able to securely store suitcases and any other extra luggage in the first hotel of the trip.
The BMWs we provide for our tours are equipped with a luggage system. The volume of the hard side cases varies, depending on the motorcycle. Generally, you can count on a total of 60 to 70 liters (2.4 cu ft) of storage for both cases. An electrical socket for GPS is available upon request. You will need to bring your own Powerlet plug that fits the BMW socket.
The F 750 GS, F 800 R, F 800 GT, F 850 GS/A, and S 1000 XR will have two side cases, while the R 1250 GSA comes with two side cases and a top case.
The rental motorcycles are not equipped with tankbags. If you bring a tankbag, make sure that it uses straps and not magnets, which won’t work on the BMWs’ tanks.
The deductible for the motorcycle insurance included in your tour package is approximately $700. The actual amount may vary due to currency fluctuation. This amount is not charged or held to your card as we use an honor system with our guests. In case of minor damage to your motorcycle, an appraisal of the repair cost is made, based on the dealer’s cost, and billed to you with the understanding that you are responsible for up to $700 of damages. In case the cost of any damage to the motorcycle is higher than the deductible, or if the bike is stolen, the full deductible is due. The insurance company will cover the remainder of the cost. Repair appraisals can take up to 6 months to receive from the dealer.
To ensure that you have the easiest travel experience possible, Blue Rim Tours offers select services for an additional fee. If you are interested in any of the following trip extras, please indicate on your registration form:
Early/late lodging arrangements
Extended motorcycle rental
Deposit and Payment
A deposit of $1,000 per person is required to reserve your place on the tour. All deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable. We accept personal checks, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. On March 19, 2021, 50% of the tour price is due. The remaining balance of the tour is due before or on April 30, 2021.
The deadline for registration is March 19, 2021.
If for any reason you need to cancel your trip and do so (in writing) between March 19 and April 29, 2021, you forfeit 50% of the total tour price. April 30, 2021 and after, the total tour price is non-refundable.
Minimum Tour Requirement
We reserve the right to cancel any tour if the number of participants booked does not meet the minimum requirement to operate the trip or due to force majoure. In the unlikely event that this should occur, your payment will be refunded minus the non-refundable registration fee. This fee can be applied to another tour of your choice. Please make your flight reservations after the registration deadline for the tour. We will send a reminder email to book your flight.
Trip and Medical Insurance
It is highly recommended that you get trip insurance. Also, check with your health insurance provider about your coverage while traveling overseas. For additional information on trip cancellation insurance, visit www.insuremytrip.com. Please read our helpful blog about travel insurance here.
Temperatures will range between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 to 32 degrees Celsius. The altitude changes during the day’s ride, and the temperature changes accordingly. It can rain and be freezing on the mountain roads, yet be warm when you come down into the valleys. Dress in several layers so you can easily adjust to the weather conditions. In case of heavy rain or other bad weather, we will choose the shortest route to the next hotel and avoid pass roads wherever possible.
Blue Rim Tours
3601 Edgemoor Court
Clemmons NC 27012