2008 Alps Tour - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 7 Old Aug 10th, 2007, 1:24 pm Thread Starter
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2008 Alps Tour

I have been considering taking a guided tour to the alps. After reading the post on the people taking these tours,I have been wondering if going on our own would work. I was wondering, from the people that have gone, think it is best for the first trip to go with a guided group since we have never been there and we only speak english. I would like to save the money and spend it on other things on the trip like staying longer then 5 days riding. We are going as 2 couples. Any information or suggestions would be really appreciated.!!
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post #2 of 7 Old Aug 10th, 2007, 2:20 pm
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Tours...

For your first time, I'd highly suggest going on a guided tour. I've done a couple (Edelweiss) and have been very pleased. They're easy, take hardly a thought and you never worry about getting lost or missing a cool place to eat or see. You can always stay a few days longer and get some more riding in. Some tour groups allow additional rental days for that purpose. Or of course, arrive a few days early, tool around a bit and meet the group at the designated hotel, etc. And while they don't encourage this, I found myself riding off from the group most of the time, armed with only the day's route and some maps... you'll find most people speak enough English to help out if you get lost. Short of that, simply pointing to where you need to go on the map works wonders as well. Unfortunately, on a group ride, you're only as fast as the slowest rider... this got real old, real quick. Though I was considerably younger than most on my trip and definitely more eager to wick it up. The second trip I went on with Edelweiss (Alps touring center) was guided by an ex GP racer, so needless to say, I didn't need to go off by myself. He kept a VERY spirited pace and we'd pretty much just wait at the end of a pass or road for everyone to catch up... just my luck.

At any rate, it's just my opinion... but this way you take tons of worry out of the whole vacation, get prearranged lodging, food, sights and insurance.

Hope this helps.

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post #3 of 7 Old Aug 10th, 2007, 5:47 pm
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Hi,

If you do enough research before hand, and get things booked up in advance I'd say go it alone. But you will have all the headaches and the planning to deal with.

I've not done a guided tour as I enjoy the planning, but I know folks who have used them and were very impressed.

With the internet and all the mapping available, you can plan some great routes of your own, and given that you have GPS, or like me, can read a map, what ever you decide to do you will enjoy the road in Southern Germany, Austria and Italy.

I'm sure there is enough combined Knowledge on this forum to help you plan some great roads. I've riden Southern Germany and into Austria a few times, so I know a few nice routes and some good places to stay.

Rgds
Mike

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post #4 of 7 Old Aug 10th, 2007, 5:56 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannaberacer
I have been considering taking a guided tour to the alps. After reading the post on the people taking these tours,I have been wondering if going on our own would work. I was wondering, from the people that have gone, think it is best for the first trip to go with a guided group since we have never been there and we only speak english. I would like to save the money and spend it on other things on the trip like staying longer then 5 days riding. We are going as 2 couples. Any information or suggestions would be really appreciated.!!
There are travel books available in English for Motorcycle Touring Alps. As a matter of fact I have just returned one that I borrowed before going BMW Mottorrad Days in July in Garmisch.

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post #5 of 7 Old Aug 10th, 2007, 7:23 pm
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Travel in Europe

I think one could get used to riding as a two bike group in the Alps. I was stationed in Germany with the Army and had to learn the international signs The hardest part of learning to get around was the traffic circle a couple of kilometers from the Frankfurt airport. Once I got on the autobahn everything came normally but if you don't know the meaning of the signs on the autobahn then you might think there are a lot of towns named Ausfahrt which roughly means exit. I also found you can drive into almost any small town in Germany and look for a sign showing a crossed knife and fork and stop there for a meal and get a place to stay. I have taken an Edelweis tour and enjoyed the group for the trip thru the Canadian Rockies. I feel comfortable saying that you need to put a value on the peace of mind you would have knowing your guide can answer your questions and decide if it is worth it. I for one after paying for the trip to Europe would like to stay for a few extra days considering you are going to feel jet lag for two to three days anyway.
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post #6 of 7 Old Aug 11th, 2007, 6:21 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input Guys. These forums are great for tapping into the experiences and wisdom of many. The suggestion of taking a shorter guided trip, and staying longer to doing some riding on our own is a great idea. I never thought of that. Looks like a whole bunch of head scratchin to be done here.
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post #7 of 7 Old Aug 12th, 2007, 1:55 pm
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Don't waste money on a guided tour. Do it yourself. Hotels are plentiful. In six years of european tours I've never failed to find decent accommodation just by riding into town. Have an adventure.

Try researching the Route de Napolean. One of the most famous biking routes through France.

Just look for the mountainous sections of the map and get going. You can't go wrong.

BDC
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