Some of our tours have been designed to be shorter, so that people with limited time availability can still find time to ride in Europe. This is one of those tours, where in just six days, you can cross the channel with us and ride fabulous roads set in wonderful low mountain scenery. We leave on a Sunday and you will be back in the UK on the following Friday evening.
This tour is all about the riding. We have specifically chosen roads that we are sure you will love to ride – twisty and scenic! Many riders do not get to experience these types of roads and with little traffic, they are a joy to ride.
The tour is in 3 parts – riding to our main destination, riding the wonderful roads in the Vosges Mountains and of course riding back to Calais.
The hotels we choose are all 3 star, with safe parking and good food.
This is a round-trip tour and the price includes the channel tunnel train to and from France.
Depending on where you are from, you could ride your own bike on the tour, or rent one from one of the Harley-Davidson dealers we work closely with (see ‘Rentals’ tab at the top of this page).
Day One – Sunday 11 August
We catch a Eurotunnel train from Folkestone to Calais early on the Sunday morning. The aim of today is to get to the great roads further south as quickly as possible, so we use some motorway to get there. After reaching Valencienenes, we move onto smaller roads and ride through the L’Avesnois National Park, a lot of which means riding fabulous forest roads. We then ride within the Ardennes National Park. We stay the night in a small hotel with a nice courtyard and by the time we arrive there, we will have ridden 221 miles.
Day Two – Monday 12 August
On day 2 the fabulous roads start almost as soon as we leave the hotel. We ride alongside the River Meuse, occasionally catching glimpses of the river as we head east through France. We ride a mixture of different types of D roads first things, most of them in very scenic locations.
Today, we have 242 miles to ride and in order to speed us towards our main destination, we do need to ride a couple of lengths of French motorway, but as we approach the city of Metz, we divert onto better twisty roads.
At Baccarat we leave the motorway as we have reached the main place for the tour – the Vosges Mountains area. Almost straight away, we ride the first mountain pass road, the Col de la Chipotte. The Vosges Mountains are low-lying, but over the next few days, we will ride a number of these pass roads – called cols in France – and we will stop on many to admire the views.
We then ride through the Mortagne Forest along the road that runs alongside the River Mortagne, including the Col du Haut Jacques. Then we ride the Col du Calvaire, the du Wettstein and the Collet du Linge before arriving at our base hotel, which we will be at for three nights.
Day Three- Tuesday 13 August
Day 3 is spent mainly riding the Vosges Mountain roads to the north of Munster. The great roads start as soon as we leave the hotel. Today we ride the Col de Freland, Col du Haut de Ribeauville, Col des Bagnelles, Col du Bonhomme, Col de la Schlucht, and the Col du Platzerwasel before returning to our base hotel.
We will have ridden 98 miles by the time we get back there.
Day Four – Wednesday 14 August
Today we ride mainly to the south of our hotel base. We will ride 134 miles today.
We start by riding south and the first pass we ride today is the Col de Boenlesgrab, followed by going to see the Grand Ballon, the highest point in the Vosges Mountains. The rounded summits of the Vosges are called ballons in French or “balloons” and the Grand Ballon is at 1,424 m, or 4,670 ft above sea level. We then continue south towards Cernay and ride Col Amic, Col du Silberlochand the Col de Herrenfluh before turning west.
After the town of Thann we ride the Col du Hunsruck, the Col du Ballon, the Col du Page, Col d’Odere, Col d’Hannenbrunnen, Col du Herrenberg Schweisselwasen, Col de Falimont, and the Col de la Schlucht before getting back to our hotel base.
Day Five – Thursday 15 August
Today we start heading back to the UK which we do over two day, but first we have many more great roads to ride in the northern part of the Vosges Mountains.
We first ride to Selestat before heading northwest on some excellent twisty roads.
At Donon, we ride a loop that takes us alongside two rivers, the Sarre Blanche and the Sarre Rouge. The road from Obersteigen to Lutzelbourg is especially good to ride. We will have ridden 140 miles of excellent roads by the time we get to Lutzelbourg, but then we need to join a motorway to make progress heading northwest toawrads Metz where we stay the night.
In total, we ride 215 miles today.
Day Six – Friday 16 August
From Metz we have 289 miles to ride back to Calais. On the way, we stop to see the Reims-Gueux motor racing circuit. Racing started there in 1926 and the circuit was used for several grand prix before it was closed in 1966. Today the main grandstands and the main straight remain and we will ride the straight and photograph our motorcycles against a stunning background. We catch a late afternoon Eurotunnel train back to Folkestone where the tour ends.
Our group sizes normally range from 10 to 14 motorcycles.
Each day, we normally start riding at 8.30am sharp and cover in the region of 140 to 230 miles. We try to avoid motorways wherever possible and only use these when there is no real alternative. We take mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks and of course find somewhere for lunch. Our plan is to normally arrive at that evening’s hotel by around 6pm.
We use good quality hotels – not super luxury and not bottom end, but mid-range – normally 3 or 4-star.
We ride at a pace to suit all of the riders. We stick to all speed limits in towns, but in rural areas we ride at, let’s call them ‘more appropriate’ speeds. We generally ride in staggered convoy on straighter roads.
As we have pre-booked hotels and a schedule to stick to, we ride in all weathers. During any exceptionally inclement weather, we will pull over for short periods. We could experience a range of different types of weather, so bring waterproofs, just in case.
We like these tours to be about having a real adventure, riding on great roads with like-minded people. For that reason, we do not use a support van, but we always have a back-marker.
Payments – we require a £400 deposit to be paid when you book a tour, with the balance to be paid in four equal payments, nine, seven, five and three months before the tour starts. If you prefer, you can pay the balance of the cost of the tour earlier than this.
Each of our rides has a difficulty rating and this tour is rated as ‘moderate’. That means this tour is not recommended for new riders. You should have at least four years of riding experience on large motorcycles. You must have ridden on the right-hand side of the road before and you must be comfortable with travelling in a group of riders and be able to keep a good pace within that group. We do not ride fast, but at the same time, it is better if riders do not go too slowly. While there is not much motorway riding on the tour, as a guide, the group will be riding at speeds of 75mph on motorways. You must be confident of riding in rain and on wet roads. Each day’s riding will be around 9 hours, with breaks. You should be able to ride all day. If you are at all unsure if your riding ability is good enough for this tour, then you must contact us by telephone to discuss.