Dirt roads through the Alps Part 1

Dirt roads through the Alps Part 1

If the road to hell is paved with smart intentions, why not flip those smart intentions into action and opt for the non-paved one? it’d simply lead you to motorbike heaven…


The Via del Sale, conjointly referred to as Route du Marguareis, may be a track in-built the center Ages to move salt from Ventimiglia to Limone Piedmont and from there to Turin. As a result, the road has been widened at specific points and lots of sections were increased and reworked into military roads to attach the many forts situated on the border between Italia and France.

Today, it’s an exquisite dirt road that is (almost) not possible to drive during a automotive, however such a lot the a lot of rideable on your motorbike. It runs on the ridges of the Maritime Alps on the border between Italia and France, during a wild landscape and gorgeous views of the ocean and therefore the mountains.

From the Tenda die, the route leads on through dry and barely overgrown mountain roads, like the Colle del Lago dei Signori and therefore the Colle delle Selle Vecchie, from wherever the road descends quickly through the Regional vale of Valle Pesio and Tanaro. The asphalted road to Monesi starts at Piaggia.

Here one will opt to ride the even less passable road to the two.042 meter high Passo di Tanarello, that is near to the Sacarello mountain (2.200 meters). The latter is adorned with an enormous Hebrew image. The panorama of it extends on clear days to the Mediterranean. If that doesn’t tick a number of the boxes on your bucket list, we’re undecided what’s going to.

Riding the road and therefore the connecting tracks takes the simplest a part of each day, and there area unit a handful of house kind cafes to require an opening at on the means. looks like an ideal day of riding.


The four-card monte Jafferau may be a mountain within the Hautes Alpes,with a highest peak of two.805 m. The gravel road to the highest includes many hairpins, and unfolds for over twenty klick, virtually entirely over two.000 meters on top of the ocean level – crowning it in concert of the best mountain roads of Europe.

There area unit some fairly rocky sections, that create it a small amount more durable to ride it on street tyres: it’s but attainable, however you certain want smart ground clearance. Read: don’t attempt to conquer it on a traditional streetbike.

The last section towards the summit of Forte Jafferau may be a rather rough patch, ideally not one to undertake on your own. The slope of the road is a smaller amount than twelve-tone system, and therefore the breadth is around three meters. After rain, even one downfall, conditions of the road are often difficult. electrical storm activity will quickly amendment caliche-topped roads into correct enduro condition or render them even unpassable.

The path is vulnerable to rock falls, thus it will and can be tough in places. Further on, bear in mind that the road from Gleise, via building Jafferau and therefore the incline (maintenance road) is closed for all motorized traffic! The road going from Salbertrand to four-card monte Jafferau is feasible, however you have got to pass the (officially closed) tunnel. you’ll be able to pass it, however want smart ground clearance and you cannot couple on your own ! It’s open from could to Gregorian calendar month.

Forgotten mountain roads in Europe

Forgotten mountain roads in Europe

Whether that dangerous memory is caused by a severe case of recent Year’s toast concerned Korsakovs, or you’re only 1 of the oblivious kind, believe us: the approaching 5 forgotten mountain roads square measure a quintet you may get pleasure from multiple times as if they were a primary time.


Take for instance the Klausen Pass, the primary alpine pass price mentioning as you ride south from metropolis and a powerful entranceway straight into the center of country Alps.

The factor that sets the Klausen Pass except for the opposite passes within the Alps, is that the indisputable fact that there’s a route different, therefore traffic on the pass is de facto restricted to locals, riders or drivers – that renders the expertise not often corrupted.

Luckily, as that may are a shame: the Klausen Pass is while not a doubt one amongst the foremost lovely and unspoiled Alpine Passes in European country.

From the beginning in Glarus you’ll ricochet over the initial pass cobbles before the road quickly winds through the woods and slings you into some high speed sweepers, topping it off with a series of slender switchbacks.

The remainder of the ride you’re being spoiled with lots of slender tunnels, straight however tight stretches through dark woods, and because the road levels out at the Alpine Plateaux of Urnerboden, glorious sky-scraping granite peaks and waterfalls galore.

Forty-something steeply mounting corners later, you’ll gain the highest of the Klausen Pass with a large smile behind your visor.

After a well-deserved coffeestop, the ride down may appear less spectacular initially, however it’ll challenge you in several ways: it’ll need as of your focus, because the drop offs square measure terrific and also the unstable railings aren’t what we might decision encouraging just in case of a crash…

Luckily, a small amount any down, the road can spoil you with a bunch of sweeping turns, forests and a formidable water that drops many meters into the inexperienced abysm. a real marvel.

And before we tend to forget: as you’ve currently reached the outright core of the central Swiss Alps, ride on towards the south because the Susten, Furka and Grimsel Pass square measure nearer than they may ever be once more. You won’t regret it.


As any traveler can tell you: having to cross the French-Spanish border is well-nigh a penalization, because the ever-appealing mountain range push the soil Associate in Nursingd roads up and on the far side the timber line in an finely winding means.

The leave out the mighty pass du Pourtalet (1.984 meters) is not any different: located simply outside the mountain range parkland, this climb can treat you to some actually exciting views of the Ossau depression.

Cursed by the few cyclists World Health Organization storm its flancs, the long and technically difficult climb of the pass du Pourtalet has gained its nickname ‘the way pass’.

And truly therefore, because the twenty nine metric linear unit long ascent is split into 3 steep ‘steps’ and a few longer slighter mounting components that ‘ll drag you thru steep-sided gorges, high-mountain prairies and picturesque Pyrenean villages.

You’ll particularly love the permed means the road is weaved into the glorious backcloth, as rocky formations and meadows leapfrog their means through the border region.

To – pun meant – high it off, the read at the summit is Associate in Nursing absolute stunner: Associate in Nursing uninterrupted read of the Pic du Midi d’Ossau mountain and also the cwm d’Anéou, wherever sheep and cows are often seen peacefully grazing whereas your bike takes a rest. Why not do identical, whereas you’re at it?

The various bars and restaurants on the highest, can offer you with the ‘fuel’ you wish to go down, and ride it everywhere once more. beautiful passtime!

Five places to visit when riding in Greece

Greece is that the southeastern European marvel that we have a tendency to all apprehend and love for its spectacular historical worth, sunsoaked holidays and late night strong drink shots – however even additional therefore, it’s an ideal destination for a mindblowing cycling trip.

The country offers wonderful twisties galore, endless mountain roads that may have your heart athletics in no time, and neat off-roading potentialities, all spiced up with azure skies, associate degree ocean noticed with islands and stretches of nature as so much because the eye reaches.

Instead of guiding you on the native MD-roads, we’ve opted to choose 5 POI’s – ‘points of interest’ – which could simply lure you towards the Balkan country. πάμε*!


Vikos Gorge

If you’re coming into Balkan state via the northwestern border, likelihood is you’ll ride through the geographic region province – a ferociously fought over stretch of land, that divided Republic of Albania and Balkan state for an extended time.

So far for the historical half tho’, because the Zagorochoria region has additional to supply, not within the least delineate by the Vikos Gorge. except its really spectacular sights, the Vikos Gorge is bookmarked because the world’s deepest ravine within the Guinness book of records.

If you’re not simply astonied by the theoretics, you may simply be baffled by the really spectacular sights from many vantage points, together with the gravity-defying cliff-face cloister of Agia Paraskevi at its southern finish and therefore the ridge-top village of Vikos at the opposite.

The twenty-something km long gorge can surprise you with its abrupt changes in altitude, that are lapidarian out for over uncountable years by the Voidomatis stream, a tributary of the Aoös.

The flow of this majestic stream is generally seasonal tho’, with year-round current occurring solely within the lower a part of the gorge. however beware: thanks to its nature, the realm of the gorge is untraversable most of the year.

As you’re within the neighborhood anyway, you may in addition attempt a number of the motorbike Diaries roads within the surroundings. Well, the primary one in line, you’ll got to take, because it is that the solely manner leading from the ‘civilised world’ towards the Vikos Gorge: the road from Monodendri can have you ever twist and switch for seven kilometers before reaching the last half – which may solely be completed by walking.

A few kilometers up the road, you’ll attempt the winding road from Aristi towards Papigno, the latter being named collectively of the ‘most beautiful’ villages of Balkan state, therefore a small amount of a requirement see within the space.

Although we have a tendency to truly enjoyed the road and therefore the views over the village itself, to be honest.

When departure Aristi, you’ll have 2 equally tempting options: you’ll cross very little|the small|the tiny|the insufficient|the limited|the miscroscopic} stream and take a rest on its marvelous little beach, otherwise you may set sail for an additional brilliant seven kilometers towards the village of Kato Pedina. the selection is yours!


Sunset at Meteora. Love it. (c) Christos Tzoutis

I know, we’ve mentioned this before, however if ever there’s a sunset you wish to witness a minimum of once in your life, it’s to be the one obtrusive over the majestic Meteora formation.

Meteora virtually suggests that “suspended within the air”, which is precisely what the outstanding monasteries engineered on high of these mountain ace do.

Of the twenty four original mountain high monasteries, there square measure presently six that also function an area of prayer for the jap Eastern Orthodox – and that, with a modest contribution, is visited. this is often a district of Balkan state you need to have seen once, no excuses doable.

While you’re at it, you may need to ride the Meteora Road, that runs between rocks scoured into pillars, is barely four kilometers long, however you’re happy to require that reel dozens of times: if not for its marvelous winding asphalt, then actually due to the virtually surreal landscape.

Anyone WHO has ever seen ‘For your eyes only’, the Bond film from 1981 with Roger Moore, is aware of specifically what we have a tendency to square measure talking about: arenaceous rock rock formations piercing the natural depression and reaching for the clouds, on that a Bondworthy cliffhanger – what is in an exceedingly name – was recorded.

A bit any down the road, the provincial road towards Neraidochoriou passes 40-something kilometers through the mountains, whereas greedy stunning villages and previous churches before leading towards the Pertouli ski center.

The paved surface leaves loads to want for and includes a few meters of gravel future for you, however the bountied views from the cliffs structure for it. Bigtime.


With a lineation of thirteen.676 kilometers, you won’t be finding out a good spot on the Ionic, Mediterranean or Aegean for an extended time. Well, allow us to assist you anyway, as selection overload may get you wired once trying to find one thing that ought to relax you.

We’d recommend you to do the Agios Ioannis beach, that is looked upon collectively of the foremost stunning beaches of the Pelion region, with soft white sand and crystalline blue waters – however it hasn’t been discovered by hords of tourists.

A great place to require a riding break and acquire far from it all for a small amount.

A bit any on the road, you’ll be happy to seek out Mount Pelion – once that the region was named. we have a tendency to found the northern a part of the mountain associate degree absolute gem to ride. it’s one in all the 2 main scenic roads of the mountain – however handily the simplest thanks to ride it, because it loops all the manner round the mountain.

The road spoils you with dense forests, fruit tree fields and tiny villages, however also will need you to remain focussed all of the time.

Along the forty three km long ride, the road tends to be terribly slender, which can cause you quite an few issues once encountering tour buses or different giant vehicles.

Zigzagging up the slope through a series of beautiful ridges, the most road climbs up to Hania, that has adult to be a renowned winter sports resort throughout these last few years.

After that, the road weaves in and out through forests of oak and chestnut trees whereas downward-sloping, wonderful you with beautiful views of the Aegean.

The road continues to the northern finish of Pelion Mountain, whereas the riding gets exciting with pin turns and twists all the manner right down to the geographical region, either to Zagora or to Tsagarada – we’d recommend the latter.


Road from the stream Karpenisiotis towards Proysos. (c) Christos Tzoutis

Panta Vrechei

We’re risking to lose 1/2 our audience with our next destination, however here goes nothing: Panta Vrechei virtually interprets to ‘it continuously rains’. Sounds awful, however it’s in truth nice. enable America to elucidate.

The Panta Vrechei Gorge is one in all the foremost spectacular and exquisite areas in Evritania, because the drinking water that comes from the steep mountain of Kaliakouda, in its arrange to be a part of the Krikeliotis stream, finds some way out of springs at the ace of the gorge making wonderful waterfalls.

Cascades, however not as you recognize them: the flow isn’t as continuous, and thanks to the peak of the gorge, it’s additional sort of a watery curtain or a continual precipitation.

Park your bike for a short time and continue on foot towards Krikeliotis’ hanging bridge, from that you’ll get to admire the primary little waterfalls and comes, making the well-known rain and tiny rainbows of Panta Vrechei.

At the bottom of the waterfalls, you’ll feast your eyes and feet on the numerous natural swimming pools, that square measure lined by crystal clear ice. Ice? Yep, thes pools square measure solely appropriate for daredevils and – eh – polar bears…

Whatever you are doing, don’t forget to require your camera, though. simply check that to not slip.

After this rather refreshing detour, check that to ride the 2 motorbike Diaries Roads within the space. 1st up is that the marvelous route that leads you from the stream Karpenisiotis towards the sumptuous cloister of Proysos, lofty over the natural depression encompassing the village.

During the ride you’ll take into account stopping for lunch within the villages Megalo, Mikro Chorio or Gauros. simply check that to depart a small amount of area to devour the blood-curdlingly stunning road from evil spirit towards Agrinio.


Due to all types of economic horror stories regarding Balkan state, one would tend to forget that some years agone, the ill-famed Baros Pass was paved . Wow, nice news! however – eh – what’s the large deal?

Well, quite honestly, the Baros or ‘Mparos’ Pass is that the highest location all told of the country, and it would simply be the foremost good one in thereforeutheast Europe – so we’re rather pink-slipped abreast of this one!

Up till 1912, the Greek-Turkish border ran right across this pass, and as a result, the mountain crossing of Baros was well-known for several centuries as a entree for transport carrying folks and merchandise.

Moreover, it absolutely was a strategic purpose and its occupation was necessary for the movement of the military from geographic region to geographic area and the other way around. Later, the warfare and therefore the new living conditions LED to the desertion of the realm and therefore the mountainous passage of Baros to become obsolete and forgotten.

Up till some years agone, at least.

The Greek government has been drilling and doing asphalting works on the road and in 2013 the last piece of asphalt was delivered. Time to ride!

As the crow flies, the road is found solely forty kilometers far from the Meteora monasteries we’ve already mentioned, and still it’s 0.5 a planet far from any traveler.

You’ll specifically notice it within the southern Pindos Mountains, right between geographic region and geographic area. simply select one in all 3 choices to succeed in it: 2 of them square measure coming back from the rural area of Ioannina, the third climbs its high on the Thessalian aspect, rising from the gorge of the Aspropotamos.

Yet to seek out it, you need to either {try to|attempt to|try associate degreed} notice your manner via Kalambaka – on country roads – or by an anonymous pass topping at one.650 meters and coming back from Metsovo.

Quite the mouthful, however these fifty four kilometers square measure all price your whereas.