Where do we even begin? Not us. Come on. Behave yourself. That’s something we hear bikers say. Quite a lot, actually. Especially those with their heart set on doing a grand motorbike tour of Europe. You see, Europe is a pretty big place. Lots of countries. Diverse terrain. Tonnes of awesome routes to ride. This all makes planning a motorcycle trip around Europe a bit tricky. Where do you stop? Where do you go? Where do you even begin?
Right here is where you begin.
Your motorbike tour of Europe starts, now.
The Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland
Yes. Ireland is in Europe. They even have the Euro. That’s a proper bona fide European country, that is. So, if you’re embarking on a motorbike tour of Europe and you’re based in the UK, Ireland is a quick an easy win. It’s in Europe. Therefore, it counts.
So, what’s great about The Wild Atlantic Way? (Apart from the name, of course.)
Well, it’s officially the longest coastal route in the world. That’s around 1,533 miles of stunning Irish coastline, cutting through nine counties and three provinces from Kinsale to Londonderry. It’s an Irish adventure begging to be enjoyed (with the odd pint of The Black Stuff in the evenings). Just be prepared for rain. It happens a lot out there.
The Normandy Beaches, France
Over to the mainland now, for the next stop on your motorbike tour of Europe. The Normandy Beaches hold particular historical significance, particularly for British riders. The scene of the Normandy Landings, that marked a turning point for the Allied Forces during the Second World War, offers great riding. This route is easily accessible whilst also adding a historical element to your trip.
Starting at Rouen, the route winds its way along 340 miles of Normandy coastline to Mont Saint-Michel. There are plenty of stops to make, marking the sites of historic battles as well as war cemeteries, museums, castles, and monasteries. In short, the Normandy Beaches make for a powerful start to a longer motorbike tour of Europe. Likewise, they offer a great place for novice overseas explorers to cut their teeth, as a self-contained short European tour.
Verdon Gorge, France
Once you’re in France, why not head south? That’s where you’ll find the Verdon Gorge (also known as Europe’s Grand Canyon). The gorge itself is 700m deep and 25km long, but the circuit taking you from Moustiers-Sainte-Marie around the gorge and back is 56 miles of stunning scenery, joyful riding, and typically gorgeous Southern European weather.
With plenty of twists and turns to enjoy, the Verdon Gorge makes for a great stop on your motorbike tour of Europe. And once you’re done, you have the coastal resorts of Nice and Monaco just a stone’s throw away. You know, for something a bit more glam (if it tickles your fancy).
Amalfi Coast, Italy
Staying in Southern Europe, our next stop is Italy’s famous Amalfi Coast — The Road of a Thousand Bends. Travel south from Naples to Salerno, passing Pompei, Sorrento, the Isle of Capri, and Amalfi on this narrow cliff-top road that hugs the Italian coastline. It’s exhilarating. It’s a feast for the eyes and a joy for the soul.
Only one thing to be aware of. Although the temptation would be to try this route during the summer months, be warned. It gets ridiculously hot and congested with throngs of tourist traffic. Otherwise, the Amalfi Coast makes for a breathtaking stop on your motorbike tour of Europe. Especially if you’re partial to some beach-fix and chill.
Bergen to Geiranger, Norway
If Southern Europe isn’t your bag, perhaps we could interest you in a Nordic adventure. This stop on your motorbike tour of Europe is effectively a tour in itself — particularly if you extend the route by starting in Kristiansand in the very south of Norway. Should you choose to start in Kristiansand and wind your way up the Norwegian coast to Bergen and then on to Geiranger, you’ll enjoy a 517-mile route taking in some truly majestic coastal scenery.
However, it’s the Bergen to Geiranger stretch that’s seriously mind-blowing. You’re in proper Fjord Country now. Surrounded by glaciers, lush valleys, picturesque fjords and waterfalls, as you zigzag your way north, your Instagram feed will be well and truly lit. Take your time on this route. Make sure you soak it all in.
Icelandic Ring Road
We’re still in Northern Europe and visiting Iceland next. Granted, getting here can be tricky, but once you reach Reykjavík you’ll be on the cusp of an epic 828-mile adventure around the island. Expect volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, lava fields, and massive glaciers to feature throughout. However, this all comes at a price.
Visits to Iceland are well-documented as being expensive, and the weather’s not all that great, even during the summer months. So, maybe this is one to add to your biker bucket list. Maybe.
The Transfagarasan Highway, Romania
Finally, let’s head east, to the home of the Dark Prince himself — Transylvania. Specifically, The Transfăgărășan Highway in Romania. If you’re up for real adventure and a marathon motorbike tour of Europe, this 56-mile stretch of Romanian road (as featured on Top Gear) snakes its way through the Carpathian Mountains.
Surround yourself with gothic castles and historic monasteries set in the rocky, mountainous landscape. Ride through lush green valleys. Zip around fast bends and tight hairpin turns. But do it in summer. It’s closed in winter. Something to do with lots of snow.
Where Will Your Motorbike Tour of Europe Take You?
Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list of places to stop and routes to explore on your motorbike tour of Europe. There are plenty of amazing rides across the continent. These just happen to be some of the biggies.
Wherever BikeNav takes you. Whatever amazing routes you find. Let us know.
We want to share in your adventure.