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Thread: Anyone Been on European Tours?

  1. #1
    Registered User fastdogs2's Avatar
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    Anyone Been on European Tours?

    I am considering a European tour for next year, possibly to the Alps.

    Anyone have any experience with the major tour companies, such as Edelweiss?

    What kind of lodgings do they have? Are they simple or elobarate?

    Can non-riders accompany you on the tour and ride in the support van? My wife does not ride and has no desire to ride as a passenger.

  2. #2
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    I have explored a German company that also is in the Czech Republic. Looked at them last summer when I was in Eastern Europe and hope to meet them next month when I'm in Germany, CR, and Poland. Maybe Belarus if my frigging Visa comes in time.

    Anyway, their pricing seemed to be good. They had BMWs, Hondas, and Yamaha along with another brand I don't recall.

    Have to leave now for Christmas stuff. Will PM you a link in a few day.

    Merry Christmas!


    Randy Kasal

  3. #3
    Registered User MLS2GO's Avatar
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    My first is coming up

    My wife and I are doing a Beach Tour in the Alps this summer. You can go it alone on theirs. It's two weeks, the one we are going on starts in Munich goes east to Switerland down to Italy, through Slovenia, Austria and back to Munich and I believe crosses the Alps 10 times. They use BMW's and we are taking a R1200 GS.
    Bob Rippy
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  4. #4
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastdogs2 View Post
    I am considering a European tour for next year, possibly to the Alps.

    Anyone have any experience with the major tour companies, such as Edelweiss?

    What kind of lodgings do they have? Are they simple or elobarate?

    Can non-riders accompany you on the tour and ride in the support van? My wife does not ride and has no desire to ride as a passenger.
    i have not been on a tour, but am attracted to the edelweiss touring center concept, where you stay in a central location and ride loops out and back each day.

    are you aware of our global touring section?

    another really good option in my opinion is the bike rental/go your own way plan.

    ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
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  5. #5
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastdogs2 View Post
    I am considering a European tour for next year, possibly to the Alps.
    Good plan! You won't regret it.


    Quote Originally Posted by fastdogs2 View Post
    Anyone have any experience with the major tour companies, such as Edelweiss?
    No, simply because motorcycling to me is about freedom and I couldn't see myself being part of a caravan of motorcycles... I prefer to ride solo.


    Quote Originally Posted by fastdogs2 View Post
    What kind of lodgings do they have? Are they simple or elobarate?
    They are semi-elaborate from the pics I've seen, but pricey. You can spend far less and stay in incredibly nice places. For example, I've stayed at Hotel Kronblick in the Dolomites for less than half of what the tour companies claim they put out for accomodations. Pretty nice place, ehhhh?

    Quote Originally Posted by fastdogs2 View Post
    Can non-riders accompany you on the tour and ride in the support van? My wife does not ride and has no desire to ride as a passenger.
    As Ian mentioned, there are touring centers where for your entire stay, you return to your home base every evening. Whether your wife would like to sit in a support van all day, I don't know. It wouldn't be bad if someone else's wife was along for her to chat and share thoughts with.

    Or would she be happy to just meander in towns off on her own? If that is the case, another possibility is to pick centers like Innsbruck and Cortina d'Ampezzo, towns where she would have some sights to see. You could then head off for a day of riding on your own.

    It doesn't appear as you could go on a self-guided tour, but should that interest you, I've put together an info thread. See link below.

  6. #6
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLS2GO View Post
    My wife and I are doing a Beach Tour in the Alps this summer...the one we are going on starts in Munich goes east to Switzerland...
    If I were you, I'd go west to Switzerland. Going east is the very long way to get there.

  7. #7
    Club President gsjay's Avatar
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    ultimate alps 2008

    I have 13 folks signed up for a Edelweiss Ultimate Alps trip this June.

    we have room for more if you're interested.

    And contrary to Globalriders comment about riding in a caravan.........

    Edelweiss offers lots of freedom. You can ride with the tour guide or ride on your own or in small groups of your choice! And you can put as many miles on the bike as you'd like.

    jason
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  8. #8
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsjay View Post
    And contrary to Globalriders comment about riding in a caravan.........

    Edelweiss offers lots of freedom. You can ride with the tour guide or ride on your own or in small groups of your choice! And you can put as many miles on the bike as you'd like.

    jason

    Quite true, but then why would I pay big coin to take part in an "organized tour" if I was going to ride on my own in the first place. I might as well have gone self-guided.

    There are countless other advantages to going self-guided, not just not being part of a caravan of motorcycles. As part of a tour group, be it a motorcycle tour or bus tour, one hardly communicates with anyone outside of the group. I like talking to the riders from all over Europe when atop the passes. You get a European perspective of Europe...not a North American one.

  9. #9
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    Quite true, but then why would I pay big coin to take part in an "organized tour" if I was going to ride on my own in the first place. I might as well have gone self-guided.
    I've asked the same question, but there is a pretty good answer. By "joining" a tour, you have a set of hotel rooms and meals ready for you when you arrive. Your luggage shows up on its own, too, and you don't have to figure out how to lug it around on your bike.

    While none of these things are a problem for me or, I am sure, Globalrider, they are still advantages for a lot of people. I know someone who has been on DOZENS of these tours, but never rides the suggested routes. Instead, he rides much farther every day than the 100-200 miles that the tours do.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
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  10. #10
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    I think the point to all this is, if this is your first trip to Europe, going on a tour isn't a bad way to go. You can get a feel for what you like, and what you don't like, and then use that experience to make decisions about future trips.

    Western Europe is incredibly well connected to the internet, so picking spots to stay in and finding motorcycles to rent isn't that hard to do.

    Oh, and don't ride with Darryl. He'll make you ride 500 miles/day with only a single cappucino break.
    Jon Diaz
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  11. #11
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrylRi View Post
    I've asked the same question, but there is a pretty good answer. By "joining" a tour, you have a set of hotel rooms and meals ready for you when you arrive.
    Darryl! I'm not special, yet in my thirteen years of riding there, I have yet to book anything in advance and end up sleeping in a ditch.

    But for those that worry about everything, by all means, go on a tour.

    PS...if you are riding 500 miles (800 kms) in a day, we gotta talk...you are riding roads that are far too straight.

    When will you be there? I'm there all of June and a bit. Meet?

  12. #12
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdiaz View Post
    Oh, and don't ride with Darryl. He'll make you ride 500 miles/day with only a single cappucino break.
    And here it is:



    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    Darryl! I'm not special, yet in my thirteen years of riding there, I have yet to book anything in advance and end up sleeping in a ditch.
    I've done it, but I didn't really see the point myself. I'm definitely with you about just going, and just finding a place each evening.

    PS...if you are riding 500 miles (800 kms) in a day, we gotta talk...you are riding roads that are far too straight.
    Me thinks Jon doth protest too much.

    When will you be there? I'm there all of June and a bit. Meet?
    Probably the latter part of June. The Europrez group I hang with is having their rally in the Harz mountains next summer, and I've never been there before. I could probably fit in the alps or dolomites in somewhere...
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  13. #13
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrylRi View Post
    Probably the latter part of June. I could probably fit in the alps or dolomites in somewhere...
    For a change, I don't know where I'll be. Dolomites for sure. Maybe a trip back to Corsica. What I should do is take a run down to Dubrovnik along the coast.

  14. #14
    Certifiable Old Fart beemerdons's Avatar
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    Six of one, and, a half a dozen of the other! Depends on my mood and intent for trip

    When I looked back at the last dozen years of my motorcycle touring in Europe and Mexico I've used Edelweiss and Pancho Villa Moto Tours about half the times.

    If you go to www.azbeemers.org/forum you'll see that we AZ Beemers have used Edelweiss and PVMT also about equally for club excursions to Europe and Mexico.

    For example, if you go back to May of 2007 you will see that we planned and organized an Alps trip ourselves. And, the website of GlobalRider Alex served as inspiration and guidance for the logistics of this trip. When we AZ Beemers went to Andalusia, Spain in February of 2006 we used Edelweiss with great success.

    You'll see under Upcoming Rides that we're going two dozen strong to Bahia Kino, Mexico over February 15-18. But though I speak Spanish and work in the State of Sonora, there are times that I'd much rather go on a tour with my friends Skip and Nancy Mascorro of Pancho Villa Moto Tours. www.motodiscovery.com

    For example, I'll use PVMT for their Carnaval in Veracruz in 2009 for convenience!

    If you go to www.fjrforum.com and to www.azbeemers.org/forum you'll see that a handful of AZ Beemers are flying into Barcelona and riding the Pyrenees for two weeks with the Italian FJR Forum Club based in Milano. The Ringleader of these FJR is Stef, a Spaniard living and working in Italy. So this trip is a mixed bag, we secured the flights and bikes, and sent Stef PayPal money for the night's lodgings.

    I've never used the Edelweiss Touring Centers, but I've always thought that they were a great idea and made a lot of sense. You are definitely free to ride your own route on an Edelweiss tour. My Austrian friend Markus Hellrigl is Werner und Coral Wachter's Tour Director at Edelweiss and he is more than glad to advise you in riding your day's route on your own; and he even encourages you do so!
    Don Stanley; aka Chuy Medina "El Burrito Ballerina"
    BMWMOA #24810; www.azbeemers.org/forum #89

  15. #15
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLS2GO View Post
    My wife and I are doing a Beach Tour in the Alps this summer. You can go it alone on theirs. It's two weeks, ..
    You will have the time of your life!!! Get one of his GPS units, they take you on some fantastic back roads you probably could not find yourself. I would call this a must if you are the type of rider that loves to explore and get off the beaten path.

    Quote Originally Posted by fastdogs2 View Post
    Anyone have any experience with the major tour companies, such as Edelweiss?

    What kind of lodgings do they have? Are they simple or elobarate?

    Can non-riders accompany you on the tour and ride in the support van? My wife does not ride and has no desire to ride as a passenger.
    Not with Edelweiss, but been with Beach 5 times. Did it alone once when I was paying my entire family (5 bikes and 6 people), the kids owe us big time now

    Beach is a full two weeks, family owned and operated, headquartered right here in the US, and has been doing Alps tours for 35 years.

    Lodging for the most part is not elaborate by US standards, but very nice by European standards.

    Do yourself and your wife a favor, go a week or two early, spend time in Europe doing what she wants to do, then hop the train from Paris or wherever, put her on a Plane home and then have fun riding. The best roads are not near shopping centers and even a city like Interlaken is small by US standards. Remember too the support van is taking a pretty direct route to the next stop and not getting the same experience at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    No, simply because motorcycling to me is about freedom and I couldn't see myself being part of a caravan of motorcycles... I prefer to ride solo...
    Beach does not require group riding at all, you can follow a guide if you like, or hook up with like minded/skilled riders which is usually the case, but YOUR option, not theirs. The only rule is to call if you are going to be late to dinner @ 7:00 or 7:30, just so they know you are safe.

    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    Quite true, but then why would I pay big coin to take part in an "organized tour" if I was going to ride on my own in the first place. I might as well have gone self-guided.
    There are countless other advantages to going self-guided, not just not being part of a caravan of motorcycles. As part of a tour group, be it a motorcycle tour or bus tour, one hardly communicates with anyone outside of the group. I like talking to the riders from all over Europe when atop the passes. You get a European perspective of Europe...not a North American one.
    Yes it is cheaper to do it yourself, but as mentioned by others, there is a LOT of advantages to having support, maps and suggested routes, with points of interest outlined, rooms and luggage waiting, transfers to and from the airport, and 20-30 new friends when you leave. I too have met several locals, and even been invited for coffee at their home, which I and a few others did the next morning.
    Even if you are a great navigator, things are different in Europe, you donÔÇÖt take route numbers, unless you are driving the Autobahn. Rather you navigate city to city, or pass to pass, just remember the town you want might not even be listed on the sign, rather the next major city on that road may be the one listed, and that could be 100 kM further up the road. Organized tours can offer ÔÇ£ValueÔÇØ to the experience, and prevent a lot of anxiety, which is priceless IMHO.


    Bottom line though is DO IT, you will have the time of your life, just think it out, so the wife does too.

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