The Alpine Adventure West

From the Swiss Alps to the top of the world!

Prepare for the big! Big scenery, big riding days and, of course, big passes. The Alpine Adventure West is a tour for riders who want to toss a boast or two around.

Sleep in the shadow of Europe’s highest mountain, Mt. Blanc. Ride the highest pass in the Alps. Relax on the shore of the cleanest lake in EU. Visit the castle where St. Bernard was born. Dip a toe in the Mediterranean. This combination of possibilities is unique to the Alpine Adventure West.

With the focus on towering, majestic mountains, our adventure kicks off in the Old Spa Town of Baden.

Complete with castle ruins overlooking the old town, a river flowing through the middle, a impressionist art gallery, a most engaging cafe culture and a wealth of nightlife, these two days in Baden are filled with possibilities. One of which is to begin tackling mountain passes right away! Albispass, Pragelpass, Sattelegg, and Glaubenbergpass all offer magnificent views from the top and an exciting ride to get there.

The Journey begins

The Danube flows at its head and the Rhine babbles at its feet. Germany’s Black Forest is set in impressive natural splendor and is the focus of the first day on the road. This wonderful, unspoiled region encompasses ravines and torrents, dense woods and impressive hills. Landscape, nature, climate, especially the people, and the unique agricultural products, are but a few of the things which comprise the wealth of the Black Forest.

Our exit from the hills of Germany across the Rhine river takes us to the French Jura. The terrain is very similar to America's Smoky Mountains, featuring easy riding through picture-perfect villages. Vive la France—great scenery and riding without the annoying crush of tourist traffic.

Our departure from the Jura region is by crossing another of Europe's great rivers, the Rhône.

Double overnight on the shore of Lake Annecy

The French are proud of their—well—Frenchness: Champagne, Chanel No. 5, camembert, croissants. No wonder when we speak of the joy of life, it’s in French: “joie de vivre.” The French believe they have the franchise on culture, cuisine—and especially—romance. You’ll probably agree when you set eyes on Lac d'Annecy, a crystal-clear, turquoise mountain lake in the heart of the Savoie region.

One of the most beautiful towns in the Haute Savoie region, Annecy is a gracious town that is still the quiet joy of provincial France and a perfect example of romance in both location and architecture. Bustle about the shopping core of Annecy or sit in the marvelous lakeside park and commune with nature at its best. Total relaxation on the grass by the pool, a boat ride, a visit to Mont Blanc and a ride up the mountain on Europe’s highest cable car, or perhaps a visit to the ancient castle of Menthon or the Museum of the French Resistance movement; our double overnight here offers something for everyone.

The French Vercors

Certain ranges in the Alps have a way of taunting puny humans. The Vercors is one. Atop the massif is a tranquil, forested, high plateau. The 20th century loggers had product, but no way to get it to market. Their answer was to construct "balcony roads," which were literally blasted out of the vertical mountainside. Today these roads are great motorcycle routes! Getting up to the plateau is a pleasant challenge, one made much more enjoyable by your BMW motorcycle—the perfect machine for this adventure.

The number of passes in the Vercors National Park borders on the absurd. We spend the majority of two riding days in the park to make the most of that absurdity!

Spring from valley to valley

Travel through appealing Alpine scenery with conifer woods, grasslands and some very impressive mountains on the way to a double overnight stop in the Verdon Nature Park. Here Europe's largest gorge, carved by the Verdon river, is over 2100' deep. The canyon's turquoise-green ribbon of water is captivating.

After exploring the gorge your ride could continue right down to the French Riviera!

The next highlight on the tour is up. Way up, at the top of the highest pass in the Alps. Col de la Bonette stands at 8,907 feet above sea level. Yesterday the Mediterranean, today the heavens. Ah, the magic of the French Alps!

Our last day in France means... twisty Alpine Roads

The border between France and Italy is punctured by notable roads—small, very high, and traffic-free. Far from the congestion of the valleys, these roads take you to amazing heights. A picnic on a hillside, with a million-dollar view of the whole world spread at your feet, will put any restaurant patio seat to shame!

One of the most amazing things about the Alpine Adventure West is that now, many days and many miles into it, the riding continues to get better, and the scenery even more impressive. From the top of the Col Agnel the views go for a hundred miles south into Italy and north into France.

These are the sort of vistas that are inevitable to run across while riding in the mountains. The stunning aspect of the French Alps is the fact that they are everywhere. Day in and day out, not once, but dozens of times a day the only reaction one can manage is "wow!"

And like clockwork, on the way up the next pass, the Col d'Izoard, comes another "wow" moment when you come around the hairpin and the world opens up to a view that makes you feel quite small.

End your day in Italy, following the likely path of Hannibal into Italy, crossing the Col de Montgenèvre as he did 2,200 years ago.

To Italy! Courmayeur and Mont Blanc

Sitting at the foot of Mont Blanc, Courmayeur is a jet-setter's ski town. Walking through the old town you are part of the fashionable, rubbing elbows with the climbers and glacier skiers who add an edgy sporting aspect to the crowd.

Waking up to a view of sunrise on Mont Blanc is an experience to remember. Another of the hundreds you will take home with you!

Hannibal's route though the Alps is still a bit of a mystery, and there are a few possible routes he could have taken. Just to cover another base we cross the delightful Petit St. Bernard, another of his possible routes.

It is certain that Napoleon made a winter crossing of the Grand St. Bernard, so we will too. After all, themes for a day's ride are great excuses for having fun.

We enter Switzerland once again on the north side of the Grand St. Bernard, and a little detour, up an obscure "Rob road" gives us a chance to look back. Back at Mont Blanc, from a vantage point that seems almost level with the mountain's upper heights.

The last riding day is a romp through the Swiss Alps, with views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau off our shoulder, and great Swiss pavement under our tires.

Miles and miles of twisty roads, a spread of culture, architecture, food and scenery, and as always, the freedom of a Beach tour combine to make the Alpine Adventure West a challenging, delightful, big ride. It is one you will, quite rightfully, boast about for years to come.

Click here to view an altitude track and a list of the passes you might cross on the Alpine Adventure West.

Alpine Adventure West Details

2018 Date

July 15 ~ 29, 2018  Book Now

2019 Date

August 25 ~ September 8


Zürich (Baden), Switzerland

Tour distance Min / Max

1800 miles / your choice

Riding Season


The Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Arrive Baden, Switzerland
  • Day 2 - Baden, Free day
  • Day 3 - Ornans, France
  • Day 4 - Talloires, France
  • Day 5 - Talloires, Free day
  • Day 6 - Rencurel, France
  • Day 7 - Grignan, France
  • Day 8 - Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, France
  • Day 9 - Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, Free day
  • Day 10 - Saint-Étienne-de-Tinée, France
  • Day 11 - Sauze d'Oulx, Italy
  • Day 12 - Courmayeur, Italy
  • Day 13 - Gruyeres, Switzerland
  • Day 14 - Baden, Switzerland
  • Day 15 - Depart for home

Free / rest days

Baden, Switzerland
Talloires, France
Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, France

2018 Price

  • Rider $7,510
  • Sports car driver $6,170
  • Passenger $5,695
  • Single Room $802


  • 14 nights in 3 to 5 star accommodation
  • All breakfasts, 12 dinners
  • includes a variety of a la carte, choice menu, fixed menu, and buffet style dinners.

  • Airport transfers
  • Tour book
  • detailing daily options & points of interest enroute

  • Preprogrammed BMW Navigator V GPS
  • with turn by turn detail of all the daily route suggestions

  • BMW Motorrad Certified Guide on a motorcycle
  • Chase vehicle & driver for your luggage
  • Custom luggage
  • embroidered with your name and tour

Pricing notes:

Prices based on shared twin/double room. Single rooms available at extra charge.

Rider price includes the choice of a BMW G310R, C650GT, F750GS, F800R, F850GS, F800GT, R1200R or R1200GS motorcycle with unlimited mileage. Other models are available at additional cost. Find out more about the various models of BMW Motorcycles available for use on a Beach tour.

Sports car Driver price does not include vehicle. Please see the list of convertibles available for use on a Beach tour for details and prices on the automobiles available.

Click on the map to view a larger version

Enjoy a slide show from the 2015 Alpine Adventure West

Playing In Switzerland on a European Motorcycle Tour with Beach's Motorcycle Adventures The Matterhorn, or Monte Cervino, as seen from the Italian side on Beach's Alpine Adventure West Touring Europe with Beach's Motorcycle Adventures. An interesting road into Freiburg, Germany, from the Black Forest Riding a BMW R1200GS into France over Col d�€™ Agnel with Rob Beach Ahhh, the French passes. Magnificient! At the foot of Mt. Blanc