Facts and trivia

EUROPA, the best roads_part 1

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This first list, which has been drawn up based on suggestions from the Italian and foreign trade press, limits itself to Europe — with the caveat, of course, that it would be all but impossible to compile a definitive roll-call of the continent’s most beautiful roads, given the number of them connecting areas, cities and nations.

We know that we’ve set ourselves an ambitious challenge, with a list of suggestions that’s still short. But we are confident that, with your help, we will be able to share first-hand information with all our users, straight from those who’ve discovered a route by themselves or travelled along a particularly memorable stretch of road that deserves to be shared with all motorcycling enthusiasts.
One thing we can all agree on is that the “Old Continent” has a rich selection of motorcycling routes of all types: whether built for speed, adventure or comfort; winding, Alpine or culturally significant… Anyone with a passion for motorcycling holidays will surely know the most popular of these, but we can assure you there’s a lot more to discover, including many lesser-known routes which still richly deserve their place on this list.


Col de Turini
Just take a look at this route on Google Maps to see the twists and turns that make it so unique. This mountain pass even featured in series 10 of Top Gear, when the presenters went in search of the greatest driving road in the world!
Col de Turini is well known to fans of car rallying (it plays a starring role every year in the Monte Carlo Rally) and of the Tour de France; small wonder, then, that it’s an immensely rewarding ride for “fast” motorcyclists with experience on mountain roads.
It connects La Bollène-Vésubie with Sospel (via the main road, with a gradient of 5.1%), but there’s also the D2566 road to the south-west with an even steeper incline of 7.2%.
The pass is situated in the French department of Alpes-Maritimes, and reaches an altitude of 1,604 m a.s.l.
Verdon Gorge – Provence
The Verdon area in the south-east of the country is well known to motorcyclists. What makes it so special is the route allowing riders to skirt the edges of the deepest gorge in Europe, with drops of close to 700 metres down to the stunning emerald-green river below. The road is 45 km in length (70 km if you go for the loop-route option). Don’t miss the iconic Pont de Galetas bridge: the perfect place to take a snapshot.


Stelvio Pass
We could hardly improve upon the description provided by the article on “The road that crosses the Stelvio Pass is an engineering masterpiece that dates back to the 1800s, connects Alto Adige, Lombardy and Switzerland, and is a milestone of mountain roads, which is why it is also known as the “Queen of Roads”. Caught your interest yet?
To find out more, go straight to GIVI Adventure’s “The Dolomites & and Stelvio Adventures”, which took place in September 2023.

Amalfi Coast
The Italian peninsula is nothing short of a paradise for motorcyclists from all over Europe. On the other hand, this makes any attempt to classify its roads from a motorcycling perspective an arduous task. We’ve made the slightly offbeat choice to include the SS163 on this list, better known as the 40 km road that connects Positano to Vietri. We’re talking about the Amalfi Coast here, on the southern Tyrrhenian Sea, where every town or village you pass through is worth a stop.
 If you’re looking for sensational tours, look no further!


Grossglockner High Alpine Road
In Austria, the most rewarding routes are to be found in the Alps. We’ve chosen one that’s sure to please everybody: the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. Since 1935, this road has made it possible for motorcyclists to reach places that were previously accessible only to expert mountaineers. Today, the road is wide, safe and easy to ride on, with museums, shows, inns, motorcycling events and more to discover as well as the flora and fauna. This riding experience is just 48 km long, with a total of 36 curves, and motorcyclists will find the surface of the road to be top-rate.
The Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe panoramic viewpoint is recommended by all as an unmissable stop, offering a breath-taking view of the Grossglockner itself, Austria’s highest mountain, whose altitude of 3,798 m even has it looming over the largest glacier in the eastern Alps, the 9 km-long Pasterze.


Pyrenees - Roncesvalles pass
Spain has a lot to offer motorcycle tourists, both inland and on the coasts. The Pyrenees, in particular, are a whole world in themselves. This mountain range sprawls for several hundred kilometres between Spain and France (and the state of Andorra), with infinite options and itineraries to choose from.
The route recommended by the website sets out from Bilbao and ends in Biarritz. We're in northern Spain here: the route is long (close to 360 km) but it’s not difficult, and offers a feast for the eyes with the stunning landscapes along the way (vast plains, cliffs, hills, passes…). Given the distance we’ve indicated, it’s clear that we’re not talking about following the coastal road; in fact, this route descends from Bilbao towards Pamplona before rising to cross the Pyrenees at the Roncesvalles Pass.

Madrid - Segovia
It’s never difficult to find spectacular roads in Spain, and it’s often possible to travel with the sea on one side and the mountains on the other.
This route, which comes highly recommended by the Spanish motorcycle press, connects two beautiful cities: Madrid and Segovia. It’s just over 100 km in length and offers some incredible scenery to be admired as riders cross the Sierra de Guadarrama: a mountain chain that stretches for around 80 km, reaching an altitude of 2,428 m at Peñalara (its highest peak) and acting as a watershed between the Douro and Tagus rivers.


Portugal offers unmissable roads for motorcyclists, the kind that tempt you to stop over and over to enjoy the view and take some photos (and that’s without mentioning the Azores and Madeira, two island gems). Here are two top choices.
National Road 222 from Vila Nova de Foz Côa to Vila Nova de Gaia
The Portuguese trade press emphasises the accolades and awards that have been lavished upon this route.
Its unique selling point is that it allows travellers to follow the course of a river, the Douro, for almost 230 km along the south shore, taking in countless S-shaped curves. The river is stunning all year round, and the route is worth following the whole way through. However, if you have tough choices to make… concentrate on the spectacular stretch from Peso da Régua to Pinhão.
National Road 247 from Peniche to Cascais
This is a splendid coastal route, probably best travelled in spring or autumn (for the greater sense of liberty that can be enjoyed without the crowds of tourists). Peniche is a fishing village on the Silver Coast, around 80 km south of Lisbon, which has retained much of its old-world charm. It’s the starting point for visits to the Berlengas islands and a well-known destination for surfers, who come here from all over the world to catch the waves. This route begins from the same trails which lead to beaches like Supertubos and Areira Branca, following the coast southward for a long way. It also takes in Ericeira and Serra di Sintra (an area which has enough to offer to fill a whole week), all of which can be explored by motorcycle without the need for GPS guidance. The third stretch of the N247 will take you to the area of Cape Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe, and from there to a vast Atlantic beach of immense beauty: Praia do Guincho. A detour towards Malveira da Serra is followed by the final stop: Cascais, the country’s most elegant town.


From Bled to Bohinj
Here is another country justifiably proud of its mountain chains, lush green valleys, lakes and rivers: here, nature is king and constantly surrounds the traveller.
One laid-back and particularly popular route is the one that loops around Lake Bled and the Vintgar Gorge. We've added a slight detour to the classic itineraries, bringing motorcyclists from Bled to Lake Bohinj. The road, which is around 30 km long and can be travelled in less than an hour, has received a mention in an article on a Slovenian website dedicated to the five best routes to recommend to motorcyclists.
Bohinj is an idyllic valley in the Julian Alps. The lake is located in the heart of the Triglav National Park, one of Europe’s oldest national parks. It is notable for being Slovenia’s largest natural lake.


Tremola San Gottardo
Scrambling up from Airolo to the St. Gotthard Pass, this road includes a spectacular, serpentine stretch which constitutes Switzerland’s longest road monument. Motorcyclists riding here can look forward to 4 extraordinary kilometres, an altitude change of 300 metres and 24 hairpin bends, each with its own name. It has many design features which make its appearance truly unique, having been left unchanged since work was completed in 1951. An intense and exceptionally panoramic route.


From Gospić towards northern Velebit and Veliki Alan
The route begins in the town of Gospić which, along with nearby Smiljan, is known for the Nikola Tesla Memorial Center, dedicated to “the man who invented the twentieth century”. From here, nature begins to take over as riders pass through a tranquil forest on the way to Veliki Alan, the gateway to the Northern Velebit National Park. If you’ve got a taste for adventure, you can take detours towards Štirovači and Baški Oštarije along the way, or traverse the crest of Velebit via a dirt road.
As another option, the sea is not far away and can be reached directly from the mountain.


This “unmissable” route has been recommended by Paola Verani from the Motociclismo monthly magazine/website, for those seeking wild places, winding roads and beaches just waiting to be discovered.
It starts at a classic Greek tourist destination: the Meteora columns of sandstone rock, the peaks of which are home to monasteries.
From here, you take the road that leads to Trikala, which turns into a thrill ride thanks to the Pindus mountain range between Epirus and Thessaly. Once you’ve reached the Peloponnese the real adventure begins, with tours of antiquity giving way to natural surroundings. From the little port of Aigio, you ride towards the slopes of Mount Chelmos as far as Kalavryta; next, turn towards Kleitoria and then Tripoli before crossing Mount Mainalo. The route continues via Megalopolis, Messenia and Kalamata before finally reaching its much anticipated destination, where an incredible change in the scenery awaits thanks to the lunar landscape of Mani, the southernmost point of Greece. Be on the lookout for the city of Kardamyli, where the ashes of the great traveller Bruce Chatwin were scattered.