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Adventure-Seeking Motorcyclists’ Adrenalin Junkie Road Trips in the UK and Europe
The thrill of the road less travelled with its hairpin bends, steep gradients, frightening drops and sweat sapping demands is the dream of every adventure-seeking adrenalin junkie motorcyclist. There are few road trip adventures that the guys at Chequered Flag Motorcycles have not experienced so, guided by their knowledge and expertise, you can rest assured that they will build your dream holiday.
Every road on our list will challenge your riding skills to the limit. They all present a test of endurance that will earn you “Noddy Badges” from your peers. Whether you are a seasoned campaigner or a newbie to this thrilling pastime, an adventure road trip will remain forever a highlight of your life.
- The Transfăgărășan Highway, Romania
You can be forgiven for thinking that you have been transported into a Rocky Horror Picture Show scene when travelling Romania’s Transfăgărășan Highway. It takes sheer willpower and a bucketful of guts to transverse this treacherous 35km stretch of “highway” with its narrow turns, S-bends, dark tunnels and hair-raising downward spiralling plunges. Considering that the top speed allowed on this road is 40km per hour, it is not difficult to grasp why the Transfăgărășan Highway trip is a favourite on most bikers’ bucket list.
The Transfăgărășan Highway was constructed in the 1970s. Cutting through the Făgăraș Mountains proved not only difficult but fatal for many workers who lost their lives building this treacherous stretch of road. Officially, the death toll was recorded as 38 but, according to men who laboured on the highway, more than 200 men lost their lives carving the road into the mountainside.
Also known as Ceausescu’s Folly, the highway was the brainwave of Nicolae Ceausescu, the autocratic head of Romania from 1965 his death by execution in 1989. According to legend, Ceausescu was paranoid about a military invasion from the USSR.
- Furka Pass and the Rhone Glacier, Switzerland
It was 007 in Goldfinger who immortalised the Furka Pass in the Swiss Alps with its breathtaking elevations, serpentine roads and razor-sharp bends.
Nestled within the Alps is the Rhone Glacier and the Furka Pass is probably the only place in the world where you can take a walk inside a glacier! So, combining a road trip with the opportunity to walk into the Rhone Glacier is a highlight for thousands of travellers every year.
A wooden boardwalk tunnel winds into the heart of the 11,500-year-old glacier, 3km below the Furka Pass. It is only about 100m long and ends in an ice chamber. Sadly, the Rhone Glacier is melting at an ever-increasing rate and is expected to disappear by the end of this century.
Combining the panoramic views of the 70km Furka Pass with a never-to-be-forgotten visit inside the Rhone Glacier is a trip no adventure motorcyclist can afford to miss.
- Régua – Pinhão (N222), Portugal
The Portuguese National Road, Régua – Pinhão (N222), has been identified as the best riding road in the world by travel agents and motorcycle rental companies. This national road connects Régua to Pinhao and its 27 kilometres will wind you through the Douro Valley, regarded as one of the most impressive wine regions in the world.
The road follows the Douro River upstream, in a lush green and vineyard-terraced landscape. Studies show that the N222 has the perfect 10-1 value. That means for every 10 seconds spent travelling in a straight line, one second is spent in a turn.
- A Dance with Death on the Road of 1,000 Bends – the Amalfi Coast Road, Italy
A trip to Italy combines some of the best adventure motorcycle routes with holiday hot-spots. Take the Road of 1,000 Bends which is part of the Italian Amalfi Coast Road. This is where a sea breeze will caress your face as you gaze across the azure waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Gulf of Salerno. The Amalfi Coast Road, south of the Sorrento Peninsula, winds its way around sharp cliff bends and craggy shorelines and, with each turn, the traveller has a bird’s-eye view of a quaint Italian fishing village.
This 50km trip is a veritable feast of the best countryside available in Italy. You will pass by tourist hot-spots like the Isle of Capri and the Cliffside village of Positano with its pebble beachfront and narrow streets filled with cafes and boutiques.
But a word of warning! The Road of 1,000 Bends is known as the dance with death so attempt it at your peril.
- Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland
No tour of Europe would be complete without some time spent exploring the British Isles. The Wild Atlantic Way is sensational. From soaring cliffs to hidden beaches, buzzing cities and rural villages, this 2,500km journey includes the wild and rugged Sottish highlands, the valleys and rolling hills of Wales and Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.
The Wild Atlantic Way on the Irish west coast is the longest coastal touring route. From the wind-whipped Malin Head to the safety of Kinsale Harbour, you will be wrapped in the wild, west coast of Ireland. This adventure motorcycle tour will introduce you to time past and present as you wind your way through three provinces and nine counties, all fuelled by traditional fare served in delightful Irish pubs.
- Trans European Trail (TET)
Last but not least is the Trans European Trail that stretches 34,000km. Countries within the TE (T)rail are Finland, the Baltic states, Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, the Balkans, Italy, France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Low Countries the UK, Andorra, Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar.
TET is a dream journey offering a diversity of landscapes and cultures. Undertaking TET brings motorcycling: adventure and all the possibilities of the open road into one melting pot. It also provides bikers with the opportunity of connecting with the local motorcycling communities for guidance and support along the way.
Adventure motorcycling is a deeply personal interaction between a biker, his surroundings and the people he gets to meet along the way. Without doubt, adventure motorcyclists experience an ethereal-like transformation when they are on the open road.