Having wanted to drive the Alps for years, it tooks months of planning to get the route right. I wanted to document the trip to help those planning as it is quite a daunting task. Click here for a video of the drive up the Susten Pass. By far the best resources used for planning the trip were:
Booking.com – Hotel and B&B reservation with free cancelation.
Alps Passes in Google Maps – A great guide compiled by a biker, includes videos.
Alps B&Bs in Google Maps – A great guide to some cheaper Alps B&Bs.
Pistonheads Road Trip Planning – Useful links and the Forum.
Alpine Roads – The best roads in the Alps!
Alpentourer – Great guide to touring the Alps.
Each pin in the map marks a B&B/Hotel. The trip was planned with a balance between driving miles each day, and time to see some sights in the area visited – this worked well.
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Day 1: London – Bruges. Set off for Eurotunnel on Friday afternoon after cramming the small boot. Mussels and a beer for dinner in Bruges and a really nice night stay at B&B Huyze Weyne, highly recommended.
Day 2: Baden Baden. A day of motorways in 30 degree sun, finished with a couple of hours at Caracalla Spa and dinner in Baden-Baden (both well worth it). Head to Pension Williams (expat run) for the night on the edge of the B500.
Day 3: Lake Constance. Great day of driving down the B500 through the Black Forest, past the Rhine Falls (Europes largest waterfall and worth seeing) and onto Lake Constance. We stay at Hotel Graf Zeppelin.
Day 4: Stelvio Pass. Swiss border control won’t let us in due to a lost front number plate, so we head back into Germany to have a temporary one made. We enter the Alps, taking in the first mountain passes and end at the top of the Stelvio Pass for a night at Rifugio Garibaldi, an amazing view to wake up to. Well worth staying here.
Day 5: Lavertezzo. After taking in the view of the mountains and Stelvio Pass snaking it’s way up, we make an early start for a day full of mountain passes including Julier Pass and San Bernardino. We arrive at Lavertezzo, a really amazing place and well worth the slight detour. Magical afternoon swimming in the crystal clear mountain river to cool off after the days driving. Comfortable stay and meal at Osteria Vittoria.
Day 6: Meiringen. Drive back past the Contra / Locarno Dam from Goldeneye and onto more mountain passes including St Gotthard Pass and through Andermat to the Susten Pass (video here). We spend the afternoon at the Aare Gorge and a night at Chalet zum Steg.
Day 7: Annecy. Weave our way down past Spiez and Le-Petit-Bornand /Le-Grand-Bornand. When we arrive in Annecy it’s raining and the car’s back end is sliding about on road white lines. Turns out there is no tread left! Stay at Palais de L’Isle.
Day 8: Annecy. A second day in Annecy to have some new rear tyres fitted (only fitted a few weeks before the trip!) and go Canyoning (great fun and a nice day off driving).
Day 9: Reims. Manage to find some nice roads (D396 & D996) but mostly motorway to get home as quickly as possible. Very nice stay at La Grange Champenoise and excellent meal at the local ‘Le Jardin’. Both highly recommended for a memorable night on the way home from the Alps.
Day 10: London. Just motorways home…