This tour is organized as a “LINKED” tour with the FRENCH LOOP tour as the anchor


2019 Dates – Your Choice  CLOSED

ESSENTIAL ALPS + FRENCH LOOP –  September 7 – 21  (15 Days including 1 rest day)

FRENCH LOOP + AWESOME AUSTRIA – September 16 – October 2 (17 Days including 1 rest day)

2020 Dates

ESSENTIAL ALPS + FRENCH LOOP –  September 5 – 19  (15 Days including 1 rest day)

FRENCH LOOP + AWESOME AUSTRIA – September 14 – 30 (17 Days including 1 rest day)



About This Tour
Where We Go
Tour Highlights
Brief Tour Description
Key Dates
Tour Cost
Minimum Number of Tour Members
How To Book This Tour



This trip is for people who want a rider’s ride to the highest of the high. A lot of tour companies refer to their tour as the “High Alps” or the “Extreme Challenge” or some such name but they never really get to the high stuff. This tour does. The whole point of this tour is to ride the TOP 10 highest passes in the Alps. I’m sorry to say that in order to get to those passes we’ll have to ride dozens of other great passes of all types, big, small, wide, narrow, many in the middle of nowhere, to get from one side of the Alps to the other and complete the tour. It is a technically, physically, and mentally challenging tour loaded with as much fun, adventure and riding enjoyment as one person can handle. It is the “High Alps Extreme Touring Ultimate Challenge Tour” or “TOP 10+ for short.

This tour is one of my most popular tours and it’s been offered for many years. What I am doing now is to offer the tour  in 2 parts for those Tour Members who might be time contrained and can only ride one loop.

The TOP 10+ Tour has always been the ESSENTIAL ALPS TOUR and the FRENCH LOOP routes ridden all together to ride all of the TOP 10 highest passes in the Alps over 14 days. Now I offer the same overall route marked by 2 tours over 15 days including 1 rest day in between.

On the other hand if you would like a longer tour, then link the FRENCH LOOP with the AWESOME AUSTRIA tour and get 2 extra days along with all TOP 10 of the highest passes.

Finally, if you really want a 25-Day GRAND TOUR you can book all 3 September tours. While we hit 5 of the TOP 10 on both the Essential or Austrian loops I make sure we get there using mostly different routes and directions. Tour Members are already signing up for all 3 combined – so it must be an intriguing option.


START/FINISH: Thun Switzerland
DURATION: 14 or 16 Riding Days – Your Choice
DISTANCE: 200 kms – 380 kms per day (120 miles – 230 miles) – Asphalt roads
DIFFICULTY: 4 out 5 stars
COUNTRIES VISITED: Switzerland, Austria, Italy and France
LAYOVER DAYS: Several 2 or 3 night stays depending on the tours selected
ACCOMODATIONS: 2 to 4 star hotels – family run Alpine style + unique mountain chalet

TOP 10 - Below


Where we go is up to you based on which tours you would like to link together. Please check out each tour below to see what makes each one different and which ones you like. BOTH options below cover all TOP 10 highest passes. They just enjoy getting there by riding different routes.

The anchor tour for both otions is the FRENCH ALPS LOOP – Highest of the High

OPTION 1 –  ESSENTIAL ALPS – Must Ride Tour  is the shorter combined tour option before the FRENCH LOOP that covers the 2 prime riding areas in the Alps

OPTIONS2 –  AWESOME AUSTRIA – Keep On Riding Tour  is the longer tour option after the FRENCH LOOP that delves into the special roads of Austria


  • Special Places – Chamonix/Aiguille du Midi Cable Car up to Mont Blanc
  • Special Places – The Grimsel Pass – one of the most photographed vistas in the Alps looking towards the Furka Pass
  • The Grossglockner High Alpine Road – home to Austria’s highest pass and a motorcyclist’s playground
  • Lunch at a high Dolomite Mountain Hut (via 5 minute cable car ride) with unforgetable panoramic views of the Dolomites
  • Major Passes – (#10), (#9) (#8) (#7), (6), (5) , (4), (3), (2) and #1 + more
  • Smaller Passes – too many to mention
  • More than 70 passes in total

MOTO-CHARLIE reserves the right to alter the exact route at his discretion.


This tour focuses on the 10 highest passes in the Alps. The TOP 10 were determined from John Hermann’s book “Motorcycle Journeys Through The Alps & Beyond, 5th Edition”. All these passes are paved (with a couple of minor exceptions) and all go from one place to another, as opposed to dead-ending in some valley. As such they are the highest paved roads you can ride in the Alps. Our mission on this tour is to find them, wherever they are, which in this case is spread throughout France, Switzerland, Italy and Austria – and then ride them all. This will truly be the tour of a lifetime.

Most people like to arrive at least one day ahead of time to help with jet lag, see the local sights or get acclimated to their motorcycle, the roads and Euro riding in general via the free 1/2 day ORIENTATION DAY offered to all Tour Members. I’ll be more than glad to help you plan whatever activity might be of interest to you.
  • The exact route(s) and daily schedules we ride will obviously depend on which tours you link together. Please feel free to conact me if you have any questions about each tour or which linked tours might be best for you. I am always happy to talk to anyone who has an interest in riding the Alps.


  • The tour dates are shown at the top of this page and on each tour webpage. Naturally, you are welcome to come sooner. I generally arrive on Friday. If you would like to come sooner, or stay longer, hotel and motorcycle arrangements can readily made to suit your schedule.
  • When to book your reservation obviously depends on your schedule. As a rule I suggest at least 3 months in advance of the tour date in order to ensure that you get the motorcycle that you want and to secure a place on the tour. There is a limit of 7 motorcycles or 10 people, whichever comes first, per tour. There are nearly a full line of BMW and KTM motorcycles to choose from. In the case of certain BMW’s there are several bikes of the same models available. In the case of KTM, one of each. If having a specific bike is a high priority for you then please book early.
  • The final cut-off date is technically 30 days before the tour starts. At this point there is enough lead-time for any adjustments or cancellations as they relate to our motorcycle supplier and related hotels. If someone contacts me to sign up with less than 30 days to go every effort will be made to accommodate you. The issue will usually be the motorcycle availability.


The cost for this tour will be the combined amouts of whichever 2 tours you want to combine as shown on each tour webpage. I will be glad to help you figure out the cost of the specific tour(s) you want if you have any questions.


5 riders or 7 tour members


Please refer to the “Contact Me” section for my telephone or e-mail address. I am not a paperwork intensive person. So, the process of making a reservation and getting what I need for my records is pretty simple once you contact me.

Feel free to contact me to ask any questions about my tours in particular, or the Alps in general. If I can be of help in any way I’ll be glad to do so.

This tour is the real deal, the “High Alps Extreme Touring Ultimate Challenge Tour.” The description above pretty much says it all. All the riding you can get, all the altitude you can handle, all the food and culture that four different Alpine countries can offer, all the fun and adventure that you will remember for a lifetime. You can gorge yourself on a frenzy of pass blasting, conspicuous croissant consumption and espresso overload knowing that you have ridden the highest of the high and a had a blast doing it. That’s what this tour is all about.