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Posts Tagged ‘GPS Routes France’

The 2011 motorcycle riding season is well and truly dead, so I’m back for another winter to keep your motorbike spirit alive with ideas, photos and videos to help plan your tours for next summer. The website will be continually improved and your feedback and ideas for it are welcome so don’t be shy…

Close to "La Bonnette" at 2860 meters..

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My latest post “Carcassonne to Andorra via 11 Passes/Cols” is now available on RoadTrooper.com

RoadTrooper.com is my new site with greater functionality and integration with Google Maps and Google Earth. Use the Google Map Street View to see road conditions along the route, just drag the “orange man icon” on the integrated map at the top of each post to the roads along the route to help plan your journeys. You may need to install Google Earth to avail of the function. It’s well worth the effort, I’ve found it an invaluable tool for deciding if the road condition suits my bike, riding style etc., and planning my tours. When in “Street View” use the mouse scroll wheel to travel along your chosen road in continuous high-res photos. If your have not yet used this tool it will blow your mind!

Google Earth Tutorials Here!

I have had a few problems with very unfriendly IP’s origionating from Eastern Europe and China using automatic bulk download programs to download routes, photos and contant for who know’s what reason which also effected bandwith and accessability. To stop this I’ve had no choice but to implement a small restriction to the new site www.RoadTrooper.com in that you will need to create a free account to log in if you want to download the routes. No information is required other then your email address which will NOT be used for any other reason, a password will be sent to the email address you supply which you will need to keep until I find a better way.

You will not recieve any unwanted email by doing this, the subscription service to recieve updates is seperate to this. Unfortunatly if you have already subscribed to this blog you will need to subscribe again to recieve updates for the new site, sorry for any inconvience but I could find no way around this.

Coming up in my next posts to the new site RoadTrooper will be a full description of La Grande Route des Cols Pyrenees which is an amazing 950km route through the highest passes along the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Med. Also Irelands west coast, more Alps and the Dolomites.

Hope ye all have a great summer touring and if you dont get around to it this year then do the next best thing and read about Europes best motorbike routes here and plan to get your ass out there next year!

Cheers
Den

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Route description – The Camargue Circuit runs from Arles to Saint-Maries-de-la-Mer through the Camargue National Park and back to Arles.

Distance – An easy 140km

The Camargue Circuit


This is an easy ride and if your staying in or around Arles it’s definetly worth booking this in as a day trip. Roads are good but in summer there is a lot of tourist traffic, cyclists, bird watchers and hippy naturalists out to save nature by growing dreadlocks and not washing.

Camargue - on the road

Still, the Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue covers 820 km² that are some of the wildest and most protected lands in all of Europe and seems to have a sort of mini-culture seperate to Provence. Worth doing once.

D453 outside Arles


Saint-Maries-de-la-Mer is worth a stop, dating back to at least the 4th century AD it has some beautiful buildings, however the population jumps from 2,500 in winter to 50,000 in summer, so if you want to stay overnight then book well in advance.

Saint-Maries-de-la-Mer


Biker friendly hotels along The Camargue Circuit;

Hostellerie la Source – Arles
Hotel de la Muette – Arles
La Mas de la Roseraie – Arles

Downloadable GPS Routes for The Camargue Circuit are as follows;
CamargueCircuit.gdb
CamargueCircuit.gpx
CamargueCircuit.kml

Coming soonTouring the French and Spanish Pyrenees

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Route Description – Monestry, Castle, Open Country Road and Provencial Village Circuit. Starting outside Signes near Toulon this a great motorcycle route through the back country of Provence known mostly to the local bikers. Cant really recommend this route enough, it’s a really magic mix of smooth open country roads, typical old villages with a couple of really interesting stop off points if your into ancient castles and monestries. A welcome break from the coast with plenty of biker friendly places to eat and stay overnight.

Distance – 173km of easy riding

Monestries, Country Roads, Castles and Villages Route

I wish I had the time to do this route justice and describe it properly, but there is so much going on along this route it could easily take me a week to write about it all and I just dont have the time right now. All I can say now that it is well worth doing, great motorbike roads, little traffic or speed checks except near the villages. There are great views of vineyards, open countryside, basically the whole south of France package.

Every village along the route is worth a stop if you have the time, especially the Abbaye Le Thoronet, a former Cistercian abbey built in the late twelfth and early thirteenth century, now restored as a museum. It is one of the three Cistercian abbeys in Provence, along with the Sénanque Abbey and Silvacane, that together are known as “the Three Sisters of Provence” and is one of the first buildings in France to be classified an historical monument.

More info on Carcès
More info on Entrecasteaux
More info on Cotignac
More info on La Basilique de Saint Maximin la Sainte Baume (tomb of Mary Magdalene)

Abbaye Le Thoronet

Basilique de Saint Maximin la Sainte Baume

Plenty of open road between villages....

Biker friendly campsites along this route of the route;

Camping 06 – Alpes-Maritimes

Downloadable GPS Routes for this route are as follows;

Monestries_Castles_Villages_Route.gdb
Monestries_Castles_Villages_Route.gpx
Monestries_Castles_Villages_Route.kml

Coming soonTouring the French and Spanish Pyrenees

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Provence – Valbonne to the Hops Store Irish Pub in Antibes via some belting roads you might recognise from James Bond films..

Route description – Starting in Valbonne just north of Antibes through Gourdon, Plateau de Caussol, Gréolières Les Neiges, Greolières, Gorges du Loup and Biot, finishing up with a couple of frosty pints in the Hops Store Irish pub in Antibes.

Distance
– 116km

Valbonne to Antibes via semi-famous roads

Starting in Valbonne, a non-typical provencial village dating from the 12th century, non typical as it was one of the 1st villages/towns ever built on a grid system head inland towards Opio to Gordon.

Valbonne Friday Market

As well as Valbonne who’s Cafe des Arcades was used in the fight scene of “French Kiss” , Gourdon is worth a look and more typical of the perched villages sitting on a cliff top and gives access to a couple of cop and traffic free sweeping roads.

Gourdon view from the D3

Gourdon is one of the most picturesque of all the perched villages, and one of the most touristic. It’s rated as one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France, and well deserves the title. The village is full of little boutiques with perfume products, a glass blower who creates intricate masterpieces and an early-17th-century fortress.

Gourdon Village

The château originated as a Saracen fortress in the 9th-12th centuries that evolved into a 13th-century château, and was completely rebuilt in 1610. The beautiful lavoir, just down from the château, is from the 19th century.

Gordon Castle from the D12

If you still have the better half clinging to the pillion seat this is a good spot to gain some “good will” points, the perfumerie here is one of the best in the world and very fairly priced, and of course easy to pack under the saddle!

Plateau de Caussols

Hang a left entering Gourdon up through Plateau de Caussol, about half way along the plateau it’s possible to take a right up to Observatoire du CERGA with its weird laser telescopes.

Plateau de Caussols and Observatory

Continuing on the D5 take a right on the junction of the D5 and the D2, D2 being is a long smooth usually empty road, great for opening up a throttle. This road was used in car chase scene’s in a couple of Bond films as well as the chase scene in “Ronan”.

D802 to Gréolières Les Neiges ski station

About 4 km down this road you can hang a left up towards the ski station of Gréolières Les Neiges, another belter of a road used in “Ronan car chase” and 007 films, keep an eye out to the left near the top as there is a view point with bloody stunning views of the Alps to the north. There is a cafe/restaurante at the ski station open all year.

View of Alps near Gréolières Les Neiges ski station

Heading back down and on towards Greoliere there is another stunning stretch of Hollywood road, featured in many films going back to the 1970’s it cuts through rock and cliff winding down towards the medieval village of Greoliere.

D2 heading towards Gréolières village

Just before the village you will see even older ruins of the origional village and castle destroyed by an earthquake some time in the distant past and is well worth a stop for a sniff around and take in the view, if your in luck the old church will be open.

Old part of Gréolières village

From here down to the valley floor the road is a fast sweeper but has a couple of hairy turns that can hurt if you dont stay awake.

The magic D2 just west of Gréolières

Keep right, take the 2nd exit at the roundabout/direction Gourdon D3, then keeping left at the next junction onto the D6 will bring you into Gorges du Loup with it’s stunning casscading waterfall. The old bridge spanning the gorge there is a good spot to take in the view.

Gorge du Loup waterfall

If you take the time to stop for a look you will see near the top behind the waterfall a path cut into the rock, ancient remains of an old Roman path through these mountains used to get their troops in to kick out the Celtic tribes. Down the road again in Bar-Sur-Loup, you’ll see the remains of the old railway bridge that got blown to shit by a bunch of rowdy German tourists in 1944 before they jumped back on the cheese trail to Normandy to help their mates who were having an argument with some American and British lads!

Antibes

From here on down to Antibes it’s back to the traffic again, but there is the little village of Biot on the way which is also worth a stop to shift around a bit. In Antibes there are a couple of good bars and hotels, The Hops Store being my favorite watering hole even though they barred me last time I was in for refusing to take off my baseball hat of all things!!! Many French bars and restaurants will ask you to remove your hat after 10pm, God knows why, obviously some cultural thing or they’re afraid you’ll make off with their cheese hidden under your hat!

 

Biker friendly campsites along this route of the route;

Camping 06 – Alpes-Maritimes

Hôtel des Armoiries – Valbonne

Downloadable GPS Routes for this route are as follows;

Valbonne 007 roads Antibes.gdb
Valbonne 007 roads Antibes.gpx
Valbonne 007 roads Antibes.kml

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