A group of bikers in the Dolomites, taking a break by a lake on our motorcycle tour of the Dolomites in the Alps with rented motorccles

Best time of year for riding in the Alps

The Italian Alps are on the wish list of most bikers, for their challenging hairpins, like the Stelvio or Gavia, their breath-taking panoramic views and for most, a complete change of scenery!  You won’t find everywhere in Europe 1200 km of mountains, covering no less than 207,000 square kilometres, at a height of 4800 m!  It’s enough to test the skills of the hardiest biker! Sadly, most passes aren’t always accessible, the Alps on a motorbike are pretty much seasonal.

We quite often have requests to ride them all year round. A lot of people from abroad don’t realise that because of their height, there is snow on the ground most of the year, causing a lot of passes to be closed.  Great if you want to ski, not so great if you’re trying to stay sunny side up!

Bikers enjoying a hairpin in the Alps on one of our motorcycle tour in the AlpsFor a lot of the passes, the best time to go is between July and September, and even then, there are no guarantees you won’t find snow, like we did a couple of years ago on the 1st of July!!

At the time, we used to spend the first night of our short Stelvio tour in a hotel at the top of the pass, but changed it after this experience, because waking up with 30 cm of snow was certainly a shock, while in the south, temperatures were over 30°C!

It was however a very special moment for our Taiwanese customers, with whom we had the pleasure and honour to introduce to snow for the very first time in their lives.  What is certain, is that it spiced up their Italian motorcycle experience and they loved it!

At least they are much better organised high up, so the snow ploughs were working early, so much so that by 10am they were clear and we were able to carry on with our travels.  The scenery was of course amazing!

When the weather is with you, the roads and the views make it definitely all worth it.  Ticking off those passes off your bucket list, sampling divine local and traditional Italian food and wine, relaxing by a deep emerald lake, and why not even go and see the Moto Guzzi museum in Mandello del Lario at the bottom of the Splügen pass!

If you must ride the Alps outside of those magical 3 months, there are areas which are still accessible, like the Dolomites.  At only 3300 m of altitude, the weather is usually kinder for a bit longer.  You’ll have the advantage too of finding pine forests and numerous lakes, for those all important snaps of your bike, in completely different environments!  It’s definitely a change of scenery! Biker's salute at the bottom of the Stelvio pass on our motorcycle tour of the Alps

So if you’re still deciding where to take your motorcycle (or renting one) this year and you fancy having a go, we offer 3 tours for your enjoyment: the guided Top Class tour of the Alps, northern lakes and Dolomites over 13 days, the Classic Italy motorcycle tour of the Dolomites over 8 days, either guided or self-guided, or the shorter tour of the Classic Italy motorcycle tour of the Stelvio (and other passes) over 4 days.  Go on, treat yourself!