The Alps and the Dolomites are one of the most popular destinations for Polish motorcyclists. Places such as Grossglockner, Passo Dello Stelvio, or Passo di Gavia become very often the first destinations on the “must-see” list of people who start their adventure with motorcycle tourism. No wonder, because the views are breathtaking at every kilometer of the route, and countless corners pour honey on the hearts of lovers of two wheels. Therefore, we decided to prepare a kind of vademecum for those who want to go to these regions. We hope that our article Alps and Dolomites on a motorcycle – a plan of departure day after day – maps, route description, and tips will be a valuable source of information for beginners or for more experienced motorbikers.
Alps and Dolomites on a motorcycle – when, where and for how many days
We often forget that most of the alpine passes are inaccessible for motorbikes between October and May. Do not plan such a trip for a long weekend in May, because the trip may end before it starts, at the road closed due to snow. It is best to check the information on the websites, what are road conditions. The best time in our opinion is the end of August. Temperatures in the lower parts of the mountains oscillate around 20-25 degrees, although sometimes on the passes you can even find the snow and the temperature around 0 degrees. Despite the fact that this is the end of the holiday, you can still expect increased traffic of motorcyclists, cars, campers, as well as buses. The route proposed by us assume driving through 25 alpine passes in about 9-11 days. The first and the last of them are transit days. It is then approximately 800-900 kilometers to drive (counting from the southern borders of our country – Poland). For people coming from the northern part of Poland, we suggest alternative accommodation in the middle of the road, so as to cover these distances relatively comfortably, without too much fatigue. The whole route is about 3500-4000 kilometers.
Alps and Dolomites on a motorcycle – Accommodation in Austria and Italy
It is illegal to wild camp in both Austria and Italy. While in the first of these countries there are exceptions, namely to have a permit from the landowner, in the second country you should expect a fine, because wild camping is not welcome by the inhabitants and, most often, they themselves will politely report you to the authorities. If you are planning a trip in the high tourist season it is good to plan your accommodation in advance, often looking for them at the last minute may take you a lot of time. We give you suggestions of hotels and guest houses tested by us, perhaps you will use them. You will find them in the descriptions of individual days.
ALPS AND DOLOMITES ON A MOTORCYCLE – WHAT TO TAKE ON A TRIP?
Everyone is packing their own way and taking the things he thinks are useful. We have our subjective travel guide with a checklist because we often remind ourselves about toothbrushes 100 kilometers away from home. It’s good, if it’s just toothbrushes and not a credit card, because it happened to us as well. Remember about the EHIC card and assistance insurance, which is always worth buying before traveling abroad. As peoples are saying, prudent always insured, and the prices of repairs or towage abroad can sometimes make you dizzy…
Download our subjective checklist
Alps and Dolomites on a motorcycle – currency and finances
Both in Austria and Italy, the euro is the official currency. We personally use the Revolut card. About the pros and cons of using this card, we have written before and all the information you will find here. If someone asked us about the best payment method, Revolut would certainly be in the first place. Now, most importantly, how much money to spend on travel and how much cash to take with you? It is good to have about 300-400 EUR in cash with you. In 99% of cases, card payments are accepted, but sometimes in Italy, especially in the Dolomites, there are problems with it. When it comes to the total expense, the cost of such a trip can be closed in about 1500-1700 EUR for two people. Of course, you can go down with the costs, because the main components are accommodation and food, and on this always can be saved. While Austria shouldn’t surprise you with anything, in Italy it’s already different. Therefore, we recommend you our guide – Italy practically – you will find there information about prices, parking, refueling.
Alps and Dolomites on a motorcycle – maps and route description
Day 1 (Poland – Grossglockner)
The first day is dedicated to getting from Poland, through the Czech Republic, to the vicinity of the Austrian Grossglockner. It is about 700 kilometers. If you start from the Polish southern border at 7:00-8:00 AM, assuming that on average you will drive at speeds of about 110-120 km/h on motorways and take 10-minute breaks every hour, you should be around 8:00 PM on the spot. For those who want to spread the route into two parts, we recommend accommodation near Brno or Vienna, depending on how many kilometers you have to do. During one of our trips to the south, we made a stop in Vienna. You can find the plan for the 1-day tour here. If you don’t like walking around and seeing churches, we recommend that you just go to the Old Town, sit in the main square and eat a Sacher cake or the famous Wiener Schnitzel.
It’s worth knowing!
- In Austria, the motorcycle vignette is mandatory. Where to buy it and at what price you will find out here.
- In this article you will also learn about electronic vignettes, which are a great convenience.
- It is not permitted to use camcorders in Austria. It is best to simply remove them before crossing the border. Even if the camera is switched off, it is treated the same way as switched on. It is worth remembering, because a fine can be quite painful.
- You can download the map of the first day as a GPX file here.
Are you looking for a place to stay near Grossglockner?
We would be pleased if you could use our referral link to BOOKING.COM. You will appreciate the time we spend on running our blog and help us to expand it further. Below you will also find our suggestions for accommodation near Grossglockner.
Day 2 (through Grossglockner)
The second day offers great views and two beautiful routes – Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse and Pass Thurn. The most famous and one of the most beautiful and scenic routes is not necessary to introduce. And if so, the pictures in our previous articles here and here will show you that it’s worth it. There are about 250 kilometers to go.
It’s worth knowing!
- Please note that there is a fee for entry into the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse. You can find the price list in our article here. The price list is updated every year.
- We have heard that some hotels near the Grossglockner reimburse the cost of tickets if you buy a night’s lodging, a cool thing to do, although we never had the opportunity to check it out.
- We recommend Haus Maria in Bruck an der Grossglocknerstrasse, run by Polish hosts – motorcyclists. You will receive a 10% discount with MOTOTRASA password.
- And finally a link to our other article about the Grossglockner. You will learn something about Pasterze glacier, which literally disappears in our eyes and other pleasures that may meet you on the way. Enjoy your reading!
- You can download the map of the second day as a GPX file here.
Day 3 (Grossglockner – Bolzano)
On the third day, we recommend heading towards Bolzano, which we think is a great base for the next few days – not far from the Dolomites, Lake Garda, Passo di Gavia, and Passo Dello Stelvio. There are two routes to choose from. It is hard for us to say which one is more interesting and picturesque, certainly, both are worth considering.
ROUTE 1 – through Stalle Sattel, SH29 and SH163. You can also stop for a while in Gudon to visit Summersberg Castle. It is about 230 km to drive.
ROUTE 2 – leads us through the Passo di Monte Croce and Passo di Rolle. There are about 380 kilometers to go.
It’s worth knowing!
- Remember, Italy is a siesta! Prepare yourself something for the road, so as not to be surprised later that all shops and restaurants are closed until 19-20. About the siesta and other Italian “wonders”, we wrote in our article Italy practically.
- See also our article on traffic regulations. You can find it here.
- You can download the map with route 1 of the third day as a GPX file here.
- You can download a map with route 2 of the third day as a GPX file here.
Are you looking for a place to stay near Bolzano?
We would be pleased if you could use our referral link to BOOKING.COM. You will appreciate the time we spend on running our blog and help us to expand it further. Below you will also find our suggestions for accommodation near Bolzano.
Day 4 (Bolzano – Sella Ronda)
It is time for the beautiful Dolomites, wherein total we have to drive about 280 kilometers. Maybe not much, but there are hundreds of bends and 10 passes waiting for you, among which there are such gems as Passo di Giau, Passo Sella, Passo Gardena or Passo Pordoi. Those who have never been to the Dolomites will be delighted and enchanted – we guarantee it.
It’s worth knowing!
- Sella Ronda is one of the most popular and largest ski carousels. If you look at the map, all the ski lifts start at one point, which is Sella, that’s where the name comes from.
- The Dolomites are not only a favorite destination for skiers, but also for motorcyclists, especially Ducati lovers. Every Sunday in good weather, there are races on the alpine corners.
- We do not recommend going to the Dolomites in high season, also pay attention to the Italian holidays. Also, remember that most Italians start their holiday in early August. We write about it because instead of enjoying the ride, you will be irritated by the traffic jams.
- Currently, you can drive through the Dolomites for free, but there are rumors that it may end up. All because of the high pollution of the Dolomites, which are since 2009 on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
- Here you will find our article about the famous “Big Four” of the Dolomites: the Sella Pass, the Pordoi Pass, the Campolongo Pass, and the Gardena Pass.
- Here you will find photos and a description of the route on Passo di Giau, which in our opinion is like a cherry on the cake of the Dolomites. This is definitely, in our opinion, one of the most beautiful Dolomites pass.
- You can download the map from the fourth day as a GPX file here.