3 Must-See Motorcycle Routes in France

A trip to France can be a wonderful, edifying and undeniably romanic experience. After all, France has an extraordinarily varied climate, an abundance of stunning scenery, wonderful food prepared with passion, and of course a bouquet of wonderful cities. Lyon, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille and, of course, Paris offer a fantastic combination of culture, cuisine and couture. But perhaps some of the most memorable experiences you’ll enjoy in France are those you experience on the road.

Just a short Eurotunnel or ferry from the UK and the open roads, great wine and stunning scenery awaits.

So, after you’ve feasted your eyes on the Champs Elysee, The Eiffel Tower and the other confections that entice so many tourists every year, stow your luggage away with some convenient luggage storage in Paris and take to the road. Here, we’ll look at some devastatingly gorgeous routes that will help you fall in love with the country and your bike all over again, no matter how frequently you visit…

6/D40 Col du Béal 

Situated close to the Dore Valley, this stunning route is a great showcase for the little flourishes that tourists don’t often see that make up the real Paris. Ancient mills, abandoned houses, and a a blissfully quiet main road where the surrounding A72 and A75 autoroutes take away much of the traffic so you can really open up your throttle.

This easy, tranquil route gradually rises to an altitude of 1.390 meters and offers a stunning view of the Hautes Chaumes, open table-mountains lavished with green undergrowth.

6/D40 Col du Béal Image from Motorcycle-diaries.com
Image from Motorcycle-diaries.com

D978/678 – Parc des Volcans

A gentle route for riders of all levels with some stunning, undulating mountain scenery, the D978 and D678 a winding and pleasant 39 km ride that you’ll never forget through the stunning Parc des Volcans.

The iconic volcano range, the ‘Chaine-des-Puys’ has almost a hundred ‘domes’ running through the Massif central. If want to find somewhere to rest, the Puy-de-Dome will afford you the most breathtaking view you’ve ever seen while you chug your water and eat your sandwiches. 

If you feel like getting off your hog for a few hours there are also plenty of hiking trails and even some great fishing and canoeing spots. 

D978/678 - Parc des Volcans Image from Motorcycle-diaries.com
Image from Motorcycle-diaries.com

D902, The Col de l’Iseran 

Not one for the faint of heart, this final route is known as the King of the Alps, and for good reason! It is, in fact the highest paved mountain pass in the Alps, with a til of 2.764 m above the sea level.

This route is situated in the department of Savoie in France close to the Italian border, and part of the Graian Alps. It also links the valley of the Isère and the valley of the Arc River between the northern Val-d’Isère and the southern Bonneval-sur-Arc. The D902 road is one of the highest mountain passes in Europe… unfortunately, it’s also among the most poorly maintained. 

You’ll need to keep your wits about you as you navigate the holes and tears in the surface, especially in the occasionally low-visibility conditions. Fortunately, the views are so stunning and the roads are so tranquil that you’ll want to ease off the throttle and enjoy the view at a leisurely pace anyway. 

D902, The Col de l'Iseran Image from Motorcycle-diaries.com
Image from Motorcycle-diaries.com

I would love to hear about some of your favourite roads!

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on InstagramFacebookLinkedIn and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

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