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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I have an opportunity to possibly take a two week vacation in Europe this summer. :hurray: It will be an organized motorcycle tour; you know fly in and ride.

We are fortunate to have done this twice before and loved it. My question concerns what type of winter you’re having. Here in the US we’ve had a mild winter with low snow fall amounts due to an Arctic Cap. At first I assumed it would be the same for Europe but I see on the news that you all have been getting blasted with snow (saw somebody had to dig out and up from their home in Romania :jawdrop:). I’m concerned about road closures in the higher elevations well into the early summer.

I’m looking at these three different trips. The first starts as early as May 29.
Czech Hungary Tour - Overview
These are some of the highlights: Riding in Austrian Alps, Balaton Lake, Budapest, Castles in Czech, Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Salzburg, Grossglockner pass.

The second starts on June 17.
Romania Bulgaria Adventure - Overview
Highlights include: Riding in Carpathian Mountains, Brashov, Sighisoara, Sibiu, Transfagarasan Road, Transalpina, Black Sea.

The third starts on June 13.
Western Alps Tour 2012 | RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel Magazine
The highlights include: Matterhorn (one of the most beautiful mountains in the world), Mont Blanc (highest of Europe), Cime de la Bonette (highest pass of the Alps), Grand Canyon de Verdun, Provence and Cote d’ Azur, Lake Maggiore, many other passes and attractions.

Any help / advice would be greatly appreciated. If it’s a bad year in these parts of Europe over these dates we’d just stay here and probably spend the time on our west coast. Who knows what the future holds but I don’t see us getting another chance to see Europe like this for a long time if ever. :thumbdown:
 

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Hi :)

I am writing here from Bulgaria.
Till now we had a long, cold and very snowy winter, but things are starting to look better now. I took my Wee out yesterday for the first time in four months.

About your first route I can only say that I myself am planing a trip to Budapest and around lake Balaton for the end of May. But I will not be going into the Alps. So currently no idea for the conditions there.

About the second trip - seems to be a fantastic route, but be prepared for some rough roads around Transfagarasan, Transalpina and in Bulgaria. I mean broken/missing asphalt and such. Transfagarasan itself is a beautiful pass but can have snow late into the summer. From what I have read the pass is open for like 2-3 months in the year, but since you are going organized there I suppose people who organize it had made sure is will be open at this time.
I went there on myself in August 2011, it was perfect for riding but still a little cold for this time of the year and A LOT of traffic, which I did not expect.
As for snow or closed roads in June in Bulgaria you don't have to worry.

For your third option I cannot give you any feedback, I have just been wishing I could find the time to go in that direction. Let's hope someone from those areas can help you there.

I don't know if that helped, but if there is something else, don't hesitate to ask :)
 

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Reply from Vienna

Hi Steve,

I'm writing from Vienna. I can't say anything about the 2nd trip as this will be done this year:mrgreen: But please read my comments to the other ones:

Czech Tour:
I wouldn't expect many snow at this time of the year. Only at higher altitutes at the Tantras it could snow - but that would be bad luck and won't last very long. BUT: take long underwear with you. Even in July 2010 when I did a trip during heavy raining it was very cold and freezing - also down in the Valley.

Alps:
There, snow is definitely a topic! Some passes will open first beg/June and within the Alpes snow is possible THE WHOLE YEAR - even in August we had snow above 1500m! So also take your underwear/warm clothes with you;-) And ask for grip warmers for your bike - no kidding!

The trip is grandious - you'll love it. Phantastic landscape, great roads, lots of famous places/names and good food and wine (only at the evening and in small doses;-)

Additionally I'd like to highlight what the trip guide mentioned: this tour is definitely not for beginners. The curves and switchbacks are really demanding and need an experienced driver. The avarage distance of 250 km seems to be little but this also means approx. 5 h intense driving - in general no highways only curves, curves, switchbacks, curves, swi....

Enjoy it:mrgreen:

KR,
M
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you MeocX and Widus for responding, it really helps. I'll try to answer just a few things. I know how to show the quote but not how to put the poster in there with it, forgive me.

I took my Wee out yesterday for the first time in four months.
I bet that felt really good!

be prepared for some rough roads around Transfagarasan, Transalpina and in Bulgaria. I mean broken/missing asphalt and such. Transfagarasan itself is a beautiful pass but can have snow late into the summer. From what I have read the pass is open for like 2-3 months in the year, but since you are going organized there I suppose people who organize it had made sure is will be open at this time.
Good to hear about the road conditions. Obviously nobody can predict the weather but the tour companies try to pick the best times, still its a crap shoot.

Czech Tour:
I wouldn't expect many snow at this time of the year. Only at higher altitutes at the Tantras it could snow - but that would be bad luck and won't last very long. BUT: take long underwear with you. Even in July 2010 when I did a trip during heavy raining it was very cold and freezing - also down in the Valley.
This is probably my first choice of the trips. In 2008 we did a 9 day tour through the German, Austrian, Slovenia, Italian and Swiss Alps areas. It was great. We have some pretty comfortable gear that with just a layer or two will handle most conditions.

Alps:
There, snow is definitely a topic! Some passes will open first beg/June and within the Alpes snow is possible THE WHOLE YEAR - even in August we had snow above 1500m!
I guess this my ultimate question. In the Rockies we have some passes that are only open a couple of months a year (Going to the Sun road in the Glacier National Park comes to mind) and can snow anytime. I guess what I was hoping for was something like, We've had a lot of snow and the passes will be opening later than usual this year or, Yeah, we've had a lot of snow but it shouldn't be a big problem.

this tour is definitely not for beginners. The curves and switchbacks are really demanding and need an experienced driver.
Luckily the wife is a great passenger and makes it as easy as it could be. I'm not perfect and you won't mistake me for Casey Stoner but we usually end up toward the front in most groups even if they're riding just one up.
 
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