Europe trip summer 2014

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by Kenbike, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. Kenbike

    Kenbike Been here awhile

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    My wife and I are researching a 10 day trip to Europe next summer. Trying to decide if a tour vis Edelwiess "Best of Europe" make sense or could we save a lot of money and rent a bike and plan our own trip.
    Their is 7 days riding includes two meals, lodging,bike rental, insurance, tour guide, and chase van for hauling luggage. Sounds pretty easy and we do not speak German, French so the guide sounds helpful. It will be $8000 for both of us and wanted to research some options. Has any one taken one of Edelwiess tours and can offer feedback on the tour?
    Or if you have traveled on your own by renting a bike how did it work out?
    We traveled to Ireland 5 years ago and used Rick Steve's book for rooms and places to visit and was very happy with our trip. Being on a bike will make it more of an adventure so we are really excited about a trip next year.
    #1
  2. Roadscum

    Roadscum Long timer

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    In 2007 I toured with Beachs, wonderful experience and I now keep a bike in Europe for summer get-a-ways to the Alps.

    I chose Beachs over Eidelweiss because it is a mom and pop operation owned and operated by an American family for 42 years! The owner, Rob Beach is along on every tour and will do what ever it takes to make the experience special.

    The advantage of a tour group is they make all the arrangement, carry the luggauge, maintain the bike, and are available to help you taylor the experience to suit your need. I'd recommend tour to get the most out of the experience if you have a limited schedule.

    Take alook here:
    http://www.bmca.com/

    Paul
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  3. staudio

    staudio Time for a ride...

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  4. KarlC

    KarlC Beemers and Huskys

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    I have toured extensively around France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Poland.

    I personally loath organised tours, much more fun to hook up with like minded folk and wing it.

    10 days isnt a long time it will limit your mileage. However, with some good planning there are loads of good places, roads etc. I would encourage you to use a phrase book. If I have one tip it is to attempt the local language; you will be warmly welcomed and your errors will be a source of amusement.

    The biking fraternity is strong in EU land and if you get stranded you will get help from another biker.

    IM me if you need more

    Karl
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  5. KarlC

    KarlC Beemers and Huskys

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    Me and Mrs C are planing to visit Auschwitz in 2014 probably Aug some time if anyone from all parts USA want to hook up.

    I've been before but MRs C hasnt.
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  6. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

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    Does the $8000 include bikes for both of you?'
    It's still over $1000/day, but I guess you're paying for the convenience.
    I didn't worry much about my foreign language skills, I wasn't there to talk to folks:D
    Jim
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  7. gbtw

    gbtw Been here awhile

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    That is quite a bit of money but it is not surprising. Good hotel can set you back good few hundred, petrol for a day and meal as well. Then consider the fact they have to insure the bike for people who might have gotten their licence with a loaf of bread :). You can do a 3 week trip in Europe for less than 2500 euro's. But i had it easy, i already had the bike ;), already had the euros.

    Do not worry about not speaking any of the native languages. Only very rarely you find a stubborn person who will not attempt to communicate with you.
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  8. Tomy1971

    Tomy1971 Adventurer

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    I am not sure if I get the point of the posting.
    Is the main question whether to do a guided tour or to plan the trip by yourself?
    Or is the main question if Edelweiss is a good choice?
    Or is the main question does the “Best of Europe”-Tour work?


    Let me start with the last question. Well, I understand the idea behind the tour. From a driving skill perspective they start with some easy days which give you the chance to get used to the bike before they head to the Alps and they try to show you a variety of countries, landscapes and small towns. All named cities/areas are worth a visit. But, if your focus is on driving fun and twisted roads I would recommend a tour that is focused more on the Alps.




    Is Edelweiss a good choice?
    To be honest I do not know but they are one of the big player in the market therefore I would expect that they are OK.


    Guided tour or plan by yourself
    To be honest my first thought was: "That is crazy expensive". I am absolutely convinced that you can get the same with less then half of the money if you plan by yourself. But that is only half of the truth. If you choose a guided tour you pay mostly for convenience. I suppose you can expect that really everything is well organised and the only two things you have to do is to drive and to have fun. If money is no objective a guided tour is for sure the easiest way to do the trip.
    If money counts and you would not mind to do a little planing by yourself I think that it is possible to organise the trip by yourself.

    • The Alps are one of the motorcycle areas in Europe. You can find plenty of tours and and tour reports in the internet.
    • There are hotels in every village. I should be no problem to find a bed that meets your needs
    • You should not worry too much about the language. Almost everybody – except elderly people – speaks at least a little English.
    Since I do not know you and do not know how much comfort or how much adventure you like/need it is impossible to give you an advice regarding this topic.
    #8
  9. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Jumping in a bit late to this thread.

    If you want the convenience and security, either Edelweiss or Beach (I think that I'd go with Beach) will give you an excellent experience.

    If you're a bit more adventurous - and I do mean "a bit" - this isn't Mongolia that we're talking about - it's Western Europe. Unless you're Asian, this is where your cultural ties come from.

    Also - the area that you will be riding in is geared to tourism. It's what they do. The average waiter will speak 5 languages, and you can bet your butt that English will be one of them.

    That being said, a few phrases in the local language (no matter how badly butchered) will get you much further than you would expect (Parisian waiters notwithstanding :wink:).

    I've done 10 solo trips so far, and my daily expenses (Food, fuel & lodging) run about $150/day (I like to sleep comfortably) - add about $50 to that for a second person sharing a room - so $200/day. My lodging bill for last July was $1,500 for 21 nights. If I had a passenger, it would have been a bit over $2K.

    A large (R1200GS or equivalent) bike will run about $200/day.

    We're at $400/day.

    Let's bump that budget number to $500/day to allow for an even nicer hotel and fancier meals. At $500/day, your $8K budget will give you 16 days vs the 7 days on tour.

    Pick up a copy of John Hermann's book "Motorcycle Journeys Through The Alps...". His 5th edition is coming out very soon, if not already out, and is available from Whitehorse Gear in New Hampshire or Amazon.

    Also - drop over to the Alpine Roads website & forum. There's a lot of focused info there.
    #9
  10. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

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    "A large (R1200GS or equivalent) bike will run about $200/day."

    I'd have said $150 or so but perhaps a late model will run more.
    Zimmer frei's from 20-40 euros, but I suppose the better hotels ran more.
    Not considering bike rental, I spent less than $100 (not euro's)/day.
    But I was going solo; better to spend what's needed to keep everyone happy.
    Jim
    #10
  11. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    I was quoting Moto Mader's price for a new GS - they will be on the high side, but are an established dealer with a sterling reputation.

    Regarding hotel costs, I was making the assumption that anyone considering springing big bucks for a tour would be looking for comfy locations at the end of the day.

    Open offer - pick up my airfare and bike rental and I'll show you roads and scenery that will unhinge your jaw and make your teeth hurt. :wink:

    I'm fully retired and have nothing, if not time :D
    #11