Europe has no shortage of stunning roads and awesome off-road trails all the way from Spain to Norway and from Portugal to Romania. And although the continent is busy and crowded, few places in Europe retain the feeling of being remote, far-flung, and rarely visited by mainstream travelers and riders. If you’re looking for a solitary moto escape in Europe, here are three stunning destinations offering solitude and quiet:
Orkney Islands, Scotland
Not exactly a motorcycling paradise, but a place so magical it has its own unique draw, the Orkney Islands are an ideal escape. An archipelago of seventy islands, two-thirds of which are uninhabited, Orkney has a sliver of the Scottish highlands, a dash of Nordic atmosphere owing to its Viking past, the highest concentration of Neolithic ruins on the entire continent, and a feel of some remote, solitary planet. Accessible via ferry from Aberdeen, Scrabster, or John O’Groats, Orkney is an awe-inspiring place to explore, especially if you take a small boat from Stromness to the Isle of Hoy and hike the island to see the Old Man of Hoy, a lone rock spire rising from the sea and appearing like a profile of an old sage gazing westward into the turbulent waters.
Sil Canyon, Galicia, Spain
Spain is one of the most popular motorcycling destinations in Europe, but its westernmost region of Galicia is usually overshadowed by Andalucian trails and the Pyrenees. If you venture West, however, be sure to visit Ourense and ride the Sil Canyon area near the Portuguese borders.
Carpathian Mountains, Ukraine
Slowly but surely, Ukraine is now becoming a hot off-road destination in Europe: as off-road riding is being restricted more and more severely in most of Western Europe, the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine still offer unlimited freedom to ride. If you’re not sure where to begin, check out the TET Ukraine page for off-road trails and GPX files.