• Distance:
  • 44.0km / 27.4 mi
  • Duration:
  • 45:01

The ride through the French and Italian Alps is spine-tingling with 40 hairpin turns over 27.5 miles (44 km) in 1 hour. This is one of the oldest and greatest motorcycle routes in Europe. The route takes you from Bourg-Saint- Maurice, France through the 'Col du Petit Saint-Bernard' (Little Saint Bernard Pass) to La Thuile, Italy. Watch out for other motorists and cyclists on this tight two-lane road which has low guardrails for the entire duration.

Start this great motorcycle road in Bourg-Saint-Maurice, France a small town of 8,000 located in Eastern France near the border to Italy. The town is part of the Paradiski ski-area in the Tarentaise Valley http://en.paradiski.com/. During the summer months the town is a haven for water-sports, paragliding, hiking and biking. Many motorcycle riders visit in summer to ride onto the D1090-SS26, which has 40 hairpin turns. For more information on what to see, where to eat, and where to sleep see: http://en.bourgsaintmaurice.com/.

From Bourg-Saint-Maurice to Col du Petit Saint-Bernard on the French and Italian border. Ride out from Bourg-Saint-Maurice East on D1090 towards Séez. Here is where the excitement begins! Séez sits at the base of the French Alps at 2,900 feet (884 metres). Ascend up 14 miles (22.5 km) of hairpin roads then ride Northeast for 5 miles (8 km) to a staggering 7,200 feet (2,195 metres) in Col du Petit Saint-Bernard. The D1090 Road is 'fermeture en hiver' (closed in winter) but that won't affect the summer motorcycle rider.

Col du Petit Saint-Bernard is located at the France & Italy border on top of the Alps. There are several historic sites to see here, and there will be cars lined up along the road to see them. The D1090 passes through a stone circle 236 feet (72 metres) in diameter dated back to 725 BC-450 BC, it's a possible ceremonial site of the Tarentaisianculture. Around the same time period, a Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter was erected along with a Roman mansion (stopping place), it's also thought that the Carthaginian General Hannibal used this route frequently. The place gets its name sake from Saint Bernard de Menthon who built a hospice in 923-1008 AD which still stands today, a statue of Saint Bernard also overlooks the pass. In more recent times the Col du Petit Saint-Bernard was featured in the Tour de France stages in 1949, 1959, 1963 and most recently in 2009.

From Col du Petit Saint-Bernard continue riding over the border where the D1090 transforms into the SS26 to La Thuile, Italy heading Northeast on SS26. This portion of the route is filled with more twisties and hairpins as you ride the final 8 miles (13 km) and descend down the Alps 7,200 to 3,300 feet (2,195 to 1,006 metres).

La Thuile is a small tourist town of 800 people located in Northwest Italy with a few shops, restaurants and hotels.

From Bourg-Saint-Maurice, France through the Col du Petit Saint-Bernard to La Thuile, Italy you'll find one of the best quickie motorcycle roads through the French and Italian Alps complete with spectacular views over 27.5 miles (44 km) in about 60 minutes. The gorgeous scenery alone is well worth the trip, it just happens to come with 40 exciting hairpin turns. Enjoy the ride! EatSleeepRIDE.

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