|Embrun - Colle Delle Finestre||254km|
|126km off-road||June / September|
Quick GLR 30 overview
The GLR 30 motorcycle adventure route leads you for over 254 kilometers through the Province of Turin in Italy and the department of Haute-Alpes in Eastern-France. 126 of those kilometers will traverse over off-road sections. If the going gets tough, The Back-up Tracks will support you with 7 different sections. With a total of 5 connecting GLRs to this GLR 30, you’re able to continue to Adventurise the region. Let’s get going!
GLR 30 Route info
Ready for one of the most scenic routes in the High Alps? The GLR 30 explores the mountainous border between France and Italy. Starting near the great lake of Serre Ponçon, your journey heads up north. This adventure route is characterized by its long off-road sections, mostly mountain passes or old military roads. Don’t be surprised to discover some old fortifications, because the region knows a rich military history which dates back to medieval times!
After just a little less than 10 kilometers after your departure, you find yourself at the start of the first off-road section. This 23.5-kilometer-long road leads further up north. But all that goes up must come down.
You follow the paved road down the mountain into the valley. An on-road section guides you to Pré Madame Carle. This refuge is the perfect place to park the bike for a few hours and explore the “white” and “ black” Glaciers at a little less than an hour of walking.
After your short break, you continue your journey towards the Italian Border. Just before the border, you hit the dirt a few times. Make sure you fuel up before crossing the border because petrol is getting more expensive in Italy!
You’ve now crossed the border and you find yourself in the capital of off-road adventure riding called Bardonecchia. Here you ride up the one-way road to the plateau of Col del Sommeiller. This famous road is only accessible for the warm summer months. Don’t expect an easy ride, because the last few kilometers are hard but well worth it!
Back into Bardonecchia, you head out to explore Forte Jafferau. This fortification is a well-known destination for adventure riders in the area. Not only the views are amazing, but the road up the mountain is also challenging and rewarding at the same time.
At last, you cross the valley to explore maybe the most famous road in the region called Strada dell’Assietta. This 35-kilometer old military road is open for traffic on Wednesdays and Saturdays only, but is worth waiting for!
At the end of the Strada dell’Assietta, you end your GLR 30 journey at the top of Colle Delle Finestre. From here you can continue your journey with three different GLR. For more info about the connecting GLRs, look down below!
GLR 30 Region
With the GLR 30, you’re exploring the High Alpine border region between France and Italy. You’ll adventurise the department of Hautes-Alpes. After hopping the border into Italy, you’ll explore the Metropolitan of Turin, situated in the province of Piedmont. Don’t wait and read all about the region down below!
Hautes-Alpes is, as its neighboring department, a dream for every adventuriser! With an average elevation of 1000 meters and peaks over 4000m, it’s a mountainous dream for most of us! With an overall low population, concentrated in the bigger cities, you can be on your own quite often. Hautes-Alpes knows three main cities, namely Gap Briançon and Embrun. The latter functions as a connection hub for the GLR 7, 8 and GLR 30.
A fun historical fact about the region is that Napoleon passed through Gap when he returned after being exiled on Elba. After his defeat at Waterloo, the region was occupied by Austrian and Piedmontese (Italian) troops from 1815 to 1818. The Italians would return in the second World War. They occupied the region from the winter of 1942 to the end of summer in 1943. Remanence of this militarization is still visible in the form of fortifications and ruins.
Due to its mountainous nature, the region knows some extreme weather. The summers won’t last as long as in its neighboring Mediterranean regions. The first snow can be seen in October, especially on the high mountain passes. Therefore it’s advisable to check the weather before you head out on any of the GLRs in the region. Especially when you want to adventurise them outside the recommended period.
Metropolitan of Turin
The name for this northwestern region of Italy comes from the old Latin and means “ at the foot of the mountains”, and at the foot of the mountains, it is indeed. Almost 45% of the region is mountainous, with the remaining 30% are hills and 25% are plains. Piedmont is the second largest region of Italy, after Sicily.
The region consists of 8 different provinces namely: Cuneo, Turin, Asti, Alessandria, Vercelli, Biella, Novara, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola. Each province has its very distinctive landmarks. Cuneo and Turin are known for their rugged peaks to the west and the plains to the east. As for Vercelli and Novara for its damp rice paddies.
One of the most remarkable features of Piedmont is that it has almost 60 different national parks. With almost 8% of its entire area marked as a protected area, you would think it’s hard to find sufficient routes to Adventurise. Indeed it is, but Piedmont also houses many of the famous roads among the adventure riding community!
The climate of Piedmont differs as extreme as its geological features. The mountainous area in the west knows an alpine climate where snow can be found at altitude until late in summer. The plains to the east are known for their intense heat in summer and milder temperatures in winter. While Adventurising this region, it’s highly recommended to respect the recommended period given for each GLR. Many of the off-road sections are blocked in winter.
Adventurising isn’t only about getting as fast from A to B! A Region has so much more to offer! That’s why I give you some suggestions about things to do while Adventurising the GLR 30.
Col del Sommeiller
Forte delle Finestre
Right at the highest point of the Colle Delle Finestre, the ruins of a fortress bearing the same can be found. This fortress has been in use until 1928. Nowadays it’s a nice sight to explore after ascending the mountain pass.
This 34 kilometers long old military road is also amongst the famous must-have done of the High Alps. The road is almost all above the 2000m altitude mark. Traffic on this road is only limited to Wednesday and Saturday between 9:00 and 17:00!
This valley is famous for its natural beauty! Some of the main highlights are the Glacier Blanc and Glacier Noir. Two glaciers in this valley which you still can visit on foot! You can park your bike at Pre Madame Carle.
Thank you for downloading the GLR 30! Good luck with Adventurising Europe. Speaking of Adventurising Europe, to keep the project going and free, we’re relying on a mix of sponsored advertisements and Adventuriser donations. Do you like what we’re doing and you want to support the project? Please consider a donation. You can read more about donations and support here.
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Continue your GLR 30 Adventure by connecting different GLRs. To make your life even simpler, I’ve put together all the options down below!
Connections in Embrun
You’ve ended up in the middle of the French High Alps, and you’re looking for a GLR to continue your motorcycle adventure? Great, because I have two amazing routes for you!
First, take the GLR 7 west into the pre-Alps. This 416-kilometer long route explores the relatively lower mountain range to the west of the High Alps. A great cooling down after one of the highest GLRs out there!
If you want to have more of the high altitude stuff, don’t hesitate and choose the GLR 8. This motorcycle adventure route guides you down south. This GLR explores the famous Tunnel du Parpaillon. With 108km in total length, this is a great choice to extend your adventure one more day!
Connections in Colle Delle Finestre
You’re at the top of one of Europe’s finest off-road destinations and now you’re looking for more? No problem, because at this intersection, I have three routes to choose from!
First, take the GLR 29 up north. This amazing and personal favorite route guides you across the border into France. With many more off-road sections at altitude, this 303-kilometer long GLR won’t let you down!
If you want to explore the lower plains near Turin, choose the GLR 31. This southern route to the east will guide you to lower land. Ideally for the colder spring and autumn season! With 342km in total length, you extend your adventure with a few more days!
Finally, take the famous GLR 9 down south. One of the most popular GLRs out there. This never-ending 742-kilometer long adventure route guides you across many famous sites located in the Ligurian Alps.
Exploring Europe through the eyes of an adventure rider. Making Europe a better place for adventure riders by creating the GLR Network.
As an Adventuriser you get access to our special Back-up Tracks for the GLR-network. These routes function as a back-up when the going gets tough. In the event you need to circumnavigate a piece of the original GLR, the Back-Up Track will lead you via paved road to the next section.
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