|Colle Delle Finestre - Colmars||742km|
|233km off-road||May / September|
Quick GLR 9 overview
The GLR 9 Motorcycle Adventure Route leads you for over 742 kilometers through the Alpes-Maritimes region of Southern-France, and the Liguria and Piedmont regions of North-Western Italy. 233 of those kilometers will traverse over off-road sections. If the going gets tough, The Back-up Tracks will support you with 9 different sections. With a total of 5 connecting GLRs to this GLR 9, you’re able to continue to Adventurise the region. Let’s get going!
GLR 9 Route info
You start your GLR 9 motorcycle adventure at the top of Colle Delle Finestre. Getting up there is already an achievement in itself! It gives you also the perfect overview of what you’re going to adventurise. From the start, you’re going to make your way down south. The first 60 kilometers are due to the local environmental laws on-road. After this first section, the off-road work begins!
You make use of old military roads to navigate yourself further down south. After an adventurous 300 kilometers, you’re about to hop over the French border the first time. At the Ligurian military road, you make a free detour in France.
Finally, after 475 kilometers you’re at the southernmost tip of this route near Monaco. You make a turn to the west into France. Here you enjoy your last piece of off-road on this route. You end your GLR 9 adventure with a 75 km long on-road section over an amazing piece of Alpine route.
Although the southernmost tip of this route is most of the year snow-free, the sections at altitude are not. I highly recommend sticking to the recommended period of May up until September to Adventurise this GLR. I’ve had problems with snowdrifts up until the end of June and early July!
GLR 9 Region
You’ll Adventurise with the GLR 1 three departments of south-east France. This route will cross Lozère for almost it’s entire width. Near the end, you’ll hop borders between Gard and Ardèche. Read all about the region down below!
Lozère is known to be the least populated department of France. With most of its population living in its prefecture Mende. The department was created during the French Revolution of 1790 from the former province of Languedoc. The geography of Lozère is diverse, with a total of four different mountain ranges covering the department.
In the north-west, you’ll find the plateau of Aubrac. In the north, north-east you find the granite Margeride mountains. Further to the south-west, the Causses are a series of limestone plateaus rise from the landscape. Finally, in the south-east, you’ll find the highest peak of Mont lozère at a total of 1,702 meters in the Cévennes.
A remarkable fact is that the region has one of the lowest rates of unemployment, caused by a long-standing tradition whereby the younger population emigrates to larger cities outside the department.
You start your GLR 1 adventure in Montfalgaux in the Lozère region. From here the route changes to off-road sections at a regular interval. In the middle of the route, a 58km long paved section will lead you passed some scenic landscapes.
Don’t be sad! The route will continue on the same interval of off-road section after this smaller on-road one. You’ll end your adventure in Barjac where you have more than enough choice to connect even more GLRs to your adventure!
Gard is located in the Occitanie region of Southern France. The department is named after the Gardon river. What makes the department worth visiting is its rich history. The Gard region was settled by the Romans back in classical times.
During the mid-1800s, the region became beneficiary of early railway development. The build of an important railway junction caused an increase in the local economy. Due to the growth in wealth and the arrival of influential people, several luxurious hotels were built.
Nowadays Gard is famous for its Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct across the Gardon River. Gards préfecture is Nîmes. Known for its well preserved Roman monuments like Maison Carée and the Arena of Nîmes.
Its second major city Alès functions as a gateway to Cévennes National Park in the west. In the south, the department borders to the Camargue Natural Park. Due to its geographic setting, Gard holds some records of the highest measured temperatures of France.
A fun fact of the region is that Gard is also the home of the source of Perrier. An internationally sold carbonated mineral water. Both the spring and facility are located near the commune of Vergèze.
The west of Imperia consists of a succession of hills and valleys running in the north-south direction. Peaks in the north exceed 1600 meters, with some just over the border into France above the 2000m mark. It’s this terrain that’s the dream for us as adventurers.
The border with France has seen numerous military activities in the past. Therefore, the region is crossed with old military roads! These roads are adventurous to travel by, sometimes even harder than regular off-road tracks. But be aware, the region is also known for its earthquakes. Roads can be blocked by large boulders and the local government can take its time to clean these.
Besides the geographical features of Imperia, it’s also known for its great climate. Often priced with the best climate of Italy, the province knows a Mediterranean climate. Like its counterparts on the French border, Imperia knows more than 300 days of sun. Summers can be hot and dry. As for the mountainous part of the province, it’s smart to keep a lookout for clouds. Thunderstorms are a regular phenomenon as the warm humid air collides with the colder Alpine winds.
The Alpes-Maritimes department receives about 300 days of sun per year. On the other side, it’s also known as the most stormy region of France. This region experiences about 70 to 110 thunderstorms per year! This is due to the differences in temperature of the sea in the south, regarding the colder mountains in the north. When you start to Adventurise this region, keep an eye out for those clouds!
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 9.
Massif de l’Authion
This spectacular road leads up the mountain to a series of fortifications in ruin. These have played significant roles in history, with its final defeat in the Second World War. The battle damage is still visible and free to be visited. The GLR 9 will lead you past these series of fortifications.
Ligurian Border Ridge Road
Most roads are free in the Alps and I’m a real adversary to keep it that way, but this old military road has become a must experience in the area! The GLR 9 will lead you past the start of this road.
Where the GLR provides you the free option to loop around, this road will cost some money. Be
advised, they only let a certain amount of riders pass the tollgate each day!
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!
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.
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Continue your GLR 9 Adventure by connecting different GLRs. To make your life even simpler, I’ve put together all the options down below!
Connections in Colle Delle Finestre
You’ve made it to the top of Colle Delle Finestre and now it’s time to continue your motorcycle Adventure. At the top of this beautiful mountain pass, you’ve got three GLRs to choose from! First, take the GLR 29 up north. This is one of my favorites to date. This 303-kilometer long route will lead you to one of the highest regions of Europe, with a clear view of the Mont Blanc. The highest peak in Europe. With 93 kilometers of off-road sections, this GLR won’t disappoint you!
Second, take the GLR 30 to the west. This GLR leads you over some of the most famous alpine roads like the Strada dell’Assietta and the highest mountain pass of Europe: Colle Delle Sommeiller. The in total 254-kilometer long GLR will navigate you for over 126 kilometers of off-road sections. That’s almost 50%! This is a must-do GLR in the region.
Lastly, take the GLR 31 if you want to navigate east via the Italian part of the Alps. This GLR will lead you to the lower plains around Turin. The GLR 31 sports for over 342 kilometers of directions. With most of these roads in and around habited valleys, only 62 kilometers are off-road sections of this GLR.
Connections in Colmars
You’ve ended the epic GLR in Colmars and you’re looking for more! Take the GLR 6 to the southwest if you want to continue your adventure eventually towards the Mediterranean coast. The GLR 6 navigates you for over 199 kilometers, of which 81 are off-road sections.
If you’re not yet ready to move away from the high alps, continue your adventure via the French side of the Alps with the GLR 8. With Tunnel du Parpaillon as the cherry on the cake this route sports 105 kilometers of which 33 km are off-road. Be aware, if you’re too early in the season, some passes will be closed due to snow.
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The GLR 31 motorcycle adventure route leads you for over 342 kilometers through the Turin, Vercelli, Biella and Verbano-Cusio-Ossola regions of north-western Italy. 62 of those kilometers will traverse over off-road sections. If the going gets tough, The Back-up Tracks will support you with 9 different sections. With a total of 5 connecting GLRs to this GLR 31, you’re able to continue to Adventurise the region. Let’s get going!
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!
The GLR 29 motorcycle adventure route leads you for over 303 kilometers through the Haute-Savoie and Savoie Departments of Eastern France and the Turin Province of Northern Italy. 93 of those kilometers will traverse over off-road sections. If the going gets tough, The Back-up Tracks will support you with 6 different sections. With a total of 7 connecting GLRs to this GLR 29, you’re able to continue to Adventurise the region. Let’s get going!