Where can I ride a mountain route in one weekend?
Answered by Simon Weir, Ride Magazine Travel Expert Spread the map of Europe out on the table and start measuring the distance to the Alps. From Calais to Annecy is more than 500 miles, for the Grossglockner or the Dolomites, you’re looking at more than 750 miles. But there are proper mountains much nearer. From the Eurotunnel to St Die des Vosges is a whisker under 350 miles. You could be there tomorrow. The Vosges sit on the west bank of the River Rhine, frowning across the watery border at Germany’s Black Forest. Like the Schwartzwald, the French mountains are high enough to have skiing in winter, their well-wooded slopes crisscrossed by a maze of superbly twisty roads. Unlike the German forest, the Vosges are relatively quiet – you’ll see plenty of bikes, but there’s markedly less traffic. The Vosges has proper passes, hairpins stacked on top of each other like the folded layers of pastry in the sweet local cakes.
But the really good bit? This is just the southern end of the Vosges. Head north keeping the Rhine on your right and the Vosges continue all the way to the quaint city of Sarreguemines – delivering mile after mile of superb riding. All within easy reach of Calais.
The French Vosges are just 350 miles from Calais