The Alpine South Tour 2012
Friday, September 7th - Saturday, September 15th
9 days, 6 countries, the Pyrenees, Alpine passes, ancient cities, the Millau Bridge, Stelvio, Mont Ventoux, Tour de France special stages, Ducati testing grounds and the old Grand Prix circuit at Reims. This is an adventure most people only dream about and it’s limited to just 18 cars.
If you thought adrenalin and relaxation were mutually exclusive, think again. This trip has something for everyone. Amazing drivers’ roads contrast with relaxing hotels and beautiful scenery. You’ll be supported by tour managers who lead and chase the group and you’ll be able to relax and relive the days’ events at dinner in the company of other equally enthralled petrolheads. This trip is aimed as much at couples looking to enjoy the trip as it is for the dedicated driver. There’s no pressure on you: drive at your own pace either behind the tour leader or hang back with the chase car. It’s our job to help you make the most of this trip.
New for 2012 we’ve included the loan of one of our Tom Toms with all the routes pre-loaded in addition to the use of our licensed walkie talkies, so getting lost and missing the best roads is simply not an option.
_1170420 by Petrolhead Nirvana.com, on Flickr
Day 1 - Friday
Portsmouth - Bilbao
Meeting at the ferry terminal we get an opportunity to relax and cruise down to Spain whilst getting to know each other and enjoying the excellent on-board facilities.
Day 2 - Saturday
Bilbao - Jaca - 170 Miles
Driving off the boat we regroup in the car park. We head across into northern Spain and into the Pyrenean foothills for our overnight stop in the vicinity of the charming old Spanish town of Jaca. A late dinner awaits, as is usual in Spain. This is a perfect prelude for the fun to come.
_1160402 by Petrolhead Nirvana.com, on Flickr
Day 3 - Sunday
Jaca - Carcasonne - 280 Miles
After the first of our daily drivers briefings, there’s a spirited start to the day with a drive up and over the picturesque and largely deserted Pyrenees, crossing two Pyrenean national parks on our way to the stunning medieval city of Carcassonne. Our hotel (with swimming pool) is just 100 yards from the walled city and there’ll be plenty of time to explore it before we have dinner in a private dining room at our hotel.
_1170584 by Petrolhead Nirvana.com, on Flickr
Day 4 - Monday
Carcasonne - Carpentras - 260 Miles
Another fun-filled day of driving through the challenging and picturesque French back roads with the added bonus of a trip to the stunning Millau Bridge, the Norman Foster designed jewel in the crown of French road building.
Day 5 - Tuesday
Carpentras to Val D'Isere - 270 Miles
An (optional) early start for a dawn raid on one of our favourite drivers’ roads, Mont Ventoux is a special stage of the Tour De France. A sinuous piece of tarmac with razor sharp hairpins and short hard straights leading up to a summit with a simply breathtaking view. We may even have time to do the ascent more than once and believe us when we tell you, it is well worthwhile. After breakfast we head across the national park to the Col Du Galibier (2645m) before ascending the second highest paved mountain road in Europe, the Col De L'Iseran (2770m) and then descending into the ski resort of Val D'Isere for our overnight stay.
Petrolhead Nirvana Alpine North Tour 2011 by Petrolhead Nirvana.com, on Flickr
Day 6 - Wednesday
Val D'Isere to Furka - 240 Miles
The passes and countries come thick and fast for the next few days. We leave Val D’Isere and head out of France and into Italy briefly, courtesy of the Petit St Bernard, then use the Grand St Bernard to take us to Switzerland. That might be enough fun for some but we’re here to make the most of our time, so we head across the valley, past Sion and round off the day with a fantastic trio of passes: Nufenen, St Gotthard and finally the Furka pass, where we give our cars a well earned rest.
_1160374 by Petrolhead Nirvana.com, on Flickr
Day 7 - Thursday
Furka - Stelvio - 265 Miles
As if day 6 wasn’t enough, we raise the bar yet again with Grimsel warming up the cars before we continue in earnest, dispatching Susten, San Bernadino and the Julier pass. We pause for breath as we pass by St Moritz and admiring the beautiful Lake Livigno before taking on the Umbrail pass and ending the day with Stelvio. You’ll have plenty of time to make the most of the view: we’re staying right at the top.
DSC_0314 2 by Petrolhead Nirvana.com, on Flickr
Day 8 - Friday
Stelvio to Offenburg - 296 Miles
Leaving Stelvio, we take the route that Top Gear described as the best driving road in the world. Stelvio is one part of it, but in reality it’s the Fluelapass toward Davos that got their attention and we’ll show you why. With that we head North and exit Switzerland but that’s not the end of the fun - far from it. It’s time to hit the Black Forest and a different style of fun roads, with long sweeping bends and smooth straights which will keep that smile firmly on your face. Finally, we draw into Offenburg and our last hotel.
_1160308 by Petrolhead Nirvana.com, on Flickr
Day 9 - Saturday
Offenberg to Calais - 404 miles
The last day of the trip and the homeward leg, but we’ve saved a bit of fun for the last day: a trip to the old Grand Prix circuit at Reims. For so long this historic circuit and its outbuildings were in ruins. Now, however, they are being brought back to life. We have time to stop for a photo opportunity and a quick blast down the old straight to get a sense of what it was like all those years ago. Then we head to Calais and a sad farewell to your fellow tourers and new found friends.
One-way ferry (including twin berth outside cabins with windows) - Portsmouth to Bilbao.
One way Eurotunnel crossing - Calais to Folkestone.
7 nights hotel accommodation with breakfast and dinner included.
Two experienced tour managers in two cars to lead and chase.
Loan of Tom Tom with all routes pre-loaded.
Loan of powerful licensed walkie talkies.
Drivers packs with route notes, maps and useful information.
What’s not included:
Lunch, food on the ferry, drinks, tolls, fuel, personal expenses.
European breakdown cover (this is a requirement on all tours).
The price is £1499 per person (based on two people sharing a car and a twin or double room).
A £50 discount applies if you book before Christmas 2011, making the price £1449 per person.
There is also a solo driver option (sharing a twin/double room) priced at £1699 per person which, with the £50 discount, comes down to £1649 for bookings made before Christmas 2011.
The booking deposit is £500 per person.
If you would like to book, please call the guys at Petrolhead Nirvana on 0845 838 7363.
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