1.The Hansa Tour. Perhaps not as well known as they once were the Hansa was a loosely allied set of predominately German city-states run by merchants. At their peak the country—to use a clumsy term—stretched from London to Novograd. Although each city was in effect it’s own trading country that merely shared an army and foreign policy with other members of the Hanseatic League, cities like Hamburg, Riga and Lübeck all have common styles of architecture. Starting in Hamburg and hugging the Baltic coast visiting Lübeck, Danzig (now known by its Polish name G’dansk) and ending in Riga would make for an amazing ride.
- The Blue Danube. The longest river in Western Europe hardly needs an introduction. Arising in Germany’s Black Forest the river flows through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgarian, Romania and Ukraine, before emptying into the Black Sea via Romania’s Danube Delta. Continuously used by humans for some 5000 years, riding along the Danube gives one a chance to see the depth of central and eastern Europe’s history and how the cultures slowly morph into the next as the river continues its flow.
- Classic Tuscany. There’s not much to say other than ‘Tuscany’. The name alone conjures up images of rolling hills, breathtaking food, deletable wine, old villages and Roman marble mines. What is not to love? Unlike the other suggestions on this list, visiting Tuscany on motorbike doesn’t involve too much riding. .The entire region can be crossed in a couple of hours, but the joy of this trip is to savour every moment and sample all the amazing local foods and wines!
- Romania: Mountains and Sea. Romania is not the most popular tourist destination in Europe but in recent years its place has been rising. It’s true that Romania doesn’t have as many motorways as Western Europe, though with tremendous country road infrastructure getting round the country is an absolute breeze. For a proper visit one would need at least two weeks. The Carpathian Mountains divide the country leaving the traditionally Romanian regions of Moldavia and Walachia in the country’s northeast and southeast, respectively, and the other two-thirds of the country Transylvania, which were ethnic Romanian but had German cities and Hungarian nobles. And of course, this region is were Dracula comes from. Whether it’s sea or mountains one is after Romania doesn’t disappoint.
5. The South of Spain. Probably a best ride for spring or autumn. In summer the south of Spain can sizzle making a ride through the desert, mountains, and coasts of southern Spain almost unbearable. But earlier or later in the year the conditions are perfect to ride through and see Spain’s glorious history that was heavily influenced by Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In this region one could be forgiven for thinking themselves in North Africa and in fact so convincing is the architecture that some of the Cairo scenes of ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ were actually shot in Spain.