Top 10 countries to discover on a motorcycle trip

Discovering a country by motorcycle offers extraordinary sensations. For two-wheeler enthusiasts, taking winding roads and crossing diverse landscapes is a special experience. The motorcycle allows us to take roads that are sometimes inaccessible to cars and offers a field of vision that allows us to make the most of the different elements that surround us. Between stopovers in towns and villages and escapades in the midst of surprising nature, many travellers let themselves be seduced by this way of travelling the world. And today, various agencies offer tours all over the world. Here are 10 destinations for a great motorcycle trip.

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Discovering Rajasthan, at the wheel of a beautiful engine

State of northwest India, Rajasthan fascinates by its landscapes and heritage. A motorbike trip allows you to discover exceptional architecture and to stop in typical villages, where the inhabitants offer a warm and generous welcome. During the trip, one has the opportunity to cross several rural valleys where people go about their daily chores. Then come the mountain roads and those of the Thar Desert where the stretches of sand seem never to end. This state is colourful and you must take the time to admire the details of the buildings during your urban escapades, which often reveal all the finesse of Indo-Muslim architecture. Bikaner reveals finely carved facades and Jaisalmer is full of alleys with small, eye-catching craft shops. And what about the historic sites that we have the opportunity to reach during the journey, from the Chand Baori step well to the sacred lake of Pushkar where many people come to pray, here in the heart of the holy city.

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Conquering Sri Lanka, between mountains and tropical forests

Located in the south of India, ancient Ceylon welcomes visitors in a green and exotic environment. Beyond its cultural diversity, Sri Lanka has much to offer, from jungles and rice fields to small seaside resorts where it is good to cool off. The center of the island is covered with tropical forests where it is good to stop to listen to the animal activity and why not, recognize the cries of some species. Then we take the road again towards the mountainous region of Ella which shelters tea plantations and where it is not uncommon to come across inhabitants on elephant back. Yala National Park is another stop to add to the trip. The second largest national park in the country, it is also home to a large number of mammals and reptiles and is also an important area for bird conservation. To end a day contemplating some incredible monuments and sites such as the Dambulla Rock Temple and the Polonnaruwa site, classified since 1982 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you get on your motorbike to reach the wild beaches of Kalpitiya for a swim at dusk.

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Travel through Peru for a dive into the South American atmosphere

Let's go to Peru and the treasures that the country shelters, symbol of the Inca civilization that has left many vestiges in the landscape. On your motorbike, you set off on an adventure, at high altitude, towards the Andes Cordillera. The landscapes to be crossed are varied and offer breathtaking panoramas. Huge, rugged and wild spaces give way to mountain lakes and lush, sacred valleys. We climb the passes until we reach more than 4,000 meters above sea level and discover sites of ancestral beauty such as Cuzco, the navel of the world. Gigantic statues, Inca temples and cobbled alleys. It is moreover an unavoidable stage with to go to Machu Picchu. Later, it is the Amazon and the singing of the insects before attacking the mountain and its snowy peaks that lead straight to Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America crossed by the border between Peru and Bolivia.

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Thailand, a country to be travelled from one end of the world to the other

In Thailand, you can take hundreds of bends for a dynamic motorcycle trip with the discovery of the north of the country and its secret roads. We start by letting ourselves be intoxicated by the urban atmosphere, starting from Bangkok or Chiang Mai. Here, it's a plunge into the heart of teeming cities where street stalls offer delicious food, appreciated around the world. We then take the road south to reach the most beautiful beaches in the country. They are the perfect place for those who wish to punctuate the time spent on a motorbike with swimming and relaxing sessions under a radiant sun. One does not miss to pass by the National Park of Khao Sok, which in addition to its dense jungle, shelters the artificial lake of Chiew Larn, from where astonishing karstic peaks emerge.

Those heading north are preparing to flirt with the mountains of the Golden Triangle and the Burmese border. There, small steep roads reveal picturesque villages. Then we follow the Mekong River and rice fields and fruit plantations appear. Lovers of beautiful monuments take care to stop at prestigious sites such as the White Temple and Wat Huai Pla Kung, as Thailand is home to some of the most beautiful temples in Asia.

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South Africa, a trip to the end of the world

At the beginning, we discover Cape Town, a formidable port city dominated by the Table Mountain and totally open to the ocean. Hard to find a better place to start. An adventure can take you to mountainous regions, up to 3,400 metres above sea level. From the summits, the landscapes offered are varied and of rare beauty. Travelling through South Africa also means venturing into arid steppe and savannah landscapes before reaching wetter areas for moments on beaches with crystal-clear water. We don't fail to pass through the mythical Cape of Good Hope on the Atlantic coast. From this internationally renowned region, a multitude of animal species are immersed in their daily lives. The highlight is certainly whale watching from the huge rocky cliffs. In fact, the entire country is home to a diverse fauna and flora. Its biodiversity is one of the most important on the planet. The urban breaks, on the other hand, allow you to stroll through neighbourhoods that are home to very good restaurants or museums and art galleries. Culture is indeed very present in a country with an eventful history. South Africa is definitely captivating and bewitching.

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The United States, heading for the mythical Route 66

It is no longer so well known around the world, but Route 66 is an ideal route for motorcycle travelers who want to discover the United States and many of its riches. For example, we leave Chicago to go south from Springfield. We stop at the RT 66 museum in Pontiac before heading for Saint-Louis, where we take the time to regain our strength around a barbecue. We then head to Tulsa and its magnificent Art Deco style, then Oklahoma City before spending a night, and why not a day in Santa Fe. One then realizes how unique and unusual this place is, due to its multicultural heritage with Amerindian, Mexican, Spanish, Western, modern American and artistic influences. Attached to his motorcycle, we then head quietly towards Petrified Forest National Park. This national park is beautiful, with red and orange hills on one side and fossilized trees dating back millions of years on the other. We are then in the heart of the great American open spaces. And after heading towards the Grand Canyon and its unique landscapes, we gladly stop in Las Vegas to enjoy the casinos, before taking a sunny spot in the mythical Los Angeles.

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Along the legendary Route 40 in Argentina

From Salta to San Carlo de Bariloche in the south of Argentina, this territory is a dream for lovers of motorcycles and wide open spaces. Once at the wheel in Salta, you will pass through a superb primary forest before enjoying wonderful views of the Quebrada de Humahuaca, an incredibly large canyon at an altitude of over 2,000 metres. Higher and higher, the mountain settles down towards San Antonio de los Cobres, including a passage through the Abra del Acay pass, which rises to 4,970 metres! Then it's time to go back down a little with the crossing of the Calchaquie valley and its amazing small traditional villages and the puzzling geological forms of Las Flechas. We then head towards the high peaks of the Cordillera, crossing the Cuesta de Miranda, a valley listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and crossing the Jachal Canyon that leads to the edge of the Cuesta del Viento lake, where the Colanguil glacier, which rises to 6,111 m, is reflected. Before arriving in San Carlo de Bariloche, other splendours await the riders: the surroundings of Mendoza where you can taste the best wines of Argentina, the Cordillera del Salado with its lakes, forests and volcanoes, and then the National Park of Lake Nahuel Huapi, where the landscapes display turquoise rivers and authentic chalets.

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On the tracks of the Transatlas in Morocco

Morocco is also a country with incredible environmental riches for a motorcycle trip. We go to Marrakesh and then take the direction of the Ouzoud waterfalls. We then head towards Lake Bin El Ouidane, where the contrast between the turquoise blue of the waters and the red of the land is almost unreal. We are then in the high plateaux of the Atlas, in the direction of the highest pass of Morocco, the Tizi Ouano. The landscape features wide meadows emblematic of high mountain pastures, where sheep and goats can be seen on their way to the Haut Dadès Canyon. Then comes the valley of a thousand Kasbahs, where you can spend the night in a hotel near Boumalne. We then set ourselves the goal of reaching Mount M'goun, at an altitude of 4,071 metres. Here, the great plateaus remind us of Mongolian landscapes. On more technical roads, we venture to the mountain pastures of Djibel Siroua and its meadows populated by herds. Once you have left Amassine and its rocky landscapes, you can treat yourself to a well-deserved stopover in the saffron capital, Taliouine. On the road that then leads to Marrakech for the return trip, we cross multiple landscapes, forests of holm oaks, citrus plantations or olive trees. In short, a motorcycle road trip in Morocco is the promise of discovering a country with a thousand facets and colours

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Island atmosphere in Italy on the roads to Sardinia

A motorcycle road trip on an island has something special about it and Sardinia welcomes all those who are crazy about two-wheelers. Arriving in Alghero, one plunges into the atmosphere by taking the winding roads that lead to the beautiful area of Lake Flumini. To the west of Barumini is the archaeological site of Su Nuraxi and its prehistoric defensive constructions. The next day we reach the coast, and mountain roads lead to the Sulcis area. Archaeology enthusiasts will be amazed by the numerous geological remains, caves, and Roman Punic temples. We take just after the direction of Cagliari for a more urban atmosphere, with a recommended break in the sun in the Old Castle district and a dinner at the port. Then it's time for the splendid views of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the roads along the coast. Heading northeast towards the famous Sarda Oriental Road, we take a break in the enclave of Cala Gonone, before continuing the journey to the Emerald Coast, its traditional villages, each one more beautiful than the next, its menhirs and the Valley of the Moon, which offers an enchanting setting, between its gigantic granite rocks and its heavenly coves.

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Travelling the wild beauty of Ireland

Ireland's rugged beauty attracts thousands of travellers and the best way to experience it is certainly to travel the country by motorbike. Through Wexford, you take the coastal road towards Courtown. Then, in County Wicklow, you can enjoy beautiful mountain scenery and the monastic site of Glendalough. Then comes the lively atmosphere of Dublin, where one spends a relaxing evening in a pub. Total change of atmosphere afterwards with the crossing of the county of Kildare, which is loved for its horse breeding. Then comes Connemara, with its charming villages and breathtaking natural panoramas. We stroll on our motorbike in the Maam valley and stop near the natural treasures that are the Killary fjord and the Twelves Bens mountain range. The wildlife here is the wildest in the country. We then alternate between the pleasures, and desert landscapes of the Burren, we reach one of the unmissable landscapes of Ireland: the cliffs of Moher. It is then advisable to go and marvel in the Ring of Kerry, with its lakes, mountains and dizzying cliffs. On the way to Cork, you can also enjoy the beauty of the coastline and take a break in the open air on the splendid Inch beach with its white sand

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Motorcycle and foreign travel insurance: what to do before you leave?

All these destinations are dream destinations, but it's important to anticipate your travels well in advance. If you want to take road-trips on your motorcycle, it is essential that your two-wheeler is insured.

So, before you leave, remember to check a number of points about your motorcycle insurance. Only then will you be able to take off to discover these fabulous landscapes.

So, even before you take your plane ticket:

Check that your insurance covers you in the country you're going to visit or simply cross. To do this, take your green card. The list of countries is indicated on it. If it is crossed out, it is simply that you are not covered. In this case, don't panic, in most cases, it is possible to make an endorsement to your insurance contract, so that you can be covered in case of a claim on the spot.

Check that you have assistance: you may have assistance in your contract, in case of a breakdown or accident. Make sure that this assistance also works abroad. Also check whether you have repatriation assistance, in case of injury or even illness. It is important to look into the conditions of repatriation. They can vary widely. If this is not enough, it is possible to take out an enhanced benefit package.

The question now is what to do in the event of an accident abroad, even if we don't want you to. Since an accident is already a stressful situation, you might as well not add to it and find yourself helpless if it happens. Good news, because the steps will be the same as if you had an accident on French roads. You will therefore have 5 days to send your report to the French central office. You should know that before you leave, you can obtain European amicable statements of offence, the parts that concern you are already largely completed. Be careful, if you need to make repairs on the spot to continue your trip, you will have to contact your insurance company before incurring any expenses.

You can now pack your backpack, without forgetting to put a can of oil, a puncture-proof spray and a water- and oil-resistant adhesive roller in it. This equipment will be necessary for a makeshift repair while you find a garage. You can also take a universal tool with you to tighten certain parts.

Sophie Squillace Le fort d'Amber, Rajasthan - HonestTraveller - iStockPhoto.com Statues de Bouddha au Temple d'Or de Dambulla - tunart Wayna Picchu - Seumas Christie-Johnston - Shutterstock.com Thaïlande - rez-art - iStockphoto.com Afrique du Sud - pixdeluxe - iStockphoto.com Route 66 - ventdusud - iStockphoto.com Argentine - sunsinger - Shutterstock.com copie Vallée de l'Ounila, Maroc - Leonid Andronov - Fotolia Cagliari, Sardaigne - SeanPavonePhoto Connemara National Park, Irlande - LOUIS-MICHEL DESERT - Shutterstock.com
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