Edelweiss History

Alps Mediterranean Tour 1981

1980

Werner Wachter came up with the basic Edelweiss concept while on a business trip in Las Vegas. He soon quit his job in medical imaging to develop and test the first Edelweiss tour. His wife Coral hesitated momentarily, but thankfully decided to be an enthusiastic partner.

 

1981

The first Edelweiss tour made its way through the Alps, the French Riviera, to Florence, and even visited Venice. All five tour members and guides Ulrike Seibert and Werner Wachter had a great journey.

 

1982

It's running better! Edelweiss-Spitze is a must for a Kodak moment. Numerous tours are added. Coral Wachter drives the support van on this trip. Even at this early time, the guests´ luggage is waiting in their next hotel room.

 

1983

Africa for the first time! Tunisia is new territory for most motorcyclists. It helps to ride with the Edelweiss crew.

 

1984

Viva America! A group of 15 motorcyclists from Germany and Switzerland ride 4000 miles through the U.S. and Canada. And we miraculously made it over the Golden Gate Bridge in dense fog without mishap.

 

1985

The first Alpine tour in cooperation with MOTORRAD magazine kicks off. Hotel Hirschen in Bregenzerwald is a treat for everybody. Such accommodations make it clear that careful hotel selection was an Edelweiss trademark from the start.

 

1986

Israel and the Sinai peninsula made for an interesting tour. Extensive preparation was necessary to make the border crossing from Egypt to Israel possible. Freeing the motorcycles from Israeli customs in Tel Aviv was another story.

 

1987

The first Alaska Tour. A small but hearty group was led by tour guide Buddy Rosenbaum from Vancouver, BC, to Fairbanks. After such a long trip, returning by ship through the inner passage was a relaxing end to our journey.

 

1988

We broke through the Soviet Union´s bureaucracy after extensive negotiations with INTOURIST and other government agencies. Edelweiss was successful in opening the largest country in the world to motorcyclists.

 

1989

Only in 1988 and 1989 we were able to put together tours in Nepal. Afterwards it became impossible to import motorcycles from India.

 

1990

Australia down under on BMW R 80 motorcycles. Edelweiss takes its maiden voyage on the fifth continent. Tour guide Geoff Coat leads the first groups through the outback of his beloved homeland.

 

1991

The island classic. Ferries, hotels, tour guides and a support vehicle were all included in our third outing on the Isle of Man for TT week.

 

1992

The first scouting tour through New Zealand left lasting impressions. This country fascinates with its glaciers, subtropical vegetation and great motorcycling roads.

 

1993

Just before Nelson Mandela took over, Edelweiss did the first scouting tour of South Africa. It took three years for this tour to be put on the regular Edelweiss schedule.

 

1994

The Alps have long been the most popular destination on Edelweiss tours. A special highlight on this tour is Hahntennjoch: What a dream!

 

1995

The daily route briefing is an important part of any Edelweiss tour. Guide Volker Tisken holds court in front of the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas on a tour of the Wild West.

 

1996

All-new Mexico tours! We mapped out two different routes through mountains, volcanoes and along the Pacific´s jagged coastline. Our BMW motorcycles love the countless switchbacks.

 

1997

America coast to coast. Miami to Los Angeles. Europeans love the wide-open spaces and the legendary Edelweiss picnics. Tour guide Oliver Kraft is a genuine meat and potatoes specialist.

 

1998

On every Edelweiss tour, picnics unite the troops at lunch time, even on the treacherous Isle of Man race course.

 

1999

Quality is the keyword on all Edelweiss tours. The Andalucian region of Spain was a big hit. The hotels are state-run paradores; the motorcycles are BMWs new R 1100 RT, R 1100 S and K 1200 LT.

 

2000

Bike-friendly Italy is a motorcycle touring paradise. South of Florence lies Tuscany, a region of flowing landscapes, ancient towns and picturesque vineyards in perfect harmony. Our BELLA ITALIA tour traverses all of this terrain and more.

 

2001

A new kind of motorcycle touring is born. Comfortable daily routes that start and end at the same dreamy location in the midst of the Alps, at the base of the regions greatest passes. Comfortable enough to bring the entire family.

 

2002

An incredible experience is the new tour through Oman, the easternmost country on the Arab Peninsula. Mountains, desert and the ocean make for a unique touring experience. This tour moves on paved roads and sometimes on unpaved surfaces. Adventure guaranteed!

 

2003

To ride or not to ride, that is the question! At our new Dolomites Touring Center you can choose to ride every day on different spectacular roads returning to the same alpine hotel unhindered by luggage or decide to take a day off to kick back by the pool with your family.

 

2004

8 new destinations are part of our touring program for 2004. They reach from the very north of Europe to the Pacific Coast of California and South Africa!

 

2005

Edelweiss celebrates its 25th birthday. More than 20,000 motorcyclists from all over the world have been touring with us in the last 25 years! In 2005 we are offering 40 different tour destinations on five continents!

 

2006

Edelweiss discovers the tibetan mountain range and is looking for Shangri-La! Finally we found it...

 

2007

Asia is still attractive for us! In October 2007 we did the first Scouting Tour in Japan! It was a whole success...

 

2008

Also in 2008 we at Edelweiss want to ride in the most exotic destinations on this planet: Our tours to the North Cape, Israel-Jordan and Chile-Peru were a great success.

 

2009

Edelweiss worldwide: Fantastic tours through Tunesia, Patagonia, Kenya/Tanzania and many other destination were run in 2009!

 

2010

In 30 years of Edelweiss Bike Travel we collected lots of experience and impressions of touring on two wheels worldwide. In regards of this mega event we have organized the first tour all around the world – our DISCOVER OUR EARTH EXPEDITION!

 

2011

In order to celebrate the launch of the new Triumph Tiger 800 / XC Triumph Motorcycles and Edelweiss Bike Travel set up a new touring program for adventure bike riders.

 

2012

When Werner Wachter approached to offer guided bike tours on Cuba many years ago, Cuban customs balked his plans by confiscating the motorcycles. Many years later, the company finally was able to find a partner, who could manage to import a number of motorcycles into Cuba. The first Edelweissers took off in January 2012 and since then, a three dozen bikers from around the world enjoyed the fascination of this communistic country.

 

2013

The Republic of Myanmar, once known as Burma, has long been a country being hard to enter and only a few tourists have managed crossing the border to Myanmar with their motorcycles. In 2013 Edelweiss Bike Travel has put together a fantastic and once-in-a-lifetime scouting tour to this amazing country and will offer that tour as a standard Edelweiss Adventure tour in the future!