The Best Mountain Biking in the Italian Alps
Northern Italy is a fantastic choice for a mountain biking holiday. The terrain is unbeatable, the weather is brilliant and there are unrivalled views of the surrounding mountains. Add all that up to the world-renowned food and wine and you have the recipe for the perfect summer holiday.
Summer is the perfect time to hit the mountains in around the Dolomites and Lake Garda. You’ll generally get sunny days matched with cooler temperatures that you will see elsewhere in Italy. Bikeparks across the areas mentioned in this article are generally open from mid-June until September.
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Piedmont mountain biking
Mountain biking in Sauze d’Oulx
As with many other brilliant ski resorts throughout the Italian Alps, Sauze d’Oulx is a favourite amongst skiers and snowboarders throughout the winter. You might be wondering why Sauze is one of our recommendations for mountain biking destinations in the Italian Alps. If we didn’t know better, we’d be asking the same question!
However, once you set eyes on a summertime Sauze d’Oulx, you will soon realise the reason why it is one of the best summer destinations there is. The quick access to the trails from the town and the stunning surrounding mountain scenery ensures you will without a doubt enjoy your riding during your time in Sauze.
Man-made features along the downhill trails ensure that riders of all abilities will find themselves tested to the max. If cross-country is more your cup of tea then make sure you take advantage of the well thought out loops which can take you through until the end of the day. The bike park is open on 8th July weekend, then throughout the summer from the 15th July until the 27th August 2018.
Mountain biking in Bardonecchia
Being located right at the intersection of the four valleys in the Italian Alps ensures that Bardonecchia has a huge amount on offer for mountain bikers. With over 400km of tracks over a vertical drop measuring 1700m, it is highly unlikely you will find yourself bored, or even riding the same trail twice!
All of the 40 trails are accessed via the two lifts which can transport your bikes (and yourself). There is something for all levels of ability with green, blue, red, black and downhill trails. There are around 5 black runs, so this should be plenty for all you thrill seekers out there. Some of these have extremely challenging obstacles, with drops, jumps and parabolic curves.
Cross-country riders are in for a treat. The tracks in Bardonecchia do mainly lie on flat ground, however, they pass through some areas with the most stunning views for miles. These are perfect for family rides.
Aosta Valley mountain biking
Mountain biking in Pila
If you’re looking for some brilliant yet challenging riding, then Pila is the place for you. As the twice host of the World Cup Downhill series, Pila is no stranger to world class mountain biking. You won’t be surprised to hear that as a result of being the twice host of the World Cup, that Pila is home to some fast and technically challenging world-class tracks.
Pila may be home to some of the best downhill tracks in the whole of the Alps, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something here for cross-country riders. If you don’t fancy some climbing, then you can take full advantage of the open chairlift and enjoy some riding on tracks which are mainly aimed towards beginner and intermediate riders.
From Pila, we would recommend taking the Chamole then freeride or opt to take one of the 12 cross-country trails which pass through a 185km network.
Lombardy mountain biking
Mountain biking in Livigno
This old mountain town provides every visitor with spectacular picturesque views over Stelvio National Park in the Italian Alps. We’d seriously recommend taking a trip to Livigno if you’re looking some unbeatable mountain biking on your summer holiday.
Pick up a BikePass when you get to Livigno and you will grant yourself access to all of the ski lifts in the whole of the resort. You then have the choice of 13 trails, which are perfect for downhill and freeriding. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert rider, there is something for you here.
All-in-all there are over 1500km of singletrack in Livigno, which spread over an area of over 10,000 square kilometres. If you’re on the lookout for some more rocky and technical terrain, then you have the choice to head slightly over the border to Switzerland, where you can be tested on this type of ground.
Trentino-South Tyrol mountain biking
Mountain biking in Val di Fassa
This bike park has stunning scenery of the Dolomites which will amaze anyone, even the most seasoned of travellers. The best thing to do if you want to go mountain biking here in Val di Fassa is base yourself in the ski resort of Canazei.
Maybe the reason why mountain biking has become such a popular sport in the Alps during summertime is due to the picturesque surroundings, or maybe it’s down to the sheer thrill of flying down a trail which winds down one of the mountains. I’m going to say it’s probably both!
You’re truly spoilt for choice when it comes to mountain biking routes through Val di Fassa. There’s plenty of easy routes for beginners and those who just want a nice scenic ride on their summer holiday. There are also difficult and technically challenging routes for those who want to be tested to the max.
One thing we will say is to make sure you take a minute to take in the beautiful natural surroundings.