The Best Mountain Biking in the French Alps
Are you thinking about a mountain biking holiday this summer? The Alps is one of the best places any thrill-seeking mountain biker could visit and in particular the French Alps. We know the amount of choice in terms of where to go can be overwhelming. There are tonnes of places throughout the French Alps which are home to amazing trails with stunning scenery. Don’t worry, with our guide to mountain biking in the French Alps, you can make an informed choice.
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Mountain Biking in the Portes du Soleil
Mountain biking in Morzine
There are tonnes of great trails which are easily accessible from the town. You can also take the chairlift to access some of the equally challenging runs around Les Gets, Avoriaz, Châtel and Champéry.
You can access the lifts from 10th June 2018 to 3rd September 2018.
Mountain biking in Les Gets
Known as one of the best mountain biking destinations in Europe, Les Gets is the perfect base for people who want to ride trails in the Portes du Soleil.
For all you downhill bikers, there are 12 runs on offer in Les Gets. They all vary in difficulty, so there’s pretty much something for all abilities. As well as 12 downhill runs, Les Gets is also home to 3 jump parks, 2 north shore trails and many technical zones.
If you’re looking for some cross-country mountain biking, then you’re also in the right place! There are a total of 7 cross-country mountain bike trails in Les Gets. If you’re a beginner, look out for the green runs. Alternatively, if you’re an advanced or expert biker, head for the red and black runs. Blue runs are for intermediates (they are the same colour coding as ski runs).
The summer lift opening dates for Les Gets are 16th June 2018 – 2nd September 2018.
Mountain biking in Chamonix
If miles upon miles of classic singletrack is your thing, then Chamonix is the perfect location for your mountain biking holiday in the French Alps. The singletrack is full of technical sections and flowy descents which pass down the most well-known valley in Europe.
For a true test, there’s a 5-day ‘Tour de Mont Blanc’. This takes riders on a 200km adventure uphill and downhill around Mont Blanc. This isn’t for the light-hearted, however, If you do decide to challenge yourself, you will be rewarded with some of the most stunning scenery in the Alps.
The summer lift opening dates for Chamonix vary for different areas, but they are generally mid June 2018 – mid-August-mid-September 2018.
Mountain Biking in Avoriaz
Whether you have a preference for cross-country or downhill, Avoriaz has you covered!
For some downhill, head over to Linderets bike park and then from there take the chairlift to Chatel. Then try your hand on the blue track (Chesery), which takes you down until you eventually join into a winter piste.
Also, check out the 3 tracks on the Avoriaz side of Les Lidarets, with 1 blue, 1 red and 1 black. The blue run here is perfect for beginners.
The summer lifts in Avoriaz are open from 7th June 2018 to 13th September 2018. Rather than dragging yourself up steep inclines (unless you want to do that, of course!) Make use of the lifts which thankfully have adapted racks and hooks for bikes.
Mountain biking in Isère
Mountain biking in Alpe d’Huez
The bigger the better, that’s usually how it goes right? If you’re a believer in that saying, then Alpe d’Huez is perfect for you. This resort right in the middle of the of the largest mountain biking areas in the French Alps.
With over 250km of trails, you’re absolutely spoilt for choice! The 8 resort villages of Alpe d’Huez (Auris en Oisans, Allemont, Bourg d’Oisans, Le Freney, Oz en Oisans, Vaujany and Villard Reculas) are all linked through the trails. As with resorts in the Portes du Soleil, the chairlifts make the trails easily accessible.
Alpe d’Huez also boasts a total of 3 bike parks, 2 north shore areas, 3 pump tracks and 2 four cross tracks.
The summer lift opening dates for Alpe d’Huez are 30th June 2018 – 26th August 2018.
Mountain Biking in Les Deux Alpes
Les Deux Alpes is one of the most popular mountain biking resorts in the Alps and rightly so.
If you’re heading here on your summer holiday, you can spend your time flying down over 110kms of downhill trails, which are spread across 4 different areas. 2 of the trails have a descent of over 2,500m. The trails here have something to test riders of every ability. All the way from family-friendly green runs to the more challenging red and black marked trails.
As well as a whole host of downhill runs, Les Deux Alpes offers a Whistler A-Line style freeride and also many cross-country options.
There are 10 lifts here that can transport bikes. The summer lift opening dates are 23rd June 2018 – 3rd September 2018.
Mountain biking in Savoie
Mountain biking in Les Arcs
Les Arcs isn’t always the top of everyone’s list when they’re deciding where to go on their summer holiday in the Alps. However, if you’re looking for trail after trail, then Les Arcs should be top of your list! This summertime gem has enough trails to keep you going for the whole of summer. All of the villages which make up Les Arcs (Bourg St Maurice, Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000) are all intertwined with mountain biking trails.
For thrill seekers, there’s a permanent black run, which you can fly down for the majority of the summer season, all thanks to the Bourg St Maurice funicular. Overall, there are 8 lifts which are available to use in the summer, which give you access to around 20 green, blue, red, black and cross-country trails.
The summer lift opening dates for Les Arcs are 7th July 2018 – 1st September 2018.
Mountain biking in Courchevel
If you’re looking for exciting trails which also offer stunning mountain scenery, then Courchevel is the place for you. What really makes Courchevel one of the most appealing mountain biking destinations in the French Alps is the unrivalled cross-country riding. The routes here do cater for all ability of rider, but if you’re looking for a true challenge, then set your sights on the Three Valleys 117km loop!
All of the trails here in Courchevel are well marked and graded in the same way as many other trails in the Alps and the same way as ski pistes. As mentioned, Courchevel is part of the gigantic Three Valleys area, so you have much more on your doorstep than just the trails around Courchevel. The whole area is interconnected with lift accessed downhills tracks. It’s pretty much impossible to find yourself riding the same trails twice on your mountain bike holiday in Courchevel.
The summer lift opening dates for Courchevel are 7th July 2018 – 31st August 2018.
Mountain biking in Meribel
Located 200km east of Lyon, Meribel is in the heart of the huge Three Valleys ski area. There are plenty of mountain biking opportunities to keep you occupied during your time in Meribel. There are over 100km of trails, 3 cross-country loops and 8 downhill tracks. That’s just for starters. You’re right in the middle of the world’s largest ski area, so that means there ample opportunities for more trails all around you.
All of the trails in Meribel can be access through two main lifts; the Pas du Lac and Tougnete. You can easily get off the lift halfway to ride some of the lower level trails, or if you’re wanting to access some of the higher trails which also link to Courchevel and Val Thorens Valleys, then stay on until the top.
The summer lift opening dates for Meribel are 8th July 2018 – 31st August 2018.
Mountain biking in Tignes
If wide open and rocky trails are your cup of tea, then I suggest you jump on a plane and head to Tignes for your summer holiday. Tignes is an area packed with a whole host of opportunities to partake in summer activities and even summer skiing. However, it’s the mountain biking which is one of the main attractions here.
There’s something for everyone here. If you’re looking for a mellow ride on a steady slop, Tignes has you covered. If you’re after a hair-raising ride on a steep, unforgiving slope, Tignes also has you covered! For you freeriders out there, we suggest getting yourself over to Kamasutrail, where you can test your skills on the ski-jumps, hip jumps, road gap and step-ups.
The summer lift opening dates for Tignes are 30th June 2018 – 2nd September 2018.
Mountain biking in Val d’Isere
One of the most well-known and visited ski resorts in the winter, Val d’Isere doesn’t disappoint during the summer either. As a whole, the Solaise and Borsat chairlifts and the Olympic Gondola on the Bellevarde mountain give you access to a total of 21 downhill track,s 2 cross-country trails, 2 family trails and 21 downhill tracks.
You’ll have access to a total of 150km of mountain bike trails if you decide to head to Val d’Isere, so there’s no chance of getting bored! Put down a small deposit for your lift pass and you will have access to all these trails for free. What more can you ask for? The three lifts in Val d’Isere also link up with another 2 in the close by the resort of Tignes.
The summer lift opening dates for Val d’Isere are 30th June 2018 – 2nd September 2018.