The Best Mountain Biking in the Italian Alps


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.

Mountain Biker Piedmount

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Don’t forget, Ski-Lifts provide transfers throughout the summer to all of these resorts & transport mountain bikes free of charge. Get an instant quote and book your transfer online today!

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.

Mountain Biker Pila

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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.


The Best Mountain Biking in the French Alps


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

Set in the heart of the massive Portes du Soleil, Morzine is a perfect location to base yourself for a mountain biking holiday in the French Alps.

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 French Alps

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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.

If you really want to challenge yourself, then head over to Vallorcine. There are also graded trails for all abilities in the mountain bike areas at Le Tour, Flegere, Brevent and Les Houches.

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.

Get a quote now for transfers from Geneva Airport to Chamonix.

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.

Don’t forget, Ski-Lifts provide transfers throughout the summer to all of these resorts. Get an instant quote and book your transfer online today!

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.

Mountain Biking in Les Deux Alpes

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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.

Don’t forget, Ski-Lifts provide transfers throughout the summer to all of these resorts. Get an instant quote and book your transfer online today!


Things to expect on a Mountain Bike Holiday in Morzine


Things to expect on a mountain bike holiday in Morzine

It’s been an epic summer here in Morzine, the weather has been incredible, we’ve got more bikers than ever exploring our terrain and you may be wondering what all the fuss was about, so we’ve teamed up with our friends at Riders Refuge to tell you all about what to expect on a mountain biking holiday with them and some super handy tips if it’s your first venture…!
So if you have never been on a mountain bike holiday before, here’s a little guide to what to expect on a catered chalet holiday with Riders Refuge.

Mountain Biking in Morzine

Morzine is the perfect place to come for a mountain bike holiday it is part of a huge area known as the Portes Du Soliel and it is linked by 26 chairlifts which will take you and your bike up into the mountains.
There is every type of mountain biking available right here with plenty of trails which are graded according to the level of difficulty, green being the easiest to the hardest which is graded black. Make sure you pick up a free map so you can plan your route. Whatever type of mountain biking you prefer be it downhill, cross country, trail riding, single track, gravity enduro….. it’s all available to you on Morzine’s doorstep.

Morzine is only a short drive from Geneva Airport and most of our guests travel here by plane, we include transfers with all our catered holidays and we will organise this for you so we ensure you get to resort as quick as possible, it only takes about 70 minutes. Some of our guests prefer to drive and we have parking at all our chalets. So if your thing is repeated adrenaline runs down the Pleney mainline or more of a big day out in the mountains riding some amazing single track it’s all here in the Portes Du Soleil for you to take advantage of.


Getting your bike to the Alps

Many of our guests bring their own bike, you can include your bike when booking your flight some airlines charge extra for this for example easy jet charge is £35 each way. You need to make sure your bike is packed in either a bike box or bike bag and make sure you pack it well, pipe insulation is perfect for fitting round you frame, forks etc. Make sure you  protect your rear mech and forks well so that they are not damaged in transit, most of our guests arrive with their bikes as they packed it but occasionally we have seen some bike bags or boxes damaged, the most common issue is a bent rear mech. Once you arrive at your accommodation you will be met by your chalet host, shown to your room and more importantly the bike store and your holiday has properly begun.  All our chalets have secure bike stores with tools and workstands so you can prep and maintain your bike at the chalet, we also have washdown areas for you to clean your bike after a day on the trails. Don’t worry if you prefer to hire a bike there are many bike shops in Morzine where you can rent bikes and many different brands and specs of bike are available. We are happy to assist you with this.

Our Package

Our chalets offer breakfast which will fuel you for a day’s riding,  afternoon tea is there for your return which consists of a freshly baked cake plus fresh bread with a selection of jam, there is always tea, coffee, cordials, cookies and fresh fruit for your help yourself to when you choose. Dinner is three courses of delicious home cooked food and we do a barbeque one night a week, let us know at the time of booking about dietary requirements and we can provide for that too. Our chalet hosts have a Wednesday off which allows you to sample one of Morzines restaurants of which there is many to choose from and we are happy to make recommendations and bookings for you.

Typical Morzine Summer Weather for Mountain Biking?

Although this summer we have had heat wave here in Morzine with temperatures reaching 40°C and lots of dry dusty trails the weather in the alps can be very changeable. The temperature difference between the valley floor and high up in the mountains can sometimes be as much as 10°C. We recommend you bring a small back pack to take with you on your ride.
Useful items in your back pack

  • Wind/water proof Jacket
  • Spare inner tube
  • Multi tool
  • pump
  • Spare Mech hanger
  • small 1st aid kit – antiseptic wipes, plasters, asprin, bandage
  • Sunscreen (even on a cloudy day)
  • Museli/chocolate bar

Depending on the weather conditions you may need other items to keep you warm and dry. The sun is pretty strong at altitude and it can be deceiving if there is a cool breeze so sunscreen is important.

What to wear
You will need a helmet for all riding in the alps and if you are doing more downhill then a full face helmet is recommended plus elbow and knee pads.  Many people choose to wear neck braces and full body amour but there are a range of different trails here and you should always ride within your capabilities and wear what protection you are comfortable with.
Riding tops and shorts are personal preference but we would recommend a technical base layer to keep you comfortable and so you can enjoy your day and not be too cold or too hot when going up the chair lifts, doing an extra bit of climbing or nailing that descent.  A good pair of riding shoes will also be beneficial when riding in the alps. Even on cross country rides you can come across some downhill so it is important that you plan your route and take what protection you think is appropriate for your ride.

Useful Checklist

  • Mountain bike with at least 100m of front suspension. We recommend a full suspension mountain bike.
  • Good downhill tyres of at least 2.35 if this fits your frame. Maxis Highroller 2 are a good choice for coming to Morzine
  • Spare inner tubes, downhill tubes are best.
  • Spare brake pads. At least one full set.
  • A backpack. One with a water reservoir is useful.
  • Your usual riding spares as mentioned above to go in your backpack.
  • Waterproof jacket.
  • Usual summer riding clothes
  • Helmet and goggles
  • Riding Gloves
  • Bike Sunglasses
  • Swimwear
  • Body armour.  We recommend at least elbow and knee pads for riding in the Portes Du Soleil.

We hope that has whet your appetite for a mountain biking trip next summer.