Climate and geography are the two major determining factors when it comes to mountain biking destinations, and Europe offers a thriving bicycle culture both in cities and stunning countryside. There is an abundance of mountain bike trails in the beautiful continent, which are well worth exploring.
The Alps, the Dolomites, and many other spots offer challenging terrains and longer distances for you to enjoy and sharpen your biking skills. Whether you are looking for a challenging climb, an adrenaline-rushing descent or speeding routes, here are the five best mountain bike destinations in Europe.
The Alps, France
The French Alps are widely known for alpine skiing, mountain biking, and paragliding. The sunny trails, an amazing lift network and long single track make the French Alps a popular mountain bike destination. The most famous biking area in the Alps is the Portes du Soleil network of resorts between Mont Blanc in France and Lake Geneva in Switzerland. There are many more options throughout the French Alps with resorts such as Les Deux Alpes, Les Arcs, and Chamonix all proffering brilliant singletrack for bikers.
Madeira is an island of eternal spring and a perfect destination for mountain biking all year round. Lying in the Atlantic Ocean, the island is closer to Africa than Portugal. Regardless of your skill level, the island’s mountainous terrain caters to all kinds of needs as you ride past its arid, sun-baked ridgelines and verdant groves. The island is the best to visit during off-winter months to indulge in cross-country, downhill, all-mountain or even just casual riding.
Åre Bike Park is the biggest bike park in Scandinavia that offers 50 km of pure adrenaline, sprawled over 34 tracks, and a vertical drop of 853m. Located next to a lake, the park is surrounded by rolling, green hills in the northwest of Sweden and holds the biggest mountain bike festival in the country every summer. You can pair it with some cultural, hiking, leisure or culinary tourism, or other adrenaline-infused activities, making it an amazing destination to explore.
The Dolomites, Italy
The Dolomites in eastern Italy are a popular destination for hiking and rock climbing, and a favorite among mountain bikers. Offering challenging trails, the region also makes for an unforgettable adventure with rugged mountains and dense forests. The western Dolomites has four major mountain biking areas: Sella Ronda in the heart of the region; the Alpe di Siusi to the northwest; Cl Rodella to Val Suron, east of Stella Ronda; and the Baita alla Cascate.
The top mountain biking destinations of Tyrol have everything you need for an adrenaline rush through a perfect combination of terrain to challenge riders of all skill levels. Tyrol features the longest trails in the Alps, with steep climbs, tight switchbacks, and intense downhill sections. The region also has 32 stages and 1,000 km in total along with mountain lifts and a cable car to offer easy access. It is also Europe’s one of the most accessible mountain biking trails.