Expand your pedalling parameters as you peruse our cycling vacations travel guide and discover a variety of easy going, moderate and challenging routes to take you from Europe, to Asia, to South Africa, and beyond.
Where to go mountain biking
Our mountain biking vacations can take you to one of the best downhill bike parks in Europe, Les Deux Alpes, or along the west coast of the Algarve following the 220km Rota Vicentina. On a trekking and mountain biking ride from the Sacred Valley to the Amazon in Peru you’ll be sharing tracks with hikers, and in the wild open spaces of the Cairngorms in Scotland and Snowdonia in North Wales you’ll have singletracks all to yourself. If you’re looking for extreme environments for mountain biking then try out-of-season ski trails in Slovenia’s Julian Alps, or even the Khangai Mountain foothills of Mongolia.
No sooner than the snow’s cleared, usually by mid-June, then attention in the alpine village of Les Deux Alpes (1,650m) turns from skiing to mountain biking. A small group vacation here allows you to access one of the best bike parks in Europe. From hardcore routes and technical tracks to chair lifts to steep high altitude downhills, there’s 91km of runs ranging from greens to blues, reds to blacks.
Get kitted out at the bike shop in Cuzco and you’re good to go. From here it’s a four-day ride to Atalaya on the edge of the Amazon. Average daily distances of 50km take you through the Sacred Valley where Andean ridges lead past mountain villages, like Paucartambo, and down through cloud forests en-route to Manu National Park and the start of an Amazon expedition by boat and on foot.
There are some great singletracks that start in the east of the Algarve, close to the Spanish border, and lead west through the countryside and down to the coast. Alternatively, follow the rugged hiking and biking trails of the Rota Vicentina from Santiago de Cacem in the Alentejo through cork forests, river valleys and creeks until reaching Europe’s south-westerly point, Cabo de Sao Vicente.
Self guided mountain bike tours of the Cairngorms have been designed by local experts like Andy, who also happens to be the host at a local lodge. Routes can be adapted according to the day’s weather and your own ambitions. Glenlivet Trail Centre and the Kinkardine Circuit through Abernethy Forest National Nature Reserve are just a couple of the local recommendations to get your tyres into.
The Julian Alps are just gorgeous for mountain biking, with the trails surrounding the alpine village of Kranjska Gora offering all manner of undulations including climbs into the Tamar Valley and rides to the top of Acomizza Mountain (1,681m) in Italy. Women only mountain biking vacations in Slovenia give you everything that you’d expect from a tough mountain biking trip but without the testosterone.
Mountain biking in North Wales can be as wild and untamed as the weather. Join a small group and head off into Snowdonia National Park in the company of a local guide who’s been pedalling in the area all their life. Alternatively, opt for one of the well-maintained singletrack mountain bike centers that have been created in some of the country’s largest abandoned slate quarries, like Llanberis.
Our Mountain biking Vacations
Best time to go on a mountain biking vacation
Aim to avoid peak summer seasons as well as the wet months so you can go mountain biking without negatively impacting on the environment or local infrastructure.
Tailor made mountain biking trips can take place all year round but it’s very important to work out when areas will be at their wettest, as churning up the countryside is the last thing you want to do. Most mountain bike parks, on the other hand, will be suitable for all weathers, so it’s worth considering if you fancy visiting Snowdonia outside of summer. Winters in the alpine areas of Slovenia and France aren’t compatible with mountain biking due to snow, but visit from May to October once the thaw’s kicked in and you’ll find the best time to go on a mountain biking vacation as part of a small group.
Our top Mountain biking Vacation
Exciting mountain biking breaks in the Scottish Highlands
From £1795 7 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2022: 14 May, 30 Jul, 17 Sep
2022: 14 May, 30 Jul, 17 Sep
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