Top 5 Worldwide Mountain Bike Destinations

Looking for a far flung mountain biking destination this summer? Here’s five riding spots around the world that I think are worth consideration.

Been somewhere you rate? Why not share your experience in the comments below.

There is superb riding all across the Alps (this shot is from Les Arcs), but if you want to hit the epicentre of all things mountain bike then stay in Morzine. Photo © Andy Lloyd.
There is superb riding all across the Alps (this shot is from Les Arcs), but if you want to hit the epicentre of all things mountain bike then stay in Morzine.
Photo © Andy Lloyd.
Alps, France

The most common destination for British mountain bikers, and one of the best playgrounds in the world. Easy to get to from the UK, and plenty of choice of riding, from downhill in Morzine to all-mountain in Chamonix, there really is something for everyone. An extensive system of chairlifts makes it easy to explore the mountains with barely any uphill riding, so you can just enjoy the descents. The centre of all things mountain bike for the Alps is Morzine, where you will find dozens of chairlifts open, throngs of British riders all summer and plenty of bike-friendly accommodation. Careful, you won’t ever want to leave.

More about Morzine here.

Whistler, Canada

Widely considered to be one of the best mountain bike destinations in the world, Whistler really needs no introduction. Located in the stunning coast mountains of British Columbia, Whistler offers over 120 miles of trails with many accessible by the chair lifts used during the ski season. Inside the Whistler Bike Park there’s over 50 way-marked runs which vary in difficulty and technicality. The trails cater for beginners through to experts and there are coaching courses for anyone wanting to brush up on their skills. There’s a lot more riding to explore than just the trails in the Bike Park though, so make sure you get exploring and/or book a guide when you visit.

More about Whistler here.

Park City, Utah

Nestling on the western edge of the fearsome Rocky Mountains, Park City not only offers the spectacular scenery you would expect of such a location but also some of the best trails in the world. It helps if you like a spot of high altitude riding; Park City sits at 2,100m and the trails go a further couple of thousand metres higher. On offer is some of the best technical singletrack anywhere in the world. There’s a large network of trails and they’re all well sign-posted so easy to find. There’s something for all ability levels.

More about Park City mountain biking here.

Rotorua New Zealand

Firmly put on the world map with the hosting of the 2006 world championships, New Zealand’s Rotorua has been described by many as one of the hottest places to ride. It has an impressive claim to the title of the ‘best trails in the world’, with a network of over 100km of trails built in the Whakarewarewa Forest, which are also some of the oldest in the country. A rich playground of trails in lush surroundings makes it a must-ride destination.

More about Rotorua mountain biking here.

Finale Ligure, Italy

The Mediterranean resort of Finale Ligure is one of the best known riding spots on this list, but it’s easily up there with the best. As easy to get to, relatively, as the French Alps, Finale Ligure has a fine network of trails resting on the rolling hills close to the coast. With the highest hills topping out at about 1,400 metres, it can’t boast the same sheer altitude as other places, but it more than makes up for that with stunning, flowy trails. There are no chairlifts here, but there are holiday companies running shuttle services. It suits bikes from 120-160mm, so the current crop of lightweight trail to all-mountain bikes makes the perfect choice. The trails are very natural, full of roots and rocks and can get very tight and twisty in places, meaning it fully tests your riding skills to their limit.

More about Finale mountain biking here.

Agree/disagree with my list? Let’s hear your favourite worldwide riding spots in the comments box below.

  1. Clive Forth

    Some good locations in there, I would have to add the Pyrenees and Scotland too.

  2. Wesley

    Wonderful web site. Lots of helpful information here.
    I’m sending it to several pals ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks for your sweat!

  3. Conrad/sadoldsamurai

    Nice piece as ever David, sadly only been to Rotarua NZ out of your ‘selection’.#, and didn’t have the bike then..but that doesn’t detract from it being a spectacular ‘destination’. South Island NZ has some great wide open spaces trails..miles and miles..with nary a soul in sight, but when you do meet one they’re always friendly :)

  4. Richie

    Greetings from South African Mountain bikers;thanks for a great site.

  5. Richie

    Hello from South African mountainbike clubs;thanks for the wonderful blog.

  6. tom

    Just been over to Morzine….fantastic, but two places close by are better. Chatel & Lesgets, many more trails than morzine.

    all great fun though

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