What really happens in ski resorts and mountain regions when summer comes and all the snow melts? Quite simply: fantasy winter sports resorts are transformed into magical bike paradises where enthusiastic athletes from all over the world can live out their MTB dreams.
Europe as a continent has more trail centers, bike parks, and MTB trails than any other part of the world. Not only are there the well-known destinations with countless gondolas and chair lifts, but there are also smaller bike parks with their own dedicated and loving facilities, where you can take you to the top with a car and trailer.
Here are the top 10 bike parks and MTB destinations in Europe:
Portes du Soleil, France / Switzerland
season: June – September (opening hours vary from location to location)
Of course, when we talk about European bike parks, there can’t be a single region missing: Portes du Soleil is a vast region with no fewer than 12 ski resorts, in places like Châtel, Les Gets, Avoriaz, Morzine and Champéry. The entire region stretches across Switzerland and France and has more than 600 kilometers of marked bike paths and 22 chairlifts that will comfortably take you to your destination. Of course, all MTB disciplines are represented at the bike parks, and there are several hiking trails that are off the beaten path if you feel like walking a few paces.
Mountain biking in Châtel – Reboul Jam
We go on a trip to Châtel where the boys ride for a week at one of the best bike parks in the world.
La Vinacosa Bike Park, Spain
season: January – November
If you are looking for a destination that can be accessed almost all year round, La Fenasosa Bike Park in Spain is the place to be. La Fenasosa is located in Alicante’s Sierra Mariola National Park and offers more than 20 kilometers of sheer slopes, freestyle walks and cross-country skiing. Of particular note are the downhill runs as they are a real challenge. Of course, there are other trails that appeal to every level of rider. In addition, a foam pit awaits riders in the experience area, perfect for doing tricks and providing a lot of fun.
What many La Fenasosa athletes like is the seclusion of the bike park. Here you can fully focus on mountain biking and have a great time in nature. There is also accommodation on site for this. There are no lifts at La Fenasosa and riders are brought to the respective trails by shuttle.
Food, Faces and Rides Episode 4
The boys go to Spain to the La Fenasosa bike park
Mottolino Bike Park, Italy
Located in Lombardy, Italy, Livigno is best known in MTB circles as the site of the Suzuki Nine Knights MTB Freeride competition. With a story like this, you’d almost expect there’s a bike park somewhere – and there it is! Mottolino Bike Park has 14 different trails, some of which are perfect if you want to do your first downhill foray, including the Flow Line and the MTB Enduro Natural Trail.
For freeride fans, there is a dedicated North Shore area as well as a zipline with slopes from Nine Knights Course. Near Mottolino Bike Park is the Carosello 3000 ski area, which offers 50 kilometers of MTB trails in summer. Carosello’s road network can be described as flowing and beginner-friendly.
Do Bike Park, Sweden
For a unique cycling adventure in the far north of Europe, there is no better place than Åre Bike Park. The park is located beside a scenic lake surrounded by rolling green hills in northwest Sweden.
There are a total of 37 downhill runs in Åre, of all levels of difficulty. With 7 greens, there are more than enough opportunities for beginners to take their skills to a new level. The terrain in Ur is also varied, from rocky at the top to lush green forests in the middle of the road. Recently there is also an XC arena with 14 man-made tracks that range from easy to challenging blue and red tracks. There are also some beautiful long and gravel roads in the area that are perfect for a leisurely bike ride. Those who come in the summer can look forward to the big MTB festival that takes place in Åre every year.
Is bike Bestival, Sweden
Take a look at the creative process behind ‘Team Douche Video’, winner of the Åre Video Challenge.
season: May – September
The bike park in Leogang has developed into the most important bike park in Austria thanks to the hosting of the UCI MTB World Cup. A total of 11 downhill tracks with a total length of 30 km await riders. They include the Speedster Line, the popular World Cup course, and GoPro’s Pro Jump Line: Hot Shots. However, the bike park has a lot to offer and it is not without reason that it is so popular with families. One of the main reasons for this is the Riders Field – 10,000 square meters for kids and a 5,000 square meter pump track.
For those who want to take it a little easier, there is an extensive network of MTB trails around the bike park, such as the Knappentrail and Schwarzleo Trail. Nearby regions such as Saalfelden Leogang, Saalbach Hinterglemm and Fieberbrunn provide all visitors to Leogang with additional options for their two-wheeled adventures.
BikePark Wales has over 40 trails for every level – from gentle family trails to super technical downhill rides with treacherous roots, rocks, drops and jumps that will make even the most famous pro break a sweat. Additionally, many of these routes can be skied in all weather, which is why the park is open year-round. You can get to the trails by shuttle. For all the beginners, BikePark Wales also offers a range of courses for all levels and of course there is also a bike shop and various catering options on site. The perfect facility for a great MTB day trip!
Lowry Greenland – Wales
Downhill racer Laurie Greenland designs, supervises construction and drives his dream line at BikePark Wales.
season: June – September
Like some of the other cycling destinations on this list, Bike Kingdom is not one place, but a group of places that have come together to offer more opportunities for the cycling community. In this case we are talking about destinations in and around the Swiss canton of Graubünden. The main location is Lenzerheide, but Bike Kingdom also extends to the unique Alpine town of Chur and the Arosa region.
But the main attraction is undoubtedly Bike Kingdom Lenzerheide, as the UCI downhill and cross-country World Cups have been held here in the past. But the World Cup road isn’t the only DH tour: a total of four more trails await bike enthusiasts. Shore also has its own bike park with five trails that specialize in riding. Aside from the bike parks, there are many other trails and routes in Graubünden with an estimated 900km of singletrack. do you have time?
Pike Park and Trail Park Winterberg, Germany
season: April – October
Bikepark Winterberg is probably Germany’s most famous bike park – and not without reason: Europe’s largest bike festival, the Dirt Masters Festival, takes place on the park grounds. The Red Bull Berg Line’s pre-FMB World Tour competition was also held here. Winterberg Bike and Trail Park is located west of Winterberg in the Hochsauerland region of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The trails and facilities are varied and there is something for every level – from beginner to pro. There are a total of 13 downhill routes in the bike park, while the track park has a network of roads of more than 40 km, which above all offers plenty of flow and is very suitable for families. Winterberg Bike Park’s most famous DH route is undoubtedly the jump line. In addition to the great roads, there is also a bike school for all the MTB newcomers who are just starting out.
The best of Red Bull Mountain Line 2013
The best of Red Bull Mountain Line 2013
Bike Republic Solden, Austria
season: June – September
One of the most mass-prone MTBs on this list is the Austrian Bike Republic Sölden. The bike park is a trail center that is fully accessible by lift. There are nine man-made trails in all, and one of the most notable is the Uluit line, which starts at 2,666 meters above sea level and climbs up the beautiful Alpine foothills. In addition, there are 17 nature trails in Sölden, which provide an almost comical flow and are simply fun.
The mountain sports resort in Ötztal in Tyrol has invested more and more in MTB sports in recent years, so that the track network is growing every year. There are now two pump tracks and several hotels and companies dedicated to mountain biking. Sölden and its stunning landscapes make every MTB’s heart beat faster, guaranteed!
Bike Park Kasina, Poland
season: June – September
It is only fair that we also feature an Eastern European destination in our Bikepark Europe guide, namely Bikepark Kasina in Poland. Located just an hour from the big city of Kraków, the bike park has nine trails and is the largest of its kind in Poland. The longest running track, The Family Line, is exactly what it sounds like: beginner-friendly. On the other hand, the DH courses are some of the most exciting in the country. Ready for the trip?
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