The Worlds Best Mountain Bike Destinations

by David Bratusa on August 28, 2012

Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports around the world, matching fitness, skill and finesse into one incredible adrenaline sport.

With many people looking to go on a mountain bike holiday, we’ve created a list of the top 5 destinations to test your bike handling skills.

Morzine

Morzine is one of the top mountain bike locations in the French Alps with a huge array of dedicated mountain bike trails. Catering more towards those who are after gravity assisted riding, the summer season sees many of the ski lifts converted to take bikes.

Perhaps one of the most popular tracks takes you down the infamous Pleny hillside back into the centre of town. Morzine is located in the Portes du Soleil, and so there is easy access to many other resorts, such as Les Gets, Chatel and the DH World Cup course at Champery.

Morzine is a fantastic location for a holiday, with loads of chalets ready to take bikers, plenty of bike shops to help fix those mechanicals and a whole host of bars in which you can recount all those epic moments on the trails.

Scotland

Scotland has to be one of my favourite places to ride in the world. With stunning scenery, remote mountains and epic trails, it’s got to be on your list too.

Mountain Biking at BalblairScotland benefits from a network of ‘bothys’ (Scottish term for mountain hut) which makes multi-day adventures a fantastic way to see the country. If you want epic adventures, head to the far north to experience the incredible area of Torridon. You could also head towards Kinlochleven and tackle the infamous Devil’s Staircase and Ciaran path – surely some of the best riding available.

There are also a growing number of dedicated MTB trails in Scotland – the most popular being Glentress – about an hour south of Edinburgh. Kirroughtree is a personal favourite of mine, with its rocky ‘McMoab’ section, and I’d also recommend heading further north to Laggan and Balblair.

Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada mountains in Spain offer a longer season than the Alps, with good weather extending right into the autumn. Despite having no real lift system, there are a host of companies out there offering gravity assisted riding, primarily offering van up-lifts.

The terrain is rocky and dusty, and the riding can get extremely technical – a longer travel full suspension bike may be the order of the day, unless you’re really confident on your hardtail! Thick puncture proof tyres are worth their weight in gold though!

Utah

Utah has loads of legendary mountain bike spots, thanks to years and years of mountain bike history in the area. Famed for its ‘Slickrock’ trails, perhaps the grippiest trail surface known to man! Utah’s trails are well known for being demarked by painted arrows on the rocks, pointing up up and down seemingly impossible slopes. Sure, your tyres might get worn pretty quick, but it’s definitely worth the experience.

If you get the chance, make your way over to the Porcupine Rim trail – an absolute classic in the mountain bike world.

Nepal

Nepal has to be one of the most up and coming mountain bike destinations in the world. How can you ignore the plethora of trails which criss-cross the Himalaya. With a deep history of trekking, there are so many options out there for mountain biking.

It’s now possible to complete the Annapurna Circuit on a mountain bike, taking you past some of the highest mountains in the world.

Nepal has an incredibly diverse landscape and peoples, from humid tropical forest to (obviously!) high mountains – and so has some of the most spectacular mountain biking on the planet!

If you’re keen to find a great mountain bike holiday, check out Much Better Adventure’s selection, run by local, independent and ethical operators!

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