If you love nature, adventure, the excitement of off-road riding and want to have an unforgettable experience, all you need is a summer holiday in the mountains – of course riding your mountain bike, or even a pedal-assisted bike!
In the summer Italian mountains offer endless opportunities to those who love off-road cycling, to discover enchanting panoramas and breathe in the fresh air. Long days, the pleasant climate and its breathtaking singletrack make the Alps and the Apennines a real paradise for all cycling and nature enthusiasts.
For this guide, we have chosen some destinations suitable for your next MTB holiday – of course also with an e-MTB!
So much has been written about the beauty of the Dolomites and there is nothing else we can add. If you love mountain biking, an experience in one of the bike resorts in the area makes the whole holiday worth it. If you are looking for the perfect place for some off-road fun, we recommend the Dolomiti Paganella Bike resort: 80 km of trails in three areas (Andalo, Molveno and Fai), divided by type (downhill, enduro, cross-country) and level of difficulty (expert, intermediate, family). If instead you prefer Alta Badia and want to ride with your family, we suggest cycling in the Movimënt area, which is also equipped with a playground for children. If you decide to explore the Dolomites and reach Lake Garda, choose Bikeland. This resort extends from Val Rendena, Val di Sole to the area of Paganella and Campiglio and offers more than 1000 km of trails for cross-country, enduro and downhill.
Livigno is certainly one of the most exciting destinations for MTB lovers in northern Italy. Mottolino and Carosello are two of the most popular bike parks chosen every year by freeriders from all parts of Europe. In the Mottolino resort, you will find as many as 14 trails with different levels of difficulty, modern ski lifts and, of course, breathtaking scenery. The Carosello bike park is instead the place to go if you want to experience the thrill of pedaling at 3000 metres above sea level. There you will find a network of flow trails winding through an enchanting alpine landscape. Livigno is not just free riding though: enduro and cross-country lovers can have their share of fun in the trails of Val Federia and Valle delle Mine.
Bormio and Stelvio
Valtellina is not only for bike racers. Stelvio Nature Park is in fact a real paradise for mountain bike lovers who want to discover its unspoilt nature through the many different routes to choose from. The route from Bormio leading to the Fraele towers is certainly a must. Challenging but not impossible, this loop trail will give you the opportunity to put your off-road cycling skills to the test and at the same time discover a place of great natural and historical interest – many of its trails are from the First World War. Suitable for cyclists of all levels, the Val Zebrù route allows you to explore by MTB the Stelvio Nature Park and safely admire the local fauna and flora. Halfway there, you will find the Baita del Pastore, the ideal place to take a break – or have a picnic – at more than 2000 metres above sea level.
Rome & Apennines
When talking about mountain biking and the Apennines, we cannot but recommend the routes in the area of Fiuggi. Unspoilt nature, rich in history and breathtaking trails where you can experience exciting mountain-biking adventures in the mountains. Guarcino Nature Park is amazing, but it is only suitable for those who are comfortable with extreme off-road cycling. One of the routes we recommend is the one which goes from Campocatino to Guarcino: a-23 km off-road trail with very challenging stretches where you will have to carry the bike on your shoulder, but will be an unforgettable experience. A route more suitable for less experienced bikers is the one which goes from Fiuggi to the villages of Acuto and Piglio, an area renowned for the production of the Cesanese wine.
Discovering the hills of Monferrato by mountain bike is great fun. Although the landscape here is different from the Alpine one, you will still experience a lot of excitement and freedom by pedaling through green hills and vineyards stretching for miles. If you are a beginner, we suggest the trail which starts from Vignale Monferrato and extends for 25 km of dirt roads in the UNESCO’s site of Monferrato Casalese. The enduro route of the 3 Rivers is instead suitable for more experienced riders and it is also the location of the enduro race which takes place between the hills of Monferrato and the Apennines. The valleys of Erro and Bormida are suitable for those who are looking for singletrack in the undergrowth, a natural bike park with many switchbacks, rocks and canals.
Liguria & Finale
Free riding, enduro and downhill: Finale Ligure is the preferred destination for all MTB enthusiasts. It is no surprise that it is one of the most popular destinations among professional bikers from all around Europe. Here we have selected several routes with spectacular singletrack such as those on Mount Faudo – a mountain bike park with sea views. If you want to enjoy some freeriding fun, we recommend the Falegname descent on Col di Nava which can also be reached by shuttle. Another interesting place is the Via del Sale near Sanremo. A complete off-road trail which follows the ancient trade road and connects the City of the Flowers with the ski resort of Limone (Piedmont).
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