A guest post from Amanda Wilks of MountainBikesReviewed.com.
Mountain biking is one of summer’s favorite pursuits. It’s popular for many reasons, not in the least that it allows you to get an excellent workout, while exploring unfamiliar places and beautiful scenery.
In particular, Europe is home to stunning, history-rich bike trails, many of which are suitable for beginner through advanced riders.
Here, we will look at five of the most breathtaking trails Europe has to offer.
Seven Stanes, Glentress, Scotland
This is a network of resorts and riding areas. The “stanes” in the name refers to the outdoor sculptures at the end of every trail.
One of the best things about these beautiful trails is that they have beginner options, so you don’t have to worry if you’re new to biking. Many trails offer areas to practice biking skills, and the trail websites offer information on trail grades so you can select the best one for you.
If you enjoy mountain biking and appreciate art, this trail is a great pick for you.
Reschen Pass to Merano, Italy
Cycling expert Ron Van Dijk has been introducing people to trail riding for years, and he recommends a trail in Italy’s South-Tyrol that starts at Reschen Pass and ends up at Merano. While this trail is 50 miles, it is almost all downhill.
Additionally, the scenery you’ll experience on this trail is some of the most stunning in the world. Riders are surrounded by the Alps and ride past apple orchards, placid lakes, and quaint villages. And if you want to relax at the end of a long ride, you’re in luck. The trail ends in Merano, which is a spa town.
Ciclismo Classico’s Ireland Tour
If you prefer a guided tour, the Ciclismo Classico company offers a guided tour over much of Ireland’s west coast. This tour combines scenery with social outings to some of Ireland’s country pubs, and it is recommended by CNN for those who don’t have much biking experience. A combination of many trails in one guided tour, participants see the famous Cliffs of Moher, ride through the wild Connemara National Park, and visit the lovely town of Galway.
Finally, this short video provides a beautiful taste of mountain biking in Ireland.
Asiago Highlands, Gallio Veneto, Italy
If you’re a rider who enjoys unique natural landmarks, you’ll likely love the Stone City of Monte Fior, the crown jewel of this rural ride.
The stone city is not really a city at all, but a series of enormous rocks carved by centuries of wind and weather. The result is a series of tall formations that resemble buildings. This memorable city of stone is part of the Monte Fior mountain range. Italy is certainly full of beautiful mountain bike trails, but this one stands out.
This route involves considerable elevation change, so it may not be ideal for beginners. But if you’re up for a challenge (or are willing to walk up the steeper ascents), the ride is well worth the exertion.
Grande Traversee du Jura, Maudeure, France
This memorable trail, which takes you through peaceful pine forests and over expansive meadows, is well over 100 miles, but riders who are up for a day ride can always ride out-and-back as far as they prefer.
While this is a longer trail, it is extremely well-marked, so you will always know where you are. Despite the fact that it goes through the Jura mountains, the southern portion of the trail is well-suited to beginners (the northern portion is considerably more challenging, as it has significant elevation gains).
France is especially well-known for impressive cycling trails, and this one allows for low-stress riding, as the route is exclusively for cyclists.
Mountain Biking in Europe
How much biking you do in Europe, and how you do it, is up to you. Choose a guided tour with accommodations, or perhaps just go on a day trip.
If you’re particularly savvy, you may even want to plan your own tour. If you choose this option, Charles Hansen and Sheldon Brown offer thorough advice on trip planning, from choosing a bike to trip logistics.
Regardless of how you want to experience Europe, this is a continent where cycling is important and there is no shortage of trails from which to choose. While the above mountain bike trails are some of the most breathtaking, there are countless others that you can enjoy, whether you’re a beginner rider or have been riding all your life.
About the Author: Amanda Wilks is a blogger and an MTB veteran whose knowledge is usually poured into her unbiased mountain bike reviews. If you’ve enjoyed her article see what else Amanda is writing about @AmandaWilks01.
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