Stunning Mountain Biking Destinations Around the World
It is not just the speed and downhill thrills that provide that special buzz for many mountain bikers, but the ability to explore some stunning and sometimes untouched terrain. We have found some of the most impressive destinations around the world to add to your bucket list:
Rotorua, New Zealand
In 2006, New Zealand’s Rotorua hosted the MTB World Championship, placing it on the map as a must-visit mountain biking destination. Many consider the area to have some of the best trails in the world. Over 100km of tracks have been built into the Whakarewarewa Forest, known to locals as ‘the Redwoods.’ There are panoramic views, natural lakes and towering trees that make for a truly beautiful environment to explore on two wheels. The varied network of trails also provides technical riding for all skill levels.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas
Peru’s infamous tourist destination is the Sacred Valley of the Incas, yet only a few people know that there are also some amazing mountain bike trails to be found. Mountain biking is relatively new to Peru but needless to say the scenery is stunning with the surrounding mountains and archaeological Inca sites to explore, and there is even an annual enduro race held here; the Inca Avalanche, which is advertised as the highest MTB race in the world..
Groenkloof Trails, South Africa
The Groenkloof trails are situated close to Pretoria in the Groenkloof national park, South Africa. The surroundings are green, with many ridges and hills providing exciting natural tracks. The best feature, however, is the opportunity to see the non-predatory indigenous wildlife including zebras, giraffes and antelopes up close.
La Paz, Bolivia
The Yungas Road in La Paz, Bolivia is famous for being the most dangerous mountain biking road in the world; it is also known as ‘the death road’. Despite the scary reputation, it is one of the most popular activities for backpackers in Bolivia, with 25,000 riders tackling the descent each year.
With a guide, the road is accessible to even those without any mountain biking experience and takes 4 to 5 hours to complete; although this is one place where it is highly recommended to have invested in some high quality mountain bikes and accessories in order to safely tackle the tough terrain. There is a 600ft drop off the Cliffside as riders descend the track, but the journey is not only exhilarating for the danger element alone; the views are outstanding, with the rainforest of the Yungas and the stunning sheer cliff drops forming a dramatic backdrop to the ride.
The French Alps are one of the most popular destinations for British riders, providing the whole package. The Alpine surroundings are as breath-taking in the summer months as they are during the skiing season. There is also the benefit of lift access to the hundreds of kilometres of single track and downhill terrain, from which you can experience the amazing backdrop of snow-capped mountains.
Due to the French Alps’ appeal, there are many specialist biking holidays to popular resorts such as Morzine, Les Gets and Tignes that also offer specially designed facilities and bike parks; these include many features and man-made tracks for a more challenging ride.