But while challenging, most mountain biking routes see cyclists passing by mysterious and forgotten wonders, through gorgeous forests, or with the chance to take in unbelievable vistas. It makes the training, the gruelling routes, the huge amounts of money spent on cycling equipment, totally worth it. The dilemma, however, is choosing where in the world to explore next. If you want to keep the travel distance (relatively) short, then these are some of our favourite routes to take when the bug to cycle across Europe bites:
A good cycle across Europe is only truly worth it when you get to experience some exquisite destinations, and one such place has to be the Dolomites in Italy. The great news for those who aren’t quite ready to do the level of pedal power required for the Alps is that ski lifts are in place making the Sella Massif accessible and those partaking in the Sellaronda MTB Tour can embrace the passes of Gardena, Campolongo, Pordoi and Sella in a day. These incredible areas were previously only enjoyed by skiers. For those who like to work their mountain bikes hard, then the Val Gardena-Alpe di Siusi MTB has more than 1000 km of routes and trails of varying levels of difficulty, and the altitude ranges from 700-2450 m.
Portes Du Soleil (France/Switzerland)
Next on our list of must-do trails when you want to cycle across Europe, is the Portes Du Soleil Mountain Bike Tour. Set in one of the biggest bike parks in the world, there is over 650 km of routes that spread out over varying terrain, and reach an altitude of 2466 m. Here there is ample choice for the adventurous bikers – it’s up to you which of the 12 different resorts you would like to explore. This incredible cycling paradise teeters on the Swiss-Franco border and allows mountain bikers to take in Lord of the Rings-esque scenery made up of pine forests, snowy peaks and beautiful meadows.
Salzkammergut Trophy (Austria)
A very popular choice of races when you decide to cycle across Europe, the Salzkammergut Trophy has an incredible number of seven different courses to choose from. This cross country marathon spans over a total of 211 km and has an elevation gain of 7 000 m – all to be conquered in one day. Set amongst the Alps, it should be no surprise that each of the events ensures that you have the most incredible views and get to experience unrivalled scenery.
Trans Portugal (Portugal)
Trans Portugal is a multi-stage cross country race and another one of the greats you want to cycle across Europe. This is not a course for an inexperienced cyclist, however, with participants having to navigate the unmarked course themselves to find the end of each stage. It certainly makes for a ride on the wild side – perfect for those cyclists who deem themselves anything but conventional. Overall, the trail covers 1000 km over eight daily stages with an elevation gain of 16 760 m – so make sure you put in enough training.
Costa Blanca (Spain)
The Costa Blanca in Spain has become an exceptionally popular place to stop over for people who want to cycle across Europe, largely because of the perfect marriage between the climate and the terrain. But it’s more than just unlimited trails suitable for varying levels of fitness and experience, an incredible climate and gorgeous landscapes – it’s the varied influences of the land, the different culture, the delicious food and the local wines. This is just one of those incredible destinations that offer so much more than fantastic weather and amazing trails.
If you are looking for more information on mind-blowing mountain biking trails, then download our guide The Ultimate Mountain Biking Bucket List. If the Costa Blanca has piqued your curiosity, please contact us for more information and to find out more about our cyclist-friendly Calpe hotels