If you have ever seen any part of the world by bike, then you know what a deeply enthralling experience it is. It would also have given you a sense of just how much of the world you can explore from the saddle.
There’s an incredible abundance of cycling holidays and routes out there to choose from – more than you could conquer in a lifetime. The challenge is trying to figure out which mountain biking routes and events to take on, especially for those that are looking for both destinations and routes that are a little unusual. So to help you decide on a direction, we have chosen our top five unique mountain biking routes with varying distances and difficulties, that will make for out-of-this-world cycling holidays:
Mongolia Bike Challenge (Mongolia)
This multi-stage cross-country route brings meaning to the word ‘challenge’. With six daily stages spanning 1000 km and with an elevation gain of 9,750 m, it’s not for beginners. One thing is for sure, though, cycling holidays in Mongolia will never be forgotten. Undulating hills, vast expanses of land, and incredibly unique culture are some of the highlights of this mystical place. You will be hard-pressed not to feel like you have been transported back in time as you cycle this route, likening your journey to that of Genghis Khan who too rode these trails – albeit in a slightly different fashion.
Crocodile Trophy (Australia)
Trust the Australians to name this multi-stage 770 km cross-country trail after one of their most notorious animals. The trail – the ‘Croc’ – spans over eight daily stages, and has a total elevation gain of 19,800 m. It follows a route from coast to coast, with a substantial leg of the journey being in the outback. There’s no doubt this would make an incredible destination (and route) for cycling holidays because you do actually run the risk of ‘bumping’ into crocs along the way, but also because it’s an incredibly bonding experience with the two other cyclists who will make up your team. And you get to do all this while taking in the breathtaking scenery so unique to Australia.
The Pioneer (New Zealand)
Another incredible destination that makes for unbelievable cycling holidays is undoubtedly New Zealand. The Pioneer is a 150 km multi-stage enduro that happens over five stages. And while it sports the label ‘enduro’ it’s somewhat more ‘leisurely’ than the others mentioned on this list – between the timed sections they have specifically planned sections that encourage cyclists to take it a little easier in order to take in the destination. And one of the best things about it is there is a three-day option for those who don’t want to take on the full challenge.
Yak Attack (Nepal)
Another serious bucket list destination, Nepal makes for excellent cycling holidays.
The Yak Attack is a 500 km epic that takes place over ten daily stages and has a total elevation gain of 15,240 m and an altitude of 5400 m, making it the highest MTB race in the world and one of the most challenging. But with severely varying temperatures and extremely harsh conditions, one thing is for certain; it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Cape Epic (South Africa)
The iconic city of Cape Town is one of the most beautiful places on earth to choose for your cycling holidays, and it serves as the backdrop for the Cape Epic. This multi-stage cross-country trail spans 800 km in distance over 8 stages. The total elevation gain is 15,240 m. This race has been deemed the ‘Tour de France’ of mountain biking and is the largest fully-supported race of its kind in the world. This is a slightly unusual race because of its mix of amateurs and pros and the fact that cyclists partake in teams of two. The incredible trail traverses some of the most unique flora seen only in the Western Cape as cyclists meander along passes through Winelands and mountain trails.
If you are looking for more unusual and exciting mountain biking routes to tick off your bucket list, then be sure to download our guide: The Ultimate Mountain Biking Bucket List. Alternatively, you can contact us to find out more about a magnificent destination to head to for cycling holidays along the Costa Blanca or to book a stay at one of our cyclist-friendly hotels in Calpe.