In this guide to Austria mountain biking holidays we look at when to go, the types of riding available and the gear to take. Plus we talk about the 10 best Austrian MTB destinations to help you plan your next trip.
Austria is world renowned for its ski resorts, within which mountain biking has become a very popular summer activity. The resorts are regularly building new trails, offering more action, and more adventure. The MTB options in Austria suit everyone from pros to complete beginners.
Beyond the mountain biking Austria also has a lot to offer. If you are interested, Austria has exceptional cultural experiences of art, music, science, and architecture. Plus be prepared to indulge in some amazing cuisine with influences from Italy, Czech, Hungary and Germany – be sure to try to goulash soup.
The best time of year to visit Austria to MTB is between April and October with the main summer season spanning June to September. The winter transforms the mountains and many valleys into snow covered ski resorts which pushes mountain bikers away from the alpine regions.
This does not mean there is no riding to be had in winter. But that the lift accessed downhill, mountainous single track and alpine enduro routes are closed.
At lower levels there are trails through woodland and in the valley bottoms, but even these can be snowy and icy. Some ski resorts offer fatbikes to hire which are designed for winter riding in snow, but it is more of an extra activity for a ski holiday then a trip in it’s own right.
A land locked country, Austria is easily accessible by road, rail, or air. Once there the accommodation options are near limitless with something available for every budget from camping to luxury hotels. There is even bike dedicated accommodation at resorts like Saalbach-Hinterglemm staying at the Bike-n-Soul hotels.
When the snow has melted and the bite of winter has receded the Austrian mountains are no longer just alive to the sound of music. They are peppered with the sound of mountain bikes rattling down stoney trails, brakes squealing, suspension pumping and plenty of shouts of excitement.
You can of course bring your own bike and all the gear. But it is also easy to rent bikes and protective equipment during Austria mountain biking holidays. If you will be downhill riding don’t forget your mountain bike goggles, as most places do not hire them.
Consider the type of riding you will be doing and whether your bike and other gear will be up to the challenge. If you usually ride fairly tame local trails but will be stepping up to more difficult alpine routes consider if your bike will be sufficient.
Bringing your own helmet is always nice. While you can rent them putting on a lid many other people have sweated in it not the nicest experience. Also make sure you get the right type of bike helmet for the kind of mountain biking you will be doing.
You should also bring suitable mountain bike clothing with padded underwear top of the list. While pretty much any sports gear will do jeans certainly won’t! Remember to pack waterproofs for bad weather, gloves and either a suitable bottle or bladder. Plus a backpack to carry it all in.
There are many different types of mountain biking and most are available in Austria. Many ski resorts have dedicated bike parks for freeride and downhill riders. Big berms, massive descents, rocks, jumps, huge drop offs, you name it – Austria’s bike parks offer it.
The legendary Leogang Bike Park with its incredible trail network and gondola transit system is worth a visit. As is Innsbruck which holds the European leg of the Crankworx MTB Festival and provides some of the best Austrian MTB combined with a city break.
While man made trails suite many mountain bikers a lot of us crave single track. And the Austrian Alps delivers this in bucket loads. There are tens of thousands of kilometres of single track in Austria. Book a MTB guide in any area and you’ll ride routes you’ll never find yourself.
There is also a good range of cross country trails for those who like to ride up as well as down. For example, the twelve different bike regions of Salzburgerland have more than 3,000km of trails. They will lead you past 185 lakes and 120 three thousand metre peaks. As Austria mountain biking holidays go this is great for XC riders.
Where is best to mountain bike in Austria? Well that could be scope for an article all of its own! So we will try to keep it succinct… Here are the the top 10 resorts to MTB in Austria (please note some entries have more than one resort).
Want to combine a city break with varied Austria mountain biking? Innsbruck is the place to go. With lifts starting and trails ending in the city it is tough to beat.
Plus Innsbruck is surrounded by ski resorts all with their own bike parks and mountains criss crossed by single track. Check out this guide to Innsbruck mountain biking for more info.
The newly combined Saalbach, Hinterglemm, Leogang and Fieberbrunn have over 400 km of marked MTB trails. With 9 gondolas on 7 mountains this is Austria’s largest mountain biking region and it ranks as one of the best MTB bike parks worldwide.
There are 70 km of downhill, single track and flowlines with up to 1000m of descent. On top of this there are many cycle paths taking mountain bikers all over the region.
There are more than 1200 km of bike trails in the Silvretta Mountains accessible from Ischgl. With downhill style trails plus world class single track to enjoy and descents of 1000m+ it ticks all the boxes. Check out this review of Ischgl mountain biking to find out more.
An early adopter of mountain biking in Austria Kaprun has held many UCI events over the years. Paired with Zell am See it is a great destination for Austria mountain biking holidays with enduro, freeride, downhill and plenty of cross country trails to explore in the Salzburgerland region.
With more than 1,200 km of mountain biking routes to choose from in the Zillertal Valley, Mayrhofen is one of the best Austrian MTB destinations. There are all styles of riding, for all levels of rider and all accessed by modern lifts. What’s not to like?
In the Vorarlberg region of western Austria there are more than 1500 km of marked MTB trails. Brandnertal is a small ski area within the region that has a great bike park with trails for all levels including the excellent Chuck Norris jump line.
There are also many single track routes, including a trail all the way down to Bludenz that takes a day. Check out this review of Brandnertal bike park for more info.
We hope you found this guide to Austria mountain biking holidays interesting and useful. If you want to visit one of the best Austrian MTB destinations then check out our Austria mountain biking trips.