Planning a mountain biking adventure this summer? Then Alps MTB holidays in Italy may be what you are looking for. Read this guide to the best mountain biking in Aosta Valley. You’ll find out all about one of Europe’s most beautiful, varied and exciting MTB destinations.
Italy is friendlier, cheaper and has better food than nearby France and Switzerland. However, the mountains are just as big, the infrastructure just as good, and the riding is just as spectacular. Consequently, the Italian Alps are a great destination for a mountain biking holiday.
Of the Italian Alps, the Aosta Valley in the northwest of the country really stands out. Riding near Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and Monta Rosa the views are spectacular with some of the best terrain in Europe. Aosta is easily reached from Turin, Milan or Geneva airports with good rail and bus links too.
Downhill, freeride, cross country or enduro – the choice is yours with over 1000 km of interconnected trails in the Aosta Valley. Due to winter snow in the Alps, most riding happens between May and October.
Once the snow melts it reveals a network of MTB trails and bike parks. You’ll find everything from easy and undemanding rides to fearsome downhills and challenging climbs.
This Aosta mountain biking guide gives you a snapshot of what the area offers mountain bikers. To help you decide where to ride we’ve included the top lift served bike parks and the best off-road routes.
Let’s start with a rundown of the best bike parks to explore on your Alps MTB holidays in Italy.
The Bosco Express and Chalet Express lifts operate in La Thuile from June through to September opening up a vast MTB playground. Located at 2,600 metres there is an impressive vertical of around 1,200m.
With the biggest bike park in Aosta it caters to all styles and level of rider. You can explore 20 dedicated downhill trails ranging from blue (easy) to black (expert). You’ll find many impressive features and big jumps for experienced riders.
There are also 220km of natural single track to explore mainly through beautiful pine woods. Trails progress from easy smooth and flowing, to difficult, steep and technical. There is something for everyone.
In the Planibel area there is a well-equipped summer camp run by instructors. So you can hone your skills under the guidance of professionals ensuring you are riding correctly. There is even a balance bike area for the little ones.
Cervinia has MTB trails from 3500m down to 2000m served by three lifts. There are 12 trails, most are rated red with three black, plus a couple of easy blue options. As a result, there is plenty to keep downhill, all mountain and enduro riders busy.
Set in the spectacular Matterhorn Valley, this is one of the region’s most popular biking destinations. And for good reason.
Cervinia provides some of the best mountain biking in Aosta Valley with around 85 km of varied trails. You’ll find everything from technical single track to northshore and giant berms to flow trails.
Bikeland at Pila has 60km of lift serviced trails split over 16 tracks. There is something for everyone, although there is only one easy route, the rest either red or black. It was one of the first ski resorts to offer lift serviced mountain biking in the Alps, so Pila comes with some pedigree!
This extends to it’s famous World Cup track which is used each year for various competitions. Built to challenge professional riders, so you need a high level of ability to take on its large jumps and obstacles.
Outside the bikepark there is an 8km enduro track from Pila to Aosta dropping a massive 1,170m. But it can be extended to 15 km if you want a longer ride. It’s an average difficulty ride and suitable for downhill riders too. If you love a challenge you’ll enjoy some of the more technical aspects of the route.
With the right protection and a functioning bike this area is open to anyone over the age of six. Although youngsters need adult supervision.
There are five main trails including natural single track with obstacles, pump track, a flow liner and dual slalom. The goal of the park is to improve your riding and it will certainly help develop your MTB skills.
The easy 4.5km downhill trail at the top of the four-seater Collet Chairlift, at 2,250 metres, is perfect for beginners. The route has an average gradient of just 6.4%, with 17% in the steepest sections. More advanced riders can also head to the stunning Tsan Lake and ride to the Alta Via 1 junction.
Of course riding downhill is only part of what mountain biking is about. Do you prefer to cycle up, to fully appreciate the downs?
With 23 well documented MTB trails that criss cross the Aosta Valley, you’re going to love it. Plus there are many other routes that only the locals and guides know about. Here are some of the best to try during your Alps MTB holidays in Italy.
This medium difficulty trail is a mixture of asphalt and dirt. It runs through the San Bernado Valley, following the road and footpath along farm tracks. There are plenty of single-track sections providing a technical challenge plus some road riding.
This is a high altitude, difficult route around the Breuil Basin. It features a sequence of steep ascents and stunning views. After climbing you descend towards the Cime Bianche lower hill before rising another 500m along the Du Col cable car line. The final segment follows the old bobsleigh run down towards Cervinia.
The Cogne area has six well documented trails, so is a great place to base yourself. Ranging from 12-33 km in length there is something for everyone.
There are gentle rides to enjoy through the Gran Paradiso Park, with unpaved footpaths along shallow valley floor gradients. As the name suggests, the views are spectacular. The Epinel nature trail is another easy to medium level ride.
Also around Cogne is the tough Invergneux Pass, which is the jewel in the crown for the area. There is 1374m of climbing on a 33 km trail, consequently it is physically very challenging. The descent is fairly technical demanding good riding skills.
You can also take on the panoramic route between Gimillan and Epinel. Plus there are nice rides around the Sylvenoire plateau and Lillaz waterfalls.
Following old irrigation canals this route shows a different side of Alps MTB holidays in Italy. It is a circular route with plenty of climbing and gives a range of descent options. The downhill is on single track that ranges from easy and flowing, to tough and technical. So you can choose a route that suits you.
There are plenty of other good rides dotted around the Aosta Valley. The 12km Celtic Tour in Courmayeur and ascent to the Monte Rosa Glaciers in Gressoney are worth riding. The 28km long Testa di Comagna in Challand-Saint-Victor, Brusson is great if you prefer a longer ride.
There is also good riding in Nus, Montjovet and Morgex. Plus there is a wine cellar tour in Villeneuve and you can follow the Savara river in Valsavarenche. You’ll also find good trails in Saint-Pierre, Torgon, Pila and Sarre.
A trip to Aosta for Alps MTB holidays in Italy offer a lot for all levels of rider. From tough and technical downhills to a huge choice of enduro trails. And easy circular routes around the valleys to tough challenging full day rides. So there really is something for everyone.
Whether you’re hitting the bike park or taking a trail, there are plenty of options. Plus there is a huge choice of other summer activities in the Aosta Valley. So if you want a day out of the saddle you can try rafting, climbing, hiking, canyoning, skiing and much more.
But with riding this good, we know it will be tough to tear you away from the trails.
We hope you enjoyed this guide to the best mountain biking in Aosta Valley. If you’d like more information visit: www.lovevda.it