8 Mountain Bike Holidays That Won't Break The Bank
Want get away for under £500 this summer? Look no further...
Summer is closer than you think, which means it's holiday booking time.
If you're bank account is looking particularly sorry for itself, then you'll want to get away for as little money as possible. Right?
So, that dream of jetting over to Utah might not be feasible, but there's plenty of places in Europe that won't leave you surviving off baked beans and Supernoodles for two months afterwards.
Europe boasts some of the best singletracks in the world, and they're all a short flight or drive away. Start getting inspired now...
[part title="The Basque Coast, Spain"]
Spain's northern coast may not be as well-known as the Costa del Sol, but it's equally as beautiful, if not more so.
Not only that, but it's a whole lot less touristy. You won't find too many sun-burned, sangria-swilling, stereotypical Brits abroad here.
It also has some cracking mountain bike trails, as the picture above and the one on the first page show. You can fly into San Sebastien pretty cheaply, and after you've spent a day or so exploring the town (well, well worth it) head out and enjoy "incredible mountain biking over perfect surf beaches."
According to Doug from Basque MTB, who run Basic Coast weeks for under £500: "The mountain biking is very varied, from big mountain trails in the Pyrenees to stunning singletrack along the Spanish coast."
Sounds pretty ideal right?
[part title="Valloire, France"]
Everyone knows the French Alps are packed with hundreds of kilometres of awesome trails. Instead of following the crowds to Morzine or Tignes, why not make your way to Valloire?
It's a smaller resort but there's still 155km of marked trails for cross-country lovers, plus 17 freeride slopes including an international downhill run. Come July, the Tour de France will run straight through the town.
The beauty of Valloire is you'll get the real French experience of staying in a quaint alpine village (there's far less English speaking tourists here) for half the price. You can camp at the Saint Thècle campsite from €10.30 per night or stay in a studio apartment like this one from €35 per night.
If you fancy branching out to other trails, the Three Valleys (Val Thorens, Meribel, Courcheval) are just an hour and a half drive away.
[part title="Mallorca, Spain"]
How about a view like this from a singletrack?
Mallorca is one of the most reasonably priced places to go on a mountain bike trip. Everyone from amateurs to even the hardiest pros will find something in the rocky Tramuntana mountains.
Tramuntana Tours offer tours across the island from €24 per person for a 2.5 hour excursion. They even have a well-priced apartment in Soller to stay in while you're there.
We like the look of the coastal Cala Tuent tour with its spectacular views across the Balearic Sea (€40 for 5.5 hour guided expedition).
It's a technical with a lot of climbing, but you'll get to stop for a swim and a picnic before following the Sa Costera trail along the coastline.
Alternatively, grab a trail map and take yourself off for an adventure!
[part title=" Obzor, Bulgaria"]
Eastern Europe is quickly building a stonking reputation as the place to go for affordable week-long breaks.
Bike Bulgaria offer a really good deal for keen cross-country riders - six nights guided riding, seven nights bed and breakfast plus airport transfers for just £275 per person. They're based on the Black Sea in a town called Obzor, meaning 'Bay of Sun' (always good to hear).
You can choose what trails you ride depending on your ability - from fast, rocky, technical trails to cruisey tracks through the coastal vineyards. Meals are cheap, so you can expect to pay £5 for two-courses plus beer is only per 40p per pint!
[part title="Glentress, Scotland"]
The other option when looking for a cheap break is staying close to home. The UK offers some of the best mountain bike trails in Europe.
Glentress in Scotland is a mountain biking mecca. It's only 20 miles south of Edinburgh, making it relatively accessible. There are hundreds of kilometres of trails from green up to black graded through the forest.
The technical Glentress V trail is thought to be the best trail in the UK with amazing views over the forest, followed by singletracks with jumps, berms and some fun drop offs.
There's no lifts to pay for, you just have to bring your bike along and download one of their trail maps here. Camping at the Tweedside Caravan Park is only £9 per night or you can stay in the Craiguart guesthouse from £65 per night for a double room.
If you've got time, check out Innerleithan as well but watch out for the long climbs!
If you're looking for crowd-free trails with few other riders around, then head to Croatia.
Hardy adventurers should hire a big spacious car, throw their bikes in the back and head for Paklenika National Park, just 30 miles from Zadar airport. You'll need some pretty advanced tech skills to handle the looping network of singletracks around the area.
There aren't any guides or bike shops here, so prepare to be very self-sufficient! Take Adventure is written by a local rider, offering tips for his favourite trails.
[part title="Malaga, Spain"]
You may groan at the thought of a Brit package holiday to Malaga, but this isn't your regular Spanish getaway.
Just beyond the chockablock beaches are the Montes de Málaga, a national park with a vast network of mountainous trails to explore. Ride through orange and avocado plantations, descend the steep 1200m singletrack to the coast or cruise alongside an old railway line with great scenic views.
Sierra MTB Holidays have been running guided tours in the region for over 20 years. They offer a great deal of €480 per person for a whole week. This includes a week of guiding, six nights accommodation with a swimming pool, breakfast, airport transfers, transport to the routes and wifi.
[part title="Leogang, Austria"]
If you're really looking to push your nerves to the limit, then head over to the epic Leogang Bike Park in Austria.
The UCI Downhill World Cup events are held here, so you can test your skills on a top international level trail before trying the northshore Lumberjack Park with its ginormous wallride and interweaving network of logs trails and drops.
Entry to the park isn't cheap - €34.50 per day - but camping is only €9.10 per night. Alternatively, the park are doing a special deal this summer of €349 per person for seven nights stay in Leogang plus a four-day lift pass and breakfast.
You also might be surprised to hear that it's only a 13 hour drive from the UK, so grab a few mates and get going!
[part title="Chamonix, France"]
You might think Chamonix is expensive to go riding, but it doesn't have to be.
There are often good deals to be found if you fly to Geneva, usually around £85 including bike. Then catch the train up to Chamonix for €25 return.
Camp in the Chamonix valley at Camping Mer De Glace from €14.30 per person in May, June and September plus just €7.50 per extra person.
You'll get a free train pass with your stay, so use this explore Vallorcine and Servoz. If you're super fit, you can skip the lift pass, cycle up and enjoy the steep singletrack descents!
Get in there quick though, as most trails close at the end of June.